Nothing perks up a lazy morning like coffee. What is this dark-colored substance made of and why can't some people survive a day without having even just one sip of this stimulant?
Coffee, normally taken hot, is made from the coffee plant's roasted seeds, called coffee beans. Considered the second-most traded commodity in the world, next to petroleum, it is hailed as modern man's chief source of caffeine for that extra burst of energy. The perceived benefits and hazards of this potent drink remain the subject of debate among coffee drinkers worldwide.
How did the word "coffee" come into being? The term "coffee" is known by many names among various peoples of the world. It came to England in 1598, via the Italian "caffe." The Turkish term for it is "kahveh," while the Arabic word for it is "qahwa." Its origin is still unknown, although some believe that the drink possibly came from the Kaffa region in Ethopia, where the plant originally named "bunna," the precursor of coffee, came from.
Did you know that coffee drinking was outlawed in Mecca in 1511, and in Cairo in 1532? Due to coffee's immense popularity, the law was made obsolete soon after. From then on, owing to the pioneering efforts of the British and Dutch East India companies, coffee found its way to Europe in the sixteenth century.
One of the two main species of the coffee plant is "Coffea Arabica," its name implying that its origin was the Arabian Peninsula, but it is indigenous in Ethiopia. Although Arabica is more prone to disease, coffee lovers consider it to be more flavorful than "coffea canephora" (robusta), which holds twice as much caffeine. However, the later is proven to be a natural insecticide and stimulant, growing in places where the former cannot grow. Thus, it is used as an inexpensive substitute for Arabica in commercial coffee blends and in almost all instant coffee products.
Compared to Arabica, robusta is more bitter, with a burnt-rubber smell and taste. Robusta of finer quality are used in espresso blends for a foamy effect and for better affordability. In fact, Italian espresso blends are made from dark-roasted Robusta.
Some blend varieties are so popular and in demand that they command a higher price, examples of which are the Jamaican Blue Mountain and the Hawaiian Kona coffees. Often, these beans are mixed with other, less-expensive varieties and the term blend is added to the label, such as "Blue Mountain Blend" or "Kona Blend".
So beat those morning blues with an adrenaline-pumping sip of this favorite drink among caffeine addicts worldwide.
Espresso What Coffee Beans Can You Use To Make Espresso
Bins of coffee beans stretch out in seemingly endless rows. The grinder has too many settings and you are not sure of the difference between a French roast and an Italian one. How do you know which beans make the best espresso?
It is best to start with the basics. Cappuccinos and lattes are variations on espresso. They differ only in their ratio of espresso to steamed milk. Neither requires its own separate kind of bean.
The uneducated consumer could easily be overwhelmed by trying to chose from the multitude of beans on the market, but do not despair. Sellers sometimes take advantage of the common misconception that there is a multiplicity of beans to give the impression of a large and varied inventory. In reality, only two kinds of beans are available commercially: Arabica and Robusta.
Arabica is grown at high altitudes, a minimum of 2,400 feet above sea level, and has a smooth, slightly acidic taste. It is generally grown in eastern Africa and Central and South America. Robusta is grown in lower altitudes and has a more forceful, slightly bitter taste. It can be found in Southeast Asia, central Africa and Latin America.
All roasters subscribe to their own methods and beliefs about roasting, but in the basic process the green, raw coffee bean is exposed to temperatures of 480 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, usually for seven to 12 minutes. The heat tampers with the natural acidity and bitterness of the bean. The longer the roasting time, the more bitter and the less acidic the beans become.
There is no one right way to roast or grind beans for espresso. In fact, espresso is usually made with a blend of beans of different colors and consistencies. It is not uncommon for different geographical areas to favor a specific blend. For example, in northern Italy, they prefer espresso roast in the medium range, while California tastes lean toward the darker, French roast.
The chances of getting fresh beans in a supermarket are slim to none, and that is a fact when talking about pre ground coffee. Your best bet is to pay close attention to the expiration date on the package. When buying from a coffee house, the best way to guarantee freshness is to get the most popular, fastest-selling bean. The quicker the bean sells, the faster more will have to be roasted, increasing your odds of getting the most freshly roasted beans. Ideal freshness results from grinding your own fresh roasted beans immediately before brewing.
It is also important to consider the time lapses in the roasting-grinding-brewing time cycle of coffee. The condition of the equipment used and the quality of the water are also important factors. No doubt the debate over what constitutes the best beans will be endless, but in the end it is only a matter of taste.
The Appeal Of Coffee Drinkers
What is the appeal of being an avid coffee drinker? I believe I have broken in down to three reasons. The first one obviously is the great taste of coffee. The second reason is the social factor that drinking coffee provides, and the third reason is that coffee allows us a time to refocus on our lives. I know, I can sense that most readers are rolling their eyes, but hear me out.
If you drink coffee once a week, or maybe two to three times a week, or maybe you're like me and you drink coffee every day, by the way that would make you a coffee addict, then I'm sure we would all agree on this one statement. "We enjoy the taste of coffee." We appreciate a great cup of rich, aromatic, eye opening coffee. Humans have been enjoying the great taste of coffee for a thousand years so I believe this statement to be 100% accurate. If you disagree then you are probably not an avid coffee drinker.
By Nature, human beings are social creatures and coffee shops allow us to fulfill this need. Drinking coffee allows us to sit with friends and family and discuss various topics of our lives. Where else can you go and spend just a couple of bucks, for your coffee of choice and spend a good hour or so talking with good friends. Add a couple of comfortable chairs and pipe in some good music and you're set.
Drinking coffee also gives us a time to take a few moments to refocus on our lives. If you are drinking a cup of coffee alone it gives us a few minutes of relaxation from this fast paced world. This is a perfect time when we can reflect on our past, present, and future. It might even be a time when we decide to make life changing decisions, such a career change, marriage, or having children.
I know there are many other reasons why people enjoy drinking coffee but these three seem to be the most important reasons. You may agree or disagree with these reasons but again I believe one reason to be true. We enjoy the taste of quality coffee.
Some Of The Valuable Reasons To Drink Oolong Tea
Oolong tea has been expressed as "Yu Xiang Hui Wei " as it goes through so many diversified manufacturing steps in order to produce a good flavor and fragrance. The tea consists of more than a few dozens of leaves that have special flavors and aromas due to differences in the leaves, the production area, and the harvest time. Among them, Tie Guan Yin, Shui Xian, and Oolong are well known, and many renowned oolong teas are produced in Fujian Province. Oolong tea produced in the Province is sold overseas throughout the world as the tea that is delegate of China, the home of tea.
Oolong tea from Taiwan is also known as Imperial Formosa Oolong. The first Europeans to visit Taiwan were Portuguese sailors, who were so impressed by the beauty of Taiwan that they called it Isla Formosa. This translates as "Beautiful Island" and although Taiwan is now a bustling modern country, the tea growing areas of the island are prime examples of its natural beauty. Most of the oolong tea produced in Taiwan is for local consumption. The Taiwanese are discriminating tea drinkers who demand the best.
There are many valuable reasons to drink oolong tea. First and chief one is the wonderful taste. Tea specialist the world over value Taiwan tea for its sweetness and density. The preparation and serving of Oolong tea is also a pleasant pastime that can be shared with friends and family. In Taiwan and elsewhere, drinking oolong tea is a social affair that solidifies relationships.
The best oolong tea from Taiwan is grown in the sky-scraping mountains. All the oolong tea sold here is high-mountain oolong that is handpicked and hand processed. These are artisan teas that have been produced with high concern. They are highly deserving of the name 'Imperial Formosa Oolong'.
Producing Taiwan oolong tea is an exacting and time-consuming process. The quality of the final product depends as much on the finishing as on the raw tealeaves. But make no mistake about the tealeaves - they are the heart and soul of oolong tea and the reason it is so valued. Taiwan tea farmers are increasingly adopting organic growing practices because of the higher quality tea these methods produce.
Storing Your Coffee Should You Freeze Your Coffee
There are many different suggested ways to store coffee in order to maintain freshness. One of the suggested methods is to put your ground coffee or coffee beans in the freezer. Is storing coffee in the freezer a good way to maintain freshness? Let's look at the pros and cons.
Freezing has been used for centuries as a way to extend the life of many foods. A diverse selection of foods can be frozen. Bread, meat, fruits, vegetables and even butter can be successfully stored in your freezer. Freezing even maintains many of the vitamins and nutritional value of a wide variety of foods. Coffee, however, isn't as likely a candidate for storage in the freezer.
Coffee has four main enemies against freshness: air, heat, light and moisture. At first, freezing doesn't seem to contain many of the offending enemies. However, appearances can be deceiving.
Coffee beans have been roasted in order to enhance flavor. The beans are also porous. Unfortunately a freezer can contain many other foods which have odors. The porous beans can absorb the flavors of many other frozen foods. Flavored coffees can be pleasant, but no one wants to drink seafood or garlic flavored coffee.
Moisture can also be absorbed by the coffee beans. Moisture can cause deterioration and loss of flavor. The more often you take coffee out of the freezer and put it back in, the more moisture absorption takes place into the bean. If you absolutely need to freeze some coffee because you have a large excess you'd like to keep, only freeze it once. The more you take it in and out of the freezer, the more damage you do.
Freezing also breaks down the oils in the beans. The oils contribute to the flavor of the coffee. Breaking down the oils means taking away flavor, and let's face it, a large part of a good cup of coffee is the flavor.
When it comes down to it, freezing is not the best way to store your coffee. Keep coffee stored in a cool, dry, airtight container away from light. Freezing coffee is possible, and is best if you only freeze it once. The resulting loss of flavor and quality from repetitive freezing makes it a method of storage to stay away from. Your best bet is to purchase only enough beans or ground coffee to supply you for 1-2 weeks. Enjoy the coffee at its freshest!
A Brief Overview Of Gourmet Coffee
The word Gourmet is used to refer to the fancier grade, cut, or quality of many of the foods and beverages we consume. Gourmet foods and drinks have long been associated as the regular fare for the rich and famous who can afford the higher pricing that often accompanies many of these finer food and beverage versions. Coffee is a beverage that has been available in cheap, regular and gourmet versions for a long time and the consumption rate of coffee among people from around the world continues to increase every year. Gourmet coffee may have once only been served in the finest dining establishments and found being served mostly in the homes of the upper class, but gourmet coffee is widely available and affordable to a variety of people and is found in a variety of settings today.
Coffee is made from coffee beans which are found within the berries that develop and ripen on a number of smaller evergreen bush plant species known as the Coffea plant. After ripening, coffee berries are harvested, and then undergo a processing which also includes drying them. It is the coffee beans that remain after the processing and drying of the coffee berries. The beans are then roasted to various degrees which cause them to change physically and in the tastes they produce. Finally, the coffee beans are grinded down into a fine consistency that is commonly known as coffee grounds, and packaged and shipped to destinations around the world where consumers can buy and brew coffee grounds to make coffee in commercial, hospitality, institutional, and residential settings. Some people prefer to grind their own coffee beans before brewing them for coffee. Packaged coffee beans that have not been ground can be purchased in stores and ground using the grinding mills that are made available in most of the stores selling them, but also with grinding machines in the home.
The two most commercially grown species of the coffea plant that produce the coffee beans used to make the coffee that the world's population consumes, are Robusta and Arabica. Gourmet coffee is made from the top tier coffee beans from the arabica coffea plant. These top tier arabica coffea plants are typically grown at very high altitudes (above 3000ft) with ideal soil and climate conditions. The coffee beans produced have fuller flavors, are more aromatic, and have less caffeine in them than other varieties of coffee beans such as Robustas. The coffee beans of arabica coffea plants grown at lower altitudes are still noted among consumers as having richer flavors than the flavors produced by Robusta coffee beans, but it is only the top tier arabica coffee beans that are considered to be Gourmet, and thereby from which gourmet coffee is derived.
Coffee bean grounds and coffee beans that have not been grinded down need to be stored in air-tight containers and kept cool in order to protect them from losing their flavor. The containers that coffee is typically sold in are not the most ideal for storing coffee for a long period of time. When you arrive home after purchasing coffee grounds at the store, consider transferring the fresh coffee grounds to appropriate storage containers to extend its shelf life and full flavor.
Coffee can be brewed in many ways such as boiling, pressuring, and steeping. Most of us brew our coffee using automatic coffee brewing machines and percolators which use gravity to pull hot water through coffee grounds where the hot water mixed with the oils and essences of the coffee grounds empties into a liquid holding container below. Filters are used to keep coffee granules from being emptied into the carafe or liquid holding container from which the brewed coffee can then be served from because most people do not want to drink the coffee granules. Coffee granules can be very bitter once the flavor able oils and essences have been removed through the brewing process. Plants and flowers love coffee grounds though for anybody who is looking for a greener alternative of what to do with coffee grounds after brewing instead of just throwing them in the trash.
Of course, Gourmet coffee beans are only the beginning to creating a truly gourmet coffee experience for many gourmet coffee drinkers. Some people are quite content with drinking their gourmet coffee black, without adding anything like milk, creamer, sugar or other sweeteners or flavorings, to their coffee. While many others want to enhance their gourmet coffee and drinking experience with tasty additions like milk that is whipped into a froth, sweeteners, and mixing in other flavors like chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, and mint, to name just a few. Big name coffee chains sell a wide variety of gourmet coffee with different tasty additions and flavors to appeal to gourmet coffee lovers. However, brewing gourmet coffee at home is usually much cheaper, and you can add what you want to your coffee to satisfy your refined, gourmet tastes.
The Health Benefits Of Oolong Tea
Oolong tea has a long and rich history that includes being one of the plants that were grown and prized by ancient Chinese emperors and today is prized for its many known health benefits around the world. The history of the plant that is botanically known as Camellia sinensis has been used throughout history for good health, healing and averting illness. These tea leaves generally originate from the Fuijan Province of China or the mountains of Taiwan and can also be referred to as Wu-Long tea. There is some evidence that the tea leaves from this region have a history of at least four hundred years; arriving toward the end of the Ming Dynasty.
This tea now known for ensuring many different health benefits can be found as straight oolong tea or with other enhancements such as jasmine, orange blossoms and others.
The process of manufacturing the tea is done with utmost care and in a fashion that has transcended the ages; from the time it is picked until the time it is packaged it undergoes a careful hand process. After the leaves are picked they are laid out to dry for a short amount of time where the oxidation process begins. Then the leaves are placed in baskets and shaken in order to bruise them. This exposes the juice of the leaves to the air whereby the oxidation process continues after which the leaves are laid out to dry for a second time. This process will oxidize the leaves from 20-80%, depending on the type of final product desired. The leaves will then be fired to halt the oxidation. Then they are sometimes rolled while still freshly roasted and fired several more times. As a way of finishing the process the leaves are completely cooled and then fired a final time to give the oolong tea the special flavor while reserving the healthful properties of the leaves.
Tea of all types have been under the microscope of late, and oolong tea has been studied and found to have numerous antioxidants, vitamins and minerals along with polyphenols, which all fit into a healthful regiment. Polyphenols that are found in oolong tea have the ability to remove free radicals, which are known for prematurely aging the skin along with causing the dark spots associated with aging. Free radicals have also been associated with hindering the immune system and they are also associated with cancer cells as well as muscle tissue deterioration or damage.
Oolong tea is also known for enhancing the function of enzymes, which in turn are known to dissolve triglycerides. These are the fatty deposits in the body and therefore it can aid in a weight loss regiment. There have been clinical trials done and it was found that this type of tea can raise the metabolic rate, which speeds up fat oxidation and the catechin polyphenols raise the rate that calories are burned in the body. This in turn means that oolong tea has the compounds in it to aid directly in weight loss. It is also an aid in reducing blood pressure that will in turn help to prevent hypertension; this is because of its ability to use the fatty deposits in the body as fuel for energy.
There is also possible evidence that along with the caffeine there is also an increase in stamina, which can help in an exercise regiment. Caffeine is also known to stimulate the frontal cortex of the brain; this helps in memory function and enhances the thought process.
There are other health benefits that have long been believed by Chinese herbalists such as the properties in oolong tea to reduce tooth decay and to aid in speeding oral healing because of tannic acid that is present in the tea. They also believe oolong tea assists in aiding the kidneys, as well as improving the utilization of glucose, which in turn aids the regulation of insulin.
Research and studies have shown that the Chinese who are known for their consumption of drinking have significant lower incidences of heart disease and prostate cancer than other ethnic groups. There is also scientific evidence that tea can also be an aid in breast cancer treatment, when used along with tamoxifen.
A recent study of Japanese elderly demonstrated that those who consumed two cups of tea per day had a lower chance of cognitive impairment by approximately fifty percent. Other studies have pointed to tea's positive impact on the onset of Alzheimer's.
While there is evidence that oolong tea and tea in general can benefit the health of the body there is also the fact that this tea is consumption friendly. Unlike vitamins, pills, health drinks and other health foods and drinks that are supposedly good for promoting health, oolong tea has a taste that is a pleasure to drink - and it is rehydrating, and nourishing.
This is a tea that has the ability to be flavored with different herbs and florals as well as served alone. Alone it can be dark in color with a robust taste that includes a hint of raisin, honeysuckle or almond. It can also be light and floral if only partially oxidized. Flavored oolongs can be found with names and tastes such as ginger peach oolong tea, orange blossom and plum oolong tea and others. Each of these teas has their own unique flavor and some have history behind their name like the Oriental Beauty, which received its name from Queen Elizabeth II. She named the tea after a tea merchant who brought it from Asia. The name is still used today.
Coffee Products And How To Get The Best Bargains
Lets suppose you want to sell coffee beans or an electric bean grinder, the smart place to market your particular coffee products is the ebay auction site. Coffee products for whatever reason sell very well on ebay, the thing is to follow a few basic rules and it could be that you end up selling coffee products longterm.
The most important thing is you must know the prices for coffee items and connected food and drink goods, the ideal location to check prices would be the many niche food and drink magazines or websites that also deal with coffee and drink products. If you have no idea as to what to sell your coffee merchandise for then you are very likely to make a loss.
To sell on ebay you must first list the product, lets pretend for a minute its a Green Coffee product, it is pretty easy to estimate a price level for this particular coffee merchandise. Next you need to take a photo and upload it with your advert, many of the best ebay secret books will tell you to set your coffee item on some kind of red backing, something like crimson velvet, why should you do this? you see its a well known fact that things like antique coffee pots and also antique coffee machines will stand out more if this background trick is utilized, the more purchasers who discover your merchandise the more chance there is the bidding will be higher.
The next trick to marketing your coffee or merchandise on ebay is this, when you are marketing these types of goods you should always list a sizeable amount of keywords, you should not merely list a Kenyan Coffee blend or coffee roaster [ depending on what coffee items you are wishing to sell ], you should list a whole mass of products. What you should really do is list all the large brand names that are connected with coffee products and as many related products as you possibly can, coffee cups, Coffee Tea Sets, list any coffee related item that people could possibly be looking for on ebay.
Now another secret when advertising goods on the ebay auction site is this, spelling errors can lead to large amounts of money when auctioning coffee, many bidders are terrible spellers and may very often misspell words, this is especially the case with coffee brands and makers trademarks. In essence what this means is that if you were to advertise a Colombian Organic pack or italian coffee pot with a few missing letters or a few misspellings then you could certainly catch some extra viewers, this then could add to the success of your coffee auction session and could even get you a higher price at auction.
This information is not just relevant to coffee products it also relates to any product connected to the area of food and drink, remember the main points and you never know, you might just become a full time coffee supplier with the help of the ebay and make a decent profit.
Some People Like To Make Coffee One Cup At A Time
Have you ever tried a single cup coffee maker? These are a great addition to any coffee-drinking household. When I look at my parents, it's hard not to notice their love for coffee. Since they're in their 60s, they prefer a coffee pot drip beverage, over a caramel macchiato.
In fact, they will brew a pot of coffee two or three times on any given day. This is probably common in most households. The only problem with this system is it doesn't make much sense. I can't help but notice what they're wasting. Many times they will brew an entire pot of coffee simply to drink a single cup. That's not efficient.
Well, this is why they invented the single cup coffee maker. The minute I spotted this cool innovation, I purchased one for my parents. With a single cup coffee maker, you don't have to brew that full pot every time.
This machine actually makes a single, fresh cup of coffee with no mess or waste. How cool is that? This is perfect for those who live alone, or merely want a single cup of coffee at a time. Not everyone drinks four or five cups straight like my father.
Isn't it time for that morning cup of java? This seems to be the trend in American households. We all want to wake up to that fresh aroma of quality coffee beans. In fact, many cultures have adopted the same regime.
It's been around forever. The old caffeine buzz is imperative to start our day off right. The big question these days concerns your coffee source or coffee machine. Where do you turn for your morning fix? Do you have a new-age espresso machine, or possibly stick with the old-school drip coffee pots? Either can make a great cup of coffee.
It just depends on your taste. Another cool addition to the world of coffee innovations these days is the single cup coffee maker. Ah, things just keep getting easier; don't they?
If you are in search of a single cup coffee maker, a great place to begin your browsing is online. The World-Wide-Web has a variety of single cup coffee makers to choose from. You can sort through customer reviews and find out what others have experienced before buying one in particular.
With a number of websites at your fingertips, you can surely pinpoint the least expensive single cup coffee maker that's right for you. That morning cup of java is no longer a hassle. You can have your cup at the push of a button these days.
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