The coffee plant is an evergreen tree or bush which is grown commercially in tropical climates throughout the world. The coffee plant requires not only hot climate but a high rainfall, rich soil and relatively high altitude. The coffee beans are green in colour which turns red when ripe. Each berry contains one or two greying seeds covered with a thin membrane. The berries should be picked when ripe, unripe berries give defective beans and overripe ones are difficult to beat to a pulp.
The three main varieties of coffee plants are -
Coffee Arabica : which supplies the largest and the best quality of coffee beans.
Coffee Robusta : produces medium size beans of average quality.
Coffee Liberica : produces the beans of still lower quality.
Preparation and Use
Coffee should be freshly roasted and ground. If it is not possible coffee powder should be brought in small quantities and stored in air tight container free from moisture.
Coffee should be freshly brewed.
Some metals spoil the flavour and hence stainless steel or glassware should be preferred.
The water should be soft and heated to approximately 85C or 95C.
In making coffee the goal is to extract the maximum amount of caffiene but the minimum amount of tannin and to have a clear infusion.
Conserving and Storing
Since the flavouring oils are highly volatile, some flavour is lost after roasting and then again after grinding.
Coffee powder must be vacuum packed or stored in sealed air tight container.
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