Bean by Bean Indulgence - The New Coffee Culture
THE luxury food par excellence in Germany: coffee.
Initially, the coffee plant was only native to Africa and Arabia - but it quickly set out to conquer the world. Today, countries such as Brazil, Colombia and Vietnam lead the list of the world's largest coffee producers. Roasted and ground coffee beans invigorate the mind and provide palate pleasures in a wide variety of ways. Depending on personal taste, the degree of roasting and grinding of the bean as well as the temperature of the water are decisive.
The method of preparation also has an influence on the taste. Whereas a few years ago coffee drinkers swore by coffee from a machine, today the trend is back to freshly brewed coffee by hand.
The alternative to automatic machines and capsule or pad coffee is enjoying great popularity. The environment will be pleased! After all, aluminum capsules mean a lot of waste.
|Coffee - [ˈkafe, kaˈfeː] (Turkish. kahve from Arab. قهوة qahwa "stimulating drink", originally also "wine", with reference to the region of origin Kaffa) is a black, psychotropic, caffeinated hot beverage made from roasted and ground coffee beans, the seeds from the fruits of the coffee plant, and hot water. The degree of roasting and grinding varies depending on the method of preparation. Coffee contains the vitamin niacin. The term bean coffee does not mean that the coffee is still unground, but refers to the purity of the product and serves to distinguish it from so-called substitute coffee (made from chicory, barley malt, etc.).
Viewed soberly and objectively, coffee certainly loses its appeal for many, but anyone who has ever been to a coffee roastery knows about the special aroma and pleasure associated with a good coffee. The coffee beans known to us are made from the drupes of various plant species, all of which belong to the genus of the Rubiaceae all belong to the genus Rubiaceae. The beans ripen in the drupes of the coffee plants until they can be harvested, roasted and further processed into coffee. Since coffee plants only grow optimally in a mild, humid climate, they require special climatic and geographical conditions. The coffee plant needs a balanced climate with a temperature between 15 and 28 °C; on the whole, this temperature must neither often be exceeded nor fallen short of. Too much sunshine is harmful, as is too much wind, whereas hedges and shade trees are planted. The soil must also meet certain requirements for coffee plants to thrive, it must be well aerated, loose and deep. It should have neutral to slightly acidic pH values.
The planting itself is usually done by seeds, which are first sown in germination beds, then further cultivated as young plants in nursery beds and finally planted in the plantation at the age of about 8 months. At the age of three to five years, the yield is optimal and this remains for 10 to 20 years, depending on the variety. According to the climatic conditions, the ideal growing areas are found between the 24th parallel north and south of the equator, for Arabica coffee at an altitude of about 600 - 1200 meters above sea level, for Robusta coffee between 300 - 800 meters above sea level.
The most important cultivation areas include countries in Latin America, Africa and Indonesia. Depending on the variety and the place of cultivation, there are different quality grades, with the highland coffees (Arabica) being considered to be of particularly high quality. Arabica coffee and Robusta coffee are also among the most important types for us, with many varieties/varieties.
Brazil is considered the world's largest coffee exporter, a large part of the coffee traded on the world market is produced here, of which about 80% are Arabica varieties and about 20% Robusta. About 300,000 coffee farms ranging in size from one to 25,000 hectares provide sufficient coffee harvests. Brazil consumes about half of its own coffee harvest.
The experience and professionalism with which coffee farmers and roasters work here can hardly be found elsewhere. The beans are roasted here in a particularly gentle way by the usual long-time drum roasting, thus preserving the natural aromas and oils of the coffee. Brazilian coffee has a natural mild taste, soft with a low acidity.
Vietnam's coffee production now ranks second in the world, behind Brazil. Unfortunately, in addition to a love of coffee, coffee farmers often lack knowledge, tradition and a commitment to quality. Only the insensitive and high-yielding Robusta variety is cultivated, often in the lowlands and on soils that are not suitable for exquisite qualities.
Unfortunately, the majority of the coffee harvest is of rather average quality, but a small part of the harvest is characterized by a balanced and harmonious taste, which spoils the coffee connoisseur with nuances of cocoa and light nutty aromas, often with a chocolaty note. Robusta naturally contains quite a lot of caffeine.
Probably the best-known coffee-growing country in Latin America is Colombia. Here one finds the ideal conditions for the popular bean variety Arabica
which is known for its gentle aroma and noble quality. It is cultivated here all year round and harvested twice a year, making it an important economic factor since the 18th century.
The two coffees, Medellin and Armenia, both named after major Colombian cities, account for the majority of Colombian coffee sales and enjoy an excellent reputation worldwide.
Coffee has been part of Cuba's social fabric since the 18th century - ever since French coffee planters from Haiti successfully cultivated the first beans in the mountains of Pinar del Río and Serra Maestra. Cuba quickly rose to become one of the most important coffee exporters in the world, but the Cuban War of Independence at the end of the 19th century destroyed most of the coffee plantations and instead of coffee, rum and cigars now became the most important export.
Cuban coffee has a unique taste, which can be traced back to the cultivation areas at lower altitudes. Due to the very nutrient-rich soil prevailing there and the slow ripening process, the beans acquire a natural, aromatic sweetness. The full body and the slightly smoky aroma characterize the Cuban coffee. Cuban Turquino is a speciality for connoisseurs. It has an idiosyncratic and spicy taste and a not too strong fullness. It is said that the aroma and taste are reminiscent of a Cuban cigar.
Coffee cultivation is also a tradition in Peru. Here, too, coffee is the export product par excellence, although not as successful as in neighboring Brazil due to economic and political conditions.
98% of all coffee cultivation takes place in forest areas by small farmers. Cusco, Puno, Chanchamayo and Norte produce the best results. Qualitatively, Peruvian coffee is on a par with other varieties from South or Central America, with the highest quality harvests being exported to the United States or Germany.
Peruvian coffee is known for its strong flavor and enjoys an excellent reputation due to its full-bodied aroma with a spicy-soft note and chocolate nuances and its exquisite acidity.
The country of origin of coffee. The Arabica coffee variety is also exported worldwide from Ethiopia.
Quality coffee grown in Ethiopia is one of the best coffees in the world. The typical taste with a unique mocha aroma, full body and the finely developed acids make it so sought after. The most legendary coffee from Ethiopia is the Harrarwhich is grown at an altitude of 1500 to 2100 meters. The golden-yellow, almost amber-colored beans are typical of eastern Harrars. Today, fifteen million Ethiopians make their living from coffee cultivation, and the Harer region is one of the highest coffee-growing areas in the world.
Despite being the fifth largest coffee exporter, Ethiopia still drinks more coffee than it exports.
The Dominican Republic
Coffee production in the Dominican Republic has a long tradition. Since the 18th century, coffee cultivation has occupied a large part of the Dominican Republic's agricultural economy. Due to the special agricultural economy, over time people specialized in class instead of mass, so that nowadays only 50,000 smaller producers still cultivate coffee on the island using traditional methods.
To further this, international competitions are held to constantly refine the coffee grown in the Dominican Republic and improve its very good reputation.
Dominican Republic coffee is a delicious and full-bodied coffee with low to medium acidity. The coffee beans are said to have a spicy, chocolaty note. The Santo Domingo brand is especially popular.
Your coffee will turn out best with the following tips:
- You will need:
- a filter (preferably made of porcelain)
- a filter bag to match
- and of course - in addition to coffee and water - a vacuum jug.
- First moisten the paper filter with a little water. This will open the pores.
- Add the coffee powder and pour the water at about 90 °C until the coffee powder is covered.
Pour the remaining water slowly onto the powder in circular motions.
- if the water is too hot, the coffee could taste slightly bitter.
- if the water is too cold, however, the aroma will not develop properly and the coffee may taste thin and sour.
"How does my coffee blend last and retain its flavor?"
is what everyone asks when considering how best to store their favorite type of coffee at home. The aroma of a good coffee is quickly dissipated once you open the original packaging and can't reseal it airtight. And then you quickly have only brown water without aroma in the cup. Even if grandma's old coffee cans certainly have a nostalgic value, they are not necessarily the ideal place to store the precious brown powder.
Especially if you order larger quantities because the coffee roaster doesn't live just around the corner, the question of ideal storage arises. Heat, oxygen, odors, moisture and light are absolutely "deadly" for coffee powder! The irresistible coffee aroma comes from the oils in the bean; if stored at room temperature, these oils oxidize and, becoming rancid, cause the coffee to taste unpleasant.
However, under no circumstances should coffee be stored in the refrigerator. The foods that are stored there have different smells and flavors and no one wants their coffee to taste like sausage or cheese later. Coffee should definitely not be stored near other foods or herbs, as it attracts odors.
Alternatively, you can store coffee in the freezer, as this prevents oxidation and freezes the coffee oils.
However, to achieve an aromatic result, you should always freeze small portions and then let them thaw gently in the sealed state one day before use.
Opinions are also divided on the ideal storage container.
Absolutely not recommended are containers with their own odor, such as plastic cans or metal cans. Cans with screw caps should also be avoided, as coffee particles can settle in the threads and oxidize. The result: rancid coffee!
On the other hand, ceramic or porcelain containers with a rubber seal are particularly suitable. They reliably keep odors as well as heat, light and moisture away from the precious powder or bean.
If you have purchased a resealable coffee packaging, it is best to leave the coffee in the packaging and store the coffee together with the packaging in a dark, sealable container. Please do not decant the coffee, because the coffee reacts with air or oxygen and thus the quickly volatile aromas of the coffee are lost immediately.
Ideally, if you have purchased your coffee in a resealable valve pack with aroma valve, where the CO2 can escape, but no oxygen reaches the coffee, the coffee can also remain in the pack. However, such packs are mostly only available from coffee roasters and they can be quite expensive.
Finally, the coffee, regardless of the container, should always be stored in a cool and dry place, slightly below normal room temperature..
Should you own a coffee grinder, whether mechanical or electric, and be in the fortunate position of being able to grind your own coffee, it is best to store the whole beans
and grind them only shortly before preparation. It is during the grinding process that the aromas first develop, and the shorter the interval between grinding and brewing, the more intense the flavor.
The quality of the green coffee often holds the secret to excellent coffee. The roasting - and depending on the roastery, the blend of different coffees or the mixture of different countries - determines the taste and aroma of the coffee.
Roasting plants that roast independently and produce top-quality coffee through a gentle roasting process are ideal.
If you are looking for real enjoyment, you should be selective when it comes to coffee and pay attention to the smaller coffee roasters. It is precisely these that prepare green coffee into a real treat, even without stomach ache.
We have made a small pre-selection for you here, with which roasting house you can enjoy the coffee without hesitation.
The roastery .kaffeekultur (certified by the German Roasters Guild) prepares every single bean with a lot of heart and soul. Here you can always get freshly roasted coffee and everything to do with coffee - directly in Fulda or online at www.kaffeekultur-fulda.de
The earlybird coffee team stands for "freshly roasted coffee from happy beans". Behind this is the idea of creating a coffee from first-class raw beans and traditional long-term roasting that is wholesome and low in acidity. You can find out more about the young company at: www.earlybird-coffee.de
The coffee aroma
The aroma of coffee is influenced by many factors:
- Variety/roasting degree of the coffee
- degree of grinding
- Quality of the water
- Water temperature
- Infusion method/method of preparation
The quality of the coffee bean itself is crucial, because if the raw material is poor, even the best roasting cannot make anything out of the coffee bean.
The key to the typical aroma and roasted coffee taste is the roasting process. Here, the temperature and the roasting time must be exactly matched to each other in order to do justice to the green coffee used and the taste expectations. The darker the coffee is roasted, the stronger it is.
Ideally, coffee beans should be purchased freshly roasted, unground, and packaged in an airtight container, as this at least ensures that the coffee aroma will last until used and that it will retain its unique flavor. Once the coffee is ground, it loses this much faster. Therefore, the coffee beans should be ground as soon as possible before preparation and appropriately depending on the type of preparation. Only in this way can the optimal aroma and taste develop. But what does the term "grind" actually mean? It refers to the number and size of the parts into which the bean is ground. If the coffee is ground too finely, the contact time of the water with the coffee powder is very long, and the coffee can taste harsh. On the other hand, if the grind is coarse, the coffee may taste thin because the water passes through the filter too quickly.
The dosage is crucial for the strength of the coffee and thus the taste. For one cup of coffee, calculate 6 to 8 grams of grind. For soluble coffee drinks, calculate about 12 grams of powder per cup. Single servings, i.e. pads or capsules, already contain coffee powder in the correct dosage and grind.
The water quality has an extreme influence on the taste of the coffee and is therefore of great importance in coffee preparation. Approximately 98% of the finished coffee consists of water, whose salts and minerals are strong flavor carriers for the aroma of the finished coffee. Good water should be rich in oxygen and minerals and heated as quickly as possible so that as little oxygen as possible is lost. In addition, water hardness is crucial, as water that is too hard, contains lime or is chlorinated has a negative effect on the taste of the coffee.
The brewing temperature also has a significant effect on the taste of the coffee! Ideally, it should be between 86 and 89 °C, for espresso somewhat higher between 90 and 95 °C, but under no circumstances above 96 °C. Temperatures that are too high make coffee bitter and sour, while those that are too cold make it lukewarm.
The all-important question that determines coffee enjoyment or frustration: "How do I prepare my coffee properly?" The way coffee is prepared is considered by many to be an expression of personal lifestyle. Unfortunately, there are a wide variety of methods, devices and options, some of which can present coffee drinkers with almost insurmountable problems. Whether it's the quick cup "to go" for when you're on the go or celebrating each step of the preparation process, coffee preparation today takes on a higher status than it has in decades past.
The perfect Turkish coffee
Turkish coffee is drunk throughout the Middle East. It is prepared in typical copper or brass pots with a long style. The coffee must be ground as fine as powdered sugar, traditionally with a brass mill. For the perfect Turkish coffee, the required amount of water, about 50 ml per cup, is added to the pot, sugar is added as desired and stirred until the sugar is dissolved. The water-sugar mixture is then heated to about 92-96 °C. The coffee powder - about 8-10 g of the fine powder should be used per cup - is added and then boiled 2x, taking the pot off the stove in between, stirring and skimming off the foam. Before serving, a spoonful of cold water is added to the pot so that the coffee powder settles faster at the bottom. Then immediately pour into the typical small cups. In addition, Turkish coffee is flavored with cardamom or cinnamon in some countries. The finely ground spices are added to the coffee-sugar mixture.
Where to put the coffee grounds?
"Where to put all the spent coffee grounds?" many coffee drinkers are sure to ask as they enjoy their favorite beverage, coffee, freshly brewed.
In most cases, the brown coffee grounds left in the filter after brewing the coffee end up in the organic waste. However, there is also the option of disposing of the brown coffee grounds in a different way. If you have your own garden, you can safely dispose of the brown powder in your compost pile and know about the positive effects of coffee grounds.
Earthworms love coffee grounds. Attracted by it, they loosen the soil and fresh humus is created on the compost, which indirectly benefits the garden.
But even without the tireless efforts of the earthworms, coffee grounds are a great fertilizer and has been used for generations to fertilize plants.
Even my grandma used coffee grounds to fertilize her plants. Coffee grounds help plants grow faster due to the still abundant ingredients in coffee grounds such as potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen, which are vital to plants. The majority of plants prefer an acidic soil climate and nitrogen-rich sites. By fertilizing with coffee grounds you can give your plants a great pleasure.
Apply coffee grounds to the soil, work them in and your plants will be happy!
While you can also use coffee grounds fertilizer for your houseplants, do so with caution, as houseplants are often easily over-fertilized. In addition, the coffee grounds must be properly dry before working them in to prevent mold and they should be properly incorporated into the soil. Roses love the fertilizer from the kitchen, but other plants also thank its use with vigorous growth, beautiful flowers and healthy leaves.
The all-round talent coffee as a pleasure for man and plant!