Friday, 13 April 2012

Specialty Coffees - Better Than Straight? - Food - Beverages

Coffee consumption has reached 500 billion cups annually. Coffee is clearly the most popular drink in the world. It has really come a long way from its humble beginning in Ethiopia, where it was eaten with animal fat to provide the additional strength and boost the confidence of the members of the Galla tribe. Coffee's history, which is filled with amazing stories of political intrigues, happy accidents, triumphs and legends make it not just the most popular but the most important drink in the world.

Coffee is now consumed as straight coffee or even mixed. It is also sometimes used in desserts and dishes. Gourmet or specialty coffees have also been created. In the past "specialty coffee" was used to refer to coffees are made from top-grade beans that are not mass-cultivated because they are only grown in regions where the climate and the conditions are perfect for growing coffee. Specialty coffees are also referred to as premium coffee. The phrase "specialty coffee" was actually coined in 1974 by Erna Knutsen. The term was used to describe coffee that was produced in special micro-climates.

Today, specialty coffee is no longer used to refer to coffee grown in special micro-climates but also to coffee concoctions that are created using non-common brewing methods. One of the most common specialty coffees are the Frappe, a concoction made with mixing espresso with sugar, milk, and ice.

Other coffee concoctions have liquor. Coffee recipes with liquor are abundant throughout the world. Some coffee concoctions use chocolate while others have fruits and other flavor enhancing elements.

In other parts of the world, there is the Caffee Zabaglone. This coffee is a mixture of Marsala, sugar, salt and egg yolks. The Calypso cooler from the Caribbean contains a cup of coffee mixed with bananas and coffee ice cream. A shot or rum can also be included in this concoction.

Some coffee mixes have been around for decades while others are fairly new. Some coffees are even blended with egg yolks, salt, ice cream and even coconuts. Cognacs, cinnamon, bourbon and eggnog can also be used to create different drinks. The number of coffee-based drinks that can be created is actually limitless. Coffee houses continue to create coffee blends and recipes that coffee lovers enjoy.

It was the proliferation of coffee houses in the 90s that resulted in the tremendous growth of the specialty coffee in the United States and also worldwide. Coffee houses create delicious coffee creations and charge consumers high amounts for them but no one is complaining, after all coffee lovers are willing to pay exorbitant amounts to have a taste of what is for them- heaven.

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