If you know me, you know I love coffee. It is a well known fact that to talk to me before I have my coffee is a risk not many people are willing to take. Coffee is a brew that has been around for ages but in the past decade or so has come into it’s own in the United States. Coffee houses have sprung up on nearly every corner. Americans have to have their daily dose of caffeine. Some are loyal Starbuck customers, where others have to have their locally roasted coffee beans to be happy. It doesn’t matter where you get it or who you get it from this is a fad that will not be going away anytime soon.
Coffee was first grown in Ethiopia and can be dated back to the ninth century. The Arabians brought it into Africa when the trade routes started and it spread from there. Coffee Houses were first opened in Constantinople in 1554. Coffee first came to Europe through Italy and grew in popularity from there. It was brought to the New World in 1607 by Captain John Smith. We have him to thank for bringing this caffeine laden delicious brew to the shores of North America.
Most coffee beans are sold roasted. The roasting of the coffee beans brings out the flavor. Different roasting methods bring out different flavors in the other wise dull coffee bean. During the roasting process the green coffee bean turns brown and doubles in size. The longer it is roasted the richer and darker the coffee becomes. The lightest roast is commonly known as a Cinnamon roast which is light bodied, grassy and snappy. The darkest would be considered the Italian or Espresso roast. This roast will have a smoky richer taste. It is all in the way you like your coffee as to what roast you prefer.
Making a great cup of coffee is truly an art form. Many people will give you advice on this procedure and there are many different ways and devices to brew your cup of joe. Many of us are most familiar with. This is where hot water is poured over ground coffee in a filter and drips through to the carafe. There is also the French press that is growing in popularity in home use. Coffee grounds are added to the container. Then hot water is poured over the coffee grounds to steep. When the coffee is done it is pressed through a mesh filter on a stick. Percolating, Turkish and Espresso are other ways to brew your coffee. Each culture has a preferred method in how to fix coffee. Again this is up to the person and their taste.
There are though things that are common with all brewing methods. First it is important to get a quality coffee bean. There are many places to get your coffee from. From those big name brand to small businesses that roast their own. Make sure that you buy quality. You will get what you put into it. Next always use filter or bottle water. Tap water has minerals in it that will affect the taste of your coffee. Water temperature is important. It should be between 195′ and 200′ F. This will get the most taste from your coffee beans. If at all possible grind your own coffee beans. Fresh ground coffee has more of the essential oils. You will find that pre-ground coffee will taste stale. Don’t skimp on the amount of coffee that you use. One heaping tablespoon of coffee per cup is the accepted rate of coffee to water. Though there is some controversy on this. Any more than this and your coffee will be strong and syrupy. The last thing to remember is that fresh coffee is the best coffee. To enjoy the best coffee consume it within the first ten minutes of brewing.
And this leads us to ways to consume coffee. From simple straight up black for the coffee purist to skinny mocha lattes there are many different methods to enjoying your coffee. The best advice to give someone is to try them all. Yes I said all of them. Each one has its own uniqueness and you will never know which one you like best until you have tried them all. Try Mochas, Cappuccinos, Iced and Mexican, with all of these you will find something out there that will be uniquely for your taste buds.
I hope this Ultimate Guide to Coffee has helped to peak your interest into trying some new ways to enjoy your coffee. Coffee is important to the economy; it is a commodity on the stock exchange. It is a social affair; we as a society are next to obsessed with coffee. We have meetings over coffees, dates over coffees and I have even heard of coffee being the theme of a bridal shower. Enjoy coffee and you will have something in common with the world over.