Coffee is truly one of the pleasures of life. Not only can it pick you up in the afternoon, but the taste can be pure enjoyment. First, though, you need to know a few things in order to brew a great cup of coffee in your own home.
Great-tasting coffee starts with the best beans and a good coffee grinder. The burr type of grinder is the best. It can operate at slower speeds so your coffee beans are not subject to heat buildup as they are being ground.
With good coffee beans, a burr grinder, and an above average coffee maker, you can make a great cup of coffee at home that equals anything bought at a coffee house. The only other expense you will experience is any syrups or creamers you choose to put in. You’ll still be saving a lot of money by making your coffee at home.
What are the best beans to buy? What’s the difference between arabica and robusta, the two basic coffee species?
There are two basic coffee variants: one is the traditional arabica, and the other is robusta coffee.
The shrubs that produce arabica coffee beans were said to have been planted by the descendants of the Queen of Sheba, who came from Ethiopia, where Coffea arabica originates. Arabica beans tend to have less caffeine and milder flavor than robusta. In fact robusta coffee beans have twice the caffeine.
Arabica coffee beans are considered to be superior in quality than robusta. All gourmet coffee beans are created from selected Arabic coffee beans.
Robusta is used as an inexpensive substitute for arabica in commercial coffee blends and in almost all instant coffee products. Robusta of finer quality are used in espresso blends for a foamy effect and for better affordability.
High quality robusta is also used to blend espresso for more bite, and to lower costs. Robusta can be grown in climates and environments were arabica would not be profitable.
Not all robusta coffee is less expensive. Some robusta blends include the very popular Jamaican Blue Mountain and the Hawaiian Kona coffees which are so much in demand that they command a higher price.
Most Italian coffee is brewed very strong from the lower quality robusta bean, which might suggest why Italy gave us such innovations as cappuccino (coffee with steamed milk) and flavored coffees
There’s more to enjoying a good cup of coffee than grinding some beans, throwing them into a coffee maker, and drinking the result. To be able to truly enjoy a cup of coffee, start with a burr coffee grinder, an above-average coffee maker, and experiment with different flavors and blends of the best gourmet coffee.