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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How to Make World Class Gourmet Coffee Every Time

How to Make World Class Gourmet Coffee Every Time

Did you know that you can make a nice cup of gourmet coffee on your own at home? Here are some simple steps to brewing the perfect cup of coffee every time.

Start with Quality Beans.

One of the most critical aspects of brewing satisfying gourmet coffee is the grade of the coffee you start with. If you have a favorite flavor, purchase whole beans in that flavor. If you do this, it will allow you to start with the freshest, most flavor-filled coffee possible.

Grind Away.

Purchase a quality coffee grinder. The best grinders available today are fairly low cost, easy to use and easy to clean up. By grinding your own coffee beans, you’ll be able to only grind what you need, meaning that you will have complete freshness in your coffee.

Store It Right and Tight.

It is very fundamental to store your coffee tightly sealed. Air oxidizes the coffee and can make it turn bitter quickly. Metal canisters may also impart a metal taste to into the coffee, making it taste bad.The best solution is to use a plastic or ceramic airtight container for your coffee and coffee beans.

Also, store the coffee at room temperature because the moisture in the fridge or freezer can make it go bad faster. But if you think you won’t be using all the beans soon, freezing them is fine and will help them keep fresh-tasting longer.

The Maker Is Crucial.

The coffee maker that you choose to use, and its condition, is also critical to that gourmet cuppa. No matter what style of coffeemaker that you choose, you can get a good cup of coffee out of it if you take the essential steps to keeping it working at its best.

For example, you should ensure that the coffee maker is cleaned after each use. In fact, you’ll need to detail clean it, with the assistance of vinegar water, every so often as well. Your preferences can determine which style of coffee maker you will use. A coffee maker with a permanent filter in it is a good idea.

It’s the Water.

Even the water that you use is central to the quality of the coffee you will make with it. It is essential that you use water that is free from chlorine and too many minerals. Often, using bottled water rather than tap water will augment the quality of the coffee. Also, keep the water nice and hot. A good temperature for the water when it hits the coffee is about 200 degrees Fahrenheit (93.3 Celsius).

Use the Right Amount of Coffee.

It is also of utmost importance for you to use the right quantity of coffee grounds in the coffeemaker. Too much ground coffee and you will have a very strong cup of coffee and too few will make it to be too weak. Follow the directions provided by the coffee producer for the best cup of coffee.

Lastly, and probably the most vital aspect, of getting a great cup of gourmet coffee is to make sure to enjoy your coffee when it is hot and fresh. Most restaurants are told to keep coffee for less than thirty minutes, but at home, the best tasting coffee is the coffee that was just brewed, or at least that hasn’t sat for more than twenty minutes since it was brewed.

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Fancy Coffee Variations and How To Make Them

Fancy Coffee Variations and How To Make Them

If you are like many of us, you often swing by your favorite coffee shop and order coffees, cappuccinos, café mochas, lattes and espressos. And it isn’t the ambiance of the shop or the fancy coffee cups (or not) that makes you love the stuff, it’s the recipe of the coffee and of course the way it looks, that turns the trick. We all have a favorite style of coffee. Different types of coffee will taste different because of the origin and roast of the coffee bean, the grind, the amount of coffee used, the water, the temperature and a variety of other factors.

Maybe you, like I, have had a go at trying to reproduce the coffee goodness from the coffee shops at home, the way we imagine they are supposed to be done, but do we actually know the proper method to use to extort the captivating flavors perfectly? Below is a basic list of how to make those excellent coffees.

Cappuccino: This coffee product consists of equal parts steamed and frothed milk and a shot of coffee. The frothy milk is then poured on top of the coffee shot and dusted with nutmeg, cinnamon or chocolate powder.

Café Mocha: The easiest way to do this is to make it with quality hot chocolate, add a shot of coffee with steamed milk poured in and top with whipped cream, then lightly dust with chocolate powder. To achieve to best effect, use a clear glass-mug with a long stemmed spoon.

Latte: Foam and steam milk to 75 degrees (C). The ratio is worked out as half coffee and half milk. Slowly pour the milk down the side of the coffee cup or glass so it infuses with the coffee shot. The main difference between a latte and a cappuccino is a latte blends the milk and coffee together, whereas the cappuccino keeps the two apart.

Espresso: We have all had a foul espresso, right?. There are a number of possible causes for this, but the major cause of bitter espresso is using unsuitable coffee beans.

If you like espresso you are most likely a lover of all things coffee and know what makes a good coffee bean. So with this in mind, to make a good espresso coffee you need to follow these instructions:

• Finely grind the coffee beans
• You must use a special high pressure espresso pot, either a high pressure coffee machine or stove top model
• You must pack the espresso powder down firmly in the machine
• You must not try to make too much coffee at once
• You must see the crème (a golden-brown foam) floating on the top of the coffee shot
• You must use an appropriate espresso cup to keep the coffee warm as it is being drunk

When all is said and done, making coffee correctly is all up to you and the way your flavor buds take to the coffee taste. If you like coffee in a particular way, then make it that particular way. So do yourself a favor and learn the correct way to make coffees, lattes and espressos.

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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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What is Gourmet Coffee?

What is Gourmet Coffee?

The word Gourmet is used to refer to the fancier grade, cut, or quality of many of the foods and beverages we consume. Gourmet foods and drinks have long been considered as the regular fare for the rich and famous who can afford the higher pricing that often accompanies many of these finer food and beverage versions.

Coffee has been available in cheap, regular and gourmet versions for a long time and the consumption rate of coffee by people from around the world continues to increase every year. Gourmet coffee may have once only been served in the finest dining establishments and in the homes of primarily the upper class, but gourmet coffee is now widely available and affordable to nearly all economic levels and is found in a variety of settings today.

What Is Different About Gourmet Coffee Beans?

The beverage called coffee is made from coffee beans, which are found within the berries that develop and ripen on a number of smaller, tropical, evergreen bush plant species known as Coffea. After ripening, coffee berries are harvested and then undergo a processing which also includes cleaning, drying and fermenting them. What remains at the end of the process are coffee beans. The beans are then roasted to various degrees which cause them to change physically and changes the tastes they produce. Finally, the coffee beans are ground down into a fine consistency that is commonly known as coffee grounds, and packaged and shipped to destinations around the world where consumers can buy and brew coffee grounds to make coffee in commercial, hospitality, institutional, and residential settings.

The two most commercially grown species of the coffea plant that produce the coffee beans used to make the coffee that the world’s population consumes, are Robusta and Arabica. Gourmet coffee is made from the top tier coffee beans from the Arabica coffea plant. These top tier Arabica coffea plants are typically grown at very high altitudes (above 3,000 feet) with ideal soil and climate conditions. The coffee beans produced have fuller flavors, are more aromatic, and have less caffeine in them than other varieties of coffee beans such as Robustas. The coffee beans of Arabica coffea plants grown at lower altitudes are still noted among consumers as having richer flavors than the flavors produced by Robusta coffee beans, but it is only the top tier Arabica coffee beans that are considered to be gourmet.

Care Before Brewing

Some people prefer to grind their own coffee beans just before brewing them for coffee, especially the gourmet varieties, and prepackaged coffee beans that have not been pre-ground can be purchased in grocery and other types of stores. They can be ground using the grinding mills that are made available in most of the stores that sell the beans, but also with grinding machines in the home.

Both coffee grounds and coffee beans that have not been ground down need to be stored in air-tight containers and kept cool in order to prevent them from losing their flavor. The containers that coffee is typically in when sold are not the most ideal for storing coffee for a long period of time. When you arrive home after purchasing coffee grounds at the store, consider transferring the fresh coffee grounds to appropriate storage containers to extend the shelf life and full flavor. Specialized containers may be available at your local department store. Some people store their coffee in the freezer, to keep it savory longer.

Preparation

Coffee can be brewed in many ways, such as boiling, pressing, and steeping. Most of us brew our coffee using automatic coffee brewing machines and percolators which use gravity to pull hot water through coffee grounds. The hot water mixed with the oils and essences of the coffee grounds empties into a liquid holding container below. Filters are used to keep coffee granules from being emptied into the carafe or liquid holding container from which the brewed coffee can then be served, because most people dislike tasting the actual grounds. Coffee granules can be very bitter once the flavorable oils and essences have been removed through the brewing process. (Many plants and flowers love coffee grounds though, for anybody who is looking for a greener alternative to dispose of coffee grounds after brewing rather just throwing them in the trash.)

Of course, Gourmet coffee beans are only the beginning of creating a truly gourmet coffee experience for many gourmet coffee drinkers. Some people are quite content with drinking their gourmet coffee black, without adding anything like milk, creamer, sugar or other sweeteners or flavorings to their coffee. Many others want to enhance their gourmet coffee and drinking experience with tasty additions like milk that is whipped into a froth, sweeteners, or mixing in other flavors such as chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon, and mint, to name just a few. Big name coffee chains sell a wide variety of gourmet coffees with different tasty additions and flavors to appeal to gourmet coffee lovers. However, brewing gourmet coffee at home is usually much cheaper, and you can add what you want to your coffee to satisfy your refined, gourmet tastes.

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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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