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Coffee is the most popular beverage worldwide with over 400 billion cups consumed each year. Coffee, as a world commodity, is second only to oil. Only about 20% of harvested coffee beans are considered to be a premium bean of the highest quality. The 4,400 Arabica coffee cherries it takes to make a roasted kilogram of coffee are normally picked by hand as they ripen. Since each cherry contains two beans, it takes about 8,800 Arabica beans to make a kilogram of roasted coffee. Coffee sacks are usually made of hemp and weigh approximately 60 kilogram when they are full of green coffee beans. It takes over 600,000 beans to fill a coffee sack.
Until the late 1800's, people roasted their coffee at home. Popcorn poppers and stove-top frying pans were favored.
In the year 1809, Melitta Bentz made a filter out of her son's notebook paper, thus inventing the world's first drip coffee maker. The vacuum pack, invented in 1898, made it possible to preserve roasted coffee. Preserved coffee, though, not fresh coffee. Citrus has been added to coffee for several hundred years.
Our sense of smell, more than any of our other senses, makes our final judgment on coffee.
Coffee, along with beer and peanut butter, is on the national list of the "ten most recognizable odors."
Coffee lends its popularity to the fact that just about all flavors mix well with it.
Nomadic tribes preserved the coffee cherries to transport them long distances. Coffee trees are evergreen and grow to heights above 15 feet but are normally pruned to around 8 feet in order to facilitate harvesting. Coffee trees produce highly aromatic, short-lived flowers producing a scent between jasmine and orange. These blossoms produce cranberry-sized coffee cherries. Coffee beans are similar to grapes that produce wine in that they are affected by the temperature, soil conditions, altitude, rainfall, drainage and degree of ripeness when picked.
Coffee is grown commercially in over forty-five countries throughout the world.
Before roasting, some green coffee beans are stored for years, and experts believe that certain beans improve with age, when stored properly. About 1885, a process by which natural gas heats a roasting chamber and hot air is the only heating medium was developed, and this remains the best and most popular method of roasting coffee. The vast majority of coffee available to consumers are blends of different beans.
Coffee is generally roasted between 205° C and 220° C. The longer it is roasted, the darker the roast. Roasting time is usually from ten to twenty minutes.
After they are roasted, and when the beans begin to cool, they release about 700 chemical substances that make up the vaporizing aromas.
Over-roasted coffee beans are very flammable during the roasting process.
After the decaffeinating process, processing companies no longer throw the caffeine away; they sell it to pharmaceutical companies. Commercially flavored coffee beans are flavored after they are roasted and partially cooled. Then the flavors are applied, when the coffee beans' pores are open and therefore more receptive to flavor absorption.
Studies tell us the human body will absorb only 300 milligrams of caffeine at a given time. Additional amounts are cast off and will provide no additional stimulation. The human body dissipates 20% of the caffeine in the system each hour.
Roasted coffee beans start to lose small amounts of flavor within two weeks. Ground coffee begins to lose its flavor in one hour. Brewed coffee and espresso begins to lose flavor within minutes.
Fruit-based flavors all mix well with coffee. Irish cream and Hazelnut are the most popular whole bean coffee flavorings.
Regular coffee drinkers have about one-third less asthma symptoms than those noncoffee drinkers. So says a Harvard researcher who studied 20,000 people.
Africa & Arabia
The most widely accepted legend associated to the discovery of coffee is of the goatherder named Kaldi of Ethiopia. Around the year 800-850 A.D., Kaldi was amazed as he noticed his goats behaving in a frisky manner after eating the leaves and berries of a coffee shrub. And, of course, he had to try them! Raw coffee beans, soaked in water and spices, are chewed like candy in many parts of Africa. The Arabica is the original coffee plant. It still grows wild in Ethiopia. The Arabs are generally believed to be the first to brew coffee. In the 14th century, the Arabs started to cultivate coffee plants. The first commercially grown and harvested coffee originated in the Arabian Peninsula near the port of Mocha.
The first coffee drinkers, the Arabs, flavored their coffee with spices during the brewing process.
It was the early 1400's, and with alcohol forbidden by the Koran, coffee soon became the replacement beverage.
In the ancient Arab world, coffee became such a staple in family life that one of the causes allowed by law for marital separation was a husband's refusal to produce coffee for his wife. A four verse poem to coffee was written in Mecca in 1511. It was one of the first.
America (North & South)
In 1670, Dorothy Jones of Boston was granted a license to sell coffee, and so became the first American coffee trader. The founding fathers of the U.S., during the revolution, formed their national strategies in coffeehouses. The heavy tea tax imposed on the colonies in 1773, which caused the "Boston Tea Party," resulted in America switching from tea to coffee. Drinking coffee was an expression of freedom. In early America, coffee was usually taken between meals and after dinner.
In the year 1790, there were two firsts in the United States; the first wholesale coffee roasting company, and the first newspaper advertisement featuring coffee.
By 1850, the manual coffee grinder found its way to most upper middle class kitchens of the U.S.
The Civil War in the United States elevated the popularity of coffee to new heights. Soldiers went to war with coffee beans as a primary ration.
In 1900, coffee was often delivered door-to-door in the United States, by horse-pulled wagons.
Coffee represents 75% of all the caffeine consumed in the United States.
The average annual coffee consumption of the American adult is 26.7 gallons, or over 400 cups. In 1990, over 4 billion dollars of coffee was imported into the United States. The modern day espresso street vending cart evolved from a Boeing Company shuttle cart, purchased from surplus, and was first utilized to serve people espresso at an arts and crafts fair in Edmonds, Washington. Hawaii is the only state of the United States in which coffee is commercially grown. Hawaii features an annual Kona Festival, a coffee picking contest. Each year the winner becomes a state celebrity. In Hawaii coffee is harvested between November and April. In 1727, as a result of seedlings smuggled from Paris, coffee plants first were cultivated in Brazil. Brazil is presently by far the world's largest producer of coffee. Brazil accounts for almost 1/3 of the world's coffee production, producing over 3-1/3 billion pounds of coffee each year. Over 5 million people in Brazil are employed by the coffee trade. Most of those are involved with the cultivation and harvesting of more than 3 billion coffee plants.
Asia & Pacific
By 1600 A.D., coffee drinking had come to the Orient. It soon became very popular. Japan Japan ranks Number 3 in the world for coffee consumption. In Japan, coffee shops are called Kissaten. Iced coffee in a can has been popular in Japan since 1945.
Over 10,000 coffee cafes plus several thousand vending machines with both hot and cold coffee serve the needs of Tokyo alone.
For reducing wrinkles and improving their skin, the Japanese have been known to bathe in coffee grounds fermented with pineapple pulp.
Australia & New Zealand
Australians consume 60% more coffee than tea, a six fold increase since 1940.
Europe (West & East)
Those British are sophisticated people, in almost everything except their choice of coffee. They still drink instant ten-to-one over fresh brewed. It was during the 1600's that the first coffee mill made its debut in London. Lloyd's of London began as Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse. Coffee as a medicine reached its highest and lowest point in the 1600's in England. Wild medical contraptions to administer a mixture of coffee and an assortment of heated butter, honey, and oil, became treatments for the sick. Soon tea replaced coffee as the national beverage. Coffee was first known in Europe as Arabian Wine.
In the last three centuries, 90% of all people living in the Western world have switched from tea to coffee.
The Europeans first added chocolate to their coffee in the 1600's. Before the first French cafe in the late 1700's, coffee was sold by street vendors in Europe, in the Arab fashion. The Arabs were the forerunners of the sidewalk espresso carts of today.
France Milk as an additive to coffee became popular in the 1680's, when a French physician recommended that cafe au lait be used for medicinal purposes. The first Parisian cafe opened in 1689 to serve coffee. Adding sugar to coffee is believed to have started in 1715, in the court of King Louis XIV, the French monarch. In the book, Trip Through Happy Arabia, a Frenchman documented his travels through Arabia. This was in the year 1716, and in it was one of the first documentations of the history of coffee. The prototype of the first espresso machine was created in France in 1822. The French philosopher, Voltaire, reportedly drank fifty cups of coffee a day. Greece & Turkey Turkey began to roast and grind the coffee bean in the 13th Century, and some 300 years later, in the 1500's, the country had become the chief distributor of coffee, with markets established in Egypt, Syria, Persia, and Venice, Italy. In Greece and Turkey, the oldest person is most always served their coffee first. In 1554 in Constantinople, two coffeehouses opened. They did very well. Soon there were many.
Finely grinding coffee beans and boiling them in water is still known as "Turkish Coffee." It is still made this way today in Turkey and Greece or anywhere else Turkish Coffee is served.
Italy - including Venice The Venetians first introduced coffee to Europe in 1615. In the later part of the 1600's, a cafe in Venice began serving beverages made from water and ice. It also served roasted coffee. The year was 1716 when Venetian coffee shop merchants began distributing leaflets exalting their new product: coffee. This may be the first example of advertising for coffee shops. Bach wrote a coffee cantata in 1732.
In the year 1763, there were over 200 coffee shops in Venice Italy now has over 200,000 coffee bars, and still growing. The first commercial espresso machine was manufactured in Italy in 1906. Espresso is to Italy what champagne is to France. In Italy, coffee and espresso are synonymous. In Italy, espresso is considered so essential to daily life that the price is regulated by the government. The average age of an Italian barista is 48 years old. A barista is a respected job title in Italy.
Italians do not drink espresso during meals. It is considered to be a separate event and is given its own time.
Retail espresso vendors report an increase in decaffeinated sales in the month of January due to New Year's resolutions to decrease caffeine intake. Latte' is the Italian word for milk. So if you request a latte' in Italy, you'll be served a glass of milk. Scandinavia Scandinavia has the world's highest per capita annual coffee consumption, 12 kg. Italy has an annual consumption per capita of only 4.5 kg. Russia Frederick the great had his coffee made with champagne and a bit of mustard.
How to say Coffee in different languages
Country Cambodia China China/Hong Kong Czechoslovakia Denmark Egypt Israel Finland France Germany Greece Hawaii Hungary India Indonesia Iran Iraq Israel Italy Japan Jordan Laos Lebanon Malaysia Mexico Netherlands Norway Philippines Poland Portugal Russia South Africa Spain Spain-basque country Swahili Syria Thailand Turkey Language Khmer Mandarin Cantonese Czech Danish Egyptian Yiddish Finnish French German Greek Hawaiian Hungarian Hindi Indonesian Iranian Arabic Hebrew Italian Japanese Arabic Laotian Arabic Malayan Spanish Dutch Norwegian Tagalog Polish Portuguese Russian Afrikaans Spanish Basque Swahili Arabic Thai Turkish Coffee Gafe Kafei Kia-fey Kava Kaffe Masbout Kave Kahvi Cafe Kaffee Kafes Kope Kave Coffee Kope Gehve Qahwa Kavah, Kaffee Caffe Koohii Qahwa Kafe Qahwa Kawa, Koppi Cafe Koffie Kaffe Kape Kawa Cafe Kofe Koffie Cafe Kaffia Kahawa Qahwa Kafe Kahve
The language of coffee tasting
Aftertaste: The sensation of brewed coffee vapors, ranging from carbony to chocolately, spicy to turpeny, as they are released from the residue remaining in the mouth after swallowing. Alkaline: A dry, clawing sensation at the back of the tongue caused by alkaline and phenolic compounds that have bitter but not necessarily displeasing tastes; characteristic of dark roasts and some Indonesian coffees. Aroma: The odor or fragrance of brewed coffee. "Bouquet" is a less frequently used term, often employed to refer to the smell of coffee grounds. Aroma is often distinctive and complex; terms used to describe it include caramelly (candy- or syrup-like), carbony (for dark roasts), chocolately, fruity, floral, malty (cereal-like), rich, round, and spicy. Astringent: A puckering, salty sensation felt on the anterior sides of the tongue when coffee is first sipped. Baked: A taste and odor taint that gives coffee a flat bouquet and insipid taste. This taint is caused by the application of too little heat over too long a period during roasting (specifically, when roasts take longer than 18 minutes). Bitter: A basic taste sensation perceived primarily at the back of the tongue. Dark roasts are intentionally bitter; otherwise, bitterness is primarily associated with extraction. Bland: The pale, insipid flavor often found in lowgrown coffees. Underextracted coffee is also bland. Briny: A salty sensation caused by exposure to excessive heat after the brewing is complete. Buttery: Rich and oily in flavor and texture, characteristic of some Indonesian varietals (for example, Sulawesi). Caramelized: A sweet, almost-burnt, syrupy flavor not unlike the experience of caramelized sugar. Clean: The opposite of dirty, and a characteristic of all fine washed coffees.
Earthy: A positive characteristic when applied to dry processing; the herbal, musty, mushroom-like range of flavors characteristic of Indonesian varietals. For washed coffees, tasting "earthy" is a defect. Exotic: Characteristic of the coffees from East Africa, exotic refers to unusual flavor notes, such as floral and berry-like (containing black currant or blueberry notes, for example). Conversely, Latin American coffees, whose characteristic clean, acidy flavors provide the standard of reference, are generally not exotic. Ferment: A taste fault in the coffee beans that produces a highly objectionable spoiled-fruit taste. Ferment is the result of enzymatic activity that occurs during the drying process, changing sugars to acids in the green coffee beans. Unlike dirtiness and mustiness, which can be disguised by dark roasting, ferment becomes worse the longer the beans cook. It is the most dreaded and common defect found in washed coffees, and tasters spend a lot of time looking for it. Flat: An odor taint that occurs as a result of aromatic compounds departing from beans during the staling process in both whole-bean and ground coffee, or during the holding process in brewed coffee. Fruit-like: A descriptor that refers to the natural aroma of berries and that also correlates with the perception of high acidity. It should be distinguished from fruity, which is the first stage of the taste defect ferment. Grassy: A taste and odor defect that gives coffee the character of newly mown alfalfa or green grass. Green: An herbal, grassy character caused by incomplete development of flavor due to improper roasting. It may also be present in the early pickings of a new harvest. Hard: A harsh, medicinal, iodine-like flavor defect often caused by letting cherries dry on the tree. It is found primarily in lower grades of Brazilian coffee. Insipid: The lifeless flavor of coffee brewed from stale beans. Mellow: A term used to describe a well-balanced coffee of low to medium acidity. Mild: Denotes a coffee with harmonious, delicate flavors. For example, fine, high-grown Central American coffees are often described as mild. Mild is also a coffee trade term for arabica coffee grown anywhere in the world outside of Brazil.
Musty: A taint that gives coffee beans a moldy odor. This taint is caused by the presence of fungus on or in beans during drying or shipment. Neutral: This quality is characterized by the absence of any predominant taste sensation on any part of the tongue when a coffee is first sipped. Nutty: A descriptor that refers to the aroma of fresh nutmeats, usually accompanied by specifics, such as "walnut-like". Past-crop: A distinct woody flavor accompanied by loss of acidity and found in green coffees held in storage for more than a year. Quakery: A Taste taint that gives brewed coffee a pronounced peanutty flavor. This taint is caused by including unripe, green coffee cherries in the harvest. After roasting, the beans remain light in color and markedly undeveloped. Rubbery: An intense, burnt-rubber character usually found in robusta coffees caused by allowing the coffee fruit to begin drying on the shrub. Scorched: A visual and taste defect that is a more severe relative of tipping (burning the ends of beans by applying excessive heat during roasting). The flat surfaces of scorched beans appear and are charred; coffee brewed from these beans leaves an unpleasant, smoky-burnt aftertaste. Soft: A tasting term used for low-acid coffees such as the Indonesians. Soft coffees may also be described as mellow or sweet. Sour: A primary taste perceived mainly on the posterior sides of the tongue. This taste is characteristic of light-roasted coffees. Spicy: An aroma or flavor that recalls a particular spice: peppery, cardamom-like, cedar cigar box-like, etc. Strong: A general descriptor that refers to a large presence of flavor and aroma, or to the relative proportion of soluble solids to water in a given brew. Sweet: A general term that refers to coffees that are smooth and palatable. Tangy: An aggressive sourness almost fruit-like in nature; related to winyness. Fine, high-grown Costa Rican coffees are frequently described as being tangy.
Thin: Lacking in flavor and watery in body; characteristic of low-grown coffees. Wild: A descriptor that indicates extreme flavor characteristics. It can be a defect or a positive attribute. Wild denotes odd, racy or even gamy nuances of flavor and aroma. Ethiopian coffees, especially Harrar and Djimmah, are the textbook examples. Winy: Despite all the jokes about "whiny" coffees, winy is a desirable flavor quality that implies characteristics of the finest red wines. Kenya coffees are classic examples: heady and intoxicating. Woody: A taste characteristic primarily of past-crop coffees. This flavor, when less severe, may also be referred to as "strawy".
Brew Basics - Ritual in Your Cup
Origin: Germany, 1940s At a Glance: The key to the Chemex method is the fractional extraction of only the desirable parts of the coffee bean, which leaves the coffee fats and bitter elements in the coffee grounds and not in the cup. Prepared in a simple hourglass beaker, coffee is brewed through grainy paper filters that are 20 to 30 percent heavier than other filters in order to strain out all sediment. Usage: After dropping medium-grind coffee into the filter, add just enough water (30 seconds off the boil) to pre-wet the grounds so that they swell and prepare to infuse. After that water has dripped through, continue to pour water through the grounds but keep the water level below the top of the Chemax
Origin: France, 1819 At a Glance: Sometimes called the neopoletana, the Flip-Drip is made up of two cylindrical pots and a screened compartment in between. It's three compartments serve three different purposes: one to hold the water, one to hold the coffee and one to act as a filter. Usage: Many appreciate the fact that water temperature is a personal choice when using the flip-drip, providing increased control. After the water in the bottom compartment is heated to one's liking, turn the Flip-Drip over, allowing the water to trickle through the coffee grounds in the the other section. The water and coffee end up in the former top chamber, which is now the bottom and acts as a coffee pot.
Origin: Italy, 1920s
At a Glance: Requiring neither a paper filter nor electricity, the French Press, also known as the French Plunger, is a favorite among coffee enthusiasts seeking the ultimate untainted brew. Usage: Deposit coarsely ground coffee into the bottom of the pot and add water heated to between 190 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Stir with plastic or wooden spoon (metal can scratch or chip the glass beaker). Place the plunger unit on top of the pot and steep for four to five minutes. Hold the pot handle firmly and use the weight of your hand to apply pressure on top of the knob, lowering the plunger straight down.
Origin: Italy, 1933 At a Glance: During the 1920s, machinist and coffee enthusiast Alfonso Bialetti noticed the laundry methods used by local Italian washerwomen. They boiled laundry in tubs with a central pipe in the middle, which would draw up the soapy water and redistribute it. Bialetti imagined that a simple coffee machine could be fashioned after this model in order to produce real espresso at home. Usage: Filter the bottom reservoir of the pot with water up to the pressure release valve. Add coffee to the filter basket, being careful not to pack it down; as the coffee becomes wet, it will expand. Drop the filter basket into the bottom, assemble the top and set the apparatus on medium heat. Brewing should take five minutes. If it takes longer, try raising the heat the next time. Brewing is complete when all the water has been percolated into the top.
Origin: The Middle East, more than 1000 years ago At a Glance: This Kind of coffee brew was discovered by the Arabs as they ventured into Africa the homeland of coffee. They started their own coffee plantations and soon established the ritual around coffee brewing and serving know as the Turkish method. Usage: Very finely ground coffee is put in the pot, known as dzezve, ibrik or cezve. Boiling water is poured into the pot, and the coffee is put on the fire. Adding sugar is recommended. The mixture will begin to foam, but it is important to keep the foam from spilling over the edge, as this foam, called kaymak, is what distinguishes Turkish coffee. Allow the brew to foam up three or four times, then pour foam first - into demitasse cups.
Origin: Invented by Scottish marine engineer Robert Napier in 1840. At a Glance: Using a process similar to percolators and siphon coffee makers, the vacuum pot method is complicated but spectacular. Traditional devices are relatively fragile and until recently, were somewhat rare. But with Bodum's Santos, an electric vacuum coffee maker, the style is making a comeback. Usage: The vacuum pot is composed of two detachable glass globes, the lower of which contains a tube akin to that of a percolator and connects to a filter (usually glass, sometimes paper or cloth) in the upper globe, where the coffee rests. As the water in the lower globe boils, the resulting vapor force it up into the elevated globe, and the coffee brews. When the pot is removed from heat, the air in the lower globe cools, creating a vacuum that sucks the brewed coffee back down through the filter into the lower globe. The top globe is removed and coffee is served from the lower globe.