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FAQ

What is the difference between Arabica & Robusta Coffee Beans?

Arabica coffee typically grows at high elevations. The coffee cherries (which each contain two coffee beans), are hand picked daily, when ripe. Arabica coffee is not bitter, and has one half the caffeine of Robusta coffee beans. Robusta coffee is typically grown at low altitudes. Most Robusta coffee comes from the Ivory Coast of Africa, Indonesia, Vietnam. Robusta coffee is typically bitter, with an earthy taste, and much less expensive than Arabica coffee. The Robusta trees are shaken, and any cherries that fall to the ground are processed and sold. Robusta coffee also has almost twice the caffeine as Arabica Coffee. Baltimore Coffee & Tea Company has never, and will never, utilize or sell Robusta Coffee.

What is the difference in roast colors?

Different coffee companies have different names for their roasts. Our names are as follows: City Roast: the lightest of our roasts, primarily used for our Baltimore Blend(tm). Full City Roast: Used for most of our blends & varietals, a little bit darker that our City Roast. Viennese Roast: Primarily used for our Viennese Colombian, medium dark roast, just past the second bean crack. French Roast: Dark brown roast which brings the coffee's essential oils to the surface of the bean. Used for our French Roast & Espresso Milano(tm). Italian Roast: Black & oily, this is our darkest roast. Strong and bitter sweet. Don't forget, we will custom roast any coffee in any roast for you. There is a ten pound minimum for custom roasting.

How is coffee Decaffeinated?

There are primarily three decaffeination methods in use today: The first, and original is Methylene Chloride, or ME2. Methylene Chloride is great for dry cleaning your clothes, but we really don't think it should be used on anything a human might be inclined to ingest. Our F.D.A. has labeled this process G.R.A.S. (generally regarded as safe), but we have our doubts. The second is Carbon Dioxide Decaffeination. This is a great, natural method of removing caffeine, but is not widely available. The third (and our favorite) is Swiss Water Process Decaffeination. This method takes the green, unroasted coffee and passes pure water over it. The process removes 99.9% of the caffeine, without the use of any chemicals. The finished result is coffee that tastes just like regular, caffeinated coffee.

What's the best way to hold brewed coffee?

Brewed coffee begins to oxidize almost immediately after brewing. A good rule of thumb is not to brew more coffee than you will drink within 30 minutes....unless you store it in an airpot, or other insulated container that is capped. (Thermos, etc)

What's the difference between Brown filters, and White filters?

In earlier times, most white paper filters were whitened with bleach. Not only was this not very friendly to the environment, the bleach imparted nasty flavor overtones to the paper. Today, most white paper filters are whitened with oxygen. Oxygen whitening is much more friendly to the environment, and imparts no taste to the filter. Brown filters are simply unwhitened. Your choice, but oxygen whitened filters are usually less expensive.

I got a gold filter with my new coffee maker...do they really work?

As we said earlier, do yourself a favor, and throw it away. Metal coffee filters pass all the fats and acids that paper filters hold back. If that's not enough to make you pitch it, consider this: One pound of coffee ground "fine" for use with a cone shaped paper filter, will yield 90 cups of coffee. The same pound of coffee ground "drip" for use with a cone shaped metal filter, will yield 60 cups. Coffee is more expensive than paper filters.

What is the best grind for my brewer?

There are basically six grinds to be concerned with: Coarse, Perc, Drip, Fine, Espresso, & Turkish. Coarse grind is for what we call "cowboy" coffee. This is when the coffee is put into a pot of boiling water, usually over a campfire. We don't recommend this method! Next is Perc. grind. This is the best grind for electric percolators, Chemex, and "french press" makers such as Melior, and Bodum. Drip grind is the most common grind, and is best used for any drip machine that uses flat bottom filters (Mr. Coffee, Proctor Silex, Black & Decker, etc). Fine grind is reserved for any maker that uses cone shaped filters (Melitta, Braun, Krups, etc). Also used for non-pump driven espresso machines. Be careful though, if you use one of those "gold filters"in your cone shaped brewer instead of paper filters, you must use drip grind in your cone shaped maker. (Do yourself a favor and throw away the gold filter, and go back to paper...more on this later) Espresso grind is reserved for pump driven espresso machines. Turkish Grind is for making "Turkish" or "Greek" coffee. Similar to "cowboy" coffee, but a lot stronger! What's our favorite? Either Chemex or Melitta.

What is the best way to store coffee?

If your coffee is packed in a bag that has an air /moisture barrier (Our metalized foil valve bags are a good example of this), the best place for whole bean or ground coffee is in the freezer. The next best place is in the refrigerator. If your packaging is not air/moisture proof (such as a lined paper tin tie bag), simply put the coffee in a zip lock bag and store the same as above. Low temperature is not what keeps the coffee fresh...it is the lack of oxygen in the freezer that keeps it fresh. After coffee is roasted, it de-gasses. Simply put, coffee exhales carbon-dioxide, and exchanges it for oxygen. The oxygen is what stales coffee. Remember, make sure the coffee you are buying is fresh to begin with...

How do I know if the coffee I'm buying is fresh?

Freshness is relative. Many people think that just because coffee is in whole bean form, its fresh. Not true. What really determines coffee's freshness, is when the coffee was roasted. For example, coffee in your supermarket might have been roasted on the first of the month. It then might sit a few days waiting to be shipped. Add another couple of days for shipping, then add up to one month sitting around on the store's shelves. Not very fresh! At the very least, make sure you buy your coffee from someone who roasts their own coffee. Ask when the coffee was roasted. Our coffee is roasted to order, every day. We even print the date roasted on every heat sealed foil valve bag you receive.

How Can I Return an Item

While we do our best to accurately fill your order, we sometimes make an error. If you receive the wrong items(s), please call our order department at 1-800-823-1408, or e-mail orders@baltcoffee.com to advise us of the problem. We will arrange for the incorrect item(s) to be picked up, and we will send you the correct items(s). If for some reason you are unsatisfied with any item(s) you have purchased, please let us know, and we will do our best to correct the problem. In all cases of returns, please advise our order department before sending product back to us. We cannot be responsible for items returned without prior authorization. If a delivery attempt is made, and the package is refused, you will be charged additional shipping amounts that are required to deliver your package. This applies to domestic, as well as International orders.

International Shipping

We ship International orders via UPS (United Parcel Service) Express. When you place your International order, one of our representatives will contact you with actual shipping charges.

How Should I Store Tea?

Store your fine, loose leaf tea in a proper tea container. Tea needs to be kept away from heat, light, air, and moisture. The best way to store tea is at room temperature in an airtight tea canister. Tea will lose its flavor and scent quickly if stored in fancy, purely decorative tea containers or kept near a heat source, such as a stove or next to the toaster in your kitchen.

Shipping Rates Within the U.S.

Flat rate $6.99 shipping for all domestic ground UPS shipments, no matter how large your order. Wholesale orders are shipped FOB Lutherville, Maryland, for actual shipping charges. During checkout, you have the option of selecting other additional cost shipping methods, such as UPS 3 Day Select, UPS 2nd Day Air, & UPS Next Day Air. We offer FREE UPS Ground shipping on orders over $75.00 (excluding wholesale orders). Orders are usually shipped the same day the order is placed. We ship Worldwide. For UPS time in transit information click here. Once your order has shipped, online, real time tracking is available by clicking on "My Account". Note: UPS will NOT deliver to Post Office Boxes. If you require that your order be shipped to a Post Office Box, please select the Priority Mail option in the shipping section of checkout. Please be aware that it is not possible to accurately track Priority Mail shipments. We reserve the right to change shipping carrier to USPS, if we are shipping to a Post Office Box, and you have selected any shipping method OTHER than USPS Priority. If a delivery attempt is made, and the package is refused, you will be charged additional shipping amounts that are required to deliver your package. This applies to domestic, as well as International orders.