Besides hot coffee, you can be served up plain iced coffee (usually with milk added), iced cappuccino, and even iced espresso. You can also have your coffee in forms other than liquid. There is coffee flavored ice cream, chocolate covered coffee beans, and even coffee syrups to put over ice cream or puddings. You can put coffee in cakes, frostings, cookies, and candies. You can even have Mocha Sodas and Frosted Mochas.
For Mocha Sodas:
Mix a half cup of strong coffee with 2 cups milk. Put a scoop of chocolate ice cream in each of four soda glasses. Pour the coffee-milk mix into each glass, dividing it equally among the four glasses. Finish off each glass with club soda or other fizzy drink, and top with whipped cream.
Frosted Mochas are a blend of coffee, chocolate syrup, and vanilla ice cream.
Coffee has replaced the malt or soda as the drink of choice among teens who want to hang out with their friends in a place with ambiance. Coffeehouses are springing up all over the country, providing rich brews mixed with lots of milk and whipped cream. Though there has been some concern about caffeine content, most teens aim for lattes, mochas, and cappuccinos, drinks with lots of steamed milk. Some are even savvy enough to order decaf. Recent research is showing that coffee, in moderation, may even help with concentration. And for some parents trying to get more milk into their teenagers, coffeehouse brews aren’t that bad.
Not only are teens drinking more coffee, but they are also dispensing these savory drinks at local coffeehouses. In fact, some of these young baristas are so into coffee that they go on to compete in national latte art competitions. That is, they create images in the foamy milk: hearts, leaves, trees, etc.
Once forbidden to women, thinking it would make them sterile, coffee has become the world’s favorite drink. It is brewed in various strengths and served with additions according to local custom. In Italy, most people drink espresso with sugar. The English and a lot of Americans use milk (or a non-dairy creamer) with or without sugar (or a sugar substitute). In Germany and Switzerland, people enjoy coffee with equal parts of hot chocolate; and the Belgians just add chocolate. In Mexico, it is drunk with cinnamon. The Ethiopians serve coffee with a pinch of salt tossed in, and the people of the Middle East drink their brew with cardamon and spices. Australians like coffee with whipped cream, and the Egyptian people take coffee strong and black, adding sugar only at weddings.
These coffees come from India, Indonesia, New Guinea, and Hawaii. Those from Indonesia (Sumatra, Sulawesi, and Java) and New Guinea are perhaps some of the most famous. They are rich, full bodied, and have complex acidity. Mandheling from Sumatra is the most full-bodied in the world but has low acidity. Sulawesi Toraja is rich with a bit more acidity and Djampit from Java, though bearing more acidity, is a lighter brew.
Finally, Kona coffee from Hawaii is worth its price tag. It is becoming harder to find in quantity. It is rich, medium-bodied, and extremely aromatic with floral undertones.
From the cradle of coffee origins, these coffees are luxurious and some of the most distinctly flavored in the world. Yemen Mocha is the most ancient coffee in the world. It does not have a syrupy, chocolate flavor, as its name might imply—though there is a hint of chocolate in its lingering, dry finish. Mocha coffee was named for the port of Mocha from which the coffee was shipped in ancient times. The coffee is medium to full bodied, with some acidity, and rich undertones. It is one of the few originally organically grown coffees in the world.
Ethiopian Harrar is an irregular brew, depending on how the coffee is prepared. It can range from strong, almost gamey flavor and roughness to a fragrant, rich, fruit-like cup. The difference is usually in whether these beans are washed or not. Other washed brews are Sidamo or Washed Sidamo (these are gentle, flowery) or Yirgacheffe or Yrgacheffe (rich, complex, flowery with a long finish).
Other African coffees are Kenyan, Tanzanian, Ugandan, and Zimbabwe coffees. Kenyan coffees are dry, full-bodied, and rich. Tanzanian coffees are sharp, acidic, and medium to full bodied. Newer coffees like Ugandan Bugishu and Zimbabwe coffee are lighter and less rich than Kenyan.
Mexican coffees are very mild brews, good for folks who take their coffee black and want a light, acidic coffee. Guatemalan coffees are world famous, especially the Antigua coffees. These are very acidic with a spicy or smoky tone. They are full bodied and rich.
Coffee from El Salvador is very mild and slightly sweet, in stark contrast to the rich, robust beans from Costa Rica. These robust brews can be found in specialty stores under these names: Tarrazu, Tres Rios, Heredia, and Alajuela.
Caribbean Coffees: Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee has had a lot of hype lately. It is indeed one of the premier coffee plantations of the world. A number of highland growers are labeling their coffees Blue Mountain, whether they are grown on the designated Blue Mountain estates or not. The real Blue Mountain is designated Wallensford or Silver Hill Estate Mountain. It is smooth, well-bodied, rich and very expensive.
Santo Domingo coffee from the Dominican Republic can be found in stores as Bani, Ocoa, and Barahona. Bani is a mellow brew. Barahona is heavier and more acid coffee, similar to true Jamaican Blue Mountain. Haitian coffee is mild, light in body and acidity, with a soft, rich flavor.
There is good coffee coming from every part of the world, though some types have a bit more prestige than others. Latin American coffees are considered the best by many connoisseurs.
Columbian coffee is the coffee most Americans know about. But there are many different kinds of Columbian coffee which vary depending on where they are grown in that country. In general, however, Columbian coffees are full-bodied, with medium acidity, and modestly rich. Today, many of the ancient arabica coffee strains are being replaced with faster-growing, heavier-bearing plants. These new beans are inferior to those from older plants, but may soon flood the Columbian market.
Brazilian Bourbon Santos is smooth, medium bodied, and has moderate acidity. Though good, it is still a plain cup and has only been a gourmet curiosity.
Venezuelan coffee is remarkably low in acid. The finest, Meridas, has good body with light richness. It is good served straight without milk or flavors and is good in blends.
Chanchamayo from Peru produces a mild, light brew with a lot of flavor and aroma. It is often blended with darker roasts or as a base for flavored coffees.
Coffee was first discovered around 850 A.D. by the members of the Galla tribe in Ethiopia who had observed goats having extra pep after eating the berries of a certain shrub. They mixed the ground up berries (or coffee beans) with animal fat and ate them. (Yes, they are berries, though we call them beans.)
Arab traders first cultivated the coffee plant around 1000 A.D. They roasted the beans and boiled them, serving them as a drink they called “qahwa” which means “preventing sleep.” Soon, coffee was traded and by 1453 found its way to Constantinople where the first coffeehouse was opened twenty-some years later.
“Ah! How sweet coffee tastes! Lovelier than a thousand kisses, sweeter far than…wine!”
From J. S. Bach’s “Coffee Cantata,” 1732
Oh, that rich aroma, wafting in from the kitchen, lures us from our beds. It tantalizes us throughout our day and into the late hours. It can found in any number of roasts, blends, and flavors and even in other delicious treats besides its popular liquid form.
Coffee, once only a Middle Eastern delight, is grown today in many countries. South America, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, the Middle East, Africa, India, Sumatra, Java, New Guinea, and Hawaii all grow coffee. Much like hot peppers, each country’s unique growing conditions produce distinctive coffees. There are also decaffeinated versions and now new tummy-friendly coffees for folks suffering from GERD, IBS, and stomach problems.
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