Coffee-Grinding Tips and Facts

Coffee-Grinding Tips and Facts

 

The debate over whole beans versus ground beans will probably never be resolved. Here are some tips and facts about various kinds of grinds and the best use of each, and the pros and cons to using whole beans and using ground coffee.

1. Whole Beans – Pros and Cons

Whole coffee beans hold their flavor longer, because the essential oils within the bean are not exposed to air. Also grinding the coffee beans yourself, results in a fresher more flavorful cup of coffee. Whole beans also have a much longer shelf life, about ten times longer than pre-ground coffee, possibly making whole beans more economical.

Another advantage to whole beans is that you can choose the coarseness of the grind, depending on the results you’re aiming for. You will have to purchase a coffee grinder, though, and it will increase your preparation time.

2. Ground Coffee – Pros and Cons

As soon as coffee beans are ground, their essential oils, where the flavor and aroma are, become airborne. That’s why it smells so good! So naturally, those essential oils floating around in the air are not making it into your cup. Consequently, pre-ground coffee tends to be less fresh and flavorful.

If you tend to consume coffee quickly, however, pre-ground may work for you – sources say you have about nine days for ground coffee to retain its freshness after it’s opened. And of course, pre-ground coffee is faster to make and more convenient.

3. Grinding Coffee

How you grind your coffee makes a difference in how it tastes. Here are some tips to consider:

* How finely you grind your coffee determines its strength – finely-ground beans will yield a more concentrated, stronger flavor.

howtofrenchpress

Making Coffee with a French Press

* Coarse grinds work best for a press-style pot or French press.

 

* A medium grind works for the typical drip coffee maker, but within the medium grind range there are subtle differences that depend on the kind of filter you use.

* Fine grinds do well with espresso machines, and can often be used in drip makers too.

* Extra fine is solely for espresso, as are super-fine grinds. Super-fine can also be used in a Turkish coffee maker.

4. Alternative Brewing

boiled greek coffee

Boiled Greek Coffee

There are some interesting ways that coffee is brewed in various cultures and parts of the world. In Indonesia, coffee is brewed a bit like tea – hot water is poured over the grounds in the cup, and the coffee grounds slowly settle to the bottom while the coffee steeps and cools. If you use a very fine grind for this method, you’ll end up with what is known in the Middle East as “mud coffee.”

In Nordic countries and some Middle Eastern countries, coffee is sometimes boiled. This results in a bitterer brew.

Whether you buy whole beans or pre-ground, coffee is a more versatile beverage than you may have realized!

 

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Making Coffee with a French Press

Boiled Greek Coffee

 

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Coffee: Facts, Myths, and Trivia

Coffee: Facts, Myths, and Trivia

 

coffee a beverage not easily given upAh, coffee! For those who love it, it’s not something easily given up. Perhaps because this beverage is so popular, facts, myths, and trivia surround it. Some are true, some aren’t, and some are just fun facts.

So let’s take a look at some of the facts, myths, and trivia about coffee!

1. Coffee Houses and Shops

King_Charles_IIYou may think that coffee houses and coffee shops are a modern invention, but actually, King Charles II of England proclaimed a ban on coffee houses way back in 1675, and the reason for the ban? King Charles II feared that his enemies were meeting in these coffee houses to plot against him.

2. Mocha = Chocolate?

When you hear “mocha,” you probably think of a beverage that’s a chocolate-coffee combination. But actually, “Mocha” is the name of a port in Yemen, and it is here that coffee beans from Africa are transported. So “Mocha” has to do with the origin of the coffee bean you’re drinking, not whether or not it contains chocolate.

3. How Much?

The US is the top coffee consuming nation in the world, with 400 million cups consumed daily.

4. Espresso versus Cappuccino versus Latte

First, espresso does not refer to the type of coffee bean, but rather, it refers to the way it is prepared. For coffee to be considered espresso, it needs to be made by forcing a small amount of hot water through very finely-ground coffee beans. This produces a very concentrated form of coffee.

Cappuccino and lattes are coffee drinks made with espresso as the base. The name “cappuccino” is said to refer to the frothy, peaked, white topping that resembles the white hood of the Capuchin friars‘ habit. A latte is made with espresso and steamed milk without the topping.

5. Coffee Trees

orchard of Coffee TreesNo one can tell you that coffee doesn’t grow on trees, because it does! Coffee trees can live up to 100 years, and it takes about five years before the tree begins producing coffee beans. One tree will yield about 1 pound of coffee a year. It takes about 2000 raw coffee beans to make a pound.

6. A Cup of Joe

Ever wonder why coffee is sometimes referred to as “Joe”? Admiral Josephus “Joe” Daniels banned alcohol on all Navy ships in the early 1900s, so the sailors turned to coffee, which they named after him in remembrance of his restrictions.

7. One Bean or Two?

Coffee “berries” or raw coffee beans are round and smooth. When roasted, they split in half. So the coffee beans you see in a package of un-ground coffee are actually half-beans.

8. Oil and Coffee

Next to oil, coffee is the second-largest traded commodity in the world.

9. Perky Beverage

The coffee percolator was invented by James Mason in December 1865, just six days before the New Year.

10. Memory Boost

A 2005 study showed that coffee improves memory, and a follow-up study indicated that the memory-enhancing effects could be long-term.

For more information on the health benefits of coffee link here to our Health News Library: Benefits of Coffee (has an image showing the effects of moderate caffeine consumption) and Diabetes: Coffee Cinnamon and Oolang Tea

Coffee is surrounded by all kinds of lore – some of it is myth, some of it is fact, and some is just plain fun. Enjoy your next cup of Joe!

 

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