WHAT IS COFFEE?
Coffee is an evergreen shrub or small tree indigenous to Central Africa and Asia.
Well, there are so many species of coffee, but only 3 are used commercially i.e.,
Coffee arabica – supplies the largest and best quality of coffee beans; Coffee robusta – yields beans of lower quality; Coffee liberica – whose beans are of still lower quality
Brazil is by far the largest producer and exporter of Arabica coffee.
HOW IT’S MADE?
The coffee bean quality influenced: A) ripeness stage B)harvesting method C) processing technique
HARVESTING – Only harvest the ripe beans and avoid harvesting the under-ripe berries. The not uniform ripeness can cause the quality and the flavors. The harvested berries must be processed within 24-36 hours.
The coffee bean can be produced from coffee berries through the process: A) Dry Method B) Wet Method
In the former method, the berries are sun-dried by spreading them out on drying floors and the coverings are removed by hulling. The beans are later cured in curing sheds. The product obtained is known as cherry or native coffee.
In the wet method, the ripe fruits are squeezed in a pulping machine which removes the soft outer pulp, leaving a slippery exposed layer of mucilage. The mucilage is removed by spontaneous fermentation, which is sometimes facilitated with enzymes. The seeds separating from pulp are washed and subsequently dried to a moisture content of 12 %.
The wet method gives better quality coffee with a bluish-green color.
Then the green seeds are graded and packed.
Green coffee may be stored for a prolonged period with no adverse effects.
Each variety of coffee has its own flavor and other characteristics. Generally, marketed coffee is a blend of different coffee bean varieties. The blends are controlled for flavor, aroma, color, and strength of the beverage from the roasted them.
Raw or green coffee has no flavor or aroma and has an unpleasant taste.
For use as a beverage, it is roasted, powdered, and brewed and the aqueous extract taken as a drink with or without milk, sugar, and other substitutes.
During roasting, the coffee color changes from green to brown and the coffee aroma develops.
The flavor of roasted coffee depends upon the manner and extent of roasting, which is the best when it is freshly roasted.
Coffee exposed to moisture loses its all flavor in a very short time.
TYPES OF COFFEE
- Espresso Coffee: It is derived from brewing finely ground coffee with a mixture of steam and hot water.
- Cappuccino: Made by topping one-third espresso, with one-third steamed milk and one-third frothed milk.
- French Drip: Made without a paper filter. A porcelain coffee serving pot has a separate top that acts as a strainer for coffee grounds after hot water is poured onto them. Then the coffee liquid trickles through this top section into the lower receptacle.
- French Press: Utilises coffee infusion. Ground coffee is placed in the glass beaker, hot water is added and allowed to steep down. the tightly attached fitting then pushed to the bottom of the beaker where grounds are trapped and above the coffee sits.
- Cold Water Method: Coffee grounds are soaked in cold water for 10-20 hrs, depending o the strength. The coffee and grounds are strained and concentrated coffee liquid is stored in a refrigerator.
- Iced Coffee: Made by pouring a freshly made strong coffee infusion over crushed ice.
Coffee contains some essential nutrients and is extremely high in antioxidants.
A typical 8-ounce (240-ml) cup of coffee contains (1):
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): 11% of the DV
- Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): 6% of the DV
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine): 2% of the DV
- Vitamin B3 (niacin): 2% of the DV
- Folate: 1% of the DV
- Manganese: 3% of the DV
- Potassium: 3% of the DV
- Magnesium: 2% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 1% of the DV
THE POTENTIAL DOWNSIDES
- Caffeine can have various negative effects, such as anxiety and disrupted sleep — but this depends greatly on the individual.
- Caffeine can also have diuretic and blood pressure raising effects, though these usually dissipate with regular use.
- Some studies have found that women who drink a lot of coffee may have a higher risk of bone fractures.
Chicory (Cichorium intybus) is a well-known substitute for coffee, whose root is chopped, roasted, and ground.
Often used for blending with the latter, in liquid extracts. It gives bitterness to the beverage, which some people find refreshing.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Health risks by drinking coffee only concern people who have a habit of drinking too much coffee. It only depends on how one is consuming coffee.
People who drank moderate amounts of coffee each day had an 11% lower risk of heart failure than those who did not.
Regular black coffee (without milk or cream) is low in calories. In fact, a typical cup of black coffee only contains around 2 calories.
However, adding cream or sugar will increase the calorific value.
So, make sure to not drink excessive amounts of coffee.