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The Lore of Turkish Coffee

The Lore of Turkish Coffee 0

Turkish coffee has been a part of life in Turkish society since the mid-16th century when the first coffee houses opened in Constantinople. Legend has it that a man named Hakam and another named Sems each opened a large coffee shop there, serving up the first Turkish coffee. Since then, Turkish coffee has become such a part of the culture that the very word for breakfast, kahvalti, means "before coffee".

Turkish coffee is prepared in a narrow topped boiling pot called a kanaka. Put simply, the beans are very finely ground before being placed in the Turkish coffee pot, then boiled to perfection. Any beans can be used to make Turkish coffee, it is not a type of bean or roast, but rather a preparation. Turkish coffee isn't even limited to Turkey, it can be found throughout the Middle East, Northern Africa and the Balkans.

Traditionally, the coffee beans are ground in a mortar as most coffee mills can't grind the coffee fine enough. Only a Turkish hand grinder or a mortar and pestle can do the trick. Ideally, the beans are freshly roasted just before they are ground for maximum flavor. The water for Turkish coffee isn't really boiled in the traditional sense. Instead, it is placed over low heat and the long cooking process brings out the flavor of the coffee.

Once it begins to boil, the coffee is at its ideal temperature and ready to drink. In Turkish coffee the sugar is added to the coffee before it is placed in the water. There are four levels of sweetness: sade, az sekerli, orta sekerli and cok serkerli - a range from no sugar at all to a lot of sugar. While the coffee cooks, it isn't stirred, so as not to disturb the characteristic foam that develops.

This is the art of Turkish coffee - to get the thickest foam possible. That's one reason why Turkish coffee is such an art. As the coffee is poured from the pot, it is done so slowly and meticulously, so the foam continues to pour out at a steady rate. Since it's nearly impossible to get the same amount of foam in every cup, the cup that has the most foam is the most highly prized.

Turkish coffee is traditionally served with Turkish delight and chocolate sticks. For added enjoyment, some people like to use the leftover grounds for tasseography, where your fortune is told. But we'll save that for the future. Turkish coffee is a real delight, rich in flavor and tradition. Any coffee can be Turkish coffee because it's the process of making it that makes Turkish coffee the delicious tradition it is.

Turkish coffee has been a part of life in Turkish society since the mid-16th century when the first coffee houses opened in Constantinople. 
Tips on Brewing the Best Coffee

Tips on Brewing the Best Coffee 0

Tips on brewing the best coffee can be found on Coffee.org's website, coffee forums and passed down through family members to other coffee drinkers. These tips are helpful and can be used to improve the quality of the coffee brewed. Water quality, coffee quality and brewing processes are among the most often relayed tips on brewing the best coffee.

Tips on brewing the best coffee are handed down from one family member to another much like handing down grandma's recipes. Coffee drinkers share their coffee brewing tricks with each other in order to help the coffee community brew the very best cup of java. There are community forums on the Internet where coffee lovers share with each other their coffee brewing tips. Included here are some of those tips for brewing top quality, aromatic and tasty coffee every day.

The first and most important tip for brewing the best coffee is to make sure the coffee used is as fresh as it possibly can be. Coffee beans that are ground just prior to brewing the coffee are the best choice but when this is not possible there are top quality pre-ground coffee that comes in vacuum packed container to maintain freshness. Regardless of whether coffee beans or pre-ground coffee is used it is important that the freshness is considered.

Water quality is another important consideration that many people overlook or don't realize is important. Contaminants or additives like fluoride that are often found in city water can alter the taste of the coffee. Filtered water is a much better choice for making coffee and allowing the true coffee flavors to come through. There are coffee makers that can be purchased with water filters built-in, filtration systems that fit on water faucets or bottled water that can be used in order to insure the coffee is fresh.

Another important tip for brewing the best coffee is the ratio of coffee to water. Personal taste plays a large part in the ratio of coffee to water that is used, some people prefer a stronger coffee and they will used more coffee than those who like a weaker coffee. The average measurement is one tablespoon of coffee for every eight ounces of water and adjust based on preferences. The roast and type of coffee will also play a role in the amount of coffee used.

If a dark roasted coffee is used, the adjustment for a stronger coffee may not be needed since the coffee is roasted to be a stronger coffee. If the coffee is brewed using an automatic drip coffee maker the coffee filter basket should be removed as soon after the brewing process as possible to prevent the coffee from continuing to drip into the coffee pot and over time causing the coffee to become bitter.

The type of brewer is used also plays a large role in how the coffee tastes. Many coffee drinkers believe that the French press is the best method of coffee brewing because the essential oils in the coffee beans are not trapped by a coffee filter, they are infused into the water as the coffee steeps, creating coffee that has more of the natural coffee flavor than other brewing methods.

Tips on brewing the best coffee include many more than are listed here. Coffee forums and coffee websites offer many tips from coffee drinkers and coffee specialists. Some tips may sound odd but do work, like adding a dash of salt if the coffee is bitter or storing coffee beans in the refrigerator to keep them fresh. Over time, coffee drinkers find their own tricks of the trade that they can add to the list and help others brew the best coffee possible.

Tips on brewing the best coffee can be found on Coffee.org's website, coffee forums and passed down through family members to other coffee drinkers. These tips are helpful and can be used to improve the quality of the coffee brewed. 
Coffee Sweetener Trivia

Coffee Sweetener Trivia 0

Coffee sweeteners come in many types, so you don't have to just settle for a spoonful of white sugar in every cup of coffee. Not that there is anything wrong with white sugar (or black coffee for that matter), but don't we all like to have a change once in a while. Brown Sugar The most common coffee sweetener after regular white sugar is brown sugar, which is not really all that different.

Coffee sweeteners come in many types, so you don't have to just settle for a spoonful of white sugar in every cup of coffee. Not that there is anything wrong with white sugar (or black coffee for that matter), but don't we all like to have a change once in a while. 

Brown sugar just has the natural molasses still intact, which makes it moister and gives your coffee a different flavor than white sugar does. You can get light, dark or even darker demerara brown sugar. Honey Liquid honey is luxurious in coffee and has a taste much different than sugar does.

As a liquid, it does blend nicely in hot coffee, but when stored at room temperature it does have a tendency to harden up over time. A little heat and your bottle of honey will go back to being runny and delicious. Artificial Sweeteners, They may save you some calories, but artificial coffee sweeteners aren't always that great an option.

Splenda and Nutrasweet are the most common brands (containing sucralose and aspartame, respectively), and there have been some studies that neither chemical is particularly good for you. Of course, diabetics may have no choice but if you can use more natural sweeteners, you probably should.

Stevia You may not have even heard of this one, but stevia is one of the latest additions to options in sweeteners. It comes in liquid or powdered form, and it's from a naturally sweet herb that actually contains no sugar at all. It's far sweeter than sugar, has no calories, and won't alter your blood sugar levels.

Unlike sugar or honey, stevia doesn't really add any flavor to your coffee just sweetness. Syrups Now, syrups do more than just sweeten your coffee, they add richness and flavor as well. Davinci, Torani, and Monin are the best brands for quality coffee syrups. You can get several dozen different flavors from pumpkin pie, almond mocha, strawberry, and even peanut butter.

Some of these syrups do come in sugar-free, which means they are artificially sweetened and the comments above can apply. Just a note: coffee itself is virtually calorie-free but adding too much sweetener of any kind (except for Stevia) will quickly add a lot of extra calories to your drinks. Many people see coffee as being "diet friendly" and forget that even a single pouch of sugar will add a lot of calories especially if you drink 3 or 4 cups with sugar each day.

Lattes | Latte | Cappuccino | What is a Latte

Lattes | Latte | Cappuccino | What is a Latte 0

Understanding Coffee Terminology: Latte or Cappuccino Reading the menu in a local coffee shop can be as difficult as tackling a new language, it is in fact a language all its own. Imagine hearing someone ask for a grande skinny mocha with a double shot. Most people would be clueless.

Understanding coffee terminology is important for ordering in a coffee shop or visiting a country like Paris where coffee is part of life. The terminology included here is a beginner's guide to speaking java jive at the coffee shop or sidewalk cafe in Paris.

  • Americano: Cafe Americano is a coffee drink made of espresso and hot water. Typically Americano is a shot or two of espresso poured into a cup that is considered American sized and then filled with water. Americano is basically a weakened espresso drink.
  • Cafe Au Lait: Cafe Au Lait is the French term for coffee and milk. This drink is two-thirds coffee with one-third steamed milk added to it.
  • Cappuccino: Many people mistake cappuccino for latte. However, the difference is that cappuccino is equal parts of steamed milk and froth mixed with espresso. It can be served in many flavors.
  • Latte: A latte is a drink made of espresso and steamed milk with only one or two spoons of frothed milk added.
  • Mocha: Mochas are lattes made with a mocha or dark chocolate flavoring added for taste.
  • Double, Triple or Quad: These terms refer to the number of shots of espresso that a coffee drink contains, two, three or four respectively.
  • Grande: In most coffee shops grande refers to a large coffee drink that typically has two shots of espresso.
  • Macchiato: A macchiato is a coffee drink made with espresso and an equal amount of frothed milk. • Double Dry Short: A double dry short is a double shot of espresso served in a short cup without any foam added.
  • Coffee granita: This is a cold coffee drink made of frozen milk that is shaved and added to espresso with sugar.
  • Espresso Breve: Simply an espresso served with half and half creamer.
  • Wet cap: When a wet cap is ordered the individual is asking for more steamed milk than they are froth.
  • Skinny: A skinny coffee drink is for dieters and people who don't want whole milk or cream. It is made with skim milk to save calories.
  • Shot: Shot simply refers to an espresso pull which is usually one ounce, when doubles or triples are ordered this means the drink has two or three pulls of espresso.
  • Chai Latte: A chai latte is a hot tea beverage that is made of a spicy black tea that has a variety of spices, including cinnamon and black pepper. Steamed milk is added to this wonderfully spicy tea.
  • Breve: Breves are coffee drinks made with half-and-half instead of milk as the creamer.
  • Espresso Con Pann: Espresso con pannas are an espresso shot, either single, double or triple that is topped with whipped cream before serving. Coffee terminology is important when ordering coffee in coffee shops around the world.

Simply ordering a cup of coffee will often result in blank stares as the barista awaits further instructions. While it is not necessary to know every term in the coffee world but it is worth knowing the basics in order to be able to order a perfect coffee drink.

Understanding Coffee Terminology: Latte or Cappuccino Reading the menu in a local coffee shop can be as difficult as tackling a new language, it is in fact a language all its own.