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What is coffee?
Coffee is a drink which is prepared by brewing roasted coffee beans. And it is also one of the most traded products.
Coffee is a little bit acidic (pH5,0-5,1) and can improve human's physical and mental functions because of caffein. Caffein is explained in the text just keep reading.
Coffee is one of the most social drinks for humans, just like alcohol. But coffee improves brain and body activities unlike alcohol. And also coffee shop's decaration and atmosphere makes people talkative and productive just like the real coffee.
Coffee also is the king of drinks while meeting up and gathering to study. It gives a refreshing feeling to people and unlike what most of the people belived, have a great taste! Most people will tell you that "it has a bitter taste and hard to drink". Yes old beans taste like that but, coffee made with freshly rousted and freshly grinded beans is tastes grade. This fresh coffee which is not sold at franchised places but sold at third party coffee shops is taste close to bitter choclote and is more intense than old coffee. You can also make that fresh coffee at home by the right coffee beans and brewing method.
There is two kinds of different coffee beans and lots of brewing methods. But before explaining those methods, history of the coffee will be explained.
According to some reports and histories coffee's first use goes far back as the 10th century. Belivied that Ethiopia is the origin is the coffee. The earliest evidince that, proves there is a knowledge about coffea plants or coffee drinking, is from the 15th century, in the Sufi monasteries of Yemen. Coffee reached as far as Persia, Middle East, Turkey, Horn of Africa, and northern Africa by the 16th century. Then it get expended by traders to Indonesi and to the Italy, Balkans and rest of the Europe. Then it spread to America.
Caffein is the main component in coffee which improves human abilities. Caffein has a great effect on brain unless consumed too much. For healthy adults, 4 or 5 cup of coffee is not unhealthy but people should never drink coffee every morning regularly. Afternoon coffee's are very helpfull to body health and brain activities. Consuming coffee every morning effects your hormons which gets relaesed every morning, and causes addiction to coffee and brokes hormonal cycles.
Coffee and Caffein
Caffeine is a bitter, white crystalline xanthine alkaloid - a term used for substances produced as end products of nitrogen metabolism in some plants(Medical News Today,2015). This chemical is produced as an output of the nitrogen metobolism in plants. Roasting and brewing coffee seed is a one way to get caffein. But there is other plants produce caffein. Still most people use coffee get their caffein dose.
Table of Caffein amounts in some bevareges
|Brewed Coffee(16,8 cl)||100 mg|
|Instant Coffee(1 tsp)||57 mg|
|Brewed decaffeinated Coffee(16,8 cl)||3 mg|
|Instant decaffeinated Coffee(1 tsp)||2 mg|
|Cappuccino(11,2 cl)||100 mg|
|Espresso(5,6 cl)||100 mg|
|Coca-Cola/Diet Coke||46 mg|
|Red Bull(22,96 cl)||80 mg|
|Brewed Tea(1 Cup)||20 to 110 mg|
|Cocoa(1 Cup)||4 mg|
Coffee Beans and Types
Seeds of the Coffea plant is known as coffee beans. Coffea plants has a fruit called 'coffee cherry' which is the source of coffee seeds. After those cherries harvested, their seeds gets seperated from the fruit and gets roasted. Those processes forms coffee seeds as we know. Coffea plants grows in warm,humid climates at alltitudes up to 1800 km above sea level (indigocoffee,n.d.). Those plants are short (almost at a human's height) and pyramid-like. Coffea plant has two different species which grows different cherry and beans:
- Coffea Arabica
- Coffea Canephora (Coffea Robusta)
Robusta seeds has high amounts of caffein and they are pretty though to drink. They taste worse than arabica coffee seeds. But this specie grows easly which makes it pretty cheap.
Use of Robusta Coffee
Those cheap coffes generally used in industrial products, coffee aromas and in some special mixes in order to make that mix cheaper. And most of the instant coffees source is the robusta seeds. Although this seed can be used for a lot of products because of the bad taste it should never be used for drinking.
The original and tasty seeds for drinking are the coffea arabica's seeds. It is more expensensive than it's cousin but it can be drunken easily.
Those beans are slightly larger than robusta beans and they have less amount of caffein. Don't let amount of caffein to fool you about coffee quality.
The important point to make great coffee is the freshness, but this freshness is not about harvesting time or how long did seeds waited before roasting. This freshness is about roasting time. This specification makes coffee easly storable.
Roasting coffee is the process of cracking the coffee beans with heat. The amount of heat and time the coffee roasted is two of the most important factors that determinates the taste of the coffee. Coffee cherry's seed is rock hard and its impossible to extract coffee without grinding. That seed gets roasted to make grinding easier.
Roasting process much alike like making popcorn and it will make the same sounds at first crack. After that crack, depending on how much you countinue to grind, taste and the usage of the beans changes. But one does not simply forget that not all the beans crack at the same time. Therefore adjusting roasting is requeries some practise.
Roasting also it burns some of the caffein, other chemicals and makes coffee more bitter. Roasting effects coffee's taste and intensity very much as shown as the picture at left. It usually depends on person's taste how time coffee must be roasted. But usually there is three different states tastes and used in different coffee products : low,medium and high.
Roasting States and Usages of Those States
|State of Roasting||Usage||Taste||Caffein|
|Medium||Mostly Filter Coffee||Intense,bitter||Middle|
|High||Mostly Espresso||much more bitter||Less|
|Low||Mostly Filter Coffee||Intense, more bitter||Much|
Grinding is the process of breaking up roasted coffee beans by a metal knife or a rock mill. Grinders designed for coffee usually have high speed knife or very powerfull mill with ceramic rocks. There is also electical version of mills.
Griding times effects the size of coffee particals you get and of course effetcs the brewing process. Grinding process must be adjusted for the method you are going to use. Most of the grinders has an adjustment button or adjustment screw.
Grinding coffee comes after roasting it. Usually most of the frenchise coffee shops grind your coffee while making it but they roast coffee long before brewing it. To achive a perfect grinding and coffee, grinding must be done right after roasting. But in today's conditions its not possible. Coffee roasted in one week or less is also acceptible. Times more than one week considered as old coffee and mostly not used by coffee fans. But i think that coffee roasted in one moth is also okay.
Choosing Right Method
If brewing comes right after grinding, coffee will be better than when it is made from old grinded beans. Even if rock mill grinders are better than metal kinfe grinders grinding right before brewing is better than buying grinded coffee.
Metal usually known as destroying vitamins and aromas. Which pretty true and can be applied to coffee grinding. But electric grinders much more cheaper than electrical mills or even the manuel mills.
As shown as at the picture at left, there is high speed knife that turns inside the grinder. This knife cuts the beans into smaller parts. But don't this grinders always comes with safety equiment and has special designs that you can't make it work if you didn't put the case on top of it.
The healtiest and the best method to grind everything is the rock mill which doesn't change the taste of coffee. But those type of rock grinders usually much more expensive than knife grinders. If you love coffee the price you paid for difference will satisfy you. But manuel versions, which takes a alot of time, can be cheaper than both of them.
It's very hard to find those types of grinders everywhere. The best way to get one of them is the internet. This types of the grinders are the most efficent and good way to make great coffee.
Using a manuel grinder makes people very tired after using it and it consumes a lot of time. They are easier to find around but still they are pretty expensive. They can be enough make great coffee. But it can also cause you to let go of coffee because of the efford and time it takes.
This table explains how much you need to grind to get ideal coffee.
|Way of brewing||Size||Visual|
|Cold Brewing||Extra Coarse Grind|
|French Press and Cupping||Coarse Grind|
|Chemex and Cafe Solo||Medium Coarse Grind|
|Drip Brewing||Medium Grind|
|Vacuum and Spihon||Medium Fine Grind|
|Turkish Coffee||Extra Fine Grid|
Brewing is the final process of the coffee. After brewing, coffee becomes ready to drink. This process must be done very carefully, if it's possible with a thermometer. Boiling water should not be used because it burns the coffee and makes coffee a little bit bitter that original. And every equment you are going to use, including the cup, must be pre heated. Usage of the thermos will give you more pleasure from coffee. Altought there is too many different versions of brewring, it can be narroved down to two main brewing methods:
- Cold Brewing
- Hot Brewing
- French Press
If you want to brew coffee without any specific equipment, cold brewing is your way. Basicly room-temputered water pours on grinded coffee and left to brewing for 16 to 30 hours in the fridge. The disadvantage of this method is, its takes too much to brew but it doesn't require any specific equipment or effort. After waited long enough in the refrigerator, brewd coffee can be filtered with any kind of filters. But those filter's holes must be very small. After filtering your cold coffee is ready to drink. Some ice in the coffee goes great too.
There is lots of hot brewing methods like french press, chimex, siphon, aeropress... You can get the best coffee with aeropress pretty easily. And it is also most prefered hot brewing method. French press also very prefible, and actually most of the coffee fans starts with french press and moves on to the aeropress and espresso.
Hot brewing is the process of pouring hot water on coffee, then filtering the coffee. To get the best result while hot brewing, coffee must wait in hot water 2-3 minutes, If it waits longer coffee will get bitter. After coffee waited long enough in hot water, filtering process begins. Frenchpress and aeropress pushes hot water thourgh coffee while filtering. That's probably why they give the best taste and aroma.
French press usually the most popoular technic among coffee noobs. It's pretty cheap and has one material which can be found at every market. French press also suitable for making great tea. Disadventege of french press is that its get broken too easly and its hard to clean.
French press basiclly a filter with a metal bar in a cup. After pouring hot water and coffee in french press, simply pressing the filter down is enough to make great coffee. The important point here is to put water first then put the coffee and wait for it disovle 2-3 minutes and take the coffee out on your cup or somewhere else, If coffee waits too long in water, coffee will be bitter and though to drink. But keeping coffee longer in the water does not improve the caffein amount in it.
Unlike french press aeropress uses air to push coffe into the filter. Which prevents coffee from metals and gives it a little bit espresso like taste. Aeropress is also easier to clean too. But it's much more expensive than french press.
Aeropress can be though as two cylinders inside each other. The one on the top has a dead end, while other has a filter end. After pouring hot water them cofee, aeropress must be reversed on the cup as shows as in the picture. Which pushes coffee into the filter (paper or metal, but mostly paper) with air.
Pushing hot water with very high pressure into the coffee seeds, extracts more coffee aromas and caffein from coffee. Coffee made by that method is called espresso. Espresso is the source of cappuccino, latte, long black and americano. Those types of coffees can not be produced without expresso.
Unfortunetly and according to the physic laws, making expresso is pretty hard. Reaching high pressure at 95-85 degrees is pretty hard. You can reach high pressure by heating up water to more tan 100 degress but it will burn the coffee therefore pressure must be outsourced. And making that happen is requires a lot of engineering. That's why espresso machines are so expensive. But they usually give what is payed for If people know how to use it.Most of the information here is from the book "Kafeist Manifesto" by Steven Ward You can see the website i designed from here if it's still avalible That's all folks! See you later