Friday, May 28, 2010


Coffee was discovered by an Ethiopian goat herder named Kaldi. One day he noticed his goats frolicking around in an unusually spirited manner. He observed that they were also eating the berries of a nearby shrub.

Here is a time line of the history of coffee from the UTNE READER, Nov/Dec 1994, by Mark Schapiro:
Prior 1000 A.D.
Members of the Galla tribe in Ethiopia notice that they get an energy boost when they eat a certain berry, ground up and mixed with animal fat.

1000 A.D.
Arab traders bring coffee back to their homeland and cultivate the plant for the first time on plantations. They also began to boil the beans, creating a drink they call "qahwa".

Coffee is introduced Constantinople by Ottoman Turks. The world's first coffee shop, Kiva Han, is opened there in 1475.

Coffee introduced to the West by Italian trader, grabs attention in high places.

Captain John Smith help to find the colony of Virginia at Jamestown. It's believed that he introduced coffee to North America.

First coffeehouse opens in Italy.

First coffeehouse opens in England.

- Coffee replaces beer as New York's city's favorite breakfast drink.
- Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse opens in England and is frequented by merchants and maritime insurance agents.

First coffeehouse opens in Paris.

With a coffee plant smuggled out of the Arab port of Mocha, the Dutch become the first transport and cultivate coffee commercially, in Ceylon and in their East Indian colony-Java, source of the brew's nickname.

First coffeehouse opens in Berlin.

The Brazilian coffee industry gets its start.

The Boston Tea Party makes drinking coffee a patriotic duty in America.

Former wholesale grocer Joel Cheek names his popular coffee blend "Maxwell House".

Early 1900's
In Germany, afternoon coffee becomes a standard occasion.

The first soluble "instant" coffee is invented by Japanese-American chemist, Satori Kato of Chicago.

Prohibition goes into effect in United States. Coffee sales boom.

Having asked by Brazil to help find a solution to their coffee surplus. Nestle company invents freeze-dried coffee. Nestle develops Nescafe and introduces it in Switzerland.

The US imports 70 percent of the world coffee crop.

Starbucks opens its first store in Seattle's Pike Place public market.

Organic coffee.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Although there are signs that coffee may be beneficial, caffeine does affect some cardiovascular functions. It can cause increased blood pressure, a higher heart rate, and even an irregular heartbeat in some consumers. In some cases, it might even raise the risk of heart disease.

Drinking more than four cups of coffee a day, may increase the risk of heart problems. In fact, a new study suggests that even two six-ounce cups of coffee a day may increase blood test values that measure inflammation.

Two cups of coffee a day is considered an acceptable amount. Caffeine does not become a problem until you start consuming an excessive amount of it. As your body gets used to caffeine, it becomes addicted to it.

The maximum amount of caffeine you should consume a day should be no more than 100 milligrams. It is recommended that if you drink more than this, you try to cut back. If you are sincerely addicted to caffeine-related products-it is recommended to take vitamins to help regain the nutrients you lose.

Coffee History.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Coffee contains several components which are known to affect human body chemistry. The coffee bean itself contains chemicals which are psychotropic for humans as a defense mechanism of the coffee plants.

One of the coffee component is caffeine, which is a mild stimulant, and in some people coffee drinking enhances alertness, concentration, and mental physical performance. Although it contains a wide variety of substances, it is generally accepted that caffeine is responsible for many of coffee's physiological effects. Because caffeine influences the central nervous system in a number of ways and because a small number of people may be particularly sensitive to these effects. Caffeine is not recognized as a drug abuse and there is no evidence for caffeine dependence. Some particularly sensitive people may suffer mild symptoms of withdrawal after sudden abstention from coffee drinking.

Coffee has a much higher total in-vitro antioxidant activity than other commonly consumed beverages. This is due in part to intrinsic compounds of coffee such as chlorogenic acid, in part to compounds formed during coffee bean roasting such as melanoidins and in part to as yet unidentified compounds. Antioxidant have associated with controlling cell damage. They are also thought to dampen inflammation in the body.

Type 2 diabetes is lower among coffee consumers. Coffee also can reduce risk of gallstones or liver damage, discourage colon cancer, and improve endurance and cognitive function.

The risk of coffee.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Recent research suggests that drinking even a small amount of coffee each day can result in addiction.

Coffee stimulates the central nervous system, it increases what is known as the "stress hormones" into one's blood steams which results in the consumer feeling unnaturally alert. The alertness caused by coffee is called 'induced' alertness which tends to subdue your body's natural functioning and manipulates its instincts to prevent it from relaxing. This causes the individual to get stressed out and it leads to various kinds of disorders.

When you have a coffee addiction, the effects of withdrawal can be quite noticeable. Here are just some of the symptoms people feel when suddenly deprived of their caffeine fix:
- headache
- fatigue or drowsiness
- depression or irritability
- difficulty in concentrating
- flu like symptoms including nausea, muscle pain and stiffness

Coffee health effects.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


There are very few calories if someone drink black coffee. Coffee is a mild stimulant, is packed with antioxidants and can stand head to head with most other "health" beverages in your local health food store.

The problem with the calories in your coffee is not about the coffee at all. It's about what you add to your coffee. Sugar, milk, cream, soy and syrups can all add a lot of extra calories.

A rough breakdown of the calories you can expect to consume, according to how you like to take your coffee. The figures listed below are for 12-ounce servings.
- Regular cup of coffee, no cream or sugar --> 10 calories
- Regular cup of coffee, plus cream & sugar --> 110 calories
- Cappuccino --> 120 calories
- Latte --> 200 calories
- Mocha with whipped cream --> 310 calories
- Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino --> 370 calories

Are you addicted to coffee ?

Friday, May 14, 2010


It is good to know that coffee has some benefits to health. However, these results should not be interpreted as an incentive to increase your daily coffee intake . Too much coffee may actually increase the risk of the heart disease for some people. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition June 2005, researchers from the University of Athens found that coffee drinkers had more stiffness of the major blood vessel in the body then non-coffee drinkers. Suggested for people with high blood pressure or other risk factors for heart disease who drink more than 3 cups of coffee a day to cut down.

Coffee is the No. 1 source of antioxidants in the American diet, researchers from the University of Scranton released on August 29, 2005. Black tea is the second. Substances or nutrients in foods that can prevent or slow oxidize damage to the our body is called antioxidants. When our cells utilize oxygen, they naturally produce free radicals (by-products) which can cause damage to other cells. Antioxidants act as "free radical scavengers" and hence prevent and repair damage inflicted by these free radicals. Fruits and vegetables are hailed as the richest sources of antioxidants. Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee appears to provide similar amounts of antioxidants.

Coffee also can help in the prevention and treatment of diseases and illness as varied as Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, liver disease, skin cancer, Parkinson's disease and more.

How many calories in coffee ?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Coffee is the most popular beverage worldwide with over 400 billion cups consumed each year. Coffee flavors have taken a giant leap into the 21st century. Flavoring can be added to gourmet coffees to create fascinating bright tastes. The process involved in flavoring coffee means that flavorings are added to coffee beans while they are still warm and absorbent immediately after roasting.

Flavored whole beans are usually separated into four categories: vanilla-based flavors, which including cremes (such as French vanilla or Irish creme) and the nut-based flavors (such as macadamia nut or hazelnut), chocolate-based flavors such as chocolate mint, fruit-based flavors such as raspberry, or coconut spice-based flavors such as cinnamon.

You can also use coffee syrups. They are similar to chocolate syrup, but with a coffee flavor. The best known brands are Coffee Time, Autocrat and Eclipse.

Coffee syrup is the main ingredient in coffee milk. If you are concerned about your diet, you can choose sugar free coffee syrup.

Coffee benefits.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Instant coffee or soluble coffee or coffee powder, is a beverage derived from brewed coffee beans. Through various manufacturing process the coffee is dehydrated into the form of powder or granules. These can be rehydrated with hot water to provide a drink similar to conventional coffee. At least one brand of instant coffee is also available in concentrated liquid form.

The advantages of instant coffee are speed of preparation (instant coffee dissolves instantly in hot water), less weight and volume than beans or ground coffee to prepare the same amount of drink, and long shelf life. Coffee beans, and especially ground coffee, loss flavor as the essential oils evaporate over time.

Although it has long shelf life, instant coffee quickly spoils if it is not kept dry. In particular, the percentage of caffeine in instant coffee is less, and bitter flavor components are more evident.

Flavored coffee beans types.

Monday, May 10, 2010


The four terms : acidity, body, aroma and flavor are used by professionals when evaluating coffee quality. Coffee beans that rate well in all four areas are described as "well-balanced". One way to become familiar with the bean characteristics is to try coffee tasting, also known as "coffee cupping".

1. Acidity
Coffee with good acidity tastes bright, with a pleasant sharpness similar to a dry white wine. Acidity is a desirable characteristic and can be fruity or metallic. Without acidity, coffee tastes bland or flat.

2. Body
Body is the word used to describe the way of coffee feels in your mouth. A full bodied coffee, will feel thick, rich or heavy. A medium bodied coffee, will feel lighter. If you like milk in your coffee, a heavier bodied coffee will maintain more flavor when the milk is added. With a mouth full of coffee, you can assess the body by running your tongue across the roof of your mouth. You will be able to feel oiliness and thickness, which together define body. Body can be thin, thick, dry, syrupy, etc.

3. Aroma
When coffee beans are roasted, they release the fragrant oils that make the coffee aroma. High quality coffee beans will contain up to 3 times more fragrant oils than inferior beans.

4. Flavor
Flavor is the combined effect on the tastebud of the acidity, body and aroma of the coffee bean. Terms used to describe flavor usually draw comparison with other familiar taste, such as nutty, spicy, or watery. Here are some common terms used to describe the flavor of coffee beans:
-Positive Flavor: Nutty, Spicy, Fruity, Mellow, Caramelly, Chocolaty, Winey, Floral, Smokey, Tangy.
- Negative Flavor: Grassy, Chemically, Muddy, Watery, Rubbery, Rioy (a medicinal taste).

Instant Coffee.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


Coffea arabica, known as Arabica coffee, accounts for 75-80 percent of the world's production. Coffea canephora, known as Robusta coffee, accounts for about 20 percent and differs from the Arabica coffee in terms of taste. While Robusta coffee beans are more robust than the Arabica plants, but produce an inferior tasting beverage with higher caffeine content.

There are three main varieties of coffee accepted as commercial coffees though there are many hundreds of sub-varieties grown world wide.
1. Arabica Coffee
2. Robusta Coffee
3. Liberica Coffee

Liberica coffee, is the last important of the three varieties. It is hardy and resists disease well but cannot tolerate drought or neglect. The quantity of coffee produced from these species is in fact negligible.

Coffee beans characteristics.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


The caffeine content of coffee beans varies according to the species of the coffee plants. Beans from coffee Arabica, grown mostly in Central and South America, contain about 1.1% caffeine. Beans from coffee Robusta, grown mostly in Indonesia and Africa, contain about 2.2% caffeine.

Caffeine is the world's most popular drug. The white, bitter-tasting, crystalline substance. Both words, caffeine and coffee, are derived from the Arabic word qahweh (pronounceed "kahveh" in Turkish).

Caffeine also occurs in cacao pods and hence cocoa and chocolate products; in kola nuts, use in the preparation of cola drinks; and in the ilex plant, from whose leaves the popular South American beverage.

The difference between Arabica & Robusta coffee beans.

Friday, May 7, 2010


Flavored coffee beans are coated with flavor compounds to supplement coffee beans natural taste. In addition, these flavors help extend the shelf life of coffee by disguising changes in flavor due to decaffeination, oxidation, or aging process. With current chemical technology, the beans can be produced with almost any flavor imaginable.

Flavoring oils are combination of natural and synthetic flavor chemicals which are compounded by professional flavor chemists. Naturals oils used in flavored coffees are extracted from a variety sources, such as vanilla beans, cocoa beans, and various nuts and berries. Cinnamon, clove and chicory are also used in a variety of coffee flavors. Synthetic flavor agents are chemicals which are manufactured on a commercial basis. For example, a nutty, woody, musty flavor can be produced with 2, 4-dimethyl-5-acetylthiazole. Similarly, 2,5-dimethylpyrazine is use to add an earthy, almost peanuty or potato-like flavor. Flavor chemists blend many such oils to achieve specific flavor combination. While other food flavors may be composed of nine or 10 ingredients, coffee flavors may require up to 80 different compounds to achieve subtle flavors.

The pure flavor compounds describe above are highly concentrated and must be diluted in a solvent to allow the blending of multiple oils and easy application to the beans. Common solvents include water, alcohol, propylene glycol, and fractionated vegetable oils. These solvents are generally volatile chemicals that are removed from the beans by drying. Current technology uses more stable solvents which leave the beans with a glossy sheen and longer lasting flavor.

Coffee beans & caffeine.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


The freshness of coffee beans play an important role in how coffee tastes. Like food, the fresher the ingredients the better the flavor. The process which affect the length of time coffee stays fresh is roasting.

In the right conditions, coffee beans will be kept for years until they are roasted. Once roasted however, the flavorsome coffee oils are brought to the surface of the bean and will deteriorate and rapidly become rancid. Also after roasting, coffee beans produce coffee gases (mostly carbon dioxide) for a little over week, with most of the gasses being released in the first 2-3 days. Once the gasses have been completely released, the coffee is stale. The method of coffee bean storage you use can delay this deterioration.

Oxygen and moisture are the two enemies of freshly roasted coffee. To reduce moisture contact with the beans you should make sure that cooling process of the beans after roasting uses air. To reduce oxygen contact after roasting you should make sure to use nitrogen-flushed bags that are fitted with one-way valve. Nitrogen is an inert gas, so it will not react with your coffee beans in any way. It is used to displace all the oxygen from the bag before it is sealed. This is the best method of coffee bean storage because it keeps the beans dry and oxygen-free (at least until the bag is opened). Also, keeping your coffee beans in a cool, dark place will counteract the negative effects of heat and light.

Here are some freshness indicators you should look when buying coffee beans :
- Shiny Appearance : freshly roasted beans will have a glossy shine due to the oils still sitting on the surface of the beans.
- Wonderful Aroma : the aroma of freshly roasted beans is wonderfully thick and intense. If you can not smell the aroma of the beans wafting out from the bag then they aren't fresh.
- Frothy Brew : known as the bloom, the coffee gasses release from freshly roasted beans will cause your brew to froth as you pour on the water.
- Full Flavor : freshly roasted coffee will have a full, complete flavor. If your coffee tastes bland and lacks interest, then it is not fresh.

Flavor coffee beans.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Roasting coffee is the chemical and physical process transformation of green coffee beans into roasted coffee products. Producing the characteristic flavor of coffee by causing the green coffee beans to expand and the change in color, taste, smell, and density. Unroasted beans contain similar acids, protein, and caffeine as those that have been roasted, but lack the taste. It takes heat to speed up the Maillard and other chemical reactions that develop and enhance the flavor.

The roasting process tends to take place close to where it will be consumed for green coffee, as it is more stable than roasted. This reduces the time that roasted coffee spends in distribution, helping to maximize its shelf life.

The green beans are weighed and placed in the hopper of roaster, then when the machine reaches the proper temperature, the beans flow into the roasting chamber and begin their transformation.

The roasting process takes 12-15 minutes and the same bean can produce a different taste depending on how long it is roasted. We monitor this crucial step closely as the beans are circulated in the heated, rotating drum. Roasting depletes the beans of the moisture they contain, so they actually shrink in weight, but increase in size when they are roasted. The different roasts, light, medium and dark are obtained by roasting the beans until the desired point is reached.

How to determine the freshness of the coffee beans ?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


There are several species of coffee trees but most commercial coffee growers use primarily the Arabica and Robusta species. Arabica trees are believed to produce the highest quality coffee beans. However, Robusta trees are more economically viable due to their heartiness. Coffees are rarely designated as Robusta or Arabica beans. The soil and environmental conditions play such a significant role in flavoring the beans, that all coffee beans are labeled according to their geographic origins.

Flavored coffee - such as hazelnut, maple walnut and raspberry - is produced by adding flavored oils to the beans during roasting. Depending on the manufacturer, the flavors can be natural or artificial.

Coffee connoisseurs rate coffees based on their aroma, acidity (liveliness), body and flavor. High quality coffees have strong, fragrant aromas. High acidity levels in beans is preferable, but their body can range from light (Mexican coffees) to heavy (Sumatra coffees). Connoisseurs describe the flavor using adjectives such as earthy, mellow or grassy.

If you read the labels in the supermarket, you would always see a brand name followed by the blend and the roasting method. Very rarely, you would see either type of beans by itself.

Now, you know that if you are talking about types of coffee beans, there are only two. But if you are looking for brands of beans that come with its unique taste profile, there are many and it would take more than an article to categorize them.

Roasting Coffee Beans.

Monday, May 3, 2010


Coffee is brewed drink prepared from roasted seeds, commonly called coffee beans, of the coffee plants. Green unroasted coffee is one of the most traded agricultural commodities in the world. Due to caffeine content, coffee can have a stimulating effect in humans.

The coffee tree averages from 15-30 ft. in heights. As the tree gets older, it branches less and less and bears more leaves and fruits. The tree typically begins to bear fruit 3-5 years after being planted, and continuous to produce from 10-20 more, depending on the type of plant and the area.

Coffee beans consist mostly of endosperm that contains 0.8-2.5% caffeine, which is one of the main reasons the plants are cultivated. As coffee is one of the world's most widely consumed beverages, coffee beans are a major cash crop, and an important export product for some countries.

Types of coffee beans.