Coffee Beans and Coffee Machines  Coffee Beans and Coffee Machines








Friday, 09 August 2013 15:23

Coffee Beans - Organic vs Regular

Many people wonder whether worrying about certified organic coffee beans or regular coffee beans are much different from each other, lets set the record straight.
The use of pesticides are largely used in regular coffee production, which is one of the main differences between traditional coffee and organic green coffee beans. Normally, coffee plants are treated with pesticides before harvest to safeguard against weeds and insects. After being harvested, traditional green coffee beans are treated with even more chemicals.

Long ago, coffee was grown in natural environments underneath shade trees where the plants could grow without human interference. Today, large-scale coffee growers have abandoned this method and have taken up mass production and instead chop down trees and plant coffee in large fields. This change in methodology has brought forth the need for pesticides and fertilizers to ensure favorable yields. These chemicals seep into the ground and affect soil quality as well as the quality of the coffee beans.

Going Organic

Organic coffee beans are grown in a completely different and natural way. Instead of destroying shade trees to make room for larger growing plots, organic coffee farmers utilize these trees so that the coffee plants may grow in a protected area. This, and the use of birds to control insects, eliminates the need for harmful chemicals and is known as shade tree farming. The results are higher quality, more flavorful, fresh tasting coffee beans.

The USDA has a set of standards for organic foods and in order for a product to be certified as being organic, it must meet the USDA's regulations. Organic coffee growers must not use synthetic pesticides and must rotate their crops every several years to preserve soil nutrients. Even though organic coffee is usually grown on a smaller scale than traditional coffee and its farmers must adhere to strict USDA guidelines, the cost of organic coffee is actually not astonishingly higher than the price of regular coffee. Keep this in mind when you are choosing a new brand of coffee to try. The easiest way to buy organic green coffee beans is online, where a variety of roasts and flavors may be found.

Be aware of many labels on coffee products and other food products that claim to be 100% organic or claim to be a product of organic origin. These products often contain some ingredients that are in fact organic but also contain none organic ingredients and are still able get by regulations and claim the title of being an organic product.

So how do you know if it is USDA approved?

The world of "organic" products can be confusing to navigate. There are SO many tricks and ways that companies bend and break the rules of organic labeling. So many times you can buy something that gave you the impression that it was organic, but then you turn it around to read the ingredients and find out it has things like phenoxyethanol, vegetable emulsifying wax, "fragrance," Grapefruit Seed Extract, and other harmful chemicals. With coffee beans it is harder to get away with illegal labeling as coffee beans usually only have one ingredient (coffee beans), but it is smart to always make sure the product has the actual USDA certified logo on it and be careful of the following when shopping for your beans.

Subconscious Marketing

This one is a little more subtle. They're not calling the product organic, or have the word organic very large on the product. But they have a little slogan or other small marketing point that suggests that the product is organic. While the product has a few organic ingredients, it does not have any level of certification. This is not a breach of the law, but a reminder to always read the ingredients.

Illegal use of the seal on websites

Another trick that companies will do is to (illegally) use the USDA seal on their website, but not the product label. They're using some organic ingredients, so somehow they think that they can use the seal. But without certification as a company, this is totally illegal and misleading.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013 18:13

The Names of Different Coffee Drinks

Coffee drinks have many different names that come from many sources. Coffee houses have 64 drink selections they agree have the same basic recipe. Some of these drinks have different names or have a number of variations. A good barista is one who knows how to make them all.

Affogato is Italian for drowned. This can be a drink or served as a dessert a drink or dessert with espresso that may also incorporate caramel sauce or chocolate sauce.

The Baltimore is an equal mix of decaffeinated and caffeinated brewed coffee while the Black Eye is dripped coffee with a double shot of espresso creating a strong taste.

The Black Tie is a traditional Thai Iced Tea, which is a spicy and sweet mixture of chilled black tea, orange blossom water, star anise, crushed tamarind, sugar and condensed milk or cream, with a double shot of espresso.

The Breven is made with steamed half and half cream while the Caffè Americano or simply Americano is prepared by adding hot water to espresso, giving a similar strength, but different flavor from regular drip coffee. The strength of an Americano varies with the number of shots of espresso added. Variations include the Long Black, Lungo and Red eye.

The European Cafe au Lait is a continental tradition known by different names, but is the most popular drink in European coffee houses. It is made using strong or bold coffee as well as espresso that is mixed with scalded milk in a 1 to 1 ratio.

Cafe Bombon was made popular in Valencia, Spain and modified to suit European tastes and many parts of Asia such as Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore. The basic European recipe uses espresso served with sweetened condensed milk in a 1 to 1 ratio. The Asian version uses coffee and sweetened condensed milk at the same ratio. For visual effect, a glass is used, to create two separate bands of contrasting color.

In America, the Caffe Latte is a portion of espresso and steamed milk, generally in a 2 to 1 ratio of milk to espresso, with a little foam on top. This beverage was popularized by large coffee chains such as Starbucks.

The Cafe Medici starts with a double shot of espresso extracted using a double filter basket in a portafilter that is poured over chocolate syrup and orange or lemon peel, which is usually topped with whipped cream. This drink originated at Seattle's historic Last Exit on Brooklyn coffeehouse.

A Cafe Melange is a black coffee mixed or covered with whipped cream. This drink is most popular in Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

A Cafe Miel has a shot of espresso, steamed milk, cinnamon, and honey. Miel is honey in Spanish.

Coffee milk is similar to chocolate milk; but coffee syrup is used instead. It is the official state drink of Rhode Island in the United States.

A Cafe mocha or Mocha is a variant of a caffe latte, but a portion of chocolate is added, typically in the form of chocolate syrup. When bought from a vending system, instant chocolate powder is used. Mochas can contain dark or milk chocolate.

Moccaccino is a term used in some regions of Europe and the Middle East to describe caffe latte with cocoa or chocolate. In the U.S., it usually refers to a cappuccino made with chocolate.

Cafe Zorro is a double espresso added to hot water in a 1 to 1 ratio.

Ca phe sua da is a unique Vietnamese coffee recipe that means iced milk coffee. Mix black coffee with about a quarter to a half as much sweetened condensed milk, pour over ice. Phe sua nong means hot milk coffee, which excludes ice. In Spain, a similar drink is called Cafe del Tiempo, hot, or Cafe con Hielo, ice.

Cappuccino is a coffee-based drink prepared with espresso, hot milk, and steamed milk foam. It is served in a porcelain cup, which has far better heat retention. The foam on top of the cappuccino acts as an insulator to help retain the heat, allowing it to stay hotter longer.

The Caramel Machiatto or C-Mac is a vanilla latte with foam and gooey caramel drizzled on top, while Chai Latte notes that the steamed milk of a normal cafe latte is being flavored with a spiced tea concentrate.

A Chocolate Dalmatian is a white chocolate mocha topped with java chip and chocolate chip while Cinnamon Spice Mocha is mixed cinnamon syrup, topped with foam and cinnamon powder.

A Cortado, Pingo or Garoto is an espresso with a small amount of warm milk to reduce the acidity. The ratio of milk or steamed milk to coffee is between 1 to 1 to 1 to 2. Milk is added after the espresso is made.

Decaf is a beverage made with decaffeinated beans while a Dirty Chai is Chai tea made with a single shot of espresso.

An Eggnog Latte is a seasonal blend of steamed 2% milk and eggnog, espresso and a pinch of nutmeg. In Germany, the Eiskaffee, ice cream coffee consists of chilled coffee, milk, sweetener, vanilla ice cream, and sometimes whipped cream.

An Espresso Romano is a shot of espresso with a small rind of lemon and sugar added.

A Flat White is prepared by pouring creamy steamed milk from the bottom of the jug over a single shot of espresso creating a lighter froth. This drink originated in New Zealand and Australia.

Frappuccino is the name and registered trademark of Starbucks blended ice beverage and bottled coffee beverage that may different flavors.

Galao is a hot drink from Portugal made of espresso and foamed milk. It is made in a tall glass with about one quarter coffee, three-quarters foamed milk.

Guillermo was originally made with one or two shots of hot espresso, poured over slices of lime or on ice; sometimes served with a touch of milk.

Another seasonal blend, a Gingerbread Latte consists of steamed milk, espresso, gingerbread syrup, topped with a pinched of nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla powder.

Greek frappe coffee is a foam-covered iced coffee drink made from spray-dried instant coffee. It is a very popular Greek summer drink.

A Green Eye, also known as Triple Death, is dripped coffee with a triple shot of espresso.

Half-caf is made with half and half parts caffeinated beans and decaffeinated beans. Iced coffee varieties include Farmers Union Iced Coffee and Toddy coffee.

South Indian Coffee, also known as Madras Filter Coffee or Kaapi is a sweet milky coffee made from dark roasted coffee beans and chicory. It is especially popular in the southern states of India.

Instant coffee is a beverage derived from dehydrated brewed coffee beans that come in powder or granules. Some brands include Chock full o'Nuts, Japanese canned coffee, Moccona and Nescafe.

Irish coffee is coffee combined with whiskey and cream, often further sweetened with sugar.

Kopi susu is found in Malaysian Borneo and Indonesia. Kopi susu means coffee milk and is served in a glass of cooled mixed black Arabica coffee including grounds with about a quarter to a half a glass of sweetened condensed milk. Kopi Turbruk uses sugar instead of sweetened condensed milk.

Libbylou is a hot espresso made with equal parts mocha and white mocha topped with espresso and steamed half and half. It is served plain without a topping,

Liqueur coffee, is brewed coffee with a shot of liqueur and usually served in a warmed glass. Sugar is required in the coffee mixture to help the cream float. There are 17 varieties; each uses a different liqueur.

Macchiato is an espresso with a dash of foamed milk that is put directly into the espresso cup first; espresso is dispensed into the cup. Cocoa is then sprinkled over the drink.

Mary Turner Coffee is a soft amount of milk, 3 sweeteners, and the rest coffee. It's an evening drink.

Mazagran is a long cold coffee beverage from Portugal and served in a tall glass. It is made with at least strong coffee, usually espresso, lemon and ice. Sometimes sugar, rum or water is added or a fast version uses previously sweetened espresso in a cup with ice cubes and a slice of lemon.

Mochasippi is prepared by baristas in coffee houses in southern states. Similar to the Mocha, but a Mochasippi contains actual shots of espresso rather than a powdered instant coffee.

Pumpkin Spice Latte is a Fall seasonal blend of steamed milk, espresso, sugar, vanilla extract, pumpkin pie spice, topped with foam and a pinch of pumpkin pie spice.

Pocillo is a shot or small portion of unsweetened coffee, now usually made either using an espresso machine or a moka maker, but traditionally made using a cloth drip and served in cups made for the purpose in Latin America.

Raspberry Mocha is a regular mocha with raspberry flavoring.

Red Eye is a dripped coffee with a single shot of espresso while a Red Tie is a traditional Thai Iced Tea, a spicy and sweet mixture of chilled black tea, orange blossom water, star anise, crushed tamarind, sugar and condensed milk or cream along with a single shot of espresso.

A Red Tux is a Zebra Mocha with raspberry flavoring.

Regular Coffee in New York City, a regular coffee with cream and sugar. A variant phrasing is coffee regular.

Ristretto is a very short shot of espresso coffee. All strengths of flavors are usually attributed to espresso in general, but are more pronounced in Ristretto.

Skinny Latte is a reduced calorie latte made with steamed non-fat milk and artificial sweeteners, such as Splenda or Equal. A Soy Latte is a latte made with steamed soy milk.

A Torpedo is made by placing the froth from steamed milk in cup with espresso coffee falling though the froth. The torpedo creates a very clean and distinct flavor for those who prefer a stronger taste of espresso than through conventional cappuccino.

Triple C's combines Cinnamon Dolce Latte with caramel syrup and chocolate syrup.

Turkish coffee is made by immersing the coffee grounds in water that is hot but not boiling long enough to dissolve the flavorsome compound. In Turkey, sweetness used is from a pinch to two teaspoons. Pouring that creates the most foam is considered the best cup.

Vienna coffee is the name of a popular traditional cream based coffee beverage. Made by preparing two shots of strong black espresso in a coffee cup, it is infused with whipped cream until the cup is full; then topped with more cream and chocolate sprinklings.

White Chocolate Mocha or sometimes referred to as White Mocha and is a sweet mixture espresso, steamed milk, white chocolate syrup. This sugary drink is often topped with whipped cream.

Yuanyang, sometimes also called Ying Yong, is a popular beverage in Hong Kong. Made of a mixture of coffee and Hong Kong-style milk tea, it is served hot or cold. Yuanyang means pair of two unlike items as used in this drink.

Zebra Mocha, sometimes known as a Black Tux, is a mixture of regular mocha with a white chocolate mocha.

Local drinks add to the variety of coffee drinks covered here as do new creations whether by customers or by baristas themselves. If they become known around the world, they will join the list above.

Joyce is a published author who loves to write. She is the owner of that offers household coffee making products and more as well as Grindmaster-Cecilware commercial coffee making and dispensing products and more along with all there accessories and options. Check us out at:

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Capsule machines provide a great alternative to automatic espresso machines. They bring together all of the advantages of a fully automated system for a fast coffee making process.


  • Capsule machines simplify the whole process of making coffee, cutting out the grinding, the pressing and the storage of the coffee.
  • These small hermetically sealed containers, coffee capsules, guarantee the coffee's freshness for up to 6 months.
  • The coffee in the capsule is ground to perfection and sealed at optimum pressure.
  • To make a fresh coffee, all you have to do is pop the capsule into the machine, press a button and wait for the machine to do all the work.
  • Being a simpler version of traditional coffee machines, these are generally much smaller. This means that you don't have to worry about whether it will fit in your kitchen, as they make the most of the reduced space available in today's homes.
  • You also avoid having to deal with the messy waste from the ground coffee, as it is all contained in the coffee-pod. All you have to do is get rid of the empty pods.




  • Although single-serve machines are smaller than traditional espresso machines, this isn't reflected in the price as they generally cost the same.
  • Single- serve machines can only be used with the capsules on offer from that same manufacturer, that is to say, you can't use coffee-pods made for one machine in a different one. For example, Nespresso capsules can only be used with Nespresso machines.
  • So you should make sure beforehand that you like the kind of coffee on offer from your machine's manufacturer.
  • Buying the capsules generally works out quite expensive

Coffee-pod machines are best suited to...

  • ... small offices with limited space and limited time to buy and make coffee.
  • ... homes of 1-3 persons.
  • ... anyone who can afford to buy the coffee-pods and who would benefit from these machines' unique features.

Juan Navarro has extensive experience in the marketing of espresso machines, in particular coffee-pod makers []. Here, he provides a practical guide to buying and use of coffee-pod machines [].

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Coffee Cherry Harvesting

What we refer to as coffee beans are in fact seeds from cherry-like fruits. Coffee trees produce cherries that begin yellow in colour they then turn orange and finally to bright red when they are ripe and ready for picking.

Coffee cherries grow along the branches of trees in clusters. The exocarp is the skin of the cherry and is bitter and thick. The mesocarp is the fruit beneath and is intensely sweet with a texture much like that of a grape. Then there is the Parenchyma, this is a sticky layer almost honey-like which protects the beans inside the coffee cherry. The beans are covered in the endocarp, a protective parchment-like envelope for the green coffee beans which also have a last membrane called the spermoderm or silver skin.

On average there is one coffee harvest per year, the time of which depends on the geographic zone of the cultivation. Countries South of the Equator tend to harvest their coffee in April and May whereas the countries North of the Equator tend to harvest later in the year from September onwards.

Coffee is usually picked by hand which is done in one of two ways. Cherries can all be stripped off the branch at once or one by one using the method of selective picking which ensures only the ripest cherries are picked.


Coffee Cherry Processing

Once they have been picked they must be processed immediately. Coffee pickers can pick between 45 and 90kg of cherries per day however a mere 20% of this weight is the actual coffee bean. The cherries can be processed by one of two methods.



Dry Process

This is the easiest and most inexpensive option where the harvested coffee cherries are laid out to dry in the sunlight. They are left in the sunlight for anywhere between 7-10 days and are periodically turned and raked. The aim being to reduce the moisture content of the coffee cherries to 11%, the shells will turn brown and the beans will rattle around inside the cherry.

Wet Process

The wet process differs to the dry method in the way that the pulp of the coffee cherry is removed from the beans within 24 hours of harvesting the coffee. A pulping machine is used to wash away the outer skin and pulp; beans are then transferred to fermentation tanks where they can stay for anywhere up to two days. Naturally occurring enzymes loosen the sticky parenchyma from the beans, which are then dried either by sunlight or by mechanical dryers.

The dried coffee beans then go through another process called hulling which removes all of the layers. Coffee beans are then transferred to a conveyor belt and graded in terms of size and density. This can either be done by hand or mechanically using an air jet to separate lighter weighing beans which are deemed inferior. Coffee harvesting countries ship coffee un-roasted; this is referred to as green coffee. Approximately 7 million tons of green coffee is shipped world wide annually.


Coffee Roasting

The coffee roasting process transforms the chemical and physical properties of green coffee beans and is where the flavour of the coffee is fulfilled.

Green coffee beans are heated using large rotating drums with temperatures of around 288°C. The rotating movement of the drums prevents beans from burning. The green coffee beans turn yellow at first and are described as having the aroma an aroma similar to popcorn.

The beans 'pop' and double in size after around 8 minutes that indicates they have reached a temperature of 204°C, they then begin to turn brown due to coffee essence (inner oils) emerging. Pyrolysis is the name for the chemical reaction that produces the flavour and aroma of coffee as a result of the heat and coffee essence combining. Anywhere between 3 and 5 minutes later a second 'pop' occurs indicative of the coffee being fully roasted.



Coffee roasting is an art form within itself, coffee roasters use their senses of smell, sight and sound to ascertain when coffee beans are roasted perfectly. Timing is fundamental in the coffee roasting process as this affects the flavour and colour of the resulting roast. Darker roasted coffee beans will have been roasted for longer than lighter coffee roasts.

Once roasted, coffee is packaged in a protective atmosphere and exported globally.

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Friday, 05 July 2013 13:28

Health Benefits Of Drinking Coffee

Did you know that coffee can actually do a lot more than simply give you a boost in the morning?

There are actually a number of health benefits to drinking coffee regularly. So, before you make

the switch to herbal tea, read on to learn more about what coffee can do for you and your body.


Reduced Gall Stones

The Harvard School of Public Health recently published a study indicating that drinking

caffeinated coffee on a regular basis can dramatically decrease the incidence of gall bladder

disease and gall stones in both women and men.


Reduced Risk for Alzheimer's Disease

Two studies, one published in the European Journal of Neurology, have shown that

individuals who drank about 2 cups of caffeinated coffee per day were less likely to develop

Alzheimer's disease than individuals who drank no coffee or asmall to moderate amount.


Reduced Risk for Parkinson's Disease

Studies have shown that the amount of coffee and caffeine consumed could be inversely

related to an individual's likelihood of contracting Parkinson's disease. This means the

more coffee you drink, the lower your chances are for developing the disease.


Antioxidants and Cancer-Fighting Properties

Coffee is a powerful source of antioxidants - agents that combat cancer-causing free

radicals. Coffee is chock full of the compound methylpyridinium, which can't be found

in many other food items and not at the level available in coffee. You can get

antioxidants from both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffeeas long as the beans are

sufficiently roasted.


Increased Cognitive Ability

Studies have shown that regular coffee drinkers frequently score significantly higher

on cognitive ability tests, spatial awareness exams, IQ tests, and short term memory

studies. The effects of coffee on an individual's cognitive ability appeared to be more

pronounced in elderly study participants and women.


Bowel Stimulation

Coffee is a stimulant and also a laxative. Some alternative practitioners even prescribe

coffee enemas to stimulate the lower colon. However, because coffee is also a diuretic,

it can cause constipation in some individuals.


Reduced Risk for Gout

A large study of over 45,000 men that was conducted over a 12-year period showed the

amount of coffee consumed was inversely related to their risk or likelihood of developing



Remember, everything should be practiced in moderation, and health concerns should always

be discussed with a medical professional. So, while a moderate amount of coffee has its benefit,

an excessive amount can also cause problems. Heavy coffee drinking can lead to irritability,

anxiety, sleep deprivation, cardiovascular problems and higher cholesterol levels. For additional

informative details on coffee and enticing flavors that explode your taste buds, please visit

[] a popular site providing great insights on coffee options, such as

organic flavored coffee [], Kona blend

coffee [], and many more!


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Tuesday, 25 June 2013 14:34

Coffee tasting and flavors

All fine foods like wine, chocolate, smoked salmon and truffle please the palate with their complex flavor profiles. Sometimes it hard to understand, pinpoint or even explain the flavors that give us "that" great taste experience. A good quality coffee can be considered a fine food as it stimulates the palate with its unique balance of bitter, sweet, sour, salt and umami. All the major coffee regions of the world have their own unique flavor charachteristics to be enjoyed.


An experienced Coffee taster or "Cupper" will sniff the aroma first and then slurp the coffee, into the mouth. The coffee is then swirled around the mouth and tongue for maximum coverage. The taster finally experiences the mouthfeel the aromas and a full tasting experience of the flavors.


Often the tasting expert will consentrate on the body, the balance, the sweetness and the acidity. The body can be discribed as the heaviness of the mouthfeel and the potency of the base flavors. The balance is how harmonised the flavors are and how well they work together. The acidity refers to the bright fresh zingy charachteristic of the coffee.


Professional coffee tasters use the "Coffee wheel". The Coffee wheel is actually an adaptation of the "Wine wheel", that wine tasters used, to chart flavor charachteristic profiles.


Here are some of the flavor charachteristics commonly used to discribe how coffee tastes.


Bright - light, acidic, fresh and fruity.

Earthy - wholesome, spicey, natural and reminicent of earth. Typical of Sumatran coffee.

Caramel - a syrupy sweetness typical of Columbian coffee.

Chocolate - rich chocolately flavor usually in the finish.

Smokey - a flavor enhanced by roasting in Indian and Indonesian coffee.

Citrous - citrus fruity notes. Winey - a deep rich flavor of wine common to Kenyan coffee.

Spicey - notes reminicent of coriander, cumin and pepper in Indian coffee.

Nutty - a flavor of nuts in south american coffee.

Fragrant - floral, spicey earthy aroma from bolder coffes of Africa Indian and Indonesia.

Clean - no undesirable flavors or aromas.

Complex - having many layers of flavor and aroma.

Crisp - a plesent acidity.


Friday, 07 June 2013 14:16

The Top 5 Filter Coffee Machines

Filter or Drip Coffee is still the worlds favorite method of making coffee. It's had to beat the simplicity of this method and it does deliver a great result with little fuss.

Taking the Amazon marketplace to get significant data and using the popularity and satisfaction statistics as detailed in the first artile of the series, The Top 5 Espresso Coffee Machines. Lets have a look at the Coffee Machines that rank the best in this large marketplace.


No.1 Morphy Richards Cafe Mattino 47070 Programmable Filter Coffee Maker, Stainless Steel - Rating 148

No.2 Prestige Deco Digital Coffee Maker, 1.5 Litre, Black - Rating 92

No.3 De'Longhi ICM2B 10-Cup Filter Coffee Maker - Rating 90

No.4 Russell Hobbs 15215 Coffee Maker in Black - Rating 52

No.5 Russell Hobbs 14899 Platinum Grind and Brew Coffeemaker - Rating 43


           Cafe_Mattino.jpg          Prestige_Deco.jpg          DeLonghi.jpg 

                      Cafe Mattino                           Prestige Deco                            De'Longhi


The Morphy Richards Caffee Mattino wins this catagory by a large margin. It looks stylish on the counter top with a digital display and programmable timer. Its well built and has good features like fast brew and 12 cup capacity. Its in the medium price range and great value at £35. Customers report in their feedback a very high level of satisfaction with this product.


The Prestige Deco Digital comes second. Its design is sleek and it has slightly better features than the Morphy Richards. A warming plate to keep your coffee hot after brewing, an anti drip system and a larger 12-15cup capacity. I get feeling its the higher price point of £45 that puts it in second place but it is worth it for the extra features. Customers are generally positive about this purchace.


The De'Longhi ICM2B Comes in third. The best thing about this Filter Coffee maker is the price, £14 is a great price for what you get. The design is a bit dated and it looks a bit "plasticy" but! it has a warming plate to keep your coffee warm. Its a budget Coffee Machine with good features and very positive customer feedback so you cant go far wrong with this purchace.



Wednesday, 29 May 2013 14:33

Choosing a Coffee to suit your taste

The French like it dark, strong and smokey. The Italians and Spanish like it roasted to medium, where the coffees natural inherent subtleties shine over the sweet bitter roasting flavours. Americans like to add cream and sugar to their lightly roasted coffee. Swiss and Germans like to add hot chocolate to it. In Ethiopia its taken with a pinch of salt! Wherever you are in the world, local preferences are very different for this versatile commodity.


Coffee flavours are as diverse as the parts of the world they come from. In a general sense each of the major coffee regions of the world, have their distinctive flavour profile which is determined mostly by the regional ecology. A coffee from Indonesia will have characteristics that are very different to a coffee from South America. Soil composition, shelter, elevation, precipitation and favoured varieties of the region, all contribute to the uniqueness.


To simplify the major coffee growing regions of the world, we can divide them into three groups. African and Middle Eastern, Central and South American and lastly, Indonesian.


  • African and Middle Eastern coffees are distinguished by their syrupy wine, floral and berry like flavours, medium bodied with medium acidity.
  • Central and South American coffees have a bright crisp mouthful, citrus fruits, nutty and chocolate sweetness, with light body and moderate to high acidity.
  • Indonesian coffees are rich spicey and earthy, syrupy and heavy bodied sweetness with mild acidity.


Coffee tasting is akin to wine tasting, as it offers a similar complex challenge to the palate and hence can be just as rewarding! Professional Coffee tasters or "cuppers" adapted wine tasting charts to score and chart coffee qualities. Traditional Coffee scoring charts were just not comprehensive enough. 


People tend to find a coffee they love and stick to it. There is certainly a case for trying something new every once in a while. There is a world of coffee out there to be discovered, that's a rewarding journey, well worth taking.



Tuesday, 21 May 2013 13:59

Modern Italian Coffee Culture

Coffee is a huge part of Italian culture. Most people know that Italians love their coffee. In fact, coffee is a basic necessity for the Italian folks. There is an Italian version of the hit TV show “Survivor.” It is much like the one in the United States where the contestants are stranded on a deserted island and left with only the very basic necessities. However, their very basic necessities consist of items needed to make an espresso.


It is strange because you can take away their cell phones and even their famed Italian dishes but you cannot take away their coffee. Their love for coffee is evident in the sheer number of café bars that are located throughout Italy. Locals are serious about their coffee. In fact, if you want to start an argument between two locals, just ask each one how a perfect cup of espresso is made.


There are things that remain true in modern Italian coffee culture though. You only drink a milky form of coffee such as a cappuccino in the morning and never after you finishing eating a meal. Italians do not like hot milk on a full stomach. You don’t use the word espresso in Italy either. It is known as un café. Espresso is a technical term in Italy and not an everyday word.


When ordering a coffee, it should be served at a temperature so that is can be cooled down quickly. Coffee is not served so hot that it will burn your lips. Also it is customary to stand when drinking your coffee. Coffee is a pleasure and should be enjoyed while standing up.


Sunday, 12 May 2013 17:15

How to keep your coffee fresh

Like all organic matter, coffee decomposes. It takes four weeks for coffee to degrade past its best flavor profile. The rate of decomposition depends on its exposure to energy. Light, heat, moisture and oxidization are the villains that must be protected against.


Scientific research points to cool temperature, airtight and darkness as the ultimate protectors of freshness. So when you open that pack of premium fresh coffee, its best to get it into an airtight ceramic or glass jar, asap. A cool spot in a press or the fridge is preferable, away from light and heat sources. Whole Coffee beans are always preferable to Ground coffee. After grinding, the surface area of the coffee is much increased making it much more sensitive to energy.


Good arguments are made for Freezing coffee, as it does stop the chemical decomposition. When frozen coffee defrosts, the temperature change causes it to go stale faster. Condensation forms on the surface of the beans which will cause further degradation of flavor. So unfortunately, freezing is not such a good idea!

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