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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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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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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How That Elixer Known as Coffee Gets to Your Cup

How That Elixer Known as Coffee Gets to Your Cup

Coffee is the brew that more than half the people around the world need to kick start the day. Ever wondered about the origins of this humble but oh so important cup of joy and how it landed up on the shelf in your neighborhood store? Did you know that every day there are about four hundred million cups of coffee consumed around the world? It all began about two thousand years ago and today it has a market in which the output as a commodity is a close second to petroleum in its dollar value.

Coffee is broadly categorized into two main types – the Arabia which started out on the Arabian Peninsula and the Robusta which has twice the amount of caffeine. Apart from this there are at least a dozen bean varieties in common use today. The beans are red or green in type. The red is known for its higher aroma and lower acid content and it is this type that is used to make some of the finer coffees of the world.

The coffee berry, or ‘cherry’ as it is called, is not of much value by itself, but the bean inside it – that’s the part that has all the importance. It is this bean that is aged, roasted, ground and then sent on for brewing. Coffee picking is done by laborers who pick a few baskets a day, and they have to be skilled in separating the red from the green beans. The sorting of the beans has a very definite role to play in the final product. The time of picking of the cherries is of the utmost importance, as it has to be done just when the berry changes from green to red.

Once picked, the fruit undergoes a process of being soaked, scoured and rubbed mechanically to remove the fruit, and the bean is then washed to ensure no flesh of the fruit remains. Then the beans are fermented. Once the proper amount of fermentation has occurred, the resulting beans are then sun-dried on large concrete or rock surfaces until their water content has dropped to about 12 percent. This is followed by the sorting of the beans based on size and color. After “polishing” to remove any remaining skin they are then either sent on for roasting or kept to age for from three to eight years.

Roasting is done at about 204 Celsius (400 F.), where the beans expand to almost double their size, then crack and turn brown as the oil inside is secreted out. This oil is where the difference in the basic flavors comes from. After the roasting, the beans are de-gassed, which means that the beans produce a lot of carbon dioxide and this is removed by airing them out or packaging them in semi-permeable bags for shipping.

At the roasting stage, a lot of in-house techniques have been developed which basically account for the difference in flavors between the different coffees. So, for example, coffee from Kenya or Java will taste different from that roasted some other country. At the grinding level there are again a lot of differences in styles and the results of those styles. The Turks pound the beans into a powdery consistency using a mortar and pestle and in some other places the ‘burr’ grinder crushes the beans to a regular sized granule. Yet others chop the beans to a less homogeneous size using a chopper.

The final cup of delicious coffee that you get is actually either boiled, which means hot water is poured and the grounds are allowed to settle, or it is pressure-prepared, which refers to the espresso type of preparation where not quite boiling hot water is poured through the grounds at very high pressure. The third way is “percolating,” where hot water drips onto the grounds and is filtered. And more rarely, coffee grounds are steeped like tea is, but in larger bags.

So there you have the journey of coffee from the plantation to your cup, and with research coming up with the benefits of drinking coffee, let’s raise a toast to the cup that cheers!

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