Fun 303: Drinking Coffee

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Coffee is a steeped hot drink from coffee beans

The beans are picked and baked until they make two distinct popping noises

The darker the roast, the richer the flavor

  • Also, contrary to popular opinion, darker roasts are roasted longer and burn out more caffeine

Coffee has many proven health benefits

  • More energy
  • Improved memory
  • Better mood and less depression
  • Reduced risk of skin cancer
  • Improved blood flow
  • Reduced risk of liver disease
  • Lower risk of gout
  • Lower risk of diabetes
  • Lower risk of neurological disorders or stroke
  • Decreased risk of liver disease

The coffee industry uses many terms

Barista – person preparing coffee

Cupping – a critics’ technique that steeps coarsely ground coffee in hot water within shallow bowls, then using a spoon to taste

Direct Trade – coffee bought from farms instead of brokers

Extraction – drawing flavor from coffee grounds

Fair Trade – a private program that guarantees a minimum coffee price for farmers or growers

Kona – specific strain of coffee grown in Hawaii

Micro-Lot or Single Origin – coffee from a specific farm or part of a farm

Roast – green beans heated to create unique flavors extracted during brewing

  • Green Beans – unroasted coffee beans
  • Roast Date – generally, use coffee within two weeks of the roast date for maximum flavor

Seasonal Coffee – some coffees only grow for certain seasons

Roast coffee with a few methods

Dark Roast – coffee beans roasted until they exude oils, though many people think it overwhelms other flavors

Drip Coffee – coffee steeped through a percolator without pressure

  • Cold Drip Coffee – strained coffee grounds steeped in cold water for twelve hours
  • Filter Coffee – hot water (~200-210°) poured through a filter
  • Nel Drip – drip coffee which uses special flannel filters from Japan that need hand washing and refrigeration when not used
  • Pour-Over Coffee – pouring hot water over a filter by hand

Espresso – hot water forced through fine coffee grounds under pressure

  • Cafe Breve – espresso mixed with steamed half-and-half
  • Crema – thick oils which sit on top of an espresso
  • Americano – a shot of espresso diluted with hot water
  • Cappuccino – a shot of espresso mixed with foamed, steamed milk
  • Con Panna – espresso topped with whipped cream
  • Cortado – espresso topped with flat, steamed milk
  • Flat White – espresso mixed with flat, steamed milk
  • Latte – espresso with steamed milk
    • Baristas sometimes make latte art in milk foam
  • Macchiato – espresso topped with a dab of steamed milk
  • Mocha – espresso mixed with chocolate syrup, steamed milk, and sometimes cream
  • Redeye – espresso mixed with brewed coffee
  • Ristretto – espresso with less water for a stronger and smaller drink

French Press – putting grounds in a plunger with a filter and steeping into hot water

Coffee uses many descriptive terms

Aroma – the coffee’s scent, which contributes to its taste

Bitter – usually from over-extraction

Bland – usually from under-extraction

Body – the coffee’s tactile impression

Bright – the coffee’s sharp or sweet flavor

Briny – a salty sensation

Earthy – rich, spicy sensation

Exotic – aromatic or flavorful

Flavor – all-encompassing aroma, acidity, and body

Spicy – spice strength in the coffee

Stale – over-exposed to oxygen and has a flat taste

Sweet – smooth and free from defects and adverse flavors

Tone – the visual appearance of coffee

Winy – reminiscent of fine red wine

You can add many things to coffee

Quality coffee tastes excellent alone (black coffee)

Make coffee without a coffee machine

  1. Cut the bottom out of a disposable paper coffee cup
  2. Set upside down on a coffee mug
  3. Secure a coffee filter over the top with a rubber band
  4. Place coffee grounds into the top and pour hot water over the grounds

Freeze cream, milk or old coffee in an ice cube tray to avoid diluting iced coffee

Add cream or milk to give it more body

  • Make foamed milk with a microwave
    1. Pour fresh milk about halfway in a jar
    2. Close the lid and shake it until it becomes frothy
    3. Heat the open jar in the microwave for 30 seconds
  • Make foamed milk with a stove
    • Use an immersion blender on milk in a saucepan
  • Make Oreo ice cubes
    1. Crumble up Oreos and put in an ice tray
    2. Pour milk over it and freeze
    3. Add it to coffee when you want
  • Use ice cream instead of milk for a sweeter alternative

Add sugar, sugar cubes or other sweeteners to taste

  • Avoid oversweetened coffee by sipping before adding sugar to set your palate

You can remove bitterness from coffee with a pinch of salt

Add unconventional things to coffee

  • Butter and coconut oil (bulletproof coffee)
  • Cardamum
  • Chinese 5-spice seasoning
  • Cinnamon
  • Citrus like orange peel, lemon juice or lime juice
  • Cocoa powder
  • Eggs (in the filter, known as Scandinavian egg coffee)
  • Eggnog
  • Honey
  • Nutmeg
  • Pepper
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • Vanilla extract

Make pumpkin spice latte by blending the following

  • A cup of milk
  • Two cups of ice
  • Three tablespoons of canned pumpkin
  • 2-4 tablespoons of coffee
  • A tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice
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