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Coffee Beans
Coffee Beans (Photo credit: amanda28192)

Coffee!

Coffee; in Urdu it’s ‘cafe’ with the accente over the ‘e’ which I can’t seem to find here…grrrrr… I was being so clever…wait….wait….wait….nope! it’s not here.

Coffee; in Swahili is ‘cafe’ with the same accente over the ‘e’, I will have to forgo the cute little ~ over the ‘e’. gosh darn!

Where did coffee come from, who decided we should dry that little bean then boil it or press it or pour hot water over? Who ever it was … I LOVE YOU!!!! and always will.

I am in the midst of ‘coffee brewing wars’…. I will explain my position and you WILL agree!  I am the coffee Goddess!  I had a Coffeehouse years ago and gave myself  a pretentious little tag…. ‘barista’. I went to EVERYTHING COFFEE.  Every lesson, every tutorial, not much you tube then, you actually had to register, plan the day in ‘calendar’, get in your actual car and drive to a specific location at the agreed upon time and sit and watch and learn. I was all about Cafe Americano, Espresso..(not expresso, I think that might be a train, I’m not sure) short and dry? or long and wet? Cafe Mocha, Cappuccino, Latte, Mochaccino, and everything in between. Coffee is my lifeblood. My morning starts with coffee, my coffee break..well..starts and ends with a cup of coffee, my lunch includes a nice hot aromatic cup of ……. coffee! I may have one just after dinner but after that, I can’t do it. I will be up all nite drinking.

This discussion came over Easter weekend about the best ways to brew and the best ‘machine’ for the job. Gone are the days of percolating it over a campfire until the coffee bean is dead and buried with only sludge remaining..sorry Dad.  Then came the nice little ‘automatic’ coffee makers that held ‘warm’ water, poured  over the ground coffee and dripped into a carafe, not bad except the above aforementioned water wasn’t hot enough to draw the real flavour out of the bean. Then! an abomination…the coffee sat in the glass carafe on a heater coil, to go back to percolating until it was sludge again. Then someone, somewhere said it was best to store the roasted beans in the freezer.  Where did that ever come from? That went viral quicker than Rebecca Black singing “It’s Friday”. People….!!! coffee beans do not belong in the freezer.  Why would you freeze anything that is perfectly roasted.  ‘Roasted’: to cook at a temperature to allow the bean to roast, the internal water in the bean dissipates, the steam becomes fragrant, sugars begin to carmelize (remember  it’s a bean), bound up water escapes, the structure of the bean starts to break down, and the oils migrate from their little pockets outwards. At this stage the roast is done, if you like ‘City Roast’, light taste. Otherwise it continues to carmelize, more oils migrate, this was all after the first audible ‘crack’.  If you continue to roast, the second crack is heard, the roast ‘character’ starts to eclipse the original ‘character’ of the bean at this point, a few pop sounds into the second crack is ‘Full City’ roast, a full roast into the second crack is ‘Vienna’ roast. As the roast becomes very dark, the smoke is more pungent as sugars burn completely, and the bean structure breaks down more and more. This is a ‘French’ roast.

Coffee is a perishable product. Why would you freeze a perishable product? OH….you bought too much and you can’t use it all….silly, silly coffee buyer person. Coffee “staling” is a result of both chemical and physical processes. Over time, oxidation takes place which changes the many chemical compounds found in coffee that contribute to flavor. There are also physical processes taking place, such as CO2 “degassing”. Probably just as important, coffee can absorb bad flavors from its environment .Only buy as much coffee as you can use in a 14 day time period, keeping it in a completely airtight container away from the sun.  Freezing coffee leaves the bean vulnerable to condensation, the real bad guy in ruining the taste of great roasted coffee.

Then of course there is the method of brewing? So many options, the list is endless there is this really cool European contraption that with double carafes, tubes…kind of “Edison-like” it was a great cup of coffee, but I would have to empty my entire kitchen counter to house it properly…not going to happen.  There is the one-cupper option, not bad but you can’t determine the freshness of the pods, and really who wants to pay 75th of a dollar for coffee at home?  ( I do..but only when I’m really running late or I want to dash back to bed and it offers so many flavours, one for every mood…not that I have many different moods.. :) ) Basically most auto coffee makers don’t have the capacity to make the water hot enough to draw out the flavour. But the BEST, BEST way to make a pot of coffee is the French Press.  You are able to buy perfect beans, check their origin, pick you exact roast, grind them yourself at home on a per pot basis.  You boil the water to the perfect temperature, then you gently pour the water into the carafe where it intermingles with the freshly ground coffee….ah it’s beautiful, the grounds swim in little circles, happy to be what it was meant to be, my perfect cup of coffee. It slowly draws the flavour out of the grounds.  You sit and watch it for about 2 minutes, meditate, thank God there is soil to grow such a treat for you. When it’s ‘finished’ the grounds will have floated to the top, spent, used… done with their circle of life.  You gently ‘press’ the grounds to the bottom..bye, bye beautiful perfectly roasted, ground grinds… your job is done here, a small sacrifice to make Heather very, very happy.  You pour the remaining coloured, flavoured water into your favourite cup, you wrap your hands around it, smell it, take the first blissful sip…..ahhhhhhhh….perfection! That my friends is a coffee perfection everytime……

……Well, that was quite a rant for a late Saturday afternoon…I’m running late, time to get going, I have to make it thru Timmy’s before I head out…

Have a great weekend.

The Maven Lane Gang!

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