With the holiday and gift-giving season quickly approaching, it is time to start thinking about gifts for the coffee lover in your life. How about a gift basket filled with delightful coffee notions and potions? You can shop online or go to your favorite coffee shop and buy a pre-packaged gift basket. However, putting together a coffee gift basket is fun and easy, and it has a nice personal touch.
Start by selecting a container in which to put your items. You might choose a wicker basket, a keepsake tin, or a nice gift bag. You can even decorate a shoe box and make it really special. Line the bottom of the container with a cloth liner or tissue paper before you start. A decorative dish towel is a great choice because it can be used later in the kitchen.
Next, you will want to consider the recipient and the items he or she might enjoy. Something especially good this time of year is the seasonal flavored coffees such as pumpkin spice, apple jack, almond, butter pecan or eggnog. These are more memorable and festive than non-flavored coffee. You might include several small packs of gourmet flavors. «Read the rest of this article»
Did you know that coffee beans have to be roasted before they are ground or brewed? Most people are not aware of this.
Many of our ancestors were master coffee roasters, but this art was almost lost when machines began to be commonly used to roast the beans before they got to market. Because there was no method to keep the beans fresh, early American homemakers and trail hands purchased raw coffee beans from the mercantile in town, and then took them home or back to camp where they roasted them in an iron skillet on the stove or over an open fire. This method took great skill to determine the degree of roast and bring out the best flavor in every cup. «Read the rest of this article»
The art of making a great cup of coffee comes not just from choice of bean, but how it is roasted and ground, as well as how much water is used in the brew. Each of these factors have an effect upon the taste, body, acidity, aroma and balance of each cup.
Definitions of Characteristics:
Acidity: this is a tart fruity, almost “lemony” sensation on the tip of your tongue. Also called brightness, it is a highly desirable flavor characteristic. Usually the acidity is best evaluated once the coffee has cooled slightly to a warm/ lukewarm temperature.
Body: this is described as the thickness or the way the coffee feels in your mouth. Some common terms used to describe body include rich, creamy, full, thin, watery, light, heavy, and syrupy.
Aroma: the smell of gases released when the coffee is brewed. Terms used to describe aroma include spicy, wine-like, grassy, musty, earthy, floral, nut-like, or acidic. «Read the rest of this article»
There are two types of drinkable coffee in the world: Arabica and Robusta. They are commonly referred to as gourmet and truck stop. Industry insiders call them specialty coffee and canned coffee. There are several reasons why specialty coffee is more expensive.Arabica coffee naturally has more flavor than Robusta coffee. Surprisingly, it also has about one-third less caffeine than its cheaper cousin. (Yes, that truck stop brew does have more caffeine.) Specialty coffee tastes stronger because it has more natural taste not because it has more caffeine. Also, specialty coffee tends to be roasted darker, which adds more flavor to the beans.
Arabica sells for a premium not only because of its taste, but because of how it is grown and processed. Arabica plants take longer to start producing crop, are more susceptible to disease, are grown at higher altitudes and use much more hand labor, all of which add to production costs. «Read the rest of this article»
There is much to be said about the perfect cup of coffee, and yet so much is clouded by old wives’ tales and misinformation. What counts is simple math and physics, and as long as you understand the chemistry of coffee you can produce a perfect cup every time.
The finer you grind the coffee beans, the more character you will get from each bean. In other words, more flavor can be extracted from the same amount of beans if they are ground finer. But it’s the type of coffee making equipment you own that will determine what grind you can get away with.
The reason is due to the flavor compounds present in a coffee bean. “Good” flavors are extracted early in the brewing process, while “bad” flavors come out later. Allowing the grounds to come in contact with too much water will lead to over-extraction and a nasty tasting brew. Your equipment will determine how much water comes into contact with your grounds and for how long. «Read the rest of this article»