Tweeten residents become coffee connoisseurs for a day

Jordan Gerard

Coffee is for all ages and for the residents at Tweeten Lutheran Healthcare Center, they learned all about coffee last Tuesday, Oct. 1.

Jo’s Coffee House Manager Jayme Longmire was there with samples of coffee drinks and a coffee pot full of information.

The audience sampled a mango smoothie, salted caramel pumpkin spice frappé with whip cream, drip coffee and an Americano.

When tasting the drip coffee, several people had different tastes. A few said they could taste caramel while others said they could taste a nutty undertone. 

“Everyone has a different idea of what the coffee tastes like,” Longmire said. “Coffee is a personal taste experience.”

She added the best way to taste coffee flavor was by drinking it straight without cream. 

Coffee facts

The coffee plant is grown between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, so areas like Mexico, Brazil, Ethiopia and other countries are able to grow it in higher elevations, Longmire told the audience. 

The coffee bean starts out as a coffee cherry. The red cherries have two little beans inside of it. When they are harvested, a green skin has to be husked off, finally revealing what we know as the coffee bean. 

It takes one coffee tree about three to four years to mature and another six to nine months to produce coffee cherries. One tree produces four pounds of coffee, and luckily for a world that loves coffee (second most valuable commodity after oil), there are thousands of coffee farms.

Coffee plants are only harvested by hand, not machine. This is also the reason why many coffee roasters and farms belong to a fair trade organization.

Fair trade organizations ensure suppliers buy the coffee at a fair price to farms and do not exploit the farmers.

Jo’s Coffee House uses small batch roaster UP Coffee Roasters from Minneapolis for most of their coffee, which is fair trade and organic. 

Jo’s also has Carlson Coffee (Houston), Impact Coffee (Decorah, Iowa) and Heart Rock Coffee (Caledonia) available to purchase at Red’s IGA. 

Between the harvest of the coffee plant and a hot cup of coffee from your coffee pot or local coffee shop, there are about seven to 10 more steps that coffee goes through. 

Longmire added since coffee is 98% water, having clean water is important in order to get the most flavor out of your coffee. Jo’s Coffee House uses a three-step filtration process before they brew the coffee. 

“Espresso” is another name for coffee, but is brewed through a high-pressured machine that uses only 95% water, resulting in more caffeine per cup.

Jo’s Coffee House is following a common trend among coffee shops: offering a cold brew coffee.

Cold brew is coffee that is brewed for 18 hours at room temperature and then is served over ice, but coffee lovers beware: the amount of caffeine is doubled in a cold brew, Longmire advised.

Coffee grounds should not be stored in the refrigerator, as moisture is detrimental to coffee.

Coffee in a societal perspective has changed because of how it’s produced, the roasting process and the prices of production. 

In addition to marketing themselves as a specialty coffee shop, Jo’s Coffee House supplements with special events, live music, dinner events planned for this winter and rentals for others’ events.

Longmire said she opened the coffee shop under the Red’s IGA brand and fell into it by marrying into the family business.

“I focus on the coffee and Patrick focuses on the barbecue and that way, we don’t get in each other’s hair,” she joked. 

She also enjoyed visiting many different coffee shops when they lived in Austin, Texas. 

Overall, the residents enjoyed the day and their coffee.