Coffee Time - Java Talk
The Pacific Northwest is noted for its
great coffee. In fact, Oregonians love and crave their coffee.
An entire coffee culture has sprung up to answer this craving.
Espresso stands and carts have sprung up in every major
northwest city. You can find espresso or coffee places on street
corners, in grocery stores, gas stations, hardware stores,
department stores, stadiums, and even in the fast food outlets.
There are even drive-through espresso stands for coffee drinkers
who don’t have time to get out of their cars. It is more than
just a trend; it is a new institution of the busy lifestyle.
As to why coffee is so popular in the
Northwest, some people laughingly argue it is because people can’t function in the cold, gray, and drizzly climate without
it. Whatever the reason, this craving has spread through out the
United States and the world. Coffee is the second largest commodity in the world.
The boom of coffee houses is not new, as the roots of coffee houses go back to the 15th
century Arabia, 16th century Europe, and 17th
century North America. Coffee drinking began in the American
colonies as early as 1689 in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia.
In fact, the Green Dragon Coffee House of Boston was where the
idea for the famous Boston Tea Party was conceived in 1773.
Americans revolted against England’s tea tax, and the
Continental Congress declared coffee the “Official National
Beverage.” What better way to protest the unfair tea taxes
imposed than to enjoy an alternate coffee beverage?
Facts and Trivia about Coffee
The coffee bean is a fruit? It is actually
the seeds of a cherry-like fruit. Coffee trees produce
berries, called coffee cherries. These fruits
are first green before turning red, and each fruit usually
contains two beans. The coffee cherries turn bright red when they are ripe and
ready to pick.
These seeds or beans of the fruit are
then fermented, much as grapes are fermented when making
wine, but the end result is different. After the coffee bean
has been separated from the fruit, it remains covered in a
mucilaginous layer. Fermentation breaks down the mucilage
that surrounds the coffee bean. This mucilage, if not
removed, will retard the taste of your coffee and create an
Like the grapes of fine wines, coffee
acquires unique taste characteristics from its local
geography and climate. his depends on such factors as altitude, rainfall, type of
soil, and how it is processed.
How To Make The Perfect Cup of Coffee
A great dining experience deserves great coffee!
A few simple rules to follow for that perfect cup of coffee:
Clean Coffee Pot - A clean coffee pot is essential and can make a
substantial difference in the taste of your coffee. The type of coffee pot that you use is also very important (buy the best one
that you can afford).
Coffee Beans - Purchase coffee beans as soon after they
have been roasted as possible. Fresh roasted coffee beans are
essential to a superb cup of coffee. Also purchase your coffee
beans in small amounts, only as much as you can use in a given
period of time. Remember that coffee is a perishable
produce that is less than spectacular when it has staled.
Ideally you should purchase your coffee fresh
every 1 to 2 weeks. I suggest you
contact your local coffee roaster and select from their
fresh-roasted coffee beans. It doesn’t cost more money to
purchase good coffee beans. Your local specialty coffee roasters
are solely in the business to sell coffee beans. You can be
confident that their beans are fresher, and thus the coffee that
you serve in your restaurant will taste better.
Water - The quality of your coffee is heavily
dependent upon the quality of the water that you use. Use only fresh cold filtered water. If you are using tap
water let it run a few seconds before filling your coffee pot.
Depending on your tap water, your coffee can turn out tasting
sulfurous, metallic, tinny, flat, or worse. An alternative is to buy Artesian
water (do not use distilled water). For optimal extraction, maintain a water
temperature between 195 degrees F. and 205 degrees F.
French Press - Use very hot water, but not
boiling, in your French Press Coffee Maker. Learn
How To Use a French Press.
Moka Pots - Use very hot water, but
not boiling, in your Moka Pot Coffee Maker. Learn
How To Use A Moka Pot
Coffee Grinders - There are basically two different kinds of
grinders: Blade Coffee Grinders or Burr Coffee Grinders (preferred):
Burr Coffee Grinders: The best coffee grinders are the Burr Coffee Grinders. The Burr grinders crush the beans between a
moving grinding wheel and a non-moving surface. The positioning on the burr is what regulates the ground size,
which allows for a more consistent grind. This style of grinder provides a much more consistent particle size than
the blade grinders that most people are familiar with. Consistent grounds yield a sweeter, more enjoyable cup of coffee.
I, personally, use the Burr Coffee Grinder shown in the upper left photo.
Blade Coffee Grinders:
Very inexpensive coffee grinders that uses a metal blade to chop up
the beans. The blade cuts up the beans, and you control the
fineness by how long you let the grinder run. Unfortunately,
the resulting coffee grounds can be uneven in size, leading
to inconsistent brew quality.
Grinding Coffee Beans - Always grind your beans as close to the brew time as possible.
Coffee deteriorates quickly after grinding and you should grind
only the amount you are going to use at one time. If your coffee
is too strong, try adjusting the grind of the coffee coarser
rather than using less coffee.
5 to 10 seconds - used for percolators and the cold water brewing
method. This is the least popular grind used today.
10 seconds - used for electric
drip/manual drip and French press methods.
Should be about the size of medium coarse sea
salt. The drip method is the most popular in the United States.
15 seconds - used for vacuum and Neapolitan flip methods. Vacuum method
equipment is not easy to locate in the United States.
Extra Fine Grind: 25 to 30 seconds - used for espresso machines.
Coffee Filters -
Always use a coffee filter if your coffee pot requires one to keep the grounds from blocking the drip and making the coffee overflow the basket. Use
an unbleached (brown) paper filter or a gold filter. The bleached
(white) ones affect the flavor of the coffee, so avoid them.
Amount of Coffee - Using the right ratio of ground coffee to
water is one of the most important things you can do to ensure a
good cup of coffee. Use enough coffee, and don't use too much or too little!
If the below measurements sound like a lot, then you have probably been making less than full
strength coffee. Make sure to spread the grounds evenly in the
coffee filter so full brewing is achieved.
Professional coffee tasters use: exactly two
(2) tablespoons (7 to 9 grams or 2 scoop of a standard coffee
measure) of ground coffee beans for each six (6) ounces of water.
cups (6 ounces each) of coffee, measure out 8 generous
tablespoons (30 to 35 grams) of fresh ground coffee beans.
Drinking Coffee - Brewed coffee should be enjoyed
immediately! Pour the fresh-brewed coffee into a warmed mug or
coffee cup so that it will maintain its temperature as long as
possible. It begins to lose its optimal taste moments after
brewing, so only brew as much coffee as will be consumed
immediately. If the coffee is not to be served immediately after
brewing (and your coffee pot doesn't have an insulated coffee
carafe), it should be poured into a warmed, insulated coffee carafe thermos and used within the next 45 minutes.
If you are displeased with the taste of your coffee, there are a
number of things you can do like change the water to coffee
ratio and/or use different coffee beans. It ends up being a
matter of your own personal taste!
Favorite recipes using coffee as an ingredient:
Chart House Mud Pie
Chocolate Espresso Cookies
Coffee and Armagnac Parfait - Parfait au Café et à L'Armagnac
Coffee & Spice-Rubbed Lamb with Coffee-Vanilla Sauce
Coffee Baked Alaska with Mocha Sauce
Coffee Panna Cotta with Chocolate Cream
Coffee Spiced Lamb with Minted Coffee Sauce
Coffee Tortoni with Kahlua
Italian Affogato - Affogato al Cafe
Pumpkin Spice Latte
Organic Coffee, and all your other
coffee making needs, check out What's Cooking America's
Bunn Thermo Fresh 10-Cup Thermal-Carafe Home Coffee Brewer
Burr Coffee Grinders
Blade Coffee Grinders
Coffee Filters, etc.
Additional Coffee Articles:
Coffee - Java Talk - Learn
all about the history of coffee, how to taste coffee, and making coffee.
Coffee Drink Calories - How much damage can your favorite coffee drink do in additional
calories added to your diet? The fancier the drink, the fancier the calories - especially when
you opt for the whipped topping. An extra 200 calories a day can add up to 21 extra pounds added to your body per
Espresso Machines - Learn about the different Styles for Different Homes.
How To Store Coffee Beans - Coffee bean's two greatest enemies are air and moisture. Ideally, coffee should be
ground, brewed, and consumed quickly to obtain the best flavor.
How to Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee - A great dining experience deserves great coffee!
How To Use a French Press - The most popular coffee maker in Europe and Australia is the classy French Press.
Also known as the plunger pot, coffee press, or press-pot. This stylish coffee maker is making in-roads in America, and coffee addicts swear by it.
How To Use A Moka Pot - A Moka Pot is an Italian steam-based stovetop espresso maker that produces a dark
coffee almost as strong as that from a conventional espresso maker. Sometimes called the poor man’s espresso and also known as stove-top espresso.
Irish Coffee - It might sound like an ancient recipe, but Irish coffee was a 20th
Century invention. Learn the history of this spirited coffee and how it’s made. Also check out the easy-to-make authentic recipe.
Italian Coffee - Can't I Just Find a Cup of Joe? - My daughter, when visiting Italy, wrote this interesting
story on Italian coffee.
Organic Coffee - Organic Coffee for Your Health and the Environment. To gain
a better understanding of what the term “Organic Coffee” really means, we have put together this guide to how it
relates to your health, and that of our planet!
After a few months' acquaintance with European "coffee," one's mind weakens, and his faith with it,
and he begins to wonder if the rich beverage of home, with its
clotted layer of yellow cream on top of it, is not a mere dream
after all, and a thing which never existed.
by Mark Twain
The smell of coffee cooking was a reason for growing up, because children
were never allowed to have it and nothing haunted the nostrils
all the way out to the barn as did the aroma of boiling coffee.
by Edna Lewis
Below is a list of the most popular coffee beverages:
- a small cup of very strong coffee, i.e., espresso
caffe Americano - American-style coffee, but
stronger; weaker than espresso and served in a large cup
caffe doppio - double espresso
caffe freddo - iced coffee
caffe Hag - decaffeinated coffee
caffe latte - hot milk mixed with coffee and
served in a glass for breakfast
caffe macchiato - espresso "stained" with a
drop of steamed milk: small version of a cappuccino
caffe marocchino - espresso with a dash of hot milk and cacao powder
cappuccino - espresso infused with steamed
milk and drunk in the morning, but never after lunch or dinner
granita di caffe con panna - frozen, iced beverage (similar to a slush, but ice shavings
make it authentic) and topped with whipped cream.