If there's one thing that can truly revitalize a person and bring him or her out of a dazed stupor, it's coffee. Coffee is one of the most popular beverages that is relished and celebrated by millions across the globe. Whether it is a first date, an important business meeting, a wake-up drink in the middle of the night before an exam, a hangover remedy or a relaxed evening curled up by the fireplace with your sweetheart, none are complete without a cup of coffee.
The type doesn't matter. It's just the lilting fragrance of those brown beans that permeates the air and makes you realize that it is indeed one of the best things in life. In this Tastessence article, we'll attempt to give you a brief overview of the most popular and widely used types of this intoxicating beverage.
Types of Beans
Coffee can be classified on the basis of the beans, the different methods of roasting them, and also on the basis of the different drinks that are prepared using different methods. Given below are the three most widely grown types of beans all around the world.
- Arabica: Arabica beans are the most widely grown coffee beans. They account for more than 50% of the total production of coffee in the world. They have large bushes and are also very delicate. The flavor that the Arabica beans have may vary from region to region. While they generally have a very mild flavor and aroma, there are certain varieties that also serve as gourmet beans. They contain less caffeine than the other varieties. In addition to this, they also have other flavors and aromas blended together. African countries are the major producers of Arabica coffee beans.
- Robusta: Robusta beans come second in the list of widely produced coffee. Compared to Arabica beans, the Robusta bushes are much stronger and resistant to diseases and pests. This makes it easier and more economic to grow. The flavor of the Robusta beans is much stronger than that of Arabica beans. Also, the caffeine content in these is much more than that of Arabica beans. It can be blended with other coffees and flavors.
- Kona: This is the rarest type of bean and least-produced coffee. And hence, it the most expensive one. Produced in Hawaii, this coffee bean has the highest level of caffeine content in it. Hence, it is rarely blended with other types. Its rich aroma and flavor are best enjoyed in its pure form.
Types of Drinks
Let us now see the kind of drinks that are made from the different kinds of coffee beans. Some are hot and some chilled. Rest assured that whatever way it is, nothing can take away the inherent flavor and richness from its original form.
- Espresso: Espresso is probably the strongest form of coffee. The beans are ground and hot water is mixed with it through a pressure pipe. It is served black, and in a small cup that holds an amount of coffee similar to that of a shot glass.
- Irish Coffee: For an Irish flavor, a bit of whiskey is added to hot coffee. Whipped cream and sugar complete this coffee.
- Mocha: For the perfect cup of mocha, you need a cup of milk, a little cocoa powder, and some powdered coffee. Mix them, heat them and enjoy your sizzling cup.
- Latte: A latte is a blend of two things: a shot of espresso together with a cup of steamed milk.
- Macchiato: A macchiato is nothing but a stronger version of a latte. All you have to do is increase the quantity of the espresso in the milk.
- Filter Coffee: If you want to make coffee Indian style, then prepare a strong decoction of coffee in water. You get specially ground beans for this purpose. Add a little of this decoction to a cup of milk and enjoy the strong and rich flavor and aroma.
- Vietnamese: This is a slight variation of the Indian filter coffee. After preparing the decocotion, it is dripped over ice and then sweetened with condensed milk.
- Cappuccino: A cappuccino is a good option for people who want a coffee that isn't too strong or too weak. Mix steamed milk, espresso, and milk froth in equal amounts in order to make a cappuccino. You can also add a few cinnamon sprinkles on top for additional flavor.
- Turkish: The traditional Turkish coffee recipe involves heating the coffee in water in a small glass attached to a handle, called an ibrik. The coffee is boiled well and if required, sugar is added while boiling.
- Black: Coffee served with steaming water is called black coffee. You can sweeten it with sugar substitute or honey. The calories in black coffee are lesser than those in white coffee (coffee with milk). Hence, it is more helpful for extremely health-conscious people.
- Iced: There are a number of frozen coffee drinks that are also savored by people. There are quite a few recipes that one can use. However, the easiest one would be to mix coffee and sugar in chilled milk (with some vanilla ice-cream if you wish) and a bit of cocoa powder in a blender.
- Flavored: Among flavored coffee, you can try adding honey to your black coffee, or try out some cardamom coffee or even almond flavored coffee if you think you'll like it.
Types of Roasts
Let us now see the different methods of roasting coffee beans. You might want to try it at home sometime.
- American: This is the most common form of roasting. The beans are roasted to a moderate level, until the flavor is not too strong or not to weak.
- Decaffeinated: Decaffeinated coffee beans are nothing but beans from which the caffeine has been chemically extracted. Not to worry, the chemical does not remain behind in the beans after extraction.
- European: This is a blend of roasts. Heavily roasted beans and mildly roasted beans are mixed in the ratio of 2:1.
- French Roast: This involves a very heavy roasting of the coffee beans until they have a color that resembles dark chocolate.
- Frozen: Coffee is brewed and then frozen and dried. It has a slush like appearance.
- Instant: Exactly opposite to the frozen and dried coffee, instant coffee is roasted, ground, and dried using heat.
- Italian: Italian coffee roast is generally used for making espresso due to its shiny, dark beans with the rich tone of caffeine in it.
Well, those were the different types of coffee that we could tell you about. Buy them or make them, you have to savor them. Enjoy coffee like it is meant to be enjoyed. Here's a quote that will make you want to enjoy it even more. No one can understand the truth until he drinks of coffee's frothy goodness. ~ Sheik Abd-al-Kadir