Keep these coffee roasts in your arsenal!

We Love Coffee

Ground Zero Coffee facts - Know your beans! If great brews are the the launch codes to great coffee flavor, then the right beans are the ammo. What you end up with depends on what you started with. Start with the right roast for the kind of brew you want to do, and the coffee will be great. Pick the wrong roast, and the results will be "interesting."

If you're wondering, "which roast is the best," "how do I make it taste like it does at the restaurant," or "does this bag make me look sleepy" - wonder no further. Sound like an expert. Amaze your friends! There are many, many roasts, but basically, all you need to know is "American, French, Italian, European, Viennese." We've described these morning missles below. There - now you're an expert, and the rest is up to the barista and her steam nozzle.

Next time you're standing at the thirty or so bins in the grocery store, you can look them, nod knowingly, and say, "how fortuitous -the Italian looks especially oily today." With luck, no one will take you the wrong way, and respond with a slap to the face.

ROASTS

WYGIWYG - What you grind is what you get.

- Prof. Uriah Wiseacre 

American Roast

Often called "regular" roast, American beans are medium-roasted - not too light, not too dark - which results in a moderate brew. Interestingly quite caffeinated; think of all the famous coffee brands, and the medium brown color of the grounds in the can. American roast makes the kind of good old American coffee that flows like the Mississippi river at the diner or pancake house.

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French Roast

The French, who like to turn up the heat on just about everything, roast their beans heavily, producing a deep chocolate brown bean and a stronger tasting coffee. Far more sophisticated than French fries or even French toast, French roast is becoming very popular in the U.S., mainly because we feel so fancy when we have something Frenchy.

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Italian Roast

Sitting out on the verandas of their peninsula sitting out on the Mediterranean, the Italians brewed up something so powerful, even the French aspire to it - Italian roast, the famously strong-flavored bean used for espresso. The oiliest of beans make the darkest of coffees. This is the stuff that's ground up fine, pressed tightly into the espresso maker's coffee holder, and steamed out into a tiny demitasse cup of what Americans might call "extreme coffee," had we thought of it first.

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European Roast

Want to feel ever so European, with a Continental finish? European roast isn't so much a roast, itself, as much as it's a mixture of two roasts. Take two-thirds dark roast beans and one-third regular roast, and you have European. Smooth, rich, and strong, it's as Franco-American as canned spaghetti, but with that fancy, Frenchy taste.

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Viennese Roast

In Vienna, apparently someone was low on dark roast or got mixed up - but the result was a wonderfully mellow, yet rich brew, Viennese roast. Viennese roast reverses the measurements of European, going for two thirds American, and one third Dark. Whether it was a mistake, supply problems, or inspiration, this roast is tasty, and great for after dinner white-tablecloth enjoyment.

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Ground Zero Coffee - Alert Levels

The experts at Ground Zero Coffee have developed the "Ground Zero Advisory System" - a scale for measuring the caffeine blast of your various roasts and brews. Using this handy official scale, you can determine for yourself the wake-up threat level, and whether you want to get involved. The range is from Low (purely decaf) to Severe (potent beans, finest grind, strongest brew).

Low - don't worry, be happy; no caffeine here to keep you up at night. Guarded - mildly charged with a mix of caf and decaf beans. Elevated - lifts you gently out of bed, and gets you moving. High - fully loaded; now we're talking coffee buzz. Severe - super-caffeinated, nuclear roasts and brews; take off like a rocket!

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Even more roasts and brews

There's lots more to learn about coffees, for example: café au lait, café brulot, café latte, café macchiato, café mocha, cappuccino, espresso, Greek coffee, Irish coffee, Thai coffee, Turkish coffee - to name a few. We'll be adding to our roasts and brews knowlege base, as we go.

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Note: excellent classic, historical coffee videos are in the works.

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