About Greenwood Bean
We are a small coffee roaster located at the base of Mt. Abram in Greenwood, Maine. We roast fair-trade, organic, single source beans in micro-batches to ensure fresh and delicious coffee in every bag. Fresh roasted to order. If you don't see the roast you like in our shop, please let us know and we will roast it.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best way to brew coffee?
Here are our tips for a great cup of coffee, no matter what type of brewing method you use.
Great coffee starts with great beans. Purchase coffee as soon as possible after it’s roasted. Fresh-roasted coffee is essential to a quality cup, so buy your coffee in small amounts (ideally every one to two weeks).
If you buy whole bean coffee, always grind your beans as close to the brew time as possible for maximum freshness. A burr or mill grinder is best because the coffee is ground to a consistent size. The size of the grind is hugely important to the taste of your coffee. If your coffee tastes bitter, it may be over-extracted, or ground too fine. On the other hand, if your coffee tastes flat, it may be under-extracted, meaning your grind is too coarse. See the next section for grinding details.
The water you use is very important to the quality of your coffee. Use filtered or bottled water if your tap water is not good or has a strong odor or taste, such as chlorine. If you’re using tap water, let it run a few seconds before filling your coffee pot, and be sure to use cold water. Avoid distilled or softened water.
A general guideline is called the Golden Ratio, which is 17:1 (17 parts water: 1 part coffee). This is measured in weight not in volume. If you have a kitchen scale, this will be easy to figure out in ounces. Weigh your coffee (coffee weight = x). Then as you pour your coffee into your Chemex or French Press keep pouring until you reach 17 times the weight of the coffee you measured (water weight = 17x). If you don't have a kitchen scale, try 2 tablespoons ground coffee for every 6 ounces of water.
Your brewer should maintain a water temperature between 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal extraction. Colder water will result in flat, under-extracted coffee, while water that is too hot will also cause a loss of quality in the taste of the coffee. If you are brewing the coffee manually, let the water come to a full boil, but do not over boil. Turn off the heat source and allow the water to rest a minute before pouring it over the grounds.
The amount of time that the water is in contact with the coffee grounds is another important flavor factor.
In a drip system, the contact time should be approximately 5 minutes. If you are making your coffee using a French Press, the contact time should be 2-4 minutes. Espresso has an especially brief brew time — the coffee is in contact with the water for only 20-30 seconds.
How should I grind my coffee beans?
Be sure to grind the beans to the appropriate size for your brewing method, preferably using a burr grinder.
For Cowboy Coffee or Cold Brew, grind extra coarse (similar to ground peppercorns).
For French Press, Percolators, Coffee Cupping, use a coarse grind (similar to sea salt).
For Chemex, grind medium-coarse (like coarse sand).
For Aeropress, cone-shaped pour overs, and flat-bottomed drip brewers, use a medium grind (looks like regular sand).
For Espresso, use a fine grind (a little finer than table salt).
How is coffee properly stored?
Room Temperature - Storing coffee at room temperature is the most convenient method. It works well for coffee that will be consumed within one to two weeks of purchase. Store coffee in a ceramic container with a sealed lid to minimize exposure to oxygen, water, excessive heat, and direct sunlight. Avoid plastic containers for coffee storage.
Freezing Coffee - Often times, it would be suggested to store your coffee in the freezer. After all, at colder temperatures, molecular activity (including flavor molecules migrating) slows down, right? This is true. But does slowing molecular migration down preserve the flavor of the coffee? Not necessarily. There are other variables at work in a freezer:
~ A frozen environment will allow water molecules to attach to the coffee beans and/or packaging.
~ A freezer has other flavor molecules floating around in it.
~ A freezer door opens and closes very often under normal use.
What does this mean for your coffee? This means that water will contact the surface of the bean and ice will form. When the water melts, that water will find its way into the porous bean and will begin to deteriorate the quality of the coffee. Secondly, roasted coffee is porous to odors. So if you put your coffee in the freezer, it needs to be well protected against the possibility of taking on food odors. Your goal should be to keep the coffee's contact with water to a minimum. Moreover, the coffee should thaw only once - right before it is brewed. We suggest keeping the beans in the original packaging, then place the package in a zippered storage bag or plastic wrap. You can draw out the excess air by using a straw to suck out the air while you close the bag. After this initial wrapping, place the coffee bean bundle in another paper bag. Again, wrap the bag with plastic wrap, then we cover it with foil. It may sound like overkill, but it is worth it. You've invested money in this gourmet coffee, you need to protect your investment. Freezing coffee is applicable for storage of coffee that won't be used within 1-2 weeks of roasting. It is not optimal for everyday use.
No Refrigerators - Refrigerators are not recommended for coffee storage. Since the temperature is generally around 40 degrees F, the water that is inside doesn't freeze, it is a cold mist that lingers on the coffee and there are even more scents and flavor molecules floating around.
Howe Hill Road