Archive for the ‘Technical’ Category

Barrie House Single Cup Capsule Technology Featured

Posted on: November 26th, 2013 by Andre Desomier No Comments

Hi-Tech Recyclable Pods Sustain Environment and Taste


Read article >> Barrie House Coffee Co., Hi-Tech Recyclable Pods Sustain Environment and Taste

Misconception of Caffeine and Different Roasts

Posted on: April 29th, 2013 by Andre Desomier No Comments

There is a general misconception that lesser quantity of caffeine is found in dark roast coffee. This is actually generated through home dosing which is volumetric driven vs. weight driven. In equal volume you’ll be able to dose a much larger amount of light roast coffee hence a lot more weight and caffeine. In dark roast coffee, the beans tend to “puff up” a lot more and respectively take up to 25-50% more volume.

Therefore using this example, in the same size volumetric doser you’ll fit less weight of dark roast coffee ergo less caffeine.

Methods of Decaffeinating Coffee

Posted on: April 26th, 2013 by Andre Desomier 2 Comments


There are several different methods used in the coffee industry to decaffeinate coffee.

Organic/Natural Method
All decaffeinating methods take advantage of carbon dioxide (CO2), since when compressed, behaves partly like a gas and partly like a liquid, and has the property of combining selectively with caffeine. In most widely used CO2 processes the steamed beans are bathed in compressed carbon dioxide and the caffeine is removed from the carbon dioxide through charcoal filtering, commonly used in water-only process. However, with the organic/natural method the flavor components remain in the bean throughout the process, rather than being soaked out and then put back in again, as is achieved in both the Swiss Water and the indirect solvent processes.

Since carbon dioxide is the same ubiquitous and undisputedly “natural” substance that plants absorb and humans produce, and since, in most versions of the CO2 method, the flavor components remain safely in the bean throughout the process rather than being removed and put back in again as done in the Swiss Water process, carbon dioxide methods would seem to be the decaffeinating wave of the future.

Charcoal or Carbon Method
Is an indirect contact method which soaks unroasted beans in hot water to draw off the caffeine. The water solution contains caffeine as well as other flavor and aroma elements. The beans are separated and sent through a bed of activated charcoal or carbon filters to remove the caffeine. Next, as in other methods, the water containing the remaining flavor compounds is returned to the beans and then are dried. The coffee industry often refers to this decaffeination method as Swiss Water Process because a Swiss company originally developed and patented the procedure.

Methylene Chloride (direct contact method)
This is a solvent used in two ways to decaffeinate coffee. In the direct contact method, the green, unroasted beans are placed in a rotating drum and softened by steam for approximately 30 minutes. They are then repeatedly rinsed for about 10 hours with methylene chloride, which removes the caffeine from the beans. The caffeine-laden solvent is drained away, and the beans are steamed a second time, for 8 to 12 hours, so the remaining solvent can evaporate. Finally, air or vacuum drying removes excess moisture from the decaffeinated beans. Virtually no solvent residue remains after roasting the beans.

Methylene Chloride (indirect contact method)
In the indirect contact method, sometimes referred to as the water process, the green beans soak for several hours in a water/coffee solution at almost boiling temperature. Gradually the solution draws out the caffeine, as well as other flavor elements and oils, from the beans. The caffeine/water mixture is drained away and treated with methylene chloride, which absorbs the caffeine. The resulting mixture is then heated to evaporate the solvent and caffeine. Next, the mixture is reunited with the beans, allowing them to regain most of the coffee oils and flavor elements. The solvent never touches the beans.

Consumer concern regarding chemical residue resulting from this decaffeination process are common, yet unwarranted.  Keeping in mind that coffee is roasted at temperatures reaching 350–sometimes over 400 degrees Fahrenheit, brewing temperatures range between 190 and 212 degrees Fahrenheit, and methylene chloride has an evaporation point of about 104 degrees Fahrenheit the residue is non-existent in a brewed cup of decaffeinated coffee.

Ethyl Acetate (indirect contact method)
Using this substance to decaffeinate coffee is often referred to as a natural process because ethyl acetate is a compound found in many fruits, such as apples, peaches, and pears. This process is similar to the indirect contact method using methylene chloride, although ethyl acetate requires more time to absorb the caffeine. The process begins when green coffee beans soak in a heated water/coffee solution, which gradually draws off the caffeine and flavor elements. The solution is separated from the beans and treated with ethyl acetate, a compound that absorbs caffeine. A steaming process removes the caffeine-laden ethyl acetate from the water. The water is then returned to the beans, which reabsorb the flavor elements. Finally, the beans are dried.

NOTE: The United States Food and Drug Administration – FDA, has authorized by regulation the use of both methylene chloride and ethyl acetate for coffee decaffeination, According to an FDA report in the Federal Register, most decaffeinated coffee has less than 0.1 parts per million – ppm, of residual methylene chloride, 100 times less than The maximum level of 10 ppm allowed by the FDA.

See our collection of decaffeinated coffees at

Coffee Packaging

Posted on: January 2nd, 2013 by admin No Comments

Material sciences are responsible for improvements in many technologies. Coffee packaging is one of them and it has assisted us by keeping roasted coffee fresh within its life cycle in the supply chain. At Barrie House we use what we believe to be state of the art packaging. We use heavy gauge aluminized-mylar bags on all packages and with one-way valves allow CO2 out, but no air in on all our larger packs. Used in conjunction with our 99.9% pure nitrogen flushing, this protective packaging keeps roasted coffee fresh far longer than other incarnations of coffee packaging.

The processes we use immediately fills freshly roasted coffee into the packages and flushes the package with nitrogen and then thermally sealing the  packages. An important additional detail is the one-way valve which allows CO2 (a natural by-product of fresh roasted coffee), to continue to escape, while not allowing air back into the bag. Without this valve, the bags would build up considerable pressure from the CO2 without a way to escape.  For our smaller portion packs we utilize a larger pack then traditionally required in order to allow enough room for the CO2 to expend within the bag while not adding the one-way valve.

Nitrogen is used because it both displaces oxygen as well as inhibits the growth of fungus or bacteria, both of which are a problem for roasted coffee. Displacing oxygen, however, seems to be a universally recognized benefit for longer term coffee storage.

These sealed bags can be stored at normal room temperatures, and will remain fresh tasting for many weeks, with little discernible difference from its original  flavor profile

Coffee Certifications – UTZ Certified

Posted on: January 2nd, 2013 by admin No Comments

UTZ Certified is a certification labeling program for sustainable farming of agricultural products launched in 2002, it was formerly known as Utz Kapeh and in early 2007 the Utz Kapeh Foundation changed its name to UTZ Certified.

UTZ Certified is a foundation for the worldwide implementation of several agricultural products including coffee. Their emphasis is on transparency and traceability in the supply chain and efficient farm management. The latter includes good agricultural practices such as soil erosion prevention, minimizing water use and pollution, responsible use of chemicals and habitat protection.

Certification requires compliance with mandatory control points; the number required increases over a four-year period. The standards in the Code deal with the environment are quite general and lack specificity for meaningful protection of biodiversity.

Charges to producers include auditing fees. The first buyer in the supply chain pays a small per-pound fee that is passed along through the chain. There is no minimum price set, but producers can use the certification to negotiate a better price for their coffee.

UTZ Certified products are traceable from grower to manufacturers’ end product, UTZ Certified operates an advanced web-based track-and-trace system, showing the buyers of UTZ Certified products credibly link to the certified source. UTZ certified coffee is sold in almost 50 consuming countries. With an expanding range of programs for agricultural products, the presence of UTZ Certified is in a growing number of producing and consuming countries.

Coffee Certifications – 4C Association

Posted on: January 2nd, 2013 by admin No Comments

The Common Code for the Coffee Community (4C) is an open and inclusive membership association involving coffee producers, trade and industry and civil society. The 4C Code of Conduct embraces 28 social, environmental and economic principles for all players in the green coffee supply chain – farmers, plantations, producer organizations, estates, mills, exporters and traders – establishing baseline requirements for the sustainable production, processing and trading of coffee and eliminating unacceptable practices.

The code facilitates a dynamic improvement process by providing guidance for and commitment to continuous improvement. 4C helps growers, especially small-holders, and their business partners to step up from the sustainability baseline to more demanding standards.

Over 90% of the coffee consumed in the world today is considered Mainstream commodity coffee. Most of it is bought and sold by the large corporations to mass production coffee roasters. This cheap mainstream anonymous coffee is usually responsible for environmental and social destruction effects on the coffee growers.

The 4C Association, made up largely of mainstream producers and suppliers, put together the 4C Code of Conduct to address some of the most egregious, unsustainable practices in the industry.

While compliance with the 4C Code of Conduct does not constitute an official certification, it’s a useful frame of reference.

Coffee – Caffeine Content

Posted on: January 2nd, 2013 by admin No Comments

One of the most commonly asked questions is how much more caffeine is contained in espresso versus brewed coffee. The answer isn’t complex but is solely dependent on your perspective.

In the US, a typical serving size for brewed coffee ranges anywhere from 8-16 oz. respectively containing 90-150mg of caffeine per cup 8oz.

The large range in caffeine content is due to factors such as brew time, dwell time, water temperature, grind level, roast level, water temperature, bean species and blend. all have a significant effect on final caffeine extraction. Compare this to a shot of espresso containing anywhere from 30-50mg of caffeine per oz. and the difference is significant.

Clearly a cup of brewed coffee has anywhere from 3-10 times more caffeine than espresso – but if to accurately make a comparison between the caffeine content, we need to compare concentrations in terms of caffeine per fluid ounce. This can be achieved by dividing the caffeine in 8 oz. of brewed coffee its distributed in – resulting in caffeine mg per oz. Whereas in espresso, even though we start off with about a third of the caffeine, it’s all contained in just 1oz of liquid or 30–50mg/oz.

So although brewed coffee contains much more caffeine than espresso as consumed, viewed from a volume perspective espresso has a higher caffeine level per volume.

So why do most people believe espresso has more caffeine than regular?

Well, part of the reason is because, in its native form, pure crystalline caffeine is intensely bitter. The compound is so bitter that it is commonly used as the “reference” compound for bitterness detection. Coincidentally, espresso is also very bitter and people tend to associate this for increased caffeine concentration.   But actually, the majority of the bitter compounds are not attributed to caffeine but rather to a myriad of by products produced during the roasting process, namely the Maillard reactions.

It is this much lower concentration of caffeine per serving in espresso that allow espresso lovers worldwide to drink multiple espresso’s a day without getting overly jittery.