A good cup of coffee is like warm liquid gold, and learning how to make a great cup of coffee is like one of the many things in life that “you just have to know”.
Traditionally a great cup of coffee comes from fresh coffee beans, but I believe you can produce a fantastic cup of Joe, with whatever you have at your disposal.
The name Coffee in English was a word adapted from the Dutch Koffie, who borrowed it from the Turkish Kahave, who in turn borrowed it from the Arabs Qahwa.
A possible origin of the name is the Kingdom of Kaffa in Ethiopia, where the coffee plant originated.
The History of Coffee: The history of coffee goes as far back to the 9th century, when a humble Ethiopian goat herder called Kaldi noticed that his goats became spirited after eating the berries from a certain tree.
He reported this information to the monks who in turn made a drink out of the berries and discovered that they could stay awake longer to pray. From Ethiopia it is said that coffee spread to Egypt and Yemen.
As interesting as the goat herder story is, the first credible evidence of coffee as a drink is in the middle of the fifteenth century in the Sufi monasteries of Yemen.
By the 16th century it had spread throughout the world, reaching Europe, the Americas, Persia, Turkey and North Africa.
The 10 Steps of Coffee:
According to the National Coffee Association of America, there are 10 steps to producing coffee, these are:
- Harvesting the cherries
- Processing the cherries
- Drying the beans
- Roasting the beans
- Milling the beans
- Exporting the beans
- Grinding the coffee
- Brewing the coffee
- Tasting the coffee
Buy Good Coffee:
Now this is an important step, buy the best coffee that you can afford! It’s one of those things that the better quality coffee you buy, the better cup of coffee you will make.
Storing Your Coffee:
Storage is integral to maintaining your coffee’s freshness and flavour.
It is important to keep it away from excessive air, moisture, heat, and light — in that order — in order to preserve its fresh-roast flavour as long as possible.
It has been a popular myth for years now that you should always store your open bags of coffee in the fridge or freezer, however, this may lead to the deterioration of the coffee as contact with moisture is a big no-no.
Instead, buy your coffee a quality airtight ceramic or glass container and store in a cool, dry and dark place.
How to Brew Your Coffee:
OK, here is the fun part. There is no right or wrong way to making a cup of coffee… it’s up to you and how you like your coffee.
- What is important is that you get the measure of coffee to water ratio right.
- You do not recycle used coffee grind.
- Your coffee has been stored appropriately for freshness and aroma.
- Whether you are using a top of the line coffee machine or a simple kettle for instant coffee, make sure your equipment is clean.
- The coffee you use should be no older that 2 – 3 weeks old.
- Use bottled water if the water in your area is not clean.
- If you are reading this article then that means that you can afford your own or have access to a computer… whenever possible buy fair trade coffee, your conscience will thank you for it.
- Enjoy Your Coffee
Now all the hard work is done, sit back, and take a minute to smell that beautiful aroma, and taste that amazing flavour.
When serving coffee remember that coffee drinkers are very particular about the way they drink their coffee.
There is in excess of over 36 known coffee bean types in the world, with over 60 different ways of making coffee. So it’s no wonder that many stewardesses get a little intimidated by the thought of making a double macchiato skinny latte, for example.
However, in my experience the most popular types of coffee that my guests enjoyed are as follows:
- Cappuccino: Is an Italian coffee drink, which is traditionally prepared with espresso, hot milk, and steamed-milk foam. Sprinkle chocolate or cocoa over the top for something special.
- Espresso: Is coffee brewed by forcing a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans. Espresso is generally thicker than coffee brewed by other methods.
- Café Latte: Is a coffee-based drink made primarily from espresso and steamed milk. It consists of one-third espresso, two-thirds heated milk and about 1cm of foam.
- Drip/brew/filtered Coffee: Is a method which involves pouring water over roasted, ground coffee beans contained in a filter.
- This was most popular in the mornings, where simple coffee was required.
- This should not be mistaken with Café Americano which is coffee prepared by adding hot water to espresso.
Regardless of the type of coffee you will be required to serve, you will need the following:
- A tray: ready, neat and clean
- Sugar bowl (white sugar, brown sugar, sweet’N Low and Candela)
- Coffee cup with underline and relevant coffee spoon
- Milk creamer with the coffee or tea orders as per the guest requirements
- Water glass
- Service napkins