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The Magic Of Coffee

Mar 8, 2008
Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in the entire world along with water and tea. It is made from roasted coffee seeds or beans. People usually drink it hot but there are some who prefer it cold while others add sweetener, milk, cream or nondairy creamer to their preference.

The Origin Of The Beverage

Coffee was first discovered in Ethiopia around the 9th century when shepherds noticed their flock consuming some of the beans in the pasture. The goats appeared to have an increase in their energy level after consuming them. From there, the beverage spread to Egypt, Yemen and finally reached Turkey, Persia and parts of Africa in the 15th century.

Eventually, the beverage reached Europe and in 1690 the Dutch succeeded in smuggling plants into Europe, in spite of the Arab prohibition of taking plants and roasted beans away from their land. The Dutch grew this smuggled crop in Java, which was their colony at that time. It eventually reached the Americas and although, the Americans initially did not take to it, they gradually accepted it and the demand grew from there.

Kinds Of Coffee

Coffee plants come in two main species, Arabica and Robusta. It is said that Arabica is the better tasting brew but Robusta is sometimes used to substitute it, to cut cost. There are other species of the plant and these are coffea libereca and coffea esliaca. Most of the Arabica beans come from 3 major regions, namely, Latin America, Africa and Asia.

The beans or seeds must be roasted before it can be sold. To do this, the fruits or berries must be picked from the tree, dried, sorted out and sometimes even aged. As they are roasted, they turn dark due to the natural occurrence of caramelized sucrose. When coffee is decaffeinated, the caffeine, which was extracted from the beans, are sold to pharmaceutical companies.

The roasted product must undergo grinding before it can be mixed with water and consumed by people. Grinding usually occurs at the factory but some people prefer to grind their whole beans themselves. Instant coffee is either freeze-dried or dried into soluble powder for easy and less time consuming preparation. Other types of coffees are in cans, ready to drink and pre-mixed with sweeteners and sometimes cream is already added.

Coffee Tasting
Coffee tasting or coffee cupping is experiencing the tastes and aromas of brewed coffee as connoisseurs. Anybody who wants to do it can do it; they just have to go through the motions of the professionals. The taster sniffs deeply at the aroma of the beverage and slurps it so it spreads towards the back of the tongue. Attempts to measure the taste, more specifically the texture or so called mouthfeel, the acidity and balance or the harmony of flavors of the beverage.
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