Tips for Enjoying the Best Coffee at Home

There is no doubt that coffee as a beverage is one of the most popular in the world. It shares the top spot with tea. It is enjoyed in different parts of the world and in every continent. Its strong flavour and distinct and powerful stimulating effect is what makes it a very popular drink today. The practice of drinking coffee has been around for hundreds of years now. For some it has become a part of their tradition. There are also those who have got the preparation of coffee down to an art form.

Are you a coffee lover yourself or are you just starting to explore what this drink has to offer? You might be surprised that you can get a great deal out of it. Whether you are a veteran coffee drinker or just a novice, you need to make sure that you are getting the best. That might be a bit hard if you prepare your drink at home. The good news is that there are plenty of things that you can do in order to ensure the quality of your drinks that you make at home.

We have listed here some of the tips that you can follow to ensure the quality of your home coffee.

Pick Your Source

What kind of coffee drinker are you? Are you the sort who is just after a dose of caffeine or do you like the flavour as well? If you enjoy drinking coffee because of its flavour, you can take extra steps to ensure that you will get the best out of your drink. One of the ways that you can do is by picking your source carefully. The flavour of the drink that you would be able to make at home depends largely on the source of the beans that you use for the drink.

If you want the best and finest coffee then you should try getting them from a roaster. These are the stores that are solely dedicated to selling coffee. A roaster would have a wide selection of coffee beans to sell which are quite fresh. More importantly, people manning the roaster should be able to give you some advice and guidance when it comes to selecting your coffee.

Pick the Right Type

There are two types of coffee being sold in the market. These types are the Robusta and the Arabica. The Arabica type of coffee is normally grown at higher places than the Robusta. This difference is important when it comes to the flavouring of the coffee. Arabica is normally more flavourful than the other type.

Pick the Country of Origin

Another important factor when it comes to the flavour of the coffee is its country of origin. The flavour of the coffee bean is also determined largely by the place where it is grown. The kind of soil and the climate in a certain area would be a factor. There are certain countries that have been associated with high quality and flavourful coffee. Some people like Brazilian coffee for example because the beans have a chocolate-like scent.

Pick the Right Kind of Roast

The kind of roast of your coffee will also have an effect on the quality of the coffee drink that you can produce at home. Light roasts will contain more acids and contain more caffeine as well. It will also show more of the nuances of the flavour of the coffee that you have. The dark roasts will contain less acid and caffeine.

For best results you should learn to do your own roasting at home. This might take a few tries, but once you have learned to do your own roasting, that would be a great advantage. Coffee beans that have been roasted will soon deteriorate. It will lose its flavour, but if you buy green coffee and you do your own roasting then you can get your coffee fresh every time.

Pick Your Grinder

Another important factor in determining the quality of your beverage would be the beans’ grinding. Freshly ground beans would be better and would have more flavour. Relying on the store to do the grinding for you is not going to work all the time if you want the best coffee. You should really consider getting your own grinder.

There are many types of coffee grinders that you can get for your home. There is a blade grinder which is the most common type. Then there is a burr grinder which produces even more quality. Finally, there is a conical burr grinder which produces the best quality.

Picking the Water

Many people might not realize it, but there is a lot that depends on the quality of water that you are going to use for your coffee. If the water that you use for your coffee has a taste on its own, that would have an effect on taste of your drink. In most cases, that could ruin your drink. Experts actually recommend that you avoid using distilled water in making coffee. That’s because distilled water lacks some of the minerals that enhances the taste of coffee. The temperature of the water that you will use also has a great impact on the way that your water would taste.

Proper Storage for Your Coffee

The way that you store your coffee will also play an important role on the quality of the beverage that you will make. Improperly stored coffee beans will easily lose its flavour. You have to make sure that you keep your beans in a sealed container, so that it does not lose its flavour. Some would suggest that the best thing to do in those cases would be to put the coffee in the freezer. But that’s not necessary at all. If you know the exact date when your beans are roasted, then you can predict up to which time you can use it.

Using a French Press

How do you make coffee at home? If you are like most people then you use a drip coffee maker. But a French press will actually produce a better quality drink. In most cases even a cheap French press will produce a better beverage than a drip coffee maker. Why is a French Press better? That’s because in using it, more oil gets into the coffee. With a drip coffee maker, many of those oils, which are necessary for the flavour of the coffee, get into the drink.

Using a Drip Machine

Some people on the other hand still prefer the convenience presented by a drip coffee maker. The problem with it though is that it takes really long to reach the right temperature for brewing coffee. You can help that process, though. You can try running a pot of warm water through the maker just so you can warm it up. You can use that water again in order to make the actual brew. You can be sure that the water is warm enough.

These are just some of the steps that you can follow in order to make great coffee in the comfort of your own home.

What You Should Know About Tea

From the Orient to the living rooms of England, tea is one of the most enjoyed beverages. This drink has a long history that goes way back. If you are interested in tea drinking then you might be interested in knowing more about it. We have gathered some of the important things that you ought to know about it.

What is tea in the first place?

Tea is a drink that is made from soaking the leaves, buds and even twigs of the plant Camellia sinensis or the tea plant. The soaking in hot water can last anywhere from 1 to 5 minutes. The leaves and buds of the tea plant would have to go a certain process before it can be ready for steeping and be used for preparing drinks. The leaves would have to undergo a fermentation process.

The length of the fermentation process that the leaves have undergone would determine the color of the resulting tea. White tea for example is the variety that has undergone the least amount of fermentation. What is known as black tea is the kind that has fermented the most.

The tea leaves are harvested and then they are made to undergo fermentation. The fermentation process can be stopped by heating. The heat stops the fermentation process. During that process flavors and spices can be added in order to further enhancement of the tea taste.

The Camellia sinensis plant has two varieties. These are the var. assamica and the var. sinensis. When westerners first came across the tea plant in China, they called it “sinensis.” In Latin, this means “from China“. They assumed that the tea plant could only be found in China, but they soon realized that it was not really the case. It was soon found that there was another variety that can be found in the Indian region known as Assam. It is now widely accepted that the drinking tea originated in the area where India, China and Burma intersects. The modern cultivated tea plants are pruned for easy harvesting. But if left uncultivated these plants can grow very tall. The assamica variety for example can reach a height exceeding 60 feet.

A Brief History of Tea

Legend says that it was a Chinese emperor who discovered tea as a beverage. It is said that he accidently discovered the use of tea for beverage when some leaves fell on a pot of boiling water. It was noted by ancient Chinese authors that tea has a bitter flavour but it was highly valued because of the calming effect that it has on the drinker.

The legend about the Chinese emperor being the first one to discover tea is a bit farfetched. It is not really clear in historical terms as to who actually were the first users of tea. What is clear is that its use spread from China into other countries. Japan, for example, is one of the best examples of a country that was heavily influenced by Chinese tea usage. The present Japanese tea ceremony came directly from Chinese influence.

Among the Europeans, it was probably the Portuguese who first came into contact with Chinese tea. This contact probably happened in their trading post in Macau. But since Portugal had little influence on the rest of Europe at the time, it did not become popular. It was up to the Dutch who brought back tea to Amsterdam to make tea drinking popular among the Europeans.

The British picked up tea drinking from the Dutch. The upper classes were fascinated with the drink that soon they have the powerful British East India Company trading directly with the Chinese for the valuable product. Soon they were not satisfied with trading only and they wanted to grow it on their own. So, they stole the secrets of tea growing from China and they started growing it in their Indian possessions.

Tea Production and Tea Consumption

Today it isn’t surprising that the two largest producers of tea in the world are China and India. Combined, these two countries produce more than half of the world’s tea production. Kenya and Sri Lanka are also two major tea producers. When it comes to consumption, the United Arab Emirates is the largest consumer of tea per capita. It might surprise you to learn that Britain would only come in sixth place when it comes to tea consumption.

The Different Types of Tea

It has been mentioned before that there are different types of tea that are currently available. These types come from the way that the tea leaves are prepared and for how long they undergo fermentation.

White Tea

In this type of tea, only the first two leaves are harvested together with the buds for use. White tea is not oxidized at all. It only undergoes a very light processing. This kind of tea is mainly produced in mainland China today.

Green Tea

This kind of tea undergoes very little oxidation. This type of tea has become very popular in the West. It is produced in China and Japan.

Yellow Tea

Yellow tea is a lot similar to green tea and it undergoes very little if any oxidation. The main difference is that it undergoes the yellowing process, hence the name.

Oolong Tea

This kind of tea is mainly produced in Taiwan and in the Fujian region of mainland China. The leaves are rolled for this kind of tea. The leaves are subjected to different types of infusion which gives the leaves a different flavour profile.

Black Tea

Black tea is a kind of tea that has undergone 100% oxidization. This kind of tea is actually very popular in the West. In China, it is actually known as red tea because of the color of the resulting beverage. This kind of tea actually goes very well with sugar and milk.

Post Fermented

In China, this is what they refer to as black tea. The process for creating this sort of tea is rather long. Modern methods however has speed it up, though compared with other tea types it still takes longer.

Tea Bags and Loose Tea

Most people are familiar with tea bags as the means of preparing tea. But there is another method of creating the beverage and that is through the use of loose tea. Tea experts actually consider the tea found in tea bags to be of poorer quality for most of the time. There is actually some basis to the belief that tea in tea bags is of poorer quality. Most of the time, those are just left-overs from the tea that have been sorted. In fact they think this kind of tea is dust. If you are looking to taste the best tea, then you should get loose tea instead. That means you will get the best.

The way that you prepare and brew your tea would largely determine the quality of the drink that you are going to get. The different types of tea that we have mentioned would require different means of preparation and lengths of time for brewing. If you want to get the most out of your tea, then you should know the best way of brewing it.