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Coffee Culture

How coffee became an unstoppable force

Coffee: An Ethiopian Legend

Coffee: An Ethiopian Legend

The story goes that that Kaldi discovered coffee. He noticed his goats became energetic after eating the berries from a certain tree.

Kaldi shared his findings with the abbot of a monastery, who found a drink from the berries kept him alert. The abbot, in turn, shared his findings with other monks. Word moved east and coffee reached the Arabian peninsula.

Coffee In The Arabian Peninsula

Coffee In The Arabian Peninsula

Coffee cultivation and trade began on the Arabian Peninsula. Coffee was being grown in the Yemeni district of Arabia. By the 16th century, it was known in Persia, Egypt, Syria, and Turkey.

Coffee was enjoyed in homes and also in the many public coffee houses. Coffee houses quickly became such an important center for the exchange of information that they were often referred to as “Schools of the Wise.”

Coffee Comes to Europe

Coffee Comes to Europe

By the 17th century, coffee had made its way to Europe and was becoming popular across the continent. Despite the controversy, coffee houses were quickly becoming centers of social activity and communication in the major cities of England, Austria, France, Germany, and Holland.

Coffee began to replace the common breakfast drink beverages of the time — beer and wine.

Coffee Culture In Italy

Coffee Culture In Italy

  • Cappuccino is only made in the morning.
  • Highly concentrated espresso is served in small, ceramic cups, and almost taken as a shot of alcohol.
  • Sometimes, a slice of lemon is rubbed around the edge of the cup to give some additional flavor.

Coffee Culture In Mexico

Coffee Culture In Mexico

In Mexico, coffee is served throughout the day.

Called “café de olla” in Spanish, this traditional drink is brewed in individual earthenware pots filled with cinnamon sticks. This aromatic coffee is actually quite addicting.

Coffee Culture In Saudi Arabia

Coffee Culture In Saudi Arabia

Coffee comes with serious etiquette, including serving the oldest in the group first.

Saudi coffee (called “kahwa”) is dark, horrendously bitter, and flavored with cardamom. The coffee is usually served with sweet dates to cut the flavor.

Coffee brewing

Coffee brewing

In years passed, coffee drinkers didn't know how coffee was produced or brewed. Coffee was cheap, tasted bitter, and was purposed for medicine or fuel. But over the decades, coffee has been elevated to craft level.

Filter or drip coffee can taste smooth and sweet like chocolate or taste fruity. The expansion of flavours is partly due to new roasting techniques. Roasting at relatively low temperatures for a shorter time tends to bring out the flavours of the bean itself and where it was grown.

Spending a bit more money on coffee

Spending a bit more money on coffee

High-quality coffee is more expensive, and spending a bit more means your coffee is more likely to be ethically produced.

Coffee producers have historically been exploited, and even fair trade prices are not always enough. Where possible, buy your coffee from roasters who purchase their beans ethically.

Drink thoughtfully prepared cups

Drink thoughtfully prepared cups

  • Coffee stays fresh only for a limited time. The person making it must know how to brew it properly.
  • Even the best beans brewed the wrong way can produce a bad cup of coffee.
  • To enjoy coffee, look for places with lots of information about their coffee displayed, and/or staff who can answer your questions about the coffee.
  • To brew at home, you're best off learning how to brew well by hand, using a kettle to boil water and one of the dozens of manual coffee devices available on the market.

Brewing Styles

Brewing Styles

Not all coffee is brewed in the same way. Different brewing styles can cause changes in the flavor and strength of the drink. Here are just a few brewing styles that you may incorporate in your shop:

  • Drip Brew: Ground coffee is added to a brew basket and placed in an automatic coffee machine for this brewing style. Gravity is used to pass water through the grounds, resulting in a traditional cup of coffee.
  • Pour Over: This brewing style is achieved by pouring boiling water slowly through coffee grounds as they sit in a filter basket. The coffee then drips into a single cup, resulting in a potent brew.

More Brewing Styles

More Brewing Styles

  • Cold Brew: For this method, coarsely ground coffee is placed in room temperature water and allowed to steep for an extended period of time. This results in a less bitter, highly caffeinated brew.
  • Espresso: To achieve an espresso brew, you'll need an espresso or cappuccino machine. These machines pass pressurized hot water through a filter containing dark roasted finely ground coffee beans. The force of the water produces a highly concentrated coffee shot. This is the method most commonly used for the base of coffee drinks.
  • Ristretto: Brewed in a similar method to the espresso, pressurized water is passed through the coffee grounds. However, you would use half the amount of water. The shorter brewing cycle creates a more concentrated and darker shot of espresso.

Espresso

Espresso

The espresso, also known as a short black, is approximately 1 oz. of highly concentrated coffee. Although simple in appearance, it can be difficult to master.

The First Iced Coffees

The First Iced Coffees

  • In the 17th century Vienna, the Turkish army left behind a massive surplus in coffee beans causing citizens to experiment with new brewing methods.
  • Another tale proposes that iced coffee comes from Mazagran - a French beverage consisting of espresso, lemon, and ice.

The Popularity of Iced Coffee

The Popularity of Iced Coffee

Iced-coffee is enjoyed by 38 percent of people in the U.S. between the ages of 18 and 24.

One explanation for iced coffee's popularity is that young people, who have been raised on iced-cold and sugary sodas want to integrate it into their coffee-drinking experience. Another reason is that ice-cold coffee can keep you alert. It offers similar benefits as a Red Bull.

Iced Coffee is Pricey

Iced Coffee is Pricey

A cup of coffee costs more cold than hot. This is because iced coffee requires more materials to serve.

It requires a plastic cup that costs more than paper cups. Customers use more napkins because of condensation. Iced coffee requires an ice machine for the ice. Cold brewing coffee also requires more time.

Making Great Coffee

Making Great Coffee

Coffee is unique among artisanal beverages in that the brewer plays a significant role in its quality at the point of consumption. In contrast, drinkers buy draft beer and wine as finished products; their only consumer-controlled variable is the temperature at which they drink them.

Why is it that coffee produced by a barista at a cafe always tastes different than the same beans brewed at home?

It may be down to their years of training, but more likely it’s their ability to harness the principles of chemistry and physics.

The Strongness Of The Beans

The Strongness Of The Beans

We humans seem to like drinks that contain coffee constituents (organic acids, Maillard products, esters and heterocycles, to name a few) at 1.2 to 1.5 percent by mass (as in filter coffee), and also favour drinks containing 8 to 10 percent by mass (as in espresso). Concentrations outside of these ranges are challenging to execute. There are a limited number of technologies that achieve 8 to 10 percent concentrations, the espresso machine being the most familiar.

The Brew Methods

The Brew Methods

There are many ways, though, to achieve a drink containing 1.2 to 1.5 percent coffee. A pour-over, Turkish, Arabic, Aeropress, French press, siphon or batch brew (that is, regular drip) apparatus – each produces coffee that tastes good around these concentrations. These brew methods also boast an advantage over their espresso counterpart: They are cheap. An espresso machine can produce a beverage of this concentration: the Americano, which is just an espresso shot diluted with water to the concentration of filter coffee.

The Caffeinated and the Un-Caffeinated

The Caffeinated and the Un-Caffeinated

Morning commuters seem to fall into one of two categories:

  • the Caffeinated: ready to take on the day—they're reading their morning papers, or checking email, or reading for pleasure.
  • the Un-caffeinated: with bleary-eyed, they walk more slowly up the stairs and are more irritable when you hurry them along—or hurry by them.

We're taught to look for these traits in connection with coffee.

Grown Ups and Coffee

Grown Ups and Coffee

By 1988 only 50 percent of the adult American population drank coffee. In 1962, average coffee consumption was 3.12 cups per day; by 1991 had dropped to 1.75 cups per day.

At the onset of the 1980s, coffee growers and retailers realized that the current 20-29-year-old generation had little interest in coffee, which they associated with their parents and grandparents.

Coffee And the "Me" Generation

Coffee And the "Me" Generation

For the coffee industry to survive, it needed a new marketing strategy. The consumer was changing and coffee-players needed to pay attention.

Crucial questions the 'me' generation will ask: "What's in it for me? Is the product 'me'? Is it consistent with my lifestyle? Do I like how it tastes? What will it cost me? Is it convenient to prepare?"

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