Coffee Story - your compendium of coffee knowledge

via Aneta Wieczorek

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The origin story of coffee: A fascinating journey from Ethiopia to a global phenomenon

Coffee is an aromatic beverage that is not only a favourite of millions of people around the world, but also has a rich history, dating back to its roots in Ethiopia. The origin story of coffee is full of fascinating discoveries, adventures and extraordinary events that have turned it into a global phenomenon.

Origins the history of coffee date back to ancient times, when a herdsman from the Oromo tribe in Ethiopia discovered that the fruit of the wild coffee tree had stimulating properties, after consumption of which he felt greater energy and vitality. This discovery was the beginning of coffee's fascinating journey around the world.

In the centuries that followed, coffee from Ethiopia found its way to other regions of Africa and was then brought to Arabia, where coffee cultivation began to flourish. There, coffee became a popular social drink and its preparation became a real ritual, with ceremonial brewing and consumption of coffee accompanied.

Over the following centuries, coffee made its way to other parts of the world through travellers, merchants and colonisers. In the 17th century, coffee plants began to be cultivated in the Netherlands, followed by other European countries such as France, Italy and England. Soon, the first caféswhere coffee has become a popular social drink and a meeting place for intellectuals, artists and businessmen.

In the 19th century, coffee plants were brought to South America, where they found favourable climatic and soil conditions for cultivation. Colombia, Brazil and other countries became important coffee producers in the world market. In the following decades, there were rapid developments in the technology of coffee production, transportation and processing, which contributed to its even greater popularity worldwide.

Today, coffee is one of the most important agricultural products in the world, and its cultivation, processing and consumption constitute an important economic sector in many countries. Coffee is also an integral part of culture, art and science, inspiring numerous literary works, films, paintings and other artistic expressions. The remarkable story of coffee's origin is constantly being researched and new facts and curiosities about its cultivation, trade and consumption are being uncovered.

The impact of coffee on the global economy is enormous. Hundreds of millions of people around the world earn money from its cultivation, processing, trade and distribution. Coffee is also an important source of income for many developing countries, being an important factor in their economies.

However, the history of coffee is not without controversy. As coffee production has become industrialised, there have also been issues surrounding the environmental and social sustainability of the industry. The clearing of rainforests, the use of pesticides and chemicals, poor working conditions on plantations, and inequalities in the coffee trade are all challenges that the coffee industry has had to address.

Despite this, coffee continues to be hugely popular around the world. It is loved for its unique flavours, aromas and stimulating properties. Coffee shops are important social places where people meet, talk, work or relax. Coffee is often part of our daily routine, adding energy and joy to each new day.

Find your favourite flavour - Types and grades of coffee

Coffee comes in a variety of types and grades, offering unique flavours, aromas and characteristics. Learn the differences between the most popular types of coffee you can find on the market.

Arabica - It is the most popular type of coffee, accounting for approximately 60% of the world's coffee production. Arabica is prized for its delicate and complex flavours, with floral, fruity and acidic notes. It grows at higher altitudes, giving it a distinctive flavour profile.

Robusta - It is another popular type of coffee, accounting for about 40% of the world's coffee production. Robusta is more resistant to harsh climatic conditions and is more resistant to pests, making it cheaper to produce. The flavour of robusta coffee is more intense, bitter and gritty, often used in instant coffee and coffee intended to be blended with other ingredients.

Speciality coffee - This is a category of coffee that is grown and processed in a unique way to achieve the highest quality. Speciality coffees can be sourced from specific regions, grown in suitable climatic conditions and carefully selected. It is often a coffee with a unique flavour, aroma and history, valued by coffee drinkers seeking a unique experience.

Decaffeinated coffee - This is a type of coffee from which the caffeine content has been removed or reduced. It is an ideal option for people who want to enjoy the taste of coffee but avoid excessive caffeine consumption. Decaffeinated coffee is produced in different ways to retain as much flavour and aroma as possible.

Other types of coffee - In addition to Arabica, Robusta, speciality and decaffeinated coffees, there are other types of coffee such as Liberica, Excelsa, Maragogype and many others. Each of these types has its own distinctive flavours, aromas and characteristics that may be of interest to true coffee drinkers. Some of these coffees are less common and more difficult to find, but can be a real discovery for coffee lovers looking for new taste sensations.

The most popular coffee drinks

Espresso - This is a classic coffee with an intense flavour, prepared in a special coffee machine. It is characterised by its intense aroma, dense texture and strong flavour. It is the base for many other coffees, such as cappuccinos and lattes.

Cappuccino - It is a combination of espresso, hot milk and milk foam. It is a popular coffee drink, known for its balanced taste, where coffee, milk and foam form a harmonious composition.

Flat White - It is a delicate composition of espresso coffee with milk, where the milk is more uniform and smooth than in cappuccino. It is characterised by a delicate, creamy taste and smooth texture.

Turkish-style coffee - It is a traditional method of preparing coffee, where coffee is boiled in a special pot with added sugar and spices such as cardamom or cinnamon. It is sweet, aromatic and has a unique flavour.

Latte - This is a classic coffee based on espresso, with the addition of frothed milk. It is characterised by a mild milk flavour that balances the intensity of the espresso. It is often decorated with latte art - milk foam drawings on the surface of the drink.

Americano - It is a coffee drink consisting of espresso and hot water. It is lighter and less intense than espresso, due to the addition of water. The Americano is popular with those who prefer less intense flavours, or who want to dilute their espresso.

Mocha - It is a combination of espresso, hot milk, chocolate and frothy milk foam. It is the ideal choice for lovers of chocolate-infused coffees, with a bittersweet cocoa flavour.

Doppio - It is a double espresso, which is twice as much espresso as in a standard drink. It is stronger and more intense than a single espresso, ideal for those seeking a stronger and more robust taste.

Macchiato - It is an espresso-based coffee, with the addition of a small amount of frothed milk. It is known for its stronger coffee flavour, with a delicate touch of milk.

Aeropress - This is an innovative method of coffee preparation, where coffee is extracted under low pressure through a special device called an Aeropress. It is a popular method among coffee drinkers because of the ability to control the extraction time and temperature, allowing for a variety of coffee flavours.

Viennese-style coffee - This is a classic coffee drink originating from Vienna, Austria. It consists of espresso, hot milk and whipped cream on top. It is often sprinkled with icing sugar or cinnamon. It is a coffee with a sweet and creamy taste, ideal for colder days.

Cortado - This is a coffee originating from Spain, consisting of espresso and a small amount of hot milk. It is a coffee with a balanced taste of coffee and milk, with a moderate amount of foam.

Ristretto - It is a stronger and more intense version of espresso. It is prepared with the same amount of coffee as espresso, but with less water. This gives it a stronger flavour and aroma.

Caffè con Panna - This is a classic Italian coffee drink that consists of espresso and cream on top. The cream is usually slightly sweet and adds a creamy flavour to the coffee.

Iced coffee - It is a coffee that is served cold with ice and is often mixed with milk, flavoured syrup and additives such as whipped cream or chocolate. It is ideal for hot days and makes a refreshing coffee drink.

Coffee with a special additive - Depending on the region and culture, coffees can be served with a variety of special additives such as spices (e.g. cinnamon, nutmeg), liqueurs, spirits, flavoured syrups or other aromas that give the drink a unique taste and character.

Advantages and disadvantages of coffee: is it the perfect drink?

Coffee, a popular beverage consumed around the world, has its advantages and disadvantages. Here are some of them:

Benefits of coffee:

Energy and stimulation: The caffeine in coffee can act as a stimulant, helping to improve concentration, physical performance and reduce feelings of fatigue.

Richness of flavour: Coffee offers a rich flavour, aroma and variety of types, making it a favourite drink for many people.

Social aspect: The consumption of coffee can be a social ritual, enabling meetings with friends, business talks or moments of relaxation.

High antioxidant content: Coffee is a rich source of antioxidants that can act as protection against oxidative damage in the body.

Coffee disadvantages:

Stimulating action: For some people, excessive coffee consumption can lead to unwanted effects of stimulation, such as nervousness, insomnia, trembling hands or an accelerated heartbeat.

Risk of addiction: Caffeine in coffee is an addictive substance, which can lead to a habit of drinking coffee and the body's tolerance to its effects.

Potential adverse health effects: High coffee consumption may increase the risk of certain health problems, such as sleep disturbances, stomach problems, heart rhythm disturbances or negative effects on oral health.

Individual tolerance and reactions: The reaction to coffee can vary from person to person, some may be more sensitive to its effects and others may not tolerate its consumption due to health, allergies or preferences.

Coffee, like many other foods, has both advantages and disadvantages. The decision to consume coffee should be based on individual preference, health, body tolerance and moderate consumption. It is worth being aware of the potential benefits and risks of coffee consumption.

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