The impact of coffee on the lives of many people on the planet is impressive – officially, coffee production is only inferior to fuel production, plus, a lot of coffee shops, restaurants, and cafes offer their visitors the best (in their opinion) coffee.
The number of people who can’t imagine their morning without a cup of coffee or drink it all day long is amazing. Coffee statistics show that up to 180 million Americans consume coffee every day, and this figure continues to increase. In addition, every coffee lover does not drink coffee once a day but 3 times a day, on average.
Of course, coffee consumption worldwide is growing, as coffee is almost the main drug-drink, which has gained worldwide distribution and has more beneficial effects on the body than negative ones.
Read on to find out about useful and harmful nuances of coffee consumption, its popularity, caffeine composition, cup volumes, perfect coffee temperature (to feel the flavor at its best), and other interesting insights about this mysterious, all-revered, and refreshing drink.
Why is coffee so popular?
An interesting fact is that many countries have an official Coffee Day, among their national holidays, and celebrate it like any other holiday. It’s hard to imagine that all people would seriously devote a separate holiday, with full responsibility and respect, to each food product and celebrate it with passion on a large scale.
Of course, many products have their own holidays but coffee can be given priority here because this day is especially brightly celebrated not only in the U.S., on September 29, but also on October 1 in Japan, and on April 17 in Italy. On this day, coffee shops and restaurants offer their customers a lot of surprises and attractive bonuses to satisfy even the most demanding and overburdened gourmets and make coffee connoisseurs fall in love with numerous coffee flavors.
Coffee Day in Different Countries
Coffee today is not just a way to cheer up or enjoy delicious aroma and unique flavor – it’s an integral part of the culture, and preparation is promoted to an art rank by many. Although there are many different opinions on preparation methods, the facts speak for themselves.
Many employees, managers, and workers cannot imagine their work without a coffee break, and others cannot “wake up” without it. And today, you can meet a person with a coffee cup on every street, rushing somewhere or walking in full harmony and enjoying the invigorating aroma.
Tea ceremonies have long been sidelined compared to coffee ceremonies. Professional baristas know how to make optimal average coffee temperature and strive to please customers with the best coffee beans and proper grind, creating unique aroma hints and true flavor.
In addition, coffee today continues being associated with the image of a successful person in the business and creative world, so its popularity does not stop gaining momentum. Coffee, as a lifestyle, is promoted and demonstrated from all advertising boards, on the Internet, and television. Business meetings and friendly gatherings can no longer be imagined without coffee in today’s world.
You can buy a cup of coffee anywhere in the world – it can be an ordinary vending machine, a regular coffee shop, or an elite restaurant. It seems that the whole world is just going crazy about this drink and can no longer exist without it.
There’s a reason for everything, thus, apart from commercial interest, coffee also provokes physiological and psychological dependence. For some people, it is crucial to drink only natural Arabica, and they do not recognize cheap coffee. Others are ready to drink any affordable varieties, without caring about the quality.
Cappuccino Prices in Different Countries
The availability of coffee in modern coffee shops and fast food establishments suggests that consumers are offered options for a drink to suit every taste and wallet. It is clear that good coffee cannot be cheap but even if you don’t have cash for an expensive Arabica variety, you can always cheer up with more affordable options, which are brewed and sold everywhere.
The cost of a cup of coffee varies not only depending on the quality of the drink itself, but also from region to region. Depending on the coffee shop and the type of coffee one cup will cost you from 2 to 8 dollars. As for Starbucks coffee, the average cost of Starbucks coffee is about $4.30. You are offered not only traditional espresso or americano but also a lot of other coffee options, with a variety of syrups, toppings, nuts, or other supplements. Today coffee is no longer ordinary, although true connoisseurs drink coffee in its purest form.
Addiction and Caffeine
The next factor that determines coffee popularity, one of the most important, is trivial dependence on caffeine. This substance stimulates the nervous system and makes our body cheer up gently, which, of course, causes the most pleasant feelings that we often do not even realize.
Caffeine addiction is not a problem, although, in most cases, people still have to put in a lot of effort if, for one reason or another, they decide to stop drinking coffee. Even those who do not think about their coffee dependence may still have it, and thus, a desire to drink coffee for this very reason. The desire to get another dose of caffeine literally makes a person go and buy another cup during a break at work.
Caffeine is contained not only in coffee but also in many other products, and consumption safety depends mainly on the dosage. Your body will not thank you for the enormous consumption of coffee but with moderate drinking – it’s quite another thing. Coffee in small amounts improves the cardiovascular system, your mood, stimulates your body, and improves your productivity during active mental and physical work.
No matter how we try to find positive aspects of daily coffee consumption, we still have to admit that it causes negative reactions in some people, which may indicate they are addicted and their health condition is unstable. With regular coffee consumption, the following signs appear:
- Insomnia or sleep problems;
- Rapid fatigue;
- Persistent heart palpitations;
- Headaches and annoyance.
If you have any of the above symptoms when you don’t drink your coffee, which disappears after one cup, this indicates a formed addiction. In some cases, a person may even have diarrhea, which is another negative point that occurs when coffee is consumed all the time. For this reason, the drink should not be used by people who suffer from diseases of the cardiovascular system, nervous system, and gastrointestinal tract.
The concentration of caffeine in coffee is about 400-600 mg per 1 liter of coffee is brewed in a traditional way and is high-quality Arabica. Instant coffee has much less caffeine in it, averaging between 300-450 mg per 1 liter. A safe daily dose of caffeine, according to most adequate scientists and doctors, is considered 300 mg.
If you drink coffee in small cups (of up to 200 ml), on average, you can safely drink three cups per day (provided you have no related health problems). Depending on the cup volume and coffee concentration, you can prepare safe doses of coffee yourself and, thus, eliminate any negative effects of caffeine on your body.
As for coffeehouses, they can brew coffee in different ways, using different amounts and varieties of coffee, which, on the one hand, determines the flavor and, on the other hand, affects the amount of caffeine you consume in one serving. It is much more difficult to limit the amount of caffeine you consume in a coffee shop. If you have addictions, it is better to brew coffee at home and calculate the right amount of caffeine on your own.
If you take the exact statistics for well-known coffeehouses, Starbucks Caffe Americano contains 225 mg of caffeine in a 16 oz drink. Dunkin’ Donuts Espresso Shot has 16 ounces of caffeine – in this case, you get 398 mg of caffeine in 20 ounces. Imagine that this is the minimum amount for a full liter of regular brewed coffee, and here, it’s in half the volume…
Regular coffee consumption can significantly change your condition – such coffee will definitely cheer you up and improve your mood, increasing your productivity. Interestingly, a can of Red Bull contains 80 mg of caffeine, and Coca-Cola has 38 mg.
In fact, problems with caffeine consumption should not occur in a person who consumes it quite moderately.
- Caffeine is a natural substance that is found in many natural products and has a positive effect on human well-being and performance.
- It stimulates adrenaline production, which increases heart rate, blood pressure, and inhibits relaxation.
- In addition, other hormones, responsible for vitality and well-being, are released, which an average person gets used to particularly willingly.
Caffeine Content in Starbucks Drinks
Getting rid of coffee addiction is only possible if the fact of its existence is recognized. It’s not recommended to quit drinking coffee immediately, but gradually limit the number of cups per day.
It’s best to start refusing coffee during vacation, holidays, or resting when you don’t have to be active and focused. Reduce coffee to 2 cups per day for the first 5 days and then to 1 cup for the next 10 days. After that, you can drink one cup of coffee per two days and then fully quit.
It should be understood that a simple abrupt rejection of coffee will not give a positive result. It’s not just about giving up but replacing coffee with other healthy or less harmful drinks, which either contain little or no caffeine at all. Getting rid of coffee dependence in good health, you can use a safe dose of caffeine per day at the rate of no more than 200-250 mg.
Why Do We Feel Sleepy After Coffee
Interestingly, some people feel sleepy rather than vigorous after a cup of organic coffee. As the main active ingredient, caffeine should have an invigorating effect on the human body, however, there may be several reasons for this strange opposite phenomenon.
Theobromine is another substance that is contained in coffee, as an antagonist of caffeine, and causes inhibitory reactions. Of course, theobromine concentration is lower than that of caffeine, but still, this substance plays a certain role in affecting the body.
This is one of the main reasons why after a few vigorous hours, a certain decline occurs, and a person starts to feel sleepy even at noon. On the one hand, it’s theobromine, but on the other, the tense nervous system begins to feel exhausted and sends signals to the brain about the needed rejuvenation. Then the person begins to feel like taking a nap, even if there is still a lot to do. In this situation, coffee does not give the desired result, and only resting can restore your strength and give the necessary energy.
Consumption of coffee in large quantities in a short period of time can cause vasoconstriction, which can not be said about standard portions that expand the vascular system and contribute to pressure build-up.
If a person has problems with the adrenals, doctors do not recommend drinking coffee at all. With this problem, drowsiness can occur, even from small doses of any type of coffee. Liver and pancreatic malfunctions also lead to a person becoming sleepy, as the chemical elements, contained in coffee, are poorly or improperly digested.
In some cases, when the body is used to large enough doses of caffeine, as coffee consumption decreases, it starts to relax and requires sleep. For this reason, coffee drinkers, who want to reduce their coffee consumption, will have to face the problem of sleepiness, as their bodies are simply addicted to caffeine. It is necessary to reduce the volume of coffee gradually, and avoiding sleepiness, while abstaining from usual doses, will be challenging. Plus, coffee will inevitably cause you to feel sleepy.
Some people suffer from the opposite effect of drowsiness, e.g., heart palpitations or shaking hands soon after they drink a cup of strong organic coffee. This phenomenon is explained by the sudden agitation of the nervous and cardiac systems when large quantities of caffeine enter the bloodstream.
If you can’t reduce or eliminate your coffee consumption completely, it is recommended to drink coffee with milk or a lot of clean water. This will allow caffeine to be slowly and evenly absorbed into the blood, which, in turn, will make excitation of the nervous system softer.
Optimum Coffee Cup Size
Northern European countries are leading in terms of coffee purchase and consumption per person. Most people in these countries drink far more than one cup of coffee per day, and most people have probably already developed a strong dependence on this drink.
Interestingly, there are more than 1000 different chemical compounds in coffee beans, which are responsible for its flavor and aroma.
Drinking coffee uncontrollably every day is not the best idea, as can be seen from the above. Your cup size will help you adjust the coffee volume. An average coffee cup size in the U.S. is 9 ounces or 265 ml, but it depends on the place and type of coffee you buy.
Fortunately, McDonald’s or Starbucks offer us to choose not only the volume of a cup but also coffee drink strength. When you buy the maximum possible volume to enjoy the flavor as long as possible, it’s better to choose coffees with high milk content. If you are drinking coffee only to cheer up, opt for espresso.
Classic espresso volume is up to 35 ml. The invigorating bitter coffee drink is served in a cup of slightly larger volume. Water, which plays an important role in such type of coffee consumption, is served separately. Coffee concentrate causes rather rapid caffeine absorption, which can lead to heartburn. In addition, coffee promotes rapid dehydration, which has a negative effect on health.
If you drink concentrated coffee, you should not forget about water – it improves the flavor, allows you to get rid of the aftertaste, refreshes you, and compensates for moisture loss. Many experts claim that water also prevents colorant pigments from absorbing into tooth enamel, preventing dark plaque from accumulating on your teeth.
Standard Coffee Cup Comparison
Big-cup coffee fans will appreciate Starbucks Coffee, Blonde Roast, or Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee with Espresso Shot – these are large portions of coffee that contain up to half a liter of the drink and, without exaggeration, caffeine doses, enough for the whole day. A level of greed, of course, determines everyone’s preference, but you shouldn’t abuse coffee anyway.
The reason is obvious – if you care about your health and want to safely drink coffee for many years, instead of giving it up because of health problems, then you should know your limits. Measuring is probably the only scientifically (and intelligently) proven way to drink delicious, high-quality coffee (just like any coffee at all).
Coffee Flavor Characteristics
The amount of caffeine in a serving depends on many factors, including a coffee type, preparation method, and blending with other coffee varieties. Roasting levels also matter – lighter beans have slightly higher caffeine content than darker roasted beans.
It’s worth considering if you need to understand how much caffeine you consume per day.
Keep in mind that other foods and beverages also have caffeine in them, and together, they may have maximum caffeine content and even exceed it significantly. Coca-Cola, black chocolate, cocoa, and certain drugs should be avoided when you drink coffee.
When it comes to high-quality coffee and varying degrees of roast, the flavor can vary quite significantly. We’re not going to discuss roasting types here but flavor characteristics are worth considering.
- Light roast, when coffee beans have a golden hue, does not allow them to secrete essential oils, and doesn’t have a strong effect on the loss of useful elements contained in the beans. Light roast gives the drink a pronounced sour taste and slight saturation, which can not be said about other roasts. The vast majority of modern popular coffee houses do not typically have lightly roasted coffee beans, as marketers and business concepts try to provide the most concentrated coffee flavor for the client.
- Medium and dark roasted coffee beans have higher saturation with a combination of sour, sweet, and bitter hints. Standard dark roasted coffee is used to prepare traditional espresso since it has almost no sour taste but pronounced bitterness and sweetness.
Gourmets and coffee drinkers not only understand coffee, but can distinguish its roast degree, processing temperature, and other features that, in their opinion, affect the flavor.
There are a lot of opinions on preparation methods and drinking styles – we each decide how to drink our coffee, how often, and what kind of it to buy for home brewing. All existing rules are unlikely to be binding if you are not obsessed with coffee and do not have prejudices.
In addition to various degrees of roast, coffee flavor is influenced by certain brewing and serving temperatures. What is the correct temperature to serve coffee at? This is an important question for connoisseurs of high-quality coffee, for whom this mystical drink is not just a source of energy but a lifestyle.
Average Coffee Temperature. Best Way to Serve Coffee
Many people, who don’t know much about coffee, often wonder why they were served warm rather than hot coffee. This question may seem particularly acute during cold seasons.
Agree that in winter, you not only want to cheer up but also warm up with a hot cup in hand. When at home, you can make hot coffee with no problems but in a coffee shop, even in winter, you are likely to get not enough hot coffee in your opinion. This phenomenon has its explanations, thus, we are going to talk about the right temperature of coffee drinks and why they are not served hot.
- First, hot coffee burns much harder than tea or just boiled water.
- Secondly, the temperature of the liquid strongly affects the flavor.
Coffee experts try to derive the optimal temperature formula for serving, as they know that it is the temperature of the drink that strongly affects the taste.
It is worth noting that preparation and serving temperatures are absolutely different things, and it’s impossible to brew and serve coffee at the same temperature. Nowadays, a coffee maker helps us with the right temperature but before, this was done by a special person who did not let coffee lose its flavor.
The optimal temperature for brewing coffee today is considered to be between 91 and 96 degrees Celsius (195-204 F). This temperature is more than enough to burn the mucous membrane of the mouth and tongue, so if you have just brewed coffee in boiling water, it’s not safe to drink it immediately.
Things are more delicate with the serving temperature. A high temperature can increase coffee bitterness, on the one hand, and its sweetness on the other. In addition, high temperatures slightly suppress the aroma and hints of the drink, which becomes more intense when serving a cup at temperatures below 70 degrees Celsius (158F). If your chosen coffee type and roast degree give a distinct flavor that you want to suppress, it makes sense to drink your coffee hot.
Coffee experts recommend serving coffee at temperatures not exceeding 79 C (174F). Premium types of coffee are better at 68 C (154F). Of course, only the most reputable coffeehouses and restaurants can guarantee this accuracy. If you buy coffee on the street, you should not expect any expert precision and special flavor.
Some gourmets may disagree with the above information and insist that taste cannot be properly appreciated at such high temperatures. The best coffee temperature, in their opinion, is in the range from 48 to 60 C (118-140F). The taste potential of quality coffee, which is not felt when it’s hot, should be fully revealed here. At this temperature, sourness will be clearly expressed, and if you don’t like your coffee sour, in addition to a high roast degree, you should ensure that it’s served at a higher temperature.
No one can force you to stop drinking burning hot coffee if you like it. But if you haven’t tried 50 C (122F) coffee before, it’s worth giving it a chance because you might taste it in a new, more pleasant way. That is, of course, provided it’s high-quality, fresh coffee.
Iced coffee, which is now offered in many coffee shops, also has many admirers. Not all true coffee junkies recognize non-standard coffee drinks and prefer classic options, without additives and flavors. We will not assess whether alternative coffee drinks are worthy of our attention but they clearly have a right to exist.
The main types of coffee will be discussed a bit later. And now we would like to focus on a few positive aspects of moderate coffee consumption.
Coffee, Calories, and Weight Loss
A 200 ml cup with regular coffee contains 80 mg of caffeine. As you know, pure coffee has no energy nutritional value and contains 0 calories. It speeds up your metabolism and quickly removes moisture from your body, making you feel thirsty and consume more water.
This can be useful for those who want to get rid of excess pounds. It is recommended to drink coffee at least 3 times a day in a total volume of 720 ml. In doing so, losing excess weight should be achieved through a coffee consumption course. After that, you should quit drinking such amounts of coffee, as caffeine has its side effects.
We are talking about drinking pure coffee without any additives, milk, cream, and sugar while being on a low-calorie diet. For this purpose, sour and light roast coffee beans or green coffee beans, which have recently become increasingly common in stores, are the best. Such coffee beans are often severely criticized, although many find them effective for weight loss.
In terms of flavor, “green” coffee, to put it mildly, is quite …special. This is due to the fact that the flavor of coffee beans begins to open only after heat treatment. As coffee beans are roasted, they begin to secrete oils and ferment, which gives ordinary beans a pleasant and everyone’s favorite alluring aroma and excellent flavor.
If you appreciate the taste of coffee and want to lose a couple of extra pounds, the wisest thing to do is to choose espresso or americano and make it at home. Pure high-quality coffee options in a coffee shop will also work, just don’t forget to ask about the type of coffee served and its degree of roast.
- It’s been estimated that an espresso cup can contain up to 9 calories. This figure is negligibly small and does not represent any basis for weight formation. By drinking coffee regularly, you are most likely to lose weight, provided you also eat healthy food.
- Statistics show that an average caffeine amount in espresso is 1700-2250 mg per liter. This figure is 80 mg in a standard cup.
In addition, the drink contains potassium and magnesium, which, unfortunately, is taken out of the body if coffee is abused. This, in turn, may cause certain health problems. For this reason, it’s not right to drink coffee all the time and be on diets to lose weight. If you eat enough, you don’t have to worry about calcium, potassium, and magnesium washing out of your body.
If you don’t eat enough, caffeine will first give you energy, and then exhaust your body and nervous system, so you should treat the coffee diet matter with special care. Caffeine is most destructive for those who lead sedentary lifestyles.
If you are active, not overweight, and eat right, it makes sense to drink coffee to keep yourself chipper. If you are not physically active, coffee is unlikely to solve your weight problems and may even negatively affect your nervous system.
Arabica and Robusta
Bad coffee can be recognized right away – it has a weak aroma, and its flavor is far from perfect. If you have been served tasteless or bad coffee, most likely you are dealing with cheap or expired coffee. It is easier to disguise such coffee with milk, cream, or other fillers, toppings, or special additives.
Freshness is one of the most important moments that highlights the exquisite flavor of the coffee.
Coffee quality is also determined by its flavor.
Today, there are mainly two varieties of coffee sold in the world, which have completely won the market. Other coffee varieties somehow have not found their way into the market for certain reasons. If you have ordered americano, it’s definitely either Arabica or Robusta.
Some coffee producers try to prove the advantages of blends of these two varieties. Below you will find out that they can, at least, be wrong, and the best coffee is always represented by Arabica, plus, it’s much more expensive than the average price.
You can tell the difference between coffee blends primarily by the shape of the beans.
- Robusta has a more rounded shape and a flat stripe.
- Arabica has an oval shape and a curved line in the middle of the bean.
- Arabica trees are more fastidious and require careful attention. In most cases, Arabica beans are harvested by hand.
- Robusta trees do not need to be carefully maintained. For such trees, the main condition is a warm climate. Their beans are often harvested automatically using special machines and equipment. Coffee, made from such beans, may contain plant particles and not always perfect beans.
- Robusta coffee is not as expensive as Arabica, which makes it more affordable for many countries. This does not mean that Robusta is poor-quality or bad coffee, it’s just a lower grade.
- Arabica beans are used to make the best coffee in the world, although many brands create special Arabica-Robusta blends, which are cheaper in cost and offer new flavor features.
Leading Countries in Coffee Production
- Robusta beans contain much more caffeine. They’re bitter, compared to Arabica, and create a denser texture in the drink. Pure Robusta coffee has a rather bitter taste and does not allow you to feel the hints, typical for coffee from premium Arabica.
- The aroma of Arabica depends on the region, where the trees grow. The flavor of such coffee may have chocolate, nut, citrus, or other hints. Pure Arabica is not so common and costs quite a lot.
A blend of Arabica and Robusta is a common option, created by modern coffee producers. Robusta is inevitable since it’s naturally a commercial type of coffee, which does not require as many expenses as pure Arabica. This allows more people to enjoy coffee on an ongoing and accessible basis.
TDS Meter and Digital Coffee Taste
Strange as it may seem, coffee flavors can be represented in figures, without any exaggeration. We are used to the fact that flavor is a subjective concept, and everyone perceives the same product in their own way, but the situation with coffee is absolutely different.
Experts can digitally represent coffee flavors with a TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) meter, which is a small hand-held device used to determine the volume of coffee particles dissolved in a solution.
For an illustrative example, let’s take the situation when coffee TDS value in a drink is 1%. This indicates that the drink is 1% coffee and 99% water in the total cup volume. It’s not difficult to guess that the higher the TDS value, the stronger and deeper the coffee flavor. Studies in this area show that in most cases, coffee with a TDS meter 1.15% to 1.45% is the best, although espresso has a TDS meter of 8%.
It should be understood that the finer the coffee is ground, the larger the value in question. In addition, it depends on the amount of coffee taken for brewing. This also makes sense for an extraction level, which represents the percentage of chemicals extracted from ground beans during the brewing process. It also determines the flavor of the coffee drink.
According to research, there’s only 36% of soluble substances in coffee beans. And they can only be obtained by laboratory extraction. In conventional brewing, this percentage is lower and equals approximately 15% to 25%.
Percentage precision is highly important here, though. If the extraction level is below 18%, coffee becomes unpleasantly sour and can taste like bitter herbs. In case it’s 22%, you get unpleasant bitterness, high caffeine levels, and reduced sourness.
A degree of extraction is influenced by brewing time, water temperature, stirring, and grinding. Surprisingly, a coffee type also affects an extraction degree, as does a roast degree. It’s not possible to calculate all these figures by eye but, from a chemical and physical point of view, a coffee flavor can be visualized in figures.
A TDS meter can be read with a special device that can measure the refraction of light in a coffee solution, a refractometer. It’s rarely used even in good coffee shops, although true experts and coffee enthusiasts often know what it is.
If you take the optimum brewing temperature and proper volume of ground coffee beans, brewing coffee not too fast, using good water, then, most often, you can easily get into the range of correct indicators, considered above. Coffee experts can monitor a TDS meter and an extraction degree and, thus, adjust taste characteristics, making coffee more or less bitter, sour, etc.
Coffee Bean Grind Size
Grind size affects an extraction degree and TDS meter and, therefore, the taste is also affected.
Grinding can be divided into three categories, each used to prepare a particular coffee drink. When preparing coffee for brewing, you need to use only high-quality grinders, which, like many other things, directly affect the quality and flavor.
- Coffee quality is always affected by grind smoothness. A coffee grinder that uses knives is not the best appliance – with this appliance, you will not be able to adjust grind size, and, most likely, the result will not be homogeneous. When brewing such coffee (with small and coarse particles), you are not able to “adjust” its taste and strength because finer particles will give off their substances faster than coarser ones. This will have a negative effect on the characteristics of the coffee drink.
- A coffee grinder with millstones will be the best solution, especially when its capacity is high enough. Coffee grinders with millstones allow adjusting grind sizes and provide maximum homogeneity.
For home use, a manual grinder with grind adjustment is the best solution. It is used immediately before preparing your coffee. Grinding a couple of servings by hand won’t be a problem at all.
For larger portions, however, manual grinders are not suitable at all. The most powerful, commercial electrical grinders here will be perfect if we are talking about coffee shops, restaurants, or other places where the emphasis is on making delicious coffee.
- The finest grind size is usually required for a cezve to make Turkish coffee. The finer it is, the better.
- For espresso, you can use fine-ground beans, which are slightly coarser than coffee beans used for a cezve.
- If you are going to use more professional or household equipment to make a coffee drink, medium-ground beans are typically used for this purpose. This includes preparation in an Aeropress, pour-over coffee makers, and Chemex.
- For a French press, you will need the largest-ground coffee beans.
In fact, there are no versatile systems and rules for home coffee preparation. You can always experiment and change any ratio and rules when creating your own unique drink. You only need to understand that fine-ground coffee will be brewed faster, and larger particles will take longer to give the right substances and saturate the drink.
Using coffee machines is a little easier, as they will guide you through the settings to get the drink you want. The machine chooses its own grind level along with many other parameters to make the best coffee drink.
Don’t forget that the most delicious coffee can only be made from beans that are ground on the sport, prior to the brewing process. There is no point in stockpiling ground beans, as the longer stored, the faster they lose their flavor. The grinding procedure must always be followed by a cup of coffee.
Serving Coffee in Coffee Shops
Proper coffee serving in the best coffeehouses is just as important as coffee types that determine the flavor of offered drinks. Professional baristas, like no other, know all the coffee nuances of coffee preparation and can change the taste of coffee from seemingly the same beans. The correct way of serving also determines the cost of a cup of coffee in coffee houses which are very attentive to both coffee types and its preparation.
Of course, there are no strict generally accepted serving rules, and the procedure itself differs, depending on a country and preparation method. However, there are certain rules to be followed not only by a barista but also by those who make coffee for themselves at home. These usually include the following points:
- Coffee beans must be freshly ground.
- A cup should be slightly heated, as this affects the flavor.
- A coffee drink shouldn’t cool down for too long – a couple of minutes are quite enough.
- Optimum coffee/water ratio has to be chosen.
- Espresso should be served with a glass of clean water.
- Any additional components, e.g. sugar or cream, should be supplied separately.
Some of these rules may not be followed in fast food places or regular cafes. However, more reputable and professional coffeehouses always pay due attention to serving procedures. Professional baristas should first do their job with love and understanding of the coffee culture, along with its peculiarities.
Italians, as adherents of espresso and whole coffee ceremonies, are very sensitive to coffee preparation and serving methods. A coffee lifestyle of Italians has turned regular baristas into professional psychologists and great companions, as this is also a reason why people visit coffeehouses.
It’s noteworthy that the number of coffee experts in this country exceeds the number of people involved in land forces – about 400 thousand people. This figure is most likely to increase in the upcoming years.
Being a barista is quite difficult because not only you have to be a coffee expert but also know all the nuances of its preparation and serving. This is one of the most common professions today because coffee is getting more and more popular and, thus, requires specialists to work with it.
Interestingly, the average payment of a Starbucks barista ranges from $1700 to $2000. Today this occupation is considered highly important for connoisseurs of premium coffee, as they can not imagine their day without this magical drink.
Milk Coffee. Features
Milk coffee deserves special attention because its preparation is promoted to the rank of not only culinary but also fine art, with various patterns on the milk foam, before serving it to the customer.
Any milk coffee is based on the classic espresso of different degrees of strength. Milk coffee variants have different proportions of milk, used instead of water. Usually, cappuccino volumes do not exceed 180 ml, although you can always find literally limitless cups in various US coffeehouses. Thus, a latte costs about $3.65 per average cup.
Cappuccino is a traditional milk coffee, which differs from a latte with its fairly dense surface milk foam. A latte also has thick foam but it’s more homogeneous and less dense. Proper milk foam is just as important as properly brewed coffee. In fact, any milk is suitable for foaming because the foam is given by proteins contained in it.
Some connoisseurs like coffee on skim milk, which is a good option for those who are very concerned about their weight. In other cases, it’s better to use milk that is sufficiently fat. It gives coffee a longer-lasting flavor and ensures gentle and smooth absorption of caffeine into the bloodstream.
As for milk temperature, it is best to keep it above 60 C (140F) and below 68 C (154F). Beyond this temperature range, flavoring qualities of milk inevitably begin to worsen. Milk below this minimum will make the drink not warm enough and will not allow you to feel the taste of coffee.
- It is noteworthy that 33% of espresso and 67% of milk are used for a cappuccino.
- In a latte, this ratio is different and amounts to 15 percent of coffee and 85 percent of milk.
Not everyone likes the bitter taste of espresso base – many of those who like coffee still can’t drink it in its pure form. This is why an optimal coffee drink, i.e. latte was created. It does not let you feel the bitterness of espresso or even cappuccino. It has more milk and less thick milk cream compared to cappuccino. A latte portion is usually much bigger, allowing you to enjoy the flavor much longer.
Modern coffee shops and cultural traditions in different countries have created a lot of variations of milk coffee drinks. There is, probably, not much sense in discussing each of them, as they are all based on different proportions of milk and espresso. Classic milk coffee drinks, which are represented all over the world by cappuccinos and lattes, remain unchanged and everyone’s favorite.
Coffee that does not use traditional cow’s milk, for certain reasons, may deserve special attention. Some people refuse to use cow’s milk, and that’s where coffee drink creators are able to offer a lot of alternatives.
So-called “plant milk” today has to be kept in mind if you want to please demanding customers. Most often, cow milk alternatives are almond or soy milk. Of course, such milk has its own properties and composition, and we do not recommend you to drink coffee with any alternative plant milk because it may contain other substances, used as thickeners or sweeteners, which, understandably, may have a negative impact on health in general.
- Vague latte artwork tends to indicate that the drink is based on plant milk. It has a very different texture and density and, therefore, the pattern cannot be kept as long as on cow’s milk.
- Vegetable milk also tastes different and can often go wrong with certain types of coffee, currently offered by producers. Only an experienced barista knows which coffee is best for almond and soy milk.
Of course, there are not that many cappuccinos or lattes on high-quality, “clean” milk today, as it is a quite expensive and perishable product. But there is a demand for it, which means that in the near future, coffee shops will increasingly offer their customers to try coffee based on such milk.
The cost of coffee based on almond or soy milk today exceeds the cost of classic coffee by $5-7, which not many people are satisfied with. However, we believe that soon such standard coffee alternatives will become more affordable.
Coffee Choosing and Buying Tips
According to statistics, almost 80% of Americans drink coffee at home, which means they buy it separately, especially for home preparation. Choosing the right coffee is essential in getting genuine satisfaction from a full aroma bouquet while retaining flavor qualities. A lot of factors like coffee type, packaging, grind type, and storage conditions, influence the quality of the final drink, and allow you to enjoy it.
When buying coffee online or offline, you should always pay attention to the packaging.
Paper or polyethylene variants of packaging should be excluded right away, as they are absolutely unsuitable for the storage of any coffee and contribute to the fact that coffee will lose all its flavor characteristics within the shortest period possible.
You need to make sure that coffee is delivered and sold in airtight containers that do not let air and light through. One of the best options here is an opaque sealable packaging with a valve, which allows excess gases to escape outside and is airtight for external influences.
An aluminum can, which is often used to store premium, expensive types of coffee, will be even better.
Do not ignore a shelf life, indicated on the package. Usually, coffee can be stored for up to 12 months under correct storage conditions. However, the longer it is stored, the more it loses its properties. If the shelf life is almost gone, it’s better to avoid such coffee and choose a fresher product.
The same works for when the packaging shows a shelf life of up to two years – you can be sure that such coffee has quite a mediocre taste, which you may not like at all.
It is most likely that you will rarely find pure Arabica. Most often, it’s Arabica and Robusta, mixed in different proportions.
- Manufacturers resort to this, firstly, in order to save money.
- Secondly, they use Robusta to create more rich, invigorating, and creamy coffee variants, which has its advantages.
- The use of cheap Robusta also takes place because it is, in fact, not bad coffee with its own properties. It contains more caffeine and is able to make a coffee drink taste more distinct.
Most often, you will not find any indications of coffee varieties and their percentage in the final mixture on the packaging, as manufacturers consider this information a secret. They don’t want to share their secrets of creating unsurpassed flavors and, therefore, don’t provide detailed information about compositions.
When choosing a coffee, pay attention to its roasting degree. Above, we’ve already considered roast degrees and which option is best for a particular coffee drink in a certain way. Pay attention to a roast date – coffee beans taste best before 6 weeks after the roasting procedure.
If a coffee maker is used to prepare coffee, you do not need to worry about grinding beans. If other methods are used, you can ask to grind your coffee on the spot (with the right grind size) but remember that it is best to grind coffee just before brewing, rather than using ground coffee, let alone stockpiling it.
If you are able to evaluate coffee beans, choose dry beans. If they have a certain gloss or oily coating, it indicates that the beans will no longer have a strong saturated taste because all essential oils have already come out of them and lost their properties.
Choosing a natural or aromatized coffee is a personal matter for everyone because there are no comrades in taste. Today you can see a lot of offers with different artificial flavors like vanilla, hazelnut, whiskey, orange, chocolate, and many others on store shelves. Do not get seduced – most of these flavors are synthetic and far from useful.
It’s best to choose natural coffee with its own exquisite taste and aroma with different hints. Real coffee connoisseurs prefer to drink coffee in its natural form, in small portions and moderate quantities.
More Facts About Coffee
Statistics is a stubborn and interesting thing, so many people are intrigued by coffee popularity, which makes them wonder about the scale of what is happening. Today in the world, people drink about 2 million cups of coffee every 5 minutes. In some countries, the majority of people drink coffee every day, and this figure is increasing every year, which means that more and more adherents of coffee are getting involved.
Financially, coffee production and sales in any form is a profitable business, estimated at staggering amounts of money. In the U.S., anyone who drinks coffee spends more than $1,000 per year on it, on average.
The number of baristas is also growing, as the coffee-drinking culture needs professionals who know how to prepare good coffee and maximize its full taste potential.
It is noteworthy that Brazil supplies more than a third of all coffee products to the market, although the drink has long gained popularity in other countries. Other major producers are Colombia, India, Ethiopia, Vietnam, and Indonesia. Coffee tastes vary from region to region, which is why the region is very important. The origin of coffee determines its fruity, citrus, chocolate, and other flavors.
A coffee drink flavor depends on many factors. Gaining new flavors and fully unlocking the potential of coffee beans allows you to choose the right coffee temperature, its type, roast degree, grind size and serving.
Professional barista tips will help you make the best coffee at home. Many coffee statistics also help all coffee junkies to achieve new flavors and drink coffee properly, without harming their health.
Moderate coffee consumption is the only correct approach that minimizes the likelihood of coffee addiction and caffeine side effects. Uncontrolled consumption of coffee is unlikely to lead a person to anything good and may quickly cause dependence and certain health issues.
Large portions of coffee in Starbucks may contain the daily norm of caffeine in one large cup, so you should always check your coffee drink’s content and its features. If you calculate the caffeine dosage correctly, you can safely drink up to 3-4 cups of coffee daily and stay out of any problems.
Coffee blends, dominated by quality Arabica, are valued much higher and offer a finer taste. Good coffee is expensive for a reason, as it allows you to feel the most pronounced and, at the same time, the fine taste of real, organic coffee beans, which is highly beneficial for your health.
Numerous milk espresso variations, as well as other coffee additives, which are also popular among consumers around the world, allow us to diversify the impression and effect of coffee.
Thus, it is likely that supply volumes and coffee drink production will grow in the next few years, which means that everything coffee related will stay in high demand, even with a great number of offers that have long been on the market.