A Great Cup of Coffee

A Great Cup of Coffee!

This is what we need many times just to relax, a great cup of coffee. The very first thing I like to do is take a nice deep breath and inhale the aroma. For coffee drinkers it doesn’t get any better than this.
You can have a cup or two of coffee in the morning, afternoon or evening. How do you like yours?
A cup of black coffee. Black means that the coffee is served without milk or cream.
You can drink it hot or cold (usually hot) whatever your pleasure!

Here is some history of coffee for you.
Country of origin: Yemen (drink), Ethiopia (plant)
Introduced: Approx. 15th century
Color: Dark brown, beige, light brown, black

Coffee is a brewed drink prepared from roasted coffee beans, which are the seeds of berries from the Coffee plant.  That is the plant pictured on the right side.  The two most commonly grown are the highly regarded Arabica.

Arabica coffee’s first domestication was in Ethiopia  but cultivation in Yemen is well documented by the 12th century.
Arabica coffee accounts for 70% of the world’s coffee production.  Arabica takes about seven years to mature fully, and does best with 1.0–1.5 meters (about 40–59 inches) of rain, evenly distributed throughout the year.  It is usually cultivated between 1,300 and 1,500 m altitude, but plantations grow it as low as sea level and as high as 2,800 m.

The plant can tolerate low temperatures, but not frost, and does best with an average temperature between 15 and 24 °C (59 and 75 °F).  Arabica prefers to be grown in light shade. Two to four years after planting,  Arabica produces small, white, highly fragrant flowers.
On well-kept plantations, over flowering is prevented by pruning the tree. The flowers only last a few days, leaving behind only the thick, dark-green leaves. The berries then begin to appear. These are as dark green as the foliage, until they begin to ripen, at first to yellow and then light red and finally darkening to a glossy, deep red. At this point, they are called “cherry” and are ready for picking.

The less sophisticated but stronger and more hardy is the Robusta.  Once ripe, coffee berries are picked, processed, and dried. Dried coffee seeds (referred to as beans) are roasted to varying degrees, depending on the desired flavor. Roasted beans are ground and brewed with near boiling water to produce coffee as a beverage.

About 30% of the coffee produced in the world is Robusta.  It is mostly grown in Vietnam, where French colonists introduced it in the late 19th century, though it is also grown in India, Africa and Brazil, where it is often called conilon.  In recent years, Vietnam, which produces mostly Robusta, has become the world’s largest exporter of Robusta coffee, accounting for over 40% of the total production.  It surpasses Brazil (25% of the world’s production), Indonesia (15%), India (6%), and Uganda (4,5%).

 Brazil is still the biggest coffee producer in the world, producing one-third of the world’s coffee, though 70% of that is  Arabica.

Robusta is easier to care for and has a greater crop yield than  Arabica, so it is cheaper to produce.  Roasted Robusta beans produce a strong, full-bodied coffee with a distinctive, earthy flavor, but usually with more bitterness than Arabica due to their pyrazine content.  Since Arabica beans are believed to have a smoother taste with more acidity and a richer flavor, they are often considered superior, while the culture and processing of Robusta has for a long time been neglected and focused on unwashed beans, resulting in a harsher taste.

However, the powerful flavor can be desirable in a blend to give it perceived “strength” and “finish”, noticeably in Italian coffee culture, and carefully processed, washed Robusta’s can be superior in quality and provide a milder taste than some lower quality Arabica’s.  Good-quality Robusta beans are used in traditional Italian espresso blends, at about 10-15%, to provide a full-bodied taste and a better foam head (known as crema). Robusta is also used as a stimulant, diuretic, antioxidant, and antipyretic, and relieves spasmodic asthma.

I enjoy grinding my own Coffee Beans fresh every morning.

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world. It can be prepared and presented in a variety of ways ( espresso, French press, cafe latte, etc.). It is usually served hot, although iced coffee is also served.

The expression “coffee break” was first attested in 1952.  The term “coffee pot” dates from 1705.

Coffee may be served as white coffee with a dairy product such as milk or cream, or dairy substitute, or as black coffee with no such addition.  It may be sweetened with sugar or artificial sweetener.  When served cold, it is called iced coffee.

Espresso-based coffee has a variety of possible presentations.  In its most basic form, an espresso is served alone as a shot or short black, or with hot water added, when it is known as Caffè Americano.  A long black is made by pouring a double espresso into an equal portion of water, retaining the crema, unlike Caffè Americano. Milk is added in various forms to an espresso: steamed milk makes a caffè latte, equal parts steamed milk and milk froth make a cappuccino, and a dollop of hot foamed milk on top creates a caffè macchiato.  A flat white is prepared by adding steamed hot milk (microfoam) to espresso so that the flavor is brought out and the texture is unusually velvety. It has less milk than a latte but both are varieties of coffee to which the milk can be added in such a way as to create a decorative surface pattern.  Such effects are known as latte art.

Coffee can also be incorporated with alcohol to produce a variety of beverages: it is combined with whiskey in Irish coffee, and it forms the base of alcoholic coffee liqueurs such as Kahlúa and Tia Maria. Darker beers such as stout and porter give a or coffee-like taste due to roasted grains even though actual coffee beans are not added to it.

Instant coffee
A number of products are sold for the convenience of consumers who do not want to prepare their own coffee or who do not have access to coffee making equipment.  Instant coffee is dried into soluble powder or freeze-dried into granules that can be quickly dissolved in hot water. Originally invented in 1907, it rapidly gained in popularity in many countries in the post-war period, with Nescafé being the most popular product.

Decaffeination processes for coffee
In the case of coffee, various methods can be used. The process is performed on unroasted (green) beans and starts with steaming of the beans. They are then rinsed with a solvent that extracts the caffeine while leaving other constituents largely unaffected. The process is repeated from 8 to 12 times until the caffeine content meets the required standard (97% of caffeine removed according to the US standard, or 99.9% caffeine.
There are two methods used to decaffeinate coffee.

Direct method
In the direct method, the coffee beans are first steamed for 30 minutes to open their pores and then repeatedly rinsed with either dichloromethane or ethyl acetate for about 10 hours to remove the caffeine. The caffeine-laden solvent is then drained away and the beans steamed to remove residual solvent.

Indirect method
In the indirect method, beans are first soaked in hot water for several hours, in essence making a strong pot of coffee. Then the beans are removed and either dichloromethane or ethyl acetate is used to extract the caffeine from the water. As in other methods, the caffeine can then be separated from the organic solvent by simple evaporation. The same water is recycled through this two-step process with new batches of beans. An equilibrium is reached after several cycles, wherein the water and the beans have a similar composition except for the caffeine. After this point, the caffeine is the only material removed from the beans, so no coffee strength or other flavorings are lost. Because water is used in the initial phase of this process, indirect method decaffeination is sometimes referred to as “water-processed”.

Because of this extra process and the time factor decaffeinated coffee is more expense than regular coffee.

Would you like a Great Cup of Coffee?

Bobby

 

16 Replies to “A Great Cup of Coffee”

  1. Gerlinde,

    Very nice post, especially for me as a coffee junkie! 🙂
    I like the Italian espresso, short, strong, no sugar, no milk… You need a strong heart for that, haha!

  2. Hi Bobby,

    First thing in the morning for me is a cup of Italian roast, my favorite. Incorporating coffee with alcohol is not new to me. From time to time my father drinks coffee and beer together.

    Another of my favorites is caffe latte. I enjoyed your post of coffee.

    Thank you for sharing.

    1. Rosa,

      You sound like you really enjoy your coffee. Your dad sounds like he enjoys serious coffee with alcohol.

      Thank you for your comments,

      Bobby

  3. Hi Bobby,

    You make coffee drinking sound special.

    I’ve never been good at making coffee, preferring instead to purchase from coffee drinks from vendors. But after reading this, I think it might be worth me taking the time to make my own tea. What “arsenal” would you recommend to a newbie coffee maker like me?

    Thanks!

    1. Princila,

      Drinking coffee can be special. I drink it because I enjoy it not because it is just a habit. No mater what brand you use it comes in Mild, Medium and Dark. I would suggest to start with Mild and make it white coffee. After you get use to coffee then make it stronger for your taste.

      Thanks,

      Bobby

  4. I always wondered how decaffeinated coffee was made. Very interesting! I now have a better understanding of the different types of beans and how the origin effects the beans. I’ll never look at a “simple” cup of Joe the same because I’ll just ponder on where exactly those beans came from.

    1. Tim,

      I appreciate your comments and it is interesting how coffee is made and the process until it comes to our cup.

      Thanks,

      Bobby

  5. When I get up in the morning, I go to my coffee machine and make a nice strong hot cappuccino, I like the aroma from the coffee after the machine grinds the beans and then froth the milk to top it off.

    I think it’s the favourite part of my day when I can sit down and enjoy my first coffee of the day. I think having a cup of coffee in the morning is the best way to start the day.

    When my wife and I go out, we like going to a coffee shop or cafe and enjoy a good coffee, I think it’s because we like the social aspect of it.

    I like your post on coffee as it’s for those who really enjoy their coffee.

    1. Adrian,

      You sound exactly like me that is why I made this website to see how many enjoy coffee as I do.

      Thank you for your comments.

      Bobby

  6. I love coffee and I love your post about coffee as well! Very informative post, Bobby! I still have the smell of fresh grinding coffee in my nose! I love to have at least two cups of coffee every day! I enjoy drinking hot coffee in the winter and cold in the summer! Always black and strong!
    Best wishes,
    Rebecca!

    1. Rebecca,

      It is great that you are also a coffee drinker and there is nothing like the aroma of fresh ground coffee in the morning. As a matter of fact, I am having my first cup of coffee as I am responding to you. But, I don’t drink it black I just have a little bit of creamer in it.

      I really appreciate your comments.

      Thank you,

      Bobby

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