Both are essentially products of history; in terms of growing and processing, but in terms “post processing” the journey coffee has taken from crop to cup has arguably had greater influences from culture, technology, commercialisation and “consumer trends” than that of wine.
There is no universally recognized "great cup" of coffee, nor is there a universally recognised best wine, and so we can enjoy and celebrate the wonderful diversity of options we have to imbibe them both.
It is easy to compare coffee to wine. Both are strong and integral parts of our food habits, and are both consumed with the aim of delivering pleasure. And the aroma and flavours of both have connections to the lives and fates of people throughout the world, to their culture, their nation, their soil. What we enjoy is a direct result multi faceted passion in preparation. The more we enjoy distinct origins, the stronger and clearer that connection might become.
Experts and amateurs alike can find unique factors that produce each cup or glass, but, at the end of the day, the greatest determining factor in gaining enjoyment from your beverage is the personal satisfaction of your taste!
In broad terms, wet processed coffees are roughly akin to white wines, fermented without the grape skins, whereas dry-processed coffees are like red wines, fermented in the coffee cherry with the skin intact.
As with wine, defining characteristics of both beverages come from a combination of history, of traditions in coffee cultivation and processing, of the people and their specific culture, and all the environmental aspects: altitude, soil, and weather.
I’m not saying you need to obsess over the cup of coffee you pour yourself in the office, but at least be mindful that great care and effort was taken to bring that drink to your fingertips.
In future posts we will explore in greater detail how we believe many of these factors can influence your enjoyment of coffee and how big an impact you can have of that process!