About the coffee world
The discovery of coffee is told by legends and its discovey is exciting, from the coffee plant and its history. Rumor has it to have started because of some goats.
Coffee reached Italy in 1600, when the relationship between coffee and health was already known.
The art of espresso tasting teaches you to identify and appreciate its inimitable organoleptic characteristics, which require precise extraction techniques during, such as the 10 rules for the mocha pot.
Il caffè: un mondo di leggende, aneddoti, storie e curiosità tutte da sfogliare.
The coffee plant
Coffea is plant of the Rubiaceae family, that grows in tropical areas. There are about one hundred species of coffee. Coffee berries are harvested and processed with different methods, either placing them under the sun (dry processed) , or soaking them in water (wet processed).
Arabica and Robusta are the most common speciesused for commercial purposes. Arabica is more delicate and valuable. Contains on average 1,4% of caffeine and it is greenish in color. Robusta is a more resistant plant. Contains on average 2,7% of caffeine and it is brownish in color.
The origins of coffee
The first coffee plant was discovered in Ethiopia, Africa. It was then transferred in Yemen and other nearby regions, where the coffee-based drink was used as a medicine.
During the the sixteenth century, the use of coffee spread throughout the Arab world. The Turks were the first to roast the coffee and brew it in a boiling poit (Ibrik), thus getting a stronger drink. The first coffee shops opened in Constantinople and Cairo, becoming places for gathering and relax.
Coffee in Europe and Italy
Travelers, merchants, scholars and doctors contributed to make the coffee a popular drink in the 1600. In Italy it was introduced by Venetian merchants and immediately became a ritual besides being a drink. The first coffee shop opened in Venice in 1640.
After that, coffee shops popped all over Europe. There were more than just coffee shops. Intellectuals used to gather in these places. Some of them became legendary, like Caffè Florian in Venice, Caffè Greco in Roma, Caffè Pedrocchi in Padova and Caffè San Carlo in Torino.
Coffee and health
A moderate consumption of coffee, thanks to its some of its compounds, has several benefits for health:
- it is rich in antioxidants;
- stimulates a protective effect on the cells of the gastric mucosa;
- reduces the risk of liver diseases;
- Stimultates the final part of digestion;
- stimulates gastric juices, saliva and bile production;
- acts as “fat burner”;
- reduces the risk brain diseases (Alzheimer’s disease);
- reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus and other metabolic diseases;
- enhanceslung ventilation;
- it is an anti-aging drink as if fights bacteria.
- Reduce the perception of fatigue;
- Acts as a diuretic beverage;
- ease pain;
- puts you in a good mood;
- keeps you awake and foucsed;
- ease migraine
- protects the brain from the negative effects of cholesterol;
- stimulates cardiac and nervous function;
- can be used as an adjuvant for the treatment of cellulite;
- soothes skin after sun exposure.
Caffeine content per cup*
- in a cup of coffee made with mocha pot (35-50 ml): 60-120 mg
- in an espresso cup (20-25 ml): 50-100 mg
- in a cup of Americano (100 ml): 95-125 mg
A cup of coffee contains almost the same amount of caffeine as a cup of chocolate or tea.
* These are average data, as the amount of caffeine absorbed does not depend only on the volume of coffee drunk, but on the brewing method, on the amount of coffee and the blend used. Zicaffè blends mainly use Arabica coffees thus having a lower caffeine content.
The understanding and evaluation of the coffee features require skills and experience. The tasting can be divided into four phases.
Visual phase. The first part of the analysis involves the crema and its texture, by evaluating the color of the crema, its texture and persistence and a global evaluation.
Olfactory phase (smell). In this phase it is our nose in charge of evaluation. Trying to find
the intensity and variety of different smells, both positive and negative, and describing them.
Gustatory phase. This is the phase where our mouth is involved. It aims to evaluate the body and viscosity of the coffee. And the four main sensation: acidity, bitterness, sweetness and saltiness, as well as astringency and earthiness.
Retro-olfactory phase. After having swallowed coffeeyou can evaluate all the features of coffee, both positive and negative.
After having performed the all four phase you can make a gobal evaluation of the coffee.
10 rules for the moka pot
To make a great coffee with a moka pot requires lots of attention.
Here some hints to get a good result.
- Store coffee in sealed container, preferably in the refridgerator
- Clean the moka pot thoroughly after every use
- Check the filters and vales are clean
- Replace the gasket regularly
- Fill the pot tank until the valve level
- Fill the coffee filter till the edge, pressing it if you want a strnger coffee
- Look after the pouring
- Keep the pot lid open during infusion
- As soon has the coffee has poured, turn the stove off
What is coffee made of?pronesisTest2020-01-13T17:04:54+00:00
A coffee bean contains several compounds and minerals, among which caffeine is the most popular
What is caffeine?pronesisTest2020-01-13T17:04:39+00:00
Caffeine is an alkaloid, discovered in 1820, and has a shape of a jagged crystal. The caffeine chemical formula is C8 H10 O2 N4
How much caffeine does a cup of coffee contain?pronesisTest2020-01-13T17:05:15+00:00
The amount of caffeine ranges from 50mg to 120mg per cup, based on the variety of coffee and the brewing method
Is coffee healtypronesisTest2020-01-13T17:08:17+00:00
A moderate consumption of coffee acts as a tonic, as coffee contains healthy compounds. Moreover cafeeine stimulates the brain and the body, at various levels.
Is coffee high in calories?pronesisTest2020-01-13T17:05:42+00:00
Not at all. A cup of coffee contains only 2 calories
Can anyone drink coffee?pronesisTest2020-01-13T17:06:13+00:00
Only people who are intolerant to caffeine , have ulcer or cardiovascular problems should avoid coffee. Besides that, doctors recommend pregnant women not drink any coffee.
How many cups a day can you drink?pronesisTest2020-01-13T17:06:38+00:00
Tollerance to caffeine varies from subject to subject. However, the maximum amount of caffeine our body can take is 600mg (seven cups of coffee)
What is the difference between blends?pronesisTest2020-01-13T17:06:59+00:00
The varieties of coffee blended and the roasting type determine differences between coffees. A coffee blend made mainly with Arabica green coffee is richer in aroma and sweetness, while a blend which contains more Robusta beans has heaviere body and stronger taste.
Why Italian Espresso is so popular worldwide?pronesisTest2020-01-13T17:07:18+00:00
Italian coffee company have mastered the art of blending and roasting coffee for espresso since the invention of espresso machine. Each coffee blend is a mix of culture, experience and talent.
How many cups of coffee people drink every year?pronesisTest2020-01-13T17:07:57+00:00
Every year people in he world drink 400 billions cups of coffee. Coffee is the most popular drink after water. The country with the highest per-capita consumption is finland with 13 kg of coffee per year; in Italy the consumption is 4,5 kg per year.
Facts and legends
According to a legend, an Ethiopian sheperd name Kaldi noticed that his goats were very active after having chewed coffee berries. He tried the cherries himself and found out about coffee properties.
Another legend tells of a bushfire in Abyssinia, which created a smell that spread in a vast area. Nomads noticed that, and discovered the properties of coffee.
A third legend tells of a nomad who got lost in the desert, but managed to survive his trip only by chewing coffee berries.
The origin of the word “coffee” has not been defined yet. It could come from the Arabic gawha or Kavek, which means stimulating, of from the Turkish word Kahve, or from the word Kaffa, the region of Ethiopia where the frst coffee plant was found.
Arabs started drinking coffee because their holy book did forbid alcohol. Coffee was a nice alternative to wine.
According to a legend, after the siege of Wien, Turkish army left behind coffee bags. After a while the coffee benas grew, thus spreading the coffee culture throughout Europe.
Rumor has it the Pope Clement the VII tasted coffee in order to reassure those priests who thought that coffee was the beverage of evil. He found the drink delicious and allowed people to drink it.
In 1686, the Siicilian nobleman Procopio de Coltelli open the first coffee shop in Paris (Cafè Procope). It soon became a place where French intellectuals used to gather.
As coffee culture spread throughout Europe, so its cultivation spread around the world, in the European Empires’ colonies. Brasil, Central America and Indonesia became large coffee producers.
Venetian suitors in the past centuries we used to give coffee and chocolate as gifts for their lovers.
Benefits of coffee are known for a long time. The arabian doctor Avicenna, in the 11th century used to prescribe coffee as a medicine.
By the end of the 14th century, botanics started to study coffee and its benefits. One of the first essay about coffee was written by the end of the 16th century, by the German botanic Leonhard Rauwolf. The Italian doctor Prospero Alpini also wrote a tome about the properties of Coffee. The French Antoine de Jusseieu wrote a tome about anotomy and coffee.
In the 19th century, many doctor used to prescribe coffee for its helth benefits.
Arab started to brew coffee by macerating both beans and pulp in boiling water. Later the Turk introducing the roasting and grinding process and a brewing technique with a small pot (Ibrik).
Abyssinian warriors used to feed on loaves made with coffee beans butter and salt.
In the arab peninsula, people still brew green beans, thus getting a drink called qishr.
Espresso machine was invented in Italy in 1902, by Luigi Bezzera, an engineer from Milan.
In the beginning of the 20th century, Alfonso Bialetti invented the Moka pot.
Coffee and literature
The Italian writer Carlo Goldoni, dedicated a comedy to coffee, and maned it La bottega del caffè.
In the 19th century, coffee shops were places , all around Europe, where intellectuals used to gather.
Coffee was the drink for the intellectual elite, set against chocolate, which was the drink of aristocracy.
The French writer Proust was a coffee lover, and used to prepare it twice a day, following a precise ritual.
In the piece Questi Fantasmi of the Italian Eduardo De Filippo, coffee becomes the main theme of an entire monologue.