Tuesday 22 September 2009

Drinks: Coffee Mania

Coffee Mania

Fancy coffee anyone? Which types of coffee do you like? Caffelatte or straight caffe espresso? Do you p
refer Starbucks or Pacific Coffee? Would you go for your favourite all the time or would you
be adventurous to try new editions? Will you drink because of the taste or because McCafe has $12 Cappuccino recommended as perfect by Mr. Chan Ho?

In one of my lessons, one of my students mentioned a type of coffee which is "processed" by the internal organs of a cat and it cost him $250 per cup!!! I have never heard about it! Neither do
I think I am rich enough to try, nor dare to try, but it is worth learning the term, and thus I asked him how to spell -- Kopi Luwak (Coffea Liberica).

Well, actually, it is not "processed" by a cat, but an Asian Palm Civet, called Luwak in Indonesian, so please don't feed coffee beans to your cat at home.

Typically, there are two main types of coffee beans. They are the Coffea Arabica and Coffea Robusta (or Coffea canephora). Arabica Coffee is also known as the mountain coffee, for the beans are cultivated generally between 1300m to 1500m altitude (height above sea level). It is more expensive and superior to the Robusta Coffee.

On the other hand, since Robusta Coffee (mostly grown in Africa and Brazil) is easier to care for, it is cheaper and it is normally used in lower grade coffee blend as a filler. It is blended with the arabica due to its crema, a reddish-brown foam that floats on the surface.

Recently, I have tried the latest Crema Scura from Pacific Coffee and it is very very rich and creamy, what's more, it is organic (you need to pay $2 more) if you have a chance, you may give it a whirl!

Lastly, Robusta Coffee has about twice as much caffeine than Arabica and thus it really wakes you up!

Normally, when we go to the coffee shop to drink coffee, the baristas have already prepared the mix of coffee beans, which we are generally not allow to intervene.

Starbucks has a page here that sorted the coffee into mild, smooth and bold, and you can take that as a reference to your taste. And Pacific Coffee has a page with very detailed vocabulary for describing the different types of their coffee and I am sure you will find them very useful.

Here are some examples:
Fruity, nutty, creamy, deep, earthy, full-bodied, floral, caramel texture, undertones, acidic, smoky, sweet, snappy, dry, winely, spicy, elegant, fragrant.

Another expensive coffee is the Jamaican Blue Mountain, a type of coffee only grown in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica. I guess it would fit my taste because it is mild and lack of bitterness. If the coffee shop can even play the traditional Jamaican music, raggae, it would definitely be a joy!

picture resources: