A Thing for Coffee

Coffee as a beverage had been around for thousands of years before it reached the New World. Had the British not caused tea costs to skyrocket in the 18th century, coffee may not have such a prominent place at breakfast tables around the world or made its way to cultivation in the warm climates of South America. Brazil emerged as the world’s leader in coffee bean production in the mid-1900s. Consumers claim taste is the most important factor when choosing their coffee whether in retail markets or dining establishments.

By Any Other Name

From its humble beginnings, so various legends go, as an accidentally roasted berry boiled in water, coffee has become the world’s most widely consumed beverage. Furthermore, asking for coffee has evolved into quite a science. Pseudonyms for coffee began as far back as its first exports from the port city of Mocha. Likewise, the island of Java lent its name to a synonym for coffee. The typical phrase, “cup of joe” in American slang may well be a derivation of the slang term, jamoke, which is a combination Java and Mocha. At one time, these two locations were considered as best coffee producers in the world.

Coffee Evolution

Espresso is a popular way Europeans drink their coffee. To brew it, high pressured water is forced through finely ground coffee that has been tightly packed into a very fine sieve. Special tools called espresso tampers are used to compact the coffee so no water “runs” too quickly through the grounds. Espresso is ordered by the standard 1-once shot, or as a variation of the shot. A ristretto, or short shot, is the first 3/4-ounce of an espresso, A lungo, or long shot, is a shot and a half, and a double shot is, of course, 2 ounces. It wasn’t long before sugar and dairy products were introduced into the inky black elixir. Espresso is the starter for many types of sophisticated coffee drinks, which have morphed into an ordering art:

  • Latte- a shot of espresso mixed with a cup of steamed milk, and then topped with foamed milk.
  • Machiatto- a shot of espresso topped with a layer of foamed milk.
  • Cappuccino- a shot of espresso topped with steamed milk.

    Across the globe, we do indeed enjoy our coffee in all its blends and creations.

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