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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

"Why bother" for me plz !

I'm suddenly a big coffee fan and very interested to know more about every single aspect of the coffee world !. so I started looking into its origin, the different types and found some weird information about the coffee culture that I didn’t know about before.
The name Coffee comes from Kaffa, a little place in Ethiopia. Arab traders were the first to introduce "qahwa" seeds from that district and began first cultivation of the plants in the Arabian peninsula sometime between 1000 to 1500 years ago. The main centre of qahwa production was the port of Mocha in Yemen( I think its mukala now) During Othmanian rule of the Islamic empire, "qahve", which is the same Arabic "Qahwa", was very popular amongst the Turks, and they used to serve strong brew to visiting Italian merchants. The Italians then introduced caffe to Europe shortly after that.
Over the years a lot of flavours have been added to coffee and different types and strength were made.
I was curious to find out about the differences between the different types of coffee we see these days in almost every coffee shop, and fortunately, I managed to gather some information on the different names and terms used for coffee to share with you and here are some definitions:

Espresso : people who drink espresso are very serious about their coffee!, and so is the way to make it . its a dark, smooth, aromatic, bitter-sweet drink, the product of forcing hot water at about 150 PSI, by means of a piston or pump, through freshly and finely ground, firmly packed, recently roasted, high-quality Arabica beans, versus trickling hot water over coarsely ground Robusta beans, when making regular brewed coffee.
Double: An espresso made from a double shot; about 1 ½ - 2 ounces.
Americano: Also known as a Caffé Americano. An espresso diluted with hot water. Just plain great coffee.
Latté: The default espresso. Short for Caffé Latté. An espresso made with steamed milk, topped by foamed milk.
Café Au Lait: French for coffee with boiled milk. Similar to a no-foam latté.
Caffé Amaretto: Latté with almond syrup.
Caffé Latté: Also known simply as a Latté. It has less foam than cappuccino
Caffé Mocha :Also known simply as Mocha. A latté with chocolate.
Cappuccino : A shot of straight espresso with foamed milk on top. it is 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, 1/3 foamed milk. The word cappuccino is derived from the Italian word for hood "cappucio", because it was a habit to wear a hood while ordering !
Crema: The tan-colored foam that forms on top of an espresso shot, as a result of the brewing process. The crema is composed of tiny air bubbles composed of espresso film and forms a "cap" that protects the espresso.
Half-Caff: A mix of half regular and half decaffeinated espresso.
Latteccino: A cross between a cappuccino and a latté. Also known as a Wet Cappuccino.
Mochaccino: A cappuccino with chocolate.
Skinny: If you want a latté made with nonfat or skim milk, just say you want it "skinny."

On the medical side, caffeinated coffee can cause sleep disturbances and anxiety. A study, also, revealed a cup of coffee in the morning can cause what's known as "tip-of-the-tongue"where the person find it difficult to come up with the word he/she already knows. However, some separate recent medical studies suggested that coffee can actually improve short memory.
Final advice, if you are going to use a decaf coffee make sure it was decaffeinated using a non-chemical method such as "Swiss water process". And next time you go out for coffee you can go "why bother" !! it’s the term used for a latte' with nonfat milk and decaf espresso ;)