There was a time in America where Folger’s coffee dominated, with instant and drip varieties, taken with sugar and/or milk. Then, our world expanded with Skybury from Australia to Peaberry from Kenya, and let’s not forget Barcelona’s Kona. Nowadays, there are so many varieties of great coffees, blends from so many countries, it is positively mind-boggling.
Not surprising to note that after just over a century, Brazil is now the world’s largest coffee producer. It has space enough for one third of the world’s coffee growing area. It has produced South America’s delicious blends from Minas Gerais to Bahia.
Popayan and Narino blends are probably from the best-known producer, Columbia. These are mellow, sweet, and delightful and offer both excelso and supremo.
Beyond these coffee bean producing giants lies a wide world of varied blends with their vast spectrum of colourful choices.
See: coffee storage jars
South and Central America’s northern neighbor, Mexico, has risen to compete with them. The delicate and slightly acidic mellowness of these tiny beans are widely enjoyed. However, for a real jolt, the strong cubano, which is taken like a tequila shot, flows warmingly from the shores of Cuba.
The world’s fourth largest coffee producer provides perfectly warm and damp climatic conditions for coffee. Indonesia is world-renowned for its deep and not so acidic drink.
Nearby Malaysia stands as stiff competition with the not so perfect Liberica. This strong cup is brewed by filtering the grounds through a muslin bag. However, in the searing heat of Thailand, the chicory-laced brew is best served cold with plenty of ice and sweet condensed milk.
From the volcanic soil of Mauna Loa in Hawaii, one can sip a more medium and aromatic taste. Sumatra’s is full and richly flavored. With a distinctive, difficult to describe aftertaste, the Beanya comes literally down from 17,000 feet to the arid landscape of Kenya with great deepness and smoothness.
All these are thanks to the crushing and roasting techniques combined with hot water filtering of the 1400’s. Some of the earliest coffee lovers were born then, too.
Europeans, however, take a back row. Coffee in France is still made from half milk and half coffee – café au lait. Austria prefers their Viennese combo with a mixture of regular and dark, 1/3 to 2/3, and has done for hundreds of years.
Our love of espressos from Italy is all thanks to famous Italians Luigi Bezzera (1901) and M. Cremonesi (1938). They are less caffeinated than most and more than one doesn’t leave one feeling guilty. If that is too strong then a milky latte is perfect. Why not savor the drink named after the hooded part of a monk’s robe or habit – cappuccino, blended lovingly nowadays in modern cappuccino machines right in your kitchen. However, there is still nothing more cost effective and delicious before the morning commute than a couple of cups of good old American. Even drunk black, it is well worth waiting for!