Coffee Facts A Brief History In Time
It is probably common knowledge that coffee was discovered in Ethiopia. The 'red' cherries which the sheep ate and become very active were taken home and tasted and what was known as the devil's fruit become coffee as the world knows it today. However, this is just one of the stories which revolve around the history of coffee. Another tale which has been around for some time involves an Arabian who use coffee beans to survive an exile and was discovered near the town of Mocha and thus we also refer to coffee as Mocha. As you will read on, there are more to these interesting coffee facts.
Coffee remained in Arabia for quite some time and was a secret which Arabians were not keen to share with outsiders. India was one of the first few countries outside Arabia to get a taste of coffee and then there was no holding back the growth of popularity of this drink. There is a lot of history which revolves around coffee and many legends which exist which help in creating a mystique for the beverage. Famous luminaries seem to have had some kind of brush with the drink and it is said that The Boston Tea Party, so well known for throwing away boxes of tea, considered coffee drinking a patriotic act!
Coffee beans revolved and took the avatar of instant coffee which is used the world over. Many well known words and trends have been the output of coffee as it gets accepted as part of the global culture. Coffee facts tell us that countries such as Brazil have an entire economy dependant on the production of coffee and the United States is one of the largest coffee drinking nations in the world!
Brewing A Perfect Cup Of Coffee
Brewing a great cup of coffee depends on a number of things such as the quality of the coffee bean, the quality of the water being used, the type of brewing being done, and the grind of the coffee. Now quality of bean and water is something you can easily take care. Just use good quality beans and pure water. However the relationship between the grind of the coffee and the type of brewing being done is more detailed and could use a little explanation. Now we all know that we make coffee by passing hot water over crushed coffee beans. However for it to really work well we need to understand just how long the water should be passing over the beans. The purpose of this article is to help you understand how to match your coffee's grind to the type of brewing you are doing in order to make the best coffee possible.
Generally speaking, the 'soaking' time relates directly to how coarse the coffee is ground. This means that smaller coffee grinds need less contact with the water, and coarser grinds need longer contact. Espresso coffee is only exposed to water for 20-40 seconds and as a result is made using extremely fine grind coffee. A French press coffee maker can take as much as 4 minutes and uses an extremely coarse grind. If coffee is left contacting water for too long for its grind size, unwanted extracts emerge and make the coffee taste bitter. Of course if the grind is too large and the water passes very quickly (like using frech press grind in an espresso maker), very little of the caffeine and flavours extracted and will have poor flavour.
Of course filters play an important role in managing the balance between over and under brewing your coffee. Not only do they keep the grind out of your cup, but they also control how fast the water passes over the grinds. Paper filters are the most common, but many people are also using metal varieties. Paper filters are quite good. However they can absorb some of the coffee flavour, and some people claim they can taste the paper in the final coffee. Metal filters are normally made from stainless steel or gold plated mesh. They have very fine weave and filter out the coffee grinds very well. They also do not alter the taste of the coffee at all. Metal filters are also more environmentally friendly than the paper alternative.
Whichever you choose, be sure to buy decent quality. Cheap filters often clog or not allow the coffee to brew properly. A decent quality metal filter will last years and save money in the end.
Brewing a cup of coffee is not that hard. Brewing a great cup takes a little more understanding, but isn't any harder. Start with fresh beans and good clean water and then match your brewing style to the proper grind and then mess around with the exact proportions and pretty soon your be brewing killer coffee every time.
Latte Frothing Basics How To Make Delicious Frothed Milk
Few coffee drinkers fully appreciate the fact that frothed milk is what makes a cappuccino or latte. Without the milk and foam, it is just plain espresso. Like anything worth learning, it takes a bit of practice, even the most capable baristas have a hard time at first. Let us take a look at the frothing process.
Most experts agree that it is best to begin with a stainless steel pitcher, some cold milk and an espresso machine with a steaming wand. Past that, there are as many differing ideas about the frothing process as there are blends of espresso.
Stainless steel is preferred for its easy maneuverability, but any non-plastic container will work as long as it will not melt or crack with heat. The kind of milk you start with depends on the texture of foam you want to achieve. The higher the fat content, the more dense and more difficult to froth the milk with be. Skim milk produces light, airy foam, and is probably the easiest for beginners to practice with.
To determine how much milk is needed, fill the cups you plan to drink from with half the milk the drink requires. For example, a cappuccino is half espresso and half steamed milk, so you would fill the cup one-fourth full will cold milk because steaming will cause the milk to roughly double in volume. Pour the milk in the pitcher.
It is important that the tip of the steam wand is consistently held just below the surface of the milk. If it is too held too deep, the milk with scorch or boil before it froths. If it is not deep enough, it will blow the milk out of the pitcher and make a mess. Keep the palm of your free hand flush with the bottom of the pitcher. This will help you monitor the temperature of the milk without interrupting the process.
Slide the pitcher away from the machine as to keep the tip of the wand just under the surface as the milk expands. At this point, if the milk is about the same temperature as the palm of you hand, plunge the wand deeper into the milk to warm it up. If the pitcher feels too hot, turn off the steam and tap the pitcher against the work surface. This lets large bubbles to escape and helps cool the milk. It is important to never let the milk boil.
Using a long-handled spoon to carefully hold the froth back, add the milk to the drink. Be careful to pour in one continuous stream. A spoon may be used to add the desired amount of froth on top of the drink, but if the frothing is done well, the result is a fine micro foam that can be poured directly from the pitcher. Cinnamon, nutmeg or grated chocolate is a nice addition to any drink.
French Press Making Great Coffee
If you want a good cup a coffee, you will need to add some oil. Coffee oil is very flavorful and improves the taste of coffee, but it is lost during the normal filtered brewing process. Coffee made with a French press doesn't pass through a filter so you don't lose those natural aromatic coffee oils. Most coffee lover's agree that a French press makes a superior cup of coffee.
A French press (sometimes called a coffee press) is usually a glass cylinder with a plumber like device inside. You place your coffee grinds inside and pour hot water into it. The water should not be boiling or you will scald your grinds, which will affect the taste. 200 degree water is the optimum temperature for a fine cup of coffee. If you're using a kettle to heat your water, remove it from the heat before if starts whistling. Either that or you can let the water boil but let it sit for a few minutes before pouring it into your coffee press. Remember to leave at least an inch of space when filling up the French press.
Coffee beans that are ground too finely will clog the filter. You will probably be okay with automatic drip coffee grinds but the best way to enjoy French press coffee is to grind the beans yourself. Try to grind the beans to a size a little bigger than automatic drip coffee grinds. This may take some practice to get comfortable with your coffee grinder but it's worth it. And remember that once you grind your coffee beans they should be used immediately or kept in an air tight container to keep them from getting stale.
Let the coffee steep in the water for about 4 minutes. Now it's time for the press part of the French press. Place the French press on a no slip surface and slowly and smoothly press the plunger down. Press too hard or too quickly and in a worst case scenario, you could have boiling hot water shoot out all over you. This step is how the coffee grinds are forced to the bottom of the container and you're left with delicious fresh brewed coffee in the top chamber. You are now ready to pour and serve.
The French press has undergone a makeover in recent years. Manufacturers have added French presses to travel mugs and thermoses. As long as you have hot water you can make a fresh brewed cup of coffee anywhere. And most of these travel mugs and thermoses are insulated so that your coffee will stay warm longer.
With coffee becoming such an important part of most people's days, isn't it time that we pampered ourselves with a better tasting brew. The French press is an easy and flavorful way to make a cup of coffee. So if you're tired of the brown water that comes out of coffee vending machines in your office, then the French press is perfect for you.
Making A Great Cup Of Coffee
Today, I will propose to you how to make a great cup of coffee. You can do it. There are a few secrets to the process. I will share these with you.
Start with the bean and pick your roast. Quality coffee can only come from a quality coffee bean that is properly roasted. The process of roasting a coffee bean is complex and can result in a given bean tasting very different depending on how it is roasted. If you desire a strong intense flavor to your coffee, choose a dark roast (ex: French Roast). If you like to a light flavor, less intense, choose a lighter roast.
Never use pre-ground coffee. Pre-ground coffee will lose its flavor and essence within a short period of time. Grinding before you brew will assure you that no flavor is lost due to time.
Always use cold filtered water when brewing your coffee. The water you use represents 98% of your cup of coffee. Filtering the water will remove impurities that could affect the taste. Poor quality water can come from a variety of sources. Example, older house will have older pipes. Theses pipes tend to give the water an off flavor. You will want to remove this by filtering. The basic rule is the better the water, the better the coffee.
Skip the paper filters and go for the gold. Yes, these are 23k Gold plated stainless steel filters. Paper filters will influence the flavor of the coffee in a negative manner. The Gold plated filters influence the flavor by allowing natural oils to infiltrate into your brew, adding a level of flavor and aroma you wont find with paper coffee filters. Another plus is that these filters can be reused over and over, and will last a very long time. Not only will your coffee be better, but you will be helping the environment by saving on waste.
Never over do it on the add-ins. Cut down on the sugar, cream, and other flavor add-ins to really enjoy the true essence of the brew. If we disguise the coffee to much; we will never know the true taste.
Part of what makes a great cup of coffee is how and when we enjoy it. We all have our favorite time and rituals. For me, nothing beats enjoying a great cup of coffee on a Sunday morning and reading the paper.
Coffee For A Better Life
Coffee, a drink cherished by many; a drink avoided by others. Tea, its main rival, seems to offer a bounty of better health benefits; a drink for the New Agers and those who want to escape the decadence of the brown, caffeinated drink. The fact stands that tea can only be as beneficial as its preparation, which in some cases may have as much sugar as a can of soda. To understand coffee, one must understand the core value of tea: that the brewed leaf itself is the only healthful component. Everything else is decadence.
To that, the coffee bean itself contains a number of benefits to health. But the culture of coffee, like the tao of tea, contains a lot of excess trimmings. Espresso machines, for example, produce a highly concentrated form of ordinary coffee. And then the all-consuming vice: sugar. Along with cream, sugar waters down the benefits of coffee, where it turns the brew into drinkable candy. But all of this remains unchanged from tea. The bean is the important part.
Caffeine can wreak havoc on the nervous system, but that does not make it synonymous with coffee. Different kinds of coffee (all prepared differently) will yield varied levels of caffeine content. Serving size also comes into play. To those sensitive to caffeine, the obvious alternative can be found in decaffeinated coffee. But such an alternative could downplay the positive affects of the drink. Coffee is rich in the B vitamin niacin; and in recent studies has been shown to have antioxidant-like effects on the body by eliminating free radicals. As a caution, these benefits only arise with a balanced drinking habit. Too much cream and sugar can prove to be detrimental, while too much coffee poses many long-term hazards. While coffee may provide the B vitamin niacin, it in turn restricts the body from other vitamins. And depending on the brew, coffee contains acids that have been linked to stomach ulcers. Symptoms like these may sound off-putting, but they exist only in the long run for an abusive drinker. A daily cup poses no threat to the average person.
And a cup can be prepared several ways. The standard method used by drip machines yield a good amount of caffeine and the filter traps out most of the volatile fatty acids in the bean. The use of a French press, with its lack of a filter, will keep the acids in the brew (though some claim it helps the coffee to taste better). The pressurized water in an espresso will not keep out most of the volatile acids, and it will also increase the caffeine content. All told, for those who refuse to switch to decaffeinated, instant coffee granules contain less caffeine and fatty acids. Compared to their quality cousins, instant coffee should satisfy the balanced drinker. This along with less cream and less sugar, can make for a risk-free casual cup of coffee.
A good cup of coffee is like fine wine and good quality cigars. There are various different types of coffee beans and these determine the flavors that the blend presents for the coffee connoisseur.
Many coffee makers blend a combination of the lower cost Robusta beans with the more expensive Arabica gourmet beans. The Arabica beans have a finer aroma, a richer flavor and more body than the less expensive beans.
The quality of the coffee is dependant on the proportions of the mix of these beans. Quite often a coffee might be advertised as a blend of gourmet beans and lower grade beans when in fact there are only small traces of the gourmet beans in the blend.
The gourmet beans gain much of their flavor from the soils they are grown in, with the best beans coming from the volcanic regions where the rich soils produce the best tasting beans.
Coffee should always be made from fresh beans as the quality diminishes rapidly with age. This is quite noticeable when comparing a supermarket grade coffee with a coffee made from freshly ground beans at a coffee shop. Bear in mind that the supermarket coffees generally have a lower blend quality and in many cases the blends also have a proportion of older beans to reduce the production costs.
The only way you can be assured of quality and taste is to buy fresh gourmet quality. Once you have acquired the taste for gourmet coffee you might never want to drink commercial grade coffee again.
You can buy coffee from many different regions throughout the world and each one has it's own unique flavor.
Coffee aficionados can pick the region where the coffee bean was grown just by tasting it. The method of processing the beans also has an effect on the final flavor so you can't always assume that a coffee will be good just because it came from a particular region.
Coffee is one of the world's most popular beverages and more suppliers are catering to the needs of an ever-growing demand.
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.
Espresso Machines Not For The Coffee Shop Anymore
Instead of going to the local coffee shop, use your espresso machines instead. There are some excellent opportunities out there for you in these new, must have options for your kitchen. Once only used in coffee shops and in restaurants that were high end, these machines have been made so that anyone, anywhere can use them rather easily.
Espresso machines are available in several ways. You may have a favorite method of making the espresso or perhaps you are looking for something that offers a distinctive taste. In most cases, you will find that there are espresso machines that do just what you are looking for. Because they are so easy to use, you will be able to make your favorite espresso flavors yourself as well.
On top of this, you will also find that some machines are also combinations. Love cappuccino as well? Would you like a standard coffee maker along with your new espresso machine? These too can be purchased. You will find them available in a variety of styles and colors to fit any kitchen.
Yet another feature that is important to comment on is their quality. Some of the espresso machine styles that are on the market for individual use are in fact quite capable of making coffee house style coffee that is rich and full flavored, missing nothing except the price tag. And, you can experiment with coffee beans that fit your tastes while in a coffee house you may be limited. Purchase gourmet varieties for pennies on the dollar online and enjoy the coffee that is nothing short of amazing every day that you wake up.
Worried about dealing with these things each morning? Don't be, because you will find it very hard to find an espresso machine that isn't easy to use. Clean up is often just as easy as a standard coffee maker so that is not a problem as well. Espresso machines look great, work great and add an air of sophistication to your life.
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