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.





Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

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.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

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.



Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

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!
Click Here to follow me on Twitter






Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

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.


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

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.



Reblog this post [with Zemanta]