Sep 12 2014

Coffee Brewing

If you are unfamiliar with the term “cold brewed coffee”, then know that it is a coffee syrup that you can brew using fresh ground coffee and cold water. If you are an iced coffee fan, then this syrup is a really fantastic addition to complete your summer coffee drinks or to even add to hot water so that it will give you a premium hot beverage. One of the main benefits of cold brewing your coffee is the fact that it actually is less acidic than a regular hot coffee brew. Another thing to be noted, which may be good or bad depending on your coffee addiction, is that a cold brewed coffee actually does have less caffeine than it’s steaming hot counterparts. If you are a heavy coffee drinker, then it may be wise to replace a few of your cups per day with this type of cold brewing style.

Often times, when you are a heavy coffee drinker you will notice difficulty sleeping and irritability if you are not well supplied with your steaming mug of java. To add some much needed balance to your coffee drinking habits, a cold brewed type of coffee may be the perfect yen to your yang. Other coffee drinkers have noticed issues of heartburn and insomnia, so to add to your health and wellness, alternate cold brewed java with a regular brewed coffee to give you the balance that you need. Who says that you need to cut back on your favorite caffeinated beverage? A wise move would be to give yourself a little bit more are variety and style by alternating your brewing temperatures and coffee products that you are drinking.

Starbucks Coffee
To begin cold brewing, you pretty much only need a plastic pitcher with a fabric filter. This is much more low-tech than your fancy espresso machine, yet it will yield you magnificent results. What you need to do is place your filtering system over a coffee carafe to catch your final syrup product. This is an old-school type brewing system which is very easy to try in your own home. Your first step in cold brewing your coffee will be to start with a pound of pre-ground coffee that I would recommend you grind in your own home with your own grinder for optimum flavor and freshness. Pour filtered water over the top in a ratio of 9 cups per pound of coffee grounds. Your brewing time for this ratio will be around 10 hours. Basically, you can leave it overnight for 10 to 12 hours. After that you will then filter the coffee liquid to remove all grounds and store it in the fridge for two weeks. If you leave your syrup too long, the flavor will start to go bad after about one week. That is the maximum shelf life that you can expect for your cold brewed coffee. After that, the possibilities are up to you! You can use this syrup to mix into all of your summer coffee beverages and enhance a variety of your flavorful coffee drinks!

 


Sep 11 2014

Coffee

The Italians have all sorts of names for it – espresso, caffe normale, cappuccino, caffe corretto, granite di caffe con panna, among others. How many types of pastas are there in Italy? That’s how many different names one small tazza of Italian coffee has.

Certainly, Italian coffee is more than just a beverage for the passionate Italian. A cup of Italian coffee is a form of art and for every occasion, for every mood, you are guaranteed to get one that fits perfectly.

In Search of the Perfect Tazza

The possibilities of Italian coffee are enough to bewilder anyone who has the taste for coffee but not the tongue for its numerously confusing names. So what kind of Italian coffee should you order in a caffe? Here is a list of some of the most popular caffeine-laden drinks that you will typically find in an Italian caffe:

* Caffe – generally a small cup of very strong coffee; often referred to as espresso but be sure to pronounce it with an ‘s’ instead of expresso.
* Caffe Americano – this is American-style coffee but stronger
* Caffe corretto – coffee “corrected” with a shot of grappa, cognac, or other spirits
* Caffe fredo – iced coffee drink
* Caffe hag – decaffeinated coffee
* Caffe latte – coffee mixed with hot milk; usually served in a glass for breakfast
* Caffe macchiato – espresso “stained” with a drop of steamed milk; really a small version of cappuccino
* Cappuccino – espresso infused with steamed milk and drunk in the mornings; never ever order this after lunch or dinner
* Granitadi di caffe con panne – iced coffee with whipped cream

Italians don’t drink coffee with any meal. In that regard, they are much like the French. The only exception is during breakfast when cappuccino is served with brioche and other breakfast treats. Most of the time, Italian coffee is only ordered after a meal and only the unwitting tourist orders cappuccino in a restaurant after lunch or dinner.

When you do order for Italian coffee after a meal, don’t ask for an espresso. Ask for un caffe, per favore.

How Italian Coffee is Made

There as many espresso machines in Italy as there are Italian coffee. From fully automatic espresso machines to lever piston espresso machines to even the classic aluminum espresso coffee maker, the choices are widely varied.

And just when you think you’ve got everything down, there are also the debates regarding the specific bean type to use. Italian coffee is often a heated battle between blade and burr grinders and factors like tamp pressure, water temperature, and humidity.

Lovers of Italian coffee even have their favorite caffeine haunts in the form of local torrefazione or coffee houses and barista who are valued for their ability to deliver a perfect caffe espresso.

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