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

Best Coffee: World Edition

Now that I have a clear idea and understanding of the best cities in the US for coffee, let’s talk about the world.

First guesses:

  • Somewhere in the Middle East?–Turkey?
  • Somewhere in Europe–Italy? Austria?
  • Somewhere in the Americas–USA? Costa Rica? Colombia?
  • Somewhere in Africa–Ethiopia?
  • Somewhere in Asia–Vietnam? Japan?

What did I miss? Australasia/Oceania. And this is where I completely missed the mark . . .

As I started the Australian leg of my travels, I was duly informed that Melbourne is considered to have some of the best coffee in the world. In fact, it has been ranked as having the best coffee in the world *repeatedly*.

From 2014 to the present, I have researched and found that Melbourne is where it’s at!

So, if you want a great trip, a great caffeinated trip, I suggest a trip down under!

Coffee Lesson #14

affogato:

  • Italian word for “drowned”
  • coffee-based drink/dessert
    • whether it is listed as a drink or dessert depends on where you are located in the world/where you are ordering
  • scoop of ice cream, usually vanilla ice cream, topped with a shot of espresso
    • variations of coffee and ice cream, flavors and how much, exist throughout the the world
    • liqueur can be added/included as well
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Affogato in Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia

 

Coffee Lesson #13

latte art:

  • pictures and/or patterns created by pouring milk into coffee
  • pictures, patterns, and/or embellishments created by drawing on the top layer of foam of a latte, or similar coffee drink

Latte Art

Coffee in Italy

Coffee in Italy (v. the US):

5 things I researched, and also experienced, 13 years ago and this time around

  • bar = coffee shop
    • You go to the bar for coffee, the bar is not your local pub.
  • No milk options/questions
    • When I order a cup of coffee, or any coffee drink in the US, I’m almost always asked what kind of milk I want with my drink. I usually ask what is available and am treated to a nice list of options. I keep my ears open for almond, cashew, or oat. *This is very much an American experience.*
      • No such questions are ever asked by baristas in Italy. I asked a few locals and they laughed at my list of milks, and asked how it tasted with coffee with curiosity and bewilderment, because it is very much a foreign concept. They also informed me that maybe you can get soy, but no, there’s no litany or automatic choices for milk, and soy is very much a maybe.
  • latte = milk
    • If I go to a coffee shop in the US I can order a latte by merely saying “latte.” However, latte is not an English word in origin, and it literally means milk. In Italy, I order a caffé latte to be more accurate.
  • No time for reading, or working, or gaming, or whatever at the bar 😉
    • It’s a bar, there’s a counter, you get your drink, you take it, and you go back to your life. The concept of getting coffee and sitting down to drink it for an hour or so, the concept of a prolonged coffee escape, that is very much an American concept.
  • Coffee all day, every day, every moment of the day
    • These people drink coffee. They pack it away! I get jittery just thinking about it. Coffee is a quick event that happens frequently throughout the day. There is no meal or snack where I am not offered coffee. It’s a daily, all day, recurring thing to consume during your day. If I drank this much, this often, I’m pretty sure I would have dropped dead of a heart attack by now–I haven’t even tried to keep up with the locals. I can’t do it.

There are definitely more differences, but these first 5 struck me the most. I still have another month here, I’ll see what more I can discover and learn through this cultural exchange. 😀

Coffee Lesson #12

arabica (coffee arabica, Arabian coffee, mountain coffee):

  • an evergreen plant with seeds that produce high-quality coffee
    • plant is native to Ethiopia
    • the name “arabica” comes from historical context: it was eaten in Ethiopia, then traveled to Arabia (present-day Yemen, lower Arabian peninsula) in the 7th century where it was turned into a drink, so it was discovered as a drink in Arabia
  • considered, recorded, and thought to be the first species of coffee to be cultivated
  • arguably the best, most prized, coffee

Coffee Lesson #11

coffee blend:

  • combination of coffees
    • coffee is blended (combined) for culinary and economic purposes
  • process, or art, that mixes coffee in order to complement the flavor of each selection of coffee
  • coffee beans from two or more different locations that are mixed and roasted together

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