Monday, July 30, 2012

COFFEE: History, Types, Tastes and Flavors

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.

Dosya:Roasted coffee beans.jpg
Roasted coffee beans


Coffee tree

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.


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
  • Angola
  • Burundi
  • Cameroon
  • Congo
  • Ethiopia
  • Kenya
  • Rwanda
  • Tanzania
  • Uganda
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

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.
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala
  • Haiti
  • Honduras
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Nicaragua
  • Panama
  • Peru
  • Puerto Rico
  • Venezuela

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.
  • Bali
  • Hawaii
  • India
  • Java
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Sulawesi
  • Sumatra
  • Timor


1) Espresso
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.

2) Cappuccino
A cappuccino is a combination of equal parts espresso, steamed milk and milk froth.

3) Americano
An Americano is a single shot of espresso added to a cup of hot water.

4)Caffe Latte
A caffe latte is a single shot of espresso to three parts of steamed milk.

5) Caf au Lait
This traditional French drink is similar to a caffe latte except that it is made with brewed coffee instead of espresso, in a 1:1 ratio with steamed milk. It is considered a weaker form of caffe latte.

6) Cafe Mocha (Mochachino)
This is a cappuccino or a caffe latte with chocolate syrup or powder added.

7) Caramel Macchiato
The most common method is combining espresso, caramel and foamed milk, though some use steamed milk. Often, vanilla is added to provide extra flavor.

8) Instant Coffee
 Soluble coffee dissolves instantly in hot water. You can add milk if you like.

9) Turkish Coffee
Roasted and then finely ground coffee beans are boiled in a pot or (cezve) and served in a cup where the grounds are allowed to settle. Sugar is added to taste. This method of serving coffee is found in the Middle East, North Africa, the Caucasus, and the Balkans.
10) Irish Coffee 
An alcoholic coffee drink. To make and Irish Coffee, pour a shot of Irish whiskey into a warmed whiskey glass and add three sugar cubes (3 tsp). Fill with strong black coffee to within one inch of top. Stir gently and top to the brim with slightly aerated heavy cream.


Coffee Makers
Tools to Make Coffee

1) Drip Method/ Filter MethodThe drip method is by far the most popular method of making coffee.

2) French Press
The French Press extracts the most flavor from the coffee grounds and is currently the second most popular way to make coffee at home.

3)Turkish Coffee/ the Arab Method It is probably the original way coffee was made (with a pot called cezve) and produces a dark and very strong tasting coffee.

4) Espresso Machine
Same machine is used to make cappuccinos and lattes

5) Instant Coffee
It is the easiest type of coffee to make, just add water, but the taste is often lost in the process.

6) Neapolitan Flip/ the reversible drip pot
It looks like two coffee pots on top of each other.

7) Single Serve Coffee Machines
A coffee maker that will make a cup of coffee.


What coffee means to me, personally

What Coffee Means To Me:  

A cup of heavenly smelling, freshly brewed, deliciously flavored coffee makes us have casual, sincere, informal conversations with family and friends. If you are "talking over a cup of coffee", it is a relaxed and informal chat. 

Making someone a cup of coffee, is a friendly invitation to such a chat.

However, when you invite someone home for a cup of coffee after a date, it usually means intimacy.


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