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Coffee

Your Cup of Coffee
In its positive aspect, stress can help you focus, perform and reach peak efficiency. However, during the negative phase-- the 5 keys to "de-stressing" the moment are vehemently observed. The major one being popularly endorsed is "Humour"- the greatest and quickest device to reduce stress. This is followed by Brisk Walk or Self Talk, Rehydrate, Catnap/Powernap, Crying and Making a Cuppa. Recent studies have identified food "stressors," such as sugar, caffeine, and chocolate as improving mental health, which produce a soothing feeling, tend to stimulate the body, increase heart rate and blood pressure.

As a matter of fact, coffee is the best thing to douse the sunrise with. With over 500 billion cups consumed every year, coffee is one of the world's most popular beverages. Worldwide, 25 million small producers rely on coffee for a living. Primarily in Brazil, almost a third of the world's coffee is produced, over 5 million people are employed in the cultivation and harvesting of over 3 billion coffee plants is done.

History of Coffee
There is a Turkish proverb- “A cup of coffee commits one to forty years of friendship.” The advent of coffee beans in the human civilization is traced back to hundreds thousands years in the Ethiopian Highlands and Yemen. In fact, the green coffee beans happen to be the "first trail mix", being relished by travellers on long journeys. However, the Arab world began expanding its trade horizons, and the beans moved into northern Africa and were mass-cultivated. From there, the beans entered the Indian and European markets, and the popularity of the beverage spread.

Some historians suggest that coffee was introduced into Arabia by slave traders who raided Africa as early as 1000 BC. One possible origin of both the beverage and the name is the Kingdom of Kaffa in Ethiopia, where the coffee plant originated (its name there is bunn or bunna. It was in the year 1607 that coffee was introduced to the New World by Captain John Smith, founder of Virginia at Jamestown. Coffee today is grown and enjoyed worldwide, and is one of the few crops that small farmers in third-world countries can profitably export.

 

Quick Espresso Facts
Coffee belongs to the botanical family Rubiaceae, which has some 500 genera and over 6,000 species. The two most important species of coffee economically are Coffea arabica (Arabica coffee) - which accounts for over 70% of world production - and Coffea canephora (Robusta coffee).

  • Brazil is the world leader in production of green coffee followed by Vietnam and Indonesia.
  • Coffee represents 71% of all the United States caffeine consumption.
  • When coffee first appeared in Africa, it was used as a type of religious intoxicant.
  • Americans' taste for coffee grew during the early nineteenth century, as a result of tea imports being cut off due to the War of 1812.
  • Instant, or soluble, coffee generally contains less caffeine than roast and ground coffee, but may be consumed in greater volume.
  • Harvard researchers calculate that having the daily dose of one to three cups of caffeinated coffee can reduce diabetes risk by single digits. People who drink coffee on a regular basis are up to 80% less likely to develop Parkinson's, asthma and even heart attacks. Further, coffee can stop a headache, boost mood, and even prevent cavities.

  • Some of the popular recipes of coffee can be savored in the forms of Alcoholic Cappuccino, Amaretto Coffee, Apricot Iced Coffee, Cappuccino Cake, Caramel Iced Coffee, Coffee Cherry Almond Cake, Coffee Punch, Creamy Irish Coffee, Iced Coffee, Irish Cappuccino, Irish Coffee, Mocha Coffee, and much more than your instincts can allow !!

 

The Palatable Coffee

Arab/Turkish Coffee: Being prepared in an "ibriq"- the small copper pot with a long handle, the Arab coffee consists of two teaspoons of finely-ground coffee plus one of sugar. After adding this combination to a cup of water, it is brought to the boil. A cardamom seed can also be added for flavor.

The Filter Method: The drip or filter method is possibly the most widely used method today. Finely-ground coffee is placed in a paper or reusable cone-shaped unit and nearly boiling water is poured on the top. The filter method is used especially in Germany and the USA.

The Plunger/Cafetiere: Known to be invented in 1933, this method extracts the maximum flavor from the ground beans. The pot is warmed, coarsely ground coffee is placed in the bottom, hot water is added to the grounds and stirred, then it is allowed to steep for three to five minutes, before the plunger is pushed down to separate the coffee grounds from the coffee infusion.

The Jug: Addressed as the "serviceable stop-gap method" as well as the simplest of all, it requires quite coarsely ground coffee and hot water.

Espresso and Cappuccino: Initially invented in Italy, these are the fastest growing methods of making coffee. Espresso is the foundation of cappuccino; it is the coffee upon which a luxuriant structure of frothed and foamed milk is ladled and poured.

The Moka-Napoletana: Another Italian method, it combines the characteristics of espresso and percolator coffee.

Soluble/Instant Coffee: The first soluble "instant" coffee was invented in 1901 by a Japanese-American chemist Satori Kato of Chicago. It has a number of advantages over fresh brewed coffee, including ease and convenience. It stays fresh for long, is fast, cheap and clean.

Flavored Coffees: An interesting and fast growing area of the market is flavored coffees. Today there are over 100 different flavored varieties available. In fact, the growth in popularity of flavored coffee is proof of coffee's versatility and strength.

 

Coffee Production
The original coffee cultivation was done in the shade of trees, which provided natural habitat for many animals and insects, roughly approximating the biodiversity of a natural forest. However, during the Green Revolution (in the 1970s and 1980s), there was a gradual shift to technified coffee agriculture in Latin America. The drawbacks related to this practice came out to be the cutting down of trees, along with high inputs of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. The environmental problems of deforestation, pesticide pollution, habitat destruction, soil and water degradation greatly effected the coffee farm cultivation. As a result, there has been a return to both the traditional and new methods of growing shade-tolerant varieties.


Coffee Processing
Coffee beans are the seeds of fruits which resemble cherries, with a red skin (the exocarp) when ripe. Beneath the pulp (the mesocarp), each surrounded by a parchment-like covering (the endocarp), lie two beans, flat sides together. When the fruit is ripe a thin, slimy layer of mucilage surrounds the parchment.

Underneath the parchment, the beans are covered in another thinner membrane, the silver skin (the seed coat). Each cherry generally contains two coffee beans; if there is only one it assumes a rounder shape and is known as a peaberry. Coffee beans must be removed from the fruit and dried before they can be roasted; this can be done in two ways, known as the dry and the wet methods. When the process is complete, the unroasted coffee beans are known as green coffee. The wet method is generally used for all the Arabica coffees, with the exception of those produced in Brazil and the Arabica-producing countries.
 

Coffee Roasting
The coffee roasting process consists essentially of cleaning, roasting, cooling, grinding, and packaging operations. In larger operations, bags of green coffee beans are hand or machine-opened, dumped into a hopper, and screened to remove debris. The green beans are then weighed and transferred by belt or pneumatic conveyor to storage hoppers. From the storage hoppers, the green beans are conveyed to the roaster. Roasters typically operate at temperatures between 370 and 540 °F (188 and 282 °C), and the beans are roasted for a period of time ranging from a few minutes to about 30 minutes. Many people who roast coffee prefer to follow a "recipe", or roast profile, when bringing out the flavor characteristics they wish to highlight.

The Gauge of Importance of Coffee
The North Americans are addressed as the world's largest coffee consumers with Seattle being the spiritual home of coffee. With passage of time, this 'coffee culture' has spread its impact over the rest of the world. Even the countries which hold great coffee traditions to their credit, encomapssing Italy, Germany, and Scandinavia, have added new converts to the pleasures of good coffee. As a result, the importance of coffee in the world economy cannot be overstated. Being one of the most valuable primary products in the world trade; its cultivation, processing, trading, transportation and marketing provide employment for millions of people worldwide.

 

The Science of Coffee
Exhibiting the mystery to rejuvenate those who enjoy its bite, coffee holds command over the way our bodies react. The major constituent of coffee- "caffeine" is an alkaloid, being found in over 63 plant species around the world.The other major compounds- theophylline, and theobromine cast different biochemical effects on the human body. Apart from acting as a stimulant in the human body, scientists have shown that coffee reduces suicidal tendencies in women, while it may also prevent gallstones and gallbladder disease in men, and reduce the incidence of diabetes by some 40%.

 
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