Why I Love Coffee

Why do I love coffee..? Let me count the ways.
coffebag
The taste of coffee is comforting and grounding.
When I drink coffee I feel a nostalgia that is hard to explain; a warmth.
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The aroma, the taste, the buzz, the culture, and the connections, all are worthy reasons.
In the morning coffee lifts me up and boosts my day.

I love the culture and variety of coffee:

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I enjoy learning about the different countries that grow coffee.

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I’m intrigued by different roasting and brewing techniques. I love the roasted nutty smell and taste of good coffee beans. Experimenting with coffee flavors and styles can be a lot of fun.

cupsI am fascinated with all the wonderful different ways to enjoy the incredible edible coffee bean.

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Coffee is soothing on a rainy day, and melts away the brittle snow or ice of winter. When a day is full of hustle and bustle, taking the time to enjoy a cup of coffee calms me.

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Drinking coffee also induces community. People like to drink coffee together. It makes talking easier and more comforting. It may be tea or some other beverage, but the concept of sitting around in comfy couches or chairs drinking something steamy and talking, is oh so inviting.

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I suppose many people just drink coffee because it is caffeinated and a good energy boost, and that is certainly a good reason.

However, to me, coffee is an experience; something to slow down for, to savor and enjoy.

Of course what better experience to share coffee with, then curled up with a great book!
Good-Morning.jpg What do you enjoy most about coffee? 
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Top 10 Most Expensive Coffees

download (3)These coffee’s are rare and unique and come from all over the world. There is an interesting variety of flavors to keep any coffee connoisseur interested. However not all of these are readily available, some are bought by auction, some are sold in small batches to select people, and some are only sold in far off places.

Starting with the least expensive here are
the top 10 most expensive coffees:

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Black Blood of the Earth $40/750ml
or $95 for Blue Mountain!
Philip Broughton, the man who invented this coffee, says most of the coffee beans come from the rift valleys of Ethiopia and Africa where the beans are loaded with oil.
Flavor Notes: The acid is lost during intense processing, so what you get in your cup is a strong flavored brew that is rich in caffeine, but lacks acid.
Fun Fact: Black Blood of Earth is prepared using cold vacuum extraction. During the processing stage, most of the bean oil is extracted, and this makes the coffee abundantly rich in caffeine. The caffeine content is about 20 to 40 times more than that of regular coffee.

Los-Planes-CoffeeLos Planes Coffee (Citala, El Salvador) $40/lb
Flavor Notes:
A delicate balance of sweet chocolate citrus and a fruity acidity, with a mild body and a clean and transparent cup
Fun Fact:
 This remarkable coffee, has helped catapult this “no name” region of El Salvador into a star in the coffee-growing world.

 

roasted2Hawaiian Kona Coffee  $45-$65/lb
Flavor Notes:
  Smooth, delicate, and full-bodied, and with a bright, clear flavor and rich aroma. It is also described as robust, and usually with medium acidity.
Fun Fact:
 The sunny mornings, cloud or rain in the afternoon, little wind, and mild nights combined with porous, mineral-rich volcanic soil create favorable coffee growing conditions.

Fazenda Santa Ines (Minas Gerais, Brazil) aprx. $50/lb5297-583x243Flavor Notes: Toasted hazelnuts, berry, and cocoa with low acidity and medium body
Fun Fact: This family operated business uses traditional methods in all stages of coffee production

tumblr_lqyk81lfmS1r2yvaro4_500Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee  $50/lb
Flavor Notes:
 The coffee has blue green color, good acidity, intense aroma, fairly good body, clean.
Fun Fact: A balance of floral aroma, acidity and full body.

 

Guatemala Finca El Injerto Pacamara (Huehuetenango) $60/lb
sobre-subasta1Flavor Notes: Tangerine, Cranberry & Dark Chocolate
Fun Fact: In an online auction held in 2012, Finca El Injerto coffee beans were sold for a record-breaking price of $500.50 per pound. Since then, the coffee has gained a celebrity status worldwide. It is one of the rarest coffees from Yemen.

download (2)St. Helena Island Coffee Company  $89/lb
Flavor Notes: 
Delicate Acidity, Great Balance, and Full Bodied.
Fun Fact: In 1815, the British government selected Saint Helena as the place of detention of Napoleon Bonaparte. He was taken to the island in October 1815. Napoleon stayed at the Briars pavilion on the grounds of the Balcombe family’s home until his permanent residence,Longwood House, was completed in December 1815. Napoleon died there on 5 May 1821.

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Hacienda la Esmeralda Coffee
aprx. $350/lb
Bought by auction only 2014 auction price was $350 a pound.
Flavor Notes:  Extremely complex aromatics and flavors, including jasmine and stone fruit . Brilliant and clear acidity. Bergamot notes in the cup. Try it for $35/ cup.
Fun Fact: Geisha Esmeralda is grown on the fertile farmlands of Hacienda Esmeralda, which is nestled on Mount Baru in the Jamarillo region in western Panama.

Kopi Luwak Coffee (Indonesia) $100 to $600
Just saw on amazon for aprx. $374/lb
Trung Nguyen Legendee Gold Coffee Enxym simulated (no animals used) aprx. $50/lb
Kopi-Luwak-Coffee
Flavor Notes:
Diminished acidity and flavor and added smoothness to the body
Fun Fact: It is produced from the coffee cherries having been digested by a certain Indonesian cat-like animal called then palm civet or also civet cat. This is the reason kopi luwak is also called

 

 

civet coffee. The feces of the cat are collected, finished, and sold as kopi luwak. In the coffee industry, kopi luwak is widely regarded as a gimmick or novelty item.

the-black-ivory-coffee-L-DGIl_wBlack Ivory Coffee (Thailand)
$66 +shipping for 35 grams! Transfer that into a pound and it’s $855/lb
Flavor Notes:
 Dark chocolate, a hint of grass, spice (particularly tobacco, leather and cinnamon depending on the water you use) and it will be very soft, almost tea-like without the burnt or bitter taste of espresso.
Fun Facts:  Only 150 kg are produced a year. The limitations are due to the availability of high quality coffee cherries, the appetite of the elephants, the number of beans destroyed through chewing, and the ability of the mahouts and their wives to pick the beans by hand (8800 beans equal one kg of Black Ivory Coffee).

Have you tried any of these coffees? Which ones do you want to try?

A Brief Origin of Coffee

images (1)The earliest origins of coffee are from Ethiopia. There is not an exact history about how people started roasting and drinking “coffee” only legends and myths. However, it was originally viewed as a food. The Ethiopians chewed the plant for it’s obvious stimulant properties, and also ate the fruit raw (the pulp is sweet and caffeinated.)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
They also pounded coffee cherries and mixed it with animal fat to mold into pellets. There are records that show the cherries were also used to make wine.

artists_thumbnailThe earliest use of coffee as a hot beverage entailed roasting the entire hull over an open fire and then mixing with boiling water for 30 minutes until a yellowish liquid came through.

9The drink stayed a green drink until aprx. the 13 century when they began to first dry the beans. With more  experimentation, the process was adapted further, and the practice of roasting formed.

22adf105-ebf0-4ca9-a446-e7a2789166dc Once coffee became the dried, roasted, and brewed drink we know it as today, it was mainly used for “medicinal” purposes and in religious practices. However, once it became increasingly popular, and a demand grew, the original coffee houses started opening.
Coffee-House1Persian cities became known for having stylish and elaborate coffee houses. They were reputed for serving coffee quickly and efficiently. They became famous social spots, where people gathered not just for coffee but also music, talking, and even dancing.

Turkish-CoffeeGradually the coffee house trend made its way to Turkey. The Turkish however drank just as much coffee in home as at coffee houses. This increased popularity and demand. By the 1600’s news spread and export and trade began throughout the Middle East; supplying Venetians and Europeans with beans.
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Eventually the coffee tree made its ways to the East Indian Dutch colony of Java. From there plantations started sprouting in neighboring colonies; Sumatra, Timor, Bali, and Celebes.

ExploreWithEd_FoodThrough the efforts of the British East India Company, coffee became popular in England as well. Oxford’s Queen’s Lane Coffee House, established in 1654, is still in existence today. Coffee was introduced in France in 1657, and in Austria and Poland after the 1683 Battle of Vienna, when coffee was captured from supplies of the defeated Turks.

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The coffee economy was therefor set in motion and began to adapt and increase  more and more, as it is still increasing even today.

A beverage as black as ink,
useful against numerous illnesses, particularly those of the stomach. It’s consumers take it in the morning, quite frankly, in a porcelain cup that is passed around and from which each one drinks a cupful. It is composed of water and the fruit from a bush called bunnu.

— Léonard Rauwolf, Reise in die Morgenländer (in German)

Why I Love Coffee

coffebagWhy do I love coffee..? Let me count the ways.
The taste of coffee is comforting and grounding.
When I drink coffee I feel a nostalgia that is hard to explain; a warmth.
images (1)
The aroma, the taste, the buzz, the culture, and the connections, all are worthy reasons.
In the morning coffee lifts me up and boosts my day.

I love the culture and variety of coffee:

eth3498
I enjoy learning about the different countries that grow coffee.

20120121-brew-common
I’m intrigued by different roasting and brewing techniques. I love the roasted nutty smell and taste of good coffee beans. Experimenting with coffee flavors and styles can be a lot of fun.

cupsI am fascinated with all the wonderful different ways to enjoy the incredible edible coffee bean.

46761-Coffee-And-Rain.jpg
Coffee is soothing on a rainy day, and melts away the brittle snow or ice of winter. When a day is full of hustle and bustle, taking the time to enjoy a cup of coffee calms me.

43f6cbd7c85c1a562cc3b3df9a7b7808
Drinking coffee also induces community. People like to drink coffee together. It makes talking easier and more comforting. It may be tea or some other beverage, but the concept of sitting around in comfy couches or chairs drinking something steamy and talking, is oh so inviting.

155de39825802a_5
I suppose many people just drink coffee because it is caffeinated and a good energy boost, and that is certainly a good reason.

However, to me, coffee is an experience; something to slow down for, to savor and enjoy.

Of course what better experience to share coffee with, then
curled up with a great book!
Good-Morning.jpg

What do you enjoy most about coffee?

Top International Cafés

coffee-house-largeI have shared with you the noteworthy coffee shops at the top of my list in the U.S.: Top U.S. Coffee Houses and now I will share those I found all over the world. Although there are far more than I could possible include, I hope justice is done.


Here are my Top picks for Noteworthy Cafés internationally:

Cielito Querido Café (Mexico City, Mexico)

A unique place rich with the warmth and flavor of Latin history.
Full of color and aroma to tempt the senses.  

Coffee Collective (Copenhagen, Denmark)

The Coffee Collective is a micro roastery that drives to provide their customers with an exceptional coffee experience and to give better living conditions to coffee farmers.

Rosetta Roastery (Cape Town, South Africa)

Another South African jewel passionate about coffees that are unique and full of character, as much so as the people that are drawn to drink them.

Kaffeine (London, England)

Contemporary cafe with coffee tasting and brewing classes, turning out cakes, sandwiches and soups. The owner Colin Harmon is a 4-time
Irish Barista Champion, and has worked hard to establish his
world renown coffee bar.

Addison & Steele (Perth, Australia)

The name honors two 18th century Oxford scholars who brought together like-minded intellectuals in London’s first coffee shops to debate the revolutionary ideas of the Enlightenment. This bright and airy space on the corner of Fitzgerald and Wasley Streets in North Perth is sleek and inviting. There is plenty of space for eager caffeine addicts  

Mind the Cup (Athens, Greece)

Run by a World Barista Champion their motto focuses on moving forward steadily, concentrating on what you do, and always trying
to improve. It has served them well in establishing this charming
award-winning coffee house.

Kronotrop (Istanbul, Turkey)

Kronotrop is the first micro-roaster in Istanbul, with beans imported from all around the world, and branches in Cihangir, Maslak, and Sultanahmet. It is widely regarded as one of the first specialty coffee bar and roastery in all of Turkey.

Snickarbacken 7 ( Stockholm, Sweden)

Chic and spacious Snickerbacken 7 is located in the heart of Stockholm, in a building from the late 1800’s that used to be stables. Tucked away in a beautiful building with high ceilings and vintage charm this concept shop is also an art gallery.

L’oisiveThé (Paris, France)

Thé et Tricot. Paris’ original knit café owned by Aimée in Paris, France. This darling little café doubles as a knitting haven. The functionality of this adorable shop gives it a quaint pairing of beauty and comfort.

The Coffee Academics (Hong Kong, China)

The Coffee Academïcs Studio features professional espresso equipment and myriads of coffee accessories. With a commercial bar and a loft-like interior, they boast the most stylish coffee training centre in Hong Kong. With unique offerings such as lattes sweetened with organic raw agave nectar and spiced with ground black pepper.

All of these Cafés have there own persona unique touch and passion, and I have been happy to learn about them. I am sure their are many other worthy candidates, and I hope to discover them. 

“I remember that – you know, I didn’t receive a formal education. I was educated in the Montevideo cafe, in the cafes of Montevideo. There, I received my first lessons in the art of telling stories, storytelling.” ~ Eduardo Galeano

Tell me about your favorite café, what makes them special?

The Most Brewtiful Cafes I

lookbookPart I of my little guide to some beautiful and unique cafes/coffee houses from all around the world:

The Grounds (Alexandria, Australia)

Located in a former industrial precinct from the 1920s, The Grounds of Alexandria is a landmark coffee roastery, café and sustainable organic garden known for its abundance of fresh produce and hands-on experiences.

Caffè Greco (Rome, Italy)

This café has a rich history; it has been around since 1760 and was a known meeting place of artists, poets, and writers of all countries. Byron, Shelley, Goethe, Keats, Thackeray, Thorwaldsen, Mark Twain, Canova, Gounod, Bizet, Berlioz, Gogol, Wagner, King Ludwig of Bavaria and many other world celebrities having been regular patron of the Caffè Greco.

Mirrors Cafe (Gifu, Japan)

Covered in beautifully polished mirrored surfaces this building reflects the landscape surroundings. A row of cherry trees is planted at an embankment at its basin. The best time to visit is during the cherry blossom season.

Cafe New York (Budapest, Hungary)

An ornate cafe/restaurant founded in 1894 with frescoes & chandeliers. A stunning cafe serving coffee, cake & Hungarian cuisine.

 

Truth Coffee (Cape Town, South Africa)

This cafe was phenomenally designed by Heldane Martin. It features a steam-punk theme; adorned with vintage typewriters, Singer sewing machines, old candlestick telephones, exposed copper pipes, as well as old extending mirrors and Victorian tap levers. They also pride themselves on roasting and brewing the best quality coffees.

D’espresso (New York, NY)

Decor designed by Nemaworkshop was inspired by nearby New York Public Library turned on it’s side. This unique design is the backdrop for coffee, sandwiches & gelati.

 

Confeitaria Colombo (Rio De Janeiro, Brazil)

Its huge stained glass, tiled, and mirrored interior features materials from France, Portugal, and Belgium. Serving an array of classic Brazilian and Iberian cuisine, delicious pastries, and of course a cup of tea or famous Brazilian coffee.

The world is full of beautiful Cafes, I wish I could visit them all!

Have you ever been to any of these? Which are your favorite?

Stay tuned for Part II tomorrow!