Fun 303: Drinking Coffee

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Coffee is a steeped hot drink from dark coffee beans

  • The beans are picked and then baked until they make two distinct popping noises
  • The darker the roast, the richer the flavor
    • Also, contrary to popular opinion, darker roasts have less caffeine from being roasted longer
  • There are many proven health benefits to coffee
    • 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 having diabetes
    • Lower risk of neurological diseases or stroke
    • Decreased risk of liver disease

There are a lot of terms connected to the coffee industry

  • Barista – the coffee preparer
  • Cupping – critics’ technique, coarsely ground coffee is steeped in hot water in shallow bowls, then spooned
  • Direct Trade – coffee bought from farms instead of brokers
  • Extraction – drawing flavor from coffee grounds
  • Fair Trade – private program that guarantees a minimum price of coffee for farmers or growers
  • Kona – coffee grown specifically in Hawai’i
  • Micro-Lot/Single Origin – coffee from a specific farm or part of a farm
  • Roast – green beans are heated to create unique flavors extracted during brewing
    • Green Beans – unroasted coffee beans
    • Roast Date – rule of thumb is that coffee should be used within 2 weeks of roast date
  • Seasonal Coffee – some coffees only come around certain times of the year

Technically, coffee is only roasted in a few possible ways

  • Dark Roast – coffee beans roasted until they exude oils, many think it overwhelms flavors
  • Drip Coffee – coffee not under pressure during steeping and run through a percolator
    • Cold Drip Coffee – strained coffee grounds steeped in cold water for 12 hours
    • Filter Coffee – hot water (~200-210°) poured through a filter
    • Nel Drip – special drip coffee that uses flannel filters from Japan that need to be washed by hand and kept chilled when not in use
    • Pour-Over Coffee – Japanese style of coffee where hot coffee is poured over a filter by hand
  • Espresso – hot water under pressure is forced through fine coffee grounds
    • Cafe Breve – espresso is mixed with steamed half-and-half
    • Crema – thick oils that sit on top of an espresso
    • Americano – a shot of espresso diluted with hot water
    • Cappucino – 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, sometimes baristas make latte art in the 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 – steeps grounds by putting in a plunger with a filter into hot water

There are a lot of ways to describe your coffee

  • Aroma – the scent of the coffee, which contributes to the taste
  • Bitter – usually caused by over-extraction
  • Bland – usually caused by under-extraction
  • Body – the tactile impression of the coffee
  • Bright – the sharp or sweet flavor of the coffee
  • Briny – a salty sensation
  • Earthy – rich spicy sensation
  • Exotic – aromatic or flavorful
  • Flavor – all-encompassing of aroma, acidity and body
  • Spicy – strength of spice in the coffee
  • Stale – over-exposed to oxygen, has a flat taste
  • Sweet – smooth and free from defects and bad flavors
  • Tone – visual appearance of coffee
  • Winy – reminiscent of fine red wine

Great coffee tastes great black, but there are many things to add to it

  • 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 or milk or old coffee in an ice cube tray to avoid diluting it
  • Before brewing, add cinnamon to coffee for a unique flavor
  • Add cream or milk to give it more body
    • Make foamed milk
      1. Pour fresh milk about halfway in a jar
      2. Close the lid and shake the milk until it becomes frothy
      3. Remove the lid, place the jar in the microwave, and microwave for 30 seconds
    • Make Oreo ice cubes
      1. Crumble up oreos and put in ice tray
      2. Pour milk over it and freeze
      3. Add to coffee when desired
    • Use ice cream instead of milk for a sweeter alternative
  • Add sugar, sugar cubes or other sweeteners to taste
    • Take a sip before adding sugar to set your palate to not need as much sugar
  • A pinch of salt can counter coffee that is too bitter
  • Make pumpkin spice latte by blending the following
    • 1 cup milk
    • 2 cups ice
    • 3 tbsp canned pumpkin
    • 2-4 tbsp coffee
    • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
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