More About Coffee
I'm fortunate to have a coffee shop close by that sells a wide variety of coffee beans that are roasted locally. They brew up two different kinds each day and then put such into marked insulated thermal gravity dispensers. As they rotate the selections through their stock, you have the opportunity to try all 50+ kinds. Each regular customer eventually realizes their preferences. Then when they buy coffee beans, they know if they'll be satisfied with their purchase.
30 Things About Coffee
Caffeine: The World's Favorite Drug
The world's favorite drug is caffeine.
"For hundreds of years coffee was used in its raw form — astringent and bitter — boiled or rolled with animal fat into a crude approximation of energy pellets. People clearly were chomping the coffee berries for the buzz, not the flavor. Yes, modern coffee tastes great. But it is 400 years of selective breeding and refinements in growing, harvesting, roasting, and brewing that have taken it from its unappealing natural state to the aromatic, smooth, flavorful beverage it has become. And without the caffeine, nobody would have bothered with the plant in the first place."
"Arabica coffee is the species native to the mountains of Ethiopia, where it evolved with a blend of drenching rains, abundant sun, and a narrow band of acceptable temperature. Arabica is the smooth-flavored coffee Americans have come to love, the coffee that gourmet coffee connoisseurs swear by. The other common commercially grown coffee species is Robusta, which is heartier and more productive and can grow in warmer temperatures, out in the open at low elevation. Robusta beans are often blended into commercial coffees, like Folgers. But virtually all Colombian coffee is arabica."
"To brew Americans' average fix of nearly three cups of coffee daily, America imported 3.5 billion pounds of coffee in 2012, more than any other nation. The coffee Americans drink annually would fill more than 6,000 Olympic-size swimming pools.
"If it's the flavor that makes us wild about coffee, why did our grandparents drink twice as much coffee as we do today? In those days the coffee was often roasted and ground long before it was consumed. And then it was run though a percolator, overextracting the bitter flavors. To most coffee lovers today, our grandparents' coffee was pure percolated plonk. It tasted worse, and they drank twice as much of it.
"For most of us, though, it's likely that we are interested not so much in a flavor experience as in a cup of coffee that is, more than anything, unobjectionable. If we phrase the question a bit differently — asking not what makes a good cup of coffee, but what makes a cup of coffee good — the answer is easy: caffeine.
"But most of us know little about caffeine. Even the most basic coffee distinction — between the robusta beans that become cheap diner coffee and the arabica beans that supply chic coffeehouses — is poorly understood. It's the lowly robusta that packs twice as much caffeine. Among the gourmet brews, people commonly perceive that a dark roast, with its strong flavor, has more caffeine than a mild-tasting, light roast. But that, too, is wrong. Because some of the caffeine has been burned off in the longer roasting, darker coffees have less caffeine than light roasts, bean for bean....."