Tag Archives: coffee guides

how to find good coffee

Sadly, amongst the numerous coffee houses cafes and other places that serve coffee, there is a lot of inferior coffee being served. Wanting to try out fine coffee will take some legwork and lots of research.

Your location also sort of dictates this as some coffee products may or may not be available to you. The usual options are of course to get your brew from a reputable coffee shop or to ultimately brew your own coffee at home.

Finding a fine coffee shop that serves quality coffee products certainly has been quite easier these days with the widespread use of the internet as an information database.

Wherein in the past this would require many costly visits to numerous cafes, nowadays it’s just a matter of visiting a couple of websites looking for recommendations as well as getting information about the establishments without manually going from one place to another.
 

Read reviews of coffee shops online

 
The internet also has lots of coffee blogs made by coffee enthusiasts and checking out reviews of coffee spots will help you. This helps narrow down your choices amongst the many coffee shops that are available. From these narrowed down possibilities, one still needs to actually visit the coffee shops, do some taste testing and check out their facilities. There are a couple of things to look for to see if an establishment is really serious about serving good coffee.

If an establishment’s main product is coffee itself then you’re off on a good start. Having one product as a business’ core most probably means that a lot of detail and care goes into their product as it is their main focus. However there are also some non-coffee shop establishments that serve fine coffee out there particularly high-end pastry shops and the like.
 

Look for fresh brewed coffee

 
Always look for freshly brewed coffee. When you walk into a coffee shop check out and see if you can notice if the carafe of the coffeemaker is full. This is an unfavorable sign as the coffee may be hot but it is not fresh. Freshly brewed coffee requires some preparation time and you might have to wait for a while but the perks in terms of aroma and flavor are big.

Fine coffee establishments take pride in their coffee supply. Usually you could ask the barista and they should be able to tell you about their beans, its origin and who roasted it which tells you a lot of the coffee shop’s attention to detail in regards to your favorite drink. Some coffee shops even procure their own supply direct from the source itself to assure their clients of freshness and quality and some firms are already roasting their own beans.
 

Don’t be afraid to ask the shop owners

 
People into coffee culture are usually the one in good coffee shops and should be able to tell you a thing or two about finding good coffee. Ask the coffee shop staff or barista about their thoughts on their products and ask for recommendations. They should be more than willing to help you out, ask you about your preferences and tell you what’s in store for you at their coffee shop.

Good quality coffee shops tend to offer more options and varieties. As these people are immersed into coffee culture they should ultimately know that coffee does not taste as if it is just black or white. There are lots of coffee varieties each with its individual set of colorful flavors. Some have a chocolate-like character while others are fruity.

A good example would be finding a coffee shop that offers coffee varieties based on the coffee bean itself. Finding “Kona”, “Costa Rican”, and the like on the coffee shop menu not only informs the consumer but also shows the shop’s serious intent in providing coffee.

Finding generic terms like “Bold Blend” is a red flag that the coffee shop is just a run-of-the-mill spot. Putting all these things into consideration and you’re sure to find yourself a reputable coffee shop that serves great coffee!
 

What’s your “House” Coffee?!

 
Whether you are at a fine coffee shop or in front of your coffee maker, the coffee that you would enjoy depends largely on your coffee beans and coffee grounds. Same as with coffee shops, one of the first things to consider is getting your preferred variety of freshly roasted coffee beans!

The most obvious first choice in looking for coffee beans is your favorite coffee shop. It is also worth looking into the local coffee roasters. It is ideal that the coffee beans you are going to purchase have their roasting date recorded so you’re assured of its freshness as well as other information like the source of the coffee beans and others.

A wide range of available coffee bean varieties indicates that your coffee bean source is good. A reputable coffee bean shop is quick to react to customer inquiries and educates them on their products in general.

Once you have acquired your beans it needs to be grinded for the proper extraction of coffee elements from the coffee grounds. The characteristic of the grind mainly depends on the coffee maker variety that you are going to use. French press and percolators use coarse grinds while drip coffee makers use fine to medium grinds. Espresso machines on the other hand utilize super fine grinds.
 

Grind your own coffee beans

 
It’s best to grind your coffee beans just before brewing your coffee. There are better equipped coffee makers out there that already have this feature built-in. Separate motorized and manual coffee grinders are also available. If this is too troublesome there are also pre-ground coffee beans available.

Your brew method may vary but proper extraction should occur if your brew method of choice follows the adequate steeping / contact time and your water is at the recommended temperature of 205 degrees Fahrenheit. With all these points covered you are assured to extract the maximum coffee goodness from your coffee grounds. Now pop your coffee grounds into your coffee maker and start enjoying good coffee at the comfort of your own home!

Average Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 262 user reviews.

guide to good coffee

Good coffee as we know it is just within reach, but proper caution and selection must be exercised as there are lots misleading information.

A wide array of coffee products are available on the market these days but consumer economics and marketing are selling “gourmet” coffee as something that you can find off the shelf in any supermarket or amongst the many coffee spots available around.

The truth is that it takes a little bit for searching for really good coffee. Finding real high-grade coffee is much easier nowadays thanks to the wealth of information on the subject.

A great majority of people have never ever tasted good coffee. A huge bulk of the coffee products that are available for consumption in the United States are commodity-grade mass produced coffee which has been farmed more for quantity than for its flavor or quality.
 

Learn to favor high quality coffee

 
Almost all of the coffee products that you would find in restaurants and supermarkets, even major cafes such as Starbucks, are inferior products. First up these mass-produced coffee products are just too large in volume that these would probably end up in warehouses where it would end up staying for months. Freshness is now lost as well as the coffee bean’s aroma and flavor.

The coffee beans available in the market are also typically roasted a little too much that it should be wherein a lot of the inherent characteristic flavor of the coffee bean variety is being lost. The lack of freshness is being masked by the roasting.

What remains is the effect of the roasting characterized by the presence of caramelized sugar flavors. The taste can actually be good but the issue is the coffee bean’s inherent flavor and aroma is already gone. The marketplace is currently saturated with inferior coffee grades making the prices quite unstable as well but some of the best coffee produce go for $100 to 200 per pound. Rare or seasonal varieties go for much higher too.
 

What makes a great taste

 
Great tasting coffee exhibits a very complicated flavor and aroma. The fruit of the coffee plant goes through a whole process to transform it into coffee. The plant has been cultivated all over the world, in different soils and terrain and each different region produces coffee of varying taste.

Coffee grounds that have been carefully roasted retain the characteristic flavors of the bean’s point of origin producing a more complex-tasting brew. There are lots of ways to enjoy your cup of coffee. Properly sourcing your supplier of coffee beans will assure you of a fine-tasting brew. Make sure that the beans are fresh and the one’s to be used in your coffee are freshly-ground for added zest.

There is a whole lot more to the coffee roasting process than just light, medium, or dark roasting coffee beans. Different varieties call for different types of roasting to bring out and achieve a certain flavor. A lot of factors also come into play like the washing as well as the drying process of the beans. Most fine coffee roasters will do so lightly for the coffee to retain its natural goodness making the actual flavor of the beans standout rather than the flavor infused by the roast.
 

Qualities of good coffee

 
Coffee tasting allows us to appreciate the brew. It’s almost always a comparison and taking down notes of your observations are imperative for you to improve your brew! Aside from personal taste, do take note of its characteristics like acidity, body, aroma and overall flavor. Acidity refers to that tangy taste while aroma refers to the smell of the coffee. Body is what is described as the weight of the coffee drink whether it has a thin or thick consistency.

Flavor refers to the overall combination of characteristics exhibited by your brew. Experienced coffee tasters are able to point out certain characteristics of different types of copy but the majority of people would be able to discern between stale and fresh coffee. Once you’ve tried different types of coffee you’ll be sure to find your favorite as well as be able to tweak the preparation to suit to your taste. Now that’s the coffee for you!

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 151 user reviews.

how to make the perfect cup of coffee

There are countless variations of brewing a cup of delicious coffee. Various preferences mean that no single technique would be fit for everyone.

The brewing method you choose for your coffee should be based on your needs and your own preferences. We all have our opinion in what makes the perfect cup of coffee.

Are you into cappuccinos? Lattes? Plain brewed coffee? Do you prefer a strong blend or a moderate one? Coffee can be brewed in many different ways.

There are different machines and methods but through all these differences, there are main pointers to follow in preparing the best cup of coffee. One cannot be a master without knowing the basics.
 

Choosing the right coffee beans

 
It all starts from the choice of coffee beans. A misnomer though is that they are not really beans as they are seeds from the fruit of the coffee tree. There more than 6, 000 varieties out which 3 are the most important types.

  • Arabica- 60% of the world’s coffee production are Arabica. These are used to produce gourmet coffee. Its many varieties are mostly named after their country or region of origin. Arabica beans vary in quality according to their origin. Most Arabica varieties come from Africa, South and Central America, and some in Asia. Java is a name always related to coffee is actually an Indonesian variation of Arabica.
  • Robusta – Robusta beans make up most of the rest of the world’s coffee produce. It is also less expensive than Arabica. Robusta are also blended with other coffee types due to its strong flavor. It’s also noted that he bean contains higher levels of caffeine.
  • Kona – Kona beans are smaller as compared to Robusta and Arabica. The type normally thrives in Hawaii and is very expensive. It’s main characteristic is its powerful aroma.

Different types have different flavor characteristics.  The variety of coffee and place of origin are factors in different coffee taste. There are also blends that literally blend coffee beans from several countries, regions or varieties.

These coffee beans are also roasted. The process changes the chemical and physical properties of coffee beans. The amount of roasting also changes the flavor. It is ideal to purchase newly-roasted coffee beans. Try to estimate consumption as you don’t want to purchase a lot only to stock it for months.
 

Match the grind with your coffee machine

 
The grinding process also has a huge impact on the brew’s flavor and strength as this process determines the amount of coffee elements that are infused during brewing. It is generally regarded that burr-type of grinders are superior as they produce finer and uniform grinds.

Newly-ground coffee is better to the point that modern coffee makers grind the beans just before brewing. Finer grinds make for stronger coffee though this should also be balanced with the characteristic of bean type itself. Grinding strong coffee beans too fine will produce a bitter brew and too coarse a grind will result to under-extraction producing weak coffee.

Coffee grinds are also matched according to the brewing process preferred as indicated below.

  • Coarse Grind – French Press, Percolator
  • Medium Grind – Drip Makers
  • Fine Grind – Stove Top Espresso Pots, some Drip Makers
  • Super Fine Grind – Espresso Machines

 

Water quality is important

 
As coffee is 98.6% water, the quality of water used has an effect to the overall taste of coffee. Strong odors or chlorine might be present so have it filtered. The Coffee to Water ratio is also a determining factor in your brew’s taste.

Too much or too little water can cause your coffee to be too bland or too strong and bitter. This is partially determined by individual preference but a good rule of the thumb is 1-2 tablespoons of coffee grounds per 6 oz. of water. Also factor in that water evaporates during the brewing process.
 

How to make a great brew

 
This process is where the actual extraction happens. Key factors are the brewing time and the water temperature during the process. The recommended water temperature is between 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal extraction.

Cold water will result to under-extraction and pale-tasting coffee, while brewing coffee too hot will result to the coffee taste being altered. Brewing time is the period of time that your coffee grounds are in contact with water and it is different among the different brewing methods.

Optimum brewing time is necessary for proper coffee extraction. Drip coffee makers ideally allow 5 minutes while plunger pots should do good between 2 to minutes. Espresso machines on the other hand operate between 20 to 30 seconds. Personal tastes also factor in so feel free to experiment until finding what’s ideal for you.
 

Sit back and relax

 
Brewed coffee tastes best after just being brewed and served in a warmed cup or mug. Coffee makers maintain the heat, but it is best if your brew is consumed immediately.
 


 
First enjoy the aroma. Have a sip. Take a few moments to notice the taste, body and overall vibe of your brew. Do take note of what you’ve done differently in preparation for your next coffee brew.

Average Rating: 4.6 out of 5 based on 254 user reviews.

how to make good coffee at home

Where do you get your coffee fix? How do you want it? There are plenty of variations to enjoy a cup of freshly-brewed scrumptious coffee and you would have probably tried a lot in many different places before you arrived into what you really love. And when you do find it it’s a no-brainer that you would like to know how to make your favorite coffee at home.

There just a dizzying array of options. Do you prefer a strong blend or a mild one? Lattes? Simple brewed coffee? There are different approaches and equipment involved which may vary upon your coffee preference but the following are the main tips to adhere to in preparing great coffee in your own home.
 

Your Coffee Beans

 
Every cup of coffee starts from its basic component which are the coffee beans. Check on your bean supplier or the manufacturer’s labels and notes so that you get to purchase coffee beans that are to your liking especially when trying out new varieties. It is ideal to acquire newly-roasted coffee grains for freshness. Each different kind of coffee bean variety has different flavor features. Geography also plays a big part as coffee plants from different regions tend to have varying qualities. Out of the more than 6, 000 varieties of coffee there are only 3 types which are widely used.

Arabica coffee beans are used to create some of the world’s most exquisite coffee offerings. Its numerous sub-varieties are mainly named after their country or area of origin. This variety exhibits light to medium bodied character and have a sharp-tasting almost-sour taste. It’s also very aromatic. Robusta coffee bean variety is much cheaper in comparison to Arabica beans. Robusta beans are also blended with various other coffee types to achieve certain flavors. This type also contains 50% more caffeine than Arabica coffee beans. This variety exhibits a very strong character, is full-bodied, and has a woody cocoa-like flavor. Rounding up the three main coffee bean varieties are the Kona beans. What sets this variety apart is its powerful aroma. These are produced in smaller quantities and are quite expensive. This variety thrives on tropical climates but is primarily from Hawaii.

The beans undergo a series of processes. One of the most important and flavor defining is the roasting. This process changes the chemical and physical makeup of coffee beans and the amount of roasting likewise alters the taste. Light Roasting lets you taste the inherent characteristics of your coffee beans. This produces a highly acidic character with light body and has no obvious trace of any roasting-induced effect on the flavor. Medium Roasting imparts a bit more of a “roast flavor” and produces a much less acidic character. The coffee bean’s chemical makeup has been slightly altered already especially its sugar content which due to the roasting has already caramelized. Full Roasting or Dark Roasting imparts a strong “roast” flavor and aroma. The coffee bean’s natural characteristics are already hardly noticeable. The coffee bean’s bitterness and sweetness are both accented producing a very complicated flavor.

Next up is the grinding process. This plays a huge influence on the brew’s taste and strength as this process establishes the amount of coffee elements that are infused in your brew. The type of grind is mainly dictated by the type of coffee maker that you will be using. Coarse grinds are commonly used for French press and percolators while medium to fine grinds are typically used for drip coffeemakers. Super fine grinds are for espresso machines. Grinding coffee beans too much will certainly generate a bitter brew and coarse grind will certainly result in under-extraction.
Pre-ground coffee beans are available for convenience but it is a fact that freshly-ground beans produce better-tasting coffee. There are a couple of grinder options from manual grinders to motorized ones while some mid to high end coffeemakers on the other hand have grinders built-in to the unit.
 

Your Brew

 
This process is where the real coffee extraction occurs. The key elements for extraction are the contact time and the water temperature during the process. Here are some of the common types of coffee makers and how they extract coffee.

  • French Press – It’s a glass or stainless steel mug-like device with a lid, a filter and a plunger. Coffee grounds are placed in the bottom with hot water and left for at least 4 minutes or more for extraction. This method does not use electricity and lets you control the flavor of your coffee.
  • Percolator – These are commonly used for high-volume applications like big offices, cafeterias and the like. Coffee grounds are continuously steeped in hot water.
  • Automatic Drip Coffee Machine – This is the most common type of coffee maker. Pre-measured amounts of coffee grounds to the filter chamber where water continuously drips and passes through the ground coffee for it to extract the coffee flavor.
  • Espresso Machine – The espresso is the basic component of a lot of different coffee beverages such as cappuccinos, cafe lattes and so much more. Hot and pressurized water is used for extraction from finely ground coffee. Some units also have a milk frother for preparing lattes and more.

The water used must be free from odors and contaminants that will affect the flavor of your brew. Check the suggested coffee grounds to water ratio of the coffee maker of your choice. The recommended water temperature is between 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit for maximum extraction. Optimum brewing time is required for correct coffee extraction. French press and drip coffeemakers have a minimum of 4 minutes of contact time while espresso machines on the other hand operate between 20 to 30 seconds. Keep these guidelines in mind and you’re in for a real treat of a brew!
 

Sit Back and Relax

 
Coffee tastes better freshly-made! Consume your coffee immediately after brewing and appreciate its flavor and aroma. Check if the characteristics you are looking for are present so that you could improve your next brew. But most importantly, enjoy!

Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 196 user reviews.

Different Types of Coffee Drinks

Coffee and its enjoyment have been around for a very long time. From the early Ethiopians who enjoyed it as a staple up to today’s hustling business districts that consume Starbucks coffee, it has been on constant and ever-increasing demand. People have been also inventing and re-inventing coffee preparation the whole time which in turn paved the way for other avenues of coffee appreciation.

What was previously just a black invigorating liquid is now available in different forms. Coffee-making has become a revered art form that made available various coffee-infused beverages. Below are some of the more popular coffee drinks:

  • Espresso – it is a strong black coffee in its purest form. It’s produced by forcing steam through finely-ground dark-roast aromatic coffee beans at a high pressure in an espresso machine. A thick, golden-brown crema (foam) on the surface indicates a good espresso.

The espresso is a very important part of the coffee culture as it serves as the backbone for most of the specialized coffee beverages that are available today. Cappuccinos, lattes and other all begin with an espresso.

It is usually enjoyed on its own, as preferred by purists, or with small amounts of sugar.

Variations abound with this brew. Adding a bit of steamed milk creates an espresso macchiato. Adding a some grappa, cognac or sambuca makes it an Espresso corretto while topping an espresso with whipped cream makes it an espresso con panna.

  • Cappuccino – one of most popular coffee drink. Most coffee shops have these on the menu though there might be different versions of it. The recipe for true cappuccinos is equal amounts of espresso and steamed milk/milk froth. Upon preparation it is common practice to sprinkle unsweetened cocoa powder or dark chocolate gratings to the cappuccino froth. Variations include a “scuro” and “chiaro” which means you prefer your cappuccino with more or less milk respectively. Of course there’s also iced cappuccino.
  • Americano – a single shot of espresso added to a cup of hot water. This can be enjoyed with either milk and/or sugar though it’s common practice to minimize the amount of milk. This is also prepared with ice.
  • Cafe Latte – consists of one part espresso and two parts steamed milk with 1cm of milk foam. Skilled baristas often have crafty ways of pouring the foam creating miniature artworks on the surface. Sugar is added to taste. This is also commonly used for dipping Cookies, spongy cakes slices or Italian bread. Vanilla, chocolate, and caramel are some of the other flavorings that can be added to the latte. Variations include combining Café Lattes with chai, matcha, and royal milk teas.
  • Café Au Lait – A traditional French drink that is similar to the caffe latte but is made with brewed coffee instead of espresso. It is 1 part brewed coffee and 1 part steamed milk and is considered a weaker form of caffe latte. Sugar is added via the drinker’s preference. It’s also used for dipping. Café Au Lait is sometimes also served in bowls to accent its French origins.
  • Café Mocha or Mochachino – a cappuccino or caffe latte topped with chocolate syrup or powder. Preparation of this beverage is varied but a common trait is that the syrup is added before milk. Similarly, it can be topped with cocoa powder or grated chocolate. Add a twist of whipped cream.
  • Caramel Macchiato – commonly prepared by combining espresso, caramel and foamed milk or steamed milk though this type of beverage is very varied. Sugar may be added although this drink is already sweet by itself. Vanilla is often added for extra flavor.
  • Café Cubano – is a type of espresso originating from Cuba. It refers to an espresso shot that is sweetened with demerara sugar while it is being brewed. The name usually covers other drinks that are based in the Cuban espresso.
  • Cold Brew – this is prepared by steeping coarse-ground beans are in room temperature water for extended periods usually 12 hours or more. The coffee grounds are then filtered afterwards and is served with water or milk. Cold brewed coffee naturally seems sweeter due to its lower acidity.

These are the more popular varieties of coffee drinks. There are other variations out there. Exploring them all opens up a world of coffee enjoyment!

Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 176 user reviews.

pros and cons of coffee drinking

Coffee for many of us has been the staple starter that fires up our day. Once you have got into the habit of starting your day with a cup of coffee, it is hard to go back.

The beverage’s warm flavorful liquid and soothing aroma induces a positive feeling making it quite integral especially for “slow” days. This feeling of well-being is generally the immediate positive effects of coffee.

Enjoyment of this beverage comes in many different forms and is now consumed almost at any time of the day which concerns health practitioners as there are findings about the negative effects of coffee drinking.
 

On the Bright Side

 
Caffeine has an effect not unlike stimulants which produces the positive behavioral effect that uplifts one’s sense of well-being as well as overall energy level and sense of happiness. Cognition, overall memory and one’s capability to execute intricate tasks are also positively affected due to caffeine’s effect on certain brain areas and certain brain chemicals such as adenosine. It has also been discovered that caffeine prevents symptoms of brain degeneration.

Another popular positive effect of coffee is the large number of antioxidants. Antioxidants are our body’s defense against free radicals. As compared to the next other good source of antioxidants which is tea, coffee has as much as 300% more antioxidant content.

It has also been researched that coffee consumption may be a key factor in warding off several types of diseases. A couple of researches have shown that consuming coffee may lessen the risk of contracting certain kinds of diabetes by up to 30%. Coffee consumption has also been found out to have an opposite relationship in regards to the cases of Parkinson’s disease.
 

On the Other Hand

 
One of the many effects of coffee in the human body is its ability to trigger our endocrine system to flush out calcium into our urine. This effect can have adverse drawbacks that could affect our bones and might even lead to osteoporosis. The lost calcium can however be remedied by the added consumption of milk or yoghurt.

Continued coffee consumption can also cause dehydration. This setback can cause our skin to develop wrinkling. This effect can be remedied by the added consumption of water to keep our bodies well hydrated.

It could also partially aid in unwanted weight gain as coffee is usually consumed with food. Apart from the psycho-active effects of caffeine it also affects our blood sugar levels causing fluctuations which contribute to the onset of different cravings.

As with anything, taking too much of something will eventually negative effects. Having everything with proper moderation is key especially in enjoying our favorite brew.

 

Average Rating: 5 out of 5 based on 198 user reviews.

How to choose the best coffee maker

Coffee lovers everywhere and their adoration for the famed beverage and all its forms all long to bring the coffee shop experience to their own homes or on their office.

Apart from just making coffee itself, the aim is to capture the taste and vibe and bring those elements home. From this sprung the need for coffee makers. Coffee makers come in different varieties all with different capabilities. Some simply make coffee while others are specialized devices capable of dishing out complicated / mixed drinks. The equipment is the main component that mediate the transition from beans (or pod) to coffee, the link between the coffee lover and his delicious brew.

The coffee maker of choice handles a big part on the actual flavor of your brew. The coffee flavor we all crave literally starts from extracting taste elements from ground coffee beans. There are a wide variety of coffee beans available each with its own characteristic taste and aroma which is then also affected by type of roasting.

The first step is the grinding of roasted coffee beans. The kind of grind affects the amount of extracted coffee elements, and therefore the strength of your brew. The coffee maker of choice also controls other elements that affect the coffee flavor like the brewing method, brewing temperature and contact time.

As with any choices that we make, it’s better to have done an informed choice. Here are a few things to keep in mind before purchasing the best coffee maker for you!

  • Budget – of course!
  • Volume of Consumption – are you just preparing coffee for 2 or are you brewing for a bunch of coffee guzzlers in your office? You would want a machine/method that would be fit for you needs. Too small a machine and coffee production would be slow.
  • Type of beverage preferred – are you someone who digs brewed coffee or cappuccinos? You might need a different type of machine for certain coffee preparation.

 

Which Coffee Machine to Choose?

 
French Press
 
It is a glass or stainless steel shaped into a mug-like form with a lid that has a plunger with filter. Coarse ground coffee beans are placed in the unit’s bottom together with hot water. Stir the coffee grounds and water gently. Allow for 4 minutes contact time after which the extraction is complete. Push the plunger down to separate the beans from the water. This method allows you full control of your brew and doesn’t use electricity. It takes time to master though but the coffee perks are rewarding.
 
Percolator
 
Though considered somewhat dated, percolators are still currently available. The older ones are designed for stovetop use and the modern ones are run by electricity. New stainless steel percolators are commonly used for high-volume applications. Some enthusiasts believe that percolating coffee grounds make the best tasting coffee. There is usually a small window on percolators that allow you to see the color of the coffee inside and determine if it’s already done. Turning off the machine or the stove stops the extraction.
 
Automatic Drip Coffee Machine
 
This is the most common type of coffee machine nowadays. Most units have a water reservoir, a filter chamber, and a glass or metal carafe. Some are even programmable so that you could schedule coffee brewing. Coffee preparation starts with placing measured amounts of coffee grounds to the filter chamber. Upon turning on the machine the unit draws water from the reservoir, heat it and continuously “drip” it into the filter chamber where it passes through the ground coffee allowing it to soak-in the coffee flavor. This gets filtered and drips coffee into the carafe. Most units also have a heater to keep the coffee in the carafe warm. As with modern gadgets, this makes the process hassle free.
 
Espresso Machine
 
This is the Rolls-Royce among coffee makers producing a rich and concentrated brew favored by baristas and coffee connoisseurs. The coffee or “espresso” produced by this machine is the starting point of different coffee beverages such as cappuccinos, cafe lattes and more. The process involves hot and pressurized extraction from finely ground coffee. Units also have a milk frother and the like for milk preparation for lattes and more.

With all this information and your personal preference, how to choose the best coffee maker for you becomes a much easier affair whether coffee drinking is just a morning ritual for you or your passion.

Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 176 user reviews.

how to clean a coffee maker

Waking up early in the morning, nothing gets you in the right mood for the day ahead than a nice cup of freshly-brewed coffee. A staple mood-setter and wake-up beverage, we almost always enjoy our early morning coffee fix through a coffee maker. Our coffee consumption usually continues throughout the day.

This subjects our coffee maker to various degrees of wear and tear. It also might cause degraded quality of coffee due to the contamination from sediments, lime and molds. There is also a possible health risk involved. From these arises the necessity to clean our coffee makers.

A coffee maker’s water reservoir is usually victim to sediment buildup. Tap water usually contains large amounts of minerals which eventually build up. As this area is commonly very visible it is easy to see if any sediment accumulation has occurred. Wipe and clean the water reservoir area.
 

Use vinegar in cleaning your coffee maker

 
It’s also advisable to use a vinegar and water solution so that the water passageways are also chemically cleaned. The solution breaks down the sediment buildup. It would be necessary to wash and run the reservoir using fresh water to remove traces of vinegar taste. Using filtered or distilled water will significantly reduce the possible amount of sedimentation that will form on your coffee maker. It is also very important to regularly clean the water filters.

It is important to clean the innards of your coffee maker to maintain adequate performance. Minute amounts of leftover coffee grounds as well as dried-up coffee bean oils can build up over time and cause problems including foul odors, molds and bad-tasting coffee. Thoroughly remove any leftover coffee from the pot as well as the filters and the filter bed. If you are using a single cup coffee maker be sure to remove any pods. Remove any coffee bean oil buildup by using the water and vinegar solution.

For best results it is best to complete a whole brew cycle using the water and vinegar solution. This assures you that all the passageways of water are cleaned. After a full brew cycle allow the coffee maker with the solution to sit for at least fifteen minutes for the vinegar content to react with the impurities and break down sediments and oils. After this step thoroughly clean your coffee maker to remove any vinegar then complete 2 brew cycles using only pure water to remove any remaining unwanted vinegar taste from your coffee maker.

These steps are applicable to most pod or drip-type coffee makers. Cleaning other types like the French press and coffee pots are more straightforward as these items are washable. Espresso machines however are a bit more complicated but generally follow the concepts described above.

Cleaning espresso machines basically start from physically cleaning each part especially the group heads, the steam wands, portafilter and the basket. After this it is generally a good time to flush your system using the recommended solution or detergent. The detergent breaks down the oil buildup in your machine. It might be necessary to repeat the flushing until no more gunk appears on the water. Afterwards clean and flush twice using only water to remove traces of detergent.

Cleaning your coffee maker is very simple and will make sure you enjoy your unit for many years to come. What more, it also gives you the discriminating coffee drinker better-tasting coffee!

Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 197 user reviews.

coffee facts

Why are there lighter or darker coffee varieties?

Coffee beans prior to the roasting process are normally colored green. It’s roasting that gives the coffee beans its light or dark color. Different roasting periods and roasting temperatures yield different shades of beans but more importantly these variations in the roasting process produce varied coffee flavors.
 
Is it a fact that darker coffee varieties offer more taste and flavor than lighter ones?

Dark coffee varieties are often misrepresented to get the upper-hand in terms of overall taste. Although it is possible to get a nice cup of coffee with dark roast coffee varieties do keep in my mind that light roasts actually maintain the inherent flavor of any coffee bean variety which could be diminished or lost during longer roasting periods.
 
What does the term “Arabica” mean?

Arabica refers a coffee plant variety (Coffea Arabica) that is the most widely cultivated and used for making coffee products. The Arabica variety has a light to medium body and is generally characterized by sweet flavors together with some tangy acidity. It has the presence of fruity taste elements and has a very powerful aroma. It is also of note that it has 50% lesser caffeine content than the other widely-used variety, Robusta.
 
What is the proper way in storing my coffee?

There is a common misconception that refrigerating your coffee is the correct way to make it last longer. That is hardly the case since your refrigerator is a very moist environment with much moisture which will surely spoil your coffee. The recommended way is to use airtight containers and store them in a dry and dark location. It is also of note that whole coffee beans last longer and retain their freshness more than coffee grounds.
 
There are a lot of different coffee varieties with exotic-sounding names. What has this all got to do with coffee?

In many reputable coffee shops or coffee bean roasters you will see a rather extensive list of weird coffee names and wonder why. The varied coffee varieties that we consume all come from different parts of the world. Each location has a unique set of environment which contributes to the coffee’s character thus the necessity for many different names. Java is a common example and this variety comes from Indonesia. Despite this wide variety most people have probably drank these different varieties without knowing about them.
 
What is the buzz about the Colombian Roast?

A lot of people are hot on the trail of getting their hands on whatever Columbian roast coffee they can put their hands on. This craze is quite a big misnomer as the term “Columbian” actually denotes, not the roast style, but the coffee beans’ region of origin. This sort of misinformation might have stemmed from the vague use of the term “Columbian” on the marketing tactics of big coffee companies. Indeed Columbia produces some really good coffee but there are lots and lots of other coffee-producing regions as well, each serving their own unique flavor of our favorite brew.
 
Where does the shiny waxed-look of coffee beans come from?

Marketing any product relies in part to the presentation and it’s a commonly asked question if the beans are made to look shiny as sort of eye candy. This polished manifestation actually stems from the inherent existence of natural oils in the coffee beans. These oils are released and cover the external part of the beans during the roasting process.
 
Are different beans used for ordinary coffee and espresso?

There are no specific types used for both. However it is common to find blends amongst espresso coffee beans to achieve certain flavors.
 
What’s the most ideal brew method?

Preference plays a big factor as well as convenience. Coffee fanatics would surely jump at an espresso machine while common coffee drinkers will get their fix even with just an ordinary drip coffee maker. There are quite a few other methods so it’s best to experiment and find out what fits your fancy.
 
Are coffee varieties from animal waste good?

It is really a matter of preference taste-wise. It’s a big “NO” however with the whooping price tag and issues regarding to animal cruelty violations involved in the manufacturing of this coffee.

Average Rating: 4.4 out of 5 based on 266 user reviews.

benefits of coffee

That unmistakable aroma! Different people get a different kick out of coffee drinking whether it’s a go-getter in the morning or a pleasure drink.

There are people that relish the flavor and aroma of coffee while the latter jumps at the caffeine punch. Remember when everybody used to worry about coffee giving ulcers and making people nervous? Everything done in excess will probably become a source of problems so moderation is the key.

It also doesn’t hurt that coffee, according to various researches, also has many benefits. And remember, the higher quality your coffee is – the less likely it is to contain harmful mycotoxins that may be present in some of the lower quality brands.
 

Key Ingredients of Coffee

 

  • Chlorogenic acid – an antioxidant, is the major phenol in coffee
  • Quinic acid – a phytochemical that contributes to the coffee’s acidic taste
  • Cafestol and kahweol – compounds extracted from the beans’ oil during brewing. Unfiltered coffee, such as French press or boiled coffee, contains these compounds
  • Caffeine – a naturally occurring stimulant that affects the central nervous system
  • N-methylpyridinium (NMB) – infused during roasting, may make the antioxidants more potent

 

The Caffeine Factor

 
Caffeine is the most common psychoactive drug (thanks to coffee) and some of its behavioral effects resemble those produced by stimulants. This comes from caffeine’s effect on adenosine, a brain chemical that dampens brain activity, and on brain areas that affect arousal, pleasure and thinking. There is also a short-term increase in muscle contraction intensity, physical and psychological exertion. Caffeine content greatly varies explaining the different effects of different types of coffee beans, preparation and others. Another factor is that there are identified genes influencing caffeine metabolism that explains the differences in certain people’s sensitivity to caffeine.
 

Heart disease and Diabetes

 
According to a University of Scranton research, Coffee is the leading source of antioxidants in the U.S. Both caffeinated and decaffeinated versions have nearly the same levels of antioxidants. Coffee consumption and lower rates of heart disease and diabetes are often associated to each other. People that consume 1- 2 cups of coffee have reduced risk of dying due to cardiovascular diseases by 38% according to a study made in Japan. A Harvard School of Public Health speaks in the same tone stating that moderate coffee drinking does protect against heart failure.
 

Diabetes

 
There are also researches that indicate chlorogenic acid’s ability to inhibit the absorption of glucose. These characteristics are commonly related to antioxidants and chlorogenic acid. UCLA researchers identified that coffee drinking affects the globulin SHBG which controls the activity of the sex hormones testosterone and estrogen which is related in the development of type 2 diabetes.
 

Liver disease

 
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, liver cancer is the 9th leading cause of death in the U.S.A. and 3rd in the leading cause of cancer-related deaths around the world.

Coffee consumption is said to lower the risk of contracting liver cancer by roughly 40% according to Italian researchers while other results point out that risks are further reduced by more than 50% when consumption reaches 3 cups a day.

Drinking coffee regularly is linked to reducing the risk liver bile ducts disease. According to a U.S. study, coffee drinking also reduces liver cirrhosis among alcohol drinkers by 22%.

 

Other benefits of coffee

 
Certain studies show that there may be reduction in the risk of having Alzheimer’s disease. This is from coffee’s effect on the beta-amyloid plaque that is a factor in Alzheimer’s. Studies show a 25% decrease in Parkinson’s disease risk for coffee drinkers. A National Institutes of Health study revealed that coffee drinking may be a key factor in reducing risk of death which increases along with the amount of coffee consumption.

These favorable studies are good news for coffee drinkers but always keep in mind that all things should be taken in moderation.

Average Rating: 4.7 out of 5 based on 286 user reviews.