Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was a way we can roast, grind, and brew coffee in one machine? Having a machine like this will give a whole new dimension to convenience coffee without relying on the instant version. Thanks to Kickstarter, the world may just have its very first fully working roast-grind-brew coffee machine.
Coffee is a beverage that is widely consumed in many places all over the world. Still, it is interesting to know in which places coffee is consumed the most. Would it be safe to say that the top producer is also the top consumer?
Top Coffee Producers and Consumers
The infographic above shows Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, Indonesia, Ethiopia, India, Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, and Honduras as the top coffee producers. On the other side of the equation are top consumers consisting of Finland, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, Canada, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Looking at these two lists, it seems that a top producer does not automatically represent a top consumer.
Isn’t it interesting to note that all top coffee consumers are not even among the top producers of coffee? Does that mean to say that people tend to consume more of a product which they do not not produce? It is either that or the people in these countries just simply love their coffee.
The Top Coffee Consumers
Finland is a Nordic country in Northern Europe. It used to be part of Sweden and was at one time in history under Russian rule. Finnish cuisine combines traditional and contemporary style cooking. Wholemeal products as well as milk and its derivatives are commonly used in food and drinks.
The Finns consume twice as much coffee as most Europeans. This liking for coffee is related to various customs and beliefs unique to their culture. Coffee was first sold in pharmacies and thus was seen more as medicine for headache, depression, and heart disease. It was the upper and middle class who first took to drinking coffee as a beverage to keep up with a trend in Europe.
They prefer lighter roasted coffee which goes very well with the good quality of water in the country. The water is said to be able to extract the flavor of the coffee very well. The older generation have a peculiar way of drinking coffee wherein they prefer to pour coffee from the cup to the saucer so cooling will be faster. Instant coffee does not enjoy much patronage in Finland and it has always been brewed coffee for them.
The only people who love coffee more than Norwegians are the Finns. Visiting family is interestingly referred to as “going for coffees” because visits were characterized by eating cakes and drinking lots of coffee.
Many celebrations in Iceland are done over coffee. Even afternoon tea is referred to as “coffee”. People in Iceland certainly love their coffee as well.
Everything we eat and drink have suitable pairings. One of those which has the most possibilities for perfect food combinations is coffee. Here are my top three choices.
Coffee and Doughnut
Coffee and doughnut has long been a favorite pair especially in the US. The perfect pairing is said to be the result of the correct combination of the bitter taste of coffee and the sweetness of doughnuts. The pair is believed to be a popular choice for breakfast of the instant energy provided by the caffeine in coffee and the sugar in doughnuts.
In fact, coffee and doughnut is considered a very successful pairing in the commercial sense which should explain why there are so many food stores that have made their name from this basic combination. Doughnut is also said to be relatively cheap to make which makes it highly advantageous in terms of selling. With coffee and doughnuts getting fancier by the minute, the pair isn’t as cheap as it used to be.
Coffee and Croissant
Coffee and croissant is another favorite combination. Many call it the match made in heaven. In France, it is quite common to dip croissant into coffee.
The pairing is so perfect that people can actually enjoy coffee croissant. Yes, croissant that is made with coffee finally hit the market. Of course this should not stop anyone from still sipping good ol’ hot coffee with coffee croissant.
Coffee and Biscuit
Biscuits are more identified with the English more than any other nationality. Dunking biscuits in hot drinks like tea, milk, or coffee is said to release new flavors into the beverage. The porosity of biscuits is the reason for this.
Although biscuit dunking is popular in many places such as US and UK, there is some disagreement about its practice in relation to etiquette. This has failed to discourage many from stopping the practice. When it comes to food combination though, there is no argument that coffee and biscuits go together.
Other Favorite Combinations
There are many other popular pairings such as coffee and carrot cake, coffee and scones, coffee and cinnamon rolls, and even coffee and bacon and eggs. Coffee is admittedly very flexible when it come to combining its flavor with other food. It may be difficult to provide a scientific explanation for this but who cares really for an explanation when we are enjoying what we are tasting.
Coffee and tea are both credited with the presence of antioxidants that are deemed good for human health. However, there seems to be some debate as to which offers more benefits to the human body. Is one better than the other or do they fare just the same in the health scale?
Coffee and cream seem to be the perfect partners. There are questions however as to whether coffee is best drank black or without cream. More than a matter of taste preference, some are actually saying that putting cream will reduce the antioxidant benefits attributed to coffee drinks.
There is bound to be a specific coffee preparation associated to a place where the beverage is drunk. Each represents a different ethnicity tightly bound to culture and tradition. There are at least three ethnic coffee preparations that have made their mark in coffee drinking.
Coffee shops or coffeehouses have long served its purpose as a social place for meeting people. Many historical coffee shops have fortunately been preserved and still enjoy the patronage of coffee aficionados. Through time, a lot of contemporary coffeehouses have made their mark and these are the three most impressive in terms of ambiance and the coffee served.
Bakeri, New York
Bakeri is an artisenal bakery cum coffee shop located at Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York. It is known for making its own bread, jam, and butter. It also offers one of the coziest atmosphere among the exisitng contemporary coffee shops today.
Exceptional is a word often used to describe the coffee it serves. It uses coffee beans from Counter Culture Coffee. The interiors bring customers back to a certain period which is a lot subtle and calmer than the present. Bakeri also serves breakfast and lunch.
The story of Allpress Espresso began in New Zealand when Michael Allpress chose to concentrate on having a career related to his love for traditional Italian espresso in 1986. His idea reached Australia before he brought it to UK. Allpress Espresso is now synonymous to to a coffee roaster and espresso speacialist.
It has at least six existing caffetterias located in Auckland, Ponsonby, Dunedin, Sydney, Melbourne , and in London. The owners call these places their walking billboards which operates in close relation with the roastery in Auckland. Aside from its very popular Allpress coffee, all their caffetterias serve Italian-style sandwiches. Freshly-roasted blends are always available for sale for customers who would like to brew the famous coffee at home.
Cafe Des Deux Moulins, Paris
Cafe Des Deux Moulins will always be remembered as the coffee shop used in the classic film Amelie. It served as the main character’s place of work which looks like a charming vintage coffeehouse in every angle. It has pretty much remained a comfortable neighborhood cafe and that is where its main attraction emanates from.
It has survived the big decline of Paris coffee shops even as it seems to be unable to adjust to the expectations of the younger customer base. Its location is very much part of its plus points as it provides an exciting vantage point for observing the lively street market. This pavement cafe has become a tourist attraction in itself even for those who are not exactlycoffee lovers.
The famous Thailand coffee is usually served cold with ice. Its basic ingredients are strong brewed coffee and milk. Thai coffee recipes can be made more interesting by the use of choice spices, especially since it is best taken after eating spicy Thai food. Learning Thai culture has much to do with experiencing daily nuances such as food flavor in the same manner as trying to gain deeper understanding through learning Thai language.
Basic Thai Iced Coffee Recipe
The basic recipe for Thai iced coffee would just require coffee, cream, and ice cubes. Use two large glasses of strongly-brewed coffee, 1/4 cup cream or evaporated milk and about 5 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk. Strong instant coffee can be substituted for brewed coffee.
Add the condensed milk into a glass of hot coffee and stir well to dissolve. After which, add the cream or evaporated milk. Put ice cubes in a glass and pour the coffee mixture and top with cream. This drink is intended to have a strong coffee taste made sweet and creamy by the milk and cream. Left-over iced coffee can be placed in ice cube trays and used for the next iced coffee drink so as not to dilute the taste that tends to happen when ice melts.
Use Thai Coffee Powder
Freshly brewed coffee is always desirable. In the absence of this however, commercially available Thai coffee powder can be used instead since it is already infused with the unique roasted corn and sesame seed flavor. Boil about 1/4 cup Thai coffee powder in 4 1/2 cups of water then add 3/4 cup sugar and allow to cool. Strain and transfer to a pitcher then chill.
When ready to serve, add ice cubes or crushed ice in a glass and pour in coffee mixture. Add in 3-4 tablespoons of half-and-half condensed milk and cream on top. This is a preferred version for coffee drinkers who rather leave adding the milk just before drinking.
Thai iced coffee can be spiced up by ground cardamom, almond extract, cinnamon, and dried coriander. Of course, these spices need not be used all together at once. It is really up to the coffee drinker to find the right combination. Fresh milk and sugar can also substitute for sweetened condensed milk.
A good alternative to the usual hot brewing of coffee to extract coffee flavor is the cool-pressed method. This is done by allowing the coffee grounds to soak in cold water overnight to be used the next day. Recommended sweetener for this sugar syrup instead of granulated sugar.
We need not be contented with getting the same coffee flavor for the remaining part of our lives that we expect ourselves to be drinking coffee. There is so much more to discover than your usual coffee choice. Change need not even be drastic since all it would take is to experiment with coffee flavors using ingredients that you would usually find in your kitchen anyway or easily purchased commercially. A little creativity can approximate the taste of gourmet coffee.
Vanilla Almond Coffee
Vanilla and almond flavorings are often combined in many food preparations such as cakes, cookies, and chocolate bars. These two however have been common choices for some time among coffee drinking lovers who would like to experience a different taste. A common recipe would just require brewing 1 pound of preferred ground coffee with 2 tablespoons each of almond and vanilla extract.
Chocolate Cherry Coffee
Combining chocolate and cherry flavors is likewise a popular choice and it has extended over to coffee drinking. By combining 1 ounce of chocolate liqueur and 1 ounce of cherry brandy in a glass and pouring over 6 0unces of hot coffee results to a delicious coffee treat. Whipped cream and cherry on top completes the picture.
Butter Pecan Coffee
Butter pecan flavor combination is easy enough to imagine on food like ice cream and pies. It is however an exciting flavor option for coffee drinks. By adding 1 ounce of butter pecan syrup on approximately 8 ounces of strong brewed coffee, this is accomplished easily enough. Addition of milk or coffee is a matter of personal preference.
Milk Cinnamon Coffee
Mixing in cinnamon and milk to plain black coffee is such a pleasurable and simple way of enjoying coffee. Simply add in 2 tablespoons each of ground cinnamon and nonfat milk to 1 cup of hot brewed coffee and an exciting concoction instantly emerges. A sprinkle of cinnamon on top adds just the right finishing touch.
Chocolate Banana Coffee Smoothie
For a change, coffee can be drunk as a smoothie instead of the usual cup. If you find yourself excited about eating a frozen chocolate covered banana, then drinking a chocolate banana coffee smoothie is not to be less excited about. Simply combine 2 frozen sliced bananas, 4 shots of cooled espresso, 2 teaspoons cocoa powder, and 1 1/2 cups milk and blend on high speed until smooth.
Besides drinking coffee, what else can we do with it? Why cook with it of course. Cooking with coffee is the most natural thing to do since it is an edible and delicious item at that.