Coffee: Is It Getting Too Complicated?

Plain coffee is fast becoming a thing of the past. It’s now quite simple to whip up a gourmet hot beverage for guest, family, or just for yourself. Nowadays there are a number of coffee clubs and circles in which coffee drinking has become somewhat of a social club. These social clubs meet in the community or on the Internet.

Where did the good old days go where you could get just a regular, good cup of coffee all across America.

It’s all because there is a big craze over coffee these days. People are almost worshipping the coffee bean now. People get a thrill out of ordering and buying special coffees from specialty stores. They really like grinding their own coffee beans. They like visiting places such as Costa Rica and bringing back their special blends. And “coffee tasting” seems to be about as popular as “wine tasting”.

They even have furniture and home interior designs with a coffee theme. This would make great gifts for the coffee buff.

Coffee got its beginnings around 900 A.D. where it was at first used as a stimulant. It was also at times used as a wine and a medicine. It doesn’t look like anything is much different today.

There are not many products such as coffee that have continued “as is” for hundreds of years. And yet people are still scrutinizing and getting creative with it today and probably will be for years to come.

What is also interesting is that coffee is second to oil in dollar volume as a world commodity.

Did you know that there is two times more caffeine in a pound of tea than in the same amount of roasted coffee? This may be good news for those of you who hate the taste of decaffeinated coffee however wait just one moment. A pound of tea will make about 160 cups whereas a pound of coffee will usually make about 40 cups. This means that a cup of tea has about 1/4th the caffeine of a cup of coffee.

See: french press guide

The content of caffeine in coffee decreases as it is grown at higher altitudes. If you want less caffeine in your coffee, grow it higher. Gourmet coffees are typically grown at higher altitudes so they have less caffeine than their grocery store counterparts.

There are many different types of coffee beans and way too many to describe in this article. Here are just a few of them:

You have Latte, Espresso, Low-Fat, Organic, Cal, Decaf, Half-Decaf, Black Forest, Cappuccino, Cafe au Lait, Alpine which has brown sugar, Arabian (lightly spiced and without filter), Cafe con Miel (Spanish for coffee with honey), and Cafe de Olla (a sweet coffee made with chocolate).

And you really should attend a coffee tasting at least once. You will get to experience how making and brewing gourmet coffee is slowly becoming a form of art. What is fun about the coffee tasting is that you could get a chance to taste two dozen or more different blends. You may even leave to start your journey as a coffee connoisseur. Any way you look at it, the tasting experience will be fun if you like coffee.

Coffee – Getting The Perfect Grind

Roasting your own coffee beans is far easier than making wine at home. You can achieve excellent results.

There are many varieties of roasters available, but it can be done in a popcorn maker or frying pan. However, you must assure that your equipment is spotlessly clean. There is nothing worse than coffee infused butter or fish oil.

Get good quality beans. Darker roasts have a lot less caffeine than the lighter ones, but they are not as acidic.

Heat your beans between 223°C to 262°C, and be fully prepared to have plenty of smoke. Ventilate your room using a fan or your stove’s exhaust. There should be no real odour, but you may also want to open your windows wide and make sure no one else is home.

Add your beans, espresso maybe and turn the heat up. Don’t forget to disable any smoke detectors.

Some roasters have thermometers, but having a portable one is best for using a frying pan. Try a candy thermometer.

As the roasting progresses, your beans will start to turn a yellow colour and then go brown. How dark they get is your choice.

As your beans get hotter, they release water and oil. This will cause pressure within the bean. You will hear loud cracking sounds. This perfectly normal, but to ensure perfect roasting, to not over roast or burn some of the beans, continuously stir them. This will happen after about 4 to 7 minutes.

Your beans will start caramelising inside as the sugars begin to burn. Check the colour about every 30 seconds, but the degree of brownness is up to your personal taste.

See: Best coffee french press

If you keep roasting for enough time, you may hear a second very loud crack. The beans will be overdone and very dark. If you continue you will not be roasting, but burning them, removing the sugars. Most of us would not be able to stomach coffee made from this.

Empty your roasted beans into a colander, preferably metal to cool down. Jostle them a little to help cool them. You will notice that the beans’ thin skins will detach as you jostle them. These will need to be removed, usually using a cooking screen (meshed).

Experiment a little with small amounts of beans at a time to get varied levels of darkening and time. This will help you to develop the flavour that you prefer. However, stop the roasting process early, as the beans will continue to roast due to the heat that they still contain inside.

If you opt for the popcorn maker, get a machine that lets you jostle the beans to keep the air circulating and prevent them from sticking to the sides. Alternatively, use a cast iron frying pan for stovetop roasting. However, this method requires lots of watching and stirring. Once the roasting begins, it will continue rapidly. However, once your beans are cooled you can throw them into your coffee grinder and prepare that perfect homemade cup of delicious coffee.

Coffee – From Coffee Beans To Coffee Grinding

So, you are the happy owner of a coffee/espresso machine. But do you really know how to get the most out of it? Here are a few handy pointers that should help you to make the perfect espresso coffee time and time again.

Tip 1 – Let Your Coffee/espresso Machine fully Heat Up

The inner workings of your coffee machine that hold water items like the boiler are classically made of metal. Allowing this equipment to heat up by turning on your coffee machine at least 10 min preceding the 1st coffee will make a more steady heat for your coffees. Also use this time to heat your coffee cups before use, use the steam nozzle in hot water mode to fill the cups. Some coffee machines have built in cup heaters that take a few minutes to warm up.

Tip 2 – Use Fresh Water

With coffee, everything has to be fresh. Empty out your coffee machine water container every day when you are making your 1st coffee. You should use filtered water and you will definitely taste the difference. Using filtered water will also lengthen the life of your coffee machine; reducing calcification and lime scale build up.

Tip 3 – Use Fresh Coffee beans

If you do not have an automatic coffee machine that has a grinder built in then you will need to buy a separate one. Every time you use your coffee machine, only ever grind enough coffee beans for that measure of coffee. This will give you a glowing creme on top of your coffee or espresso. Store your beans in the freezer until it’s to use them, this will help them to hold their flavour.

See: coffee frothers

Tip 4 – Use The Correct Grind And Correct Tamping

Talk to your coffee supplier about your coffee machine and make sure that he is giving you the correct ground coffee. If possible use your own grinder to attain the most favourable fineness. Gently pack your freshly ground coffee into the filter handle, do not pack to much or press to hard or you won’t reach a decent flow rate. A excellent rule of thumb is that it should take about 25 seconds for 30ml of coffee to be poured.

Tip 5 – Experiment

There are so many variables at work with a coffee machine that you will need to make a lot of coffees to truly realize the different coffees you can make. The temperature, the beans, the grind and the flow rate will all give diverse tasting coffees. You will know you are getting it right when your coffee machine produces a thick golden creme and a sweet, rich espresso coffee.

Coffee – Finding The Right Grinder

When exposed to air, coffee beans will oxidize. Coffee grounds suffer this more so because they have a larger surface than the beans and lack the beans’ protective skin. Home coffee grinders allow you to stop the level of exposure and produce the freshest grind. Most importantly, grinding can be done when you need it.

Everything has a price, though. Picking the best grinder can make the messy and long process of grinding much more rewarding.

See: electric milk frother

There are three main types – blade, crusher and burr. The crusher is the ancient way of using a pestle and mortar to mash the beans. This process is difficult and gives an uneven grind because it just crushes them – not highly recommended. Blade grinders chop. The blade whirls, slicing the beans into small grounds – still not the best because the grains are not the same size and not all the oils are released, varying the flavour and dissipating a lot of the flavour. However, burrs use motorised plates with teeth that are pyramid in shape, allowing for the perfect grind. Better burrs allow for varied grain sizes because the speed can be adjusted accordingly.

The burr allows for the perfect brew. Speed control keeps the heating of the beans low.

Burrs have two categories. Professionals prefer the conical. It is noisy however. Good ones can go up to 500 rpm. Top quality ones go up to speeds of 10 thousand rpm, with their blades spinning at about twenty to thirty thousand rpm. This allows for fine grinds for Turkish coffee, for example. Some come with a dial for continuous speed adjustments. Others have buttons for some varied 40 different speed adjustments.

Beyond that you should look for ones that are solid in construction, easy to clean and preferably less noisy. They should also include a brush for cleaning and easy to remove upper type burrs (blades). Beware of construction materials that cause static electricity. This can let the grounds stick to the blades and the container.

Other useful features include a timer and an auto-switchoff. It also helps to be able watch the beans as the grinding takes place. Without this you cannot decide if the grind is ready. So, try to find one that doesn’t use glass or darkish plastic as this hinders your view. You should be able to judge the grind by its colour, but if you cannot see them then this is a problem.

Finally, do your research and read all the reviews you can find about each grinder that interests you before you buy it. When you find the right one, you will be pleased with the fresh and flavoursome cup of coffee you produce.

Cleaning Coffee Makers

Every restaurant worker is very familiar with the entire process that goes with cleaning coffee makers. A better part of an hour at the end of each shift is spent rinsing out the coffee pitcher for both regular and decaffeinated coffee brands offered. The pitchers were cleaned at the end of the previous shift and some restaurant workers do not feel that they need to be cleaned again.

It is easy to tell which restaurants are good about cleaning coffee makers, and which ones do not put their best efforts into getting all of the pieces clean. The taste of the coffee alone will alert customers to whether people have been doing what they are supposed to do at the end of every shift. There is usually one person assigned in a restaurant to make sure that the cleaning of coffee makers is done on a regular schedule.

The coffee pitchers will give evidence that someone is cleaning coffee makers when they do not have any residue built up on the inside of the glass. Coffee contains oils and these oils will rise to the top of a coffee server and by the end of the shift the residue will cling to the sides and form a full sized ring at the top that gives evidence of how full the pitcher was most of the time during the shift.

There are sanitizing agents that restaurants use for cleaning coffee makers. Many of the parts to a coffee service can not be put into a sanitizing machine where plates and dishes are washed. The plastic on the coffee server system will melt from the high heat environment inside of this aluminum dishwashing machine.

People can use degaussing wands and bleach for cleaning coffee makers in any environment. The use of degaussing wands takes a bit of practice because they must be inserted through a special access hole in any commercial coffee maker. Cleaning coffee makers with a degaussing wand allows the inner tubing to be cleansed. Most commercial coffee makers have an automatic water line that needs to be routinely cleaned out to keep the line free and clear of lime and other deposits.

See: frother reviews

Cleaning coffee makers and associated machine parts with bleach is a relatively simple process that takes about 15 minutes to complete. All parts of the coffee machine that are removable must be submerged in a 3 to 1 bleach and water mixture for at least 15 minutes but preferably 30 minutes. The longer bleaching time will ensure that all pieces are sanitized and ready for use on the next shift.

There are granulated crystals for cleaning coffee makers that are available at Walmart and other discounted retailers. Careful use of these crystals for cleaning coffee makers is recommended because overuse can cause the gaskets inside the machine to wear out long before they are supposed to.

Some people choose not to purchase these granules that are specifically made for cleaning coffee makers, and try out the granular cleanser that they use in their automatic dishwasher. These cleansers are not formulated for this purpose, and many people find themselves back at Walmart or some other discount store looking for another coffee maker.

Coffee – Avoiding Brewing A Bad Cup

If a good cup of coffee was so easy to make by simply just throwing in your choice of coffee grinds into water and then into your percolator, then you could settle for just any quality of beans. Unfortunately a bad cup of coffee is so very easy to make. However, making a truly tasty and fresh cup of java every morning requires you to do things properly before you drink it.

Fresh water that is cold is your first port of call. Pour it into your coffee machine for that perfectly delicious brew. Avoid water that has been pre-boiled or comes from your hot tap. The best results come from filling your machine with filtered or bottled water, especially if your plumbing is old. This is especially important in areas where there is an abundance of highly chlorinated or hard type water.

See: best milk steamer

Water temperature is another critical aspect that will affect the final results. Your water should be between 195° to 205° only. Overly hot water can make your coffee far too bitter. Would you drink that? Overly cool water cannot draw out the wonderful flavour, and usually no colour. You might as well drink boiled water, right?

If you use a coffee press in the morning, bring your water to a boil for a minute, add it, turn on the machine, and let it do the rest. Drip coffee machines can also benefit from scalding the pot ahead of time with pre-heated water. This simple procedure is used for tea making, too. You should pour the water into the pot and swish it around to warm it up. Then pour it out and let the coffee drip in. This further emphasises the flavour and the aroma.

Of course, the most important aspect is having the proper grind for your machine. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can use any grind. There are two main types of grinds, specially designed for the pressing pot or the electric or bunn coffee makers. Whether you grind your beans yourself or buy them locally ground, the press machine needs about 10 seconds of grinding to produce medium or coarse grinds. You can pick up fairly cheap blade grinders anywhere. Electric types and drips need grinds that have been process for fifteen to twenty seconds to get a fine to medium grind. Whichever you use you will rewarded with the perfect cup of coffee.

Coffee – Black As Hell, Strong As Death, Sweet As Love!

What variety is it and where do all these exotic tasting beans grow?

Let’s take a quick tour.

The African country of Ethiopia is where Coffee growing first originated. Today it is hard to imagine that the country’s main coffee plantations still consist of mainly wild coffee tree forests just like it was when it was first discovered centuries ago.

From these humble beginnings coffee bean production and consumption has spread like wild fire throughout the world. In the twenty-first century coffee has grown to become the second largest international market globally, second only to oil in dollar value terms.

Coffee is grown in over 70 countries around the world which are specifically located in tropical and sub-tropical agricultural regions. Climate dictates where it can be grown for the simply reason the plants need plenty of sunshine and rain. From a narrow band centred on the equator of around 23 degrees north to 25 degrees south comes all of the world’s production of beans that produce the beverage of which a Turkish proverb describes as ‘black as hell, strong as death, sweet as love’.

Brazil is by far the largest producer of coffee beans in the world with an average output of 28% of the total annual international yield. The second largest producer is the world renowned Columbia which produces 16%. Other major producers are Indonesia producing 7% and Mexico with 4%.

Throughout the history of its cultivation, coffee trees have been grown at high altitudes because they produce the best quality beans. However the plant has also adapted well to a wide variety of areas including Brazil where the plantations cover huge areas of agricultural land and employ hundreds of workers. In Colombia the coffee trees are grown in very rugged terrain in the high mountains where it is carried out by pack mules.

In Hawaii coffee is mostly planted on the slopes of the Mauna Loa volcano which is situated about 20 degrees north of the equator. As you would imagine the black volcanic ash is extremely fertile and perfect for growing the famed Kona coffee plants. The strong afternoon sun is softened by tropical clouds and frequent showers of rain.

See: milk frother guide

Since the Dutch colonists introduced coffee to Indonesia in the 17th century, this collection of islands has slowly increased it’s production and exports to become the third largest producer in the world. A multitude of small one to two acre farms make up the bulk of producers thriving on the warm, tropical micro-climates, which is ideal for growing quality coffee.

Mexico also produces and exports a significant amount of coffee beans that are grown by a multitude of small farmers. Most plantations are located to the south of the country in Veracruz, Oaxaca and Chiapas.

In the mid-19th century the French missionaries established small plantations of the robusta coffee plants in Vietnam. From these small beginnings the industry has grown to massive proportions where today the size of the country’s coffee production now rivals Indonesia.

This is only a brief overview of the major producers for coffee varieties around the world with many other countries now venturing into this profitable export commodity.

Enjoy!

Cleaning Your All Important Coffee Machines

If you are one of the many that love coffee or live with someone that does; odds are you have at least one coffee machine; though it’s not unheard of to have backups just in case this very important appliance fails. Whether you have one or many coffee machines; cleaning the machine can give you many more fresh cups of clean coffee.

Of course you may even need to consider this at more than one location as well. You may have coffee machines at home, work, and maybe even out in your garage. Whether it’s your job to maintain them or not, if you want good coffee without fail, you might wind up cleaning the coffee machines. With a little understanding this isn’t difficult.

See: Best coffee milk frother

Regular Cleaning Of Your Coffee Machines Is Best

Keeping your coffee machines squeaky clean (and often quieter) isn’t that complicated. A good scrub with soap and water daily can make all the difference cleaning your coffee machines. It’s easier to get buildup out when it’s still beginning. In the end it will look more attractive where it is setup, and will probably function a lot longer as a result.

Of course many don’t find the time for cleaning their machines daily and this will lead to buildup that is a little bit more difficult to clean. Many have found that cleaning machines that have needed it for longer can make a few pots of 1:2 mixture of vinegar and water. For a twelve cup maker this would be 8 cups of water and 4 cups of vinegar.

Cleaning your machines is as easy as repeating this until they are squeaky clean. You may consider daily cleaning after if long haul cleaning seems too much. The secret of squeaky cleaning your machines is regular daily maintenance. Keep this in mind when you are cleaning coffee machines.

You will find cleaning your coffee machines isn’t that complicated at all. Among the benefits is not drinking left over sludge dried up from a number of pots ago. These deposits will make your machine less efficient as well. Often they can become quite noisy and eventually fail. Being proactive and cleaning your coffee machines regularly will bring you many more great mornings with a fresh, hot cup of your favorite coffee.

Cleaning these machines is a good start however some of these machines are even more elaborate. As with any appliance it’s wise to consult your owner’s manual. You will see many maintenance instructions and some specific cleaning instructions for your coffee machines in these as well.

In the end cleaning and maintaining your coffee machines are among the best steps you can take to wake up every morning relying on those first cups. Later on at the office, shop or otherwise you can continue to have these great cleaning experiences. Putting a little time into cleaning your coffee machines combined with selection of great coffees to make them can make your beverages the greatest ever. Sharing the wealth in coffee may be your next step after cleaning your coffee machines.

Choosing Coffee Makers For Coffee-Loving Couples

There are more than 2.2 million weddings each year, according to the U.S. Wedding Report. The coffee maker, a must-have appliance in the majority of American kitchens, is still one of the most popular bridal registry choices.

However, it isn’t as easy to choose a coffee maker as it was in the past. New styles, designs and updated technology have brought the coffee maker category to a new level.

Whether you’re buying a coffee maker as a wedding gift or for yourself, you have more choices than ever before, including combination machines and high-quality models that can control the variables of brewing to extract the maximum flavor and aroma out of the coffee beans.

See: coffee drippers

Here are tips to ensure your choice will provide you with the highest-quality results:

* Consider a vacuum thermal carafe, which will keep your coffee hot for hours without the cooked taste that results from a glass pot kept on a warming plate.

* Look for 10-cup machines that have a special 3- to 4-cup brewing cycle. Without this feature, you may find that smaller pots of coffee do not meet your taste or temperature standards.

* If counter space is at a premium, look for a specialty coffee maker that is a combination of two or more appliances. Capresso offers the CoffeeTeam-S, which is a coffee maker and professional-style burr grinder in one.

* Think espresso. A high-quality espresso machine can make delicious gourmet-quality, pressure-brewed coffee as well as a variety of your favorite espresso-based drinks.

* Since the coffee maker is showcased on the counter and the carafe is an important serving piece in your dining room, look for coffee makers that offer stylish designs with high-quality materials such as stainless steel.

Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans: A Fun Snack

Most people have some form of sweet tooth, and many also like the taste and smell of a fresh cup of coffee. Though the tastes of sweets and that of coffee are very different, they make a great match, since sugar helps to offset the slightly acidic bitterness of coffee. One of the best examples of this is the great taste of chocolate covered coffee beans. If you’re a coffee lover, a chocolate lover, or both, chocolate covered coffee beans make a great snack.

A Marriage of Flavors

Chocolate and coffee work well together, so much that some chocolates in Europe will have recommended servings that include serving with coffee, particularly dark chocolates. However, any kind of chocolate can make great chocolate covered coffee beans, even white chocolate. This sweet, crunchy snack gives you the mellow flavor of one of the favorite candies in the world with the tang and aroma of coffee. And even better, this is a snack with kick, since you’ll get a little caffeine rush from eating chocolate covered coffee beans.

Making Your Own

Some people are serious enough about their coffee to buy their own beans and grind them. If you’re serious about your coffee, then you can be just as serious about your chocolate covered coffee beans. By purchasing your own beans and chocolate, you’re guaranteed a quality product.

See: cold drip coffee

Making this great snack food is a snap; all you need is a pot to carefully melt the chocolate in, and some sort of device, whether a fork or a strainer, to remove the beans. Once the chocolate is melted, simply place the beans in the pot to coat, and then remove with the fork. Set on wax paper to harden overnight, and you’ll have a great snack that you made from scratch.

Buying Beans

The selection of coffee beans can be important in the making of chocolate covered coffee beans. You want to buy a medium or dark roast, since a light roast will simply be too acidic for chocolate covered coffee beans. This is one reason why chocolate covered espresso beans are a popular sell, since it’s a very dark roast.

You can bring out interesting flavor combinations with your chocolate covered coffee beans by purchasing flavored beans. Usually considered inferior by aficionados for creating a brew, they can add an extra kick to chocolate covered coffee beans. Give making this sweet, crunchy, snack a try and you’re sure to get hooked!

Celebrate The Season With A Great-Tasting Cup of Coffee

Nothing complements breakfast or a homemade holiday treat like a freshly-brewed cup of coffee. Thanks to single-serve brewers, a popular kitchen appliance, it’s easier than ever to enjoy a quality cup of coffee in a minute without leaving the comfort of your home.

See: ceramic coffee dripper reviews

So what do coffee lovers like best about this latest in-home coffee brewing trend? A recent survey commissioned by Maxwell House Café Collection coffee pods revealed:

– Eighty-eight percent of single-serve brewer owners like that these machines make one cup of coffee in about 60 seconds. If friends and family are staying with you this holiday season, you may want to consider using a single-serve brewer to satisfy your household’s coffee needs. The speed of these coffee brewers means that you can satisfy coffee cravings quickly. And with an assortment of coffee pods in the pantry, all of your houseguests can enjoy the coffee variety or flavor of their choice each morning.

– Over 90 percent of coffee drinkers appreciate that single-serve brewers don’t require measuring coffee grinds or cleaning them up afterward. Ease of use and speed mean more time to tackle the tasks on your holiday to-do list-whether it’s staying up late to make a meal or wrapping gifts in the pre-dawn hours.

– Sixty-five percent of single-serve brewer owners say that quality is a consideration when buying coffee pods. Found in the coffee aisle of your grocery store, Maxwell House Café Collection coffee pods are made with premium 100 percent Arabica beans that have been carefully selected, custom roasted and finely ground to deliver peak flavor and aroma. And because these pods fit into most single-serve brewers, there’s no hassle with online or mail-in orders. Simply pick up a few bags of your favorite variety while doing your holiday grocery shopping.

So whether you want to streamline your morning routine or take a break from the holiday hustle and bustle, single-serve brewers and coffee pods make an ideal pairing this season.

Caribou Coffee Offers Good Brew, Great Atmosphere

Caribou coffee may be the second-largest coffee retailer in the United States, but taste tests have ranked them first in flavor in recent years. The company, which began in Minnesota, now includes over 460 coffee shops that are located in 18 states throughout the eastern and central regions of the country. It is second only to the Starbucks Corporation in terms of size and number of stores. The history of Caribou Coffee has had its highs and lows since it was founded in 1992, but the origins of the company are interesting and inspiring to up and coming entrepreneurs.

See: pour over coffee

In 1990, the founding members of Caribou Coffee, John and Kim Puckett took a trip to the wilderness of Alaska. After climbing to the top of Sable Mountain, they encountered a breathtaking view of the valley below – complete with a herd of caribou running by. They took this vision home to Minnesota with them, and two years later they opened the first Caribou Coffee shop in Edina, Minnesota. This inspiration that began the path to their dream has resulted in a company that strives for the highest quality of products and service in the coffee market today.

What does Caribou Coffee Offer?

In addition to a great, laid back atmosphere that can be compared to a ski lodge or a wilderness cabin, Caribou offers a wide variety of hot and cold beverages as well as baked goods to warm your bones and tantalize your taste buds. The menu includes most of the beverages that you would expect to find in your basic coffee shop today, including espresso drinks like cappuccinos and lattes. They also offer blended drinks with and without coffee, depending on your preference. Tea is another common item found at Caribou Coffee, and comes in a variety of types and flavors. Make sure to check out the selection of Wild Drinks as well, which include the signature concoctions unique to the Caribou Coffee stores.

A couple of years ago, this company also began a bakery side of the business which includes items like cinnamon rolls, muffins and scones to go with the beverage of your choice. There are even sandwiches available, so that you can enjoy your coffee at lunch time as well. For those die hard Caribou Coffee fans, there is also a selection of clothing available that sports the Caribou Coffee label.

While Caribou Coffee has had its share of growing pains over the years as the business has developed, there is no doubt that the company offers a quality product that many consumers enjoy. If you have never tried the beverages from Caribou, why not give it a try today?

Cappuccino Machines With An Italian Touch

Cappuccino began in Italy where it is still a delight of the morning routine. The Italians can tell a tourist from a native though because only a tourist will order a cappuccino after noon. It is considered a morning beverage in Italy, but in other regions of the world it is served throughout the day.

The Steps to Making a Cup of Cappuccino

Cappuccino is a tricky drink to master. It is divided into 3 parts: the espresso, the steamed milk, and the frothy or foamy milk. These layers created at the perfect proportions, textures and temperatures are what make the ideal cup of cappuccino. It used to take highly skilled chefs to create this concoction, but with the advent of the cappuccino machine, most of the guess work is taken out of it.

How Cappuccino Machines Work

Cappuccino machines are designed to brew and dispense the espresso coffee. Many can also do the step of grinding the coffee beans for an ultra fresh brew. When the espresso has been dispensed into the cup, the machine then adds steamed milk. These two steps are relatively easy, even though milk temperature and the strength of the espresso are important ingredients in this recipe.

The frothy milk is the most difficult part for humans or machines to get just right. The objective is to create a light foam, just the right temperature and with the optimal number air bubbles. This micro-foam stays warm when added to a cup of espresso and creates sweeter tasting foam than more dense concentrations of milk. This helps offset the bitterness of the espresso.

Makers of Cappuccino Makers

Bunn is one manufacture of some of the best cappuccino makers in the world. They are used in restaurants and homes alike because they are durable and able to maintain the ratios and temperatures required for great cappuccino. The restaurant models have up to 5 spouts for instant cappuccino and can cost close to $2,000. For home use, other brands provide more affordable options.

See: drip coffee guide

The Nespresso machines for home use costs about $400. This is a versatile machine that makes espresso but has plumbing for water to steam and a milk dispenser to create the foam for cappuccino or latte.

There are many other brands available of home and commercial cappuccino makers. Prices are more than a regular coffee maker because of the specialty features. Home machines generally dispense one or two small cups of coffee, while commercial grade machines can handle 5 cups simultaneously.

The Right Recipe For You

Unlike other types of coffee, espresso and cappuccino are very specific in terms of flavour, consistency and ingredients. One cup of coffee from one particular machine may taste just fine to one person, while the next person thinks it is weak or bitter. With espresso and cappuccino, there is a right taste and a wrong taste. You either like it or you don’t, but don’t mess with the recipe!

Cappuccino – The Legends Behind Coffee

The legendary cup of cappuccino seems like just a mere drink that brings up maybe a romantic gathering with some old boyfriend, but who would think that real romance and a massive industry would revolve around it. Coffee’s warm, dark and aromatic fluid has drawn many a person into a coffeehouse, not just recently, but from its very early beginnings.

There are countless legends as to its origins, but the most historically reliable is 500 BC, from Ethiopia. Travelers were so intrigued with its stimulating properties that they transported it to the Saudi Arabian Peninsula. It was in Arabia that the mysteriously delicious drink would be named – coffee.

The commercialization, mass production and distribution of coffee were born in the Renaissance. It became known as the ‘heatherish liquid’. By the 1700’s, in Europe, the Middle East, North and South America, and Asia, coffee had infiltrated every level of society.

Even medicinal properties were attributed throughout history. Coffee could do miraculous things. Men’s sperm could reach super speeds, swim longer and farther in liquid infused with coffee. This was thanks to caffeine. Harvard University did a major study for 20 years, and concluded that coffee could help diabetes. Some found a lowering of cirrhosis in the liver and a decrease in the severity of asthma.

See: Best coffee dripper

There were many claims made about coffee’s antioxidants. Coffee kept hearts far healthier, but the debate about that is still going on. Coffee is claimed to be a diuretic and helps you urinate more frequently. I personally do not agree with that one. However, other studies show coffee as the degenerator of the nervous system, and an insomnia drug. Apparently, it is supposed to make a good insecticide.

Whatever its attributes, good or bad, coffee is not going away. Coffee is second only to the oil industry as a commodity in dollar volume production. It is a major economic booster all round.

Coffee, the ‘black gold’ of the world stock markets is growing ever popular. Over 400 billion boiling cups of it are drunk each year. It is traded on all the major exchanges, including New York, London, Lima and Hong Kong. If you add to that the economic boom from what we buy in coffee daily – beans, roasters, grinders, cups and brewing machines.

The coffee business future is good. It continues to rise as a basic commodity and there are so many special retail prices going now. Special shops deal in just coffee in such variety of blends and types. If you want an espresso, then you can buy different grades of brewers and roaster, which were invented in 1901. Home coffee brewing allows for single, straight, double, and long shots. What about cappuccino, latte, or mocha? Every ingredient required can be accessed by a quick button push. Flavored blends are as numerous as wines and so easy to prepare. Add additional flavors caramel, fruit or vanilla. With flavors and money combined, it is not surprising that coffee is what legends are made of.

Cappuccino – Other Worldwide Coffees Ideas

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.

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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!

Cappuccino – More Varieties Of Coffee Worldwide

As many types of wine and grapes as there are, there are just as many coffees and beans. The pleasure is in the trying.

The most renowned is the Colombian. Tolima grows the La Esperanza beans at almost 600ft above sea level. The aroma is a delicate cherry, combined with pipe tobacco and chocolate. If only it tasted that way, but of course, skip the tobacco part. The worlds second is the famous Supremo. Warming vanilla combines with hints of bittersweet chocolate, but this dies quickly and needs to be drunk hot. The handpicked Hawaiian Kona beans offer medium and dark blends. They are brilliant as an espresso roast.

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On the other side of the world, on the southern side of Mt. Kilimanjaro, the Tanzanian Peaberry beans offer a light bodied drink with a slightly high acidity. These beans are distinctive in shape, being slightly oval. Many a climber has been welcomed with a fresh cup as they ascend the mountain. Then, Ethiopia, the legendary birthplace of coffee, boasts a citrus flavored cup made from beans from the Yirgacheffe area. The flavor is like a combination of orange peel, lemon, ginger and chocolate. Yummy, and it is in my opinion reminiscent of famous German Christmas herbal teas.

Across to the sub-continental India, the Monsson Malabar, yellowish puffed beans brew into an apricot infused blend. The Jumboors is also another good one with its subtly sweet, raisin like flavor.

Head into Asia and find the Lake Toba area of the island of Sumatra. These beans are light, sweet and almost infused with jasmine/cherry flavor. It is quite acidic. Other provinces offer darker, spicy and fruity blends that smell of cedar and grapefruit. Nearby Vietnam grows the Lampung Robusta beans. They used the wash, dry and polish process to give an almost woody, slightly acidic brew that is more subtle than the arabica.

Far away from Asia, entering the Caribbean, the Jamaican Peaberry beans are more full-bodied, sweetishly acidic, and have slightly floral tones. They make for a pleasant, but strong drink.

Whether you are buying a cappuccino machine and want to know what types of beans and coffees you can brew in your kitchen, or you simply want a cappuccino or other coffee from your nearby coffeehouse, knowing what is available is a real treat. Even the caffeine cannot dampen a great cup of home brewed coffee, no matter where the beans originated.

Cappuccino – How To Make This Rich, Dark Coffee

The taste of a good cappuccino is totally lip smacking and some times people just cannot start their day without a cup of cappuccino.

Cappuccino is a rich, dark coffee whose recipe originated in Italy. The name cappuccino actually comes from the resemblance of its color to the robes of the monks of the Capuchin order.

Cappuccino has a large volume of foam making it a light weight drink and less filling than other coffees. You take equal parts of steamed and frothed milk and espresso, with the milk on top of the espresso. Then you are free to sprinkle nutmeg, cinnamon or chocolate powder on top.

Start With Good Espresso

To make a good cappuccino you have to start with good espresso, which you get from doing the following: Grind the beans fine, press the espresso down firmly, use a high pressure machine or stove top model, don’t make too much at once, the creama must be visible on top as a golden-brown foam, and use an espresso cup to keep the temperature from cooling down too quickly.

The Difference between a Cappuccino and a Latte

Lattes are also half espresso and half milk. If you are wondering what the difference is between a latte and a cappuccino, with a latte you take the milk and espresso and pour the milk down the side of the cup so it mixes with the espresso.

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Making the Froth

Where does the frothed milk come from for cappuccinos and for lattes? If you are using the French press as a foamer, you heat a cup of milk (non-fat is best) on the stove or microwave, to a temperature that you can stand to put your finger into it, then pour the milk into a rinsed plunger pot. Pump the plunger in the pot for a few minutes and the milk will expand to three to four times its volume, creating the froth for your cappuccino (or latte).

Getting Your Own Cappuccino Maker

If you have a coffee addiction, you may want to shop for a cappuccino coffee maker so you can make your own at home. A nice characteristic about the counter top model is it can steam milk for cappuccino and latte’s. When purchasing a cappuccino maker keep in mind that if you entertain frequently, you may want to shop for a cappuccino machine that makes several cups of cappuccino at one time.

Conclusion

Once classed as luxuries, many items of equipment such as grinders, cappuccino makers, espresso makers, and other drinks makers now adorn homes all over the world. So if you are one of the many who must start their day with a cappuccino, it will save you money by having the equipment at home than having to pay at a coffee house.

Another benefit is that you will be able to make some cappuccino whenever you choose. No longer will you have to run out to purchase a cup of your favorite coffee. You simply walk to your kitchen and put together your favorite brew.

Can Coffee Reduce The Risk Of Diabetes?

Diabetes is a disease in which the body does not produce or properly use insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is needed to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy needed for daily life. The cause of diabetes continues to be a mystery, although both genetics and environmental factors such as obesity and lack of exercise appear to play roles.

Coffee reduces risk of diabetes
Research suggests that people who drink coffee are less likely to get type 2 diabetes. It isn’t known whether the caffeine or some other ingredient in coffee is responsible for its protective effects.

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The researchers wanted to see whether there is a link between diabetes and drinking coffee and green, black, and oolong tea. Participants completed a detailed questionnaire about their health, lifestyle habits, and how much coffee and tea they drank. The questionnaire was repeated at the end of the 5-year follow-up period.

When other factors were accounted for, researchers found that the more green tea and coffee participants drank, the less likely they were to get diabetes. People who drank six cups or more of green tea or three or more cups of coffee each day were about one-third less likely to get diabetes. The link was stronger in women than in men. No pattern was seen with black or oolong tea. (see Diabetes Symptoms)

Vitamin D and Calcium May Lower the Risk for Type 2 Diabetes in Women
A lack of vitamin D and calcium may be linked to getting type 2 diabetes. More than 80,000 women who took part in the Nurses’ Health Study. Over the course of 20 years, over 4,800 women developed type 2 diabetes. The researchers found that a combined intake of over 1,200 milligrams of calcium and over 800 units of vitamin D was linked with a 33% lower risk for type 2 diabetes (as compared to women who took much smaller amounts of calcium and vitamin D). The results show that consuming higher amounts of vitamin D and calcium help lower the risk for type 2 diabetes in women.

Diabetes is a disorder characterized by hyperglycemia or elevated blood glucose (blood sugar). Our bodies function best at a certain level of sugar in the bloodstream. If the amount of sugar in our blood runs too high or too low, then we typically feel bad. Diabetes is the name of the condition where the blood sugar level consistently runs too high. Diabetes is the most common endocrine disorder.