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Coffee is a beverage that has been with us since the start of human existence, most of us love and drink it on a daily basis but do we know where it comes from?

Coffee the beverage that history loves

Coffee the beverage that history lovesAround the time of A.D 850 legend has it that a lone shepherd and his flock happened upon a strange new plant that was growing upon the slopes of lonely hillside. Before the shepherd could intervene some of his herd had started to chomp away at this newly discovered delicacy. After about a quarter of an hour the shepherd began to notice that the entire flock were acting in an extremely lively manner. They appeared to be not only very alert but even hyperactive. Now the shepherd being slightly weary and more than a little tired decided that he also should sample the berries and see what, if any effect they would have on him. He secretly hoped that the dramatic effect that he had observed the berries to have on his greedy flock of sheep would also be his experience. Just as had happened with his herd, he too started to feel the benefits and in a matter of minutes he also [pardon the pun] was extremely full of beans. A few hours passed and along came a wandering monk. The herder proceeded to tell him of the plants amazing qualities but he was immediately scolded for his outlandish ways and foolhardy behaviour. After he had finished telling the shepherd just what a sinner he had been the monk went on his way but not before he had hidden a little something in his bottom of his backpack.Back at the monastery the monks decided to try this new and exciting substance. Soon the endless hours of praying were endured with the greatest of ease. Coffee, the drink had been revealed to the world. Its widespread use then took a grip in the Ethiopian lands before then migrating on to the Arabian outlands. Here it was to be held for many years as a sacred substance but was eventually to be unlawfully exported by a merchant called Baba Budan. Word of its qualities were soon to spread and within a few years coffee was to emerge as one of the most valued commodities of all time. Now would you believe that each year we drink an amazing four billion cups and there are those among us who would cry at the thought of starting their day without it.Although coffee is mainly known as a sleep suppressant there are those who consider coffee to have many health benefits. It is thought that people who suffer from asthma and partake of the beverage have at least 25% less symptoms which may be due to a substance in coffee called theophylline. This is known as a bronchodilator and quite simply it is thought to help those who suffer with the disease to breath with a little more ease. Drinking coffee on a daily basis is also thought to help lower your chances of developing colon cancer by a figure also in the region of about 25%. This may be due to the fact that coffee helps to keep you regular. Coffee can do more than just help you get through your day!Its curious that the vast majority of folk have no idea of the different tastes and delights that this king of all drinks has to offer us. One of the swiftest growing trends of the last few years has to be the rising popularity of buying coffee via the internet. Never before have we been able to so easily get hold of such a large and voluptuous variety of blends, tastes and tantalising aromas from all over the world. With the aid of the wonderful web, trekking around the local neighbourhood to try and find some new exciting coffee blends has became a thing of the past. Sitting at home I can now search out an almost infinite variety of coffees from all over the world and order them at the click of a mouse. I tend to place numerous orders via the web and I always make a point of recording blend, country, and from exactly whom I purchased.Now you know the history of this magical bean I hope that if in the days to come you are thinking of visiting your local coffee shop you recall the information you have read on this website and make the most of this wonderful drink. Go on and try some new varieties. Not only will you impress your friends, your tastebuds will be thrilled as well.Latte or Cappuccino?

How To Select A Coffee Bean Grinder

How To Select A Coffee Bean Grinder

If youre currently wondering how to select a coffee bean grinder to suit you and your kitchen then you probably already know that there are various options open to you. In simple terms most coffee grinders will be spilt into two camps blade grinders and burr grinders. So how do you choose between the two? First, its worth noting that you can buy both types of grinder as both electric and manual options if you wish. Its becoming more popular for people to buy electric machines on the whole as there is a big added convenience here so, for the purposes of this guide, well be focusing on electrical options rather than manual ones. In simple terms the final decision you make when it comes to working out how to select a coffee bean grinder will, in most cases, come down to budget and to how seriously you think about coffee so this is worth bearing in mind as you read through this article. So, lets take a look some of the pros and cons of the two types of grinder. If you want, you can learn more about coffee gridners here: http://www.coffee-n-beans.com/grinders.htmlBlade GrindersBlade grinders as the name suggests use a blade to chop up your coffee beans until they are ground. Most of these machines work on a simple principle the longer the machine grinds, the finer the grind will be. Pros - Generally cheaper than burr grinders.- Do an effective job of grinding your "coffee beans" .Cons -Cant give a completely consistent or even grind (this can have an adverse effect on the taste and quality of the coffee you drink).-The blades on some models may overheat especially if they are left on longer for a finer grind which can again alter the actual taste of your coffee.Burr GrindersA burr grinder often also referred to in some circles as a mill works on a different principle to a blade grinder. Here the beans are crushed between the machines moving wheel and its static surface. You decide on the level of grind by using pre-specified settings on the burr. Models vary between doser and doserless for coffee bean storage in the actual grinder. Pros - A burr grinder will give you a consistently even grind with no problems.- These grinders and their grinding pres-sets are easy to use.Cons - A burr grinder will generally cost you more than a blade grinder.- Some models clog easily and can be harder to clean.So, when youre deciding how to select a "coffee grinder" as you can see you need to consider how important the quality of your grind and the resulting taste of your coffee is to you as an individual to a certain extent. This is what will dictate whether you opt for a blade grinder or a burr grinder at the end of the day. Most blade grinders users will simply like a regular cup of coffee that has been ground at home for optimum freshness. If you simply like grinding your own beans for basic coffee drinking use then theres no real reason why you should waste money on a burr grinder when a blade grinder will suit your needs just as well. Its very important to remember here that a blade grinder may give a more uneven grind but it still does an effective job. But you may not get the best grind and therefore the best tasting cup of coffee from the beans you buy in this case. One good tip that many blade grinder fans give is to give the grinding machine a little gentle shake every now and then as this will help distribute the bits of cut beans more evenly which may help your grinds consistency. If, however, your cup of coffee is real important to you and you want consistent brewing results each and every time you grind your beans, then you will probably be better off looking at buying some sort of burr grinder to meet your needs. These grinders are adored by coffee aficionados simply because they treat your coffee beans and the grinding process consistently and will therefore bring out the best taste for every cup by making sure that each grind is even across every single coffee bean. Its real simple to source and buy each kind of grinder both in stores or over the Internet. Major coffee maker manufacturers such as Braun, Capresso, Alpina, Mr. Coffee, DeLonghi, Russell Hobbs, KitchenAid, Krups and Solis will all have a grinder line of some sort to choose from. You may find if you shop around a little that you may be able to afford to buy a more expensive grinder for your budget as there are often great bargains and discounts to be had all year round. For this reason its certainly worth while not rushing out and buying the first grinder you see but doing some price comparisons first to see what savings can be made. Its equally important to read reviews to find out how specific models have worked for other people in the past. The Internet is a great source for these kinds of user reviews so once youve identified a few models you can log on and see how these machines have worked for others in their homes rather than just relying on manufacturers blurb. This will give you a real useful idea of how well a model/models may actually work in your own home rather than having to wait to find out once youve purchased a grinder. There are certain things to look out for in these kinds of user reviews. For example, you should be looking to discover if other grinder users have found that their grinder: - Gets clogged or blocked easily. - Gets beans stuck in its mechanism. - Overheats and leaves a bitter taste on the coffee. - Is easy to clean and maintain. - Gives a really even grind consistently. - Is excessively noisy. - Has a problem with static electricity. - Gives you an easy way to pour out your ground coffee. - Is well made and wont fall apart after a couple of uses. If you can get the right kinds of answers to these questions then the chances are youll find the kind of grinder either burr or blade thats right for you.

Quoi de neuf dans le monde du caf

Quoi de neuf dans le monde du caf

Actuellement, le caf est la boisson la plus consomme en France, juste aprs leau !Cest dire si ce breuvage ne peut-tre ignor au petit djeuner ou tout au long de la journe.Mais du caf soluble lexpresso, il y a un monde !En effet il existe de nombreuses varits de cafs : arabica, robustaEn fait, il nexiste pas un, mais plusieurs cafs, et a selon leurs origines.Les grains de caf ne rendent pas tous le mme got ou la mme intensit, cela est d en partie leur torrfaction.En effet pour faire un bon caf, il faut une bonne torrfaction car cest celle-ci qui dterminera le got du produit fini.Un caf peut avoir un got trs diffrent dun autre, tout dpend du type de torrfaction quil a subi. Par ailleurs, dans le but daider les petits producteurs de caf pour la plupart venant dAfrique noire et dAmrique du Sud ainsi que du Vit Nam, Nous avons vu arriver dans le courant des annes 60 le dveloppement dun commerce quitable afin de permettre aux pays du Sud de bnficier davantage du fruit de leur culture de caf en la vendant aux commerces des pays du Nord disposant dun label commerce quitable diminuant ainsi les intermdiaires. En effet ce dernier est un ensemble de rseaux de distribution de produits de consommation de pays du Sud qui obit des conditions considres comme pouvant amliorer, si possible durablement, la situation des producteurs qui y adhrent.Saviez-vous quil ny a pas que grand-mre qui sait faire du bon caf ? Rcemment un site de caf vendu en ligne a t cre par un jeune entrepreneur : Matthias MONTANGERAND.www.e-cafetier.fr est un site spcialis dans la vente de caf torrfis de manire artisanale. Vous y trouverez des cafs rares, bio et issus du commerce quitable encore mconnus du grand public.

Barista Competitions

Barista Competitions

A barista is a person who prepares coffee drinks in a coffee house as his or her profession and especially strives to create the perfect espresso. The barista possesses extensive knowledge on different kinds of beans and roasts and has the technical skills required to master the espresso machine. Baristas consider the extraction of coffee as art and they actually perform in front of their customers each time they prepare an espresso, a cappuccino, a caffe latte or a caffe mocha. However, if they wish for larger audience and consider themselves as really talented they can consider competing in barista competitions. These events take place every year and they are held at local and national levels. The ultimate title to win is the World Barista Champion.The World Barista Championship was first held in 2000 in Monte Carlo and it became quickly a public event where the best baristas from different countries battled for espresso making supremacy. The World Barista Championship takes place every year in a different country and the competitors are the winners of the national barista competitions. In the United States the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) hosts several local barista competitions. There are ten regions, and each state has been assigned to a region. Local competitions are sponsored by businesses, and the winner of each of the local events has the chance to try to impress the jury at the US Barista Championship. There are many barista competitions in Europe and the United Kingdom. Canada, Australia and Central America also have barista competitions at the local, regional and national levels.In a barista competition the judges have to assess both the contenders and the coffee drinks they make. The criteria based on which they score each barista involve the quality and taste of the beverage, personal presentation, technique and also the presentation of the coffee drink. The baristas race against the clock as they are only allowed to perform for 15 minutes. They also have 15 minutes before the actual presentation to prepare with every detail for the show - ingredients like syrups, chocolate sprinkles or anything that you can think of except alcohol, cups, trays, blenders, mixers and portable burners. Contenders even roast their own coffee and bring it with them at the competition. After serving their drinks, baristas have 15 minutes to clean their station before they make room for another contestant. The "espresso machine" s used in the competition are key to the taste of the coffee. The machines must be left absolutely clean and free from any impurities. During the 15 minute performance interval baristas have to prove their skills by preparing 4 espressos, 4 cappuccinos and 4 signature drinks. Four sensory judges that have to decide on the quality of the drinks sample each one of the beverages. While preparing the beverages, the baristas have to present their work, give details about the ingredients they used to the audience and also treat the judges as customers in a coffee shop. One can only imagine the stress.After the espressos and cappuccinos, which are finished with latte art - complicate designs drawn atop the cup with foamed milk by using the pitcher, the time comes for the signature drink. It is the competitor's original creation and this is where baristas reveal their creativity and skills combining roasts, syrups, steaming and frothing milk and using all sorts of ingredients and flavours that turn their beverages into savory works of art. The baristas can spend even months to invent this perfect drink that can bring them the victory in a competition. Here are some examples of drinks that barista champions have invented:

  • Troels Poulsen, the 2005 World Barista Championship winner, created a drink called ESB, as in "enhanced sensory balance" by combining melted pepper-gel, espresso and lavender syrup.
  • Phuong Tran, the 2005 USA Barista Champion, was inspired by her childhood in creating the Crimson Sage, a drink made of sugar cane juice, white pepper powder and steamed milk infused with sage leaves. She said that as a child she loved drinking sugar cane juice with ice and she always dreamed of using it in a drink.
  • Sammy Piccolo, the 2004 Canadian Barista Championship winner, created "Insieme" by using raw sugar, egg yolks, curry, bittersweet chocolate and milk.
  • Bronwen Serna, USA Barista Champion of 2004, entitled her signature drink "Sweetness" because the main "secret" ingredient was honey. She also used dark chocolate powder and served it with a dark chocolate square.
Baristas train hard for these competitions, especially if they have the chance to participate in the World Barista Championship. They try to bring to perfection their technique and put together their program as during the competition everything has to work smoothly, no glitches are allowed. They can actually be compared to athletes rehearsing for the Olympic games as some of them even have coaches that sometimes play the role of judges in preparation for the competition. Barista trainingWell, perhaps after reading about the competition requirements it might be wise to brush up a bit on your skills. There are several ways to either get basic skills training as a barista or enhance your existing skills:
  • Books and manuals. There are many books or manuals available that take you step by step through the processes of making an espresso, a cappuccino and other specialty coffee drink. The drawback is that you only have still pictures to look at which may make it difficult for beginners to see the details of the methods.
  • Videos. These provide both visual modeling as well as commentary on how to produce the perfect cup of espresso.
  • Training classes. There are training locations in most areas that offer courses that range from three hours to a full day on learning the secrets of a barista. Many of these programs also deal with how to care for the espresso machine and offer a certificate upon completion.
  • Hands-on. Some experienced barista will offer personal training or mentoring for those interested in becoming a barista or in improving their skills.
Whatever you decide to do, if you have a talent for making a great cup of espresso you should consider entering a barista competition. You will meet other people that share your passion for coffee and will certainly get some new ideas to try in your coffee shop.

How To Choose A Coffee Maker

Have you seen the choices in coffee makers today? Have you seen what they can do? I don't think it will be long before they are able to bring you your cup of coffee in bed!There are the very popular filter machines, French press and stovetop espresso coffee makers. There are glass carafe coffee makers, thermal carafe coffee makers, some industrial sizes with two pots that brew at the same time. If you are into espresso did you know that there are three different types of espresso makers to choose from? Steam, pump or piston. How about the coffee maker that makes you one individual cup of coffee?Then, to complicate it even more there is the decision of what you want the coffee maker to do other than brew coffee!!! Do you want your coffee maker to have a pause so that you can pull the pot out for your first cup before it is finished brewing? Or, do you want your coffee maker to have the coffee ready for you when you get up? Do you want to be able to grind your own beans? If yes, do you want a separate coffee bean grinder or do you want one that is built right into the coffee maker? If you say yes, do you want your coffee maker to figure out just the right amount of ground coffee for the amount of water you choose? How about the strength of coffee? There are machines that let you choose how strong they brew your coffee. Some have built in water filters. Some have auto turn offs. Some allow you to use a permanent filter rather than deal with messy paper filters.If you head isn't spinning enough now comes the toughest decision of all... what type of coffee do you want? Do you prefer a light roast or a medium roast or a dark roast? How about an Italian or Espresso roast - the heaviest of all roasts. Have you thought about roasting your own beans? There are many sources of green beans available and home coffee roasters can easily be purchased and you can be well on your way to not only brewing your coffee, but roasting your beans.

Simple Gourmet Coffee

There are a number of countries that produce coffee and new regions are converting their crops to the mighty bean as our demand for different tasting coffee increases. We are also adding more exotic flavourings to our coffee. It comes as no surprise that the number of coffee shops and stores that sell coffee beans and all the associated paraphernalia to be able to make our own perfect coffee at home.Coffee houses are a great place for us to go and relax with friends and family over an expertly made cup of coffee. We often ignore how much effort has been put into our drink by the coffee maker that roasts the beans, grinds them up and then uses the exact quantity required to brew a satisfying cup of coffee for us. There are a number of techniques involved in making a cup of coffee and a lot of us are happy to leave someone else to make it for us. The equipment used is only part of the story; you also need to practice with various quantities of coffee and water until it reaches your optimum strength.We are almost overwhelmed by the huge variety of types of coffee that are available. Not only does the coffee taste different depending on the country and region that the beans were grown in but also from year to year. This is due to the changes in weather from one coffee growing season to another.If you go to a specialist coffee shop you are likely to be confronted with a huge selection of flavourings that you can add to your coffee to make it even more to your liking.The strength and bitterness of the coffee can be adjusted by using different quantities of water and coffee, adding sweeteners and milk as well as adding milk. One tip for lowering the bitterness level is to never use boiling water as this scalds the coffee and gives it a bitter taste. Always use water that is just below boiling temperature when making your coffee.Everyone has their own opinion about what makes the perfect cup of coffee but you will find your own technique through trial and error.

Summary

Coffee is a beverage that has been with us since the start of human existence, most of us love and drink it on a daily basis but do we know where it comes from?