Coffee is a caffeine-rich beverage that is drunk regularly by many people. Various people have different taste-palates due to which distinctive types of coffee were made over the years. The original taste of coffee is often described as bitter and slightly acidic.
Many cannot stand the bitterness; due to this, the original taste is manipulated with the help of milk, cream, sugar, ice, and syrups. This is the reason why various types of coffee came into existence.
Coffee is brewed from roasted coffee beans that can be bought from wholesale markets or nearby grocery stores. People get their daily coffee intake from coffee shops or making it by themselves. These coffee shops are often specialized in one or several types of coffee for their customers.
Coffee is also known to be beneficial for the human body and gives a boost of energy due to the caffeine. Many coffee shops have a profitable business by selling different types of coffee because of its high demand.
We will now walk through the history of coffee, its manufacturing process, and different types of coffee that you should definitely try.
History of Coffee
According to historians, these coffee beans originated from a coffee forest located in an Ethiopian plateau. Coffee has existed since 800AD but only become popular during the 15th century.
Coffee is brewed from the seeds of the fruit of the coffee plant. It is the second most consumed beverage right after tea. After crude oil, coffee is the second-largest traded item in the world.
The legend behind the discovery of coffee is that: One day Kaldi, a herder discovered that after eating some berries from an unknown tree, his goats became energetic. They were so energetic that they did not require any sleep that night. He told the monks of a nearby monastery about the beans and the monks soon brewed a drink from the same berries. They too found that the drink helped the herder to stay awake for long hours.
Soon word got out, and as time passed, coffee started to become popular in the Arabian peninsula during the 15th century. There it was cultivated, traded, and consumed. Coffee soon spread to other nearby countries like Persia, Turkey, Syria, and Egypt in the 16th century.
The masses traditionally enjoyed the drink in their home, but coffee houses soon opened to the public. These coffee houses became a hub to exchange news and pleasantries while they drank coffee and listened to music or watched performances. Coffee houses soon became popular and were considered a place for interaction and recreation.
Coffee came to Europe in the 17th century, after a few travelers who went to the Near East brought stories about the dark and bitter, yet indulging drink. As coffee was becoming popular in Europe, the clergy in Venice claimed it to be from Satan and spread other controversial stories about it. But all this was shut down by Pope Clement VIII after he found the drink to be delicious and approved coffee.
Coffee houses became popular throughout Europe, especially in Germany, Holland, and England. Those coffee houses were seen as a major part of the social scene. Coffee was now enjoyed along with breakfast as it boosted energy and made the person more alert.
Soon coffee started to spread throughout the world. Seeds of coffee trees were taken to India, Indonesia, Phillippines, and Brazil. Forests were cleared in these places for coffee cultivation.
Cultivation in India, Phillippines, and Indonesia was slow, but in Brazil, the cultivation of coffee gradually increased. Soon, Brazil became one of the top countries to cultivate and trade coffee.
As coffee became popular many types of coffee came into existence due to cultural and regional variations and differences.
Coffee Bean Processing
As said earlier, coffee is made from the seeds of the fruit of the plant called Coffee. These seeds are commonly referred to as Coffee Beans. These beans are dried, roasted, and then ground so that they can be brewed into a cup of coffee. Let us learn how the seeds get from the plantation to ground coffee beans because these beans are used to make different types of coffee.
When the cherries are ripe and red, then only they are handpicked or machine picked by plantation laborers. There are two types of picking methods, that is strip picking and selective picking. Strip picking includes stripping of cherries from the branches. Selective picking is the method of only taking the red cherries and leaving the green ones to ripen.
2.Processing of Cherries:
The picked cherries are then processed in two ways to avoid spoilage. The first way is called the dry method, which involves drying the cherries for 15 to 20 days by spreading them over a large flat drying bed. This is covered during the night to avoid moisture contamination.
The cherries are placed so that there is air circulation around them and it is turned regularly. The cherries are removed after they have dried and fermented.
The other way of processing is called the wet method. This consists of putting the cherries in a machine that takes out the beans without damaging them.
They are then sorted and then mixed with mucilage and enzyme saturated water. The mucilage is obtained from the pulping leaves of coffee plants. After leaving the beans in the liquid for 24 hours, they are taken out and dried under the sun.
3. Milling and Tasting:
After the processing, the dried coffee beans are then hulled and polished to remove an outer layer of the seed. Any beans that have an unusual color or other flaws are removed. After this, the seeds are separated according to weight and size.
Then, the coffee is tasted to check it’s flavour and quality. This process is sometimes open to the public, and anyone can try their hand at tasting the coffee. This helps to know the origin of the seed, acidity offered by the coffee, and other taste factors. The higher the acidity of a coffee, the higher its quality.
4. Roasting and Grinding:
Green coffee beans are roasted to a brown color at a temperature of up to 550F. It is roasted without burning the beans. First, the green beans are dried until they are yellow in color and smell like they are roasted. This helps to give the beans more flavor and aroma.
The coffee beans are roasted in three ways: light, medium, and dark. Lightly roasted beans are light brown in color and oil is not produced. Medium roast beans are medium light brown to medium brown color. Dark roasted beans are dark brown to black in color and have an oily sheen on their surface.
Grinding of coffee includes turning coffee beans into powder to bring out the flavor into different types of coffee drinks. The powder could be of a coarse texture to fine one, depending on the cup of coffee you are buying. Usually, fine grinding is done for coffee items like expresso, and coarse powder is used for filter coffee preparations.
Types of Coffee Beans
There are 4 types of coffee beans that are available in the world. These are Arabica, Robusta, Liberica, and Excelsa. Arabica and Robusta are the most common types of coffee beans. They are grown in abundance, and they are in demand.
This is the most common type of coffee bean. It is the most popular because it is heavily marketed. Arabica is grown in areas with a high elevation and has a high monsoon climate. The plants are delicate and need to be taken care of as it is prone to disease.
It is loved due to its sweet and subtle taste. The coffee brewed from this is served cold or with warm milk or cream.
This is the second most popular coffee bean in the world. The plant is tougher than the Arabica as it has high levels of caffeine. The caffeine acts as an insect repellent and protects the plant.
The beans have a high caffeine content and a harsh flavor profile. Some packets of Robusta coffee add a hint of chocolate or rum to enhance the flavor profile. You can drink Arabica coffee by blending it with milk or cream to soften the harsh flavor.
Liberica is a rare type of coffee bean which is not produced in bulk, due to which it is not marketed significantly. The species is less in number because during the 19th century it got affected by a disease. The disease was called coffee rust and made Liberica become scarce and almost made Arabica scarce too. The taste of these beans is described as woody, and the aroma is fruity and floral.
Last but not least is Excelsa, which is a small part of coffee production. It belongs to the Liberica family. It is grown in Southeast Asia. The beans taste tart, dark and fruity.
Different Types of Coffee Drinks
While there are various types of coffee available in your local coffee shops, there are also types of coffee that are available only in certain regions.
Now we will get to know the most basic kinds of preparation of coffee. If you are wondering which type is the best for you, you may need to try almost all of them!
If you try out most of the variations, you will get to know what kind of flavor, after taste, and acidity you like. You might also discover that adding different elements like milk, creamer, sugar, and others enhance the taste and texture of coffee. Because of individual taste preferences, these various types of coffee drinks were born and are now enjoyed by many.
Coffee can be served hot or cold. As the name suggests, hot coffee includes mixing ground coffee beans with hot water, whereas cold coffee is adding the coffee to cold water and ice. The drink is then blended with various other liquids, sweeteners, and sometimes even alcohol is added.
We will now look into the 16 basic types of coffee you should definitely try once in your lifetime.
Hot Coffee Drinks
The most common and simplest type of coffee is black coffee, originally known as cafe noir. You can easily make this at home by steeping ground beans with hot water. Black coffee is served warm and without any sweeteners, milk, or cream. Black coffee has a lot of health benefits too.
The second most common coffee drink is espresso. It can be consumed by itself or used in other drinks. Espresso drinks include lattes and macchiatos. It originated from Italy and is quite popular in other European countries.
The drink is made by forcing almost boiling water through finely-ground coffee beans at an atmospheric pressure of 9-10 bars. Due to this, the consistency of the drink is almost like honey.
A double shot of espresso is called a doppio. Often stronger in taste and caffeine than espresso, yet it has a beautiful taste and aroma.
Latte is the most popular coffee drink out of all the preparations we are going to know about. The drinks consist of a shot of espresso with steamed milk and a little amount of foamed milk. Additionals flavors can be added, like sugar, vanilla, peppermint, and other sweeteners and spices.
Cappuccino is less popular than Latte but is equally delicious. The drink is made with a shot of espresso and lots of foamed milk rather than steamed milk. Often some coffee shops sprinkle the drink with chocolate shavings or cinnamon powder.
Macchiato is also made from a shot of espresso. But only a small amount of foamed milk is added. The drink is for those who want something that is between a doppio and a cappuccino.
It is very similar to black coffee. But the difference is that Americano includes a shot of espresso rather than ground coffee beans. Hot water is then added to the espresso.
This coffee drink is adored by chocolate lovers, as the drink is a shot of espresso with chocolate syrup added to it. Then it diluted with steamed and foamed milk.
9. Red eye:
Red eyes are for those who want a drink that will wake them up and remove any traces of tiredness. The drink involves a shot of espresso with hot coffee poured overtop.
10. Flat white:
This coffee originated in Australia. Flat White is basically a shot of espresso with only steamed milk. Chocolate shavings are often sprinkled on it.
Irish coffee originated in Ireland. It is considered to be a cocktail rather than a coffee drink. The ingredients involve black coffee, sugar, whiskey and it is topped with whipped cream
Affogato involves a scoop of ice cream over which one or two shots of espresso are poured. It is a very delicious option for icecream lovers. It is often recommended with a side of brownie.
Cold Coffee Drinks
1. Iced coffee:
Iced coffee is a very simple drink to make. It includes adding coffee to ice and cold water. Condiments like milk, sugar, or cream are added too.
2. Iced Espresso:
Iced Espresso involves a shot of espresso diluted with cold water and ice. Often cream and sugar are also added. Iced Espresso drinks might also include cold versions of espresso drinks like Latte, Flat White, Americano, and others.
This is a very popular drink among the young generation as it came into existence relatively recently. It became popular due to commercial coffee houses. This includes a coffee drink to be blended with ice, milk, or cream. It is then topped with whipped cream and syrup of your choice.
4. Cold Brew:
Cold-brew coffees include steeping the coffee beans for many hours. The process takes place for 6-36 hours. After this, the liquid is added to cold milk or cold cream.
Types of Coffee
These were the basic types of coffee that you should know about and definitely try. While there are many types of coffee, you should not be scared to try them out. You can ask your local coffee cafe or coffee house about their best sellers and recommended drinks. You can also enjoy some of the drinks with snacks like a sandwich, cake, and others and enjoy the flavor and aroma of coffee.
Click here to check out more topics like this.