Archive | September, 2010

5 Ways Your Coffee Is Brewed

Coffee has five primary ways of being brewed. Each method has brewing variables – introduction of water, brewing temperature, and separating the brewed liquor from the coffee grounds. These five methods are called Turkish brewing, concentrate brewing, percolating, drip brewing, and French Press brewing.

“Turkish” or “Greek” Coffee

Turkish coffee or kahve is the traditional name is made in small containers directly on the flame with water and finely ground kahve comes to a boil. Often times it is brewed up with sugar already introduced. In some traditions they will pour off a little into each cup and then bring it to a second boil, pouring the rest off into each cup insuring an even distribution of grounds. In some regions they serve the kahve with added spice which is usually cardamom. The coffee is not filtered from the liquor which leaves a thick pungent and muddy brew. The mud settles to the bottom of the tiny demitasse cups the coffee is served in. In many countries they read the coffee mud after you have drank your coffee and tell you your future.

Concentrate Brewing

Concentrate brewing is very popular in Latin America and other parts of the world. It is beginning to make a come back in the U.S.. Concentrate brewing takes large amounts of coffee that is brewed with small amounts of water to brew a concentrate. To make a cup of coffee you mix some of the concentrate with hot water. The concentrate is brewed either hot or cold. When it is brewed cold you must let the coffee sit for at least a day. This method creates a mild light-bodied coffee with little aroma and a little acidity with a muted flavor.

Percolating

This procedure involves a continuous brewing of the coffee grounds using boiling water which then turns to boiling coffee liquor brewing over the grounds. This method is practical but is an insult to the coffee bean. Brewing with boiling water is bad enough, then boiling the liquor is asking for a thin, bitter and tarry coffee.

Though this produces an awful cup of coffee many people still prefer percolation. If its for you then more power to you!

Auto drip

This is the most popular way to brew coffee in the U.S.A. Pouring hot water over grounds in a filter and letting the brew drip out the bottom, simple. Drip brewing can produce an excellent cup of coffee if the proper equipment is used. One of the biggest issues with auto drip machines is they don’t brew at the right temperature. Bunn is one of the few companies which calibrate their machines to the proper temperature. If you have a good auto drip brewing machine then the next hurdle to tackle is the filter. Paper filters can deposit a flavor in the coffee and also do not allow a lot of the coffee oils and organic compounds through. A gold-plated reusable filter is the perfect option for drip brewing. It will not deposit a taste in the coffee and doesn’t trap as much of the coffee’s essence as paper filters do.

French Press or Press Pot

French Pres brewing gives you complete control. It is more labor intensive than auto drip the brewing variables can be better controlled. Coarsely ground coffee is placed in a glass carafe. The hot water is then poured over the grounds. When the brewing is complete the top is placed on and a plunger that consists of a metal mesh plate is pressed down pushing the grounds to the bottom. The coffee liquor is on top ready to be poured off. The mesh filter allows the oils and fine coffee particles through without a problem. Also because a coarser grind is required a longer brewing time is required. A general rule of thumb is four minutes for a French press. This direct contact of the grounds to water allows a more complete, controllable, and even extraction. Even with the coarse grind though a coarse grind will still produce some fine particles. A cup of French-pressed coffee will be fuller, more body, and more flavor. It will also have sediment on the bottom of the cup.

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Which Coffee Maker? Grinding Out The Answer

When you stop at the convenience store or at a local coffee shop for your morning cup of coffee have you ever wondered how your cup of coffee came about?  No, not how it was brewed but how it was that you are able to drink a cup of coffee.  Sure, the coffee machine plays an important role in making your perfectly brewed cup of coffee, but just how did that coffee maker first come about, or how did the first person who ever sipped the first cup of coffee discover its magic?

Legend goes back to a lonely sheep herder in Ethiopia who noticed his sheep acting strangely every time they ate certain red berries from a certain bush.  One has to wonder why he himself decided to give the berries a try.  Well that is of no consequence because since that life altering decision man has been enjoying coffee in many different cultures, different countries and different places.  Do you know they even drink coffee on the Space Shuttle?  I wonder what kind of coffee machine they have.

The one million dollar question is exactly what makes a good cup of coffee?  Does buying one of the best coffee makers lead to a great cup of coffee?  Not necessarily..  Start with great coffee beans.  You can even roast your own coffee beans with the Home coffee roaster machines.  Roasting machines allow coffee drinkers to buy premium coffee beans at discount prices and roast them at home.  The coffee drinker is in charge of the roasting level; medium or dark roast.   Coffee drinkers also advise against buying pre-ground coffee, pre-grinding diminishes the coffee flavor and aroma.  Apparently the best part of the coffee bean is found deep within it therefore pre-ground, once the package is opened loses that rich coffee aroma.  Grinding your beans before you start percolating your coffee ensures you get the most out of the bean.  Talking about grinding the beans there are also two types of coffee grinders; burr and blade grinders, both serve the purpose equally well, so the type of grinder you have does not affect your cup of coffee.

Shopping for coffee makers
There are three different types of coffee makers.  There are filter coffee makers that basically drip hot boiling water over the ground coffee beans then filter the coffee over a disposable paper filter.  Then there are the espresso/cappuccino coffee makers and finally the combination coffee makers that make both cappuccino and filter coffee.  Choose a coffee machine that suits your needs.  Take into consideration how much and how often you drink coffee.  How much you are willing to spend on seeking the perfect cup of coffee.  Remember to look online, you can find many discount coffee makers.

Whether you enjoy your coffee with or without cream or whether you enjoy a robust and flavorful cup of black coffee remember to thank that lowly sheep herder who took a risk and ate the first coffee bean.

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Grind And Brew Coffee Makers Overview

It won’t matter how rich, expensive or high quality your coffee beans are, they won’t produce the best flavor if the grinding isn’t right. There is more than one type of grinder on the market and when evaluating grind and brew coffee makers, you will want to pay careful attention to the grinder.

The Grinding Side of Coffee Making

Some grinders come with blades and some have burr type grinders. The generally consensus among coffee growers is that the burr type is best. The blades tend to cut the coffee in a way that doesn’t release the best flavor. On the other hand, 2î burrs will gently chop the beans into a well ground consistency that will enhance the bean’s flavor. The objective here is a fine, consistent grind.

The Brewer

The other side of the combination grind and brew coffee makers is the brewing component. This will consist of a water reservoir, a filter and the cup or pot area to catch the hot coffee. Brewers come with a thermostat to heat water to the perfect temperature. Filer areas can hold a filter designed to hold enough grounds to make a full pot, or have single serving filters. The most important part of the brewing side of things to consider is how well the water is filtered as well as the coffee. If tap water is used and contains minerals, there must be a water filtration system to avoid having chemicals or minerals change the taste of the coffee. You could of course use filtered water, but in combination units convenience is the goal.

Putting the Two Together

Combination units have taken the best grinders and best brewers and put them conveniently together. Many combo units have timers so you can program them to grind and brew just minutes before you are ready to enjoy the coffee. This freshly ground and brewed coffee can be waiting for you and begin the process as you sleep. You will wake up to the aroma and flavours that will help you start your day just right.

There are various sizes and styles of combination coffee makers. Depending on the recipe (Espresso, Latte, etc) or if you plan to make more single cup drinks than pots, you can right the model for your needs.

In addition to comparing features you will want to compare your personal needs to the machine’s abilities. For example, the super automatic Espresso maker or Cappuccino Makers are designed for the busiest people. They go from stone cold to a freshly brewed cup of coffee in a matter of minutes. There is also a clean up time to factor in. With super automatic styles, there is no clean up so you can save even more time with these models.

The basic formula for the perfect, freshest brew then is to begin with the beans. Select a flavor from around the world that appeals to you. Next, make sure you retain that flavor by grinding it with a burr style grinder (not usually found at your local grocery store) to ensure the texture is just right for brewing. Then brew with pure water and a good filter that won’t change the flavor. Grind and brew coffee makers with all of these features will do the job. The rest of the features, such as timers, automatic cleaning, etc. will just be foam on your latte!

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Espresso Machines – Making The Best Coffee In The World, At Home

Think about having a fresh, coffee-shop-quality espresso when you get up in the morning ñ without having to leave the house. This is what your very own espresso machine can provide, but it is important to make sure you buy the right product, and know how to use it when you get it home.

Espresso is a syrupy, traditionally Italian, specialty coffee. Coffee shop owners will tell you that making mouth-watering espresso is just like pulling the perfect pint of beer. It requires patience, practice, and is much harder than it looks. Good quality espresso machines can make it easier by controlling the temperature and the internal mechanisms more exactly.

These machines function in several different ways. If, for instance, you value authenticity, and have strong arms, a Piston-driven espresso maker could be for you. The design for this fully-manual espresso machine comes from as far back as 1938. Many are now sold for decorative value in addition to making a good cup of espresso coffee,

There are various types of semi-automatic espresso machines. In all cases the water is delivered via a pump mechanism, but the grinding, preparation and insertion of the coffee must be done by hand. These may be more difficult to find, as recently automatic or super-automatic machines are becoming more popular and cost-effective.

Automatic espresso machines are very similar to the semi-automatic version, but the temperature and amount of the water is also controlled automatically. Super-automatic espresso machines are still mostly for the high-end of the market. These basically only require you to put the coffee beans in! They may also have many extra features, such as milk frothing or filter coffee making. However, some coffee fans believe the super-automatic espresso machines produce poor quality espresso.

Prices for espresso machines range from below fifty dollars to over two thousand dollars. The most expensive are pump-controlled espresso machines, which are generally only used by coffee shops. If you are purchasing one of these, clearly it is vital to find a reputable provider with experience. Thanks to the Internet home espresso machines are becoming more easily available, even from non-specialist shopping websites.

The best advance the Internet has brought though is the increase in consumer reviews of espresso machines. This helps you to purchase based on the experience of others, rather than the sales materials provided by the manufacturer.

Once you have invested in the best espresso machine that suits your tastes, you will need to buy the best quality coffee beans. There is no point blaming the espresso machine if you have scrimped on this vital component! Espresso machine providers often offer their own range of coffee beans, which may be much wider than that available at your local supermarket.

An espresso machine is a perfect investment or gift for somebody really passionate about coffee. You should be willing, like the coffee shop connoisseurs, to put some time and effort into making the perfect cup. If you do this, and choose your espresso machine carefully, you could be well on your way to coffee heaven!

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Coffee Makers And eBay Are Perfectly Matched

Coffee goods and the eBay auction website are well suited to each other, with the technical assistance of eBay you will find thousands upon thousands of items that will help you enjoy the magical beverage. You may be saying to yourself, why on earth would you purchase used specialist coffee blends or glass coffee pots? well quite simply hundreds of coffee targeted goods are auctioned on eBay each day and a large number of items such as stainless steel coffee machines and coffee travel mugs are brand new and untouched.

Locate a section which is relevant to beverage and gourmet food and simply type in your particular item or items of focus, Now here’s the real solution for picking up a bargain on eBay, Say you are hunting for a Jamaican Coffee product don’t just type that into the eBay search field, try as many coffee related searches as you can because someone selling merchandise such as antique coffee spoons or Coffee grinder blades may possibly have more than just one coffee product on their merchandise list.

A further great tips for sourcing coffee products or related products on eBay is this, take note of spelling errors, Just recently I acquired an automatic coffee grinder for a discount price simply because I used spelling mistakes when I made my initial coffee searches with the eBay search tool. Masses of coffee products are sold on eBay each month and a great many of them have been advertised with spelling mistakes, an individual could be selling gourmet coffee beans or a trial coffee packs and miss out single letter which means you may easily be the only bidder searching for coffee products and the only buyer to succeed with a winning purchase.

Another great reason for purchasing coffee items and food and beverage merchandise on eBay is the fact that a fair amount of unwanted coffee products are placed there because of the financial predicament of the soul selling them, a vintage coffee table being auctioned for thirty 25% lower than in the marketplace may not be as unusual as you may think.

A coffee product might perhaps find its way onto the eBay listings simply because it was purchased in a government auction, you may possibly end up purchasing whole lo

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How To Grind Your Coffee Beans

Air is the enemy of all coffee drinkers. Once air comes in contact with your coffee grinds, they begin to lose their flavor. Coffee manufacturers vacuum seal their grinds to keep them fresh while they sit on the shelves at the supermarket but once you break that seal, it’s all downhill from there. Buying whole coffee beans and grinding them yourself is a great way to ensure that your coffee remains as flavorful as possible. But do you know how to grind your coffee beans properly?

Different types of coffee calls for different types of grinds. So you’ll need to learn to use your coffee grinder properly if you want to make the freshest best tasting coffee possible.

If you plan on brewing your coffee with a percolator or a French Press coffee maker then you’ll need a coarser grind. Place the coffee beans in your coffee grinder and tap the grind button a few times as you would use the pulse feature on your food processor. The goal is to break the beans up so that they look like tiny pieces of coffee bean. If they look like a powder, then you need to slowly back away from the coffee grinder and start again. Remember to tap the button and not hold it down.

Automatic drip coffee makers work best with medium grinds. Picture the grinds that you’d find in a can of supermarket coffee. Those are medium grinds. They can be described as looking like brown sand. So remember the last time you went to the beach but instead of seeing the sand in between your toes, imagine seeing sand in your coffee maker. Once again, while holding the coffee grinder button, don’t get carried away and over grind your coffee beans. You do not want a fine powder if you’re going to use an automatic coffee maker.

Finally if your using an espresso maker, you want those fine powdery grinds that you’ve been trying to avoid when making coarse and medium grinds. So grind away until your heart is content.

Grinding your own coffee beans right before you brew your coffee is a great way to make sure that you’re getting the freshest cup of coffee possible. But a fresh cup of coffee can still be bitter or weak. Learning how to grind your coffee beans is an important part of making great coffee.

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Before You Buy An Espresso Machine

Instead of running to your local coffee shop or favorite corner cafe for the perfect cut of espresso, consider making your own at home. If the thought of becoming a kitchen barista has you shaking without any caffeine, think again! There are a wide variety of espresso machines that are geared for home use, from the basic to the same machines used by the professionals. However, before you drop a couple hundred of dollars on that top of the line espresso machine, consider your options and needs. Also, if you are experiencing sticker shock from some of the higher end espresso machines, keep in mind that you are saving a great deal on a daily basis by avoiding high priced indulgences at coffee shops or cafes.

The first think you should know before choosing a home espresso machine is that there are several different varieties of machines. Each different type of machine will come with a different price tag and different capabilities. Although the top of the line machine may be nice, it may not necessarily meet your needs. Instead of buying an espresso machine simply because it is deemed the ‘best’, buy a machine that you can (and will) use on a regular basis. The different types of home espresso machines are:

Pump Espresso: Typically what you will find in a coffee shop, a pump espresso machine are usually made for commercial purposes, but can be used in your home. Be prepared to expand your budget if you are looking to purchase a pump espresso machine, since they are typically the priciest of the bunch. Also, pump espresso machines are usually the largest, heaviest, and noisiest of the options, but it produces a fantastic cup of espresso. These machines work by using a pump to keep the water pressure at an appropriate level.

Piston Espresso: If you are looking for a great, low maintenance espresso machine, consider those than run on a piston or lever system. Instead of a pump to create pressure, these machines use a level that must be maneuvered in order to create steam. Although a piston espresso machine is very quiet, they may require a great deal of arm strength to continually pull on the lever. Furthermore, the piston espresso machine is capable of making a great cup of espresso, but it may take practice to get the hang of the process.

Steam Espresso: Using steam to create pressure to make the espresso, these steam powered espresso machines are typically the type found in the home. With smaller machines that occupy less space and cost less money, steam espresso machines are quite quick and easy to use. However, keep in mind that the steam produced may not provide the appropriate level of pressure, so the steam level should be constantly maintained.

Moka Pots: Moka Pots are a stove-top method to producing espresso. The process is simple and easy, although the final product may be less than professional. Using specially designed two-part pot, the steam produced by the water boiling in the bottom of the pot is forced into the top part of the pot, where the coffee is boiling. It requires a great deal less pressure than the other types of home espresso machines, but there is no milk frothing or foaming attachments, so you may have to sacrifice that feature for price and size.

Any one of these different types of home espresso machines will allow you to make a delicious cup of espresso. Your choice should be based upon needs, usability, overall size of the machine, and of course the price. A high end espresso machine can run up a bill in the thousands of dollars.

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The Art Of Roasting Coffee

Could there be anything better than a hot, fresh brewed cup of coffee? As you open that can of pre-ground Maxwell House Coffee, did you even know that coffee comes in different roasts? Did you know that you can roast your own coffee beans at home? If you think that the aroma of your fresh ground coffee beans can’t be beat, get a home coffee roaster, you’ll be in Java Heaven.

Roasting the coffee beans is what imparts flavor. Similar to the making of a fine wine or a hand rolled cigar, some consider the roasting of coffee beans as an art. Those that describe coffee use some of the same vocabulary they use to describe wine. Depending on the roast level chosen the beans take on different flavor characteristics. The lighter the coffee bean the less flavor it will have, the darker the coffee bean the stronger the flavor it will have.

There are generally four different categories of roast. A light roast (American) , a medium roast (Breakfast), a dark roast (French), and darkest roast (Italian or espresso). Each type of roast imparts a different appearance to the coffee beans.

When a coffee bean is roasted to an American roast the beans will have a very light color to them and they will appear dry. A medium roasted bean, or Breakfast roast will have a rich brown color and will be oily in appearance. A French roasted coffee bean will have a very oily appearance with the beans appearing very dark brown. The darkest roasted beans or Espresso beans will appear black.

Coffee roasting can easily be done in your home. Depending on the roast that you desire you can roast coffee in five to fifteen minutes. Green beans are available online from a number of sellers, as are coffee roasters. Choose different types of green coffees to sample. Drum roasters are very popular for use in the home. It’s best to consider purchasing a roaster as it will give you the most consistent finish to your beans. Some try to roast beans in frying pans, some use hot air popcorn poppers. While each of these techniques will work, as mentioned above they don’t give a consistent finish to all the beans and you will most likely be disappointed in the result.

Enjoy!

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Coffee Pods – For The Lazy Coffee Drinker

A Coffee Pod is a machine which is used for brewing coffee instantly at any time we wish. There seems to be many companies who are manufacturing bunch of coffee pods which are now available in the supermarkets. A few manufacturers of coffee pods are Black & Decker, Melitta, Phillips, Senseo, Folgers and many more. All these machines seem to come in different sizes. These machines also have the tendency to drip after making each cup of coffee. Very soon these coffee pod manufacturing companies are thinking of bringing newer and better tasting coffee pods into the markets.

∑ Anyone can make his own coffee pod at home very easily

Some don’t like their regular pod coffee maker and other don’t have their own coffee pod machine. Here is a very good solution for all those people who love to drink coffee as they can now make their own coffee pod at home very easily. Anyone can make this coffee pod with his regular kitchen appliances. So here are the few things they will need to make their own coffee pod at home, they are stainless steel measuring scoop, jar, filter, etc. Now here is a brief process of preparing coffee pod at home.

Firstly what one will need is that a stainless steel measuring scoop which should fit into the pod holder of the coffee maker. Next he has to look for jar which must fit nicely inside the measuring scoop. Then he has to find for a coffee filter that can serve 5 cups of coffee. Now the jar should be set into the scoop of the pod holder. The coffee pod will be better if everything fits well. Now he has to take the coffee filter and has to shape the filter evenly over the end of the jar. The filter paper should be placed at the center of the jar. Next he has to invert the jar and has to place it in the measuring scoop. Now he has to remove the jar and leave the cup-shaped filter in the measuring cup.

Now he just has to add 2 teaspoons of ground coffee to the paper cup filter. The typical coffee makers use scoops which can hold about 7 Gms of coffee. Next shake the cup slightly in order to spread the ground coffee evenly across the bottom of the filter inside the jar. In this way the ground coffee can be completely covered. Finally the expected coffee pod is ready. One thing must be remembered that before each brewing cycle the pod holder should be cleaned in order to make sure that nothing is blocking the holes of the pod.

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Brewing A Great Cup Of Coffee

Today, I will propose to you how to make a great cup of coffee. You can do it. There are a few secrets to the process. I will share these with you.

Start with the bean and pick your roast. Quality coffee can only come from a quality coffee bean that is properly roasted. The process of roasting a coffee bean is complex and can result in a given bean tasting very different depending on how it is roasted. If you desire a strong intense flavor to your coffee, choose a dark roast (ex: French Roast). If you like to a light flavor, less intense, choose a lighter roast.

Never use pre-ground coffee. Pre-ground coffee will lose its flavor and essence within a short period of time. Grinding before you brew will assure you that no flavor is lost due to time.

Always use cold filtered water when brewing your coffee. The water you use represents 98% of your cup of coffee. Filtering the water will remove impurities that could affect the taste. Poor quality water can come from a variety of sources. Example, older house will have older pipes. Theses pipes tend to give the water an off flavor. You will want to remove this by filtering. The basic rule is the better the water, the better the coffee.

Skip the paper filters and go for the gold. Yes, these are 23k gold plated stainless steel filters. Paper filters will influence the flavor of the coffee in a negative manner. The Gold plated filters influence the flavor by allowing natural oils to infiltrate into your brew, adding a level of flavor and aroma you wont find with paper coffee filters. Another plus is that these filters can be reused over and over, and will last a very long time. Not only will your coffee be better, but you will be helping the environment by saving on waste.

Never over do it on the add-ins. Cut down on the sugar, cream, and other flavor add-ins to really enjoy the true essence of the brew. If we disguise the coffee to much; we will never know the true taste.

Part of what makes a great cup of coffee is how and when we enjoy it. We all have our favorite time and rituals. For me, nothing beats enjoying a great cup of coffee on a Sunday morning and reading the paper.

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