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What In The World Are Coffee Pods?

People drink coffee to stay awake and get more things done. But how can you get more things done if you’re waiting around for your coffee to brew. Oh sure you can go buy a cup of coffee but at some point you going to want a cup at home. With a coffee pod maker you’re only 30 seconds away from an excellent cup of coffee.

Senseo was one of the first coffee pod makers available. And having sold more than 10 million units in four years Senseo is definitely here to stay. A coffee pod looks just like a round tea bag. It works like this. You fill the coffee maker with water, place a coffee pod in the receptacle, hit the button and thirty seconds later you have a great cup of coffee. A patented method that uses a special spray head and mild pressure to balance the ratio of coffee to water while brewing creates a rich frothy cup of coffee.

If you’re looking for great tasting coffee that’s convenient and time saving then try pod coffee. Coffee pods are available in different brew strengths including dark roast, medium roast and mild roast. You can usually buy a package of 72 coffee pods for less than twenty dollars. Since you can also buy a 33 oz can of coffee grinds for about five to 10 dollars at the supermarket, coffee pods are not for budget minded coffee drinkers. That large can will definitely contain a lot more than 72 cups of coffee. But remember you’re paying a premium for a no mess, no measuring, easy cleanup, ready in thirty seconds, cup of a coffee. For some people that’s money well spent.

Cleanup is a breeze, just discard the pod. Since the coffee grinds are enclosed in a pod instead of a filter there’s less of a chance of spilling them all over your kitchen floor. The pod receptacle is even dishwasher safe.

Another reason to buy a coffee pod maker, especially a Senseo, is that the machines are so good looking. They are sleek, stylish and will look great on your countertop.

Coffee isn’t just for breakfast anymore, it’s an all day long affair. Why not make coffee pods part of your daily routine?

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What To Look For In A Coffee Roaster

If you have decided to roast your own coffee then your first port of call will be to consider how to select a coffee roaster that is right for you. This decision is probably one of the hardest coffee-related choices you’ll have to make – there’s nothing worse than buying the wrong kind of roaster for your needs.

We’re going to be primarily looking at automated custom coffee bean roasters for the purposes of this article. But, it’s worth noting that you can roast your own coffee beans fresh at home without having to buy a roasting machine.

It is possible to roast beans in or on the stove, on a barbeque or fire or even, sometimes, in a popcorn popper. But, if you take your home roasting seriously and want some help with the process (the do it yourself approach can take a lot more time and effort) then a proper roasting machine may be your best option.

So, why do people roast their own beans at home? Well, it’s basically all about freshness and the quality of the roast you will ultimately get. If you buy green coffee beans – i.e. beans that are unroasted – you can simply roast them at home when you need to use them in batches so they’ll be ultra fresh. Green coffee beans are cheaper and last longer than ready roasted beans into the bargain. By the way, more information on bean roasting can be found here: http://www.coffee-n-beans.com/roasters.html

The ability to roast your own beans is a desirable must with many coffee aficionados – you can do away with stale coffee, get the level of roast you want when and where you want it and save yourself some money into the bargain!

In very simple terms there are two main types of machine to consider when you’re deciding how to select a coffee roaster which are Fluid Bed/Air Roasters and Drum Roasters.

Fluid Bed/Air Roasters

If you want to roast your own coffee beans at home then the first thing you should look at is getting hold of a standard fluid bed based roaster. These machines are small, can be compact and are primarily designed for small-medium home use. So, they will roast your beans for you fairly quickly and with minimal fuss – you don’t have to stand over them for example, as you would if you were home roasting on the stove top.

These kinds of roasters kind of work like popcorn makers in that they use hot air during the roast process. You can see how the roast is progressing in most cases so you can control it more effectively and you will sometimes also be given pre-set roasts to choose from in any case. If you’re a home roasting ‘newbie’ then this kind of machine may suit you best as you will get a feel for the whole process as you go along – you can always upgrade to a bigger and more complex roaster at a later date when you have more experience. These machines are also cheaper than other options and are relatively easy to use in the kitchen.

There are a couple of downsides with this kind of roaster, however. You will find that some models won’t roast that much coffee at once and will burn out if you use them too often. Some models also don’t have such great controls or pre-sets (some don’t have any) – so it may take a while for you to get used to using the machine if this is the case.

Drum Roaster

If the option of a fluid bed roaster doesn’t seem quite right to you when you’re thinking about how to select a coffee roaster then you could also look at drum roasting as an alternative. Drum roasters were once only seen in coffee shops and stores that roasted their own coffee beans but, nowadays, it’s real easy to buy machines for domestic use.

Drum roasting machines can basically roast more beans at once – in most cases – than fluid bed machines as they are bigger. Most will work on a convection or conduction method. With this kind of machine you place your beans in a drum, close it up, set it running and wait until the roast is done.

This is more of a pro machine – although they are designed for use at home – simply because they can be more complex to operate than fluid bed roasters. But, the majority of true coffee fans will prefer this method over time as it is held to produce better results in coffee taste terms.

The downsides with many drum roasters is that they don’t have a window so you can’t always look inside them as you can with most fluid bed roasters. So, you may have to rely on your sense of smell or hearing (as you listen to the coffee bean cracks!) to work out when your roast is perfectly done. This is one of the reasons why these machines may not suit ‘newbie’ roasters to start off with.

Some of these drum machines can also give off a lot of smoke so you may need to sort out adequate ventilation or even do your roasting outside if this is the case. And, as you might expect you’ll pay more for drum roasters than for fluid bed machines. At the end of the day you’ll need to think long and hard about how confident you are with the home roasting process – if you haven’t roasted at home before then you may be better off starting off with a fluid bed machine but if you feel more confident and need the extra functionality then a drum roaster may suit you better.

Whichever type of machine you choose to buy do remember that it’s absolutely vital to read some user reviews on the Internet before you buy a roaster as these will tell you stuff the manufacturer won’t. These reviews are written by people who have used these machines and they will give you a real good idea of the pros and cons of any machine from people that have used them regularly.

Some example tips to look out with for fluid bed roasters include:

– How well do the programs (if there are any) work?
– How easy is it to use and what kind of functions does it have?
– How well made is the roaster?
– How evenly does it roast?
– How well can you see into the roasting chamber?
– How noisy is the machine?
– How easy is it to clean the machine/parts?
– What happens to the chaff?

Some example tips to look out with for drum roasters include:

– How well do the programs (if there are any) work?
– How easy is it to use and what kind of functions does it have?
– Does it produce a lot of smoke?
– Can you see inside the drum from the outside?
– Does the machine get too hot?
– What happens to the chaff?
– How easy is it to clean the machine/parts?

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The Official Coffee Cupping Guide

Do you have to be a professional coffee taster to have all the fun from coffee ? the ‘cuppers’ seem to have all of it, over and above their usual coffee buying, judging and writing reviews. But you can also enjoy the flavors of Tanzanian Peaberry, Monsoon Mysore and the rest if you wish to.

Coffee is judged by the professional ‘cupper’ through its many attributes, like smell, taste, flavor, body, acidity and several others. You can also simulate a professional set up with some simple arrangements.

First, you must have an abundant supply of fresh, filtered water. The best ground coffee can lose all the charm if made with ‘stale’ or tainted water. Water often absorbs smell from the air or may contain sulfur. Sometimes mildew in water pipes can alter the taste of water. never use distilled water as it contains an excessive amount of softening salts.

Keep an array of small glasses, small bowls, measuring spoons handy on a tray. And of course, you need the coffee.

Then keep boiled water ready. You have to grind the coffee beans in a burr grinder. Different settings of the mixer is needed for different trials of coffee. Surprisingly, grinds make all the difference to the taste of coffee.

Then soak any kind of coffee for a few minutes. You can filter the liquid or scoop out a little with a spoon to smell it. Take a deep breath to let the smell sink in. Then taste the liquid with your while tongue. Don’t drink it. Roll it in your mouth then spit it out in a container.

What is your impression ? did you find it woody or somewhat winey ? did you think it to be acidic or smooth. Was the aroma flowery or like pepper ? Coffee comes in a large variety of flavors and tastes. Of course, it is grown in a large variety of soil, climates and preparation is equally diverse.

You can taste a wide range of coffee – for example the Kenyan AA looks darker and is different from a cup of Colombian which is more floral. The Yemen Mocha again is different and tastes and smells like wine.

Altering the grind and roast can make a lot of difference to the taste and smell of coffee. Try from a rough to a smooth grind; colors vary from light to dark; tastes vary from American to Viennese.

Usually two tablespoons (10 grams) of coffee is needed for every six fluid ounces (180 ml ) of water. The temperature of the water is around 200 F (93C). of course as you go on trying out different methods and tastes, you can adjust any of these basic profiles.

The other important attributes based on which coffee is adjudged are as follows :

Acid – a dry taste. Prominent in Mexican coffee. Milder in beans from Sumatra. Here age and roast makes a bid difference.

Aroma – the steam or vapor gives out the smell, which can be fruity or herbal. Kona coffee for instance has a floral smell.

Bitter – you can sense this taste by the back of your tongue. It comes from the caffeine and other components. For instance, robusta is more bitter than Arabica.

Body – how ‘thick’ is the brew? American roasted coffee is light when compared to the dark French coffee.

Nuttiness – this is the sign of a poor quality of coffee beans. It is the result of aldehydes and ketones and tastes like roasted nuts.

Sharpness – this is the result of a mixture of acids and salts. You can have a pronounced effect in the cheap robusta beans.

So go ahead and experiment with as many tastes, countries and smells as you like and soon you will become a self-styled coffee expert !

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How To Choose An Espresso Coffee Bean

Espresso beans are simply coffee beans that have been pressed to make a specific type of coffee, known as espresso. Often, the beans are roasted to a darker level, giving it a more bitter flavor. This bitterness creates the flavor of espresso that many have come to love. Trying to choose an espresso coffee bean can be somewhat confusing. If you know the simple steps to choosing an espresso bean, you can easily find the best bean for your coffee.

Flavor

Although the term ‘espresso bean’ is used, it is possible to make espresso from any coffee bean available. You simply need to think about the flavor of coffee that you enjoy. If you like a more bitter taste, you will want a bean that has a darker roast. If you want a more subtle flavor, you should choose a lighter roast. Again, any coffee bean can be pressed to make espresso.

Power

How much strength do you want in your espresso? The stronger the flavor of the bean, the stronger your drink will be. The more the caffeine in the bean, the more the caffeine in the espresso. It is important to remember that espresso comes in shot sizes. If you want a more powerful drink, you cannot look at the coffee bean. You simply need to add an extra shot of espresso to your drink.

Cost

When you are choosing beans to make espresso at home, you need to consider cost. How much are you willing to spend on coffee? While the more expensive beans and roasts may have good flavor, are they necessary for the drinks that you are making? If the drink that you make is heavily diluted with coffee and milk or cream, you may not want to spring for a more expensive coffee bean.

Availability

If you are making espresso at home, you are looking to make your favorite drink. If you have a favorite drink, you want to make it taste the same each and every time you make it. This is why the accessibility of your espresso coffee beans is so important. If it is easy to find your beans, you will know that you will not run out. Your espresso will taste the same each and every time that you make it.

Flavor is always important when talking about an espresso coffee bean. Some want their espresso more bitter than others. You simply need to taste the various beans and their espresso to understand what you like. You also need to think about power. How strong do you want the espresso to be?

You also need to consider cost when you are purchasing espresso beans. The more expensive the bean, the better the flavor will be. When considering cost, you should consider availability.

Will the espresso coffee beans be easy to find? Choosing an espresso coffee for your coffee needs relies on these various aspects. When you can find a bean that meets your flavor, cost, and availability needs, you have found the perfect bean.

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How To Make A Killer Cappuccino

The taste of a good cappuccino is totally lip smacking and some times people just cannot start their day without a cup of cappuccino.

Cappuccino is a rich, dark coffee whose recipe originated in Italy. The name cappuccino actually comes from the resemblance of its color to the robes of the monks of the Capuchin order.

Cappuccino has a large volume of foam making it a light weight drink and less filling than other coffees. You take equal parts of steamed and frothed milk and espresso, with the milk on top of the espresso. Then you are free to sprinkle nutmeg, cinnamon or chocolate powder on top.

Start With Good Espresso

To make a good cappuccino you have to start with good espresso, which you get from doing the following: Grind the beans fine, press the espresso down firmly, use a high pressure machine or stove top model, don’t make too much at once, the creama must be visible on top as a golden-brown foam, and use an espresso cup to keep the temperature from cooling down too quickly.

The Difference between a Cappuccino and a Latte

Lattes are also half espresso and half milk. If you are wondering what the difference is between a latte and a cappuccino, with a latte you take the milk and espresso and pour the milk down the side of the cup so it mixes with the espresso.

Making the Froth

Where does the frothed milk come from for cappuccinos and for lattes? If you are using the French press as a foamer, you heat a cup of milk (non-fat is best) on the stove or microwave, to a temperature that you can stand to put your finger into it, then pour the milk into a rinsed plunger pot. Pump the plunger in the pot for a few minutes and the milk will expand to three to four times its volume, creating the froth for your cappuccino (or latte).

Getting Your Own Cappuccino Maker

If you have a coffee addiction, you may want to shop for a cappuccino coffee maker so you can make your own at home. A nice characteristic about the counter top model is it can steam milk for cappuccino and latte’s. When purchasing a cappuccino maker keep in mind that if you entertain frequently, you may want to shop for a cappuccino machine that makes several cups of cappuccino at one time.

Conclusion

Once classed as luxuries, many items of equipment such as grinders, cappuccino makers, espresso makers, and other drinks makers now adorn homes all over the world. So if you are one of the many who must start their day with a cappuccino, it will save you money by having the equipment at home than having to pay at a coffee house.

Another benefit is that you will be able to make some cappuccino whenever you choose. No longer will you have to run out to purchase a cup of your favorite coffee. You simply walk to your kitchen and put together your favorite brew.

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Things To Look For When Buying A New Coffee Machine

You rely on coffee to get your day started, depend on it to keep you going during the day, and love to finish your evening meal with a cup. However, you are stuck in a rut buying the same old brand from your supermarket, without giving much thought to what you really want from your coffee. If this sounds familiar you might want to consider spending a little time exploring the many types of coffee available today, and choosing a selection to suit your particular tastes.

Some useful ingredients for coffee tasting at home include a good supply of filtered water as tainted water can spoil the best coffee, a tray designed to take several small cups or bowls, some measuring spoons, and a variety of spoons. You will also need a burr grinder if you want to use whole coffee beans. It can be worthwhile trying different grades of fineness as well as different types of coffee to see which you prefer. However, you can buy different grinds to determine your favorite if you don’t want to invest in a grinder.

When preparing the coffee, remember that the water should be just off the boil. Boiling water will scald your coffee beans ruining their flavor and aroma. One cup coffee makers or other types of quality coffee machine can ensure that the water is of exactly the right temperature. For tasting, however, you should simply mix the coffee grinds with the boiled water, and either filter after a couple of minutes, or spoon off a sample of coffee to try. You will need roughly two tablespoons of coffee to each six fluid ounces of water but you can vary this combination to achieve a stronger or weaker effect.

Before tasting you should breathe in the aroma of the coffee, a large percentage of the taste is actually in the smell. Make sure the coffee is not too hot when you take it in your mouth, and allow the liquid to run over your whole tongue, covering all your taste buds. Keep the coffee in your mouth for a few seconds before spitting into a container.

Given the different climates and soil types involved in producing coffee, as well as the variety of methods of preparation, it is not surprising that there are such variations in coffee types. Try coffees from a number of countries, in different parts of the world. Variations between African and South American coffees are staggering.

Learn about the profiles of the coffees you enjoy. What is the acidity? What kind of aroma does the coffee have? How bitter is the aftertaste? Is there a nutty flavor to the coffee? Is there a peppery taste, or perhaps a floral one? Try light and dark coffees, rich, smooth and sharp coffees to gain a real understanding of your own preferences.

Spending some time learning about the various coffees available and the particular types that appeal to your taste buds can make coffee drinking a real pleasure. Given the amount of coffee most people drink during their working week, it is surprising how few know very much about the drink. Coffee tasting can be a great way of entertaining friends, while learning a little about your likes and dislikes at the same time.

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How To Brew The Perfect Cup Of Coffee – Every Time!

Brewing a great cup of coffee depends on a number of things such as the quality of the coffee bean, the quality of the water being used, the type of brewing being done, and the grind of the coffee. Now quality of bean and water is something you can easily take care. Just use good quality beans and pure water. However the relationship between the grind of the coffee and the type of brewing being done is more detailed and could use a little explanation. Now we all know that we make coffee by passing hot water over crushed coffee beans. However for it to really work well we need to understand just how long the water should be passing over the beans. The purpose of this article is to help you understand how to match your coffee’s grind to the type of brewing you are doing in order to make the best coffee possible.

Generally speaking, the ‘soaking’ time relates directly to how coarse the coffee is ground. This means that smaller coffee grinds need less contact with the water, and coarser grinds need longer contact. Espresso coffee is only exposed to water for 20-40 seconds and as a result is made using extremely fine grind coffee. A French press coffee maker can take as much as 4 minutes and uses an extremely coarse grind. If coffee is left contacting water for too long for its grind size, unwanted extracts emerge and make the coffee taste bitter. Of course if the grind is too large and the water passes very quickly (like using frech press grind in an espresso maker), very little of the caffeine and flavours extracted and will have poor flavour.

Of course filters play an important role in managing the balance between over and under brewing your coffee. Not only do they keep the grind out of your cup, but they also control how fast the water passes over the grinds. Paper filters are the most common, but many people are also using metal varieties. Paper filters are quite good. However they can absorb some of the coffee flavour, and some people claim they can taste the paper in the final coffee. Metal filters are normally made from stainless steel or gold plated mesh. They have very fine weave and filter out the coffee grinds very well. They also do not alter the taste of the coffee at all. Metal filters are also more environmentally friendly than the paper alternative.

Whichever you choose, be sure to buy decent quality. Cheap filters often clog or not allow the coffee to brew properly. A decent quality metal filter will last years and save money in the end.

Brewing a cup of coffee is not that hard. Brewing a great cup takes a little more understanding, but isn’t any harder. Start with fresh beans and good clean water and then match your brewing style to the proper grind and then mess around with the exact proportions and pretty soon your be brewing killer coffee every time.

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Top 6 Things To Look For When Buying Coffee Beans

People who are looking to buy coffee beans generally make a quick decision. They base their choice on the packaging that the coffee is in. They may base their decision on the commercial that they have seen for a specific brand. While these are easy ways to choose coffee beans, they are not the best. There are specific things that you should look for and do when you are choosing coffee beans. These 6 tips will help you to make the best decision possible.

Smell The Coffee

Smelling the coffee first thing that you should do when comparing coffee beans. It can help you to better understand the full flavor of the coffee. It will also show you the smell that you will be waking up to when you make your coffee. While all of the other aspects of coffee are important, this will help you to choose the better coffee.

Ask for a Sample

If you can, ask for a sample of the coffee. Samples will allow you to taste the coffee. This is the ultimate way to buy coffee. Samples are not always available. Simply ask the store for a sample of coffee. Even if you have to pay for the sample, it will be worth the small purchase.

Visit a Coffee Shop

Visit a coffee shop to see what various types of coffee beans are available. Coffee shops will often have different kinds of coffee that are not found in other stores.

Read Online Reviews

Online reviews can help you to narrow down your coffee bean choices. Online reviews can give you a general understanding of the quality of the brand. If the coffee is too weak or too strong, the reviews will let you know. If the flavor is off, a review will let you know.

Purchase Sample Sizes

Some types of coffee beans can be purchased in sample sizes. These smaller bags of coffee will allow you to try out the coffee before you commit to a purchase of a full bag.

Try New Things

Don’t be afraid to try new things. Unique and unfamiliar types of coffee could wind up as your favorite brand. If you can afford it, simply purchase various types of coffee. This will give you a better understanding of coffee beans on the market.

Smelling the coffee will give you a better understanding of the flavor of the coffee. It can help you to fully understand the aroma that will be in your home when you make the coffee. Asking for a sample, when available, is the quickest way to buy coffee beans.

Visiting a coffee shop and reading online reviews will give you the full range of available coffee beans. Purchasing sample sizes is an easy way to try various types of coffee without the financial burden of buying an entire bag. By being willing to try new things, you will find it easy to purchase coffee.

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