Arabs were the first to cultivate coffee and the first to make a beverage from the roasted beans around 1300 AD. Coffee was originally used by monks and “prescribed” medicinally.
Today coffee is grown in more than 70 countries – all in subtropical regions – and more people drink coffee than any other beverage except water and perhaps tea.
The United States consumes more coffee – 300 million cups a day – than any other country as a whole, but other countries drink more per capita. The average citizens of Finland drinks about 2.64 cups of coffee a day, higher than any other nation.
Workers who drank coffee rather than napping were more alert and performed better on the job, studies show. I don’t know how accurate this is, but considering I can’t nap, I’m going to choose to believe it. 😀
Most research shows that drinking coffee has a variety of health benefits and may be good for heart health.
It takes about 5000 pounds of coffee cherries to produce 1,000 pounds of green coffee beans; the beans lose another 20 percent of their weight in the roasting.
Coffee is a relative of the gardenia plant family and is thought to be indigenous to the African region which is now the country of Ethiopia.
The flower is also beautiful and smell similar to Jasmine!
Coffee beans have up to 800 flavor characteristics that our senses can detect. Red wine, by comparison, only has 400. Most coffee connoisseurs prefer mild roasts because the longer a coffee bean is roasted, more characteristics are burned off.
Espresso Coffee has just one third of the caffeine content of ordinary coffee. This is why I always use medium roasted coffee for my lattes and cappuccinos. Okay the flavor is actually why, but hey, good to know right!
The process of roasting causes coffee beans to begin to release carbon dioxide. When you pour hot water over freshly roasted and ground coffee, as in a French press, you will get a foamy head like that from a dark beer.
A coffee tree lives for between 60 and 70 years. Long live the coffee bean!!!
The Coffee plant is one INCREDIBLE edible,
fragrantly delicious creation!
Legend: There are ancient accounts that attribute the discovery of coffee to Sheikh Omar. According to the ancient chronicle (preserved in the Abd-Al-Kadir manuscript), Omar, who was known for his ability to cure the sick through prayer, was once exiled from Mocha, Yemen to a desert cave near Ousab. Starving, Omar chewed berries from nearby shrubbery, but found them to be bitter. He tried roasting the seeds to improve the flavor, but they became hard. He then tried boiling them to soften the seed, which resulted in a fragrant brown liquid. Upon drinking the liquid Omar was revitalized and sustained for days. As stories of this “miracle drug” reached Mocha, Omar was asked to return and was made a saint.From Ethiopia, the coffee plant was introduced into the Arab World through Egypt and Yemen.
Hearts in my Café con leche
I recently visited my favorite Cuban eatery for some amazing food and a perfect Café con leche. This inspired me to share a little about Cuban coffee.
Café Cubano AKA Cuban Espresso;
is an espresso shot that is sweetened with demerara sugar (natural brown raw sugar) as it is being brewed (percolated,) but the name covers other drinks that use Cuban espresso as their base. Cafecito and Cuban Coffee are a couple other names used.
Cortadito Cuban Espresso with a float of steamed milk. The word cortado is the past participle of the Spanish verb cortar (to cut.) This is because a dash of warm milk is being used to cut the espresso shot (like the italian caffé macchiato.)
Café Bombón Espresso served with sweetened condensed milk in a 1:1 ratio. Bombón means chocolate in spanish.
Café con leche
Cuban Espresso unsweetened with steamed (or scalded) milk (like a caffé latte.) My favorite, but I actually like it with a little demerara sugar
A classic spanish cocktail combining coffee and rum typical throughout Spain and Latin America. Folk etymology dates the origins back to the Spanish occupation of Cuba. Combine Café Cubano, rum, Licor 43, demerara sugar, chantilly cream.
That’s all for my little Ode to Café Cubano
Have you ever tried any of these? Or something similar.
Fun Fact: Sugar is the principal agricultural economy in Cuba. In two years after World War II, the price of sugar in Cuba went from 4 cents a pound to more than 20 cents a pound. They make some good sugar!