5 Coffee Certifications Compared – What Fair Trade And Rainforest Really Mean

Coffee Certifications Compared and explained
Coffee Certifications Compared and explained

Coffee Certifications Compared

What Organic, Fair Trade, Rainforest And Others Really Mean

Ever wonder what the different coffee bean certifications mean on any given bag of coffee?

When browsing for your next bag of Joe, you may see labels that read Fair Trade Certified. Or, Rainforest Alliance

Well, there’s meaning behind those labels and we would like to explain the differences between them so that you can be aware of the implications.

Organic

USDA Organic Certification Logo

The mission of organic coffee production is to “create a verified sustainable agriculture system that produces food in harmony with nature, supports biodiversity and enhances soil health.”

The first certification was issued in 1967 and eventually developed into an internationally recognized system with production throughout the world. 

The USDA’s standards must be met and upheld when applying for this certification. In order to be verified for this seal, there must be no use of prohibited substances on the land that the coffee is grown on for at least three years. 

So, this can be a lengthy process if it has failed the first time around. These substances include synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. Other certification requirements include a buffer between the coffee and any other crop not grown organically, a plan that demonstrates methods that prevent soil erosion, and other sustainable agricultural criteria.

Farms and areas that grow coffee must be in compliance with these guidelines in order to be certified. Failure to do so will mean reapplication and more waiting time.

There are also implications for coffee that is purchased under the Fair Trade contract. More information can be found later in this post about Fair Trade.

If organic coffee is purchased under that certification, the producing cooperative receives a price premium of 15 cents per pound. If not within a Fair Trade contract, producers can use the certification to negotiate a better price for their coffee.

Learn more here!

Fair Trade Coffee

fair trade certified logo

Fair Trade certified cooperative vendors receive a minimum price per pound, with an additional premium if the coffee is also certified organic.

In addition, producers receive the Fair trade Premium above the purchase price that farmers democratically invest according to their priorities.

The term Fair Trade is usually used when discussing the concern of alleviating poverty through greater equity in international trade. There are many products, outside of coffee, that can be certified as “fair trade”.

There is one, main fair trade organization and standard-setter which is Fair Trade International (FLO). The Fair Trade label is exclusively licensed by Fair Trade America in the U.S. Products bearing this label meet the international standard. Unfortunately, certification is not available to individually-owned farms or estate, or those that rely heavily on hired labor. It is only available to democratically-organized cooperatives or associations of small producers.

A little history behind this certification -- The FLO is a German-based organization that started in the 1970’s. It collaborates with 19 labeling initiatives, including TransFair USA, and three producer networks including Latin America, Asia and Africa. TransFair USA has been administering the Fair Trade Certification since 1998.

The mission of the Fair Trade Certified label is to “support a better life for farming families in the developing world through fair prices, access to direct trade, community development and environmental stewardship.”

You can learn more here!

Rainforest Alliance

rainforest alliance certification logo

The Rain Forest Alliance certification is an interesting one!

The mission of this label is “to integrate biodiversity conservation, community development, workers’ rights and productive agricultural practices to ensure comprehensive sustainable farm management.”

The market focus of this label is global but there is a special emphasis placed on N. America, Europe, Japan, and Australia.

This label began in 1992 so it is fairly recent. It was started by the Rainforest Alliance as well as the coalition of Latin American NGO’s, and the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN). The first farm to become certified was in 1996.

Similar to other certifications, in order to attain the Rainforest Alliance Certification, farms must meet comprehensive standards covering all aspects of production, the protection of the environment, and the rights and welfare of farm families and their local communities.

The overall goal is to have an impact on sustainable farm management in the most holistic sense - social, environmental, economic, and ethical improvements are the “cornerstone of the program”.

Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee is produced in 22 countries throughout the tropics: Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, and number of others.

You can learn more h​​​​ere!

Utz Certified

UTZ Certified certification logo

The mission of the Utz Certified label is to “achieve sustainable agricultural supply chains, where:

Producers are professionals implementing good practices which enable better businesses, livelihoods and environments”.

The main goal is to provide consumers that have been sourced from farm to shop shelf in a sustainable manner. 

In order to become Utz Certified, suppliers must follow our Code of Conduct, which offers expert guidance on better farming methods, better conditions for farmers and care for nature.

The countries of origin include: Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Columbia, and Bolivia.

4 C Common Code

4C logo certification

Lastly, the 4 C Common Code label began in 2003 as a public-private partnership project by the coffee industry and the German development cooperation.

Its purpose is to initiate a multi-stakeholder dialogue for defining a mainstream code for conduct for sustainability.

At the end of 2009, 4C announced 2009 growth of more than 150% in coffee sales. An impressive number for coffee sales.

This label is designed to provide operators in the coffee marketing chain with sustainable livelihoods, with a social, environmental and economic dimension.

The following code focuses on the below precepts:

“Coffee production can only be sustainable provided it provides decent living and working conditions for the farmers, their families and their employees.”

“Protection of the environment, for example primary forests, and the conservation of natural resources such as water, soil, biodiversity and energy are essential components of the sustainable production of coffee and its processing after harvest.”

“Economic viability is the basis of social and environmental sustainability.”

Conclusion

All these labels are committed to improving and protecting the environment. By purchasing coffee that has one of these certifications, you are actively contributing to those noble efforts of biodiversity and conservation.

Thanks for reading this guide! If you’d like to find out more, check out these sources.

https://www.fairtrade.net/

https://www.ams.usda.gov/about-ams/programs-offices/national-organic-program

https://www.rainforest-alliance.org/

Author bio -- Shane is an avid coffee lover/addict who is always looking to find a fun tidbit of coffee info. If he’s not filling coffee bean orders at work, he’s trying to find a hiking trail to try out or is throwing the Frisbee for his dog at the park.

How To Like Black Coffee Without Cream And Sugar

how to like black coffee without cream and sugar
how to like black coffee without cream and sugar

How To Make Black Coffee Taste Good Without Creamer And Sugar

Before we start please do me one favor: whatever people, friends, expert will tell you: always listen to your own taste buds! You make the decision whether you will like black coffee or not!

It’s perfectly fine if Folgers Coffee from the grocery store is still your favorite. Don’t let anybody tell you that a specific coffee for $20 the pound is the only way to get a really good cup of coffee!

Coffee aficionados please don't turn your back on me! I’m not saying there’s no difference - no way! I personally can’t stand any kind of grocery coffee with a “best before” date anymore.

But I refuse to take coffee snobs seriously, when they want to force me into liking coffee the way they savor it. It’s up to me what I enjoy and not! And the same goes for you!

Do you like to add creamer? Go for it!

Sugar or sweetener, be my guest - I wont't stop you!

But...whenever I brew a first cup of coffee at home for visiting friends or family members I ask them to just try it black. Just one sip...or two!

And then they can decide, whether they want to add sweetener or creamer or not. In 8 of 10 cases they did NOT add anything!

How To Get Into Black Coffee?

Have you ever heard yourself saying: “I like coffee but only with cream and/or sugar! Without creamer or sweetener, black coffee is way too bitter”!

Or how about “I enjoy the smell of coffee, but not the taste!”

Welcome to the family. I did say that too. I thought, black coffee is automatically bitter and I’m just the type of person that needs creamer.

What do you think, when I say, coffee is not bitter because it’s black!?

You think I’m lying? Well, have a look at what scientists in Germany found out about bitterness in coffee!

It's the roast level and brew method that are key factors of bitterness in coffee. And a little bit the caffeine. But less than most people expected. Now that we know, that it's not because the coffee is black, let's move on.

What the study didn't say is how old the coffee is. Of course, if you drink freshly roasted coffee vs old, stale coffee you will for sure taste a huge difference! Old coffee is bitter, period!

In the following sections, you will learn how to brew black coffee! Coffee, not espresso! Black coffee so good that even your grandma who has been drinking Folgers for 80 years is going to make the switch!

I will also show you alternative ways to find out whether you like black coffee at all and that not all black coffee is the same!

Benefits Of Drinking Black Coffee

At first, just I want to try to motivate you!

I want you to understand and appreciate why it is good to drink coffee black and enjoy it!

Have a look at this:

A cup of black coffee has about 5 calories, when at all. No sugar, no fat, nothing. Coffee has a lot of health benefits, too!

Add a tablespoon of sugar (12 grams / 48 calories) and 2 tablespoons of half-and-half (37 calories) and you’re already at 85 calories.

A grande Flat White at Starbucks has already 220 calories and 17 grams of sugar.

Now let’s say you drink four coffees per day - one at Starbucks, and 3 with cream and sugar at work or at home. That’s almost 500 calories! And 53 grams of sugar!

In calories, that’s one full meal!

4 Coffees a day with cream and sugar have about the same amount of calories as a full meal!

Try A Cup Of Black Coffee From The Coffee House

starbucks frappuccino

And looking at the sugar: the daily recommendation for a 2000 calorie diet is 25 grams! Are you still asking yourself why you don’t lose any pounds when all you do is drink coffee?

I'm not even considering health issues with too much sugar and fat (aka double whipped cream topping).

Speaking of whipped cream: I picked a simple Starbucks drink - the Flat White - it’s just espresso and whole milk, no added sweetener.

Are you brave enough to do the same math with a White Chocolate Mocha or Double Whipped Cream Mocha Frappuccino?

Do you feel motivated enough to get into black coffee now? No matter if you have hated the taste of it or never tried it before?

Let’s do it!

Try A Cup Of Black Coffee From The Coffee House

specialty coffee shop with customers

The easiest and most convenient way to start liking black coffee is to go to a local coffee shop!

I want to emphasize "local"! Not Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts.

Nothing against Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts! Their coffee is OK - but in my opinion, it’s not a good place to go to get into black coffee! This is not the coffee I want you to try!

Search for local coffee shops. Maybe even coffee shops with their own roastery. These places are awesome! And even better, if it’s not too busy, you can ask the barista where the coffee comes from. What country, region or even farm!

The barista can also tell you what flavor profile to expect. For example, he/she may say: this Colombian Coffee is a smooth coffee, with mellow acidity, with hints of red grape and nectarine.

Don’t expect you will taste exactly what the barista describes. At least I don’t! But who knows, maybe you’re not a hopeless case like me!

Ask for a light or medium roast coffee. Not dark! Not this time! Why? Because light to medium roasted coffee is less bitter. Dark roasts taste earthy, harsh, robust. Dark roast is better for espressos, cappuccinos, and lattes. A strong coffee that is still good with adding milk.

And at last, ask the barista to brew the coffee fresh.

Nothing against Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts! But in my opinion, their coffee is not a good place to get into black coffee! Go to a local coffee shop instead!

In the specialty coffee houses, you can often read on the menu something like “Hario” or “V60” which is pour-over coffee. French Press or Aeropress are also ways to get your coffee freshly brewed.

But expect to pay a little more. And to wait a few minutes. It’s not just pouring coffee from an urn. But I can promise you it’s worth waiting for!

When they finally serve you the coffee, don’t just drink it. Inhale the aroma! What can you smell? Any fruit? Something floral? These are good signs to have a delicious cup of coffee.

Don’t drink it too hot. Some people like it, when the coffee is very hot. Maybe you too. But just this one time, wait a little bit until you only lightly feel the burning feeling on your tongue anymore.

If you ordered a lighter roast coffee, you will notice some more acidity. And maybe some sweetness. There is always some bitterness in coffee, but it should be minimal. And if the coffee is brewed properly, you should not have the desire to add creamer or sugar.

Try it! And then please let me know in the comments below what you think of black coffee now.

Brewing Black Coffee At Home

black coffee in drip coffee carafe

Brewing coffee at home is nothing special! You go to the store, by a blue box of Maxwell Coffee and start brewing. And maybe you’re even one of them that likes grocery store coffee black.

Well, it’s cheap, right? And we all have to save money somehow.

And I am not here to tell you, that you need to change! No way! Who am I to tell you what you enjoy or not?

But you obviously searched for something like how to like black coffee. So I’m assuming you do not like the black coffee you have been drinking so far.

So what can you do at home to change it?

The one thing we don’t do is to change your coffee maker! Not at first! It’s the last thing we consider!

Of course, we look at the beans first!

Whole Beans Or Pre-Ground Coffee - What Should You Buy?

ground coffee, beans and grinder

If you can, buy whole beans, not pre-ground coffee. With "if you can" I mean, if you have the possibility to grind the beans at home. But more in a little bit!

The reason to buy whole beans is, that pre-ground coffee is very delicate and goes stale quickly. By quickly I mean days!

Coffee snobs will probably tell you, within hours or even minutes but I’ll see it more relaxed. Until an average coffee drinker like you and me really taste a difference, a few days will pass - at least!

Buy whole bean coffee, not pre-ground. The reason is, that pre-ground coffee goes stale within days.

But here’s the problem!

If the coffee in the store was freshly ground - it would be totally fine to buy. But it’s NOT!

Even the better ground coffee like Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts is pre-ground weeks ago. When not months.

So if you don’t have a coffee grinder buy whole beans and grind them in the store.

As a side note: a blade grinder would be enough for now. You know, the small ones you grind spices with.

But don’t make the mistake and keep the ground coffee in the bag you bought it. Refill it in an airtight container. Best if it’s opaque. Because coffee does not like light and air. It will become stale faster.

So let’s move on!

Now that you know to buy whole beans you need to know what roast level is best for the first cup of black coffee!

Best Coffee Roast Level For Black Coffee - Light, Medium Or Dark?

light, medium, dark roast coffee

In case you don’t know how coffee gets its brown color.

Raw coffee is green. You need to roast it before it looks like the dark brown bean that you are familiar with.

But there are different roast levels. Think of a steak, there’s rare, medium and well-done. And a few stages between.

For your first cup of black coffee I want you to try light or medium roast coffee. I want you to taste fruity flavors, citrus, some acidity and just a bit of bitterness for the balance!

Same with coffee beans. There is light roast, medium roast, and dark roast. The longer you roast, the darker the bean gets, but also the stronger, harsher, it tastes. Light and medium roasts are more citrusy or fruity, sometimes floral in aromas and flavors.

This is the roast level we need for black coffee. Light to medium! We need fruity flavors, citrus acidity and just a tiny bit of bitterness for the balance.

The problem is, though, you will have a hard time to find light roast coffees in grocery stores. Rather medium, which is fine. But in the next chapter, I’ll explain to you why we do not want to buy our coffee in grocery stores.

Where Should You Buy Your Coffee Beans To Make Coffee Taste Better?

You have four options to buy whole beans:

In the grocery store, in a coffee house, at a coffee roastery, or online.

Grocery Store Coffee - Budget-Friendly But Likely Not Fresh

grocery store coffee

Whole beans from the shelf are good, but usually not fresh. To be more specific, whole beans stay fresh a few weeks but until a bag of roasted coffee hits the shelf of a regular grocery store, several weeks will pass.

So I doubt that we will achieve your goal of enjoying black coffee without creamer or sugar with coffee from the grocery store at all.

Except - the grocery store offers fresh coffee beans from local roasters. Whole Foods, for example, has a section with specialty coffee.

​​​​Fresh coffee beans have a "roasted at" label, not a "best before" date!

Do you know how to easily find whether coffee is freshly roasted or not?

Look for a “roasted at” label!

If you see a “best before” date, it’s likely already roasted weeks ago.

So for this purpose of getting you to like black coffee, get a bag of coffee with a “roasted at” label or look somewhere else.

Freshly Roasted Beans From The Coffee House

For example, at your local coffee house. These shops often sell coffee from local roasters. And this coffee is usually of high quality and also freshly roasted. You will highly likely not find any bag of coffee with a “best before” label.

On top, you can probably try the coffee before you buy it because the coffee shop likely uses the same coffee on their menu. Just ask them!

The other good thing about buying coffee in the coffee shop is, that those people know what they’re talking about - most of the times.

They can tell you what to expect, how to brew it, and how to make the coffee taste better at home.

Directly From Coffee Roaster

buy roasted coffee from roaster

Coffee roasters usually sell their coffee in their own coffee house or to other coffee shops.

Some of them also sell the freshly roasted coffee directly to you.

You can’t get coffee fresher than roasted and picked up from a local roaster.

The only disadvantage is, that you can only pick from a view different roasts and regions.

There's usually not a huge selection of different coffees. But the region or farm should not be your biggest concern yet.

We’re still in stage one of how to enjoy black coffee.

Online Coffee Subscription Services

Speaking of ‘huge selection’.

Between 2013 and 2016 there has been an online subscription model boom with an increase of over 3000%. Including coffee subscriptions.

There are some roasters that offer their own coffee subscriptions but you only get the coffee from one roaster. As mentioned before, it’s totally fine.

Believe me. as you get into black coffee, you will want to find out yourself where coffee comes from!

But if you want more options now, check out subscription services like bean box or Angels' Cup that offer coffee from different roasters.

Usually, you only answer a few questions. Something like your preferred roast type, how many bags and how often you want it shipped. That’s it. Super easy.

Alright, now you now to buy whole beans and the options you have to get them.

What’s next?

Best Way To Brew Coffee At Home - Drink It Black, And Enjoy It

Your halfway through, you got some good fresh coffee. Now we just have to make sure to not mess it up at home.

So if you haven’t pre-ground the coffee in the store you need to grind them at home. A coffee aficionado will tell you, you must have a conical burr grinder!

Why? Because it’s the only grinder that can grind your beans evenly.

Otherwise, your coffee tastes awful, underdeveloped or over-extracted, blah blah.

Do you have one of those friends too? Those black and white friends. The ones that only accept one way! No compromises allowed.

A conical burr grinder is of course better than a blade grinder. But at what cost? For drip coffee makers, you can use your blade grinder for now!

It’s not that they are wrong. Of course, a conical burr grinder would be best. Will you taste a difference? Maybe. But at what cost?

Are you willing to spend $100 - $200 for a coffee grinder while you just start trying to like coffee? If yes, go ahead and check my post about coffee grinders under $200. Don’t go crazy! If you become a coffee addict yourself, then you know exactly what you want and can still spend more money on coffee equipment.

Back to the grinders. If you do not want to spend so much money, maybe you have a spice grinder. You know those black or white ones with the blades.

They’re not perfect. But good enough for drip coffee makers or pour overs. Pour-over is the kind of drip coffee maker where you pour the water by hand.

How To Make Coffee Less Bitter

he does not like bitter coffee

Grind the coffee beans until they have reached a medium grind size - like table salt. If there are a few coarser junks in there it’s not a big deal. Just make sure to not grind too fine.

When you grind coffee too fine your brewed coffee can end up being over-extracted.

The result: bitter coffee. And we don’t want that!

I’m assuming you have a drip coffee maker and are now ready to brew your coffee.

The last question: How much water and how much coffee should you use?

Easy To Remember Coffee To Water Ratio

Often you read about coffee to water ratios like “for every 5 oz of water use 10 grams of coffee”. Honestly - I hate that! It frustrates me. I do not want to measure first water in ounces and then coffee in grams. I want to be quick.

Of course, if you always want to have the exact coffee to water ratio you need a scale. But for starters, let’s try this simple, easy to remember example, considering a full pot of coffee.

4 cup coffee maker -> 4 scoops

8 cup coffee maker -> 8 scoops

12 cup coffee maker -> 12 scoops

And if you want your coffee to be stronger, use half a scoop or a scoop more. But again, as long as the grind size is medium, your coffee won’t taste bitter, just stronger!

Bitterness in coffee is a sign of over-extraction. It means either the coffee is too long in contact with water or the grind size of your coffee is too fine for the brew duration of your drip coffee maker.

Bitterness in coffee is a sign of over-extraction.

Either the coffee is too long in contact with water or the grind size is too fine for the brew duration of your drip coffee maker.

Got it? Great. Then it’s time to confuse you if you want. I’ll add the calculation how I came up with the coffee to water ratio for your coffee maker. Just in case you’re curious:

But only read if you want to feel confused! Don’t say I haven’t warned you!

A typical coffee machine has 4, 8, or 12 cups. A cup is mostly considered 5 ounces. So depending on your coffee maker, you either have 20, 40 or 60 ounces of water for a full pot.

A coffee scoop is about 10 grams or 0.36 ounces of coffee.

A good coffee to water ratio to start with is 1:15 (1 part coffee:15 parts water). So for a 4 cup coffee maker, 20 ounces divided by 15 = 1.33 ounces of coffee!

To calculate the scoops we only have to divide 1.33 ounces by 0.36, which is 3.69, so almost 4 scoops.

Enough math!

Time For A New Coffee Maker?

Although the freshness of the beans is most important, your coffee maker also affects your level of black coffee enjoyment.

So if you think a new coffee maker is your next step I have a few posts you should check out before you make a buying decision:

Best Coffee Makers - This post is about types of coffee makers.

Drip Coffee Makers - As the name says, this post is 100% about drip coffee makers.

Coffee Makers With Grinder - In case you want to grind and brew in one step.

Thermal Carafe Coffee Makers - This post is about drip coffee makers with thermal carafe.

SCAA Approved Coffee Makers - All drip coffee makers, that the smart coffee guys officially certified.

Conclusion - Ready To Get Into Black Coffee?

By now you should have freshly brewed coffee in your mug. Please tell me you like. If it’s ok but not perfect, try different coffees from different countries, regions or farms. Stick with light to medium roasts for black coffee.

You might also want to consider brewing your coffee manually. For example with a Pour Over Dripper or a French Press.

But I must warn you:

If you start with manual coffee brewing, you will enter the crazy coffee addict territory!

Once started you can’t stop! Don’t come back and tell me, because of my post you are now hooked to black coffee and your kitchen is full of coffee makers, grinders, and beans.

Don't say I haven't warned you!

Tell me, how do you enjoy black coffee now? Is your coffee still bitter? What's your favorite roast?

Let me know in the comments section below.

Disclosure: I may get a commission for purchases made through eCommerce-links in my posts. More details here.

The History Of Coffee And How It Changed Our World

History of Coffee and how coffee changed the world
History of Coffee and how coffee changed the world

The History Of Coffee
And How It Changed Our World

Scientists tell us that there are an infinite number of alternate universes, all with their own unique realities and histories. Fortunately, the universe we live in is one in which the inhabitants of a small blue planet, circling an unremarkable sun, have access to the miracle that is coffee.

When you read the history of coffee and the series of accidental discoveries that led to your morning cup of sanity, you realize just how close we came to being one of those saps in the other universes. The ones where they have to endure caffeine free Mondays.

I’ll now take you back to the beginning and tell you the history and the legends behind the discovery of coffee. This will not be a history lesson like the ones old Miss Grundy gave in the 10th grade. I prefer a more fun, entertaining style.


Who Discovered Coffee?

There are two (out of many) legends that lay claim to the discovery of coffee.

Depending on who you ask we either have to thank a desperate Yemeni sheikh with a sense of culinary adventure or some goats who helped keep monks awake in church.

Legend #1: Sheikh Omar From Mocha, Yemen

City of Mocha

View of the City of Mocha; Jacob van Meurs [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In 1258 AD Sheikh Omar, the founder of the city of Mocha, was driven by his enemies into the desert along with his supporters where they figured that they would starve to death.

Omar stumbled on a bush with some strange red berries and figured:

“I’m going to die anyway so I may as well take a chance and chew on these.”

They were extremely bitter and, seeing as they hadn’t poisoned him, he tried to make them palatable by roasting them. His men must have been distinctly unimpressed with his cooking skills because now the beans were less bitter but they were now too hard to be chewed.

“Let’s boil them and see what happens”, said one clever chap.

The beans remained inedible but in their desperation they drank the resultant brown water. As a result Omar and his not so merry men felt a lot more pepped up all of a sudden.

Still buzzing from their first cuppa they returned to Mocha, shared their discovery and Omar was apparently made a saint.

Deservedly so, right?

Legend #2: The Goat Herder From Abyssinia (now Ethiopia)

Kaldi the goatherder

Kaldi the goatherder; Title: All About Coffee; Author: William H. Ukers; gutenberg.org

The older, and more popular, legend tells of an Arabian goat herder in Abyssinia called Kaldi whose career path back in the 9th century looked similar to yours but with less traffic in the morning.

Near one of the monasteries the goats would eat red berries from the bushes that grew there and start going into goat overdrive, bouncing all over the place.

Kaldi, annoyed that his staff were clearly feeling a lot more energetic than management were, complained about it to a local monk.

The monk, who had been falling asleep during their all night Ge'ez marathons, thought, “I’ve gotta get me some of that!”.

After boiling the beans up and drinking the liquid he felt bright eyed and bushy tailed throughout the next mass. After sharing his discovery with his fellow monks they all agreed that it was a close second to turning water into wine and there was much rejoicing. Amen.

I really like the one with the goats so it’s around about that time that we begin our coffee history timeline.

Coffee In The Middle Ages

900 - 1599

arabian doctor rhazes background

Portrait of Rhazes (al-Razi) (AD 865 - 925); See page for author [CC BY 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons)

~900
Rhazes Says It's Good For The Stomache


The genius Iranian doctor Rhazes while writing the precursor to the Dr Oz books writes about something he calls bunca or bunchum.

He describes it as “hot and dry and very good for the stomach”.bunca or bunchum.

Avicenna Bukhara

Avicenna Bukhara (980-1037)

~1000
Avicenna Bukhara Promises A Good Smell


Avicenna Bukhara was a Muslim doctor and philosopher from Uzbekistan, who wrote about the awesome things coffee does for you and, like Rhazes, called it “bunchum”.


He said it “fortifies the members….and gives an excellent smell to the body”.

quote-left

Trust me guys. Drink this brown mystery water. It’ll probably be fine.

1258
Sheikh Omar Believes In The Brown Water


Sheikh Omar tells his hungry band of soldiers, 


“ Trust me guys. Drink this brown mystery water. It’ll probably be fine”.


He saves the day and uses coffee to bring a nice caffeine buzz and peace to Mocha.

grand mosque in mecca

Grand Mosque in Mecca, vintage engraved illustration (1886 - 1891). — Vector by Morphart, depositphotos.com

1414
Coffee Not On "No-Go" List In Mecca


Coffee hits the streets of Mecca.


The Prophet Mohammed died in 632 AD, long before coffee was known, so it didn’t make the list of no-no’s like booze did.


Phew. A collective sigh of relief went up all through Mecca.

ottoman port turkish port istanbul constantinople

Drawing depicting an imaginary old ottoman trade. — Vector by erryan, depositphotos.com

1453
The Ottomans (Not The Chairs) 


The Ottomans (not the chairs, the people) introduce coffee to Constantinople (Istanbul).


The Turks eventually pass a law saying that a woman can divorce her husband if he doesn’t give it to her often enough. Coffee, that is.

1475:
No Wi-Fi In Istanbul's Coffee House


The first coffee house opens in Istanbul at a place called Kiva Han. Some Turks say coffee only got to them in 1517 so who knows.


The only thing we can say with certainty is that there was no free Wi-Fi.

port of mocha

1500
Spread The Love For Coffee From Mocha


The port city of Mocha starts to spread the love.


People begin to realize the business opportunity coffee presents and ship coffee from this port in Yemen into Egypt and North Africa.

Sultan of Egypt Al-Ashraf Qansuh al-Ghawri

Portrait of Sultan of Egypt
By Paolo Giovio (1483-1552) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

1511
Governor Of Mecca Executed For Not Liking Coffee


The governor of Mecca bans coffee because people keep talking politics while drinking it.


Coffee shops are shut down all over the place and naturally people riot.


Common sense prevails when the Sultan of Egypt says coffee is sacred, has the governor executed and it’s business as usual.

Turkish coffee house in seventeenth century

Turkish Coffee House of the Seventeenth Century
Title: All About Coffee; Author: William H. Ukers
gutenberg.org

1575
More Coffee Shops In Middle East


Coffee shops start popping up throughout Egypt, Turkey and Syria with the cities of Cairo, Istanbul and Aleppo leading the pack.

vintage weed leaf

1576
German Botanist Only Interested In Coffee, Not Weed


German botanist and physician Leonard Rauwolf returns from his travels to Aleppo in Syria after learning of coffee which he calls chaube.


There’s no evidence that he partook of any of the more “interesting” plants grown in the middle east for “research” but who knows.

Leonhard Rauwolf

By Leonhard Rauwolf (1535-1596) ("Rigentliche beschreibung...") [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

1582
Rauwolf Wrote About Coffee


Rauwolf becomes the first European to make printed reference to coffee.

Prospero Alpini

attributed to Leandro Bassano [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

1592
Alpini Writes About Coffee In 'The Plants Of Egypt'


1592: Another botanist / doctor called Prospero Alpini brings coffee back to Italy after his trip to Egypt.


He becomes the first to print a description of the plant and the drink in his book called “The Plants of Egypt”.


It must have been a pretty short book if you’ve seen all the sand they have there.

But in Egypt's defense, it's not all sand, they have been a major food producer for Europe and Turkey, so they do actually have a lot of plants there!

Charles de l'Ecluse

By attributed to Jacob de Monte (Hoogleraren Universiteit Leiden) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

1596
Italians And French Talk About Seeds Used To Make Liquid


Italian botanist and author Onorio Belli makes the first reference to coffee in France when he writes to Charles de l’Ecluse, a French physician, botanist and traveler about “seeds used by the Egyptians to make liquid they call cave”.


Arguments between the French and Italians over how coffee should be made persist ever since.

Van Linschoten

See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

1598
The Dutch And Coffee Shops


The Dutch, not content with their cheese, first begin to take an interest in coffee as it is mentioned by Dutch traveler Paludanus in a note in Linschoten's Travels.


If only he knew what would eventually be the real attraction to Dutch coffee shops.

Sir Anthony Sherley

By Dominicus Custos [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

1599
"Those Damned Infidels And Their Coffe", The English Cursed


The English get in on the action with the first printed mention of a drink called “coffe”.


Recounting his travels in the middle East, Anthony Sherley writes of "damned infidels drinking a certaine liquor, which they do call Coffe".


Sherley was a kind of travel blogger / colonial enforcer. You can only imagine the selfies if they had Instagram back then.

Coffee In The Modern History

1600 - 1699

Baba Budan Route From Mecca To India

1600
Border Control Needs Improvements


Baba Budan makes a pilgrimage to Mecca and enjoys spiritual enlightenment and his first caffeine high.


He smuggles seven coffee beans in his clothes on his trip back from Yemen to his home in India.


Customs and border agents were a lot less thorough back then.

Sir Anthony Sherley

By Dominicus Custos [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

1601
Coffee Compared To Mustard Seede


First time the modern word for coffee Coffe was used in printed form in Sir Antonie Sherlies Travellers.

William Parry, one of the Sherley party wrote:
"...drinking a certaine liquor, which they do call Coffe, which is made of seede much like mustard seede, …"

Captain John Smith

Captain John Smith [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

1603
Ahoi Captain Smith! Coffa It Is!


Another Englishman, Captain John Smith, mentions “Coffa” in his book Travels and Adventure.


This is the same John Smith of Pocahontas fame who was the first to bring coffee knowledge to North America in 1607. 

trading routes venice

Venetian Trading Routes By User:Nikater [Public domain, Public domain, GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

1615
The Italians Start Selling Coffee


Venetian Traders start selling coffee in Western Europe for the first time unaware of the thousands of marauding tourists that will eventually spill out of cruise liners to complain about the high prices of a single espresso.

John Evelyn1687

John Evelyn Portrait by Godfrey Kneller [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

1637
First English Book About Coffee - So Tiring Coffee Is Needed


The Diary and Correspondence of John Evelyn is an eye wateringly boring read but it has the honor of being the first reliable document mentioning coffee in England.


John tells of a Greek man who visited his college and drank coffee. He also mentions that the drink only caught on there 30 years later.


The English were always a little behind the curve when it came to culinary matters.

New Amsterdam 1664

View Of New Amsterdam 1664 by Johannes Vingboons [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

1640
Coffee Goes Mainstream In Amsterdam And N.Y.


The hipsters cringe as coffee begins to go mainstream. The first commercial quantity of coffee is sold in Amsterdam and is also sold in New Amsterdam, now called New York.


The coffee houses in Amsterdam will eventually sell more weed than coffee while New York insists medicinal use is all that is allowed.


In spite of their penchant for legislation New Yorkers can still order coffee without a prescription.

coffee house of the 17th century

17th century coffeehouse EnglandBy Bodleian Library, University of Oxford (Bodleian Library, University of Oxford) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

1650
First Coffeehouse In England


Finally England’s first coffeehouse is opened in Oxford by a Jewish man called Jacob. The coffeehouse was opened at the Angel in the Parish of St. Peter in the East church.


The potential faith based conflict of interest didn’t seem to dampen Jacob’s astute business acumen and no one else seemed to mind after the first cup.


There’s still a coffeehouse on the same site today called The Grand Cafe.

london coffee house of seventeenth century

A London Coffee House of the 17th CenturyTitle: All About Coffee; Author: William H. Ukersgutenberg.org

1652
First Coffeehouse In London


Two years later the first coffee house in London would welcome its first customers.


Pasqua Rosée, seeing how well his London venture was doing, then headed to Holland in 1654 to open the first Dutch coffee house and started getting the Hollanders hooked on caffeine.


Could coffee be a gateway drug?

scratched photo of eiffel tower on map with paris

1660

The French Get Addicted To Coffee

Some French merchants from Marseille had set up base in the Levant for a few years and had cultivated a respectable coffee addiction.


They wanted to return to France but the absence of coffee there was a terrifying prospect so they brought some beans back with them.

Louis XIV of France

Louis XIV of France
Hyacinthe Rigaud [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

1669
Coffee Becomes Popular In France


Suleiman Aga, an Ottoman Empire ambassador, visits French King Louis XIV in Versaille but only wears a simple wool coat and refuses to bow down to him.


Louis throws a fit and banishes Suleiman to Paris. In an awesome game of oneupmanship Suleiman organizes elaborate coffee parties where he introduces high society Parisian women to coffee.


They adopt the Turkish fashions the waiters wear into their own designs and coffee becomes popular in France.

coffee house in germany middle of seventeenth century

Coffee House in Germany Middle of the 17th CenturyTitle: All About Coffee; Author: William H. Ukersgutenberg.org

1670
Coffee Finally Arrives In Germany


While the German Leonard Rauwolf may have been the first to make printed mention of the beverage, it took almost 100 years before the first coffee was actually drunk in Germany.


It quickly took off with coffee shops popping up all over Germany.
The very first coffee shop in Germany opend in 1673 in Bremen.

It’s also a little embarrassing that one of the first coffee shops in Hamburg was opened by an Englishmen in 1679.


Awkward.

Pascal Sells Coffee At St Germain Fair

Coffee Was First Sold and Served Publicly in the Fair of St.-GermainTitle: All About Coffee; Author: William H. Ukersgutenberg.org

1672
First French Coffee Tent


An Armenian man called Pascal opens a booth at the St. Germain Fair in France and soon every city in France has a coffeehouse.


It’s not documented but from recent experience in France we assume the prices were exorbitant and the service terrible.

Coffee In The Age Of Revolution

1700 - 1799

1707:
The First Coffee Magazine Of Germany


Germans were taking coffee seriously, as they should, and the first coffee magazine was published called The New and Curious Coffee House.


The full title of the periodical was


The New and Curious Coffee House, formerly in Italy but now opened in Germany. First water debauchery. "City of the Well." Brunnenstadt by Lorentz Schoepffwasser.


 Wow!

Friedrich Wilhelm I 1713

Friedrich Wilhelm I 1713 by Samuel Theodor Gericke [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

1721:
First Coffee Shop In Berlin, Germany


The first coffee shop opens in Berlin and King Frederick William I is a big fan.


He tells the Englishman operating the coffee house that he doesn’t have to pay any rent as long as he keeps the coffee flowing.

Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach
Elias Gottlob Haussmann [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

1732:
Bach Writes An Operetta About The Saxon's Coffee Drinking Habits


Coffee hasn’t only been the inspiration behind your late night hours in the office.


In 1732 Johann Sebastian Bach wrote: "I need to have coffee, coffee; if you want to give me a treat - pour me a cup of coffee,".


The poor people started grumbling because they couldn’t afford coffee. The upper class and some doctors spread rumors saying that coffee caused sterility so poor people shouldn’t bother with it anyway.


Bach went on to compose his Coffee Cantata in protest.

King Frederick The Great Portrait

The only portrait Frederick ever personally sat for (by Ziesenis, 1763)
[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

1777:
Frederick The Great Issues The Famous Beer And Coffee Manifesto


King Frederick II was less of a coffee fan than his predecessor. It wasn’t the taste that bugged him but how much money was flowing out of German coffers and into foreign merchant’s accounts.


He issued his Beer and Coffee Manifesto in an effort to convince his people that they should stick to drinking German beer but eventually people just said:


“Hey, why don’t we just drink plenty of both?”

quote-left

OK, you can have your damn coffee but you need a license to roast it and I'm the guy who decides who gets a license!

1781
"I'm The Guy Who Decides Who Gets The License To Roast", Says King Frederick


King Frederick says:


“OK, you can have your damn coffee but you need a license to roast it and I’m the guy who decides who gets a license.”


Turns out he only handed licenses out to his rich buddies. If you’ve ever tasted burnt coffee then you’ll agree that a license to roast may not be such a bad idea.


Frederick actually commissioned some of his wounded soldiers to walk around and sniff out people who were roasting coffee illegally.

quote-left

Thou shalt not roast!

1784
Want Coffee? Of Course! Just Buy 50 Pounds!


Eventually even the Bishop of Münster was preaching


“Thou shalt not roast”


from the pulpit.


He put out a manifesto saying that you could only drink coffee at home if you could afford to buy 50 pounds at a time. It’s hardly surprising that there were fewer people in the pews the following week.


Those that did show up slept through the whole service.

Coffee During Civil War

1800 - 1899

Benjamin Thompson Inventor Percolator

Benjamin Thompson[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

1814
Thompson Invented The Percolator, Because He's A Smart Guy


The coffee back then didn’t exactly taste great. An American-born British physicist called Sir Benjamin Thompson thought


“Hey, I’m a smart guy. Surely there’s a better way to make coffee”


and promptly invented the drip coffeepot and coffee percolator. Ah, that’s better.

Espresso machine first patent angelo moriondo

First Steam Espresso Machine Patent 1884By Mr. Angelo Moriondo [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

1822
A French Dude Designs The First Espresso Machine


By this time the French were loving their coffee but the thought of using a machine with American and British roots to make their brew was just too much.


Lucky for them a Frenchman called Louis Bernard Rabaut designed a machine that used steam power to force hot water through the coffee grounds giving birth to the espresso and saving face for France.

coffee berries eaten and passed by civet cat Kopi Luwak

Coffee berries Luwak @ fotoall depositphotos.com

1830
Indonesian Coffee Farmers Consume Now Most Expensive Kopi Luwak Coffee By Accident


World coffee production hits 2.5 million bags per year but it’s still hampered by elitist attitudes in places.


In Indonesia the coffee farmers were not allowed to pick their own coffee cherries. To get their fix they would collect the coffee cherries off the ground that had been eaten and passed by a luwak, or Asian civet cat.


It turned out that the undigested beans made even better coffee than the beans that had been nowhere near a cat’s bum.


Kopi Luwak was a poor man’s coffee in 1830 but now you’ll need to remortgage your home to buy a bag.

james a folger - founder of folgers coffee

James A. Folger - Founder of Folgers Coffee
Source:
Folgerscoffee.com

1850
First Coffee Roasting Plant In San Francisco


William H. Bovee opens the first coffee roasting plant in San Francisco and then four years later sells it to one of his employees,


Jim Folger.


It’s been more than 150 years and Folgers still can’t manage to roast a decent coffee.


Oh well, it was a start.

instant coffee vintage

Instant Coffee

1853
Instant Coffee Introduced In Civil War


If you thought the American civil war was pretty bad with all the shooting and dying, imagine how terrible it was due to the first instant coffee being created and sold as “cakes”.


Robert E. Lee is quoted as saying:


"It is well that war is so terrible, or we would grow too fond of it."


The same could probably be said for instant coffee.

Coffee During World Wars

1900 - 1999

Types of italian rapid coffee making machines 1903-1904

Types of Italian Rapid Coffee-Making Machines 1903-1904Title: All About Coffee; Author: William H. Ukersgutenberg.org

1901
First Commercial Espresso Machine Patent By Luigi Bezerra


Luigi Bezerra patents the first commercial espresso machine.


It’s massive, looks like a space ship and produces bitter coffee.

La Pavoni ideal first espresso machine

Edit yBrochure publicitaire « La Pavoni » pour la France, 1912.our caption text here

1905
"Luigi, You're Wrong, Let Me Do It Right" Says Pavoni


Desiderio Pavoni reckons that the problem is that Luigi is going too hot and heavy. La Pavoni buys the patent and works with Luigi to get the pressure and temperature just right (195F degree and 9 BAR pressure).


The new machine can make 1,000 shots per hour!


Forget the Mario Brothers, these guys are the real Italian heroes.

Ludwig Roselius 1905

Ludwig Roselius
Nicola Perscheid [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

1906
Boooo Roselius. How Could You Tell The World About Decaf?


Ludwig Roselius accidentally discovers decaffeinated coffee after a shipment of his coffee beans was soaked in seawater.


“Hey Ludwig, this coffee still tastes fine but I’m not getting any buzz.”


They eventually started using benzene in the process which is fine if you don’t mind getting cancer. They don’t use this anymore but it’s probably safer to avoid decaf. Just in case.

[Note: This Ludwig guy was a majority shareholder of the Focke-Wulf company during the 2nd world war. The other majority shareholder at the time? ITT, an American company. They actually claimed for damages that their interests suffered by Allied bombing. You can’t make this stuff up.]

John F Kennedy giving speech

Kennedy giving Speech to Congress
By NASA (Great Images in NASA Description) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

1962
John F. Kennedy About Coffee


John F. Kennedy says that if they don’t manage to get trade agreements with coffee producing countries that it could “threaten the security of the entire hemisphere”.


Cuban missile crisis? Easy.


No coffee in the morning? Now that’s a problem.

1971
First Starbucks Opens Its Doors


First Starbucks opens - of course in Seattle - and as the prices steadily rise and the coffee quality declines free WiFi will eventually be one of their last redeeming features.

first mccafe in melbourne 2001

1993
First McCafe Opens In Australia


The first ever McDonalds McCafe opens in Melborne, Australia with one eventually opening in the USA in 2001. 


The circle is complete.


The history of coffee began with a watery brown liquid that tasted horrible and the race for the Dollar has driven us back to those roots.

starbucks frappuccino

Bangkok ,Thailand: Frappuccino Chocolate Blended Beverage
Photo by mrsiraphol - depositphotos.com

1994
George Howell's Frappuccino Sold To Starbucks


George Howell, who had started his single origin focused The Coffee Connection back in 1975, finally cashes in by selling it to Starbucks.


Sadly this sale included his trademarked Frappuccino and so this aberration continues to be sold as “coffee” in Starbucks stores to this day.

hot coffee mcdonalds

McDonald Restaurant in Manhatten New York
Photo by lucidwaters - depositphotos.com

1994
McDonald's Sells Hot Coffee And Gets Suid Over It


Stella Liebeck buys a coffee from a McDonald's drive-through and proceeds to spill it on her legs causing third degree burns.


She sues McDonald's claiming that the coffee was “unreasonably dangerous” and “defectively manufactured”.


She was awarded $2.86 millions but after trial she finally received $640,000.

dunkin donut coffee with donut on top

1995
Dunkin' Donuts Focuses More On Dunkin', Not Donuts


Dunkin’ Donuts realizes that there is more potential for profit in Dunkin’ than in Donuts and begins to shift its focus to coffee.


Their tag line “America runs on Dunkin’” omits the rest of the line which should read “but very slowly because of the donuts”.

Coffee In The New Century

2000 - Now

Aeropress Coffee Maker

2005
How Could We Ever Lived Without The Aeropress?


Famous toy inventor, Alan Adler, makes the natural progression from developing the Aerobie flying disc to inventing the Aeropress coffee maker.


The Aeropress can’t be thrown quite as far as the Aerobie can but it does make a damn great cup of coffee.

quote-left

How to drink decaf?


Pour it down the drain, make real coffee, and drink that instead!

2006
Decaffeinated Coffee Is NOT Decaffeinated! But Who Drinks Decaf Anyway?


The smart folks at the University of Florida discover that decaffeinated coffee still has some caffeine in it with 5-10 cups of decaf giving you the same buzz as one regular cup of Joe.


They still haven’t come up with sound research explaining why anyone would drink even one cup of decaf, never mind 10.

first starbucks verismo single serve coffee machine 2012

First Starbucks Verismo Single Serve Coffee Maker
Photo Credit: www.businesswire.com

2012
Starbucks' Answer To Keurig: The Versimo


Starbucks realize that there’s an untapped market of lonely, single, coffee lovers who are too lazy to come to their stores for coffee.


They produce the Verismo which is their first single serve coffee maker.


It’s really expensive, makes OK coffee but you’re still drinking alone so it only really makes sense if you’re all out of booze.

nitro cold brew coffee two glasses

2014
Nitro Coffee Pops Up


Cuvee Coffee and Stumptown Coffee Roasters start selling a cold brew coffee infused with Nitrogen similar to how some draft beers are.


You get the same creamy head and smooth finish that you get from a pint of Guinness but you can drink it at 9 am without people looking at you funny.

2017
Death Wish Coffee Cold Brew Literally Can Kill You


Death Wish Coffee lives up to its name by producing a seriously strong nitro cold brew coffee that also just might contain botulin which is basically Botox.


Injected into your face it’ll get rid of your wrinkles but if you drank it you’d end up with botulism.


The FDA recalled its Nitro Cold Brew but the name on the can should have been your first clue.

TV Commercials Now & Then

1949 - 2000

1949
Sanka Coffee


1950
Maxwell House Coffee


1960
Wilkins Coffee


1970
Melitta Coffee Maker And Filter


1970
Horizon Coffee


1978
Mr. Coffee With Joe DiMaggio


1982
Juan Valdez


1992
Taster's Choice


2008
Unsnobby McDonalds McCafe


2016
Deatch Wish Coffee At Superbowl


The Future Of Coffee

Only Time Will Tell

If you trace the incredible history of coffee you begin to take your morning cup a little more seriously. When you think of the religious, political and economic battles that were fought because of it.

The protests when people couldn’t get enough of it and the lengths (or bottoms in the case of Kopi Luwak) people were willing to go to just to have one more cup.

From its accidental discovery the history of coffee has moved in waves.

The first wave drove it from a curiosity enjoyed in the middle east to a cornerstone of some economies introduced to the masses by the likes of Juan Valdez, Folgers and Maxwell.

The second wave sees coffee go from a beverage that is simply enjoyed in homes to one that needs to be shaped by artisanal roasters, brewers and baristas that can tell you the name of the small South American town where the beans came from.

It goes beyond the innovation of the first coffee machines and becomes a culture, something that has to be branded and mass marketed by companies like Starbucks and Peet’s.

The third wave has moved serious coffee drinkers away from the idea of the big brand coffee pushers. Our need to be in control and the desire to have our individual needs catered for has driven us into the arms of specialty coffee producers.

We now insist on only drinking coffee made from freshly roasted beans and forego machines, preferring manual brewing methods.

It makes you wonder what’s next.

Will the next wave have us looking beyond coffee that is simply organic but have us insist on it coming from a certain town or farm. Will we insist on coffee that is not only Fair Trade but is picked by barefoot virgins under the light of a full moon?

Before you scoff, imagine trying to get people to use an Aeropress back in the 80’s. 

We’ve changed. Coffee has changed.

The future of coffee may not be up to us. Perhaps global warming will change it all for us. Pretty soon dwindling supplies may see us go back to a time where coffee is in such short supply that only the rich are able to afford it.

 The importance of coffee to our civil society may once again come to the fore when the man on the street is rationed to one cup a day. One cup a week.

If it ever came to that you can be sure that I’d be joining the protests to do my part in shaping the future of coffee history.

The final question is: will you join me?

How Coffee Is Made – 15 Steps From Seed To Cup

how coffee is made from tree to cup
how coffee is made from tree to cup

How Is Coffee Grown: 15 Steps To Coffee From Bean To Cup

[With Infographic]

While sipping on my third coffee, grateful that the buzz I was getting was considered legal, I couldn’t help but think about how coffee is made and the curious sequence of events that lead to the perfecting of the beverage now in my hands.

The more you learn about the steps required to produce a good, healthy cup of coffee, the more you begin to wonder how it is that we even have coffee today.

The apocryphal story of the little Native American girl accidentally spilling corn kernels into the fire and discovering popcorn makes sense. It’s a simple one-step process.

But from tree to cup it takes a staggering 15 steps to get you that perfect cup of coffee!

Even the road to sobriety only has 12 steps. The next time you rush through your morning cup before dashing off to work, spare a thought for each of the people involved in these 15 steps that made it possible.

Infographic
15 Steps To Coffee

Like it? Share it!

15 steps to coffee from bean to cup infographic

(Click to enlarge)

Click to embed this on your website

#1 Planting The Seeds

coffee-sapling-or-seedling-with-visible-root

The actual coffee bean (unroasted) is used to grow new coffee trees.
Image credit: [boonsom] / Depositphotos.com

Growing coffee isn’t as simple as throwing a few seeds on the ground and coming back a few years later.

Our journey from seed to cup actually doesn’t even start in the field where the coffee plants will eventually grow. Once harvested, some of the green coffee beans are kept to be used as seeds for the next crop of coffee trees.

These seeds spend their first year planted in nurseries where they are carefully tended, watered and sheltered from the sun. Once they grow to between 18 and 24 inches, they’re tough enough to withstand the full sun and are removed from the nursery and planted in the field.

Coffee Plants In A Nursery

But before they are planted in real nature, the young coffee plants need to grow big and strong in a nursery.
Image credit: [jes2uphoto] / Depositphotos.com

Left to their own devices these trees could grow as high as 20 feet but that would make harvesting a little tricky so they are generally pruned to around 8 to 10 feet. It takes between 3 to 5 years before the tree begins to produce coffee berries, also known as cherries because of their shape and red color.

Once ripe, these berries have a bright, deep red skin that covers a fleshy pulp and two little coffee beans in the center encased in a protective skin.

#2 Harvesting And Picking

Farm Coffee Plantation In Brazil

When coffee plants are tough enough to withstand the full sun they are planted in the field. At a large and flat farm like this they can use machines to automatically harvest the coffee berries.
[sidneydealmeida] / Depositphotos.com

Unlike a lot of other cash crops, coffee is normally grown on relatively small pieces of land by small-scale farmers.

When it comes to harvesting it’s a community affair with the whole family, friends and other farmers getting stuck in to help with the picking.

While there is a general time that the berries ripen, they tend to do it in stages which means that you can’t pick the whole lot at once.

This means that you’ve got to go out and pick the ripe berries, come back 8 to 10 days later to pick the next ones, and then come back another 8 to 10 days later to get the stragglers.

Selective And Strip Harvesting

In places like Brazil, where the coffee farms are larger and flatter, they are able to use machines that strip pick the berries from the trees. This is a far less labor intensive process but it doesn’t discriminate between berries that are ripe or not.

Farmer Picking Ripe Coffee Berries

Hand picking coffee berries is more labor intensive but allows for a more selective harvest. Only the red berries are being picked.
Image credit: [kamonrat] / Depositphotos.com

The majority of coffee farms in other parts of the world are on landscapes that don’t allow for mechanical harvesting. This makes it a fairly labor intensive business and calls for good eyes and nimble fingers.

The advantage of picking by hand is that it allows for a more selective harvest. Being able to pick the berries only once they’re good and ready to go makes for better quality coffee. Unripe berries will have poorly developed beans and these will result in coffee with a bitter taste and sharp odor.

Perfectly ripe berries will have well-formed beans with higher oil and lower acid content. This will give you the smooth, fragrant experience you want from your morning cup of sanity restorative. It’s tough work, though.

On average a good picker will pick around 100 to 200 pounds of coffee cherries a day and only 20% of that weight will eventually become coffee.

Only about 20% of picked coffee will probably become coffee.

#3 Sorting And Selecting

Sorting and selecting coffee cheries

These coffee beans are likely picked by machine since the selection includes both red (ripe) and green and yellow (unripe) coffee cherries. There is also a lot of debris, branches and leaves that needs to be removed.
Image credit: [haak78] / Depositphotos.com

What we’re really after are the two little beans at the center of the fruit.

To ensure that only the best beans pass onto the next step the coffee cherries are first sorted. There are a few ways to do this.

The simplest sorting that happens is by hand but winnowing the beans or using a large sieve to remove debris, stones, and twigs is also used.

To make absolutely sure that only ripe, good berries are used, the processor may also sort by water immersion. The cherries are thrown into a tank of water and the density difference between ripe and unripe cherries makes the unripe ones float to the top for easy extraction.

Now we’re left with only the best of the best and it’s time to free those beans from the pulp.

#4 Pulping The Cherries

The pulping process is all about getting rid of the skin and the pulped fruit (mucilage) that surrounds the beans.

Depulping is only done if the beans are destined for wet or semi-washed processing, but more on that later.

A pulper machine is used to mechanically remove the skin of the coffee cherry.

Within 24 hours of the cherries being picked, they are put through a depulping machine that removes the skin and most of the pulp. This pulp and skin is usually discarded to be used as compost but some “zero waste” coffee producers use these byproducts to make things like tea from the skins.

Tea from coffee you say?

We must be living in the future. After depulping, the beans still have some pulp attached and are ready for the fermentation process.

#5 Fermenting

The fermentation process is where the microbial reaction of bacteria and yeasts break down the sugars in the mucilage to produce acids.

It’s these acids that will be responsible for adding depth and complexity to the coffee. There are three main ways of processing the harvested cherries through the fermentation stage. Each process has its own logistical pros and cons and the process can have a significant effect on the taste of the final product.

Low Fermentation (Wet Processing)

Coffee Low Fermentation Wet Processing

Coffee beans in the ferment and wash method.
[nimon_t] / Depositphotos.com

This is the more modern, quicker process but it uses a lot of water. It has become the most common way of fermenting coffee.

The pulped beans are sorted by size and then thrown into fermentation tanks.

After 12 to 48 hours of fermentation in the tank, the naturally occurring enzymes dissolve the layer of mucilage surrounding the beans.

The beans are then washed thoroughly in fresh water to stop the fermentation process and to remove the last of the pulp.

This leaves the beans covered in just a thin sheath, or parchment, called the endocarp.

This process allows the farmer to carefully control how much fermentation takes place and results in a more consistent coffee with clean and complex flavors.

Medium Fermentation (Semi-washed)

For this method the cherries have their skins removed during the pulping process but instead of completely removing the mucilage, as in the wet process, the sticky flesh layer is left around the beans.

This allows for some measure of fermentation to continue throughout the drying process. This is also known as Honey or Pulped Natural coffee.

There’s actually no “washing” that takes place, semi or otherwise, so you’ll have to ask someone in a lab coat why they call it “semi-washed” because I don’t know.

The end result, though, is a coffee with a fruitier taste and more body than you get from the wet process.

A pulper machine is used to mechanically remove the skin of the coffee cherry.

High Fermentation (Dry process)

This is the oldest method and is still used in many coffee producing countries where water is scarce.

The ripe, freshly picked cherries do not go through the pulping process but are spread out, skin and all, on a large even surface to ferment while drying in the sun.

Because the skins are left on and the cherries aren’t all lying in the same tank each one ferments a little differently to the other.

This makes it a challenge to control the fermentation and get consistency from the coffee. When it’s done right, though, it delivers the most complex and intense flavors with great body.

#6 Drying

Regardless of the fermentation process used, the beans need to be dried until they reach a moisture content of around 11%. In the case of wet processing, the fermentation has already taken place and now it’s just a matter of drying the beans.

Drying coffee beans in clean room

Coffee beans are raked regularly to get them dry evenly.
[thegoatman] / Depositphotos.com

If the cherries went through the semi-wash or dry process then it’s at this point that the beans both dry out and ferment at the same time. The drying is either done mechanically or by laying them out on a large, flat space in the sun.

The cherries are raked regularly throughout the day to get them to dry evenly and to make sure that they don’t develop mold or bacteria. If it looks like it might rain the farmer has to run around frantically to cover the cherries.

It normally takes around 2 to 4 weeks until they dry to the point where they have an 11% to 12% moisture content.

With both the dry and semi-washed process, the beans are in contact with the pulp while drying and they absorb some of the taste characteristics of the fruit and this comes through in the coffee. It can be a risky process because if the cherries aren’t dried carefully and evenly they can be affected by fungi and bacteria which will give the coffee strong off-flavors.

A Unique Drying Process In Indonesia

In Indonesia, where they have high humidity, there is a higher risk of fungi developing during fermentation so they use a unique drying process to produce what is called “wet-hulled” coffee.

They pulp the cherries, dry them for a day, wash the mucilage layer off, dry them until they hit around 40%, ship them to market, dry them to around 25%, wet-hull the beans and then dry them some more until they get to 11%.

Wow! The next time you balk at the price of good Indonesian coffee just bear all of that in mind. Don’t feel too bad for them, though, they have year round summer and great beaches.

#7 Storage

Coffee Storage in Burlap Sacks

Green coffee beans can be stored for years
[derepente] / Depositphotos.com

Once properly dried you’re left with parchment coffee which is the beans with just the parchment surrounding them or what’s left of the bits of dried fruit and skin if they were dry processed.

In this form, the coffee can be stored for several months or even years depending on the temperature and humidity. There has been some demand for “aged” green coffees but for the most part, the beans are sent off for milling as soon as possible.

For the time that they are in storage they are put into sacks and stored on pallets in a way that allows for good airflow and that keeps them away from any moisture.

#8 Milling

Milling is the final stage in the process to get those little coffee beans out into the open with all the other layers removed.

The two steps in the milling process are hulling and polishing.

Hulling

The beans are thrown into a machine where they are milled to remove the parchment covering the beans as well as the skin and any leftover dried fruit in the case of dry processed coffee.

They’ve got to do this carefully so that they get all the little bits off without damaging the beans.

A machine removes the parchment covering as well as the skin and leftover dried fruit.

Polishing

If you’re extra fussy about having your beans shiny then the coffee goes through an optional stage of polishing where any of the silver skin left on the beans is removed. Don’t ask your barista if the beans he’s using were polished.

You’ll just sound pretentious and it doesn’t really make any difference to the taste. Once the hulling process is completed you’re left with beautiful little dried out light brown coffee beans.

Once again the coffee world keeps us wondering who’s actually in charge of nomenclature because they refer to these brown beans as “green coffee”.

An optional stage to make the coffee beans look more appealing is to polish them which removes the silver skin.

#9 Grading / Cupping

Coffee Grading Cupping

A professional coffee grader is cupping coffee
[carlosmora] / Depositphotos.com

Before sending the whole batch off for roasting the coffee needs to be graded. Some fortunate people actually get paid to taste coffee and call it work.

After staring sagely at the beans for a while they make an initial judgment of the quality of the coffee based on the appearance of the beans. Then it’s on to the tasting, or cupping.

A sample of the beans will be roasted in a laboratory roaster, ground and then infused in boiling water. After letting it stand for a few minutes the cupper (taster) will then smell and taste the coffee.

He’ll tell you he’s not merely smelling it but “nosing” the coffee and that slurping he does while tasting is entirely necessary.

Regardless, the end result of this theatrics is that the coffee is graded as to its quality and suitability for blending with other coffees.

#10 Distributing

fair trade coffee

Fair Trade Organizations are supposed to support coffee farmers by providing them better trading conditions.
[photographyMK] / Depositphotos.com

Once graded it’s a matter of planes, trains, and automobiles to get the coffee where it’s needed. Starting in bulk, the green beans will eventually be sold off in smaller batches to different coffee traders and distributors until it finally ends up at your local coffee roastery.

It’s not just about transport, though. The more links in the distribution chain, the further the consumer is removed from the producer. This can result in high margins for the middlemen and a lower price to the farmer.

It can also obscure the ethical standards that were adhered to in the production of the coffee. To combat this, organizations have been set up to promote direct trade and fair trade coffee.

Direct Trade

The idea behind direct trade is that the company that sells you the coffee sourced it directly from the producer. They make sure that the farmer gets a better than fair price rather instead of paying that premium to a bunch of middlemen.

Organizations promoting fair trade are more concerned with the economics of sustainable coffee production rather than ethical employment or ecological issues.

They say that they inspect the farms to check labor practices and use of pesticides but they don’t uniformly insist on a firm set of rules in these areas.

Fair Trade

The folks involved in Fair Trade coffee have a more holistic view of the production of coffee.

They look beyond just the farmer growing the coffee and have strict requirements regarding labor practices and ecologically friendly agricultural practices. The premise behind both of these organizations is good, but how effective they are as a force for good in coffee production is a contentious issue.

It’s good to remember, though, that how and where your coffee travels on its way to you is more than just a matter of logistics. The fewer links in the distribution chain between you and your coffee, the better chance there is of the guy producing it getting a fair price.

#11 Roasting

coffee beans in roasting machine and roaster in background

It's time to fire up the roaster and give the coffee beans their unique flavor and aroma.
[mavoimages] / Depositphotos.com

When the beans finally get nearer to where they will be consumed, it’s time to fire up the roaster.

This isn’t just a matter of flipping a switch and waiting for the timer to go off once it’s done. Roasting coffee is part science and part art. Inside those raw coffee beans is the potential to make a great cup of coffee.

The roasting process will either realize that potential or leave us wondering what might have….bean. *cough*

The trick is to take the acidity and flavors of each individual batch into account and then regulate the roasting temperature and duration to balance or enhance these. Typically this involves rotating them in a roaster that gets up to around 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

At about 400 degrees Fahrenheit the fragrant oil inside the beans (caffeol) begins to come out of the bean. This stage of the roasting process is called Pyrolysis and is what ultimately gives the coffee its flavor and aroma.

coffee roasting stages of single bean

The duration of the roast will result in different characteristics and flavors from the lighter Medium and Full City roasts to the richer and darker Vienna and French Roasts.

Once the roasting process has been completed the beans are cooled by water or air to stop them developing further due to the heat trapped inside them.

So soothing and relaxing...

#12 Packaging

Tattooed barista holds coffee packages for shipping

To protect the beans from air and moisture the packaging is sealed really well so that even if it’s on the shelf for a few weeks the beans will still be fresh once the seal is broken.
[derepente] / Depositphotos .com

Once the coffee is roasted the clock starts ticking.

You’ve got a limited time to grind those beans and get a delicious cup of coffee from them. It’s not only time that’s against you but air, moisture and UV rays all conspire to undo all the hard work that’s lead up to this point.

Because of this, the packaging that the roasted beans are stored in is more than just a marketing exercise. To protect the beans from air and moisture the packaging is sealed really well so that even if it’s on the shelf for a few weeks the beans will still be fresh once the seal is broken.

The Purpose Of A One-Way CO2 Valve

The packaging material is also opaque so that the beans are shielded from UV rays. Some coffee packaging will incorporate a one-way valve. Roasted beans will still de-gas for some time after they’ve been roasted so these one-way valves allow the carbon dioxide to escape the bag without allowing any oxygen in.

The problem with this is that as the carbon dioxide leaves the bag it takes volatile aromatics out along with it. Deciding to use these valves is a toss up between the possibility of a bag of coffee exploding from the buildup of gasses and the need to retain as much of those aromatics as possible.

When you open that bag of beans next time imagine the arguments that went on in the coffee roasters boardroom to decide which way they were going to go.

#13 Grinding

used conical burr coffee grinder

Grinding coffee beans should always happen right before the brewing process.
[Apelavi] / Depositphotos .com

When people speak of the “daily grind” it’s not usually a good thing. When it comes to coffee, though, the sound of those grinders preparing the beans for the final stages is music to our ears.

How finely the beans are ground depends on the method that will be used to brew the coffee.

If you’re going to be using a French Press or a vacuum coffee maker then the grind would be fairly coarse. For drip coffee makers you’d need a medium to medium / fine grind.

If you’re using a stove top espresso pot or an espresso machine then the grind would be fine to super fine.

If you’re grinding your own beans and you don’t need too fine a grind then a blade grinder will do the trick and doesn’t cost too much. You need to guesstimate how long to let it grind for until the coffee is as fine as you need it to be. A bit of trial and error and you’re sorted.

cofffee grind sizes on wooden spoons

Medium, whole beans, and fine ground coffee.
[chadamas.me] / Depositphotos .com

For more consistent and finer grinds the beans need to be ground in a burr grinder. The sound of the burr grinder is far easier on the ears if you’ve just woken up and the consistent grind allows for more efficient extraction when brewing.

Also, because the coarseness of the grind is dialed into the settings on the grinder there’s no need to push a button and count “One Mississippi, two Mississippi,...” like you need to with the blade grinder.

#14 Brewing

What is the best coffee maker?

Automatic Coffee Makers

After grinding the beans it’s straight to the brewer with them. Whether the coffee is brewed in an espresso machine at your local coffee shop or the drip machine in your kitchen, this is make or break time.

It’s in this final stage where all the hard work that went before either culminates in a cup of amazing coffee or is undone by lousy pressure or wrong water temperature.

Manual Coffee Makers on shelf

Manual Coffee Makers

It’s here where the blood, sweat, and tears of the coffee farmer can be validated by a symphony of flavors, or be dashed by a barista distracted by that cute waitress in the short skirt.

At the end of the brewing stage, after already discarding the fruit of the cherry 10 thousand miles away, finally, the ground up remains of the beans are also thrown into the bin, leaving only the flavors that were once locked inside in the bottom of a dark cup.

#15 Drinking

coffee drinker thinking of steps to coffee

Next time you drink a cup of coffee and savor the flavors and aromas, spare a though for the amount of work that went into getting it to you!

At last.

After 14 steps and thousands of miles, what was once a little bean inside a berry near the equator is now reduced to a collection of flavors and fragrances contained in a hot beverage that has made civilized life as we know it possible.

Or at least bearable.

The relief, satisfaction, and emotions that a rich and flavorful cup of coffee can result in transcends the olfactory senses and taste buds. As you drink it you’re sure that science has a perfectly bland explanation for what is happening to the synapses in your brain but it feels more like magic. More ethereal.

The next time you’re enjoying your espresso, cold brew, or cortado, spare a thought for the amount of work that went into getting it to you.

Think of the farmer’s aspirations as he tended his seedlings in the nursery.

Think of the worker who suddenly remembered that it was time to rush off to rake those beans drying in the sun.

Or the roaster wondering if he should risk let the beans roast just a little longer to get the taste he was after.

And as you consider the number of steps it took to get the coffee in your cup, as you savor the flavors and the mouthfeel, you may not think that 15 steps are that many after all.

You could be forgiven for wondering that it didn’t take a whole lot more.

If you liked this article and know someone who appreciates coffee as much as you do then please share it with them by clicking the buttons below. 

Did you like our list of how coffee is made? Did we skip a step? If so, let us know in the comments section below.

Pros And Cons Of Coffee – Surprising Health Benefits and Risks

pros and cons of coffee
pros and cons of coffee

Benefits And Risks Of Drinking Coffee

You’ve seen all the memes, and have probably liked and shared them. The jokes about not speaking to someone until after your first cup of coffee, that your blood type is java, or about mainlining coffee through an IV. You love your coffee; but is it healthy?

It seems like there’s a new consensus on that issue daily, so maybe it’s time to for a dive into the literature. Let’s see how beneficial your morning joe is, and whether it’s time to fold or double down on it.

First, there’s something you should understand about the science on coffee. In a perfect world (for researchers) it would be possible to randomly assign people to either coffee-drinking or non-coffee-drinking groups and hold all other factors constant while we measure the outcomes. We can’t do that for all sorts of practical reasons.

So, what researchers do instead is they ask people about their coffee-drinking habits and then draw associations between those habits and their health. So if unhealthy people tend to drink coffee, then the research will reflect that and the opposite is true as well.

That’s what is meant by “correlation is not causation” and whether the news on coffee is good or bad, we always have to be careful about which effects are actually caused by coffee.

Coffee Benefits

hot paper cup of coffee to go

It's no secret: Coffee is good for you!

Let’s start with the good stuff. Scientists have identified a number of benefits associated with drinking coffee.

Coffee consumption has been found to be associated with reduced risk of some diseases.

Coffee may reduce your risk of:

  • Having a stroke
  • Getting heart disease
  • Type 2 Diabetes
    Studies have found that while drinking these types of beverages can have the short-term effect of raising blood sugar, the antioxidants that are found in it may have some benefits for diabetes.
    These antioxidants are believed to help with insulin sensitivity meaning that a person’s body is better equipped to handle insulin and can lower the risk of getting type 2 diabetes in the long run when consumed on a regular basis.
  • Gallstones
    One study that lasted 10 years, tracked the coffee consumption of over 46,000 men and found that the men that regularly drank coffee were less likely to have gallstones form than those men in the study that did not drink coffee.
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Dementia and Alzheimer's Disease
  • Liver Cancer
  • Depressions

And as most of us know first-hand, coffee may improve cognitive function. These are all great benefits that can be had from consuming one of your favorite beverages.

Coffee Risks

pouring sugar in coffee

Too much sugar or cream in your coffee is not healthy

Coffee has been shown to have some wonderful benefits, but there are also a few risks:

  • It it generally considered safe to drink up to six cups of coffee in a day. However, that means that exceeding that guideline can be unsafe.

    It’s relatively difficult to drink enough coffee in a day to hurt you, but if you have pre-existing health conditions it can happen. The long-term effects of truly heavy coffee drinking are also not really well known.
  • Caffeinated coffee could be harmful for pregnant women in large doses. However, it’s considered safe to have 12 ounces or less per day. Sticking to that amount or switching to decaf while brewing a new human seems to be a wise idea.
  • Coffee that isn’t brewed using a paper filter will still have a substance in it that can increase your LDL cholesterol. Fortunately, it’s pretty easy to fix that one.
  • Drinking coffee later in the day can have an impact on your ability to fall and/or stay asleep. This varies per individual but if you’re having trouble getting to sleep, stop consuming caffeine earlier in the day.
  • Coffee is a habit-forming stimulant. Pretty much no one would deny that and everyone knows it, but it’s a consideration.
  • Coffee is a mild diuretic, which means you’ll go to the bathroom more if you drink caffeinated coffee. This is more of a consideration than a risk and also something that everyone knows if they’ve tried it.

The risks, all told, are pretty modest—especially compared to the benefits. Drinking decaf allows you to keep most of the benefits and remove almost all the risks.

However, the biggest health risks actually come from the other ingredients in your daily beverage. If you’re adding sugar and fat to your diet, those come with their own risks of course.

Sugar has ugly health consequences and consuming dairy isn’t much better. Those are both additives that you completely control though.

What Does This Mean To You?

The good news is that coffee is not something that’s so unhealthy that you need to stop drinking it right now. However, there are some things that can make this drink unhealthy for you. If you are one of those people that drink more than six cups of coffee a day, it’s a good idea to start cutting back on your intake.

If you happen to be one of those people that don’t sleep well at night or have a hard time getting to sleep, you may want to stop drinking coffee earlier in the day to help get the effects of caffeine out of your system. This may take a little experimentation to find what time works best for you.

Try stopping earlier and earlier in the day until you notice a positive difference in your sleep patterns. You may want to switch to decaf if you happen to have a health condition that can be worsened by caffeine.

How To Make Coffee Healthier?

Aside from simply failing to add sugar and dairy and choosing decaf, there are other ways to increase the healthfulness of your coffee. One is to choose coffee that is less likely to have harmful mold in it.

The Bulletproof Coffee guy is building an empire on that premise, which is a sound one (who really wants mold in their coffee?)

Even worse than mold are the chemicals intentionally added to coffee. Conventional coffee is one of the most heavily treated foods in terms of added chemicals. Pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and more are all slathered liberally onto your coffee beans.

Thus this is one case where it’s difficult to dispute the superiority of buying organic. Organic coffee can be difficult to find at coffee shops but it’s getting more common in grocery stores and you can definitely find organic options online at sites like Thrive Market.

pros and cons of coffee

Conclusion

The good news is that you don’t have to give up your favorite beverage.

You can still have your pick-me-up for when you need that little extra kick to get you going, but as with everything good in life, moderation is vital. The even better news is that now you have some trivia that you can spout when your friends and family give you a hard time for your love of coffee.

Are you convinced? Leave us a comment below and let us know!

Cappuccino Vs Latte – The Real Difference

difference between latte and cappuccino
cappuccino vs latte - the real difference

Latte Vs Cappuccino - The Real Difference!

A couple days ago I have decided to spoil myself with a coffee drink at the coffee shop nearby. But as usual, I have had a hard time making the right choice with all those options that are offered.

As I stood there and read the menu, I noticed that I don’t even know the exact difference of the basic coffee drinks – the difference between latte and cappuccino for example.

Certainly we all know that there are espresso and milk involved. However, if you had asked me in the shop, I would not have been able to explain to you what makes a latte a latte – until today!

Today I will share everything with you, what I have learned about latte vs cappuccino.

Furthermore, I have had a glance at some history books to understand where the latte and cappuccino actually come from.

And last but not least I have prepared an infographic about all the differences between a latte and cappuccino at the end of this post.

Before I go into details let me clarify that different countries may use different ways to create a cappuccino or latte drink.

Commercial coffee shops in the US may not even take it very seriously to prepare you a real cappuccino or latte.

So if you are not happy with the preparation of your coffee drink, I would recommend you to pay a visit to one of your local coffee shops or simpy make your favorite drinks at home.

All you need is a good espresso machine and a milk frother.

Coincidentally I have the perfect guide for you to pick the best espresso machine and the best milk frother, just in case.

History Of Latte

The term caffè latte simply means milk coffee.

Even before William Dean Howells used this term the first time in his essay “Italian Journeys” in 1867 (according to the Oxford English Dictionary), it was not unusual, that coffee and milk have been used together long time before.

The Caffe Mediterraneum on the other hand claims, that their owner and barista Lino Meiorin brewed the first caffè latte in the late 1950’s.

His Italian style Cappuccino was too strong for the local customers in Berkeley, California so he yelled at his barista’s to add more milk. And since he spoke Italian, he used the word latte.

As a consequence, he added this highly demanded coffee drink on the menu and called it caffè latte.

What Is A Latte Made Of

Cafe Latte with latte art

By now it should be no secret anymore that a caffè latte consists of espresso and milk.

A latte is usually served in a large glass or wide cup. In the United States, you can expect a latte to be at least 12 ounces.

Additionally the milk and espresso are already mixed together and not been visible as layers.

The glass will be filled almost completely with steamed milk. Based on preferences you either add one or two shots of espresso. To finish the caffè latte, about a spoonful of foam is added on top.

In short, a caffè latte is made of a lot of milk with one or two shots of espresso and a hint of froth.

Baristas usually serve the latte with some nice looking latte-art. In this case, they pour the espresso first and then add the milk.

History Of Cappuccino

The cappuccino as we know it originates in Italy.

However, rumor has it that at the end of the 19th century, Austrian soldiers had been deployed to Italy but didn’t want to leave without their specialty coffee, the “Kapuziner”.

The Kapuziner is a shot of mocha coffee with as much liquid whipped cream until the color is similar to the cowl of the Kapuziners.

The Italians though preferred milk over whipped cream.

And in the early 20th century, when the Espresso machines became more and more popular, the frothy version of the Cappuccino originated.

What Is A Cappuccino Made Of

Cappuccino

Since I live in the USA, I will explain the cappuccino as it is known here in the states.

Related: American Made Coffee Makers

One chapter below, I explain the difference between the Italian and American cappuccino so don’t stop reading.

A cappuccino is a perfectly balanced coffee drink made of 1/3 espresso, 1/3 steamed milk, and 1/3 milk froth.

Typically a cappuccino cup holds not more than 5 to 7 oz. altogether.

Start with the espresso and then add the steamed milk. Preferably the froth should be “wet”, which means it’s a milky froth and not just plain foam.

Italian Cappuccino Or American Cappuccino

Remember the story about the Austrians in Italy? Their “Kapuziner” coffee consists of mocha and whipped cream.

The Italians replaced the whipped cream with milk.

In other words, a typical Italian cappuccino is an espresso shot with steamed milk – period! No extra foam, no latte art, no chocolate powder or anything else.

Of course, I cannot guarantee that all Italian Cafes make it this way.

Latte Vs Cappuccino - Infograph

latte vs cappuccino infograph

My Conclusion About The Difference Between A Latte And Cappuccino

Here’s my honest opinion.

As long as the latte or cappuccino tastes wonderful, I would not mind if it’s served with a little more or less froth.

However, if it is important for you that a coffee shop should offer authentic cappuccinos then focus on the key factors I have described in this post.

With knowing these differences between latte vs cappuccino, you are hopefully able to recognize if the barista did an excellent job or not.

Please share with me your thoughts about the difference between latte and cappuccino!

Is Coffee Bad For Teens And Kids

Is Coffee Bad For Teens and Kids
Is Coffee Bad For Teens and Kids

Is Coffee Bad For Kids And Teens?

When you look at my other posts, you mostly find pro-coffee articles about the best coffee makers for your home.

So you may wonder, why I suddenly write a post about coffee being bad?

Not too long ago I stumbled upon an article of the Washington Post about kids and caffeine.

A few years back I would probably have not paid too much attention. But now that I have my own children, I started to wonder: Is coffee bad for teens? How can I influence the caffeine intake of my kids?

I was able to gather a lot of valuable information with the help of the website caffeineinformer.

In short, I was stunned and somewhat shocked what I found!

Surely we all know about coffee and caffeine and too much is not good. But did you know, for example, that a large sweet tea of McDonalds has the maximum amount of caffeine recommended for teenagers?

Or that a chocolate covered graham cracker has 6 mg of caffeine? Granted, that does not sound too much but who in the world eats only one? For that reason I wrote this post: to share my findings with you and make you aware of all the sources of caffeine!

My findings of how easy it is for our kids and teenagers to consume so much caffeine.

As a side note, I would like to emphasize that I am not a doctor and the accuracy of the information in this post is not guaranteed.

If you think that you or your child suffers from any medical problems related to caffeine, you are advised to seek professional medical assistance!

How Much Caffeine Is In ... ? Infographic

Is coffee bad for teens Infograph

Hidden Caffeine - Can We Blame The Marketing Industry?

In my opinion, the answer is a big YES!

When you look at caffeinated products like chocolate bars or gum, they are without a doubt targeted towards teenagers and kids.

Fancy, glittering packaging, cartoon characters or even hardworking, successful people are used to attract our teens.

The industry wants them to believe that those products are cool and trendy and help them to cope with stress.

Knowing that this age group is more and more under pressure with school and college, it has been an easy target to increase profits.

And if you are still not 100% convinced, check the websites of the energy drink companies and see what cool and hip events they sponsor: BMX, Snowboard, Skate, just to mention a few.

My Conclusion About Coffee, Caffeine And Kids

Have you ever asked yourself: Is coffee bad for teens?

The majority of us does not take caffeine seriously enough as a health risk for teenagers and kids.

But can we be blamed! I’m not sure! Why?

At first, because almost every day you can read a new study online that a few cups of coffee a day are good for you!

But: Those results do not count for teenagers!

And secondly, would you blame caffeine if your kid is tired all day, depressed or has a lot of headaches? Probably not.

So what can you do as a parent?

Reading my post was a good start and I hope you could get some useful information about caffeine and teens.

Here’s what I will do when my kids get older:

I will obtain more information and get familiar with all the companies that try to seduce my kids. Before I can share my concerns with my children I must do my homework!

And if you are a teenager and reading this post right now, all I can do is ask you to consume caffeine products wisely!

Please share this post with parents, friends or anybody you think has an interest in this topic!

Tell me, what is your opinion about coffee, caffeine and kids?

59 Gifts For Coffee Lovers 2017 (#22 Is Drop-Dead Gorgeous)

gift ideas for coffee lovers

59 + 1 Coffee Lovers Gifts 2016
Put A Smile On Every Caffeine Addicts Face

There are two kinds of people in the world: coffee lovers and friends of coffee lovers.

If you are one of the latter you're in luck, because you have found the comprehensive list of 59 gifts for coffee lovers. These unique finds are guaranteed to put a smile on the face of even the most hard-to-shop-for coffee aficionado.

No more generic coffee gift sets from the local department store. So browse through these java gems and get ready to get all of your gift shopping done in one place for every coffee lover on your list:

Coffee Accessories And Gadgets

#1 Coffee Bean Spoons

This set of 4 demitasse coffee bean spoons calls to mind Old-World charm and elegance. They are designed to hold just the right amount of coffee beans to grind for a perfect cup of coffee every time.

Display them as the unique treasures they are or enjoy them with your favorite roast beans. Each spoon is specially treated to prevent oxidation or other deterioration.


#2 Coffee Measuring Cups And Bag Clips

Coffee-related gifts just don't get any better than this: the scoop itself is actually made out of coffee!

It is "printed" using 3D technology, utilizing a printing filament made from coffee by-products. The scoop also doubles as a bag clip to keep coffee sealed securely in the bag for freshness.


#3 Hario Manual Ceramic Coffee Grinder

This ceramic manual burr coffee grinder works quickly and easily with the crank of the handle, delivering perfectly ground fresh coffee every time.

Choose your grind from coarse to extra-fine. This little gem provides uniform grinding consistency to give you more flavor in every cup.


#4 Aerolatte® Mooo

This charming little hand-held milk frother features a cute cow motif and turns milk into steamy, foamy perfection for your cappuccino, hot cocoa, or other milk based coffee drinks, in minutes.

By the way, it is also perfect for scrambling eggs, but - viva la coffee!


#5 Hario V60 Electric Coffee Grinder

This handy electric grinder actually grinds your coffee directly into your pour over dripper, preferably the Hario V60, of course. It features over 50 different grind settings for all of your favorite brews, from coarse for your coffee pot to fine for espresso.


#6 Hyperchiller

The Hyperchiller Iced Coffee Maker turns your favorite hot coffee into delicious, refreshing iced coffee in under 2 minutes! And the best part is that it works automatically, without having your coffee diluted by adding ice cubes. You'll be ready to enjoy your full-flavored iced coffee in no time flat.


#7 Cool Coffee Ice Tray

This fun ice cube tray creates ice cubes shaped like coffee beans. Fill the tray with brewed coffee, freeze, and voila! You have the perfect cubes to cool down your coffee without watering it down.

These cubes are great for giving your coffee even more delicious flavor as they melt.


#8 ROK Coffee Grinder

This manual coffee grinder makes it easy to prepare your favorite grind just the way you need it.

Get the perfect grind size for your drip coffee, French Press, or espresso simply by adjusting the dial wheel. And best of all, you're operating the handle in a circular up and down motion and not like most grinder from left to right. This is way easier for your hand and arm to handle.


#9 Norpro Decorative Cup Warmer 

This convenient, single-cup coffee mug warmer keeps your coffee hot without the need for constant re-heating.

It's attractive finish gives the impression of patterned ceramic. It is small enough to use anywhere, on the go or around the house. No more wasted cups of cold coffee.


#10 Turkish Ibrik Coffee Maker

For the coffee connoisseur who has a taste for the exotic taste of a rich Turkish brew, this coffee maker is ideal.

Beautifully handcrafted from copper and featuring a lovely hand-painted design, this ibrik coffee pot will make an outstanding gift for any coffee aficionado.

Homemade Coffee Gifts

#11 Necklace

What could be more charming and cherished than a handmade gift that is created especially with the coffee lover in your list in mind?

This unique piece is made using fresh coffee beans and a clear locket.

It will bring a smile to the face of the wearer with every glance and compliment, and with the occasional wonderful whiff of the aromatic coffee beans!


#12 Coffee Emergency Picture

This whimsical gift will find a place on any coffee lover's wall - possibly right above the coffee pot!

A collection of coffee beans encased in glass ready and waiting for just the right moment to be put to good use. This way, the coffee fanatic in your life will never be without the object of their obsession.


#13 Coffee Lovers Survival Kit

The perfect all-in-one gift!

This basket includes K-cups to brew up hot, delicious coffee, a Mason jar filled with homemade maple-vanilla syrup made especially to add a pop of natural flavor to your coffee, and a small tin of scrumptious Biscotti. The coffee lover in your life will cherish this gift - and the giver!


#14 Felt Fox Coffee Sleeves

This darling hand-stitched fox coffee cozy is the perfect DIY-gift for your child's teacher, the mail man, the bus driver, or yourself!

These little critters are a great way to get a comfy grip on your to-go brew from your favorite shop! Simple and fun to make, you can gift one to every coffee lover on your list.


#15 Coffee Bean Resin Coasters

These eye-catching coffee coasters look much more difficult to make than they are!

Practical and a great conversation piece, they put delicious coffee beans on display on a bright bed of sparkling glitter. The recipient of this gift will be amazed that you took soooo much time to create such a beautiful and thoughtful gift just for them! (Shhh!)


#16 His + Hers Coffee Gift Basket

A gift with a personal touch, this couples' gift basket comes complete with everything needed for the two of you to relax and enjoy a steaming mug of great coffee.

Since the giver is the one who puts together the basket, it's easy to choose exactly what the recipients will love: a coffee mug for each, a few single-pot packets of gourmet coffees, a small box of chocolates to enjoy alongside the hot coffee, and a few peppermint sticks and cinnamon sticks for stirring.

Coffee Gear

#17 French Press Bundle

This coffee press doubles as a tea maker and comes complete with a set of 4 filter screens, a sugar/honey spoon, coffee/tea scoop, and a list of the top secrets used by coffee Baristas to brew up a cup of magic.


#18 Bruer Cold Brew Coffee Maker

This cold brew coffee maker works by slowly filtering cold water through fresh ground coffee to create a refreshing, flavorful drink - no heat or electricity required.

The unrrushed filtering process allows all the flavor of the grind to be extracted and deposited in the cup, so your coffee lover will have an enjoyable cup of cold brew coffee with no hassle.


#19 ROK Espresso Maker

This manual espresso maker comes in a beautiful and handy gift tin.

The milk frother, dual measuring spoon/tamper, and generously-sized portafilter make for a complete gourmet espresso experience, producing the exact brew that will bring a smile to the face of the lucky recipient of this gift! Comes complete with brewing instructions.


#20 Aerobie AeroPress Coffee Press

The AeroPress Coffee Maker promises to deliver "the best cup of coffee you will ever taste", and the coffee lover on your gift list is very likely to agree after just one sip of this pure, strong brew!

This coffee maker entertains as it prepares and delights with the finished product!


#21 Uni Terra Nomad Manual Espresso Machine

A truly unique espresso machine, this model is small and portable, easy to use anywhere.

It is manually operated so no electricity, batteries, or gas cartridges are needed. The recipient of this gift will think of you every time he or she enjoys great espresso while camping, tailgating, on a road trip, anywhere!


#22 Pulcina Stove Top Coffee Percolator

This stove top percolator is unlike any you have ever seen, and will thrill the coffee lover on your gift list!

Designed by an Italian architect and created to halt filtering at just the right moment in order to bring out the premium coffee flavor, this percolator is a delight to the eye as well as the taste buds.


#23 Nespresso Vertuoline Single Serve Espresso Maker

This crossover machine will provide the recipient with both American coffee and true Italian espresso.

It is as easy to use as it is to look at. A Nespresso capsule is placed in the machine and it's bar code is automatically scanned, then a custom-brewed cup of espresso is created in minutes.

Fashion And Home

#24 Coffee Earrings

These adorable handmade silver earrings will delight the lady coffee lovers on your gift-giving list.

Crafted from silver and subtly polished for a natural finish, these pierced earrings are lightweight and easy to wear even for the most delicate lobes. No two pairs are created to have the same appearance, just like real coffee beans.


#25 Coffee Tote Bag

Everyone needs a tote bag, and this one is just too cute for words - unless those words are "Send Coffee"!

That is the message printed on this heavyweight, natural cotton tote bag. The coffee lover in your life can use it as a beach bag, an overnight bag, or to carry their favorite coffee-making items wherever they go!


#26 Coffee Infused Body Wash

For the truly die-hard coffee fan on your list, this is a gift so truly unique, we guarantee you that they haven't even thought of getting it for themselves!

Java Body Wash is a skin-friendly blend of green coffee extract, artisan roasted, java, and Almond Oil. It's fragrance is sweet almond blended with rich roasted coffee bean. Delish!


#27 Netflix And Coffee Shirt

Why 'Netflix and Chill' when you can Netflix and brew in this great tshirt? Who knows?

With a shirt this sweet that Netflix and Coffee just might turn into Netflix and Chill, and the coffee-lover recipient of this gift will have you to thank for it!


#28 Coffee Pajamas

Even the most avid coffee drinker has to sleep sometime, and these comfy pajamas will help the lady coffee lovers on your gift list to drift off with a smile.

Designed with a light-hearted warning, "No Talkie Until After Coffee", these pajamas make a perfect gift for any occasion, or no occasion at all!


#29 Coffee Beanie

Give them a gift that will let everyone know that the recipient has coffee on the brain! This classic beanie is stylish and functional, with a fun edge! Unisex design allows it to be enjoyed by all the coffee lovers on your gift list.


#30 Coffee Socks

For the strong, silent type on your gift list who still wants to express his love of coffee, these coffee socks are the perfect combination of low-key and outrageous! Give these gift socks and give your coffee lover's feet a java treat!


#31 Coffee Towel

A bold, graphic kitchen towel that will let everyone know just how much the recipient loves their coffee. They can learn all about their favorite hot drink as they read about all things coffee on this decorative towel.

Gift Sets And Gift Baskets

#32 Air Roasting Starter Kit

This kit is a perfect choice for that true coffee aficionado who wants to roast his own coffee beans.

This Air Roaster Starting Kit has it all to start the first home roasting experience. Included is the roaster, of course, green coffee bean samples, valve bags for storage, and a roast log to record settings to get closer to the perfect roast!


#33 Intelligentsia Pour Over Gift Box

This gift set comes complete with everything necessary for the recipient to brew a steaming cup of amazing House Blend coffee right away: a Hario V60 dripper, 40 filters, a custom Intelligentsia coffee mug, and a .75 lb. bag of coffee.


#34 On The Go Coffee Gift Basket

This incredible gift basket has it all! When you present the coffee lover on your list with this basket you will make their java dreams come true!

It comes with Turtle Sundae and French Vanilla flavored coffees, Wolfgang Puck coffee, a cappucino drink blend, Marich Chocolate Mint Chip Maltballs, Dolcetto Chocolate Creme-Filled Wafer Rolls, Walkers shortbread cookies, and a collection of Around The World in Twelve Coffees.


#35 Bluebottle Timbuk2 Sabbatical Travel Kit

This gift kit is designed especially for brewing coffee on the go, whether camping, boating, or road-tripping. Comes complete with an attractive and roomy leather and canvas bag for storage.


#36 Ultimate Manual Coffee Home Brewing Kit

This home brewing coffee collection features everything necessary to create relaxing, refreshing Barista-style coffee right in the comfort of your own home.

Included is the Chemex Pour-Over Brewer, the Baratza Encore Coffee Grinder, and the high-end Bonavita Pouring Kettle.  Additionally the kit includes the Able Kone reusable filter and a digital scale for exact measuring of coffee and water.

Your coffee lover will think of you with a smile with every sip of fresh, satisfying coffee.


#37 Home Barista Class (In Any City)

Give the gift of class! A Home Barista how-to coffee brewing class, that is!

Reserve the coffee fan on your gift list a spot in a brewing class in their city and soon they will be creating works of coffee art with the best of 'em!


#38 That's Caring Gift Box (And The Cause)

This is a gift within a gift because with every gift box that is sold, a donation is made to provide a Weekend Bag to a child in need.

These bags contain non-perishable food items suited to provide nourishment for a child throughout the weekend, when he or she will not be receiving meals at school. The gift box itself is a treasure trove of gourmet cookies and Starbucks coffees.

Gourmet Coffee And Candy

#39 Beangenius Gourmet Coffee Subscription

Remind the coffee lover on your list just how special they are over and over again with a monthly delivery of delicious coffees chosen just for them! You choose the number of months, and their delicious gift will arrive right on time every month!

An online coffee subscription is always a great gift!​


#40 Bizzy Cold Brew Coffee Subscription

Each bottle of Cold Brew Coffee makes 6 cups of delicious cold coffee and delivers a burst of energy with 3x more caffeine than traditional coffees! It can be enjoyed hot or cold. Perfect for the coffee lover who enjoys variety.


#41 Sudden Gourmet Instant Coffee Tubes

This gift comes in the form of a monthly delivery of delicious individual servings of instant coffee. You can choose to gift your coffeeholic with 8 to 32 cups of coffee per month, reminding them with each cup just how much they are loved!


#42 Javazen Coffee And Tea Blend Infused With Super Foods

Give your coffee lover a gift that shows you care with a flavorful coffee blend that is also infused with healthy "superfoods" for those who like to follow a clean diet. All the wonderful taste of fresh-brewed coffees with added health benefits, all in one great gift!


#43 Chocolate Covered Mocha Beans

A delicious alternative to the usual coffee gift, these mocha beans will thrill the coffee lover on your list. Hand-created in rich, creamy dark chocolate, these coffee bean-shaped candies deliver the best of both flavorful worlds.


#44 Bean Box World Coffee Tour Box

This gift box contains coffee packets from the top coffee-producing regions from around the world. The box comes complete with brewing instructions, tasting notes, and decadent artisan chocolates.

Mugs And Cups

#45 Coffee Magiccups

Your coffee lover will thank you time and time again for this miracle cup that makes spilling their precious coffee virtually impossible! Whether in a car, on a train, a boat, or with a case of the clumsies, coffee is safely sealed in this insulated cup, safe and ready to enjoy!


#46 Hipsta Kitty Mug

Coffee lovers and cat lovers go hand-in-hand, so for those on your gift list who are cross-addicted this classy kitty coffee mug is just the thing. Coffee will taste even better and be more enjoyable when it's served up in this nice-sized mug featuring a furry friend for company.


#47 Build-On Brick Coffee Mug

Your coffee lover will be in the throes of delight at the sight of this creative coffee mug, which is either the most NSFW mug we've ever seen or the exact opposite! The extra-large mug is designed to work with most types of small building blocks, so coffee drinkers can have a bit of creative fun as they sip their favorite brew.


#48 Coffee Poop Mug

This whimsical ceramic mug manes a fun gift for your coffee lover who has a sense of humor. The writing on the mug makes it clear when it is safe to approach and speak, and when "other matters" must be seen to!


#49 Coffee Owl Mug

These adorable stonewall owl coffee mugs will win over the most die-hard coffee hater! Three cute faces peer from the front of these generously-sized mugs. Coffee is guaranteed to taste even better when it is shared with these hand-washable darlings.


#50 Marbled Coffee Tumbler Set

This elegant pair of stonewall coffee tumblers have the appearance of genuine marble. Fine veins of variegated rich browns, tans, and golds swirl together with creamy beige shades to create a gift that any coffee lover will be proud to receive and display.


#51 Luigi Bormioli Personalized Thermic Coffee Cups

A perfect gift for anyone who enjoys sharing a great cup of coffee with a loved one. This pair of glass coffee cups comes monogrammed for an elegant, classic presentation, along with two stainless-steel saucers. The borosilicate glass is durable and stays cool on the outside.

Coffee Documentaries, Movies And Art

#52 Coffee Gives Me Superpowers - Book

This is a fun, entertaining book for everyone, coffee lover or not! The subject is, of course, all things coffee, so the java fan on your gift-giving list can look forward to hours of entertainment and then share it around among friends!


#53 Coffee Poster - 30 Coffee Recipes

A work of art any coffee aficionado will love - complete with recipes to create more than a dozen delicious coffee drinks. This poster is printed on premium matte-finish paper and is ready for framing.


#54 Brew Better Coffee At Home - Book

This comprehensive book is a guide for anyone preparing to purchase the perfect coffee, coffee maker, and accessories , or to upgrade their existing brewing equipment. A perfect gift for the person who is just discovering the wonderful world of coffee.


#55 Black Gold Coffee Documentary - DVD

An entertaining and informative movie for anyone, but especially for the coffee aficionado on your gift list. 'Black Gold' reveals all of the secrets regarding the production of coffee from bean to brew and the industry behind it all.


#56 The Birth Of Coffee - Book

This book explores our love affair with coffee - the steamy liquid, the heavenly aroma, and how we have suddenly become a society of coffee snobs. The coffee fan in your life will love this excellent read.


#57 Coffee Wall Art

This eclectic wall decal covers all the coffee bases - java, espresso, French roast - all the good stuff in an understated yet eye-catching wall decoration. It will look great next to a counter chock full of coffee condiments.


#58 The Design Of Coffee: An Engineering Approach - Book

This book takes a look at the technical aspects of creating coffee.

Roasting and brewing techniques are compared and discussed in detail, as well as exactly how and why different elements affect the end results of the different brews of coffee. The perfect gift for the more scientifically-minded coffee fan in your life.


#59 Coffee Contraption Canvas

Chemex Coffee Canvas
Espresso Machine Coffee Canvas
Moka Pot Coffee Canvas
Siphon Coffee Canvas

society6.cc

These 4 different artistic prints will brighten up the wall of any java enthusiast's home.

The first print depicts the Chemex coffee brewer; the second print shows the popular Atomic espresso machine; the third print,k the classic Moka brewing pot, and the fourth print, the vacuum brewer. Give one or more to create a unique centerpiece in any room.


#59+1 Espresso Drinks Scratch-Off Poster

Unique scratch-off poster containing 30 variations of espresso-based coffee drinks.

Individual ratios of ingredients are hidden under a silver or golden scratch-off layer, which after scratching off reveals the secret of preparation. I don't know you, but I haven't seen anything like this before so if you need a unique gift, here it is!


59 gifts for coffee lovers

Coffee Mosaic made with AndreaMosaic

(The image link may look broken at first after you click the Pin button - but it works! So please keep sharing!)

Conclusion

Have you had fun learning about all the different and unique coffee gifts out there? Would you have ever thought there could possible be so many?

How awesome is it to have such a diverse list to choose from? You can easily find a gift for every coffee lover in your life in one convenient place. Please feel free to share this list if you have enjoyed it, and please leave your thoughts and comments below!

Bizzy Organic Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate – What’s All The Buzz About It?

Bizzy Organic Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate
Bizzy Organic Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate

Bizzy Coffee Review - Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate

Bizzy contacted me if I wanted to try their organic cold brew coffee concentrate.

Since I'm a confirmed cold brewed coffee addict I didn't hesitate and said yes. You should know I got this bottle of Bizzy organic cold brew coffee for free. I can ensure you that my review is honest and unbiased.

Now let's have a look what's so special about Bizzy cold brew coffee It even appeared in BuzzFeed's list of 21 Awesome Amazon Wish List products.

And if you read until the end, there's a great deal waiting for you!

Bizzy's Knocking On My Door

When the box arrived I couldn't wait to open it. Inside the package was a sticker, a random recipe and of course the bottle of Bizzy Coffee. The recipe was the Coffee Green Smoothie but I tell you right now I was too chicken to try it out. 

Are you braver than I am?

There are more recipes at Bizzy's website for you to try different coffee drinks or even snacks. Yes, Bizzy Coffee even suggests using their cold brew coffee for mocha brownies or cold brew protein ice cream, just to name two of them.

First Taste Test: Bizzy Black With Cream

Since I'm not that adventurous, I started with a more traditional recipe - the Bizzy Black With Cream.

It's 1/3 of Bizzy Cold Brew Coffee, 1/3 of water, and 1/3 of cream. You should know that Bizzy is a coffee concentrate This means, it's brewed much stronger than regular coffee with about 3 times as much caffeine!

For this reason, each bottle of 16 fluid ounces makes up to 6 drinks since you dilute it with water.

After my first sip, I knew right away why they offered me this bottle. It was not about writing a review for them. They laid a bait to get a new customer. And I bit!

I know that this was not my last bottle of Bizzy Cold Brew Coffee.

But jokes aside. You should know, I have been brewing my own Cold Brew Coffee for about a year now after I bought the Hario Cold Brew Pot. And the cold brew coffee is more than acceptable.

But Bizzy Coffee topped all of my past cold brew experiences. Their coffee is smooth, not bitter at all and tastes just damn delicious.

But here's the thing!

This is my own opinion. My better half, who taste tested with me, didn't like it so much. She prefers hot brewed coffee cooled down instantly with the Hyperchiller.

Why am I telling you this?

Because there's no accounting for tastes.

This is just my opinion how cold brew coffee should taste like! And I'm not alone with this opinion. Granted, there are not so many reviews yet at Amazon, but the product is still brand new.

And over 90% gave it 5 stars and comments like this:

[pullquote align=”normal”] – The best tasting cold brew…
– Love this stuff!
– This coffee ROCKS! [/pullquote]

Second Taste Test: Bizzy Black Coffee

Bizzy Coffee Black

In my second test I wanted to find out about the real flavor of the coffee itself. You know, without any added flavors like cream or vanilla.

So the recipe says I should mix 1/3rd of concentrate with 2/3rd of water, which I did.  

​I tasted a bit of acidity, which is not bad! In fact, it even increased my taste experience.

According to Bizzy they use a blend of arabica coffee beans from Central and South America but not what type of roast. Based on the brightness (another word for acidity) of the coffee, I assume it's a medium or even a light to medium roast - my favorite by the way! 

One ore two reviewers claimed the coffee tastes bitter. I cannot share this opinion. 

Acidity? Yes! But bitter? Not at all!

So I ended my taste test with another Bizzy Black With Cream.

I know, I know! Boring me! No Bizzy Cold Brew Mocha Brownies, no Bizzy Vodka Tonic, and no Mocha Chip Cold Brew Ice Cream. Maybe next time.

What Does It Actually Mean? Bizzy?

Delicious Bizzy Cold Brew Coffee

How do you stay awake and keep the focus when you're busy in work or life? 

Well, you either drink coffee or an energy drink, soda or whatever includes caffeine. Because we all know caffeine gives you an energy boost - in most cases.

But as a health-conscious person, you try to avoid those sugary sodas and energy drinks. Hopefully.

Hot coffee is sugar-free, great! But it's not always our favorite choice, especially in summer! And there's no time to cold brew when you want it NOW!

By the way, have I mentioned it, that cold brew coffee takes 12-24 hours to brew? You need the patience of a saint!

The original question was, what Bizzy means. Bizzy comes from "busy". Busy people need a boost of energy. Quickly. Busy people need Bizzy Coffee!

Even better when this caffeine boost is also a healthy boost. That's why Bizzy has no sugar and contains only coffee beans that are grown organically.

And in case you haven't heard. It's proven that coffee also boosts your health.

I think, that's enough boost for today!

So Bizzy comes from busy but hold on a second. Don't hit the back button now and search for something else if you consider yourself a lazy couch potato. Bizzy Coffee is also for you!

It's a perfect refreshment beverage when you sit at the pool and bath in the sun. Or have a glass or two while watching the Monday Night Football game (to not fall asleep and miss the overtime!).

My Conclusion About Bizzy Cold Brew Coffee

What can I say, I enjoyed every sip of Bizzy Coffee. It's a good feeling to know there's a bottle of cold brew coffee in the fridge waiting for you when you need it the most.

I still cold brew my own coffee because the convenience of getting Bizzy to your front door also comes with a price. It's not cheap!

But you should know you're paying for quality and "Cold Brew A.S.A.P"!

Since I want you to try Bizzy Cold Brew Coffee yourself, look at the orange button a little further below where I have a great deal for you!

So decide yourself how much self-indulgence you deserve! A single bottle, a 12-pack or even a monthly subscription?

Please share with me in the comments section below how much you like Bizzy Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate!

Disclosure: I may get a commission for purchases made through eCommerce-links in my posts. More details here.

HyperChiller – This Is How You Make Iced Coffee In 2017

Hyperchiller Iced Coffee Maker
Hyperchiller Iced Coffee Maker

Hyperchiller Iced Coffee Maker - From Hot To Cold In Less Than 60 Seconds

​I received this product free of charge in exchange for writing a review. You can be ensured, that all opinions are my own and my review is honest and unbiased.

Are you still making iced coffee the old-fashioned way by pouring the hot brewed java over ice cubes? And all you get is a watery something that doesn’t deserve to be called iced coffee!

Forget everything you’ve heard about how to make iced coffee with hot coffee at home.

Prepare yourself for the HyperChiller – the iced coffee maker that promises to cool down hot coffee by up to 130°F in less than 2 minutes!

Best of all, it does all the magic without one ice cube being diluted in the hot coffee!

Sounds incredible?

Well, I put this new iced coffee maker to a test. Keep reading and find out if the HyperChiller lives up to its promises.

Preparation Before The Freezing

Hyperchiller disassembled

After disassembling, I got four pieces:

  • small stainless steel cup
  • large stainless steel cup
  • black HyperChiller cup
  • lid

All parts are BPA-free and dishwasher safe (top shelf!). Of course, I thoroughly washed it before first use with water and soap!

It’s quite simple to prepare and took me less than two minutes.

All I got to do was filling up the small cup with 6 oz. and the large stainless steel cup with 16 oz. of water.

In both cases, this is about 90% of the cup size.

The smaller cup must be twisted on the lid. The water in the large cup must be poured into the black cup before being screwed on the lid as well.

At last, I put everything back together and placed it in the freezer for at least 12 hours.

This is what happens inside the Hyperchiller:

HyperChiller demonstration

The Challenge - Lower Temperature By 130° F

Hyperchiller Iced Coffee Maker

I tested the HyperChiller with my Bunn MyCafe MCU single-serve coffee maker.

You should know that the temperature of the freshly brewed coffee is about 180°F – 190°F, when it’s dripping out of the Bunn.

This means, that the HyperChiller should cool it down to approximately 50°F-60°F.

And you know what, it almost did exactly that!

After about 90 seconds of swirling, I could measure a temperature of 65°F. Now all I had to do was adding ice and creamer.

The ice didn’t melt at all so the iced coffee was strong and rich in flavor.

The HyperChiller definitely passed the test and completely lives up to its promises!

When You Might Not Need The HyperChiller

Let me tell you first, the HyperChiller is a quick and convenient way to make iced coffee!

However, if you often have friends and family over at your house and plan to serve iced coffee to all of them, you could run into some problems.

You see, the maximum fill level is 12oz – enough for about 2 small glasses.

If you need more than that, you have to pour more coffee in the HyperChiller. But since it has warmed up it takes now longer to get the second batch cold enough. In this case or if you even need a third round of iced coffee, you should consider buying an additional HyperChiller.

Or you plan ahead and cold brew coffee with a different product in a larger container like the Toddy Cold Brew Coffee Maker.

It's More Than Just An Iced Coffee Maker

Cool Coffee, Wine and Whiskey With Hyperchiller

Who says you are limited to just cool down coffee? Have you ever been in the situation where you spontaneously wanted a glass of wine?

And unfortunately, the only bottle you can find is in the pantry and, of course, it’s room temperature. 

Putting it in the freezer or refrigerator just takes too long and your craving for that glass of Chardonnay slowly goes away.

With the HyperChiller, you can cool down your wine, whiskey or other spirits within minutes!

Do you want even more suggestions? How about iced tea, lemonade, or soda. You see, the options you have are countless!

My Conclusion

Hyperchiller and iced coffee

To be honest with you, I am always careful to write a positive review when at the same time I got the product for free.

But I promised you to be unbiased. Yet I won’t play a product down just to sound more believable.

Ever since I got the HyperChiller, I used it almost every day.

I still plan to cold brew with my Hario Brewer since it’s a larger pot and lasts longer but I have to wait until the next day until it’s ready.

If you like iced coffee but am tired of the watered down brew, I highly recommend you the HyperChiller.

You have nothing to lose since it comes with a 30 Day Satisfaction Guarantee.

But rather than simply reading about it, why don’t you taste delicious iced coffee with the HyperChiller yourself?

​[easyazon_infoblock align="center" identifier="B0147K0ZEY" locale="US" tag="coffeebleib-20"]

Disclosure: I may get a commission for purchases made through eCommerce-links in my posts. More details here.

>