Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, second only to water. It’s beloved for its rich flavor and stimulating effect, but also because it’s a social drink – shared with friends or enjoyed alone.
It can be consumed any time of day, but many people think that you should refrain from drinking coffee afternoon so as not to interfere with nighttime sleep. Coffee comes in many forms it can be served hot or cold; black or with milk and sugar; caffeinated or decaffeinated. But before diving into these various types of coffee, there are some things worth knowing about this beverage that will help you enjoy coffee more fully.
How to Get Started with Coffee as a Hobby
Gathering Knowledge about Coffee
Before you can even begin to think about brewing coffee, you need to know the basics of how it’s made. Coffee is often harvested by hand around the world because it grows best in moist, hot places. The two main species used widely are the hardier robusta and the more delicate arabica.
The latter is credited for giving us our favorite beverage; according to legend, an Ethiopian shepherd (named Kaldi) noticed his goats became livelier after eating berries from a particular bush, so he tried them himself and was soon dancing with excitement! This discovery led to wider cultivation of coffee plants, which were mainly exported from Africa into Europe in the mid-1600s…and eventually all across the globe.
Today there are hundreds of coffee farms, or plantations, located in dozens of countries around the world. Starbucks alone purchases more than 15 million pounds of coffee each year and sells their beans in 64 countries!
Most people start by purchasing a standard drip coffee maker at home, but there are many varieties beyond the basic black cup. Once you learn about this incredibly diverse beverage, you may be interested in upgrading your equipment or trying something new. Here are some things to consider when purchasing new kitchen appliances for making coffee:
- What type of drinks do you make? If it’s mostly hot coffee for one or two people, then a smaller brewer may work well for you. If you’re making iced coffee or serving a larger group, you may want to consider something bigger.
- How important is the appearance of your appliance? You can find traditional drip brewers in dozens of colors and styles, but there are also French presses, percolators , stovetop espresso makers, vacuum pots , pour-over cones, and more!
- What features are included with the brewer? If it’s just an ordinary coffee maker that makes eight cups when you only need two every morning then you’re spending extra money for features that don’t matter to you. On the other hand, if it has timers or brew strength settings then it might be worth paying a few extra dollars.
Learning to Brew
Once you have your equipment in place, you can begin brewing coffee. If this is your first time trying the beverage, an experiment may be in order! There are two basic ways to prepare coffee: brewed or percolated.
Brewed brewing (also known as drip brewing) refers to when hot water flows over ground coffee beans contained in a filter; it’s the most popular method around the world. Other methods include percolated , Turkish , cold brew, and espresso – each with their own subtle variations. How do they all work?
- Percolation is when hot water drips through coffee grounds contained in a metal filter; typically done on top of a stove inside a coffee pot.
- Turkish brewing involves boiling finely ground coffee beans in a special pot called an ibrik, then removing them just before the water begins to boil. It’s similar to percolation but without the additional step of filtering.
- Cold brewing is done overnight using coarsely ground coffee or coffee grounds that are placed in cold water, which is then slowly filtered through a filter paper or cloth. The resulting brew has very little acidity and is often stored in the refrigerator until ready for use!
Espresso machines force hot pressurized water over finely ground coffee to produce an intensely flavored drink that’s not as bitter as regular drip coffee, but significantly higher in caffeine content. How much you should drink depends on your body’s individual tolerance to caffeine.