To most people, coffee means the leafy Arabica trees growing in Rwanda on the numerous hillsides or the red ripe coffee cherries, almost delicious and perhaps the few grams of the finished product that we mix with milk and water to make a coffee drink.
Apparently coffee is not just that. It is a whole new world of exotic names, colorful drinks and an artistic presentetion
Talks about Cappuccinos, Espressos and Cacchiatos and if you are not a regular patron of a serious coffee house like Bourbon coffee, you might mistake those names for those of the Italian mafia.
The recently concluded East African fine coffee conference, where the pure glorification of coffee was the main tiem, was an eye-opening experience of the intricate journey of coffee from the farm to the cup.
Coffees from all over Africa in the form of cream colored spotless clean dry beans (surprisingly called green coffee), chocolate-colour roasted beans, variously ground fresh form and the real enticing final drink in various forms was on display for the eyes to take pleasure in, to tantalize the smell buds, and to the taste buds to relieve.
The most intriguing part is the drying and roasting of the coffee bean. According to by Hardy Haberman, in “The Art of Coffee,” He continues that unless the beans are roasted until they are fully dry, a lot of the flavor is lost.
The dark roasts are the heartiest of the coffees. A professional coffee roaster will tell you that there are three basic shades of roast: light, medium and dark.
Espresso roasts tend to be darker roasted because the process reduces the acidity level in the coffee and therefore makes a better-concentrated cup.
He adds that African coffees can hold a dark roast, with the exception of Kenyan which already has an inherent sharp flavor characteristic, so it is not complimented by the dark roasting process. Tanzanian Peaberry is also excellent when roasted to a darker shade.”
According to online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, in order to create a final beverage, coffee must be ground and brewed. The type of grind is often named after the brewing method for which it is generally used.
Turkish grind is the finest grind, while coffee percolator or French press are the coarsest grinds. The most common grinds are between the extremes; a medium grind is used in most common home coffee brewing machines.
The quality and flavor of your coffee is not only determined by the brewing process you prefer but also by the type of coffee you select. One such coffee is Rwandan Medium which is a medium bodied and exceptionally smooth roast with trademark floral and citrus undertones, bright with a medium acidity level.
It comes from the Bufcafe Cooperative and is highly aromatic, with a clean and crisp aftertaste. The simplest brewing methods are the best and they all start with boiling a freshly drawn kettle of water immediately before brewing.
Use high quality, freshly roasted coffee. Coffee goes stale and loses its great flavors within about 6-8 weeks of roasting, and after about 3 months its flavorful oils go rancid. There are two basic methods of brewing coffee: espresso and infusion.
All other methods are variations on these. The espresso method uses pressure to push superheated water through the coffee grounds.
In the infusion method coffee grounds steep in water and release their soluble flavor molecules to brew the coffee. Steaming is used with a particular frothing technique to obtain cappuccino rather than latté. Americano is a shot of espresso with about 2 shots of hot water.
Coffee can be presented in many ways. You can have Mocha, a standard Espresso, hot chocolate and hot milk served in a glass or a Latte, a standard Espresso with hot milk topped by a small layer of silky milk foam, usually served in a glass.
Coffee can also be presented in an iced form. Cappuccino is a double shot of espresso over crushed ice with two ounces of cold milk and milk froth. As an iced espresso is a double shot of espresso over crushed ice, with whipped cream.
Like wine, coffee comes with natural flavors like caramel, chocolate, vanilla, and nuts.
Coffee also needs great skill to produce and no wonder it is now the most popular beverage in the world.