Coffee Archives

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world – perhaps because it’s so versatile. From simple coffees like espresso and filter coffee, to more complex recipes like cappuccino, coffee can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be, as anyone who has placed an order in a coffee shop recently can attest.

Coffee Is One Of The Most Popular Drinks In The World

People’s motives for drinking coffee vary widely. Some just want the caffeine to keep them going, and are happy with espresso ‘coffee shots’ – nasty tasting, but they give you a burst of energy. More and more people, though, are drinking coffee not for the energy rush, but for the taste.

So how do you make the best-tasting coffee? A very large part of the answer is freshness. In general, the fresher the coffee, the nicer it will be. Instant coffee is the least fresh of all, as it is coffee that was made a long time ago and then had the water drained from it. This is the reason why so many people go to coffee shops: freshly-ground coffee is simply so much nicer.

Grinding coffee at home by hand is very difficult, which is why it is much better to get a coffee machine. There is generally little difference between the mechanisms in home coffee machines and the ones used in coffee shops, meaning that you can achieve the same freshly-ground taste. All you need to do is buy your favourite variety of beans, put them in, and press the button. You wouldn’t expect it, but even the cheapest fresh beans will taste miles better than the most luxurious instant coffee. Just try it and see.

For the real coffee connoisseur, though, the beans you use in the machine will matter. Good coffee beans are surprisingly hard to come by in a supermarket – you will probably have more luck buying them from coffee shops that sell their own beans, or from small independent specialist shops and street markets. Be careful, though, as this can get expensive very fast – make sure you try making coffee from a small sample of any beans before you buy a larger supply.

Brewing a great cup of coffee depends on a number of things such as the quality of the coffee bean, the quality of the water being used, the type of brewing being done, and the grind of the coffee. Now quality of bean and water is something you can easily take care. Just use good quality beans and pure water. However the relationship between the grind of the coffee and the type of brewing being done is more detailed and could use a little explanation. Now we all know that we make coffee by passing hot water over crushed coffee beans. However for it to really work well we need to understand just how long the water should be passing over the beans. The purpose of this article is to help you understand how to match your coffee’s grind to the type of brewing you are doing in order to make the best coffee possible.

Brewing A Perfect Cup Of CoffeeGenerally speaking, the ‘soaking’ time relates directly to how coarse the coffee is ground. This means that smaller coffee grinds need less contact with the water, and coarser grinds need longer contact. Espresso coffee is only exposed to water for 20-40 seconds and as a result is made using extremely fine grind coffee. A French press coffee maker can take as much as 4 minutes and uses an extremely coarse grind. If coffee is left contacting water for too long for its grind size, unwanted extracts emerge and make the coffee taste bitter. Of course if the grind is too large and the water passes very quickly (like using frech press grind in an espresso maker), very little of the caffeine and flavours extracted and will have poor flavour.

Of course filters play an important role in managing the balance between over and under brewing your coffee. Not only do they keep the grind out of your cup, but they also control how fast the water passes over the grinds. Paper filters are the most common, but many people are also using metal varieties. Paper filters are quite good. However they can absorb some of the coffee flavour, and some people claim they can taste the paper in the final coffee. Metal filters are normally made from stainless steel or gold plated mesh. They have very fine weave and filter out the coffee grinds very well. They also do not alter the taste of the coffee at all. Metal filters are also more environmentally friendly than the paper alternative.

Whichever you choose, be sure to buy decent quality. Cheap filters often clog or not allow the coffee to brew properly. A decent quality metal filter will last years and save money in the end.

Brewing a cup of coffee is not that hard. Brewing a great cup takes a little more understanding, but isn’t any harder. Start with fresh beans and good clean water and then match your brewing style to the proper grind and then mess around with the exact proportions and pretty soon your be brewing killer coffee every time.

The birth place of coffee is relatively close to Kenya but getting it there was not an easy task and full of bloodshed. The Arabs who controlled coffee enslaved thousands of Kenyan’s where they worked on the coffee plantations in Kenya and Arabia. This was followed by the British settlers around 1900 who quickly assumed control over the country which led to more bloodshed.

History Of Kenya CoffeeIn the first part of the 20th century the interior was settled by British and European farmers who became rich by farming coffee on the backs of the Kenyan workers. By the 1930’s the farmers powers had become very strong. Even with over 1 million Kikuyu tribe members calling it home they had now real land claims according to the Europeans. To protect their interest the wealthy Europeans banned them from growing coffee, introduced a hut tax and gave them less and less for their labor. The Kikuyu were forced to leave their land and go to the cities in order to survive. This legal slavery of the population continued until the century until the British relinquished control in 1960. Despite all this bloodshed and slavery Kenya coffee has flourished and is among one of the finest cups in the world.

All Kenya coffee grown is Arabica coffee grown on the rich volcanic soil that is found in the highlands of the country. Today around 250,000 Kenyans are employed in the production of coffee. Most is produced by small land holders that are members of cooperatives that process their own coffee. Still, even with this Kenya coffee’s specialty status Kenya coffee farmers still remain among the poorest in the world. In 2001 a farmer producing 1,007 kg crop would only earn £20.14 for his labor, that same coffee is available at specialty stores for $10 + per pound.

Recently Kenya farmers have introduced the Ruiru 11 hybrid plant and it is causing concern amongst true Kenya coffee lovers. This is because it may lack the traditional Kenya coffee attributes that coffee aficionados love. The Kenya Coffee Board is trying to promote Ruiru 11 as an alternative to the farmers but their efforts are overshadowed by the rumors that it tastes like a low grade coffee from a different country. History will have to be the judge to see who is correct.

Kenya coffee has a bright acidity and a wonderful sweetness with a dry winy aftertaste. A really good Kenya coffee will also have a black-current flavor and aroma. Some of the worlds finest coffees come from Kenya and as a single origin coffee it wins praise at the cupping table. Kenya has this level of quality through a government-run system that offers rewards to farmers for producing better quality coffee. This policy has lead to steady improvements and consistent improvements in the cups quality. Each lot of Kenya coffee, if it is from a large farm or a small co-op has to undergo rigorous testing for quality by the Coffee Board of Kenya.