Video: Coffee 101 – Varietals and Processing – featuring Ben from Hidden House Coffee

A couple of weeks ago, I had a [play]date with my dearest childhood friend, Korrie. I have known Korrie since the 4th grade, and because we’ve been friends for so long – almost two decades – 😉 – Korrie knows how much I love coffee. She is also a good friend, so she suggested we check out Hidden House Coffee, a very cool little coffee roaster in the historic part of San Juan Capistrano.

When we got there, the first thing we had to do was get coffee (der). Korrie had a latte and a scone (I don’t remember what type it was because she refused to share it with me)*, and I had a pour over of the Ethiopian and a pecan sticky bun (so delicious, so caramely)., Hidden House Coffee Roasters
The delicious Ethiopian pour over from Hidden House Coffee Roasters.

But after we ate, the second thing we had to do was check out the bean selection. That was when Korrie asked me what it meant that it said “bourbon” as the varietal on one of the labels.

As most of you know, I really REALLY love coffee, so if you are an empathetic sort, you might be realizing that this was sort of a hallelujah moment for me. You know… that point in time when all of your years and years of coffee exploration and study were finally going to pay off. So I said in what I remember being a pretty scholarly tone “You know, Korrie, my dear friend who I have known for only 20 years, I am so glad you asked. That is a common question – and a good one at that.” And then I explained to her about all of the different coffee varietals**. After which – and even though she didn’t ask – I went on to explain to her about the different processing styles***, and about how the growing elevation impacts the taste and aroma of a coffee bean. She was pretty impressed, though I personally think she would have been more impressed if she hadn’t known me since I was 8.

And that is the totally made-up story of how I told Korrie about what bourbon coffee is. What really happened is that I had no idea what the answer was, and decided that it was high time I found out. I mean, I have a blog… about coffee. So I asked the barista, who hooked me up with Ben, who has worked at Hidden House since it first opened in 2010, and who knows a damn lot about coffee. And after you watch this video – that btw we did right there on the spot with 1000% zero preparation or scripting – you will also know a lot more about coffee.

Here is a quick list of the different topics covered in this video:
Processing methods: i.e. Washed, Natural, Honey
Elevations: i.e. 1000m, 1900-2000m
Varietals: i.e. Heirloom, Bourbon, Gesha, Hidden House Coffee
The limited-supply Guatemala beans that Ben recommends to me in the video. Elevation: 1600m. Process: washed. Varietal: Bourbon.

Many thanks go out to Ben, who didn’t miss a beat when I asked him on the spot if we could Facebook Live the interview, and to Hidden House Coffee Roasters for roasting delicious coffee and for hiring Ben. And thanks to Korrie for asking the question and for indulging me making up stories about her. Love you, Korrie! Smooches!

By the way, if you don’t have plans to get down to San Juan Capistrano in the near future, you can order beans online from Hidden House here.

Hidden House Coffee Roasters
31791 Los Rios Street
San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675
Monday-Friday: 7am – 5pm
Saturday-Sunday: 8am – 6pm
Phone: 949.240.0200

* I made that up.
** Thank you Stumptown for saving me once again.
*** Thank you for saving me for the first of probably many more times. 🙂

About The Author

Anne Stericker

City-dweller, designer, writer and lifestyle consultant practicing the art of living well in the 21st Century. Fixated with good coffee, great design, and any little thing that makes life better.

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