Tips for Making Iced Coffee Drinks at Home

Tips for Making Iced Coffee Drinks at Home

Following on the ever-increasing popularity of cappuccinos and mocha lattes, consumers are discovering that coffee is just as tasty – and even more refreshing – when served cold.

Iced coffee can be as easy to prepare as iced tea. A variety of options, such as flavoring syrups, cold milk, chocolate and spices, allow you to create personalized coffee concoctions that are just as delicious as those served in your favorite coffee cafe.

Drinks that seem very fancy and complicated, such as iced vanilla mocha, iced rum coffee and iced latte, are easy to make at home.

Here are some tips for refreshing iced coffee drinks:

* Use a machine that produces a high quality coffee or espresso.

* Don’t let your iced coffee drinks be weakened by melting ice. Freeze fresh-brewed coffee into ice cubes and cool your favorite coffee beverage with them rather than with water ice.

* Pour the flavoring syrup into the cup first. To complete the drink, pour in espresso or coffee, then the ice, and top it off with cold milk. This way you know you have the amount of flavoring you wanted to use to get the perfect flavor.

* Be creative. Add a personalized touch to your iced coffee beverages by topping them off with whipped cream, chocolate shavings, nutmeg or cinnamon.

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Coffee Grinders

The earliest method of grinding coffee involved placing it in a bowl and using the blunt end of a stick to crush it along the sides and bottom of the bowl. This process was time consuming and messy. It was also a lot of hard work! Others without much patience simply smashed the coffee with a hammer.

These methods were replaced by a mechanical grinder. This became popular because most people already used a mechanical grinder for their spices.  The coffee was placed between two disks, one stationary and the other a moving disc. The moving of the disks resulted in the grinding. This process is also known as milling. The milling style coffee grinder is now available in many colors with many features. The price varies on the brand and the features you choose. Generally they are between $50 and $200.

Coffee grinders began being used commercially in the 1800’s. This was helpful for events with large groups of people who wanted coffee, such as Church gatherings or fairs. Coffee grinders were also used commercially in the coffee houses that seemed to be sprouting up on every corner in town. These grinders were adjustable to make the size of the coffee grounds whatever was best for the style of coffee desired. The grinding blades could be brought closer together or further apart by tightening or loosening a screw. The innovation of the wall mount happened around this time as well. While this seems like a small thing, the grinder no longer had to be held in your hand while you ground it, which relieved a lot of the effort required to grind, as well as the potential for making a mess.

More facts about coffee were discovered as more and more coffee was milled. For example, the more friction that took place while grinding, the hotter the coffee bean would get. This changed the flavor of the coffee. And if the coffee grounds were uniform in size, brewing was easier. The finder the grind, the more flavor the coffee had. To make all this happen, grinding coffee by hand was replaced by a machine doing the work with the machine controlled by a person. This allowed the distributor to process the coffee it sold the same way every time.

This machine process led to big coffee plants producing large amounts of coffee. It was the beginning of tin cans of coffee being marketed. Ironically, the machines that were invented to make the coffee all taste the same began to change. This is because now the demand began for coffee that tasted different! People wanted a variety to choose from.

Some people still like to grind their own coffee. They know just how to make it to their liking. Most of us prefer to purchase our coffee already ground. There are many grocery stores that offer the choice of purchasing coffee beans, then grinding them in an electric machine right there in the store. No matter which way you enjoy your coffee, it all seems to start with the grinding process.

 

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Arabica Or Robusta – Introduction to Coffee Beans

Arabica Or Robusta – Introduction to Coffee Beans

If you are buying coffee beans for your home or business but you are not sure what you should be looking for, read on – this short guide will help you to understand the differences between the basic types of coffee, and bust the coffee jargon so you can decide which variety is right for you.

The coffee plant is native to Africa. The two main varieties of coffee plants are Arabica and Robusta. Arabica coffee originated in Ethiopia, while Robusta came from Uganda. Both types are now grown in several other regions throughout the world, and most coffee is labeled clearly to show which country and region it is from.

Generally speaking, Arabica is considered by coffee enthusiasts to be superior to Robusta, with a much stronger and more distinct flavor. Robusta can be bitter and/or milder-tasting – however the taste also varies depending on the region in which the coffee was grown and the processes it was subjected to during growing, shipping, storing and brewing.

Coffee is often described in terms similar to those you might find in wine tasting: the main three categories used are flavor (such as “sweet” or “spicy”), aroma (such as “flowery” or “chocolaty”), body (such as “medium-bodied” or “full-bodied”) and acidity (which refers to how “sharp” or “clean” the coffee tastes, NOT to its pH value).

When you buy coffee beans, you will probably buy them already roasted, however you can “home-roast” them if you choose. Roasting unlocks the flavor from the bean, and the extent to which beans are roasted varies. For example, you can buy “medium roast” beans, “Italian roast” beans (“Italian” refers to the roast – it does not indicate that the beans came from Italy), and so forth.

It is worth trying out different types of coffee, using the above points as a guide. You will be amazed at the range of flavors out there, and the more effort you take in trying the different flavors, the more of an expert you will become.

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Fancy Coffee Art

Fancy Coffee Art

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Making Iced Coffee Drinks at Home

Making Iced Coffee Drinks at Home

Iced coffee beverages continue to grow in popularity. According to the National Coffee Association, between 2009 and the first quarter of 2013 iced beverage sales increased from 19% of menu items to 24%. Following the popularity of cappuccinos and mocha lattes, consumers are discovering that coffee is just as tasty – and even more refreshing – when served cold.

The percentage of American adults who drink iced coffee is 2%, but a much higher number (38%) of young Americans between 18 and 24 drink iced beverages.

Iced coffee can be as easy to prepare as iced tea. A variety of options, such as flavoring syrups, cold milk, chocolate and spices, allow you to create personalized coffee concoctions that are just as delicious as those served in your favorite coffeehouse.

The first office-quality iced coffee machine was released in 2008. In 2010, Keurig introduced the brew-over-ice theme. Major brands are creating products for the vending machine industry.

Increasingly popular beverages such as iced vanilla mocha, iced rum coffee and iced latte are easy to make at home.

Here are some tips for refreshing iced coffee drinks.

  • Don’t let your iced drinks become watered down. Fill an ice tray with fresh-brewed coffee instead of water, and use the frozen coffee cubes to cool your iced coffee drink without losing any flavor.
  • Pour the flavoring syrup into the cup first. To complete the drink, pour in espresso or coffee, then the ice, and top it off with cold milk.
  • Use a machine that produces a high quality coffee or espresso for your foundational coffee. Some coffee machines, for example, grind coffee beans right before brewing and allow you to control the strength of your coffee.
  • Be creative. Add a personalized touch to your iced coffee beverages with whipped cream, chocolate shavings, nutmeg or cinnamon. It is easy to make fancy chocolate curls from a chocolate bar using a vegetable peeler.
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Try A Thermal Coffee Machine For Your Home

Try A Thermal Coffee Machine For Your Home

For many of us, coffee is an essential part of the day.  A day without coffee is a bad day and a day without good coffee is just not the same, so your choice of home coffeemakers is important. You need to learn about and then select from the assortment of coffee makers to find the best one for your home.  May coffee lovers advise that you choose a thermal coffee machine for your kitchen.  If a thermal coffeemaker is your choice as well, you should make sure to check out the ratings on them before you buy.  Then you will know the best price for your machine and what features you want to purchase before you buy.

Of course, thermal coffeemakers are not the only option on the market in terms of brewing machines.  You can still get an old-fashioned drip machine or even a French cold press.  If you want something more newfangled, you can try the pod machines that shoot steaming water through a coffee-filled pad like coffee is make in a European coffee house.  You might also buy an home espresso maker if you are a real connoisseur.  Just make sure to search online for ratings and comparisons on any type of machine before you buy.

Thermal coffeemakers might win you over, though, because these keep your coffee hot for hours at a time.  You can preserve your coffee’s flavor and keep it from burning while it still stays warm and ready for you.  You can get a small one-cup-at-a-time thermal coffeemaker or a large thermal coffeemaker that holds 8-10 cups of coffee at a time, great for a large family or for your office.  Usually the carafes are made from stainless steel.  If they are double-walled then they can operate alone or together.  The double-wall carafe will keep your coffee tasting great at the perfect temperature all day long.

Some  thermal coffeemakers have 24-hour digital timers that you can program.  They may have other features like easy to change filters, auto shutoff, and gold or platinum permanent filters.  You can buy one that allows you to pour your coffee even if the whole thing isn’t done brewing.  You can also buy them with different color lids on the carafes so you can remind your office if the coffee is regular or decaf.

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Coffee-maker Basics

Coffee-maker Basics

The first thing many people do when they wake up in the morning is to fire up the old coffee maker. Most models today are very easy to use, all you need is a filter, some coffee, and running water. Hit the button and you can have a pot of steaming hot coffee in just a few minutes. Today, almost every home has a coffee maker of some type in the kitchen.

There are many variations on the coffee maker. The basic model is nothing special, it brews you a cup of coffee and that’s it. However, some advanced models offer much more. Many brands of coffee makers offer automatic shutoff mechanisms. That means that if you leave your coffee maker on for an extended period of time, or forget to turn it off before you leave the house, the machine will shut off automatically after a while. This automatic shutoff mechanism is designed to prevent the coffee maker from burning the coffee or even starting a fire if left for too long.

Then, there are  more advanced versions of the coffee maker that offer more features. Some advanced models sport timers, which are great for ensuring that you have a pot of steaming coffee ready before you even wake up in the morning. Prepare all of the ingredients, set the timer the night before, and when you wake up your coffee will already be made. You can shave ten to fifteen minutes off your morning prep time just by having a timer on your coffee maker.

In the early days of coffee drinking in the West, coffee was a special treat, consumed in special coffee shops. But people can now enjoy all the coffee they want in the comfort of their own homes. Some people probably thought that with more and more coffee shops opening up, coffee makers at home would disappear. However, even though coffee shops are springing up everywhere and are more popular than ever, it will probably be a long time before people throw out their coffee makers.

That is especially true with the arrival on the scene of specialty coffeemakers that make individual cups for instantly fresh coffee, and even home custom coffee roasters and home coffeemakers that grind the beans, brew the coffee, and keep it warm for you.

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Coffee Houses Have Always Offered Much More Than Coffee

Coffee Houses Have Always Offered Much More Than Coffee

When many people in the world want to go somewhere to exchange news, share ideas and get advice, they often go to a coffee shop. It has been that way for quite some time. Coffee shops have been places of learning; of making business deals; scientific, literary, political, philosophical, and economic discussions; and even the oh-so-common gossip.

In the earliest part of their history, coffee houses were already so popular that ideas born from there have been a source for political forums and discussions ever since. The inspiration of brilliant, coffee-inspired thinking is to the point that, at times, kings and nobility used it as a method of determining public opinion.

When coffee was introduced to Europe, during the 17th century, the popularity of cafés followed the same pattern as most coffee houses around the world still do today. The café quickly became a venue for people to congregate, exchange views, write poems, plays, and political testaments, conduct business transactions, participate in cultural exchange and often relax with a good book. In those earlier days when were the were no postal addresses, the popularity of coffee shops also served well as a mailing address, because so many people were regulars.

A typical coffeehouse shares common characteristics with bars or restaurants. They differ in that a coffeehouse focuses on serving just coffee, teas and snacks. In some countries, however, coffeehouses do serve hot meals, deserts, sandwiches, soups, and alcohol, as well as from bakery products.

Today, coffeehouses continue the tradition set by coffeehouses of the past. They still remain a very popular venue for people who want a relaxed and calm atmosphere where they can talk, read, catch up on the day’s event, meet with people and have excellent quality coffee. This desire is evidenced by popular coffeehouses with franchises around the globe such as Starbucks, Seattle’s Best Coffee, Peet’s, Cup O’ Joe, The Second Cup and the Coffee Bean.

Depending on the country and region, coffeehouses have adopted variations. In the United States, coffeehouses or cafes may offer a variety of coffee styles, hot chocolate and teas, as well as light snacks, while others serve full menus. Alcoholic beverages may even also be offered. One of my favorite types of coffeehouse also offers cases of books that may be read as you slowly enjoy your coffee.

Cafes in France almost always serve alcoholic drinks. Like most cafes anywhere in the world, they also serve light snacks. Other coffeehouses may have a restaurant area where the guests could be served from the full menus. The popularity of cafes in France, especially Paris, gave way to subtle coffeehouse variations like the brasserie where single dish meals are typically served, and the bistro.

The café experience in Europe spawned other variations of coffeehouses around the world. Some of these coffeehouses offer curb-side seating and others outdoor seating in places like the sidewalk, pavement or terraces. The seating is usually clustered along busy streets and operated by private local establishments and the activities often very closely resemble parties, especially on weekends.

These patio coffeehouses provide more open public spaces commonly preferred by customers wanting an airy and very casual atmosphere for relaxation and conversation.

Recently, a new type of coffeehouse entered the industry: the Internet café. Internet cafes may not appear to be your typical coffeehouse like the bistro, brasserie, cafeteria and the coffee chain establishments but they certainly share the same basic characteristics. Coffee, tea and chocolate are served together with light snacks and chatter. The chatting, though, is done online.

The Internet coffeehouse may not replace the traditional coffee shops, but nevertheless, Internet cafes are also a hub for political exchange, learning, and journalistic, literary and commercial enterprise. Only the styles of coffee shops have changed over the centuries, but in respect to why people frequent them, nothing has really changed.

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