Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Kona Coffee

Kona Coffee LeiImage by ardie96750 via Flickr

100% pure Kona coffee beans; winner of the 2002 Gevalia Kona Cupping Award and 2004 PCCA Coffee of the year, this is the coffee that Forbes said is the "Best Coffee in America"
What and where does Kona coffee come from. It's a Hawaiian coffee company that is ruling the coffee world.
The Kona Coffee Belt is about 1 mile wide by 30 miles long, resting on the western slopes of two volcanoes, Hualalai and Mauna Loa, at an elevation ranging from 500-3,000 feet.
Kona Coffee is made with undivided attention through each processing stage from handpicking to dry milling. The end result is a gourmet coffee, delicate yet with a rich flavor and aroma.
When you drink a cup of Kona coffee, you are drinking an exclusive coffee that comprises only 1% of all the coffee grown in the world.
If you believe that this is an expensive coffee, think again. The average price for a Kona cup of coffee is 25 cents.
Kona coffee is conducting a Memorial Day special. Buy two bags of coffee and get a third bag FREE! This is only available until Memorial Day 2010. Click Here for for info.
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Monday, May 17, 2010

Decaffeinating Coffee

Frothy Americano and Chocolate TartImage by Carsten Knoch via Flickr

There are two types of coffee. There is the kind that has caffeine while there are those that are decaffeinated. Both these varieties come from the same beans. The difference is in the process of removing it.
The term decaffeinated is a misconception because there is still 3% in the coffee beans. It is like saying cookie companies coming out with products that are fat free.
Farmers produce decaffeinated coffee by soaking this in water. This can even be mixed with a chemical called ethyl acetate. The only way to preserve the flavor without the caffeine is to dry it before this is packed.
Why ethyl acetate? This is because scientists have proven this chemical to be a natural solvent. There was a time that trichloroethylene and methylene chloride was used but studies have shown that these are carcinogens that later on were abandoned.
There is an indirect way of using this chemical, which is known as natural decaffeination. The beans are still mixed in water but ethyl acetate never interacts with the beans.
The key to this process is water. Most farms use pure water and not the filtered kind because tests have shown that it robs the beans of the desired flavor that consumers still like without the caffeine.
Since it is a hit or miss, when this happens, farmers have tried another method and this involves the use of carbon dioxide. This is heated later on to make this evaporate which has proven to be very effective.
Studies have shown that charcoal and carbon are useful in decaffeinating coffee. This practice originated in Switzerland and thus is called the Swiss Water Process.
People will be able to know how the coffee was decaffeinated since this is written in the product label. If there are any other questions that the customer would like to know there is usually a customer hotline printed on the package which can be called to speak to a representative.
The process of decaffeinating has paved the way for more to drink coffee. This has allowed coffee companies and cafes to offer this in cold beverages aside from the warm ones always being served.
Decaffeination does not mean teens can start drinking coffee. This is because as stated earlier, there are still elements of this ingredient in it, which is harmful for the growth of the individual.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Descaling The Coffee Machine

CoffeemakerImage via Wikipedia

Coffee machines that are not clean properly will surely experience problems in the future. One method that should be done regularly is descaling which is a term that enables the user to remove lime that may cause damage to either the boiler or the pump.
Normally, descaling instructions can be found in the user’s manual that came with the appliance. If the instructions are unclear, here is some information that the owner will find useful.
Descaling should only be done when the coffee machine is cold. This should be turned off and unplugged for a few hours if this was just used so no one will get burned by performing this chore.
Water is not sufficient to remove the lime. People should not use vinegar but instead try a citric acid solution. This should be mixed with the water and when it is ready, pour this into the water container.
As the coffee machine is turned on, the user should then pump water out of the nozzle for 20 to 30 seconds before switching it off. Not all models have this function so those who don’t will have to pump this through the group handle.
It usually takes about 10 minutes for the lime to dissolve. The procedure should be done again so that the remaining liquid content in the container is pumped out. The entire process of descaling usually takes about an hour since this is done 4 or 5 times.
While waiting for a few minutes to pass, the person can work on other things to keep the coffee machine in good condition. This includes washing some of the parts in warm water while wiping the others with a dry piece of cloth. This will surely remove the stains that accumulated due to the many occasions that it has been used.
The last part of descaling is making a fresh cup of coffee and then throwing it out. This may sound silly since the person won’t even take a sip but this is part of the process to ensure all the lime has been removed and the machine is as good as new.
After all the hard work, the individual can relax and make another cup. The taste should be like when this was first purchased from the appliance store until next month again when this chore has to be repeated.
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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Coffee in any way is still coffee

Tea in a Mei├čen pink-rose teacupImage via Wikipedia

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks man has ever discovered throughout the world. Coffee is so popular that people all around the world have actually invented different ways of enjoying it.
In more than one, coffee is now taken, drank, eaten and enjoyed all over the world. Yes, you read it right coffee is taken, drank, eaten and enjoyed.
Coffee is taken, as opposed to its original liquid form coffee is can now be taken orally like a pill because of the introduction of a coffee flavored candies and mints. A really weird idea at the start but it was a hit. The idea for coffee candy was simple, if there is a chocolate bar; a milk candies and peanut butter ice cream why not make coffee flavored candy since more people drink coffee.
So was the history of coffee flavored candy. That really simple idea turned out to be the face-lift that coffee really needed. Since most people only recognize coffee in it’s purest and simplest form, seeing coffee with a different look and a different attitude is a refreshing and welcome change.
Coffee is supposed to be drunk. Although coffee is really taken in liquid form and it is not really a shocker to many people, one thing is for sure though you cannot be too sure of what to expect.
During the recent years, coffee shops have been popping out here and there like prairie dogs. They have been sprouting like mushrooms all over the metropolis as response to the need of a lot of people for a place that they can do business, hang out, relax, and just be with the people that they want to be with, with the inclusion of some other reasons that people need coffee shops.
People are starting to find out that it is more convenient as a place to work out important business, a place for dates, a place to study and a place to meet and greet other people who share the same passion for coffee.
Because of the competition and because of the demand for more and more coffee shops that have an edge over the others, that edge would be the different mixes and brews that coffee can become. From the simple brewed coffee to the most flamboyant ice blended coffee and fraps.
Coffee is eaten and enjoyed. Yes, it is eaten and enjoyed by a lot of people all over the world. Coffee can now be eaten in the form of pastries and other baked delights. Just like the candies, coffee brownies, tarts, and pies are seen all over coffee shops and other places where people usually congregate to have the caffeine rush.
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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Coffee in the Latin regions

Latin America (orthographic projection)Image via Wikipedia

Black is in Mexico
Coffee in the Latin American region is mostly centered on the Mexican parts of the region. Coffees are produced in the gulf side of the region particularly in the Vera Cruz State. Coffees in these areas that are worthy to try are the Altura Orizaba and Altura Huatusco. Another source of coffee in this side of the world is the Altura Coatepec, which are purported to be really good-tasting.
Those that are produced in Oaxaca State as well as those in the Chiapas state are enjoying great reviews from coffee lovers all over the world.
Fine coffees are however not as a big thing in the Latin region as they lack the richness and thickness that can be seen in the coffees of other countries. Black coffees are still best in Mexico.
Coffee gold mine
The best coffees in the world can be found in the lands of this small country. Guatemala produces some of the best tasting coffees in the world. Among the kinds that it is most famous for are the Antigua coffee, the Coban, which can be found in the Alta Verapaz regions and the Huehuetenango, which is great-tasting although not as celebrated as the other two.
The Huehuetenango is fast gaining ground as many now prefer this over the Antigua, not because it is better tasting, but because the quality of the latter is dipping.
Coffee in Guatemala has a distinct spicy flavor that is hard to get in coffees in other countries. This is perhaps the reason why its coffee industry is steadily climbing.
Rich and Robust
There is nothing more that you can ask for in the coffee of Costa Rica. Compared to the Mexican coffee, Costa Rican kinds are richer and more robust. In fact, their coffee is often compared to a good wine. Coffees are grown primarily in San Jose, particularly in the districts of Tres Rios, Alajuela and San Marcos de Tarrazu.
Blended in the mountains
The most famous of coffee blends come from the Jamaican Blue Mountain. This is one of the most distinguished coffee blends in the world, known for its high price tag and distinctly addicting flavor. The success of the Blue Mountain blend is actually a sharp contrast to the failure of the coffee industry in other parts of the region particularly in the lowlands.
Because of the heavy tag prices that coffees in Blue Mountain command, locals take advantage and call their coffees Blue Mountain even if they are not produced in the same altitude. This is perhaps the reason why coffee produce has begun to dip in popularity.
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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Coffee Is An Ideal Gift

Front of coffee shop taken by mobile phone.Image via Wikipedia

Research shows that coffee ranks third to what Americans consume daily. The first two are water and soda, which just goes to show there, is a huge demand for it. If there is a party coming up and the celebrant loves drinking it, perhaps giving coffee is an ideal gift.
Coffee comes in different flavors and variations. The person can get a particular brand that the celebrant likes or buys something that has never been consumed before to open up the individual to the kinds out there.
This can be purchased in coffee shops or in the supermarket. Not all the establishments sell these in value packs. One way to make it personal is by buying three kinds, putting it in a nice basket and then giving it away.
If the person does not know what to give, most cafes have gift certificates. It doesn’t matter what denomination. The important thing is that this is the place where the celebrant comes often to get a cup or even have a light snack.
Sometimes value packs and gift certificates are not enough. Perhaps the best thing to get is a coffee maker so the celebrant will be able to use this at home. This appliance comes in all shapes and sizes. These are available in plastic or stainless steel. If you want this to last for a long time with a friend, perhaps getting the kind of metal is better.
Making coffee using the machine is not enough without a mug. This brings another idea, which is to get a personalized one. Some stores are able to print a picture while others will just engrave the name.
Coffee isn’t only for drinking. There are ways to make coffee caramel ice cream or a cake using the same ingredients. Those who love to bake can be given a cookbook to expand the individual’s knowledge of what else coffee can be used for.
There are many ways to make someone appreciate the wonders of coffee. The examples given are merely the beginning since there are even recipes and books of how to serve it cold or mix this with other dishes.
Coffee unlike sodas has health benefits. This is because it is not high in calories and sugars, which are fattening.
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The Big Kahuna Hawaiian Gift Basket

Thursday, April 8, 2010

When hot coffee turns cold as ice

Brown cup of coffeeImage via Wikipedia

When you think of coffee what comes in to your mind? “Hot?” Yeah. “Foam?” Yeah. But what is it that makes coffee a true blue brew? Usually, when we are talking about coffee we are talking about hot, brewed and classic blend.
But, because of the demand for a more exciting and more satisfying coffee experience, more and more people became experimental on their coffee. They wanted a new coffee experience. Talking about the ultimate coffee experience, what would be better for you? On a hot summer day after working out in the gym, you decided to walk home.
As you were walking, you received a message that says your girlfriend was around the block and wants to hook up. Thinking about how sudden things happened you told her that you will meet her in a coffee shop not far from where both of you are coming form. She said ok, you got there ahead of her and you got yourself a cup of coffee, on a summer day. Now wouldn’t you think that it would have been better if you had something as good as coffee but as cold as ice?
Now that is not a bad concept right. Good tasting brewed coffee but it is cold as ice. Iced coffee is ready to serve even on a hot summer’s day. People have more than enough reason nowadays to drink coffee; it is after all the oldest and most common concoction known to man.
Looking back, coffee has indeed penetrated the modern society. Back in the old day’s coffee has been the potion of choice for travelers arriving from long journeys bearing news or other announcements from lands from afar. Coffee was also often offered to visiting guests as a ritual of bonding countries, families and individuals.
Coffee beans were also a top item for trade during the Galleon trade years. Coffee beans, at one time were of the same value as gold and a lot of people considered a barrel of coffee beans as valuable as their weight in gold.
So why should I buy ice blended coffee and not my regular hot coffee? As opposed to hot coffee of course cold coffee is colder. But recent studies have shown that cold coffee packs more than icy cold goodness in every sip. Cold coffee is actually “coffier” than the usual coffee.
This means that the levels of caffeine found in cold coffee has greater concentration than the ones that are found in hot coffee.
Ice blended coffee in fact has better effect on people working in the wee hours of the night than hot coffee. Cold coffee also has more antioxidants because of the high levels of concentration of caffeine. And believe it or not, cold coffee is cheaper to make the hot
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Monday, March 29, 2010

Coffee and cream

At Imperial Tea Court 2Image by MetaGrrrl via Flickr

During the recent years, we have been taken over by an experience a lot different from the others, an experience of pure and unadulterated goodness, one that makes a rollercoaster ride like a slow turtle on mud. An experience so magical, so unique and so electrifying that a lot of people are standing in line just to be served the experience-the ultimate coffee experience that is.
We have seen them sprout and mushroom almost everywhere that we can find. Cafes and coffee shops have been steadily increasing in number not only in the urban areas but in the suburban and rural areas as well.
This is brought about by the large demand of the current generation for a place to do their business, meet people, hang-out with friends and spend moments with special people.
Because of the abundance of choices and the seemingly endless choices of products, people are becoming more and more discerning of their choice of venue and product. As they say only the best will survive, and the truth is only those who could provide the best coffee experience last long enough to say how they manage to do it.
Out on a coffee experience
The seemingly endless competition of big and small coffee shop and cafs all boil down to one thing, how you make the coffee. Being the primary product of a coffee shop it is an imperative that the coffee we are served meets the high standards of the consumers.
Not only is the taste being judged, the presentation, the excitement and the experience that it gives and creates in the customer serves as the basis for how much the product will impact the society.
Classic combinations like coffee and sugar and coffee and cream of course will never be out of the picture but since people are looking for an adventure with every cup, it wouldn’t be bad to experiment on different brews that would create a sense of anticipation in the part of the consumer.
Trying out different flavors like hazelnut, nutmeg, cinnamon, chocolate, milk, honey, and other flavors that could boost the smell of the already aromatic smell of pure coffee can make a person’s day.
Blending coffee with different bases could create a different texture that could promise a different experience every time the customer sips his cup. Blending coffee with different ingredients like ice, jelly and colas could give your boring old coffee a different kick.
Since you have become so brave and creative as far as experimenting with your coffee is concerned, why not try outrageous and totally out of this world blends that would surely be the talk of the town.
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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Coffee as your health drink

Stomach colon rectum diagram.Image via Wikipedia

For some time now, the debate continues on the health benefits of coffee. There are a variety of studies which found out that indulging on certain amounts of coffee causes high blood pressures, heart ailments and even ulcers.
On the other hand, there have been an almost equal number of researches that proved the health benefits of drinking coffee. Let’s look more closely on the second one.
Recent medical findings have shown that regular consumption of coffee reduces the risk of Parkinson’s, diabetes, and even lowers the risk of having colon cancer.
It seems that the high caffeine content of coffee is the one responsible for all these. The development of Parkinson’s for one has been found out to be indirectly correlated to the intake of caffeine. The more you take in caffeine, the less the risk you develop the disease. The same goes with type 2 diabetes as well.
As more studies are being conducted, the more they are moving towards making their studies conclusive. It has been found that taking two cups of coffee a day can reduce the risk of developing colon cancer by as low as 25 percent.
An 80% drop in the risk of having liver cirrhosis was observed in people who drink at least 2 cups of coffee on a daily basis.
The antioxidants found in the coffee appear to be the ones responsible for reducing the chances of developing such diseases. It seems that the antioxidants control the growth of the cells of these diseases.
Also, antioxidants are great sources of chlorogenic acid which have been found to be able to reduce glucose concentrations in one’s body.
However, one important factor in all these studies is the quantity of coffee consumption. They have found a number of benefits from drinking a cup or two per day. Some of the benefits disappear once the individual drinks more than two cups of coffee in a day. The more cup of coffee you drink, the less benefits you will receive.
Aside from the antioxidant contents, coffee’s caffeine has some great effects on our body. Recent research from the University of Bristol found out that the caffeine influences our cognition and mood.
According to the study, caffeine from coffee can increase alertness and performance thus increasing one’s productivity especially in the workplace.
Still, coffee does have some not so good effects. Caffeine contains a mild addictive stimulant, coffee itself can cause an increase heart rate as well as an increased blood pressure. But as always, the key is moderation.
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Friday, March 19, 2010

Coffee Companies Can Inspire Entrepreneurs to Do the Same

SEATTLE - JULY 01:  Makenzie Mumford and Brand...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Research shows that coffee is ranked as the third most popular drink in the world. The first of course is water, which is followed by soda. The demand has opened business opportunities for various companies and expansion is not only within the United States but also in other parts of the globe.
One of the most successful of these is Starbucks, which had its humble beginnings more than 20 years ago. The story begins with a few friends who decided to pool the financial resources together to open up a store that sold coffee products.
Things were do well until someone new came along and was sent to Italy for a convention. Given that Italians drink coffee in the streets and enjoy mingling with others, the idea came about of opening the same thing back in the United States.
Initially, the other members were not very keen with it. Donut shops were doing this already but these places only provided brewed coffee. There were no mocha frappucinos or caffe lattes.
Rather than shelving the idea, the group decided to give it a shot in one branch. The establishment was not called Starbucks yet. It was named after Italy’s largest publication called Il Giornale.
Five years later with the help of investors, business expanded like wildfire. There is a Starbucks cafs very near each other so if one is filled, the customer can always go to the next which is a block or two away.
Currently, there are more than 90,000 Starbucks cafes around the world. The recent acquisition of Seattle’s Best has made the company much bigger resulting to annual revenues of more than $7 billion.
Bookstores have even caught up with the idea of putting up a caf. This allows customers to relax and read a book while sipping a cup of coffee. A good example of this is Barnes and Nobles wherein every outlet has this right near the entrance.
But people don’t need a lot of capital to put up a coffee shop. The most important things to have are the machines, the people and a supplier that will provide the ingredients to come up with various concoctions. The only thing the entrepreneur has to now is find a place to rent where there is a lot of foot traffic, fix it up and then reap the benefits of the hard work that was put into making this business a reality.
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Monday, March 15, 2010

Coffee facts and trivia that you will enjoy

Cappuccino with latte art on Coffee Right in B...Image via Wikipedia

Coffee is actually a term that was once used for a wine that is made from the berries of a coffee tree. In fact, the black wine, as it is often referred to during that time, is used in religious rites by people of Mohammed. Of course, as time passed, coffee became a staple and not just wine for religious ceremonies.
Caffeine, although universally taken, is actually one of the substances prohibited by the International Olympic Committee. In fact, there are athletes that are banned from competing just because of caffeine.
They can not have more than 12 micrograms of caffeine in their urine. This is reached when you drink about five cups of coffee straight. Here we thought only steroids were being banned in the Olympic battle ground.
Do you know that the body can actually absorb as much as 300 milligrams of caffeine at one-time. This can be gotten from about 4 cups of coffee. Additional cups do not work because after this limit is reached, they do not provide any more stimulation. In fact, the body has an internal system that neutralizes caffeine every hour.
In the era of the cowboy, they make theirs by straining ground coffee in a clean sock and then dousing them in cold water. This is then heated over fire. Hmm. Coffee in socks! Yukk!
In Paris, the first coffeehouse was opened in 1689. Its name Caf Procope was taken from the owner Francois Procope. The caf caters to artsy people in the city.
Cappuccino is actually the result of several word derivations that are used in different ways. The most original derivation was from an order of friars, the Capuchin. Their name comes from the term used for the hood part of their habit, the cappuccino. Since the color of the cappuccino resembles the habit- coffee topped with cream or milk- it has since began to carry that name.
Countries used different ways to grade their coffee. For instance, in Costa Rica coffees are graded according to the bean. In Kenya, they use the standard A, B, C system which are already in place as grading system for most products in the market.
Different countries drink their coffee in different ways. The Moroccans for instance add peppercorns while those from the Middle East use cardamom and spices. Austrians love putting whipped creams into their coffee cup while the German and the Swiss like it with chocolate. Egyptians drink it black while the Italians put sugar no matter what. The turks even use coffee in their wedding feasts.
Turkish bridegrooms present coffee to their new wives. The custom even mentions that failing to do so can be a ground for divorce. There are coffee houses in Yugoslavia that are known as kafano. They will brew your own coffee while you wait. They use deyza, an open pot and use tiny cups called the demitasse.
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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Alternatives to your coffee cup

Brown cup of coffeeImage via Wikipedia

No matter how good your cup of coffee tastes in the morning, the afternoon between meals, and in the evening; it is best to curb the habit. After all, too much of anything is not good for you.
If you cannot put a stop to your daily stimulant, here are some tips that can help you make each cup a little healthier.
Have some variety
Coffee is not the only thing that you can drink. If possible, look for variety. Do not drink coffee all day. Substitute your cup of coffee with hot chocolate or maybe an orange juice or lemonade. Cola drinks are not an alternative as these also contain caffeine.
If you can, look for alternatives to caffeine such as juices and other great drinks. This way, you will not have only caffeine running through your veins, you will have vitamin C and sugar to keep you awake and alert for the duration of the day.
Eat not drink

Some people just drink coffee because they don’t want to eat anymore, either because they are dieting or because they just don’t have the time to eat anything anymore. This, however, is not a healthy.
If you are hungry, eat! Just stick to the healthy alternative if you don’t want to gain weight. One example is fruit; they can be a healthy alternative to coffee. Fruits can provide the vitality and energy that you need from your coffee and at the same time give you essential vitamins and minerals. Always put some biscuits inside your drawer. Coffee-flavored can probably be a good alternative to your coffee craving.
Oatmeal
Another good alternative to coffee is the oatmeal. Like coffee, it is steaming hot, and it provides great energy for the rest of the day. What is more, oatmeal is a great antioxidant which keeps the body healthy and hearty. If you do not like a taste, then choose packs of oatmeal that have flavors like chocolate and vanilla.
Exercise
What great way to stimulate the senses and to increase one’s energy than to engage in physical activity to start your day off? Your muscles will need to get used to the activity but eventually you will be able to feel the strength that physical activity gives you.
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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Using Coffee for Braising

A photo of a cup of coffee.Image via Wikipedia

Using Coffee for Braising

Are you aware that your favorite coffee blend could also be used in cooking other dishes? Chefs from all over the world are now developing new and revolutionary dishes that make use of this favorite morning and afternoon drink. Many chefs and restaurateurs are now braising, using coffee as an important ingredient in the liquid.
Food enthusiasts assert that coffee adds a significant amount of depth and layer to flavor. One of the most popular braised foods with coffee ingredients is mushroom sauce. Squab could also be braised using coffee. Some chefs add a small amount of non-sweetened cocoa powder to braise squab.
Do not be surprised to know that braising using coffee does not involve meat alone. Arctic char could also be rubbed with coffee grounds, black pepper, coriander, and cumin. It is then wrapped in hoja santa leaves before being braised in coffee ajus and beef. Veal stock and coffee could also be braised with foie grass.
When using coffee and coffee grounds in braising, pay particular attention to the amount or volume of coffee you use. The amount should depend on how strong you want the flavor to be. Be relaxed as there is just no fast and hard rule. Chefs recommend using strong coffee as a substitute for half of the stock, especially when braising heavily cut meat such as lamb and beef. The aromatic property of coffee could be integrated with the stock following simmering for a few hours.
Take note not to make the coffee flavor discernible. Remember that the goal you should have in using coffee for braising is not to make it taste in the meat. Rather, coffee should effectively blend in and boost layers of flavors. Combining stock and coffee can be easy for cooks who normally have pots of beef stock or veal simmering on a back burner.
You could use strongly brewed coffee instead of instant blends when braising. Some chefs also assert that instant espresso also works well. You could perform some experiments when braising so that you can determine how much more coffee would be useful when cooking. Be attentive and be creative when combining coffee with other active ingredients in cooking.
The idea is to make the flavor surface and last. You could also use coffee grounds and leftovers because it really would not matter. Open your eyes, your nose, and your taste buds to different new possibilities in braising by using coffee.
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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What’s Hot with Decaf?

A photo of a cup of coffee.Image via Wikipedia

If you’re a coffee drinker you probably know what decaf which is short for decaffeinated coffee is. And because you’re a hard core coffee drinker, you (or some of you) will frown on a cup of decaf being offered to you. You might, in fact, get into a huge fuss and begin a tantrum to the surprise of your host. Two things might happen. One, your host will never ever serve you decaf coffee again or two, you will never ever be invited for a cup again. So if you want to still keep your circle of friends, I would suggest to you to lay low and to tone down the exaggeration with decaf.

Some of you might be asking what’s with decaf? Why do coffee drinkers make a big deal out of it? Well coffee contains caffeine. This is a natural supplement and is present in every kind of coffee. Some will have more while some will contain less. Caffeine is where coffee gets that all too famous stimulating power. On the average, depending on the kind of coffee, the caffeine content is from 0.8 percent and 2.5 percent. The caffeine also affects the taste of the coffee.

Decaffeinated coffee has the absence of caffeine in the coffee. The reason for this is that some people have adverse reactions to caffeine. So the market of decaf coffee is really those people who want to enjoy the taste of coffee minus the caffeine. Since caffeine is a natural occurring active ingredient, decaf has to be manufactured. Although decaf in essence is a non-caffeine containing coffee, in reality industry regulators can already classify coffee decaf when it contains a mere 0.1 percent caffeine.

Caffeine is extracted from the unroasted green beans. When your roast coffee beans, the flavor comes out so it would be best to remove the caffeine from green beans. Manufacturers use caffeine-selective solvents to get the coffee stimulant out of the beans. Solvents can be water or dichloromethane.

When manufacturers use water as solvent, the green coffee beans are rinsed with it for a long time. After some time, the caffeine dissolves. The water containing the dissolved caffeine then passes through an active carbon filter which absorbs the active stimulant. The beans are then air dried, roasted, ground and packed. Almost the same process is involved when using the dichloromethane process. The solvent just differs and an added step of steaming the beans to remove any remaining solvent is added.

Modern technology has made it possible to extract caffeine from the beans but retain the flavor and aroma of the coffee. This was one of the fears of coffee drinkers when being served with decaf, that the coffee will not taste like coffee at all. But with the current process, the same type of coffee should taste the same even if it is decaf.




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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Jazz Up Your Java at Home

Curly cappuccinoImage by litlnemo via Flickr

According to National Coffee Drinking Trends, published by the National Coffee Association of U.S.A. Inc., more than 53 percent of consumers age 18 and older drink coffee on a daily basis. That translates into 7.7 million new coffee drinkers.

With consumers enjoying a wider range of coffee drinks in offices, corner cafes and restaurants, they are also demanding better-tasting coffee at home. Here are a few ideas for a better brew:

* Pressure-brewed is best. In blind tests, more people prefer the taste of coffee that is high-pressure brewed, versus any other method. High-pressure-brewed coffee requires the use of pump-pressure coffee machines, like espresso machines.

* All pressure-coffee machines are not equal
. There are several types of these machines. Steam-driven espresso machines create pressure in a closed boiler, then force the hot water through the coffee. Most can make up to 10 ounces of coffee at a time. A pump espresso machine pumps hot water through ground coffee faster than a steam machine, creating more pressure with better flavor and aroma.

Automatic coffee centers, like those from Jura-Capresso, provide maximum flavor and aroma because they grind the beans just before the high-pressure brewing process. These machines control all aspects of high-pressure brewing, resulting in a better quality beverage, regardless of whether you choose an espresso, cappuccino, latte or just a large cup of pressure-brewed coffee.


* Look for crema. Crema is thick frothy foam that sits on top of pressure-brewed coffee or espresso, trapping all the flavor and aroma underneath.

* A high-pressure-brewed coffee should always be the base for your cappuccino or latte. If you prefer cappuccinos or lattes, experiment with the amount of milk to suit your taste. Remember, coffee does not have calories, but milk does.

* Determine your price range. Take a look at your coffee-drinking habits. If you purchase two cappuccinos a day, you may be spending about $1,900 a year on gourmet coffee. For less than this, you can purchase an automatic coffee center from Jura-Capresso that produces the same quality found in the coffeehouses.





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Monday, February 22, 2010

French Press Coffee - Style And Flavor For Your Coffee

Coffe perculator fountain version. Halboffene ...Image via Wikipedia

The French press style of coffee making produces very rich, aromatic and tasty coffee. It uses very coarsely ground coffee that basically steeps in the brewing water for several minutes allowing all the flavours to fully extract from the coffee grinds. Because of the filtering system there is always some sediment which some people don't like.

A French press coffee maker has two parts: a straight-sided container usually made of glass, and a filter-plunger that pushes through the water to filter out the coffee after it has steeped. This plunger also serves as the lid. There are some models of French Press that are insulated which is good for keeping things hot while it steeps.

To brew coffee with a French Press, you should pre-heat the carafe while you boil your water. When ready, empty the carafe, add your coffee, and then add your brewing water. You may wish to stir the coffee grinds around to be sure all of them are in contact with water. You should now put the plunger/lid on the pot to help retain heat. DO NOT press it down yet, it needs to steep for about four minutes (a little more or less depending the coarseness of the grind).





Once you feel the coffee has brewed enough, slowly depress the plunger trapping the grounds on the bottom. Do not force the plunger. If it doesn't want to go down, simply lift the plunger up slightly and try again. The filter can jam on grinds that are too fine. Just take your time and it will work.

Despite what some may say, it is usually best to decant the coffee into an insulated serving pot. If you leave the coffee in the French Press it will remain in contact with the grinds and keep brewing. This will quickly ruin your coffee. The other main reason to pour your coffee off is to keep it warm. French Press pots are not well insulated and coffee cools off very quickly.

Play with the brewing time and grind coarseness until you get the taste that you like best. Once you've done that you will have some of the tastiest coffee anywhere.

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Is That Hot Coffee Really Good For You?

Brown cup of coffeeImage via Wikipedia

It is common knowledge that the caffeine content in coffee is not good for human health. In spite of that, caffeine consumption the world over has increased in the past decade. If you are a regular hot coffee drinker and still not familiar with the health issues it poses, it might be worthwhile to read this.

Tremendous amount of research time has been spent to study the effect of caffeine on people. Most of the findings have discovered that caffeine ( and coffee is one of the highest caffeine laced beverage, a lot higher than tea) has some kind of effect on almost all body parts. Serious health hazards such as rheumatoid arthritis and heart attacks have also been linked to coffee. The common ailments are increase in blood pressure ( can be fatal in individuals who already suffer from high blood pressure) and change in the level of stress hormones. Heart palpitations, jitters and weakening of the nervous system have also been associated with long time coffee drinkers.





One of the most harmful effects of hot coffee has been connected with pregnant women. Malformation or low birth weight is a chronic problem faced by doctors in cases where the mother has been a regular coffee drinker. Coffee is said to reduce the ability of the woman’s body to absorb calcium and other important minerals which can have harmful results on the child. Lactating mothers are also warned against having coffee as that gets transferred to the child and the child may loose the ability to process caffeine in the long run.

The harmful effect of hot coffee is a debatable topic and people continue to take sides on this matter. It should be kept in mind that regular usage of coffee is definitely harmful for the health.



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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Should you freeze your coffee?

BONDOWOSO, EAST JAVA, INDONESIA - AUGUST 11: F...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

There are many different ways to store coffee in order to maintain freshness. One of the suggested methods is to put your ground coffee or coffee beans in the freezer. Is storing coffee in the freezer a good way to maintain freshness? Let’s look at the pros and cons.

Freezing has been used for centuries as a way to extend the life of many foods. A diverse selection of foods can be frozen. Bread, meat, fruits, vegetables and even butter can be successfully stored in your freezer. Freezing even maintains many of the vitamins and nutritional value of a wide variety of foods. Coffee, however, isn’t as likely a candidate for storage in the freezer.



Coffee has four main enemies against freshness: air, heat, light and moisture. At first, freezing doesn’t seem to contain many of the offending enemies. However, appearances can be deceiving.

Coffee beans have been roasted in order to enhance flavor. The beans are also porous. Unfortunately a freezer can contain many other foods which have odors. The porous beans can absorb the flavors of many other frozen foods. Flavored coffees can be pleasant, but no one wants to drink seafood or garlic flavored coffee.



Moisture can also be absorbed by the coffee beans. Moisture can cause deterioration and loss of flavor. The more often you take coffee out of the freezer and put it back in, the more moisture absorption takes place into the bean. If you absolutely need to freeze some coffee because you have a large excess you’d like to keep, only freeze it once. The more you take it in and out of the freezer, the more damage you do.

Freezing also breaks down the oils in the beans. The oils contribute to the flavor of the coffee. Breaking down the oils means taking away flavor, and let’s face it, a large part of a good cup of coffee is the flavor.

When it comes down to it, freezing is not the best way to store your coffee. Keep coffee stored in a cool, dry, airtight container away from light. Freezing coffee is possible, and is best if you only freeze it once. The resulting loss of flavor and quality from repetitive freezing makes it a method of storage to stay away from. Your best bet is to purchase only enough beans or ground coffee to supply you for 1-2 weeks. Enjoy the coffee at its freshest!
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Monday, February 8, 2010

Gourmet Coffee and Coffee Buying Tips

A modern espresso machine.Image via Wikipedia

While you are hunting for gourmet coffee or an associated food and drink accessory, it is essential that you make use of the large number of articles that are provided on a great many of the coffee related websites or directories. In other words, if you are hunting for an italian coffee pot or a german coffee jug then locating some first hand guidance from a coffee professional is bound to supply you with an advantage over other shoppers.



You should be particularly wary if the so called "coffee expert" gives a product guide, but also has a buying button on his or her own website. For example if you should find a really hot review on latte coffee and there just happens to be a "purchasing" link then the chances are the expert who wrote the review is clearly selling coffee products and such under a pretense. The trick is to look at coffee reviews from specialists who are genuinely interested in this specialist sector of coffee.



The ideal coffee review site will contain a varying variety of reviews on subjects including how to locate the highest quality coffee for your requirements or best coffee product comparisons, furthermore if the writer has many articles more on subjects like bunn easy pure coffee pots or bunn espresso machines but does not provide the reader any clear means in which to get these food and drink products then without a doubt this free coffee guidance is most likely compiled by somebody who just writes and reviews the subject of coffee out of sheer interest.

The coffee manufactures might often contact reliable comparison directories the minute they launch a brand new model. Say for a minute some new world coffee blend baskets have just been launched, it is certainly worth the manufacturers sending out a free coffee product for review, simply because they can be certain that if the coffee reviewer gives their products the ok, then sales of their product are bound to increase.

Sourcing advice on new coffee items is fairly easy however. The typical food and drink buyer may need some assistance. Depending on the coffee products you want enter these types of search terms into the search engines but ensure you use inverted comma's, for example "write ups on bunn coffee makers" or "gourmet coffee sampler bag kit reviews".
This will ensure you locate the exact information you need without wasting too much time.

Another interesting thing about coffee write ups is that if you find them in food and drink journals, then most times the items will be offered for free in competitions. You have to remember that these sort of places are given a bundle of coffee focused merchandise to review. On one occasion a friend once won a years supply of gourmet coffee, which he subsequently auctioned so that he could buy a antique coffee table. This was possible because he was hunting for product guides on coffee table plans, product reviews are absolutely priceless.


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Sunday, February 7, 2010

History Of Kenya Coffee

Coffee iconImage via Wikipedia

The birth place of coffee is relatively close to Kenya but getting it there was not an easy task and full of bloodshed. The Arabs who controlled coffee enslaved thousands of Kenyan's where they worked on the coffee plantations in Kenya and Arabia. This was followed by the British settlers around 1900 who quickly assumed control over the country which led to more bloodshed.

In the first part of the 20th century the interior was settled by British and European farmers who became rich by farming coffee on the backs of the Kenyan workers. By the 1930's the farmers powers had become very strong. Even with over 1 million Kikuyu tribe members calling it home they had no real land claims according to the Europeans. To protect their interest the wealthy Europeans banned them from growing coffee, introduced a hut tax and gave them less and less for their labor. The Kikuyu were forced to leave their land and go to the cities in order to survive. This legal slavery of the population continued for a century until the British relinquished control in 1960. Despite all this bloodshed and slavery Kenya coffee has flourished and is among one of the finest cups in the world.

All Kenya coffee grown is Arabica coffee grown on the rich volcanic soil that is found in the highlands of the country. Today around 250,000 Kenyans are employed in the production of coffee. Most is produced by small land holders that are members of cooperatives that process their own coffee. Still, even with
Kenya coffee's specialty status, Kenya coffee farmers still remain among the poorest in the world.

Recently Kenya farmers have introduced the Ruiru 11 hybrid plant and it is causing concern amongst true Kenya coffee lovers. This is because it may lack the traditional Kenya coffee attributes that coffee aficionados love. The Kenya Coffee Board is trying to promote Ruiru 11 as an alternative to the farmers but their efforts are overshadowed by the rumors that it tastes like a low grade coffee from a different country. History will have to be the judge to see who is correct.

Kenya coffee has a bright acidity and a wonderful sweetness with a dry winy aftertaste. A really good Kenya coffee will also have a black-current flavor and aroma. Some of the worlds finest coffees come from Kenya. Kenya has this level of quality through a government-run system that offers rewards to farmers for producing better quality coffee. This policy has lead to steady improvements and consistenty in each cups quality. Each lot of Kenya coffee, if it is from a large farm or a small co-op has to undergo rigorous testing for quality by the Coffee Board of Kenya.



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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

This Is The Way To Serve Coffee

A photo of a cup of coffee.Image via Wikipedia

They know how to serve coffee in Pasadena, Maryland. A coffee shop called Java Divas has young females, clad in sexy lingerie take your order and serve you your morning coffee. Now if the coffee doesn't perk you up, the women will.
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The idea isn't original and the first business that tried something like this was burned down by arson, I 'm all for a second attempt. Living on the east coast I could get to Pasadena Maryland in a matter of hours. Looks like I might be going on a coffee run. How would you like yours?




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