Coffee Lesson #21

aroma (general meaning):

  • a distinctive scent, usually pleasant

aroma (coffee connotation and meaning):

  • the fragrance of brewed coffee
  • the fragrance given off while coffee is brewing
  • the fragrance coffee grounds emit

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Coffee & the environment

The environment is our collective responsibility.

We need to make sure we dispose of things properly (i.e. prescription drugs, oil, batteries, etc.). We need to make sure we use everything to its potential–don’t just throw that pair of shoes out because it’s out of style! Keep them, keep using them, they still work. We need to consider what we do now, that is wasteful or problematic, that we can slowly and eventually change — and this is where coffee comes in.

Coffee is a delightful habit, but it can also negatively impact the environment. Every little change adds up in our individual lives, and if each individual makes a few small changes, we can have a big impact. So what does that look like for the average caffeinated individual?

  • Reuse iced coffee plastic containers. I refill mine with iced coffee from home or turn them into my water container.
  • Bring your own mug or thermos to the coffee shop.
  • Decline the plastic drink stopper.
  • Re-purpose coffee grounds–compost, soaps, candles, etc.
  • Reuse and re-purpose coffee filters.
  • Forgo Keurig pods and use the reusable pod with your own coffee grounds.
  • Go into the coffee shop, don’t use the drive-thru.
  • Reuse coffee bags — upcycle. Sew them into purses or totes (or, give them to someone who can sew them into purses and totes 😉)
  • Reuse coffee cups — the cups are made for coffee, and sturdy, why not give them another go?
  • Reuse/re-purpose coffee cans — they are strong containers! If you have no need for them, find an art teacher, they can definitely use them!

These are just a few ideas and suggestions. If we all chose a couple of things to upcycle, re-use, re-purpose, imagine how much we could stop going to landfills. If we all stopped idling in our cars, imagine how much gas (and money) we’d saved, and how much cleaner our air could be. If we all shared our best practices, and implement just a few, we could change the course of history–and still enjoy our coffee, win-win y’all, win-win.

Used coffee filters . . .

My grandma is from a time and place where anything and everything had more than one use, one purpose.

With climate change, we are increasingly being encouraged to look at daily habits with a critical lens–how much waste are we producing, how much waste can we prevent, what can be saved, what can be reused.

As a child, I learned repeatedly to: recycle, reuse, reduce.

All of these things have inspired me to re-examine and re-imagine some habits to help the environment. At times these simple and creative solutions have allowed me to save money, not just feel good about my efforts. So with that in mind let me offer some ideas on how I have approached my coffee consumption.

Today’s spotlight: coffee filters.

A coffee filter has been used, now what?

  • Use it again. Dump the grounds and reuse–especially if it’s the same coffee brand and flavor. Filters have a shelf life of several uses, not just one.
  • Save them for craft projects. Let them dry and set them aside for some painting. It’s a cheap canvas, but it works.
  • Line the bottom of your planter pots. It helps keep the water in.
  • Deodorize. Pour out some baking soda on the filter, bundle and seal with a rubber band, place it where it stinks (i.e. shoes).
  • Add the filter and grounds to your compost.

It’s not a comprehensive list but it’s a list to spark your imagination. So much of what we do and use has a much longer shelf life, and more than one purpose. As you think about your daily habit, consider what you can do to help curb any environmental impact–every little bit counts, even something small like a few coffee filters adds up quickly.

Coffee Lesson #19

espresso:

  • coffee drink, Italian in origin
    • coffee that is often thicker than coffee brewed using other methods of preparation
  • concentrated thick coffee with a layer of dense foam
  • coffee prepared by forcing nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans
  • strong black coffee
    • strong black coffee made by forcing steam through finely ground coffee beans
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Espresso from Caffe Greco in Rome, Lazio, Italy

Coffee Lesson #18

hulling:

  • part of the coffee production process; optional step in coffee production
  • removal of the parchment skin of coffee beans
  • removal of what is left from the fruit of the coffee bean

Coffee Lesson #17

iced coffee:

  • a type of cold beverage made from coffee
  • chilled coffee; not the same as cold brew, not equivalent to or to be confused with cold brew coffee
  • hot coffee made through traditional brewing methods that is cooled down to be served over ice
    • iced coffee, tasty and correct iced coffee, is prepared to be iced coffee, it is not day-old coffee that is then served over ice
    • iced coffee is generally brewed at a higher strength because the ice dilutes the strength when served
  • chilled coffee served over iced, often flavored

 

Coffee Lesson #16

latte:

  • also referred to as caffé latte (Italian name/word origin)
  • coffee drink made with espresso and steamed milk
    • variations of the drink can include replacing standard steamed milk with other types of milk such as soy, almond, cashew, etc.
    • can be served cold–an iced latte is espresso with chilled milk poured over ice
  • considered a morning drink, especially in Italy/Italian culture
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Hazelnut Latte and a bagel with cream cheese at Sunrise Coffee in Las Vegas, NV

Coffee Lesson #15

Other phrases, terms, slang, etc. for coffee:

  • morning cup
  • Joe/morning Joe/cup of Joe
  • bean juice
  • java
  • breakfast of champions
  • dark water
  • morning brew
  • rocket fuel

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. . . I know there’s more but these ones felt like the most common. Also, I’m sure it depends on the region too. I’m coming from an American English background, and after all my travels I definitely know that English is different all over the world!

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Which term is your favorite?

What other terms should I include?

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