Coffee is a brewed beverage with a strong flavor prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffea plant. The beans are found in coffee "cherries", which grow on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia, South Asia and Africa.
|Roasted coffee beans|
TYPES OF COFFEE
There are two predominant species of coffee plant: Coffea arabica, known as Arabica coffee, accounts for 75-80% of the world's production. Coffea canephora, known as Robusta coffee, accounts for about 20% and differs from the Arabica coffees in terms of taste.
Coffee beans of the Arabica type are widely considered to have the best flavor profiles, while the Robusta type is predominantly grown for its hardiness and ability to thrive where Arabica cannot. Within Arabica, however, there are many different varietals, each of which produce coffee beans with distinct flavors and characteristics.
HISTORY OF COFFEE
Today, with over 400 billion cups of coffee served around the globe, coffee is the world’s most popular beverage and is ranked the second most valuable commodity after oil. As popular as coffee is today, this unanimous approval and acceptance was not always the case. Coffee faced many obstacles and barriers throughout its long and eventful history. It has been banned under acts of prohibition, smuggled across oceans, and even condemned as Satan’s brew. All told, a fascinating story behind this humble beverage!
Coffee was first discovered in the mountains of Ethiopia (Abyssinia). One of the most popular legends dates back to the 9th century A.D in Abyssinia, the story of a goatherd named Kaldi who lived in the Kaffa region. Kaldi noticed that his goats would become more lively and animated after eating the red berries from a nearby plant. Kaldi tried the berries himself and soon found that he too was full of energy.
From Ethiopia, coffee was said to have spread to Egypt and Yemen.The earliest credible evidence of either coffee drinking or knowledge of the coffee tree appears in the middle of the fifteenth century, in the Sufi monasteries of Yemen. By the 16th century, it had reached the rest of the Middle East, Persia, Turkey, and northern Africa. Coffee then spread to Balkans, Italy, and to the rest of Europe, to Indonesia, and to the Americas.
Flavor Characteristics by Growing Region
Africa and Arabia
These coffees have sweet flavors with sometimes-fruity aroma, with some tart acidity. They often combine the sparkling acidity of the best Central American varieties with interesting floral and winy components. A wide range of flavors from mellow, winy, to zesty and citrus
Americas (Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America)
These coffees are generally light to medium bodied, with a clean mouth feel and slightly sweet, lively acidity. These are some of the most popular varieties that Starbucks sells, and their balance and consistency make them the foundation for coffee blending as well.
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Puerto Rico
Asia, Indonesia and Pacific
These coffees are generally at the opposite end of the spectrum from Latin American coffees. Usually full-bodied, smooth and lower in acidity. Often comprised of exotic and earthy taste elements.
- Papua New Guinea
MOST POPULAR TYPES OF COFFEE
Espresso is a strong black coffee made by forcing steam through dark-roast aromatic coffee beans at high pressure in an espresso machine. A perfectly brewed espresso will have a thick, golden-brown crema (foam) on the surface.
3) AmericanoAn Americano is a single shot of espresso added to a cup of hot water.