Coffee a necessity, an addiction, a drug whatever it is to you, let us take you on a journey to discover the art of the perfect coffee.
Coffee is one of the worlds most popular beverages with a reported 1 billion plus cups consumed each year.
The majority of commercial coffee comes from two species of coffee beans the Coffea robusta and Coffea arabica however there are about 25 species worldwide that produce beans.
The robusta bean is generally used in espresso blends and instant coffee. It is a high yielding plant and thus its beans are cheaper. It is also high in caffeine, about twice as potent as the arabica.
Arabica produces a full-bodied rich coffee, which connoisseurs consider superior.
Much coffee that is consumed is ground. The size of the grinds is critical in determining the quality of the drink.
Finely ground coffee is similar in texture to confectioner’s sugar and the resulting brew is heavy and rich, ideal for espresso. However, if it is too finely ground it slows the brewing process and produces a bitter taste.
Medium ground coffee, which is used for automatic drip brewing, should feel like beach sand.
And coarse ground coffee which has the texture of coarse salt is ideally suited to the percolator. If it is too coarse however the resultant coffee will be weak and watery due to brewing to quickly.
Then there is the quick and easy instant coffee, which is made from blending, roasting and grinding the beans into a soluble powder.
Years ago, you just had coffee. But now there are heaps of choices, each with it’s on distinct personality.
Espresso aka Short Black – 20ml of strong, black coffee served with a layer of ‘crema’ on top.
Affogato (which means to drown) – a coffee ice-cream. Two thirds a glass of ice-cream with two shots of espresso poured over top.
Caffe latte (which means coffee with milk) – is an espresso topped up with steamed milk and a little froth on top.
Cappuccino – is an espresso, topped with two thirds steamed milk and one third froth. Then with a dusting of drinking chocolate on top.
Long Black – hot water is added and then espresso on top.
Macchiato (which means stained) – is simply an espresso with a dash of warm milk.
Mocha – is an espresso blended with drinking chocolate and topped with frothed milk.
In recent years coffee has become very social and at times it can appear a little over-whelming. At least now, next time you “go out for coffee” you will know which one to order.