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Coffee in beverage form.
Coffee in beverage form.
Coffee is a beverage, usually hot, prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant. These seeds are usually called coffee beans, although they are not technically beans. Coffee is the second most commonly traded commodity in the world, trailing only petroleum. Coffee is one of humanity's chief sources of caffeine, a stimulant. Its potential benefits and hazards have been, and continue to be, widely studied and discussed.

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Etymology and history
The cafe
Coffee bean types
Quick coffee
Social aspects of coffee
Economic aspects of coffee
Coffee as a fertilizer
Coffee substitutes
Coffee as an artistic medium

Etymology and history - Contents

The word entered English in 1598 via Italian caffè, via Turkish kahve, from Arabic qahwa. Its ultimate origin is uncertain, there being several legendary accounts of the origin of the drink. One possible origin is the Kaffa region in Ethiopia, where the plant originated (its native name there being bunna). Coffee beans were first exported from Ethiopia to Yemen. One legendary account (though certainly a myth) is that of the Yemenite Sufi mystic named Shaikh ash-Shadhili. When traveling in Ethiopia he observed goats of unusual vitality and, upon trying the berries that the goats had been eating, experienced the same effect. A similar myth ascribes the discovery to an Ethiopian goatherd named Kaldi. Qahwa originally referred to a type of wine, and need not be the name of the Kaffa region.Consumption of coffee was outlawed in Mecca in 1511 and in Cairo in 1532, but in the face of its immense popularity, the decree was later rescinded. In 1554, the first coffeehouse in Istanbul opened.Largely through the efforts of the British and Dutch East India companies, coffee became available in Europe no later than the 16th century, according to Leonhard Rauwolf's 1583 account. The first coffeehouse in England was set up in Oxford by one Jacob or Jacobs, a Turkish Jew, in 1650. The first coffeehouse in London was opened two years later in St. Michael's Alley in Cornhill. The proprietor was Pasqua Rosée, the Ragusan servant of a trader in Turkish goods named Daniel Edwards, who imported the coffee and assisted Rosée in setting up the establishment. The coffeehouse spread rapidly in Europe and America after that, with first coffeehouses opening in Boston in 1670, and in Paris in 1671. By 1675, there were more than 3,000 coffeehouses in England.Women were not allowed in coffeehouses, and in London, the anonymous 1674 "Women's Petition Against Coffee" complained:Legend has it that the first coffeehouse opened in Vienna in 1683 after the Battle of Vienna, taking its supplies from the spoils left behind by the defeated Turks. Another more credible story is that the first coffeehouses were opened in Krakow in the 16th or 17th century because of closer trade ties with the East, most notably the Turks. The first coffee plantation in the New World was established in Brazil in 1727, and this country, like most others cultivating coffee as a commercial commodity, relied heavily on slave labor from Africa for its viability until abolition in 1888. The success of coffee in 17th-century Europe was paralleled with the spread of the habit of tobacco smoking all over the continent during the course of the Thirty Years War ( 1618– 48).For many decades in the 19th and early 20th centuries Brazil was the biggest producer and virtual monopolist in the trade, until a policy of maintaing high prices opened opportunities to other growers, like Colombia, Guatemala and Indonesia.The mother plant for much of the arabica coffee in the world is kept in the Amsterdam Hortus Botanicus.

The cafe - Contents

In English, " cafe" refers mostly to places where meals are served, as well as coffee. In Dutch the word refers to a bar and is thus more associated with alcohol consumption. Also, in the Netherlands, the term coffee shop is used for places where marijuana is sold (the reason being that one needs fewer permits for a coffee shop). This usage of the word has also spread to other languages.In French, Spanish, and German, a "café" is typically a place that serves a wide variety of beverages, usually several types of coffee, tea, and often alcoholic beverages. There is also often a selection of desserts or light sandwiches and other snacks.In South African English cafe can refer to a convenience store rather than a place where coffee or other beverages are served.It should kept in mind, however, "cafe" can most likely be a shortened form of "cafeteria," i.e., a place where meals are served.

Coffee bean types - Contents

Coffea arabica—Brazil
Coffea arabicaBrazil
There are two main species of the coffee plant. Coffea arabica is the older of them. It is thought to be indigenous to Ethiopia, but as the name implies it was first cultivated on the Arabian Peninsula. It is more susceptible to disease, and considered by professional cuppers to be greatly superior in flavor to Coffea canephora (robusta), which contains about twice as much caffeine—a natural insecticide (paralyzes and kills some of the insects that attempt to feed on the plant) and stimulant— and can be cultivated in environments where arabica will not thrive. This has led to its use as an inexpensive substitute for arabica in many commercial coffee blends such as Folgers, Maxwell House and almost all instant coffee products. Compared to arabica, robusta tends to be more bitter, with a telltale "burnt rubber" aroma and flavor. Good quality robustas are used as ingredients in some espresso blends to provide a better "crema" (foamy head), and to lower the ingredient cost. In Italy many espresso blends are based on dark-roasted robusta.Arabica coffees were traditionally named by the port they were exported from, the two oldest being Mocha, from Yemen, and Java, from Indonesia. The modern coffee trade is much more specific about origin, labeling coffees by country, region, and sometimes even the producing estate. Coffee aficionados may even distinguish auctioned coffees by lot number.The largest coffee exporting nation remains Brazil, but in recent years the green coffee market has been flooded by large quantities of robusta beans from Vietnam , due to low costs and to financing provided by the World Bank indirectly through the French Government. Many experts believe this giant influx of cheap green coffee led to the prolonged pricing crisis from 2001 to the present. In 1997 the "c" price of coffee in New York broke US.00/ lb, but by late 2001 it had fallen to US{extended_page_content}.43/lb. Robusta coffees (traded in London at much lower prices than New York's Arabica) are preferred by large industrial clients (multinational roasters, instant coffee producers, etc.) because of their lower cost.One unusual and very expensive variety of robusta is the Indonesian Kopi Luwak and the Philippine Kape Alamid. The beans are collected from the droppings of the Common Palm Civet, whose digestive processes give it a distinctive flavor.

Coffee bean varieties
Unroasted coffee beans of the Coffea arabica variety, from Brazil
Unroasted coffee beans of the Coffea arabica variety, from Brazil

Coffee beans from two different places usually have distinctive characteristics such as flavor (flavor criteria includes terms such as " citrus-like" or "earthy"), caffeine content, body or mouthfeel, and acidity. These are dependent on the local environment where the coffee plants are grown, their method of process, and the genetic subspecies or varietal.Some well-known arabica coffees include:
  • Coffee was first introduced to the country of Colombia in the early 1800's. Today Maragogype, Caturra, Typica and Bourbon cultivars are cultivated. When Colombian coffee is freshly roasted it has a bright acidity, is heavy in body and is intensely aromatic. Colombia produces about 12% of the coffee in the world, second only to Brazil.
  • Colombian Milds - Includes coffees from Colombia, Kenya, and Tanzania, all of which are washed arabicas.
  • Costa Rican Tarrazu - from the Tarrazu Valley in the highlands outside of San José, archetypal estate coffee is La Minita.
  • Guatemala Huehuetenango - Grown at over 5000 feet in the northern region, one of the most remote growing regions in Guatemala
  • Ethiopian Harrar — from the region of Harar, Ethiopia
  • Ethiopian Yirgacheffe — from the area of the town of Yirga Cheffe in the Sidamo (now Oromia) region of Ethiopia
  • Hawaiian Kona — grown on the slopes of Hualalai in the Kona District on the Big Island of Hawaii.
  • Jamaican Blue Mountain — From the Blue Mountain region of Jamaica. Due to its popularity, it fetches a high price in the market.
  • Java — from the island of Java, in Indonesia. This coffee was once so widely traded that "java" became a slang term for coffee.
  • Kenya AA — from Kenya. The "AA" is a grade/rating within Kenya's coffee auction system. It might come from any one of a number of districts. Known among coffee enthusiasts to have an "acidic" flavor.
  • Sumatra Mandheling and Sumatra Lintong — Mandheling is named for the Mandheling region outside Padang in West Sumatra, Indonesia. Contrary to its name, no coffee is actually produced from the "Mandheling region," and "Sumatra Mandheling" is used as a marketing tool by Indonesian coffee producers. Lintong on the other hand, is named after the Lintong district, located in North Sumatra.
  • Sulawesi Toraja Kalossi - Grown at high altitudes on the island of Sulawesi (formerly Celebes) in the middle of the Malay archipelago in Indonesia. Kalossi is the small town in central Sulawesi which serves as the collection point for the coffee and Toraja is the mountainous area in which the coffee is grown. Celebes exhibits a rich, full body, well-balanced acidity (slightly more than Sumatra) and is multi-dimensional in character. It has dark chocolate and ripe fruit undertones. It is an excellent coffee for darker roasting. Because of it's semi-dry processing, it may roast a bit unevenly, but don't cull the odd beans-they add to the complexity of the cup.
  • Mocha — Yemeni coffee traded through the once major port of Mocha. Mocha is believed to be the first coffee used in a blend, along with beans from Java. Not to be confused with the preparation style (coffee with cocoa).
  • Tanzania Peaberry — grown on Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. " Peaberry" means that the beans come one to a cherry (coffee fruit) instead of the usual two. Peaberries are naturally occurring and account for approximately 10% of any crop.
Coffees are often blended for balance and complexity, and many popular blendings exist. One of the oldest traditional blends is Mocha-Java, combining beans of the same name. The chocolate flavor notes peculiar to Mocha gave rise to the popular chocolate-flavored beverage, the Cafe Mocha, which may have been invented in circumstances where no Mocha beans were available. Nowadays, the Mocha-Java blend is often blended with some other varieties to provide variety. In addition to those blends sold commercially, many coffee houses have their own signature "house blends".Some bean varieties are so well-known and so in-demand that they are far more expensive than others. Jamaican Blue Mountain and Hawaiian Kona coffees are perhaps the most prominent examples. Often these beans are blended with other, less expensive varieties and the suffix "blend" added to the labelling, such as "Blue Mountain blend" or "Kona blend" even though they only contain a small amount of the coffee mentioned.

"Ethical coffee"
Shade trees in Orosí in Costa Rica. In the background (red) shade trees and in the foreground pruned trees for different periods in the growth cycle.
Shade trees in Orosí in Costa Rica. In the background (red) shade trees and in the foreground pruned trees for different periods in the growth cycle.
A number of classifications are used to label coffee produced under certain environmental or labor standards. So-called Ethical coffee is produced or traded under specific conditions and guidelines, which are generally more environmentally friendly or economically equitable to the producers.
  • Bird-friendly or shade-grown coffee is produced in regions where natural shade (canopy trees) is used to shelter coffee plants during parts of the growing season. These shade cycles are said to be better for the coffee. Purchases of this coffee blend may also take place to support environmentally friendly coffee farms.
  • Organic coffee is produced under strict certification guidelines, and is grown without the use of potentially harmful artificial pesticides or fertilizers.
  • Fair Trade Coffee is produced by small coffee producers; guaranteeing for these producers a minimum price. TransFair USA is the primary organization currently overseeing Fair Trade coffee practices in the United States, while the Fairtrade Foundation does so in the United Kingdom.

Processing - Contents

Much processing and human labour is required before coffee berries and its seed can be processed into roasted coffee with which most Western consumers are familiar.

Coffee berries are most commonly picked by hand by labourers who receive payment by the basketful. As of 2003, payment per basket is between US.00 to with the overwhelming majority of the labourers receiving payment at the lower end. An experienced coffee picker can collect up to 6-7 baskets a day. Depending on the grower, coffee pickers are sometimes specifically instructed to not pick green coffee berries since the seeds in the berries are not fully formed or mature. This discernment typically only occurs with growers who harvest for higher end/specialty coffee where the pickers are paid better for their labour.Mixes of green and red berries, or just green berries, are used to produce cheaper mass consumer coffee beans, which are characterized by a displeasingly bitter/astringent flavour and a sharp greenish odour. Red berries, with its higher aromatic oil and lower organic acid content are more fragrant, smooth, and mellow. As such coffee picking is one of the most important stages in coffee production, and is the chief determinant for the quality of the end product.

The coffee berries are a type of drupe, with fruit flesh directly covering the coffee bean. For "washed" coffees, after harvesting, the flesh of the coffee berry must be quickly removed by soaking, scouring and/or mechanical rubbing. The defruited coffee bean is flushed with water to remove clinging fruit and additional sugars before drying. These coffees tend to rest in water (the "ferment" stage) for a set amount of time (depending on the origin and producer). Washed coffees tend to be described as "clean" and "bright." Coffees called "naturals" are those where the fruit is not immediately removed from the beans, but is instead allowed to dry and partially ferment. This creates a unique flavour profile with reduced acidity and increased body, though if done poorly can lead to lower quality beans. Other coffee processing methods include the Pulped Natural process, the Indonesian "semi-washed" methods as well as aguapulping and re-fermentation. Each produces its own flavour profile and each is, in essence, a different way of handling the process of defruiting the beans.

Traditional coffee-drying in Boquete, Panama
Traditional coffee-drying in Boquete, Panama
Coffee beans are spread over a large concrete or rock surface where they are dried by air and sunlight. The beans are repeatedly raked into rows and spread out over the course of several days until they are largely dry. At this stage, the beans are referred to as "green coffee".

The first step in preparation is sorting of beans by colour and size. Discoloured, rotten, and damaged beans are also removed at this point. In many less developed countries, hand sorting is still done because of the low cost of labor. Elsewhere, beans are sorted automatically by sophisticated machines that employ CCD cameras and can determine both size and colour. Automatic sorting is cost-effective for large producers where quantity and throughput are important factors in production.
Hand sorting of coffee beans in Salento, Colombia
Hand sorting of coffee beans in Salento, Colombia

Although it is still widely debated, certain types of green coffee are believed to improve with age; especially those that are valued for their low acidity, such as coffees from Indonesia or India. Several of these coffee producers sell coffee beans that have been aged for as long as 3 years, with some as long as 8 years.However, most coffee experts agree that a green coffee peaks in flavor and freshness within one year of harvest, because over-aged coffee beans will lose much of their essential oil content.

The roasting process is integral to producing a savory cup of coffee. When roasted, the green coffee bean expands to nearly double its original size, changing in colour and density. As the bean absorbs heat, the colour shifts to yellow and then to a light "cinnamon" brown. During this stage the moisture in the beans is expelled. When the inside of the bean reaches about 400 degrees Fahrenheit, it begins to turn brown and the oil is released from the interior of the bean. This oil contains the distinctive compounds which give coffee its flavor; the more oil released, the stronger the flavor. Coffee beans will crack during the roasting process, not unlike popping popcorn. "First crack" and "second crack" are benchmarks that a roaster will use to gauge how the roast progresses. The beans will continue to darken and the oils will begin to be expelled to the surface until the beans are removed from the heat source. At lighter roasts, the bean will exhibit more of its " terroir" —the flavors created in the bean by the soil and weather conditions in the location where it was grown. Coffee beans from famous regions like Java and Kenya are usually roasted lightly so their signature characteristics dominate the flavor. A roasting method native to the Ipoh town in Malaysia involves the inclusion of margarine (palm oil-derived) and sugar during the roasting process, producing a variety of roast known as the Ipoh "white" coffee.As the beans darken to a deep brown, the origin flavors of the bean are eclipsed by the flavors created by the roasting process itself. At darker roasts, the "roast flavor" is so dominant that it can be difficult to distinguish the origin of the beans used in the roast. These roasts are sold by the degree of roast, ranging from "Vienna Roast" to "French Roast" and beyond. The dividing line between extremely dark roast and "burnt" is a matter of some debate. Contrary to popular belief, the darker roasts and more strongly flavored coffees do not deliver any more caffeine than lighter roasts. In the United States, major national coffee suppliers tailor their product to tastes in particular regions of the country; for instance, a can of ground coffee purchased in the northeast or northwest will contain a darker roast than an identically appearing can purchased in the central United States.In the 19th century coffee was usually bought in the form of green beans and roasted in a frying pan. This form of roasting requires much skill to do well, and fell out of favor when vacuum sealing of pre-roasted coffee became possible. Today homeroasting is becoming popular again. Computerized drum roasters are available which simplify homeroasting, and some home roasters will simply roast in an oven or in air popcorn makers.Because coffee emits CO2 for days after it is roasted, one must allow the coffee to degas before it can be packaged in sealed containers. For this reason, many roasters who package whole beans immediately after roasting do so in bags with one-way valves, allowing the CO2 to escape but nothing in. This CO2 also affects the flavor of the brewed coffee, and most experts recommend a two- to five-day "resting" period post-roast for the CO2 to sufficiently escape.Once roasted, the volatile compounds that give coffee its complex flavors dissipate quickly. Despite the varying claims of "what is fresh" when it comes to coffee, the industry leaders in specialty coffee generally agree that roasted coffee should be ground and brewed no more than about 14 days off-the-roast. Some companies have tried to extend the freshness using a nitrogen-infusion system that flushes the inert gas into the roasted coffee, replacing the oxygen, ostensibly reducing oxidation. However, as is said in the coffee industry, "the proof is in the cup."

Preparing - Contents

An old-fashioned manual coffee grinder
An old-fashioned manual coffee grinder
The fineness of the grounds has a major impact on the brewing process, and matching the consistency of the grind with the brewing method is critical to extracting the optimal amount of flavor from the roasted beans. Brewing methods which expose coffee grounds to heated water for a longer duration of time require a coarser grind than faster brewing methods. Beans which are too finely ground for the brewing method in which they are used will expose too much surface area to the heated water and produce a bitter, harsh, "over-extracted" taste. At the other extreme, an overly coarse grind will produce a weak, watery, under-flavored result.The rate of deterioration increases when the coffee is ground, as a result of the greater surface area exposed to oxygen. With the rise of coffee as a gourmet beverage, it has become much more popular to grind the beans at home before brewing, and there are many home appliances available which are dedicated to the process.There are two methods of producing coffee grounds ready for brewing.
  • Grinding: burr based with two revolving elements crushing or "tearing" the bean and with less risk of burning. Burr grinders can be either wheel or conical; the latter are quieter and are less likely to clog. Burr grinders "mill" the coffee to a reasonably consistent size, which produces a more even extraction when brewed. Coffee experts consider burr grinders to be the only acceptable way to grind coffee.
    • Conical Burr Grinders preserve the most aroma and produce very fine and consistent grounds. The intricate design of the steel burrs allows a high gear reduction to slow down the grinding speed. The slower the speed, the less heat is imparted to the ground coffee, thus preserving maximum amount of aroma. Because of the wide range of grind settings, these grinders are ideal for all kinds of coffee equipment: Espresso, Drip, Percolators, French Press. The better Conical Burr Grinders can also grind extra fine for the preparation of Turkish coffee. Grinding speed is generally below 500 rpm.
    • Burr Grinders with disk-type burrs usually grind at a faster speed than conical burr grinders and as a result tend to create a bit more warmth in the coffee. They are the most economical way of getting a consistent grind in a wide range of applications. They are well suited for most home coffee preparation.
  • Chopping: Most modern "grinders" actually chop the bean into pieces (and some coffee drinkers merely use a home blender to do the job). Although enjoying a much longer life before wearing out the blades, the results are dramatically less effective in producing a homogeneously ground result and, as a result, will create inconsistent extraction and a degraded product in the cup.
    • Blade Grinders “smash” the beans with a blade at very high speed (20,000 to 30,000 rpm). The ground coffee has larger and smaller particles and is warmer than ground coffee from burr grinders. Blade grinders create “coffee dust” which can clog up sieves in espresso machines and French presses. These type of grinders are (in theory) only suitable for drip coffee makers though even here the product is inferior as a result. They also can do a great job for grinding spices and herbs. They are not recommended for use with pump espresso machines.
  • Pounding: Turkish coffee is produced by infusion with grounds of almost powdery fineness. In the absence of a sufficiently high-quality burr grinder, the only reliable way to achieve this is to pound the beans in a mortar and pestle.

Coffee can be brewed in several different ways, but these methods fall into four main groups depending upon how the water is introduced to the coffee grounds. If the method allows the water to pass only once through the grounds, the resulting brew will contain mainly the more soluble components (including caffeine), whereas if the water is repeatedly cycled through the beans (as with the common percolator), the brew will contain more of the relatively less soluble compounds found in the bean; as these tend to be more bitter, that type of process is less favored by coffee aficionados.Coffee in all these forms is made with coffee grounds (coffee beans that have been roasted and ground) and hot water, the grounds either remaining behind or being filtered out of the cup or jug after the main soluble compounds have been removed. The fineness of the grind required differs by the method of extraction.Water temperature is crucial to the proper extraction of flavor from the ground coffee. The recommended brewing temperature of coffee is 93 °C (204 °F). Any cooler and some of the solubles that make up the flavor will not be extracted. If the water is too hot, some undesirable elements will be extracted, adversely affecting the taste, especially in bitterness.The usual ratio of coffee to water for the style of coffee most prevalent in Europe, America, and other Westernized nations is between one and two tablespoons of ground coffee per six ounces (180 millilitres) of water; the full two tablespoons per six ounces tends to be recommended by experienced coffee lovers.Brewed coffee continually heated will deteriorate rapidly in flavor; even at room temperature, deterioration will occur. For this reason aficionados frown upon the hotplate which is sometimes used to keep brewed coffee warm prior to serving. However, if it is kept in an oxygen-free environment it can last almost indefinitely at room temperature, and sealed containers of brewed coffee are sometimes commercially available in food stores in America or Europe.
  • Boiling: Despite the name, care should be taken not to actually boil the coffee (or at least not for too long) because that would make it bitter.
    • The simplest method is to put the ground coffee in a cup, pour hot water over, and let it stand to cool and allow the grounds to sink to the bottom. One should not drink this to the end unless one wants to "eat" the ground coffee. The advantages of this method are that it is simple and that the water temperature is just right.
    • Turkish coffee, also called Greek coffee or Armenian coffee (Surj), was a very early method of making coffee and is still used in the Middle East, North Africa, East Africa, Turkey, Greece, and the Balkans. Water is placed together with very finely ground coffee in a narrow-topped pot, called an ibrik ( Arabic), cezve ( Turkish), briki ( Greek), or dzezva ( Štokavian), and allowed to briefly come to the boil. It is usually drunk sweet, in which case sugar is added to the pot and boiled with the coffee; it is also often flavored with cardamom. The result is imbibed in small cups of very strong coffee with foam on the top and a thick layer of sludgy grounds at the bottom of the cup, often referred to as the "mud".
    • "Cowboy coffee" is made by simply boiling coarse grounds with water in a pot, letting the grounds settle and pouring off the liquid to drink. While the name suggests that this method was derived from or used by cowboys, presumably on the trail around a campfire, it is also seen among others who do not drink coffee frequently and/or lack any specialized equipment for brewing. Some coffee aficionados actually prefer this method.
  • Pressure:
    • Espresso is made with hot water at between 91°C (195°F) and 96°C (204°F) forced, under a pressure of between eight and nine atmospheres (800–900 kPa), through a tightly packed matrix (called a puck) of finely ground coffee. It can be served alone (often after an evening meal), and is the basis for many coffee drinks. It is one of the strongest tasting forms of coffee regularly consumed, with a distinctive flavor and crema, a layer of emulsified oils in the form of a colloidal foam standing over the liquid.
    • A moka pot is a three-chamber design which boils water in the lower section and forces the boiling water through the separated coffee grounds in the middle section. The resultant coffee (almost espresso strength, yet without the crema) is collected in the upper section. It usually sits directly on a heater or stove. Some models feature a glass or plastic top to view the coffee as it is forced up.
    • A vacuum brewer consists of two chambers: a pot below, atop which is set a bowl or funnel with its siphon descending nearly to the bottom of the pot. The bottom of the bowl is blocked by a filter of glass, cloth or plastic, and the bowl and pot are joined by a gasket that forms a tight seal. Water is placed in the pot, the coffee grounds are placed in the bowl, and the whole affair is set over a burner. As the water heats, it is forced by the increasing vapor pressure up the siphon and into the bowl where it mixes with the grounds. When all the water possible has been forced into the bowl the brewer is removed from the heat. As the water vapor in the pot cools, it contracts, forming a partial vacuum and drawing the coffee down through the filter.
  • Gravity:
    • Drip brew (also known as filter or American coffee) is made by letting hot water drip onto coffee grounds held in a coffee filter (paper or perforated metal). Strength varies according to the ratio of water to coffee and the fineness of the grind, but is typically weaker than espresso. By convention, regular coffee brewed by this method is served in a brown or black pot, while decaffeinated coffee is served in an orange pot.
    • The common electric percolator — which was in almost universal use in the United States prior to the 1970s, and is still popular in some households today — differs from the pressure percolator described above. It uses the pressure of the boiling water to force it to a chamber above the grounds, but relies on gravity to pass the water down through the grounds, where it then repeats the process until shut off by an internal timer. The coffee produced is held in low esteem by coffee aficionados because of this multiple-pass process.
  • Steeping:
    • A cafetière (or French press) is a tall, narrow glass cylinder with a plunger that includes a filter. The coffee and hot water are combined in the cylinder (normally for four minutes) before the plunger, in the form of a metal foil, is depressed, leaving the coffee at the top ready to be poured. This style of "total immersion brewing" is considered by many coffee experts to be the ideal way to prepare fine coffee at home.
    • Coffee bags (akin to tea bags) are much rarer than their tea equivalents, as they are much bulkier (more coffee is required in a coffee bag than tea in a tea bag).
    • Malaysian coffee is often brewed using a "sock", which is really just a muslin bag shaped like a filter into which coffee is loaded then steeped into hot water. This method is especially suitable for use with local-brew coffees in Malaysia, primarily of the varieties Robusta and Liberica which are often much stronger in flavor, allowing the ground coffee in the sock to be reused.
Electronic coffee makers boil the water and brew the infusion with little human assistance and sometimes according to a timer. Some even grind the beans automatically before brewing. Connoisseurs shun such conveniences as compromising the flavor of the coffee; they prefer freshly ground beans and traditional brewing techniques.

A Latte.
A Latte.

Hot drinks

  • Black coffee is drip-brewed, percolated, vacuum brewed, or French-press-style coffee served without cream. Some add sugar.
  • A demitasse is somewhat similar to an espresso without the crema: a small cup of strong black coffee often served after a meal.
  • White coffee is black coffee with milk added. Some add sugar. (Note: though having a similar term, this is not to be confused with the Beirut herbal tea or Ipoh town coffee blend).
  • Cappuccino comprises equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and milk froth, and is occasionally garnished with spices or powdered cocoa.
  • Flat white is a shot of espresso in a cappuccino cup, topped up with steamed milk but no foam. This is a specialty of Australia and New Zealand, particularly favored in the latter.
  • Latte (as it is known in the USA, Italian for "milk" - originally caffè e latte or café latte) is espresso with steamed milk, traditionally topped with froth created from steaming the milk. A latte comprises one-third espresso and nearly two-thirds steamed milk. More frothed milk makes it weaker than a cappuccino, and a traditional latte is served an average 10–20 degrees Celsius cooler than a black or white coffee or cappuccino. A latte is also commonly served in a tall glass; if the espresso is slowly poured into the frothed milk from the rim of the glass, three layers of different shades will form, with the milk at the bottom, the froth on top and the espresso in between. Often sugar or flavored syrup will be added to a latte. Common flavors are caramel and vanilla, yet other flavors are often added as well.
  • Café au lait is similar to latte except that drip-brewed coffee is used instead of espresso, with an equal amount of milk. Some add sugar.
  • Americano style coffee is made with espresso (normally several shots) and hot water to give a similar strength (but different flavor) from drip-brewed coffee.
  • Long black is espresso, usually a double shot, with equal parts hot water, favored in New Zealand and Australia.
  • Flavored coffee: In some cultures, flavored coffees are common. Chocolate is a common additive that is either sprinkled on top or mixed with the coffee to imitate the taste of Mocha. Other flavorings include spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, or Italian syrups. In the Maghreb, the orange blossom is used as a flavoring.
  • Mocha is a latte with chocolate added.
  • Caffè macchiato — macchiato meaning "marked" or "spotted" — is an espresso with a small amount of steamed milk added to the top, usually 1-2 oz. As with latte, sometimes sugar or flavored syrup will be added to a macchiato. The most commonly used flavors are caramel and vanilla, but others can be added as well.
  • Latte macchiato is the inverse of a caffè macchiato, being a tall glass of steamed milk spotted with a small amount of espresso. As with the latte and the caffe macchiato, sugar or syrup can be added to a latte macchiato. Common flavors are caramel and vanilla, but others are sometimes used.
  • Cafe breve is an American variation of a latte: a milk-based espresso using steamed half-and-half (light - 10 per cent - cream) instead of milk.
 Madras filter coffee
Madras filter coffee
  • Indian (Madras) filter coffee, particularly common in southern India, is prepared with rough-ground dark roasted coffee beans (e.g., Arabica, PeaBerry). The coffee is drip-brewed for a few hours in a traditional metal coffee filter before being served with milk and sugar. The ratio is usually 1/4 decoction, 3/4 milk.
  • Vietnamese-style coffee is another form of drip brew. In this form, hot water is allowed to drip though a metal mesh into a cup, and the resulting strong brew is poured into a glass containing sweetened condensed milk which may contain ice. Due to the high volume of coffee grounds required to make strong coffee in this fashion, the brewing process is quite slow. It is also highly popular in Cambodia and Laos.
  • Turkish coffee is served in very small cups about the size of those used for espresso. Traditional Turkish coffee cups have no handles, but modern ones often do. The crema or "face" is considered crucial, and since it requires some skill to achieve its presence is taken as evidence of a well-made brew. (See above for preparation method.) It is usually made sweet, with sugar added before the brew process begins, and often is flavored with cardamom or other spices. In many places it is customary to serve it with a tall glass of water on the side.
  • Kopi tubruk is an Indonesian-style coffee similar in presentation to Turkish coffe. However, kopi tubruk is made from coarse coffee grounds, and is boiled together with a solid lump of sugar. It is popular on the islands of Java and Bali and their surroundings.
  • Chicory is sometimes combined with coffee as a flavoring and mellowing agent, as in the style of coffee served at the famous Café du Monde in New Orleans. Chicory has historically been used as a coffee substitute when real coffee was scarce, as in wartime.

Cold drinks

  • Iced coffee normally contains milk and sugar. Since sugar does not dissolve well in cold coffee, it is conventionally added while the coffee is hot. Iced coffee can also be an iced form of any drink in this list.
  • Frappé is a cold coffee drink made from instant coffee. It was created in Greece in 1957 in the city of Thessaloniki. This type of coffee is probably consumed in Greece more than traditional Greek coffee, especially in the spring and summer months. Frappé is served cold, with a drinking straw, either with or without sugar or milk.
  • Frappuccino is a variation of iced coffee created by Starbucks. Other coffeehouses serve similar concoctions, but under different names, since "Frappuccino" is a Starbucks trademark. One commonly used by many stores is Ice Storm. Another prominent example is the Javakula at Seattle's Best Coffee. A frappuccino is an iced latte, mocha, or macchiato mixed with crushed ice and flavorings (such as vanilla/hazelnut if requested by the customer) and blended.
  • Thai iced coffee is a popular drink commonly offered at Thai restaurants in the United States. It consists of coffee, ice, and sweetened condensed milk.

Alcoholic drinks

  • Black Gold is made with 4 fluid ounces (120 ml) of black coffee, ¼ ounce (8 ml) triple sec, Amaretto, Irish Cream liqueur, hazelnut liqueur, and a dash of cinnamon schnapps. It is topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with chocolate shavings. A cinnamon stick may also be added for additional flavoring.
  • Boston Caribbean Coffee is made with 1 ounce (30 ml) Creme de Cacao (brown), 1 ounce (30 ml) dark rum, and black coffee, sprinkled with ground cinnamon and with a cinnamon stick. The rim of the coffee cup should be dipped in lime juice and sugar.
  • Cafe L'Orange is prepared with ½ ounce (15 ml) cognac, ½ ounce (15 ml) Cointreau, 1 ounce (30 ml) Mandarine Napoleon, and 4 ounces (120 ml) of black coffee. Optional whipped cream and a cinnamon stick can be added.
  • Caffe Di Amaretto is simply prepared with one ounce (30 ml) of Amaretto and a cup (200 ml) of black coffee. It is topped with whipped cream.
  • Caffè Corretto consists of a shot (30 ml) of espresso with an added shot (40 ml) of liquor, usually grappa or brandy.
  • Capriccio consists of 1 tbsp (12 g) of sugar, ½ ounce (15 ml) brandy of choice, ½ ounce (15 ml) Creme de Cafe, 1 ounce (30 ml) of Amaretto, and black coffee.
  • Chocolate Coffee Kiss contains ¼ oz (8 ml) coffee liqueur, ¼ oz (8 ml) Irish cream liqueur, 1 splash of Creme de Cacao (brown), 1 splash of Mandarine Napoleon, 1½ oz (40 g) chocolate syrup, and black coffee.
  • Doublemint is made with 1 ounce (30 ml) of spearmint schnapps, black coffee, and a dash of Creme de Menthe (green). It can be finished with a topping of whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
  • Handicapper's Choice consists of Irish Whiskey, Amaretto, and black coffee.
  • Hot Kiss includes Creme de Menthe (white), one ounce (30 ml) Irish Whiskey, ½ ounce (15 ml) Creme de Cacao (white), and black coffee. It is best presented when it is topped with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.
  • Irish coffee is made by adding 1½ ounces (45 ml) of Irish Whiskey to a glass of black coffee, and then layering on 2–3 cm of cream with a spoon.
  • Irish Cream and coffee is a very popular drink, often served as an after dinner drink.
  • Italian Coffee consists of ½ ounce (15 ml) of Amaretto, black coffee, and 1½ tablespoons (20 ml) of coffee ice cream.
  • Jamaican Coffee is served steaming with one ounce (30 ml) of coffee-flavored brandy and ¾ ounce (22 ml) of light rum added to coffee.
  • Mexican Coffee contains ½ ounce (15 ml) of tequila, one ounce (30 ml) of coffee liqueur, and five ounces (150 ml) of black coffee.
  • Spanish Coffee consists of Spanish brandy and black coffee.


  • Chocolate-covered roasted coffee beans are available as a confection; unless the beans have been decaffeinated, these will deliver the same caffeine content as brewed coffee and have the same physiological effects.

Quick coffee - Contents

Instant coffee
Instant coffee
Instant coffee
Instant and soluble coffee has been dried into soluble powder or granules, which can be quickly dissolved in hot water for consumption.

Canned and bottled coffee
Canned coffee is a beverage that has been popular in Asian countries for many years, particularly in Japan and South Korea. Vending machines typically sell a number of varieties of canned coffee, available both hot and cold. To match with the often busy life of Korean city dwellers, companies mostly have canned coffee with a wide variety of tastes. Japanese convenience stores and groceries also have a wide availability of plastic-bottled coffee drinks, which typically are lightly sweetened and pre-blended with milk. In the United States, Starbucks sells its popular Frappuccino drinks in glass bottles, a beverage consisting primarily of milk, coffee, sugar, and flavoring (like vanilla or caramel). They also sell a canned espresso drink, Double Shot, lightly sweetened and blended with cream. Other premade coffee drinks are also commercially available, but tend to be less popular. In Australia iced coffee is widely available in both small cartons and bottles.

Liquid coffee concentrate
Another type of premade coffee is liquid coffee concentrate. It is described as having a flavor about as good as low-grade robusta coffee. It costs about 10 cents a cup to produce. Its primary use is in large institutional situations where coffee needs to be produced for thousands of people at the same time. The machines used to process it can handle up to 500 cups an hour, or 1,000 if the water is preheated.

Social aspects of coffee - Contents

The United States is the largest market for coffee, followed by Germany. Finland consumes the most coffee per capita, an average of four to five cups a day. However, consumption has also vastly increased in the United Kingdom in recent years. Coffee is so popular in the Americas, the Middle East, and Europe that many restaurants specialize in coffee; these are called " coffeehouses" or "cafés". Most cafés also serve tea, sandwiches, pastries, and other light refreshments. Some shops are miniature cafés that specialise in coffee-to-go for hurried travelers, who may visit these on their way to work as a substitute for breakfast.In some countries, notably in northern Europe, coffee parties are a popular form of entertaining. Besides coffee, the host or hostess at the coffee party also serves cake and pastries, hopefully homemade.Because of the stimulant properties of coffee and because coffee does not adversely impact higher mental functions, coffee is strongly associated with white collar jobs and office workers. Social habits involving coffee in offices include the morning chat over coffee and the coffee break. Contemporary advertising tends to equate the term "coffee break" with rest and relaxation. This is ironic in that coffee is a stimulant.In recent years, cafés have begun to offer wireless Internet (Wi-Fi) connectivity to attract customers. This has encouraged customers, especially from the working world, to relax over a cup of coffee and eat something while being able to check their e-mail and surf the Web all from the comfort of their seat.See also dunk (biscuit) for the habit of dipping a biscuit (cookie) or cake into a coffee.

Economic aspects of coffee - Contents

Coffee is one of the world's most important primary commodities; it ranks second only to petroleum in terms of dollars traded worldwide. With over 400 billion cups consumed every year, coffee is the world's most popular beverage. Worldwide, 25 million small producers rely on coffee for a living. For instance, in Brazil alone, where almost a third of all the world's coffee is produced, over 5 million people are employed in the cultivation and harvesting of over 3 billion coffee plants; it is a much more labour-intensive culture than alternative cultures of the same regions as soy, sugar cane, wheat or cattle, as it is not subject to automation and requires constant attention.Coffee is also bought and sold as a commodity on the New York Coffee, Sugar, and Cocoa Exchange. This is where coffee futures contracts, a financial asset involving a standardized contract for the future sale or purchase of a unit of coffee at an agreed price, are traded.Coffee prices had been falling for about a decade until 2004: among the reasons for this decline included the expansion of Brazilian coffee plantations and Vietnam's entry into the market in 1994 when the United States trade embargo against it was lifted. The market awarded the more efficient Vietnamese coffee suppliers with trade and caused less efficient coffee bean farmers in many countries such as Brazil, Nicaragua, and Ethiopia not to be able to live off of their products, forcing many to quit the coffee bean production and move into slums in the cities. (Mai, 2006)Ironically, the decline in the ingredient cost of green coffee, while not the only cost component of the final cup being served, was paralleled by the rise in popularity of Starbucks and thousands of other specialty cafes, which sold their beverages at unprecedented high prices. According to the Specialty Coffee Association of America, in 2004 16% of adults in the United States drank specialty coffee daily; the number of retail specialty coffee locations, including cafes, kiosks, coffee carts and retail roasters, amounted to 17,400 and total sales were .96 billion in 2003.In 2005, however, the coffee prices rose. This rise was likely caused by an increase in consumption in Russia and China as well as a harvest which was about 10% to 20% lower than that in the record years before. Many coffee bean farmers can now live off their products, but not all of the extra-surplus trickles down to them, because rising petroleum prices make the transportation, roasting and packaging of the coffee beans more expensive. Prices are expected to either remain constant or rise in 2006. (Mai, 2006) Fairtrade labelling is becoming more popular in many developed countries, allowing consumers to ensure that co-operative producers receive a viable minimum price for their goods.

Health - Contents

Coffee as a stimulant
Coffee contains caffeine, which acts as a stimulant. For this reason, it is often consumed in the morning, and during working hours. Students preparing for examinations with late-night "cram sessions" use coffee to maintain their concentration. Many office workers take a "coffee break" when their energy is diminished.Recent research has uncovered additional stimulating effects of coffee which are not related to its caffeine content. Coffee contains an as yet unknown chemical agent which stimulates the production of cortisone and adrenaline, two stimulating hormones.For occasions when one wants to enjoy the flavor of coffee with less stimulation, decaffeinated coffee (also called decaf) is available. This is coffee from which most of the caffeine has been removed, by the Swiss water process (which involves the soaking of raw beans to absorb the caffeine) or the use of a chemical solvent such as trichloroethylene ("tri"), or the more popular methylene chloride, in a similar process. Another solvent used is ethyl acetate; the resultant decaffeinated coffee is marketed as "natural decaf" due to ethyl acetate being naturally present in fruit. Extraction with supercritical carbon dioxide has also been employed.Decaffeinated coffee usually loses some flavor over normal coffees and tends to be more bitter. There are also tisanes that resemble coffee in taste but contain no caffeine (see below).Caffeine dependence is widespread and withdrawal symptoms are real. See the caffeine article for more on the pharmacological effects of caffeine.

Coffee increases the effectiveness of pain killers—especially migraine medications—and can rid some people of asthma. For this reason some aspirin producers also include a small dose of caffeine in the pill. Some of the beneficial effects may be restricted to one sex, for instance it has been shown to reduce the occurrence of gallstones and gallbladder disease in men. Coffee intake may reduce one's risk of diabetes mellitus type 2 by up to half. While this was originally noticed in patients who consumed high amounts (7 cups a day), the relationship was later shown to be linear (Salazar-Martinez 2004).Coffee can also reduce the incidence of cirrhosis of the liver and prevent colon and bladder cancers. Coffee can reduce the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma, a variety of liver cancer (Inoue, 2005). Also, coffee reduces the incidence of heart disease, though whether this is simply because it rids the blood of excess fat or because of its stimulant effect is unknown. At the annual meeting of the American Chemical Society in Washington, D.C., on August 28, 2005, chemist Joe Vinson of the University of Scranton presented his analysis showing that for Americans, who as a whole do not consume large quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables, coffee represents by far the largest source of valuable antioxidants in the diet. [4]Coffee contains the anticancer compound methylpyridinium. This compound is not present in significant amounts in other food materials. Methylpyridinium is not present in raw coffee beans but is formed during the roasting process from trigonellin, which is common in raw coffee beans. It is present in both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee, and even in instant coffee. 6Coffee is also a powerful stimulant for peristalsis and is sometimes considered to prevent constipation; it is also a diuretic. However, coffee can also cause loose bowel movements.Many people drink coffee for its ability to increase short term recall and increase IQ. It also changes the metabolism of a person so that their body burns a higher proportion of lipids to carbohydrates, which can help athletes avoid muscle fatigue.Some of these health effects are realized by as little as 4 cups a day (24 U.S. fl oz, 700 mL), but others occur at 5 or more cups a day (32 U.S. fl oz or 0.95 L or more).Some controversy over these effects exists, since by its nature coffee consumption is associated with other behavioral variables. Therefore it has been variously suggested that the cognitive effects of caffeine are limited to those who have not developed a tolerance, or to those who have developed a tolerance and are caffeine-deprived.Practitioners in alternative medicine often recommend coffee enemas for "cleansing of the colon" due to its stimulus of peristalsis, although mainstream medicine has not proved any benefits of the practice.

Many notable effects of coffee are related to its caffeine content.Many coffee drinkers are familiar with "coffee jitters", a nervous condition that occurs when one has had too much caffeine. Coffee can also increase blood pressure among those with high blood pressure, but follow-up studies showed that coffee still decreased the risk of dying from heart disease in the aggregate. Coffee can also cause insomnia in some, while paradoxically it helps a few sleep more soundly. It can also cause anxiety and irritability, in some with excessive coffee consumption, and some as a withdrawal symptom. There are also gender-specific effects, in some PMS sufferers it increases the symptoms, and it can reduce fertility in women, also it may increase the risk of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women, and there may be risks to a fetus if a pregnant woman drinks 8 or more cups a day (48 U.S. fl oz or 1.4 L or more).A February 2003 Danish study of 18,478 women linked heavy coffee consumption during pregnancy to significantly increased risk of stillbirths (but no significantly increased risk of infant death in the first year). "The results seem to indicate a threshold effect around four to seven cups per day," the study reported. Those who drank eight or more cups a day (48 U.S. fl oz or 1.4 L) were at 220% increased risk compared with nondrinkers. This study has not yet been repeated, but has caused some doctors to caution against excessive coffee consumption during pregnancy.Decaffeinated coffee is occasionally regarded as a potential health risk to pregnant women, due to the high incidence of chemical solvents used to extract the caffeine. These concerns have almost no basis, however, as the solvents in question evaporate at 80–90 °C, and coffee beans are decaffeinated before roasting, which occurs at approximately 200 °C. As such, these chemicals, namely trichloroethane and methylene chloride, are present in trace amounts at most, and neither pose a significant threat to unborn children. Women still worried about chemical solvents in decaffeinated coffee should opt for beans which use the Swiss water process, where no chemicals other than water are used, although higher amounts of caffeine remain.The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study in 2004 which tried to discover why the beneficial and detrimental effects of coffee are conflicting. The study concluded that consumption of coffee is associated with significant elevations in biochemical markers of inflammation. This is a detrimental effect of coffee on the cardiovascular system, which may explain why coffee has so far only been shown to help the heart at levels of four cups (20 fl oz or 600 mL) or fewer per day.The health risks of decaffeinated coffee have been studied, with varying results. One variable is the type of decaffeination process used; while some involve the use of organic solvents which may leave residual traces, others rely on steam.A study has shown that cafestol, a substance which is present in boiled coffee drinks, dramatically increases cholesterol levels, especially in women. Filtered coffee only contains trace amounts of cafestol.

Coffee as a fertilizer - Contents

Spent coffee grounds are a good fertilizer in gardens because of their high nitrogen content. Coffee grounds also contain potassium, phosphorus, and many other trace elements that aid plant development. Many gardeners report that roses love coffee grounds and when furnished with the same become big and colorful. When added to a compost pile, spent coffee grounds compost very rapidly.Coffee grounds can be obtained inexpensively (usually free) from local coffee shops. Large coffee shop chains may have a policy of composting coffee grounds or giving them away to those who ask.

Coffee substitutes - Contents

  • Postum
  • Pero, a coffee substitute from Switzerland. It is made from malted barley, chicory, and rye.
  • Dandelion root
  • Herbal Coffee (e.g. Teeccino)
  • During wartime, a grain substitute was made from grain, chicory and roasted acorns.
  • Soy Coffee (e.g, Soyfee)

Coffee as an artistic medium - Contents

  • Latte art
  • Arfé
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