For millions of us a cup of fresh, strong coffee is the first thing we reach for when we wake in the morning. There`s nothing better than a hit of caffeine for making us alert and ready to start the day.
Despite the tantalising taste and smell of the real thing, most of us seem content to gulp down a cup of instant in the mornings for a quick fix before dashing off to work. Many people would be surprised to learn that brewing up a fresh pot of coffee doesn`t take that long and tastes significantly better than the powdered instant version. Instant coffee has been chemically processed in order to make it dissolve in water, a fact that may be unpalatable to some.
The reality is making a pot of fresh coffee may take a little longer, but there is really no comparison between fresh coffee and instant. Not only does the real version taste fantastic, it isn`t highly processed like its instant alternative. Of course, freshly ground beans will result in the best flavour of all, but if you are really pushed for time, ready-ground coffee could offer a good compromise. Being able to prepare delicious, fresh coffee at home could also avoid those daily trips to the local coffee shop, the cost of which can soon add up to a sizeable chunk of your monthly salary.
Nothing beats the taste of coffee made from beans that have been freshly ground and coffee connoisseurs will search far and wide for the perfect coffee bean. Coffee beans are the seeds of the coffee plant and are gathered from inside the berry. Roughly 80 countries produce coffee beans and the plants thrive in tropical climates. Coffee beans are generally classified according to the region they are from and there are two main species in the world: Arabica and Robusta.
Premium quality Arabica coffee beans are believed to be the first ever to be cultivated and are the most popular variety. The beans contain less caffeine than other varieties and the resulting coffee is milder and less bitter. Arabica beans can be costly to source as the coffee plants are delicate, making them difficult to transport. Arabica coffee beans are grown in many tropical regions including Brazil, Colombia and Indonesia.
Robusta coffee trees thrive in tropical climates, but at lower altitudes. They are easier to grow and much more hardy than the Arabica bean and are therefore cheaper to produce. With twice the caffeine of the Arabica bean and a bitter flavour they are widely used for espresso.
How to grind coffee beans
Coffee starts to lose its aroma as soon as it is ground, so consider using a grinder at home for the ultimate coffee experience. Different coffee machines require different textures of grinds. Very fine for espresso, fine for a peculator and coarser for a cafetiere or filter machine. If you have any leftover, consider freezing them to keep them fresh and bursting with flavour.
It doesn`t take much to prepare fantastic coffee at home. A simple coffee machine is not expensive to purchase and this, in addition to a coffee bean grinder will ensure your coffee is just as good, if not better than that provided by your local coffee shop.
Simple cafetieres or coffee machines for home use can be purchased on the high street, while online sites such as caffesociety.co.uk can provide coffee machines for your commercial needs.