Coffee Syrup : Rhode Island's Official Drink

Coffee syrup is a beverage additive typically found in Rhode Island. Made of three ingredients (water and sugar strained through coffee grounds), this syrup is used in other local cuisine such as coffee milk and coffee cabinets.

Originally produced in the 1930s in corner drug stores, coffee syrup was targeted towards children, while their parents drank hot coffee. Due to the popularity of this product, coffee syrup was bottled and sold by merchants. In 1993 coffee syrup was competing against Del's Lemonade (another local drink) and won the title of official drink of Rhode Island.

Two major factors that determine the quality of the coffee syrups are sweetness or sugar content and flavor concentration. 

The sweetening of these coffee syrups usually come from one of four sources. They are fruit juice, pure cane sugar, beet and corn sugars. The syrups made with fruit juices and cane sugars will be sweeter and therefore more concentrated. The beet and corn sugar syrups is also have a good taste, but more syrup is required to achieve the same level of sweetness.

Coffee syrup is a quick and delicious treat that can be used to satisfy one's coffee cravings. It can used to spice up ice cream, cakes, puddings, hot chocolate, and well almost any kind of dessert or hot beverage.

One of the drawbacks to flavored coffee syrup is the calorie count. Flavored syrup is fattening. Considering that black coffee has only about 4 calories per cup, adding syrup does add to the waistline. That's why many coffee syrups producer companies offer sugar-free coffee syrup in order to decrease its calories.

A Brief History of Colombian Coffee

Historical data indicates that the Jesuits brought coffee seeds to South America with them circa 1730 CE, but there are different versions of this. Tradition says that the coffee seeds were brought by a traveler from Guyana who passed through Venezuela before reaching Colombia. The oldest written testimony of the presence of coffee in Colombia is attributed to a Jesuit priest, José Gumilla. In his book The Orinoco Illustrated (1730), he registered the presence of coffee in the mission of Saint Teresa of Tabajé, near where the Meta river empties into the Orinoco. Further testimony comes from the archbishop-viceroy Caballero y Gongora (1787) who registered the presence of the crop in the north east of the country near Giron (Santander) and Muzo (Boyaca) in a report that he provided to the Spanish authorities.

The first coffee crops were planted in the eastern part of the country. In 1835 the first commercial production was registered with 2,560 green coffee bags that were exported from the port of Cucuta, near the border with Venezuela. A priest named Francisco Romero is attributed to have been very influential in the propagation of the crop in the northeast region of the country. After hearing the confession of the parishioners of the town of Salazar de la Palmas, he required as penance the cultivation of coffee. Coffee became established in the departments of Santander and North Santander, Cundinamarca, Antioquia, and the historic region of Caldas.

By 1875 170,000 bags were leaving the country bound for the U.S. and Europe. The exports grew exponentially over the next hundred years or so and peaked in 1992 at around 17 million bags. Today, Colombian coffee exports are around 10 million bags per year.

Colombian coffee beans are grown at high altitudes and tended with painstaking care in the shade of banana and rubber trees. This coffee is among the best in the world, rich, full-bodied, and perfectly balanced. Coffea Arabica L., more commonly known as the Arabica bean, prefers higher altitudes and drier climates than its cousin, the lower quality Robusta bean (C. Robusta). Therefore, the arid mountains and the well-drained, rich volcanic soil of Colombia provide ideal conditions for growing high quality coffee.

Colombian Coffees are grown in two main regions, the central region around Medellin, Armenia and Manizales, known as MAM to aficionados, and the eastern, more mountainous region near Bogotá and Bucaramanga. MAM varieties are known for their heavy body, rich flavor and fine, balanced acidity while the mountain grown eastern beans produce an even richer, heavier, less acidic coffee. The finest coffee comes from this region.

For many decades Colombia was the world’s second leading producer of coffee behind Brazil. Recently, Vietnam surpassed Colombia in coffee exports to take the number two seat and move Colombia into a close third. However, the old adage of quality over quantity certainly applies here.

The Arabica bean does not grow well in Vietnam. Only the hearty, yet inferior, Robusta is suited for the low, wet climate of Vietnam. Colombian Coffees are far superior and is considered by many coffee experts to be the finest in the world.

Any discussion on Colombian Coffee would not be complete without mentioning the wildly successful marketing campaign created by the National Federation of Colombian Coffee Growers in 1959. They introduced the world to the friendly and affable Juan Valdez. Though a fictitious character, the poncho clad, sombrero wearing Juan Valdez gave a face to the humble coffee picker and created a mystique and aura of romance that still survives today.

A recent survey reported that 85% of Americans still associate the name Juan Valdez with Colombian Coffee. Quite an accomplishment, especially considering that only 75% acknowledged recognizing the name Dan Quayle. [source : Colombian Coffee]

Turkish Coffee : The Traditional Way To Enjoy A Cup of Coffee

Turkish coffee is coffee prepared by boiling finely powdered roast coffee beans in a pot (cezve), possibly with sugar, and serving it into a cup, where the dregs settle. The name describes the method of preparation, not the raw material; there is no special Turkish variety of the coffee bean. It is common throughout the Middle East, North Africa, Caucasus, and the Balkans, and in their expatriate communities and restaurants in the rest of the world.

Coffee has affected Turkish culture so much that the Turkish word for breakfast, kahvaltı literally means "before coffee" (kahve means "coffee" and altı "under"), while the Turkish word for brown is kahverengi, literally meaning "the color of coffee". In recent times, Turkish coffee has become less popular than tea (which was grown locally, and could be bought without hard currency), instant coffee, and other modern styles of coffee. At the same time, it is served by international coffee chains such as Starbucks and Gloria Jean's Coffees in their stores located in Turkey, although it remains as an option, not a promoted beverage. 

Another cultural importance of Turkish coffee is that it is one of the most important elements of matrimonial customs. As a matrimonial prologue the prospective groom's family has to visit the prospective bride's family to ask their permission and blessings for the marriage. During this meeting the prospective bride has to prepare and serve Turkish coffee to the guests. For the groom's coffee the bride uses salt instead of sugar so to understand his general characteristics. If the prospective groom drinks his coffee without any sign of displeasure then the prospective bride assumes that the groom is good tempered and patient.

Turkish coffee is normally prepared using a narrow-topped small boiling pot called kanakacezvedžezvaxhezve or μπρίκι (bríki) (basically a tiny ewer), a teaspoon and a heating apparatus. The ingredients are very finely ground coffee, sometimes cardamom, cold water and (if desired) sugar. It is served in a demitasse (fincan,  fildžan,  filxhan  or φλιτζάνι (flidzáni)). Some modern cups have handles; traditional cups did not, and coffee was drunk either by handling the cup with the fingertips or, more often, by placing the cup in a zarf, a metal container with a handle.

Traditionally, the pot is made of copper and has a wooden handle, although other metals such as aluminium with a non-stick coating are also used. The size of the pot is chosen to be close to the total volume of the cups to be prepared, since using too large a pot causes much of the foam to stick to the inside of it. The teaspoon is used both for stirring and measuring the amount of coffee and sugar. The teaspoons in some other countries are much larger than the teaspoons in countries where Turkish coffee is common: The dipping parts of the teaspoons in these countries are about 1 cm (0.4 inches) long and 0.5 cm (0.2 inches) wide.

A moderately low heat is used so that the coffee does not come to the boil too quickly—the beans need to be in hot water for long enough to extract the flavour. In a modern setting normal gas or electric heating is satisfactory. Traditional heating sources include the embers of a fire, or a tray about 10 cm (4 in) deep filled with sand. The tray is placed on the burner. When the sand is hot, the coffee pot is placed in the sand. This allows a more even and gentle heat transfer than direct heat.

A well-prepared Turkish coffee has a thick foam at the top (köpük in Turkish), is homogeneous, and does not contain noticeable particles in the foam or the liquid. It is possible to wait an additional twenty seconds past boiling to extract a little more flavour, but the foam is completely lost. To overcome this, foam can be removed and put into cups earlier and the rest can be left to boil. In this case special attention must be paid to transfer only the foam and not the suspended particles.

Turkish coffee is taken at extremely hot temperatures and is usually served with a glass of cold water to freshen the mouth to better taste the coffee. It is traditionally served with Turkish delight. In the Mediterranean and southeastern Turkey, pistachio grains (kakuli/menengiç) may be added into the coffee. All of the coffee in the pot is poured into cups, but not all of it is drunk. The thick layer of sludgy grounds at the bottom of the cup is left behind. [source : Turkish Coffee]

Flavored Coffee : The Fast Growing Area of The Coffee Market

Coffee is a wonderful taste itself, but it also acts very well as the platform for many other flavours. Flavoring coffee is actually an old trick. In the Middle East it is traditional to add cardamom to coffee, while the practice of adding cinnamon has been widespread in Mexico for many years. 

Flavored coffees is an interesting and fast growing area of the coffee market. Today there are over 100 different flavoured varieties available. While coffee connoisseurs may turn up their noses at the idea of spoiling the flavour of their sacred brew, there are definitely moments when a chocolate or cinnamon flavored coffee is just right. 

The growth in popularity of flavored coffee is proof of coffee's versatility and strength. The flavours are added to the beans directly after roasting by spraying them with a carrier oil and then the particular flavouring. Another method is to add a syrup to brewed coffee to make a drink that can be served either hot or chilled with ice to make iced coffee.  

A bit of cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, or other powdered spice can be added to the ground coffee. It should be mentioned that by far the most important flavouring added to coffee throughout the world is milk. [source : Flavoured Coffee]

Origins of The Coffee Tables

In Europe, the first tables specifically designed as and called coffee tables, appear to have been made in Britain during the late Victorian era.

Prior to the late 18th century, the tables used in Europe in conjunction with a settle included occasional tables, end tables, centre tables, and tea tables. By 1780, the high backed settle was being replaced by low back sofas and this led to the development of sofa tables which stood against the back of the sofa and could be used by anyone sitting on the sofa to put down a book or a cup.

According to the listing in Victorian Furniture by R. W. Symonds & B. B. Whineray and also in The Country Life Book of English Furniture by Edward T. Joy, a table designed by E. W. Godwin in 1868 and made in large numbers by William Watt, and Collinson and Lock, is a coffee table. If this is correct it may be one of the earliest made in Europe. Other sources, however, list it only as 'table' so this can be stated categorically. Far from being a low table, this table was about twenty-seven inches high.

Later coffee tables were designed as low tables and this idea may have come from the Ottoman Empire, based on the tables in use in tea gardens. However, as the Anglo-Japanese style was popular in Britain throughout the 1870s and 1880s and low tables were common in Japan, this seems to be an equally likely source for the concept of a long low table.

From the late 19th century onwards, many coffee tables were subsequently made in earlier styles due to the popularity of revivalism, so it is quite possible to find Louis XVI style coffee tables or Georgian style coffee tables, but there seems to be no evidence of a table actually made as a coffee table before this time. The use of similar tables also recorded in the ancient Greek era, following the Roman conquest of North-East Africa. [source : Coffee Tables]

Kona Coffee : The Big Island of Hawaii Coffee

Kona coffee is the market name for coffee (Coffea arabica) cultivated on the slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa in the North and South Kona Districts of the Big Island of Hawaii. It is one of the most expensive coffees in the world. Only coffee from the Kona Districts can be described as "Kona". The weather of sunny mornings, cloud or rain in the afternoon, little wind and mild nights combined with porous, mineral rich volcanic soil, creates favorable coffee growing conditions. The loanword for coffee in the Hawaiian language is kope.

The coffee plant was brought to the Kona district in 1828 by Samuel Reverend Ruggles, from Brazilian cuttings. English merchant Henry Nicholas Greenwell moved to the area and established Kona coffee as a recognized brand later in the 19th century. The former Greenwell Store and Kona Coffee Living History Farm have since become museums.

In other parts of the Hawaiian islands, it was grown on large plantations, but the 1899 world coffee market crash caused plantation owners to lease land to their workers. Most were from Japan, brought to work on sugarcane plantations. They worked their leased parcels of between 5 and 12 acres (49,000 m2) as family concerns, producing large, quality crops.

Kona Coffee Living History Farm
The tradition of family farms continued throughout Kona. The Japanese-origin families have been joined by Filipinos, mainland Americans, and Europeans. There are approximately 800 Kona coffee farms, with an average size of less than 5 acres (20,000 m2). In 1997 the total Kona coffee area was 2,290 acres (9 km2) and green coffee production just over two million pounds.

Kona coffee beans are classified according to seed. Type I beans consist of two beans per cherry, flat on one side, oval on the other. Type II beans consist of one round bean per cherry, otherwise known as a peaberry. Further grading of these two types of beans depends on size, moisture content, purity of bean type and size. The grades of Type I Kona coffee are Kona Extra FancyKona FancyKona Number 1, "Kona Select", and Kona Prime. The grades of Type II Kona coffee are Peaberry Number 1 and Peaberry Prime. There is also a lower grade of coffee called Number 3 which can not legally be labeled as "Kona".

Kona Coffee Cherry 
Infestations of the root-knot nematode damaged many trees in the Kona districts in the 1990s. Symptoms are single or clusters of trees with stunted growth, especially when transplanted. In 2001, rootstock from the Coffea liberica species was found to be resistant to the nematodes. It could be grafted with Coffea arabica 'Guatemala' variety to produce a plant that naturally resists the pest, as well as produces a quality coffee product. The combination was named after Edward T. Fukunaga (1910–1984), who was superintendent of the University of Hawaii's Kona Research Station in Kainaliu in the 1950s through the 1970s.

Because of the rarity and price of Kona coffee, some retailers sell "Kona Blends". These are not a combination of different Kona coffees, but a blend of Kona and Colombian, Brazilian or other foreign coffees. Usually they contain only the minimum required 10% Kona coffee and 90% cheaper imported beans.

Current Hawaiian law requires blends to state the percentage of Kona coffee on the label. There is no matching Federal law. Some retailers use terms like Kona Roast, or Kona Style. To be considered authentic Kona coffee, the state of Hawaii's labeling laws require the prominent display of the words "100% Kona Coffee".

Kona Coffee Farm
In the 1990s, a company called Kona Kai Farms, in Berkeley, California, was sued on behalf of Kona coffee growers. In October 1996, federal officials in San Francisco indicted Kona Kai Farms executive Michael Norton on wire fraud and money laundering charges. He was found to have put Central American coffee into bags with labels indicating it was Kona coffee since 1993. In 2000 Michael Norton pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of tax evasion.

Some Kona farms have become successful tourist attractions. Although some roadside stands are allowed with special permits, large gift shops at some areas that are zoned agricultural have met local resistance. [source : Kona Coffee]

Espresso Coffee Machines

An espresso coffee machine is used to produce the traditional Italian coffee beverage called espresso.

Since their invention in 1901, multiple machine designs have been created to produce espresso. Several machines share some common elements.

Varying the fineness of the grind, the amount of pressure used to tamp the grinds, or the pressure itself can be used to vary the taste of the espresso. Some baristas pull espresso shots directly into a pre-heated demitasse cup or shot glass, to maintain a higher temperature of the espresso.

An espresso machine may also have a steam wand which is used to steam and froth liquids, to include milk, for beverages such as the cappuccino and latte.

A steam-driven unit operates by forcing water through the coffee by using steam or steam pressure. The first espresso machines were steam types, produced when a common boiler was piped to four group heads so that multiple types of coffee could be made at the same time. The design is still used today in low-cost consumer machines, as it does not need to contain moving parts. Many low-cost steam-driven units are sold in combination with a drip-coffee machine.

The piston, or lever, driven machine was developed in Italy in 1945 by Achille Gaggia, founder of espresso machine manufacturer Gaggia. The design generically uses a lever, pumped by the operator, to pressurize hot water and send it through the coffee grinds. The act of producing a shot of espresso is colloquially termed pulling a shot, because these lever-style espresso machines required pulling a long handle to produce a shot.

There are two types of lever machines; manual piston and spring piston design. With the manual piston, the operator directly pushes the water through the grounds. In the spring piston design, the operator works to tension a spring, which then delivers the pressure for the espresso (usually 8 to 10 bar).

A refinement of the piston machine is the pump-driven machine, which was introduced in the Faema E61 in 1961, and has become the most popular design in commercial espresso bars. Instead of using manual force, a motor-driven pump provides the force necessary for espresso brewing. Commercial or some high-end home machines are often attached directly to the plumbing of the site; lower-end home machines have built-in water reservoirs.

In recent years air-pump driven espresso machines have emerged. These machines use compressed air to force the hot water through the coffee grounds. The hot water is typically added from a kettle or a thermo flask. The compressed air comes from either a hand-pump, N20 or CO2 cartridges or an electric compressor. One of the advantages of the air-pump driven machines is that they are much smaller and lighter than electric machines. They are often handheld and portable. The first air-pump driven machine was Handpresso Wild, which was invented by Nielsen Innovation SARL, a French innovation house, and introduced in 2007. [source : Espresso Machine]

Cappuccino : Italian Coffee Drink for Breakfast Beverages

Cappuccino is Italian coffee drink topped with foamed milk. It is made in a steam-producing espresso machine. Espresso is poured into the bottom third of the cup, and is followed by a similar amount of hot milk. The top third of the drink consists of firm milk froth prepared a minute or two earlier; this foam is often sculpted to an artistic peaked mound. Shaved chocolate, raw sugar, cinnamon or other spices are often sprinkled onto the top of the finished drink. The cappuccino is then consumed with a teaspoon.

Legend has it that when a vast Ottoman Turk army was marching on Vienna in 1683, Marco d'Aviano was sent by the Pope to unite the outnumbered Christian troops. After a prayer meeting led by d'Aviano, they were spurred to victory. As the Turks fled, legend has it, they left behind sacks of coffee which the Christians found too bitter, so they sweetened it with honey and milk. The drink was called cappuccino after the Capuchin order of monks, to which d'Aviano belonged. Needless to say, there is no mention of cappuccino in any of d'Aviano's biographies or any other contemporary historical source. Indeed, the story did not appear until the late 1980s, indicating that it was probably made up as a joke.

Espresso machines of the type used to make cappuccino were introduced at the beginning of the 20th century when Luigi Bezzera of Milan filed the first patent in 1901. Cappuccino was developed in Italy by the early 1900s, and grew in popularity as the large espresso machines in cafés and restaurants were improved during and after World War II, specifically with the introduction of the modern, high-pressure espresso machine by Italian company Gaggia in 1948. The beverage had developed into its current form by the 1950s.

In Italy the cappuccino is seen as a morning drink and is rarely drunk after 11am. In the United Kingdom, espresso coffee initially gained popularity in the form of the cappuccino, due to the British custom of drinking coffee with milk, the desire for a longer drink so the café may serve as a destination, and the exotic texture of the beverage.

Besides a shot of espresso, the most important factor in preparing a cappuccino is the texture and temperature of the milk. When a barista steams the milk for a cappuccino, microfoam is created by introducing very tiny bubbles of air into the milk, giving the milk a velvety texture. The traditional cappuccino consists of an espresso, on which the barista pours the hot foamed milk, resulting in a 2 cm (¾ inch) thick milk foam on top. Variations of the mixtures are usually called cappuccino chiaro (white cappuccino, also known as a wet cappuccino) with more milk than normal, and cappuccino scuro (dark cappuccino, also known as a dry cappuccino) with less steamed milk than normal.

Attaining the correct ratio of foam requires close attention while steaming the milk, thus making the cappuccino one of the most difficult espresso-based beverages to make properly. A skilled barista may obtain artistic shapes while pouring the milk on the top of the espresso coffee.

Cappuccino was traditionally a taste largely appreciated in Europe, Australia, South Africa, South America and some of North America. By the mid-1990s cappuccino was made much more widely available to North Americans, as upscale coffee houses sprang up.

In Italy, and throughout continental Europe, cappuccino was traditionally consumed early in the day as part of the breakfast, with some kind of sweet pastry. Generally, Europeans did not drink cappuccino with meals other than breakfast, preferring espresso throughout the day and following dinner. However, in recent years Europeans have started to drink cappuccino throughout the entire day. Especially in western-Europe (The UK, Ireland, The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium) cappuccino is popular at cafés and terraces during the afternoon and in restaurants after dinner. In the United States, cappuccinos have become popular concurrent with the boom in the American coffee industry through the late 1990s and early 2000s, especially in the urban Pacific Northwest. [source : Cappuccino]

Main Types of Coffee Grinders

Roasted coffee beans must be grinded to break the beans into smaller pieces so as to increase the surface area necessary for extraction. Quality coffee grinders are essential equipment to any coffee lover's kitchen. Grinding coffee beans just before brewing ensures the freshest flavor and produces a wonderful aroma to enjoy during preparation.

Blade Coffee Grinders provide a simple, cost effective means to grind coffee beans for your morning brew. These grinders utilize a blade that spins very fast to pulverize the coffee beans, a process similar to crushing ice in a blender. Grind fineness is varied based on the amount of time you grind. The primary disadvantages of blade grinders are the inability to provide a very consistent (uniform) grind fineness and also heat generated by friction at the bean can destroy some of the coffee flavor. Espresso Zone only recommends these for brewing methods that require a coarser grind, such as filter drip, percolator and French press.

The kind of grinder that tend to get the best reviews is the Burr Coffee GrindersCoffee beans are loaded into a hopper which feeds them into the grinding mechanism (burrs), then the ground coffee is deposited into a removable receptacle or directly into your espresso machine portafilter depending on the model. The primary advantage of burr coffee grinders is uniform grind fineness which is optimal for any brewing process. Higher quality burr grinders also feature a gear reduction or a heavy-duty, slow speed motor which reduces heat generated by friction and preserves the coffee's natural flavor. Slower grinding speeds also tend to reduce static electricity build-up for less mess. [source : Coffee Grinders]

French Press Coffee Maker


French Press Coffee Maker requires coffee of a coarser grind than does a drip brew coffee filter, as finer grounds will seep through the press filter and into the coffee. Coffee is brewed by placing the coffee and water together, stirring it and leaving to brew for a few minutes, then pressing the plunger to trap the coffee grounds at the bottom of the beaker.

Because the coffee grounds remain in direct contact with the brewing water and the grounds are filtered from the water via a mesh instead of a paper filter, coffee brewed with the French press captures more of the coffee's flavour and essential oils, which would become trapped in a traditional drip brew machine's paper filters. As with drip-brewed coffee, French pressed coffee can be brewed to any strength by adjusting the amount of ground coffee which is brewed. If the used grounds remain in the drink after brewing, French pressed coffee left to stand can become "bitter", though this is an effect that many users of French press consider beneficial. For a 12-litre (0.11 imp gal; 0.13 US gal) French press, the contents are considered spoiled, by some reports, after around 20 minutes. Other approaches consider a brew period that may extend to hours as a method of superior production. [source : French Press Coffee Maker]

Electric Drip Coffeemakers


An electric drip coffee maker can also be referred to as a dripolator. It normally works by admitting water from a cold water reservoir into a flexible hose in the base of the reservoir leading directly to a thin metal tube or heating chamber (usually, of aluminum), where a heating element surrounding the metal tube heats the water. The heated water moves through the machine using the thermosiphon principle. Thermally-induced pressure and siphoning effect move the heated water through an insulated rubber or vinyl riser hose, into a spray head, and onto the ground coffee, which is contained in a brew basket mounted below the spray head. The coffee passes through a filter and drips down into the carafe. A one-way aromalock valve in the tubing prevents water from siphoning back into the reservoir. A thermostat attached to the heating element turns off the heating element as needed to prevent overheating the water in the metal tube (overheating would produce only steam in the supply hose), then turns back on when the water cools below a certain threshold. For a standard 10-12 cup drip coffeemaker, using a more powerful thermostatically-controlled heating element (in terms of wattage produced), can heat increased amounts of water more quickly using larger heating chambers, generally producing higher average water temperatures at the spray head over the entire brewing cycle. This process can be further improved by changing the aluminum construction of most heating chambers to a metal with superior heat transfer qualities, such as copper.

Throughout the latter part of the 20th century, a number of inventors patented various coffeemaker designs using an automated form of the drip brew method. Subsequent designs have featured changes in heating elements, spray head, and brew-basket design, as well as the addition of timers and clocks for automatic-start, water filtration, filter and carafe design, and even built-in coffee grinding mechanisms. [source : Electric Drip Coffeemakers]

Coffee Percolators


Coffee Percolators began to be developed from the mid-nineteenth century. In the United States, James Nason of Massachusetts patented an early percolator design in 1865. An Illinois farmer named Hanson Goodrich is generally credited with patenting the modern percolator. Goodrich's patent was granted on August 16, 1889, and his patent description varies little from the stovetop percolators sold today. With the percolator design, water is heated in a boiling pot with a removable lid, until the heated water is forced through a metal tube into a brew basket containing coffee. The extracted liquid drains from the brew basket, where it drips back into the pot. This process is continually repeated during the brewing cycle until the liquid passing repeatedly through the grounds is sufficiently steeped. A clear sight chamber in the form of a transparent knob on the lid of the percolator enables the user to judge when the coffee has reached the proper color and strength.

Domestic electrification simplified the operation of percolators by providing for a self-contained, electrically-powered heating element that removed the need to use a stovetop burner. A critical element in the success of the electric coffee maker was the creation of safe and secure fuses and heating elements. In an article in House Furnishing Review, May 1915, Lewis Stephenson of Landers, Frary and Clark described a modular safety plug being used in his company’s Universal appliances, and the advent of numerous patents and innovations in temperature control and circuit breakers provided for the success of many new percolator and vacuum models. While early percolators had utilized all-glass construction (prized for maintaining purity of flavor), most percolators made from the 1930s were constructed of metal, especially aluminum and nickel-plated copper.

The method for making coffee in a percolator had changed very little since its introduction in the early part of the 20th century. However, in 1970 General Food Corporation introduced Max Pax, the first commercially available "ground coffee filter rings”. The Max Pax filters were named so as to compliment General Foods' Maxwell House coffee brand. The Max Pax coffee filter rings were designed for use in percolators, and each ring contained a pre-measured amount of coffee grounds that were sealed in a self-contained paper filter. The sealed rings resembled the shape of a doughnut, and the small hole in the middle of the ring enabled the coffee filter ring to be placed in the metal percolator basket around the protruding convection (percolator) tube.

Prior to the introduction of pre-measured self-contained ground coffee filter rings; fresh coffee grounds were measured out in scoopfuls and placed into the metal percolator basket. This process enabled small amounts of coffee grounds to leak into the fresh coffee. Additionally, the process left wet grounds in the percolator basket, which were very tedious to clean. The benefit of the Max Pax coffee filter rings was two-fold: First, because the amount of coffee contained in the rings was pre-measured, it negated the need to measure each scoop and then place it in the metal percolator basket. Second, the filter paper was strong enough to hold all the coffee grounds within the sealed paper. After use, the coffee filter ring could be easily removed from the basket and discarded. This saved the consumer from the tedious task of cleaning out the remaining wet coffee grounds from the percolator basket.

With the introduction of the electric drip coffee maker for the home in the early 1970's, the popularity of percolators plummeted, and so did the market for the self-contained ground coffee filters. In 1976, General Foods discontinued the manufacture of Max Pax, and by the end of the decade, even generic ground coffee filter rings were no longer available on U.S. supermarket shelves. [source : Coffee Percolator]

Coffee Vacuum Brewer


The principle of a coffee vacuum brewer was to heat water in a lower vessel until expansion forced the contents through a narrow tube into an upper vessel containing ground coffee. When the lower vessel was empty and sufficient brewing time had elapsed, the heat was removed and the resulting vacuum would draw the brewed coffee back through a strainer into the lower chamber, from which it could be decanted. The Bauhaus interpretation of this device can be seen in Gerhard Marcks’ Sintrax coffee maker of 1925.

An early variant technique, called a balance siphon, was to have the two chambers arranged side-by-side on a sort of scale-like device, with a counterweight attached opposite the initial (or heating) chamber. Once the near-boiling water was forced from the heating chamber into the brewing one, the counterweight was activated, causing a spring-loaded snuffer to come down over the flame, thus turning "off" the heat, and allowing the cooled water to return to the original chamber. In this way, a sort of primitive 'automatic' brewing method was achieved.

On August 27, 1930, Inez H. Pierce of Chicago, Illinois filed patent for the first vacuum coffee maker that truly automated the vacuum brewing process, while eliminating the need for a stove top burner or liquid fuels. An electrically-heated stove was incorporated into the design of the vacuum brewer. Water was heated in a recessed well, which reduced wait times and forced the hottest water into the reaction chamber. Once the process was complete, a thermostat using bi-metallic expansion principles shut off heat to the unit at the appropriate time. Pierce’s invention was the first truly "automatic" vacuum coffee brewer, and was later incorporated in the Farberware Coffee Robot

Pierce’s design was later improved by U.S. appliance engineers Ivar Jepson, Ludvig Koci, and Eric Bylund of Sunbeam in the late 1930s. They altered the heating chamber and eliminated the recessed well which was hard to clean. they also made several improvements to the filtering mechanism. Their improved design of plated metals, styled by industrial designer Alfonso Iannelli, became the famous Sunbeam Coffeemaster line of automated vacuum coffee makers (Models C-20, C-30, C40, and C-50). The Coffeemaster vacuum brewer was sold in large numbers in the United States during the years immediately following World War II. [source : Coffee Vacuum Brewer]

Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee : One of The Most Expensive And Sought-after Coffees In The World


Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee or Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee is a classification of coffee grown in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica. The best lots of Blue Mountain coffee are noted for their mild flavour and lack of bitterness. Over the last several decades, this coffee has developed a reputation that has made it one of the most expensive and sought-after coffees in the world; over 80% of all Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is exported to Japan. In addition to its use for brewed coffee, the beans are the flavor base of Tia Maria coffee liqueur.

Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is a globally protected certification mark, meaning only coffee certified by the Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica can be labeled as such. It comes from a recognised growing region in the Blue Mountain region of Jamaica, and its cultivation is monitored by the Coffee Industry Board of Jamaica.

The Blue Mountains are generally located between Kingston to the south and Port Antonio to the north. Rising to 2,300 metres (7,500 ft), they are some of the highest mountains in the Caribbean. The climate of the region is cool and misty with high rainfall. The soil is rich, with excellent drainage. This combination of climate and soil is considered ideal for coffee. [source : Blue Mountain Coffee]

Coffee Pods : The Latest Way To Enjoy Luxurious Taste of Coffees


Drinking coffee offers a myriad of benefits. Coffee can give you the boost that you need to start your day in the morning. It can also serve as a great beverage to drink while relaxing in the afternoon or in the evening. This is why many people choose to invest in quality coffee machines. Through having a coffee machine or coffeemaker at home, you would be able to prepare fresh and delicious coffee whenever you want. One of the most widely used coffeemakers in the market be pod coffeemakers.

Coffee pods (also called coffee pads) are pre-packaged ground coffee beans in their own filter. A variation, coffee bags, were developed to provide the convenience of instant coffee but maintain the flavor of brewed coffee. Modeled after tea bags, they consist of a gauze bag containing a mixture of instant coffee and finely ground roast coffee, which is to be steeped in hot water for approximately five minutes.

A pod coffeemaker basically works through forcing water to pass through a prepackaged pod of coffee grounds or a coffee pod instead of through a drip filter. This type of coffeemaker is designed to produce single servings of fresh and high quality coffee that is brewed rapidly; however, there are also some models that can brew coffee in bulk.

Pod Coffeemaker
One of the main reasons as to why more and more people are choosing to make use of coffee pods and pod coffeemakers in preparing espresso and other types of coffee is because they are convenient. You no longer need to get your coffee beans, put them into a grinder and measure out the amount of ground coffee that you will be using for brewing. You just have to put a pod in the pod coffeemaker and you would instantly have coffee that gives you the ultimate taste sensation. Aside from this, it is also easy to clean. The used pod can just be removed and then thrown away.

There are plenty of coffee retailers that sell quality coffee pods. Coffee pods are pre-packed single serve portion of ground coffee beans that are in standard plastic cups. They already have filter paper inside and are sealed for freshness, ensuring the best quality and taste. Coffee pods fit perfectly into pod coffeemakers that they have been made for. Hot water passes through the pod and is collected in the mug placed below. With coffee pods, it is easy to try various types of coffee since they come in individually wrapped single servings. You no longer have to finish one large bag of coffee before being able to open a new one.

The biggest benefit of using coffee pods in preparing coffee is probably the freshness and the amazing taste that each cup offers. Because they are individually packed and are sealed fresh, you can be sure that as you use one, the ground coffee beans are as fresh and as flavorful as if they have just been ground. This ensures that you would be enjoying a delightful cup of coffee each time you use a pod. [source : Coffee Pods]

Coffee Cup and Mug


coffee cup may refer to a type of container from which coffee is consumed. Coffee cups are typically made of glazed ceramic, and have a single handle, allowing for portability while still hot. Ceramic construction allows to be drunk while hot, providing insulation to the beverage, and quickly washed with cold water without fear of breakage, compared to typical vessels made of glass.

Some types of cups are quite exclusively used for drinking coffee, such as an espresso demitasse or cappuccino cup. Other types of cups commonly used for coffee but are also commonly used for other beverages as well include a teacup or mug. Coffee cups and mugs have long been used as promotional items, with corporate logos, messages (e.g., "Worlds Best Dad"), or in the office, a statement of character, political affiliation emblazoned on the side of the mug.

A coffee cup may also refer to disposable cups from which hot beverages (including coffee) are drunk. Disposable coffee cups typically are made of paper or styrofoam. Paper cups at many coffee shops are encircled with a coffee cup sleeve to provide insulation against heat transferred through the surface of the container.

The Anthora paper coffee cup, first produced for coffee-to-go by the Sherri Cup Company in 1963 for the New York metropolitan market, has become so identified with New York City that its image has appeared on the cover of the Manhattan Yellow Pages, and is recognizable in numerous television shows and movies set in New York. [source : Coffee Cups and Mugs]