These days the word barista is become more common, especially for people who are in the food business, coffee particularly. Barista is the Italian word for the skilled person who prepares coffee (ultimately espresso) in a coffee house.
What would you want your barista to be like? This is not a trick question. The more I think of it, the more I believe it, that the world of coffee making must be lying on the shoulders of a barista.
I believe that because the coffee I am being served in a coffee house, I expect it to be good. On the other hand, the manager of the bar expects me to be pleased with the service and come again. If the coffee is not good, I will not do that.
Now who is responsible for this small gearing to work? You probably have guessed it, the barista.
Are you wondering what a barista is and how can you recognize them?
1. Well, they do not have a specific age or appearance. Nor nationality. In Italy, the country that gave the name of the job, a barista is most likely a man around the age of 40. In America, there are more chances that you find a young lady. But not necessarily.
2. One sure thing is they’re susceptible to be found behind the bar-counter, always ready to prepare several varieties of coffee ‘expressly for you’ – by the way, did you know this was the initial definition of the espresso coffee?
3. A skilled barista, the one you would like to have prepared your cup, has several years of experience.
4. A good barista carries out to near-perfection four operations: dosing, tamping, pulling and steaming.
5. A good barista knows that no. 4 is not enough and sometimes helpless. For example, tamping depends on the finesse of the grind. The finer the grind, the less important the tamping.
6. A really good barista pays attention both to the quality of the coffee and the presentation.
7. The skilled barista is capable of performing more operations at the same time.
8. The barista you like interacts with his or her customers.
9. A good barista can manage to make a pretty good cup with less sophisticated appliances. Mean less to say, the opposite is not true.
10. A good barista can make a flourishing business out of your modest old coffee-shop. Again, the opposite in not true.
Specialty gourmet coffee is a very popular for the coffee connoisseur. The consumption of gourmet coffee has steadily grown with consumers enjoying the more sophisticated tastes of gourmet coffee beans. Specialty gourmet coffee, sometimes is also called as premium coffee. This exceptional coffee beans is grown only in ideal coffee-producing climates. These coffee beans have unique characteristics because of the soil they grow in which produce very distinctive flavors.
Gourmet coffee has a more balanced flavor and richer taste than the standard mass-produced coffee. Gourmet coffee beans go through a rigorous process of certification that is stricter to help keep the quality high.
The term of ‘specialty coffee’ is use to describe these unique coffee beans that are produced in special micro climates with these distinctive, exceptional flavors. In 1982 the Specialty Coffee Association of America was created by coffee professionals to help set quality standards for the specialty coffee trade.
Since the 1990′s the growing popularity of the coffee houses and specialty gourmet coffee retailers, have made gourmet coffee one of the fastest growing food services markets in the world. In the United States alone, it nets more than $5 billion a year.
Some have compared specialty gourmet coffee to wine. The aromas and flavors have similarities in how the consumer connects with the two beverages. The characteristics of gourmet coffee however, are more even complex than wine. The coffee bean is more dependent on altitudes, climate and soil variation than with the grapes used for wine.
The history and tradition of the specialty coffee grower makes this a very complex beverage. So pour yourself a cup of your favorite specialty gourmet coffee, sit back and enjoy, you deserve it.
Although the average European drinks more coffee per year than the average American, the cultural importance and its effects on the average European seems to me smaller than that on the average American. After all, coffee is a cultural obsession in the United States.
Chains with thousands of branches and also independent regular coffee shop and cafe dominate the US daily street life. Especially in the morning (90% of coffee consumed in the US is in the morning), millions of white foamy cups with boldly imprinted pink and orange logos bob across the streets in morning rush hour and on the train. Coffee drive-ins are a saving grace for the rushing army of helmeted and tattooed construction workers. During lunch break, men and women in savvy business suits duck into coffee shops.
Students chill out from early afternoon till late evening on comfy couches at coffee lounges around campus. Police officers clutch coffee cups while guarding road construction sites on the highway. In short, coffee drinkers in the United States can be found just about anywhere you go.
The word of ‘coffee’ was derived from the Arab word ‘qahwa’ meaning ‘that which prevents sleep’, this would explain everything about the effect of coffee. Arabs have cooked coffee beans in boiling water since as far back as the 9th century and drank the stimulating extract as an alternative to the Muslims’ forbidden alcohol.
These days coffee is second only to oil as the most valuable (legally) traded good in the world with a total trade value of over $70 billion. Interestingly, with only 10% of its value that reaches coffee producing countries. The remaining value is generated as surplus value in the consumption countries. Small farmers grow 70% of world coffee production. They mainly grow two kinds of coffee beans: Arabica and Robusta. About 20 million people in the world are directly dependent on coffee production for their subsistence.
Although the consumption of coffee per capita in the world is decreasing (in the US alone it decreased from 0.711 liter in 1960 to 0.237 liter presently), world consumption is still increasing due to the population explosion. Considering that coffee consists of either 1% (Arabica), 2% (Robusta) or 4.5%-5.1% (instant coffee) caffeine, the average American consumes at least 200 to 300mg (the recommended maximum daily amount) of caffeine a day through the consumption of coffee alone.
In the world of marketing and entrepreneurship, Starbucks is a success story. It is one of those stories of ‘excellence’ taught as a case study at business school.
Coffee in the US is a subculture that massively floated to the surface of the consumer’s society. Starbucks is more than coffee, it’s more than just another brand on the market, it is a social-political statement, a way of perceiving how you would like to live, in other words it is a culture. Starbucks is the alternative to Coca-Cola and so much more than just coffee: it’s chocolate, ice-cream, frappuccino, travel mugs with exotic prints, cups and live music, CD’s, discounts on exhibitions and even support for volunteer work.
With a “good” cup of coffee costing almost as much as a good sandwich these days, more and more people are taking to making their coffee at home from an “old fashioned” drip coffee machine. With the influence of Starbucks and the others out there, people are demanding a better cup of coffee all of the time. This article should help you make the best cup of drip coffee possible.
Coffee from a can just doesn’t work for the general public anymore. The good news is that great coffee beans can be obtained at pretty much any grocery store. Be willing to experiment with different bean types to find the kind of coffee you like best. For what it is worth, more times than not, I’ve found that a good espresso roast makes a great cup of drip coffee as well. Do experiment though, you just might be surprised at what you find.
Good beans deserve a good grind. You’d be surprised at the difference between a good grind and a bad one. If you don’t have a good grinder at home, consider grinding the beans at the store where they were purchased as the grinders there often do a great job. Burr grinders are the best, and the most expensive. It is probably obvious but good water makes a difference as well. The more things you take out of the water, the better your coffee will taste.
A good drip machine is also a must. More than anything else, the warming element is what you need to worry about. If you find that your coffee often has that scalded burned taste, the warmer might be too hot. And, of course, there is seldom a way to change that so, … you’ll need a new machine.
Consider the French Press alternative. French presses are dirt cheap, make an incredible cup of coffee, and never leave you worrying about overactive warmers, water tube build-up and the like. Remember that the grind for French Press is different than normal drip coffee so grind accordingly.
What about people stuck in a bad coffee situation in the office or somewhere else? Here’s a trick that can help with some issues: Bring in a cinnamon shaker and dash a little on the grinds before starting the machine. This will give the coffee a bit more taste, hide some of the bad taste and help with the aroma. Grab the coffee as soon as is brewed and, most of all, lobby for better coffee.
Coffee cupping is a method to compare the different characteristics of a coffee bean. Cupping lets us compare different coffees against each other to evaluate the uniqueness between them. This information can give us a better understanding of each different region and their basic tastes.
Having a coffee cupping party at home is a great way to socialize and enjoy coffee while evaluating and sharing thoughts on the different blends. It can be fun and a sense of adventure discovering flavors and nuances you never thought existed in a cup of coffee.
Gather some coffee lovers together with a small cupping supply and let the fun begin. Coffee cupping is not difficult and will take some practice and patience but the reward will give you invaluable knowledge about coffee. Your cupping supply will consist of the following :
Fresh filtered water, not distilled or softened.
A coffee scoop that holds 2 tablespoons.
Small cupping cups that hold 5 ounces each (3 for each sample; if cupping 3 coffees you will need 9).
Small rectangle plastic trays to hold beans; 1 for each coffee.
Cupping spoons that are deep for holding samples and slurping.
Whole Bean Coffee; enough for 3 cups each-six tablespoons.
Bring water to rolling boil and let stand.
Put your cups on the table in 3 groups of 3 each.
Using your scoop measure 1 scoop of beans per cup.
Grind coffee beans to a fine consistency and put in cup.
Make sure to grind each coffee to the same fineness and clean the grinder after each grinding.
Start by sniffing each of the coffee samples then begin pouring water just off the boiling point on the grounds. Allow the coffee to steep for 3 to 4 minutes. Using your spoon gently break the crust and take time to smell the coffee at this point. Once the crust is broken gently stir the coffee to allow some of the grounds to sink. Any left on top should be scooped out and thrown away.
After cooling slightly start slurping the coffee from the spoon. Let it splash over your entire palate letting your taste buds experience and acknowledge each flavor. Hold the coffee in your mouth without swallowing and swish it around and begin to realize all the different taste sensations. At this point, spit the coffee out and begin sharing your experience and thoughts with the rest of the group. There are no right or wrongs just opinions.
For many beginners evaluating coffee with other coffee lovers will open your eyes and your taste buds to flavors in coffee that you might have missed. It is a fun way to share a new understanding and appreciation for coffee cupping and enjoy it all at the same time.