How Do You Like Your Coffee  
About Page Your morning cup of coffee starts off as a little black bean and produces one of the most popular beverages in the world.
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Everything You Want To Know About Coffee
by Patricia camacho

COFFEE

From 16th century coffee houses to your favourite modern-day café, coffee lovers consume more than 7 million tons of coffee annually. There is nothing like the smell of fresh roasted coffee to start your day.

Although Brazil is the largest exporter of coffee in the world today, its beginnings actually started in Kaffa Ethiopia in the 5th century, spread throughout the Muslim world and finally to Europe in the 17th century. Today, coffee is the most widely consumed beverage in the world.

TOP COFFEE PRODUCING COUNTRIES

1. Brazil
2. Columbia
3. Indonesia
4. Vietnam
5. Indonesia
6. Ethiopia
7. India
8. Guatemala
9. Cote d’Ivoire
10. Uganda

Your morning cup of coffee begins on a coffee plantation from the seed of a berry (called coffee cherries) that turns bright red when ripe and ready to pick. The berries are dried, hulled, graded and sorted by size and density then shipped around the world. At this point the beans are still green until they are put in roasters where they are roasted to perfection and produce the color and flavour of the final brew.

ROASTING TIMES

• 7 minutes – lightly roasted
• 9 – 11 minutes – medium roasted
• 12 – 13 minutes – dark roasted
• 14 minutes – darkest roast for espresso coffee

The two main varieties of coffee are Arabica and Robusta, with Arabica accounting for 70% of the world’s coffee production. The coffee made from Arabica is mild and aromatic. The Robusta beans produce a bitter-tasting coffee with 50% more caffeine than the Arabica beans. Most coffees are blends of several types of coffee producing different flavours. Americans like their coffee lightly roasted. The French like the dark roast. The Austrians like a blend of dark-roast and regular roast, Italians like very strong coffee known as espresso. The Turks like their coffee, black, strong and sweet. Cubans like extremely strong coffee that is not sipped but rather taken like a shot of tequila and in Thailand the coffee is served with ice and sweetened with condensed milk.

TYPES OF COFFEE DRINKS

The original coffee frappe was made with instant coffee and water, shaken to produce a foam-covered drink and served cold. Since frappes were first introduced in 1957 at the International Trade Fair in Greece, it has become the national coffee of that country. This coffee drink has spread throughout the world and each country has adapted to produce its own original frappe. It can be said that there is no right or wrong way to make a good frappe. In some parts of the world it is made with ice cream, cold milk, cocoa and even coca cola. Sugar and chocolate shavings are sometimes added while the adventuresome might add Bailey’s or Kahlua to create variety. Frappes have become so popular, that in some countries they can even be purchased in vending machines.

When it comes to a coffee latte, there are many varieties. It all starts with a shot of espresso coffee to which has been added steamed milk and then topped with a dollop of foamed milk. A mocha latte is served with chocolate, a dollop of whipped cream and cocoa powder. A cappuccino is served with less steamed milk and more foamed milk than a coffee latte. All can be served with non-fat milk. You can pretty well customize your own coffee latte with the addition of hazelnut, vanilla, caramel, almond or a shot of flavoured syrup added to your espresso. A good barista will make you a coffee latte the way you like it.

Café au lait is a French coffee drink which means coffee with milk and is often made with regularly brewed coffee instead of espresso served with half scalded not steamed milk. It is served in bowls piping hot but some coffee houses might also serve it as iced coffee. Café au lait has been around in New Orleans since the 1800’s and can be purchased in a bottle with a pop top.
A cappuccino is an Italian coffee drink made with espresso to which has been added both hot milk and foamed milk and is generally served in a ceramic cup. You can also have the addition of chocolate shavings or cocoa powder to top it off. Cappuccino is especially popular in Europe and Australia but spread to North America in the 1990’s.

Espresso is the result of the high-pressure brewing process which produces a thicker consistency than drip coffee. It is a concentrated coffee beverage brewed by forcing hot, not boiling water through ground coffee in an espresso machine. Espresso is the most popular type of coffee in South American and European countries and is hugely popular in Australia and New Zealand. In the USA syrups, whipped cream, flavour extracts and spices have been added to produce their own form of espresso drinks, much to the chagrin of the purists.

COFFEE SHOPS

Coffee lovers flock to their favourite coffee shop every day to get their morning fix. Whether it’s Starbuck’s, Tim Horton’s, Second Cup, Timothy’s, Dunkin’ Donuts or their local shop, they line up to take their coffee off to work. For those who have more time, the ritual of sitting down with the morning paper over a cup of java is a treat. Beside coffee, most coffee shops serve fresh scones, muffins, various pastries and toast. The aroma of fresh brewed coffee in the morning is a great way to start the day.

COFFEE MAKERS

For those of you who prefer to make your own coffee, a good coffee maker is a must. Percolators have been around for a long time. They boil the water but often leave coarse grounds and a bitter taste. Some people however, love their percolators and would rather “fight than switch”. The French Press, which is also the “plunger pot” uses a glass cylinder as the pot. A meshed screen is placed over the glass pot to filter the coffee grounds. Near boiling water is poured over the ground coffee and pressed down with the plunger after allowing the coffee to steep about 4 minutes. This method is preferable if you are making only one or two cups of coffee as there is no way to keep the coffee warm once it is brewed. The Automatic Drip is the most popular type of coffee maker in North America because of its simplicity. Coffee grounds are measured into a filter, water is placed in the reservoir and with the touch of a button your coffee is brewed. Espresso coffee makers are for people who like stronger coffee and you will need to check out the different machines as some of them can be pretty pricey.

Coffee is so popular that many gift baskets are packed with gourmet coffees from around the world. Over 70 million cups of coffee are consumed by coffee lovers around the globe and everyone has their favourite way to drink their perfect cup. According to the French statesman Talleyrand (1754-1838) the recipe for coffee is “Black as the devil, hot as hell, pure as an angel and sweet as love”. How do you like your coffee?
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  • Patricia Camacho

    Coffee is the second most lucrative traded commodity in the world after oil and the second most drinkable liquid after water
    On 27 April 2011