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Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Art Of Coffee Roasting

The Art Of Coffee Roasting
by: Catherine Olivia

Could there be anything better than a hot, fresh brewed cup of coffee? As you open that can of pre-ground Maxwell House Coffee, did you even know that coffee comes in different roasts? Did you know that you can roast your own coffee beans at home? If you think that the aroma of your fresh ground coffee beans can't be beat, get a home coffee roaster, you'll be in Java Heaven.

Roasting the coffee beans is what imparts flavor. Similar to the making of a fine wine or a hand rolled cigar, some consider the roasting of coffee beans as an art. Those that describe coffee use some of the same vocabulary they use to describe wine. Depending on the roast level chosen the beans take on different flavor characteristics. The lighter the coffee bean the less flavor it will have, the darker the coffee bean the stronger the flavor it will have.

There are generally four different categories of roast. A light roast (American) , a medium roast (Breakfast), a dark roast (French), and darkest roast (Italian or espresso). Each type of roast imparts a different appearance to the coffee beans.

When a coffee bean is roasted to an American roast the beans will have a very light color to them and they will appear dry. A medium roasted bean, or Breakfast roast will have a rich brown color and will be oily in appearance. A French roasted coffee bean will have a very oily appearance with the beans appearing very dark brown. The darkest roasted beans or Espresso beans will appear black.

Coffee roasting can easily be done in your home. Depending on the roast that you desire you can roast coffee in five to fifteen minutes. Green beans are available online from a number of sellers, as are coffee roasters. Choose different types of green coffees to sample. Drum roasters are very popular for use in the home. It's best to consider purchasing a roaster as it will give you the most consistent finish to your beans. Some try to roast beans in frying pans, some use hot air popcorn poppers. While each of these techniques will work, as mentioned above they don't give a consistent finish to all the beans and you will most likely be disappointed in the result.


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Espresso Machines: Not For The Coffee Shop Anymore!

Espresso Machines: Not For The Coffee Shop Anymore!
by: Matthew Noel

Instead of going to the local coffee shop, use your espresso machines instead. There are some excellent opportunities out there for you in these new, must have options for your kitchen. Once only used in coffee shops and in restaurants that were high end, these machines have been made so that anyone, anywhere can use them rather easily.

Espresso machines are available in several ways. You may have a favorite method of making the espresso or perhaps you are looking for something that offers a distinctive taste. In most cases, you will find that there are espresso machines that do just what you are looking for. Because they are so easy to use, you will be able to make your favorite espresso flavors yourself as well.

On top of this, you will also find that some machines are also combinations. Love cappuccino as well? Would you like a standard coffee maker along with your new espresso machine? These too can be purchased. You will find them available in a variety of styles and colors to fit any kitchen.

Yet another feature that is important to comment on is their quality. Some of the espresso machine styles that are on the market for individual use are in fact quite capable of making coffee house style coffee that is rich and full flavored, missing nothing except the price tag. And, you can experiment with coffee beans that fit your tastes while in a coffee house you may be limited. Purchase gourmet varieties for pennies on the dollar online and enjoy the coffee that is nothing short of amazing every day that you wake up.

Worried about dealing with these things each morning? Don’t be, because you will find it very hard to find an espresso machine that isn’t easy to use. Clean up is often just as easy as a standard coffee maker so that is not a problem as well. Espresso machines look great, work great and add an air of sophistication to your life.

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

How The Best Cappuccino Makers Work

How The Best Cappuccino Makers Work
by: Peter Mason

Cappuccino makers are preferred over standard coffee makers among the most serious coffee lovers. With these products, you can brew your favourite café style coffee drink in the privacy of your own home. You may be unsure at first, but with practice, you will be making restaurant quality drinks at home.

These coffee machines work by heating the water and then forcing the heated water through the ground coffee. As the heated water moves through the grinds, the water extracts the flavor. The coffee used is ground finer than for regular coffee. Steam is also used to froth milk for cappuccino or lattes.

Types of Cappuccino Makers

There are two basic types of machines for brewing specialty coffee drinks: steam and pump models. Pump machines are the best rated for heating water to the optimal level quickly. The most expensive models all work with an electric pump. They make a great cup of espresso with good crema. Crema is the foamy layer on top of a cup of espresso and is considered an important feature that coffee lovers look for.

Steam models are less expensive and are capable of brewing a good cup of espresso. Steam models have less pressure and less power. They are more affordable and make a good first machine. These products are definitely a step up from standard drip coffee makers.

A variety of coffee types are available for making espresso at home. The grinds are finer than standard coffee. Individual pods are available to fit most models. Pods are pre filled filter packets with the ground coffee measured and sealed inside. Some people love the convenience of pods and swear by them. Other people feel the quality of the drink is much lower when pods are used. The finished drink can be weak or bitter, depending on the brand of coffee and how it is prepared.

Super automatics are the top of the line in home cappuccino making. Super automatics can make all specialty coffees including espresso, cappuccino, lattes and mochas. An automatic milk frothing system prepares the milk according to your taste.

Super automatics are grind and brew devices that do everything for you. They grind the beans, tamp the grinds, measure the water, brew the coffee and froth the milk. Used grinds are dumped into a waste box, which you empty to dispose of the used beans. You program it according to the strength, quantity, and temperature desired in the finished drink. You can brew two mugs at once with super automatics.

Burr grinders are used in most super automatics. You can set the grinder for the consistency you want in the ground beans. Super automatics measure the beans for you, depending on the number of cups you will be brewing.

Cleaning a Cappuccino Machine

Proper cleaning is important to keep your machine working well and making great tasting drinks. Follow the manufacturer's directions for proper cleaning. The components vary from product to product, so following the directions is important.

The machine should be cleaned inside and out to keep it working well. How you will clean it depends in part on the material used in construction. Stainless steel is the easiest to clean and maintain. Follow the directions included to keep it working well.

You will need to descale and decalcify the machine regularly. This is necessary to remove build up caused by particles in your drinking water. Over time, these particles can clog the machine and interfere with the operation. How often you will need to do this depends on the quality of your water and how often you use the coffee maker. One way to avoid this build up is to use distilled water.

The brew group will need to be cleaned about once each weak. A removable brew group is easier in terms of cleaning. You slide the brew group out through the service door and rinse it regularly. This removes coffee residue and grinds and results in a better tasting drink.

A non removable brew group should be cleaned with the automatic cleaning cycle. You program this feature and it cleans the brew group for you. Cleaning tablets are sold for non removable brew groups. Follow the directions on the package for proper use.

About the author:
Peter Mason contributed many articles to a web site focusing on coffee related topics. Within his publications he is specialiesing on areas like cappuccino makers or espresso machines.

The History of Coffee

The History of Coffee
by: chris vorelli

Who would have thought that a berry that was discovered by a herd of goats would be the single most important ingredient in the world’s most popular drink? Legend has it that back in 850AD, a goat herder noticed his herd was full of energy and eating berries he had never noticed. Since the goats seemed to have such a reaction, the herder decided to give it a try! The berries also gave him a burst of energy and he began to feel very happy. Thus, the beginning of the journey for what is now known as coffee!

Actually, the story of the goat herder isn’t the only legend surrounding this discovery. It is also said that an Arabian man was banished to the deserts with his followers to die of starvation. His men became very desperate for nourishment and before long, they were boiling and eating the product of an unknown tree. The broth that was produced by this unknown substance saved the lives of the men! In the nearest town, Mocha, many took their survival to be a religious sign. Because of the discovery, the drink was then named Mocha.

No matter which story you gravitate to, the bottom line is the same: the berries (actually, the seed of the berry) gave energy and zest to all that would consume it! From it’s earliest beginnings, coffee was thought of as a delicacy and any recipes floating around were considered to be a closely guarded secret!

As time passed, the very first coffee trees were harvested around 1100, in the Arabian Peninsula. The coffee drink became a staple of many early civilizations. In the year 1453, There was a law in Turkey that said that a woman could divorce her husband if he didn’t supply her with a daily supply of coffee!

The very first known coffee shop was established in Constantinople around the year of 1475 and since that initial introduction to the general public, coffee has pretty much taken over the world! Between 1600-1700, there were many advancements, including the world’s first coffee house and the beginnings of commercial production (made by the Dutch). By the middle 1700’s, there were about 2000 coffee shops in Venice, alone!

The first prototype of an espresso machine (made in Italy) was unveiled in the early 1800’s. In the early 1900’s, the first drip coffee machine was invented, making the coffee making process a little less daunting! The automatic espresso maker began its journey in the 1930’s.

By the late 1900’s, coffee became the most popular beverage in the world! The coffee is harvested in many countries, including: Africa, Ethiopia, Brazil, North America, Italy and even Turkey. This kind of crop can also be easily grown and exported by many third world countries, as well. Made to tempt even the pickiest palate, coffee has evolved to include hundreds of flavors and varying grades and prices.

About the author:
C V is an author, providing info on all types of coffee machines, coffee gift baskets, personalized coffee mugs and the best gourmet coffee . Find coffee maker reviews and ratings .


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Barista Expresso Coffee Machines

Barista Expresso Coffee Machines
by: Lorna Mclaren

Are very easy to control. They have excellent easy-to-press buttons and a colored power indicator that’s easy to read. You can tell the machine is on because this indicator button will light up. This is just the beginning when it comes to the fantastic features of Barista Expresso Coffee Machines.

The portafilter on Barista Expresso Coffee Machines works well. It is a pressurized type of portafilter, so you get a 23-25 second brew time for a double shot of fantastic expresso, compared to an inadequate 10-11 second brew time on other lesser models. The portafilter is also easy to load and use. It does offer plenty of loading room for fulfilling espresso coffee shots, and it also holds heat well. This means you’ll have the proper temperature for extracting espresso beans. This can make the difference from a good start in the morning to a great start!

For steaming and foaming milk, Barista Expresso Coffee Machines offer the ordinary wand. It is made from stainless steel, which is much better than plastic, but it only has single hole on the tip. The wand can make foam easily for your lattes, but some users have found it easy to use the wand in a swirling motion to create the really fine foam. This may be a picky feature that only espresso coffee aficionados look for, but if you are one of these aficionados, you will appreciate the difference this feature will make.

One thing all users of Barista Expresso Coffee Machines will appreciate is just how easy it is to move the steaming wand around. The wand is the perfect height and length, unlike other machines with their wands that are too short and low. These inadequate wands then force you to move your machine to the edge of your counter just to get your pitcher of milk in the right position. This can be awkward and dangerous. With the Barista, there is no such issue. You can leave the machine where it is and still fit the pitcher underneath.

Inexperienced users of Barista Expresso Coffee Machines, on the other hand, may have trouble at first using the wand. You might find the wand creating giant bubbles in your milk. This will happen if you put the tip in the wrong position. Of course, with practice, patience and time, you will be able to create those sought after tiny top bubbles for your latte. Then your local coffee house will be out of luck. You won’t need to go there anymore.

About the author:
Lorna Mclaren has an information and resources website at where you can find out everything you need to know aboutCirculated by Article Emporium