Coffee information from The Coffee Brew.

A top Coffee Beverage…..and what goes into it.

Right before your eyes is a cup of fresh burnt umber liquid. A rich crema sits gently on the top – the steam rises and you catch whiff of the beautiful rich aroma. Does this feeling ever make you wonder just what goes into a top coffee beverage?

 

No….it’s not the information on the wrapper either. I’m talking about what really went into the coffee beverage in your quivering little hand. Just take a short moment to cast your mind back. The little roasted and ground beans that went into your espresso are steeped in history. Right from the pre-Columbian tribes to the modern drive-thru or your local Starbucks, coffee has really come a long way.

Counting the Beans: Facts About Coffee Beverage History

South American Indians first discovered the coffee bean well before the discovery of the New World. Its stimulating properties helped them to deal with the high altitudes, and were very popular. Then along came the Spanish Conquistadores. This is how the now famous green seeds (commonly but incorrectly called coffee beans) found its way into western history and the coffee culture was born. When the Spanish came to the New World, they were searching for cities of gold but instead they discovered other huge resources and new products to trade back in Europe.

Chocolate, tobacco, and coffee quickly took over the continent. I believe the first cafeteria, Kiva Han, opened in 1475 in Constantinople. Following its popularity more coffee houses sprang up, serving hot coffee beverages with a side of gossip or politics. The coffee club had been born. People used the coffee houses as meeting places to gather and discuss the events of the day. But in this era it was, of course, a pastime for the rich who had the time to sit around and do this type of business.

Farmers working the fields did not often get the chance to sit and discuss the great discoveries of the “Age of Reason” while sipping their favourite coffee brew and it did tend to limit the popularity of the drink until the Americans came along. This brought methods of mass production making coffee more affordable. Now nearly everyone could afford a daily hit of their favorite coffee beverage.

During the last century, the pressures for time during the World Wars made instant coffee popular. Instant coffee had been developed earlier, but the method of boiling the coffee down until the oils solidified out left it tasting rather burned and rancid. A new method for extracting it was developed by way of a cold process, using a vacuum to dry the coffee down. This soon made instant coffee a popular alternative.

All this convenience, however, did not make for a better tasting cup of coffee, and so by the late 1980s people palates were becoming more conscious of quality and flavour. This led to gourmet and specialty coffee shops popping up all over the place. These businesses relied on exotic beans and new coffee brewing methods to entice people to spend a bit more money for a much improved cup of coffee.

Soon, these new coffee varieties and blends were found to be so smooth that people discovered it was just as good served cold (especially with a big dob of vanilla ice cream). This led to the birth of the bottled coffee beverages that haunt vending machines and local corner store fridges worldwide.

This gives a small glimpse of the history cupped in your hand every time you stop to enjoy your preferred coffee beverage.


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