In certain parts of the world, where the winters are long and grey coffee thrives! Coffee is the second largest commodity in the world. Coffee is in!
In fact even in hot climates coffee works well, it can be either hot or cold.
What is coffee?
Coffee grows on trees, the tree produces berries, something like cherries which are green, turning red when mature and ripe ready for picking.
The soil affects the coffee taste, as does the geology altitude, rainfall and processing.
The processing of coffee beans involves fermenting which is necessary in order to break down the mucilage surrounding the coffee beans.
Without the process of fermentation coffee would be a very bitter seed to swallow.
A good cuppa
OK, admittedly a lot depends on the machine you are using and I don’t know what method you have right now. I can however recommend plenty of options right here.
With that out of the way, the first most fundamental thing to consider is the coffee beans.
Coffee is perishable so buying little and often is the best bet. If you can buy fresh beans very couple of weeks from a specialist supplier then you are looking at producing the finest coffee.
A clean coffee pot is absolutely essential for tasting your coffee. So whatever process your coffee is going through, buy the best machine you can afford.
Even the cup is important (especially for espresso coffees); look for one that suits your needs. Small white bone china or a supersize French style cup and saucer, a lot depends on your personal preference. Warm your cup if you are drinking hot coffee!
Use fresh cold filtered water (not distilled). If your tap water is metallic, sulfurous, full of fluorine, hardened with lime then it will reflect in the taste of your coffee.
For the best extraction water should be maintained at between 195 and 205 degrees F.
Coffee grinder, Burr or Blade?
There are two different types of grinder; Burr grinders crush the beans by way of a grinding moving wheel and static surface. The position of the Burr will dictate the how coarsely ground your beans are, it will give you consistent grinding which ultimately gives you more control over the outcome of your cup of coffee.
The disadvantage of Burr grinders is that they are more costly.
Blade grinders will grind finer the longer you run the grinder. You may find that the coffee is not as evenly ground as with a Burr grinder. You may need to adjust the amount of time you spend grinding, using short bursts.
They are considerably less expensive.
Grind your beans when you are ready to brew, daily is better than less frequently if you can.
For espresso coffee you really want extra finely ground coffee, 25 to 30 seconds of grinding should do the trick.
For other methods of making a cup a pot or cup of coffee you will want more coarsely ground coffee.
How much coffee
Check your machine manual for the exact amount of coffee to use.
What is your favorite?
No this is not a lesson in Italian and French!
Some of the coffees on the menu are;
- Espresso solo; single shot of strong black coffee
- Americano; an espresso made with a little extra water (more suitable for the tourist taste)
- Doppio; is a double shot of espresso
- Freddo; is iced coffee (cold)
- Hag; is decaffeinated coffee
- Latte; espresso with hot milk added (often served in a glass)
- Macchiato; served with a small portion of steamed milk
- Marocchino; espresso with a dash of milk and cacao powder
- Cappuccino; espresso with lots of steamed foamy milk (morning coffee)
- Granite di cafe con panna; really icy, coffee poured over ice and topped with whipped cram
- Café au lait
It is interesting to see so many Italian names; coffee is clearly big business for the Italians!
With only one French expression, café au lait, meaning coffee with milk. To be more precise it is a strong brew of coffee with warm milk added.
I nearly forget to mention Mocha, which means different things to different coffee shops says Espresso Gusto, so it is best to check what they mean my mocha, but basically it will have chocolate added somewhere along the line.
Excuse me for cutting you short now, but you may have guessed it is now time for my coffee break.