All You Need To Know About Coffee

all you need to know about coffee
Sanne Bakker
Sanne Bakker

Updated: december 20, 2022

From Espresso to Macchiato. From Cappuccino to Cafe au Lait and Latte. There are endless possibilities with drinking coffee. I’ve researched some interesting things to know about your daily favorite sip of Java. From the origin of the berries, production, different types of beans and more. In this ultimate coffee guide you’ll find all you need to know about coffee

Table of contents

History of coffee

It all started between the year 575 – 850. A shepherd discovered his goats were eating berries that made them more energetic. The first coffee plant was discovered in Ethiopia sometime around the tenth and eleventh centuries. This is where the first coffee originated and where the first sip of coffee has been made.
Coffee beans, also called black gold spread quickly through Africa. Around the 15th century and a century later they drank coffee in various other countries such as Persia, Egypt, Syria and Turkey. Europe came into contact with the coffee and trading at the end of the 16th century.

Did you know the first coffee maker was created in 1954 by German inventor Wigomat. This was the first electric filter coffee machine. So coffee makers have made an admirable evolution within 100 years! Can you imagine where this growth is headed in the next 100 years! For today, coffee already can be made with all kinds of coffee machines.

Coffee

What is coffee? Well, coffee is a mixture of water and ground coffee beans. The mixture ensures that it becomes a liquid drink. The drink is made from grounded and roasted seeds. These seeds are also called coffee beans. The coffee beans grow in coffee plants  called caffea plant.
Today, coffee is one of the most popular hottest drinks in the world. It contains a stimulant called caffeine and very stimulating. In addition, there are different types of coffee flavors, which I will talk about in a moment.

How is coffee produced?

From coffee beans to a cup of coffee. A coffee bean is originally a drupe of a coffee plant. It is actually a berry with a hard kernel in it. A berry contains a mature seed. This kernel (aka seed) is very similar to a bean. Hence it is given the name coffee bean. 
We will tell you step by step how it works.

How can coffee beans dry?

After harvesting, the beans are dried. This process is called the wet and dry process

To get the good ripe berries out, they use a basin with water. The ripe berries do not float. The berries that do not float are scooped out. Then the flesh of the ripe berries is removed. This is done under water, where the berries are pressed through a grid where they leave the kernel/seed. The remaining pulp is left to ferment, which takes about two days.

The pits are then cleaned. This is done mechanically until they are clean of the pulp. It also sometimes happens that it is skipped and that the beans with pulp are dried in one.

In the last process, coffee beans are dried. This happens in the sun on a floor or table. In a few hours, the beans are turned again. It is important not to let the beans get too dry. This remains a fragile process. Some companies have special drying ovens for this. This is called the drying process and this is how beans can be dried.

Burn and grind

This is the final process. The bean is then roasted and finally ground. During the roasting process, the caramelization of sugars takes place. This provides the aroma and taste. Important to know that there are different ways and degrees of roasting coffee seeds. You can burn the seeds lightly and burn them dark. Roasted coffee beans are sold in two ways, both ground and unground. If you mix this with water, you can make coffee!

Coffee plants

There are more than 100 types of coffee plants. No fewer than 2 types are used in the coffee trade. That is the coffea arabica and coffea canephora. The coffea canephora is also called robusta.

Coffee plant; Coffea Arabica

The Arabica coffee is a real Ethiopian plant, it was imported from Ethiopia to Arab countries. This plant can grow up to 5 meters high. The seeds in the berries can be ripe within 6 to 8 months. The special thing is that Coffea Arabica grows best above an altitude of 800 meters. This is because it is very susceptible to pathogens. The plant is less susceptible if it grows higher on the mountains, because there are fewer pathogens here. As far as quality is concerned, the higher the plant grows, the better for the quality of the coffee. Coffee from the Coffea Arabica usually has a mild taste.

Coffee plant; Coffea Canephora (Robusta)

This coffee plant is native to Africa. Coffea Robusta is more of a small tree. It is important for coffee cultivation to continue to prune it properly. It takes a little longer for the seeds to ripen. This can take about 9 to 11 months. The big difference with the Arabica coffee is that this plant contains 50 to 70 more caffeine. And the big advantage is that the tilt requires less pesticides to protect it. And this provides another great benefit of increasing yields. The production is therefore cheaper than Coffea Arabica. If these coffee beans make coffee, it will have a strong and bitter taste.

Worldwide coffee beans

Where does coffee grow? The coffee beans grow in different parts of the world. Coffee beans grow in Central and South America, Africa and Asia. Taste is different from every continent. The characteristics per continent are therefore very different, we have briefly explained them

  • Central and South America: here the coffee is mainly mixed with chocolate, nuts and caramel flavours.
  • Africa: the taste of African coffee is a bit fresher.
  • Asia: This coffee can be recognized by its spicy and bitter flavors.

There are many countries with certain types of coffee. We have made a clear overview, what coffee looks like around the world.

Characteristics of coffee

Coffee and coffee plants have all kinds of characteristics. We will highlight the important features.

  • Caffeine: this is a stimulant, this is one of the main features. Nowadays you also have decaffeinated coffee.
  • Aroma: Coffee has aroma, it contains even more aroma than wine
  • Sustainable: Coffee plants are sustainable. One can produce 20 to 25 coffee beans with 1 coffee plant. That’s about 2000 coffee beans a year
The taste of coffee

You have many different flavors of coffee. There are certain factors in it that influence to taste. We will explain these below.

  • Water: Water has a huge influence on the taste. Coffee also consists largely of water. You have tap water, spring water and filtered water. This all affects the taste.
  • Grind: Coarsely or finely ground. The finer the coffee beans are ground, the stronger the coffee with a rich taste.
Coffee types

You can prepare all kinds of coffee. There are a lot of coffee types. We have researched the most well-known coffee types. View our summary here:

  • Cappuccino: It’s a classic drink consisting of a shot of espresso and milk / foam milk
  • Espresso: is a small cup of coffee with a slightly stronger concentrated coffee. This often tastes a bit stronger and more bitter.
  • Macciato: Looks a lot like espresso but isn’t. Macciato is an espresso with a dash of warm milk topped with extra frothy milk.
  • Iced coffee: It is a cold coffee, which is prepared with ice cubes, which are available in different versions.
  • Americano: Americano consists of a shot of espresso mixed with the same amount of hot water.
  • Cafe au lait: This is a French coffee and contains 60^ milk and 40% coffee. Cafe latte: This coffee similar to a cappinicco. Only with more milk and less foam on it.
  • Cafe mocha: This coffee is slightly sweeter. It is coffee variance in combination of chocolate milk and/or cocoa or syrup.
  • Ristretto: A ristretto coffee is an even stronger coffee like espresso. This is because he is just a little more concentrated. In addition, it is mixed with less water.
  • Filter coffee: this is one of the best-known coffee types. By means of ground coffee beans and a filter, the coffee drips into the jug through the hot water.
  • Irish coffee: this is a combination of coffee, brown sugar with a shot of whiskey in it. And on top of that, fresh cream.

As you can see there are many different types of coffee. Do you want to know more about the way Americans like to drink their coffee? Take a look at our blog; ‘Most Popular Coffee Drinks In America‘.

Extra featured coffee type: Instant coffee

In Brazil, a surplus of coffee beans arose in 1929 because the Wall Street stock market collapsed. As a result, coffee beans were no longer in demand. Max Morgenthaler worked for the Swiss company Nestlé. The company had to find a solution for the surplus. Max invented instant coffee. This provided a natural flavor by just adding water. This instant coffee concept became a great success.

How do you make coffee caffeine free?

Coffee beans always contain caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant. And some people just love to have a cup of coffee as a caffeine shot. But not everyone wants their coffee with caffeine in it. 
There are four ways to make a decaffeinated coffee:

  • The Roselius Process: This one is not used anymore.
  • Swiss water process
  • Direct methode Chemicals/Solvent Based Process
  • Indirect methode Chemicals/Solvent Based Process
Make a cup of coffee

Now that you know how coffee is produced, what kind of coffee plants there are, where the beans grow, types of coffee drinks and how to decaffeinate it, you will probably be salivating and in need of this delicious drink!

To prepare the best cup of coffee, there are various coffee machines on the market, such as dual coffee makers, drip coffee maker and coffee makers with grinder. You can easily make coffee with these machines. In addition, there are also many well-known brands such as Cuisinart, Mr. Coffee, Moccamaster and many more that have a varied range when it comes to coffee machines with various functions. You can already buy a coffee machine for under $ 200. There are even cheaper models under $100 that can make a perfect cup of coffee.

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