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Coffee: Is It Getting Too Complicated?

Coffee_MAster

New member
May 29, 2007
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Plain coffee is fast becoming a thing of the past. It''s now quite simple to whip up a gourmet hot beverage for guest, family, or just for yourself. Nowadays there are a number of coffee clubs and circles in which coffee drinking has become somewhat of a social club. These social clubs meet in the community or on the Internet.

Where did the good old days go where you could get just a regular, good cup of coffee all across America.

It''s all because there is a big craze over coffee these days. People are almost worshipping the coffee bean now. People get a thrill out of ordering and buying special coffees from specialty stores. They really like grinding their own coffee beans. They like visiting places such as Costa Rica and bringing back their special blends. And \"coffee tasting\" seems to be about as popular as \"wine tasting\".

They even have furniture and home interior designs with a coffee theme. This would make great gifts for the coffee buff.

Coffee got its beginnings around 900 A.D. where it was at first used as a stimulant. It was also at times used as a wine and a medicine. It doesn''t look like anything is much different today.

There are not many products such as coffee that have continued \"as is\" for hundreds of years. And yet people are still scrutinizing and getting creative with it today and probably will be for years to come.

What is also interesting is that coffee is second to oil in dollar volume as a world commodity.

Did you know that there is two times more caffeine in a pound of tea than in the same amount of roasted coffee? This may be good news for those of you who hate the taste of decaffeinated coffee however wait just one moment. A pound of tea will make about 160 cups whereas a pound of coffee will usually make about 40 cups. This means that a cup of tea has about 1/4th the caffeine of a cup of coffee.

The content of caffeine in coffee decreases as it is grown at higher altitudes. If you want less caffeine in your coffee, grow it higher. Gourmet coffees are typically grown at higher altitudes so they have less caffeine than their grocery store counterparts.

There are many different types of coffee beans and way too many to describe in this article. Here are just a few of them:

You have Latte, Espresso, Low-Fat, Organic, Cal, Decaf, Half-Decaf, Black Forest, Cappuccino, Cafe au Lait, Alpine which has brown sugar, Arabian (lightly spiced and without filter), Cafe con Miel (Spanish for coffee with honey), and Cafe de Olla (a sweet coffee made with chocolate).

And you really should attend a coffee tasting at least once. You will get to experience how making and brewing gourmet coffee is slowly becoming a form of art. What is fun about the coffee tasting is that you could get a chance to taste two dozen or more different blends. You may even leave to start your journey as a coffee connoisseur. Any way you look at it, the tasting experience will be fun if you like coffee.

Article Taken From Here
 

Davec

New member
Oct 18, 2006
314
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Old England (UK)
I agree thats it's getting complicated, but that's probably because it's fashionable. Once something becomes fashionable, retailers and marketeers start looking for ways to make their "coffee product" extra cool 8) This results in a whole load of drinks designed to appeal to everyone who probably wouldn't normally drink coffee....we then get all these ridiculous drinks, along with the ridiculous prices.

This'll make you laugh, I was in singapore a while ago and read in the paper about how coffee is becoming popular in Singapore and the "Singapore Barista Champions" profile was printed....get this:

The champion hadn't drunk coffee up until 3 years ago and now had becomne and "expert" with significant experience. When asked about how much coffee they drunk now, she stated that her consumption of coffee had gone up significantly since becoming a Barista and she now drunk 2 cups a day :lol:

I suspect she doesnt even like coffee very much....but hey it's fashionable 8)
 
In Southeast Asia this is indeed particularly true. Countries like Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia are traditionally either tea drinking cultures, or low quality Robusta drinkers (through the margarine frying kopi tiames!). Specialty coffee is relatively new, and some of the gaudy cafes that have sprung up flash-in-the-pan like would not even draw customers in the US or Europe. Coffee is indeed, fashionable at present. That does not mean there is any real understanding for the average customer. There is a paralell with the growth of wine demand here. Recently there was an article in the Asian Wall Street Journal about the popularity of wine and coffee...It mainy focused on wine. The reporter staked out a popular $10 cafe. One group he saw brougt in a $300 bottle of wine and guzzled it in about 5 minutes. When he asked them why they chose the $300 bottle to accompany the $10 meal, they said because the wine was so expensive it must be good. Same with coffee...the really expensive retailers are more selling the brand they represent than the coffee. Its pretty rare still to find "Indie" opperators in Southeast Asia, although one or two are slowly penetrating the Singapore, KL markets. As to the Barista champion...I well remember the 2001 World Cup of TEa and Coffee Barista championship in Kuala Lumpur, when I think 4 Barrista took place! Standards here indeed have a way to go, but thanks to the proximity to the excellent NZ and East Australian markets, I think we will get there sooner rather than later.
 

Davec

New member
Oct 18, 2006
314
0
Old England (UK)
Alun_evans said:
Standards here indeed have a way to go, but thanks to the proximity to the excellent NZ and East Australian markets, I think we will get there sooner rather than later.

Hmm..yes you are probably right for Indonesia, but I go to Singapore a lot and stay sometimes far too long (because I love it there). I think in SP the coffee situation has worsened year on year. Fabulous kids Coffee type drinks and huge lattes have become popular in Singapore, but a whole new breed of retailer/retailers supplier has sprung up and standards have actually dropped significantly in the outlets.

e.g.

Steam Wand on, stare into distance, disengage brain, wait to feel froth overtflowing on hand)

6 second cremaless gusher....thats how we were taught by the supplier

Unfortunately the Singapore mentality is if they have been trained by an "expert" (usually the supplier of the equipment and beans), then this must be the correct way to do coffee! Fashion then dictates everything else in a coffee outlet.

In the national Library (where they used to make good coffee), I had a coffee from a badly set up machine and the girl used an autofrother that drew milk from a container. I tried to explain my drink was cold (it really was barely lukewarm( and could she use the steam wand on the other side of the machine (was met with a baffled stare and then the statement, that wasn't the way to do it!). :shock: :wink:

In the end I learned my lesson and stuck to Chinese tea...which I also like very much.
 
Ha..ha.. agreed on all that and more! Often, indeed, it has been the case of the semi-educated (suppliers), leading the uneducated (retailers) = poor quality coffee and low, even declining, skill sets.

I think though that Singapore is about due for an influx of quality coffee roasters/suppliers from downunder. On my recent trip to NZ I talked to a number of friends in the industry down there, and there is a general interest in many of them taking the next step - into Asia (bypassng Australia :wink: ).

We ourselves are currently looking very, very closely at a couple of sites in the Lion City. I too love Singapore, and a natural and easy progression for our business would be to pop accross the Java Sea and setup there. By Easy I mean moving plant, staff etc 1200miles is doable.
 

garyscottadamson

New member
Apr 8, 2007
60
0
UK
The problem is not the amount of blends and not the way's in which the coffee can be prepared, but the fact that people tend to add a lot of rubbish! This is probably down to starbucks, as you can order something like a;
Skinny-triple shot-latte-with whipped cream, maple syrup and more rubbish!

People should stick to the coffee and just that. Order and espresso or a dripped, or a pressed coffee. Maybe add sugar, or make the esspresso into a cappucino. But adding all that rubbish is simply taking it to far.

How can you possible appreciate the fine points of the coffee if all that you can taste is maple syrup honey and chocolate and whatever?

I personally feel that espresso is the best way in which coffe can be experienced.
 
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