National Coffee Day

National Coffee Day National Coffee Day this year (2014) is September 29th.  This day of recognition is to give inspiration to celebration and enjoyment of the popular beverage and to promote fair trade coffee and to increase awareness for the betterment of coffee growers.

National Coffee day is observed annually on September 29th as well as in other countries worldwide. Many businesses will offer free or discounted cups of coffee, even sharing some coupons and special deals as part of the national coffee day celebrations.

The “Japan Coffee Association” were the ones that promoted International Coffee Day, and celebrated the day for the first time in Japan in 1983. The term “International Coffee Day” was first used by the Southern Food and Beverage Museum (New Orleans) during a press conference held on October 3, 2009 aiming at ‘International Coffee Day’ and to declare the first New Orleans Coffee Festival.

On September 29, 2014 the museum has a new home, and you can read about it here on their web-site: Cut the Ribbon at SoFAB’s New Home! , they even have a clock counting down. How fitting that the 29th is ribbon cutting day, the day they coined the term “International Coffee Day.”

According to Wikipedia Switzerland celebrates National Coffee Day on September 28th, and September the 29th the following nations celebrate National Coffee Day…

  1. Australia
  2. Canada
  3. England
  4. Ethiopia
  5. Hungary
  6. Malaysia
  7. New Zealand
  8. Norway
  9. Sweden
  10. United States

Japan will celebrate National Coffee day October 1st.

We wanted to share some desserts you can prepare to have with that cup of coffee on National Coffee Day. The first one is:

Chocolate Mexican Coffee CakeChocolate Mexican Coffee Cake 

Coffee: Has been proven to reduce risk for diabetes and Parkinson’s. It also stimulates enzymes that protect against colon cancer. It is Chlorogenic acid and it is one of the main caffeic acids found in coffee that has antioxidant properties….Read More and Get the Recipe Here

Next we have:

Tips for Making Great Iced CoffeeMaking Great Iced Coffee

Some people object to acidity in their cold coffee. Cold brewing greatly reduces the acid content of coffee, it will lower the acidity one full pH point verse hot brewed coffee…Read More Here and Get the Recipe.

Here are some great ideas about coffee we have shared in previous articles, like Coffee-Grinding Tips and Facts or Coffee: Facts, Myths, and Trivia.

We are all in different places and can’t come together to share a cup of coffee, so I send this to you all for the morning of September 29 (2014)…

National Coffee Day

Image Credit: imagesbuddy.com

If you do get yourself a cup of coffee at your local coffee house on National Coffee Day, don’t forget to recycle your cup.recycle your paper cup on National Coffee Day

 

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Easy Homemade Cappuccino

Coffee Time— This article is an update from a prior article posted April. 23, 2014. The following article is more in depth with added images—

There’s nothing quite like a freshly made cappuccino to go with breakfast. However, buying one from a commercial coffee shop is not the same as creating an authentic cup at home. You can make authentic Italian-style cappuccino at home in three easy steps.

Cappuccino with Frothed MilkCoffee has come such a long way since the days of instant granules, and the cappuccino you enjoyed on your last vacation to Italy is much more achievable at home. You can purchase a fancy cappuccino machine for several hundred dollars if you’d like, however, it isn’t necessary. You can make a great-tasting cappuccino with a few inexpensive items. Let’s take a look.

Stovetop Espresso Maker

 

Step 1:

A stove top espresso maker is essential if you want Italian-style coffee. They make about 4 to 6 ounces of espresso.  The cost starts at around $19.95 and up. They are usually made from hard aluminum or stainless steel and are suitable for use on any stovetop, gas or electric.

Making Espresso with a stove top makerTo use a stove top espresso maker, unscrew the top and bottom. Fill the bottom with water to just below the valve. Add freshly ground espresso beans to the filter. Replace the top and place the percolator over medium heat. As the water comes to a boil the steam pressure forces the water through the filter and into the top. Remove from the heat when the gurgling noise stops and the top is full. Don’t let the coffee boil or it may taste burnt.

Step 2:

First boil some water in a kettle. Next, heat the milk while the coffee is brewing. You can do this in a couple of different ways. The fastest way, of course, is in a microwave on Medium 45-60 seconds for every 1/4 cup. However, for best results, you’ll want to warm it in a small saucepan over medium heat until the milk is nearly boiling. If you have a thermometer, remove the pan from the heat when the needle reaches 149 degrees.

Pre-heat each cup with hot water from the kettle. Next, pour freshly brewed coffee into each coffee cup, and top with hot milk (reserving one-quarter (1/4) cup of hot milk per cup). The reserved milk is for making froth.

Step 3:

You’ll need a milk foamer or frother, which is available at most housewares stores. A milk foamer can be a hand-held manual or battery-operated whipper. There are also foamers made of glass with a plunger, and electric frothers that can froth 1-cup of milk at a time.

To make froth with a battery-operated frother, pour the reserved hot milk into a warmed cup. Place the frother in the cup and turn on the frother for 15-20 seconds or until milk is thick and frothy. Spoon froth over the cappuccinos and dust with chocolate and serve.

Types of Milk Frothers

CLICK Image Too Enlarege

Tips:

To clean your stove top espresso make, unscrew all parts from each other. Next empty out used coffee grounds. Rinse all parts with hot water and use a non-abrasive scourer to remove any coffee residue.

You can also brew some really strong coffee to use instead of espresso, if you don’t have a stove top espresso maker or machine. Also if you do not have a frother, warm your milk and then pour into a small jar. Shake the jar for about one minute. Pour the milk into your waiting mug of hot coffee. Spoon out the foam and top with cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa, etc. You’re good to go!!

Link here to Enjoy Some Coffee Art using Frothed Milk.

 

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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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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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Making Great Iced Coffee

Making Great Iced Coffee

Summer is finally upon us and most days are just too warm for hot cup of java juice. Below are some tips to help you make a great iced coffee.

Start with Fresh Coffee Beans

A great iced coffee was never made using stale beans so avoid buying your beans on sale. If you don’t drink iced coffee often, consider buying fresh beans at a coffee shop where you can buy only the amount you need for the occasion.

Taste Test

Hot coffee tastes different than cold coffee. So to get an idea of how your coffee will taste cold let a hot cup cool to room temperature. This little test will help you decide what tastes perfect to you.

Use Fresh Ice

Ice has a tendency to get a stale if it sits in the freezer unused for too long. If you’re wondering whether your ice is helping of hurting your iced coffee, it’s easy to test: let a few cubes melt and come to room temperature, then taste the resulting water. If it’s water you would want to drink by the glassful, you’re in good shape. If not, toss out the old ice and make fresh. If it still tastes stale, buy a bag of ice, the cost is worth the boost in flavor.

Brew it StrongIced coffee cubes - Making Great Iced Coffee

Brew your coffee on the strong side as it will be weakened by the ice. To keep from diluting your drink, brew a pot of coffee and freeze into ice cubes. Use frozen coffee cubes in place of regular ice cubes to keep from diluting or weakening the flavor.

Brewing Your Coffee Cold

Some people object to acidity in their cold coffee. Cold brewing greatly reduces the acid content of coffee, it will lower the acidity one full pH point verse hot brewed coffee.

Put 3/4 cup ground coffee in a quart Mason jar, fill with water and stir. Cap it and put in the refrigerator for 12 hours. Strain the resulting concentrate through a coffee filter to remove the grinds. Add water to taste when you’re ready to drink. You can even heat the reconstituted beverage for a quick, low-acid cup of hot coffee.

Don’t use Burnt Coffee

Saving leftover coffee for iced beverage is often fine, but don’t be tempted to use the dregs of a burnt pot. If it doesn’t taste good hot, it definitely won’t taste good cold.

Add some zip to your iced coffee

Adding fruit flavors such as strawberry, orange, blueberry, cherry and even spices like nutmeg, cinnamon or cardamom are a great way to perk up your coffee  drink. The important thing is to have fun with it! Try lots of new things. Vary your usual routine. The worst that can happen is you won’t like it. You can always try something else!

If you’re short on time and don’t have a stash of reconstituted coffee available, try this recipe using instant coffee.

Vanilla Iced Coffee

2 teaspoons instant coffee
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cold water
1 1/4 cups milk
Chocolate shavings (optional)
Sugar (optional)

Directions:

Put the first 5 ingredients into a blender.
Pulse blend until the ingredients are smooth and frothy.
Add the cold milk and pulse blend until all the ingredients are blended well.
Pour of a few cubes of ice, add the chocolate and voila!

If you desire, add the ice to the blender after the first five ingredients have been blended and crush the ice and then add the milk and mix.

 

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Home Made Cappuccino in 3 Easy Steps

Cappuccino with Frothed Milk

There’s nothing more delectable than a freshly made cappuccino to go with breakfast. Purchasing one from a commercial coffee shop or a local coffee house can be the same, but if you want an authentic Cappuccino, you need to prepare one  at home. Preparing an authentic Italian-style cappuccino at home can be done in three easy steps.

Coffee has come such a long way since the days of instant granules, and the cappuccino one can enjoyed on a vacation in Italy can achievable at home. You can purchase a fancy cappuccino machine for several hundred dollars if you’d like, however, it isn’t necessary. You can make a great-tasting cappuccino with a few inexpensive items. Let’s take a look.

Step 1:

Stove Top Coffee BrewerA coffee percolator, or stove top brewer as it’s sometimes called, is essential if you want Italian-style coffee. Available in one-cup to 10-cup sizes, it’s usually made from hard aluminum or stainless steel and is suitable for use on any stove-top. The brewer you see in the image to the left can be purchased starting at $19.95.

To use, unscrew the top and bottom. Fill the bottom with water to just below the valve. Add freshly ground espresso beans to the filter. Replace the top and place the percolator over medium heat.

As the water comes to a boil the steam pressure forces the water through the filter and into the top. Remove from the heat when the gurgling noise stops and the top is full. Don’t let the coffee boil or it may taste burnt.

Step 2:

milk frotherHeat the milk while the coffee is brewing. You can do this in a couple of different ways. The fastest way, of course, is in a microwave on Medium 45-60 seconds for every 1/4 cup.

However, for best results, you’ll want to warm it in a small saucepan over medium heat until the milk is nearly boiling. If you have a thermometer, remove the pan from the heat when the needle reaches 149 degrees.

Preheat each cup with hot water from the kettle. Next, pour freshly brewed coffee into a coffee cup and top with hot milk. Reserve one-quarter cup of hot milk per cup you plan to make so that you can make froth.

Step 3:

For this step, you’ll need a milk frothier. Available at any local store were sold, these range from plungers to hand-held manual or battery-operated 1-cup frothier (starting at around $10).

To make froth with a manual 1-cup milk frothier, pour the reserved hot milk into a warmed cup. Place the frothier in the cup and pump up and down for 15-20 seconds or until milk is thick and frothy. Spoon froth over the cappuccinos and dust with chocolate to serve.

Tips:

After use, rinse your stove top coffee brewer with hot water and use a non-abrasive scourer to remove any coffee residue.

You can also brew some really strong coffee to use instead of espresso, if you don’t have a machine. Warm your milk and then pour into a small jar. Shake the jar for about one minute. Pour the milk into your waiting mug of hot coffee. Spoon out the foam and top with cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa, etc. You’re good to go!!

Link here and Enjoy some Cappuccino Art.

 

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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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