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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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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A Brief History of Espresso

A Brief History of Espresso

Luigi Bezzera, the owner of a manufacturing business, invented Espresso at the turn of the century. Bezzera was simply trying to figure out a way to brew coffee faster. He figured if he could just add pressure to the brewing process it would speed things up, thus the “Fast Coffee Machine” was created.

His idea of a fast cup of coffee turned out much better than he had planned. He ended up with a better, fuller-tasting cup of strong coffee, as well as a much faster process. He found that his quicker, more efficient brewing method allowed for the quality of the beans to be extracted as opposed to the over-extracting he had previously experienced in his experiments. The term “Espresso” means fast in Italian, hence the name.

It wasn’t until later when Desidero Pavoni purchased the rights to the espresso machine from Mr. Bezzera that it became really popular. Pavoni was extremely successful in marketing the product and probably changed the way people drank coffee from then on. Just look around! Coffee and Espresso shops are everywhere, particularly in the USA. Coffee has become popular not only for the delicious beans, but the ritual of drinking coffee in all its delicious variations has given us a new place to socialize.

Espresso Timeline:

In 1901 Luigi Bezzera filed a patent for the espresso machine that contained a boiler and four “groups”. Each group could take different size filter that contained the coffee. Boiling water was then forced by pressure through the coffee and into a cup. Ambrogio Fumagelli says that this was the birth of (fast) espresso coffee.

In 1903 Luigi Bezzera’s patent was then purchased by Desiderio Pavoni and put to market in a big way.

In 1905 The Pavoni company began manufacturing the espresso machines solely based on Bezzera’s patent.

In 1927 the first espresso machine was installed in the United States. It was a La Pavoni Espresso Machine installed at Regio’s in New York.

In 1938 Cremonesi designed a piston pump that forced hot water through the coffee. It was installed at Achille Gaggia’s coffee bar.

In 1946 Gaggia begins manufacturing the commercial piston machine, leading to the currently popular foam or cream layered coffee, or cafe’.

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A Brief Look At Coffee History

A Brief Look At Coffee History

Coffee is probably one of the most popular beverages consumed by adults, yet many coffee lovers do not know much about coffee’s history. Understanding coffee history will make you appreciate even more that rich aroma you love so much:

According to Arabic legend an Arabian goat herder was going about his daily activities when all of a sudden his flock of goats began dancing around a green leafy plant. The plant appeared to have cherries growing from it, so the goat herder decided to give this fruitful plant a try. He later noticed that he was experiencing a stimulating effect that allowed him to stay awake for hours. Once he let others in on his secret, they began using coffee for the same reason. It is said that once the beverage was introduced to a priest, he began promoting coffee and its effects throughout the monastery for helping one stay alert for extensive prayer sessions. Eventually, we all had an eye-opening beverage that would soon become a frequent pick-me-up favorite.

Coffee History Begins in Ethiopia

Although many believe the goat herding legend to be true, and it may be, scientists have discovered botanical evidence that indicates that coffee Arabica began in Ethiopia and then was somehow taken to Yemen, where it was then served up in Mecca in one of the very first coffee houses in history. That was back in the 6th century. It eventually became more of a personal indulgence used for enjoyment, rather than simply put to use for its stimulating effects.

America Loves It

Wherever it originated, coffee is a popular choice of hot beverages. The number of coffee houses open for business now is amazing. There is one on every corner in America and many other countries come close to that. Coffee is served in a variety of different ways. You can now get coffee drinks hot or cold, with or with out flavoring, caffeinated or decaf, and it is often made to order. Some people use instant coffee when serving coffee in their homes. This shows just how far coffee has come since it was first discovered.

Coffee, Coffee, and More Coffee

It seems that modern society is obsessed with coffee, you can find it everywhere. Coffee candy, coffee ice cream, coffee syrup, coffee creamers and the list will continue to grow. Having coffee with other people has become a social standard for friendly relationships.

With coffee being such a favorite, did you ever stop to think that we had an Arabian goat herder to thank for this rich tasting drink we all enjoy so much?

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What Happened to Coffee?

What Happened to Coffee?

It’s sad to know that a lot of people think that premium coffee at a fast food restaurant is as good as it gets. Coffee is more than a way to wake you up in the morning. It’s about the aroma, the flavor, the conversation, and the relaxation.

The days when we used to wake up in the morning, grab the morning newspaper, and brew up a wonderful cup of coffee, have started to disappear. If you’re a morning person who can get out of bed hours before anyone else and somehow start the day without the typical morning rush then consider yourself one of the lucky ones. Most people are usually running around the house, getting the kids ready, getting themselves ready, and running out the door. Some days they manage to squeeze some time into the morning routine to roll through a drive-thru coffee stand or even worse, a fast-food restaurant, to pick up a cup of java. Or they can wait to get to the office where they brew up the cheapest stuff that their employer can get, as they load it down with cream and sugar. How can this be? How does what is supposed to be one of the most relaxing and satisfying routines of the day become part of the rat race?

As you may know, coffee is the second most important commodity in the United States. If you turn on your TV to watch the news you’ll know what is first. But the coffee industry is big business.  The coffee you get at the fast food restaurant or at the office doesn’t even touch on the quality that is available out there. It’s funny and sad that nowadays anything that doesn’t come out of the can is considered gourmet coffee.

Gourmet coffee is not something that you can’t buy at the grocery store; the most expensive stuff there doesn’t even begin to touch on the quality that is available. Coffee roasting has become an art form. In a day when big companies use computers to do the dirty work, small specialty companies are still doing it the old-fashioned way with their experience and their brains. Roastmasters spend years honing their craft, and their experience is what makes for a great cup of coffee. These companies rely on freshness and quality to compete with the big boys who stock the grocery store shelves or ship out to your local drive-thru. You won’t see any of their commercials on TV, even really late at night when there is the cheapest air-time.

These specialty companies are successful simply based on their reputations. They work to get the highest grade beans from all over the world. They test everything to make sure the quality is as good as it gets. And then they baby it. Gourmet coffee is usually roasted in small batches to guarantee that nothing can go wrong. The time and
temperature is under their complete control, and experience tells them when the beans are roasted perfectly. Any imperfections and the beans are tossed out and a new batch begins.

The really good specialty roasters can do anything with coffee. They can create the perfect blends, add the best flavors, and guarantee that you will get the best cup of coffee that you have ever tasted. They rely on word of mouth, reviews and tasting competitions to get their names out there.

In most situations the only way to place an order with them is through the Internet. Gourmet Coffee sites are everywhere on the web, but it is often hard to determine which is the best place to go. If you want a head start read some of our reviews about some of the best gourmet coffee companies out there. And believe or not, most of their coffee costs no more that what you pay for a bag of beans at the supermarket that have been sitting around for a couple of months. But best part about it is that you can have all of this in the comfort of your own home. This may give you the little extra that you need to get out of bed in the morning.

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