Coffee Beans – Finding You’re Favorite Coffee

Coffee Beans-Finding You’re Favorite Coffee

 

Big bold image of coffee beans and coffee being poured into a cup. Oh boy, can you smell the aroma filling your senses? We really love coffee here at Splendid Recipes, and contrary to popular belief, coffee is actually good for you. Link here – Coffee Benefits – to read 3 articles we have posted at our nutrition web-site, “Health News Library” to read about the benefits of coffee. We have a page over there that offers FREE e-books, as well.

Here’s one of many info-graphics we produced on health issues, this one being about the Benefits of Coffee.

More Exciting Benefits of Coffee

What is your favorite cup of brewed coffee, which is, if you drink it? You may not realize it, but there are a lot of variations when it comes to drinking this ever becoming popular beverage.

Here is a list we found on Wikipedia of the number of coffee houses in the United States alone (link here for list). Wikipedia describes coffee houses from a cultural standpoint, as centers of social interaction. The coffeehouse provides social members with a place to congregate, talk, write, read, entertain one another, or pass the time, whether individually or in small groups of two or three people. A coffeehouse serves as an informal club for its regular members.

Of the coffee houses “Starbucks” owns or has sold as franchises is reported as having 5,500 locations (mostly licensed) outside the U.S. in 2010.

Did you know that yesterday alone 41 million people (U.S.A) drank coffee from a single serve coffee maker? We are referring to the Keurig or Mr. Coffee and other name brand single serve coffee makers.

As for the variations in coffee, here are some tips on how to find your favorite coffee.

1. Why Coffee?

One thing to help you determine which coffee is best for you, you need to ask yourself why you drink or want to drink coffee. This can help guide you along on your coffee journey. Here are some examples of questions you can ask yourself.

* Do you drink coffee because you like the taste?

* Do you want to drink coffee because of the caffeine stimulation? You may not even like the taste, but want or need a caffeine boost.

* Are you sensitive to dairy products?

This is an important question, as coffee not only comes black, but cream and milk can be added, especially if you want a Latte or Mocha.

Keep these questions in mind as you search for the coffee that’s right for you. Here are some types of coffee beverages, so you can find one that suits your palate.

2. Blends for the Beginner

If you are new to coffee, you might want to start with a cappuccino or latte. These are made with steamed milk and espresso, and tend to be sweet and mild. These kinds of coffee beverages are also good for those who like the caffeine, but aren’t too fond of the taste of straight coffee.

3. Caffeine Jolt

Cafe Americano

A Caffè Americano
Image credit: 220px-Hokitika_Cheese_and_Deli,_Hokitika

If you’re really in it for the caffeine, then you might go for an espresso, which is a coffee that’s made with finely-ground beans. Some people think an espresso drink is low in caffeine because they are served in small quantities, but espresso has about three times as much caffeine per ounce as regular drip coffee.

If you want an espresso, but are afraid of the caffeine rush that comes along with it, try an Americano. That is a coffee make with 8 ounces of hot water and the number of espresso shots you want.

Generally speaking, the longer a coffee bean is roasted, the poorer the flavor. The inexpensive, mass-produced brands are over roasted, and that eliminates the natural flavors that are in a traditional dark-roasted coffee: sweet and highly caramelized.

Our recommendation is to buy your coffee beans from a local roster, and grind them yourself at home. Local rosters roast coffee for quality, not mas production like many of the coffees packaged at your local supper market.

4. Dairy and Milk Products with Your Coffee

If you do not digest dairy products or are allergic to them, you can use almond or coconut milk in your coffee. This can produce a really tasty coffee, especially if you use chocolate, vanilla, or sweetened varieties of the almond or coconut milks.

5. Calorie Counter

If you’re concerned about the calories in a cream- or milk-based coffee beverage, go with skim milk and sweeten with something like organic natural honey. Or you might find out that you enjoy drinking coffee without sweetening it at all.

Hopefully, this has helped you decide which coffee beverage will work best for you.  But if it’s too much for you, you can always drink instant coffee. It may not have as complex a taste, but its preparation is quick and easy.  Don’t tell the coffee connoisseurs I told you that, otherwise we are out of business.

 

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Quinoa Maya Chicken Bake

Ouinoa Maya Chicken Bake

This is a really delicious and healthy recipe. It’s made with quinoa, which is a whole grain rice grown in its natural environment, the Andes Mountains of Peru. The native soil and climate affect its taste, scent and texture.

The Incas called quinoa “the mother of grain” and fed it to their warriors before battle. Today it is referred to as a “supper grain” as it has many health benefits including a balance of essential amino acids. There are 23 known essential amino acids, and our bodies make only 10 of them. That requires that we eat foods that will provide the other 13, and quinoa does that for us when we consume it.

For that very reason our featured recipe is Quinoa Maya Chicken Bake. Are you questioning what does Maya have to do with the recipe? The Maya’s were native’s that spread their influence to Honduras, Belize, Guatemala, and western El Salvador to as far away as central Mexico, more than 620 mi from the central Maya area. The many outside influences found in Maya art and architecture are thought to have resulted from trade and cultural exchange rather than direct external conquest.

Today the few Mayans that exist grow there own coffee beans in the known areas that they dwell. The coffee is very good and is known as Mayan Coffee beans. The flavors of coffee beans, either poor flavor or rich flavor, all depends on the earthy soil and climate the coffee tree is grown in. The Mayans know how to grow their coffee beans.

The spices we used in our featured recipe is a Maya Coffee Rub that was purchased at the Whole Foods Market.

Here is what you will need:

ingredients needed for Quinoa Maya Chicken Bake

Click Image to Enlarge to View Ingredients for the Maya Coffee Rub

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Next cook the quinoa according to package instructions and set aside.

steaming vegetables for Ouinoa Maya Chicken Bake

Put your frozen fresh vegetable mix into a steamer and steam according to package instructions. You can use your choice of vegetables that you prefer. When done, set steamed vegetables aside in a large bowl with a lid over it.

While the vegetables are steaming, prepare the chicken breast for marination. Cut the chicken breast crosswise, 3 times. Cut each section into one inch chunks.

marinating chicken breast for Ouinoa Maya Chicken Bake

In a measuring cup, mix the Maya coffee rub, vinegar, and oil. You can also choose to use olive oil if you wish. Place cut chicken into a large bowl and pour spice mixture over meat. Mix up meat with the spice mix till chicken is well coated. Set aside for about 30 minutes for flavors to infuse.


close up baking chicken in Nu wave oven for Ouinoa Maya Chicken Bake

After chicken has marinated for 30 to 40 minutes, place onto a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until chicken is done. The meat should cook fast, as it is cut thin. Here we baked ours in a counter top Nu wave oven. set aside when done.

bowl of steamed vegetables

Next take the bowl of vegetables, pour in the one cup of quinoa, and meat. Mix up the ingredients in the bowl until will incorporated.

Ouinoa Maya Chicken Bake

Plate and serve. That Maya Coffee Rub, is a bit spicy. But oh boy what flavor it has!! I believe, if the Mayans from the past could taste this dish, they would approve.

If you wish, you can use 1/4 slice of turkey breast in place of chicken. Turkey was the main staple meat of the Mayans over 3000 years ago.

 

Sources on the Mayans:

Mayan Civilization 

 

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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!

 

Image Credit:

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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