Some people could live off a coffee drip attached to their arm. It is one of those drinks that has been around for centuries, and not only been around, but has been extremely popular thanks to the Arabs who began to really cultivate and trade it. By the 17th century coffee had become well-known in Europe and coffee houses were the places to be, not unlike today. It seems that every region of the world has had a hand in coffee, ranging from plantations to pirating even. There are many fun stories about how coffee was originally discovered, all of them by accident. My favourite version is not likely true but it is about an Ethiopian goat-herder named Kaldi who experienced his herd acting lively and dancing after chewing some red berries. After testing them himself, and experiencing some of the effects of the berries, he took them to the local monastery where the monks disapproved and tossed them into the fire. This caused an aroma to arise from the fire and intrigued the monks causing them to gather the beans from the embers and brew them. Hence, the first cup of coffee. I love the idea of a bunch of goats, dancing and rocking out because they have basically had some pretty strong coffee 🙂 After all, coffee does make everything better doesn’t it?
Coffee trees produce a fruit called a coffee cherry. This is what is dried, processed and later, referred to as a coffee bean. The varieties and flavours of coffee are dependant on several factors which is why there are so many option. Besides the flavours that can be infused into and mixed with coffee, the flavour of the coffee bean itself depends on things such as whether a wet or dry processing method has been used. Where the coffee is grown will also change the flavour due to the soil and climate. During the drying process, some coffee is dried by sun while others are dried using machinery. How the bean is roasted and the original bean quality also play a role. Even the grind size makes a difference. When brewing the coffee, brewing time, method and water quality all impact the final product. As you can see, any combination of factors will yield different coffee experiences and any coffee house, such as Starbucks, will be familiar with a whole glossary of terms to describe them. However, there are 4 main categories used: aroma, acidity, body and flavour.
If you are looking at different ways to try out your favourite drink, check out this video. It is one of my favourites and shows different recipes from around the world.