I recently came across an old article I wrote about coffee a long time ago, and thought it deserved an update. (see: Fashion inspiration: Coffee | fountain).

At that time, I was just beginning to understand how things are with coffee, and in Cluj no coffee shops focused on specialty coffee had yet appeared (we had Starbucks and Lavazza).

But since then (2013) and until now, things have changed a lot. Coffee has become a real trend, and its roasting has become an art.

Specialty coffee shops in Cluj

Starting your morning in a nice cafe where you can enjoy a really good coffee before going to work can change your mood completely.

The pleasant and warm atmosphere, the smell of freshly ground coffee and the perfect taste of your favorite coffee assortment can be all you need to recharge your batteries on a gloomy morning.

But if time does not allow you or you still work from home, but you want to enjoy an exceptional coffee in the comfort of your home, you can do it with minimal equipment: manual espresso machine, milk frother (for cappuccino / flat white), +/ - milk frother, plus a quality coffee.

Luckily for us, Cluj has become famous for a fairly large number of specialty cafes, and some of them even have their own bakery. Among them are Hot Pipes, Meron, Coffee Cup, from where you can also buy the various coffees that the coffee shop has for home, depending on your preferences (they can also be ordered online).

The information you usually find on the package is:

  • country of origin,
  • the farm or producer from which the coffee was imported,
  • variety / variety of coffee (plant),
  • processing method,
  • degree of roasting,
  • the notes that make up the taste
  • acidity which can be easily determined depending on the area of origin.

The World Atlas of Coffee

To better understand what each means, the author, James Hoffmann, through his book, The World Atlas of Coffee, takes us through a journey of coffee, from the seed to the origin of the soil and the various plant varieties, to the new cup.

He explains to us the origins and varieties of coffee, how the beans are picked and chosen, how they are cleaned, dried and even delivered to us. He explains the different types of roasts (light roast, medium roast, dark roast).

Varieties of coffee

When we talk about coffee varieties, we are more specifically referring to the different varieties / plants of Arabica coffee:

  • Typica – is considered a basic variety, from which the other coffee varieties started through various mutations.
  • Bourbon – a natural mutation of the Typica plant, which grows on the island of Reunion, in southern Africa.
  • Mundo Novo – Brazil, Typica/Bourbon hybrid
  • Caturra – Brazil / Colombia Bourbon mutation
  • Geisha – Ethiopia / Costa Rica / Panama
  • other various combinations or hybrids of various plant varieties

The origin of coffee

It is not only the plant itself that gives it its special taste, but also the area where it is grown, which is influenced by the soil, altitude, processing, etc.

For example, in Ethiopia there are various wild varieties, resulting from the crossing of plants that can have as a final product a coffee with citrus / fruity / floral notes.

Other examples:

  • Kenya – sweet taste with high acidity / a complex body
  • Rwanda – notes of red apple / red grapes / berries
  • Tanzania – fruity notes / berries / high acidity
  • Brazil – notes: chocolate / hazelnut / low acidity
  • Colombia – notes: varies by region (chocolate to sweet/fruity)
  • Costa Rica – sweet / fruity notes
  • El Salvador – bourbon varieties / sweet / medium acidity
  • Guatemala – notes: varies by region (chocolate to sweet/fruity)
  • Honduras – fruity notes / high acidity
  • Nicaragua – fruity notes / high acidity
  • Panama – floral / citrus notes / complex taste
  • Venezuela – sweet notes / rich taste / low acidity

For more details and curiosities, I invite you to discover the book: The world atlas of coffee, and for more coffee shots, follow me on insta: fountain.

I hope this article will help you discover the magical world of quality coffees!