All about Coffee

What Is Coffee?

Everyone recognizes a roasted coffee bean but unless you have lived or traveled in a coffee growing country, you might not recognize an actual coffee tree. Pruned short in cultivation, but capable of growing more than 30 feet high, a coffee tree is covered with dark-green, waxy leaves growing opposite each other in pairs. Coffee cherries grow along the tree’s branches. It takes nearly a year for a cherry to mature after the flowering of the fragrant, white blossoms. Because it grows in a continuous cycle, it is not unusual to see flowers, green fruit and ripe fruit simultaneously on a single tree. Read more…

The History of Coffee

In the Ethiopian highlands, where the legend of Kaldi, the goatherd, originated, coffee trees grow today as they have for centuries. Though we will never know with certainty, there probably is some truth to the Kaldi legend. It is said that he discovered coffee after noticing that his goats, upon eating berries from a certain tree, became so spirited that they did not want to sleep at night. Read more…

10 Steps to Coffee  (From the Seed to the Cup)

High on a lush, steep hillside covered with coffee trees, a picker carries a heavy bag filled with a long day’s work. The bag contains ripe, red coffee cherries. Months from now, the beans from that day’s harvest might be the very ones you purchase at your favorite store. Between the time that he picked them and you purchase them, the beans went through a series of steps very much like this. Read more…

How to Store Coffee

Storage is integral to maintaining your coffee’s freshness and flavor. It is important to keep it away from excessive air, moisture, heat, and light — in that order — in order to preserve its fresh-roast flavor as long as possible. Coffee beans are decorative and beautiful to look at but you will compromise the taste of your coffee if you store your beans in ornamental, glass canisters on your kitchen countertop. Doing so will cause them to become stale and your coffee will quickly lose its fresh flavor. Read more…

How to Brew Coffee

There are many methods for brewing a fine cup of coffee — no single technique is right for everyone. The method you choose for brewing your coffee should be based on your needs and your unique coffee preferences. Do you want a hearty mug of coffee for breakfast? An afternoon cappucino? Or a dessert espresso? Do you prefer a milder coffee or a more robust coffee flavor? The quality and flavor of your coffee is not only determined by the brewing process you prefer but also by the type of coffee you select. Read more…

The Value of Coffee

By any name, in any language, or at any time of day, coffee is a popular beverage. Aside from its great taste and the endless ways one can enjoy a cup of coffee, coffee is also a great value. Did you know that, on average, you pay less than a dime for each cup of coffee you prepare at home? Here is something else you may not know about coffee – before being roasted, coffee beans are green. Unroasted coffee—known in the industry as green coffee —is sold as a commodity on the world market. The cost of coffee is, therefore, affected by anything that alters the worldwide supply, such as drastic weather conditions like freezing temperatures or drought. But even with occasional price increases, coffee is still inexpensive, especially compared to the cost of other beverages. Read more…

Coffee Recipes

Almond Coffee Cream: 2 teaspoons coffee, finely ground to a powder, ¼ cup skim milk, 2 egg whites, ½ teaspoon salt, low-calorie sugar substitute (equal to ¼ cup sugar), 1/8 teaspoon almond extract, ¼ cup finely chopped almonds, 4 ounces nondairy whipped topping (thawed).

Dissolve coffee in milk and set aside.
Add the salt to the egg whites and beat until foamy. Gradually add the sugar substitute and continue to beat until the mixture forms stiff, shiny peaks. Blend in the coffee/milk mixture, almond extract, and chopped almonds. Fold in the dietetic topping.
Spoon into individual parfait glasses. Garnish with additional chopped almonds if desired. Freeze until firm.
Serves 6. Get more recipes…

Roasting Types

Roasting is a heat process that turns coffee into the fragrant, dark brown beans with which we are most familiar. Before being roasted, the beans were stored green, a state in which they can be kept without loss of quality or taste. Once roasted, however, they should be used as quickly as possible before the fresh roast flavor begins to diminish. Roasting is a technical skill which approaches an art form. It takes years of training to become an expert roaster with the ability to “read” the beans and make decisions with split second timing. The difference between perfectly roasted coffee and a ruined batch can be a matter of seconds. Read more…

Coffee from Around the World

Coffee trees produce their best beans when grown at high altitudes in a tropical climate where there is rich soil. Such conditions are found around the world in locations along the Equatorial zone, between latitudes 25 degrees North and 30 degrees South. Besides location, other factors affect the quality and flavor of coffee. These include the variety of the plant, the chemistry of the soil in which it is grown, the weather, particularly the amount of rainfall and sunshine, and the precise altitude at which the coffee grows. Read more…

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