We Are Cool Beans

Coffee’s Best Partner: The Coffee Cake

What goes best with coffee you ask? Why its coffee cake of course! Coffee cake has been around since the 17th century. It started in Europe and is still one of the most popular sidekicks of coffee today. Rumor has it that Germany created the first coffee treat, resembling sweetbread more than cake. Now today’s coffee cake is filled with a variety of goodies ranging from fruits to nuts and they may be covered in a delicious icing.

A homemade coffee cake is usually the best when served up for breakfast or as a light mid morning snack with brunch. Either way you dish it up your sweet tooth will thank you. In the warmth of the summer, you will find coffee cake is generally made with some type of fruit such as; apples, blueberries, peaches, pineapples and even pears. Most any nut you can think of has been added to this delicious concoction giving it that crunch and added flavor making the coffee cake one of the best sot after cakes.

Coffee Cake With Vegetables?

You may have even tried a coffee cake that was made with some type of vegetable. Most common vegetables to use when making coffee cake are broken down to three categories. (Potatoes, summer squash and carrots and last but not least hard skinned vegetables) The hard skinned vegetables and potatoes must be boiled first and mashed or pureed before they can be used in the recipe because if used in a recipe raw they will not cook through for lack of moisture. Summer squash and the carrots are wet enough that they cook well and keep the cake very moist.

Once you try a coffee cake chances are you will be hooked and every time you reach for a cup of coffee you will be looking for it’s scrumptious partner. Coffee and the coffee cake is truly a match made in heaven. They go side-by-side, hand in hand and for some they can’t imagine having one without the other. So whether you have a sweet tooth and crave the sweetest of cakes or you prefer to have just a hint of honey, you can be sure that there is a perfect matched coffee cake out there with your name on it. If you have never tried a coffee cake then you do no know what you are missing. Go down to the nearest donut or coffee shop and get yourself one, guaranteed you’ll be back for seconds.

Coffee Table Set – The Place Where Women Relax Best

Iread somewhere a very beautiful description of the coffee table set – it was called, a “conversation centre piece”. Truly, there is no other place where people are not more relaxed and happy to exchange some or other pleasantries than across the coffee table set. Small girls, start early with their coffee table set and the doll cups of coffee/ tea while parents (women) look on.

How Should A Coffee Table Set Look?

Many people ask, should the coffee table set look in a certain way, have a certain platform, be of a certain size or shape? Should it conform to rules? It’s not necessary for you to conform to any rules, unless it is for official and formal parties. However, people in general feel that having a cup of coffee is actually a more serious thing than having a cup of tea.

It looks like tea time is fun time, while the coffee time is business time. Though some think coffee tastes better and keeps you active for a longer time, people prefer tea for picnic and fun times. The trend and outlook towards coffee influence to a great extent the way the coffee table set looks too. The most popular ones are a little austere, nonetheless exceptionally beautiful.

The Most Popular Models

There are many styles of coffee table sets in the world. The best looking are without any doubt the French ones. Just as the British established tea and tea time all over their kingdom, so did the French promote the coffee and coffee furniture. This is what made coffee so popular all over the world. As a matter of fact the French cane sets, glass-topped tables and tiny Indian-style tables are the only ones measuring up to the international quality and standards.

The coffee table can be used for playing cards, gossiping and of course, drinking coffee and having pastries. Little girls the world over imitate this aspect while playing with their dolls. The best coffee table sets are those which are a bit taller than tea tables where you can sit comfortably on a bean-bag chair and play some game or discuss light gossip with close friends.

Of course, cane sets are the best and also the most costly. However, in many places now designer furniture is available in installments, so you should be able to buy whatever you like from wherever you like and enjoy a cozy coffee party at your home.

Coffee Recipe: Bean There, Done That

Once upon a time, long after coffee was discovered, people used to have it mixed with hot water – plain and simple. There was no coffee recipe concept in existence. Out of the blue – and there are no records about the date – people discovered that while rotating and savoring coffee in their mouth, their taste buds could taste bitterness, acidic content, sweetness and saltiness depending upon how the taste buds sent out the taste signals. People felt that if these tastes were mixed with some other food or beverage, then the coffee taste might be enhanced. They started experimenting with coffee by adding milk, chocolate, and other flavors. This was the birth of the coffee recipe.

Evolution Of The Coffee Recipe

The earliest and best-known coffee recipe to mankind is coffee with milk. Maybe people got bored of drinking coffee with hot water or drinking plain milk, but one fine day they decided to mix coffee with milk and the recipe was a super-hit. The coffee recipe inventors literally tasted blood. Coffee marketers joined hands with them and there was no resting now. After milk came chocolate, after chocolate came flavorings, then syrups and then food and then liqueurs too. The coffee recipe brigade just kept marching on!

The Coffee Recipe In The 21st Century

As things stand now, a coffee recipe is used not just in making basic or designer coffees. A great coffee recipe can be a dessert or a sweet – For example, a basic coffee-based candy can be roasted coffee beans covered with chocolate. Coffee is added even to meats because it brings out the meat flavors with a subtle touch – but not a strong touch – of coffee flavor. So a coffee recipe can relate to basic and designer coffees, desserts as well as meat-foods.

Naming A Coffee Recipe

A coffee recipe concoction is usually called by a fancy name. The basic Café Latte is nothing but coffee with steamed milk (Latte is Italian for milk), a Cappuccino is one-third each of espresso, milk and foam! The Turkish Kahwa is nothing but black coffee brewed along with a few spices (cloves, cardamom, and sometimes even ginger), but people want to have a go at it because of its exotic name. Fancy coffees in cafes are often served with a dash of flavorings or syrups such as caramel, almond, hazelnut, vanilla, etc.

Well, we’ve had enough of coffee recipes. It’s time for a break now. Coffee, anyone?

Coffee Press: Control Your Tamper

Acoffee press is a hot coffee brewing device. It sounds simple but there is a whole lot of history behind a coffee press. Ask any coffee-loving old-timer about a coffee press pot, you will not be dry of any conversation material for hours together. It may look simple and sound simple, but when it comes to brewing aroma-rich, full-flavored, wow-smelling coffee, the age-old coffee press steals the honors. The coffee press has been around since the late-1800s, but it gained its popularity around very early 1900.

How Does A Coffee Press Work?

The working of a coffee press is very simple. To be more accurate: A coffee press looks like a carafe, and it features a press, which is a piston-like rod, connected to a cylindrical-shaped filter. This press passes through the center of the carafe. So, here is how you work it: First, grind your coffee beans; in fact, give them a coarse finish because they need to pass on the flavors when hot water is poured over them. Place the ground beans in the filter and let the filter hang around in the middle of the carafe. Now, boil some fresh water, lift the handle and pour the water on to the press, and start applying pressure using the piston-handle. The hot water will connect with the ground beans in the filter and extract their flavor, acids and other substances.

Coffee Press: Pros And Cons

Any coffee-brewing device has its share of admirers and critics. The same goes with the coffee press. Any true coffee lover will tell you that a coffee press produces a naturally flavored, richly textured coffee. You do not need a paper filter to filter out the wet grounds. So much for the advantages. Critics point out that the coffee brewed by a coffee press must be consumed immediately – if you give it time it will lose its aroma and texture. There are some sediment deposits (some of the coarsely grounded coffee beans that might have escaped the filter) left over in a coffee press – some people feel that these sediments make the coffee taste go bitter.

Conclusion

A coffee press is the original way to make coffee. A lot of things have changed since then. Technology plays a big part in our life and makes doing things easier for us. The same goes for the press. There are new automatic machines that grind, tamp, and make coffee at the touch of a button. But to each his own: many people want to save time, so they go for the newer variants, while others who like a rich, well-brewed coffee with all its natural ingredients go for the coffee press.

Coffee Filter: The Grounds Are Grounded!

Acoffee filter is nothing but a glorified strainer. A coffee filter is usually made out of paper or steel – mostly steel – and is used in coffee brewing devices to filter out the soaked grounds. Ever heard of Madras Filter Coffee? That is a very famous coffee made in Tamil Nadu (earlier known as Madras), India, and it derives its name because of the place and because a coffee filter is used to make the brew.

History Of The Coffee Filter

The coffee filter has an interesting and amusing history: In the 1700s someone who was fed up with the sight of grounded beans in his coffee filled his sock – Ewwwww! – with coffee grounds and poured hot water into the sock, and drank up the liquid that filtered out. Thus, the idea for the coffee filter was born!

In the year 1908, paper coffee filters that are available nowadays came into being. A German – Melitta Bentz – found the taste of coffee too bitter and the sight of soaked coffee grounds all over inside her coffee cup too messy. She desperately wanted to filter out the grounds from the decoction. So she used her son’s porous blotter paper to filter out the grounds from the liquid. And, thus, the paper coffee filter was born.

Metal Coffee Filters

Metal coffee filters, that are in use nowadays, were first created around the early 1800s. Even at that time they were smash hits and sold like hot cakes. The principle was very simple: Fix a filter in a kettle-like pot, place the coffee grounds on the filter and then spread hot water over the grounds, and serve. Nowadays, these filters are available with an electrical heating mechanism, and many homes use them. A variant of these coffee filters is the drip coffee maker, which keeps the concoction heated and ready to drink for a long time. These drip coffee machines are used widely in USA and Europe.

Types Of Coffee Filters

A coffee filter can be made with different materials. Here are some examples: (i) Paper filters work on the Japanese concept of use once and throw, but they can be messy and cumbersome to use. (ii) Gold filters – yes, you read that right – last for a long time and maybe if you are the Sultan of Brunei you should buy one. (iii) Cloth filters are available too and they are considered environment-friendly, but they too are a bit messy. (iv) The normal strainer kind of filters are used mostly in making filter coffee. They last long and have gained wide acceptance.

To conclude, the question to be asked is whether you would prefer coffee made by the filter method or some other method. The answer lies in your taste buds: Drink coffee made using all the devices and go with what you prefer.

Automatic Coffee Maker – Making The Perfect Cup Of Coffee

Coffee lovers from all over the world are always on the look out for better ways to make coffee! Thankfully, there are many, many ways to make a coffee. There are also about 30 types of coffee beans in the world, each having their own flavor and their best way for preparation.

Coffee Festivals to Showcase the World’s Tastiest and Most Flavored Cups of Coffee

Just as there are wine festivals, beer festivals, and so on, there should be a place where coffee is given the place of honor and there should be competition and show-casing of how to make the best cup of coffee. Why such a thing does not happen it is not known – maybe there are not enough coffee enthusiasts. Maybe with time, we would have a world famous coffee festival where coffee lovers can enjoy tasting and learning about different types of coffee.

In absence of coffee festivals, one could organize small scale coffee parties. There could be office level coffee parties, department level coffee parties, neighborhood level coffee parties, and so on. All it needs is for someone, somewhere to take the initiative to organize such a party. Who knows, from such a humble beginning, it may snow ball into an international festival one day.

The automatic coffee maker is a great asset for such type of parties. Not only can it make almost instant cups of coffee, but it can also keep it ready to drink the whole day and even the day after.

Imagine a student who is studying hard for his or her exams. How handy a mug full of coffee could be? Anyone can manage making a cup of coffee with the automatic coffee maker. It is as easy as 1, 2, 3 – put coffee, put water, and then plug it in and turn it on.

There are other advantages regarding the automatic coffee maker, such as some models which cut off automatically when the water/ coffee is at boiling point for more than 5 minutes; when the coffee becomes cold, it will sense it and start warming it again.

Whichever way you look at it, you will find the automatic coffee maker a winner. Cost wise it can be a bit pricey for the luxury models, however nothing great comes cheap. The automatic coffee maker comes in economical packages also, just for two cups. This enables the one who does not drink a large quantity of coffee, to have coffee at their convenience.

A Love Affair With Gourmet Coffee

For those who love coffee, a day without it just would not be a complete fruitful day. Coffee as we know it today is much different than when it was first discovered. These days there are so many varieties of gourmet coffee available that for those who are just beginning to enjoy coffee, maneuvering through the different types available can be a little intimidating.

Defining Gourmet Coffee

The movement to gourmet coffee is a relatively new concept. Gourmet coffee is usually only made from Arabica beans, which are usually the most flavorful variety of coffee bean. Generally, commercial pre-ground coffees that are the most widely available are composed of a mixture of Arabica beans, Robusta beans and low grade Brazilian beans. The Robusta and Brazilian beans make up the majority of pre-ground commercial coffee, and they usually add a smaller amount of Arabica beans for better flavor. Interestingly, the Robusta beans usually contain 30-40% more caffeine than the Arabica beans.

Commercial coffee is also usually not as fresh. Commercial coffee is pre-ground before it is packaged. After packaging it can take several weeks to actually make it to a grocery store. Usually, the longer pre-ground commercial coffee sits on a shelf waiting to be purchased, the staler and bitter it will become. Generally, the biggest advantage of commercial coffee is that it is cheap compared to some types of gourmet coffee.

Usually, gourmet coffee is roasted at the plant and makes it into the consumer’s hands within a week. You can buy pre-ground gourmet coffee, but the preferred way to buy it is while it is still in its bean form. The beans can usually be ground at the store you buy them from.

Even though there are different varieties of commercial coffee available, the only way to find true variety is with gourmet coffee. Not only can you decide on where the beans were grown (places such as Sumatra and Kona) but also how it has been roasted (Light, Italian, French). There are two major selling points when it comes to gourmet coffee: flavor and freshness.

If you haven’t ventured into the world of gourmet coffee, give it a try. You can find small bags so that if you decide you don’t like that particular variety, you don’t have a 10 pound can in your kitchen still full of coffee. So give gourmet coffee a try, especially if you are already a big coffee fan.

A Cup Of Joe: About Coffee

For many, going without a cup of coffee in the morning means they just can’t function or go about their daily routine. It is usually an acquired taste; first time drinkers find the aroma very appealing, but the actual taste doesn’t really taste as good as the aroma smells.

A Short History Of Coffee

Most believe that coffee was originally discovered by mankind in Ethiopia. Once local monks discovered it, they began to dry the berries and ship them to other monasteries. The berries would be refreshed with water and then the fruit would be eaten and the water that the berries had soaked in would be drunk as well.

By the time the dried berries made it to the Middle East, there was quite a lot of interest in them and farmers began growing them first in Yemen. In Turkey, the coffee beans were roasted for the first time and began to resemble what we would recognize as coffee today. After roasting, the dried beans would be roasted, crushed and boiled in water. This was a crude early version of what so many coffee lovers drink today.

Coffee was probably brought to Europe by Venetian merchants. Given its stimulating effect, there seemed to be some criticism among Catholics that the drink was evil. Oddly, the Pope at the time was already enjoying it and informed his constituents that it wasn’t evil, it was just misunderstood.

Coffee houses spread across Europe and soon they became gathering places for those intellectuals who debated among themselves. Once settlers began to arrive in the Americas, the dark drink soon followed. By the time of the American Revolution, since the patriots had decided not to drink tea in protest, coffee was actually adopted as the national drink. Since that time, it has continued its domination and is the most popular beverage when you take into consideration all countries.

Coffee is a huge industry worldwide and employs millions of workers. It is a living for many people, but for others it is a great way to start their day and get a kick start in the morning when they need it. Even if you don’t like to drink it, you probably still enjoy the smell of fresh coffee brewing. If you are someone who doesn’t like to drink it, you are in the minority on a world wide scale. This dark pick me up drink is not for everyone, but for those who love it, they are very appreciative of their daily dose of caffeine and usually need it on a daily basis.

How to import coffee to the USA

For any traveler the idea of going in search of a morning coffee following a late arrival can be daunting and so many take their own coffee with them so they can avail themselves without hassle of their morning pick-me-up.

Others might prefer a specific coffee brand that might not be available in their destination although some global coffee brands can be found around the world with little difficulty.

However, bringing coffee into any of the 50 territories is subject to import legislation regardless of whether it is instant coffee, strong ground coffee or any other derivative of coffee so it is important to know beforehand the types of coffee and the quantities that can be brought through US Border Control and avoid trouble.

While many countries around the world won’t be too concerned by a small jar of instant coffee in a person’s luggage, the traveler may nonetheless be subject to customs checks and larger quantities or some specific derivatives of coffee importing might be questioned. It is down to the traveler to know the requirements prior to their arrival so they can have any relevant paperwork available should it be required for inspection by customs staff.

What coffee can I bring into the USA?

Coffee comes in many forms and derivatives and each has a separate classification so to avoid any trouble at customs here’s a handy overview of how to import coffee into the USA.

Roasted Coffee

Instant coffee is usually pre-roasted at a high heat, ridding the coffee beans of any potential pest risk that might exist within the bean. Bagged roasted coffee will also have been subject to heat treatment and is safe to bring in usually in unlimited quantities although as coffee is an agricultural product it should be declared at the US point of entry.

Unroasted coffee

Coffee that has not been roasted, also called green coffee is usually permitted without the traveler requiring a permit. However, unroasted coffee is more likely to be subject to inspection by border officials as there may still be a pest risk present in unroasted coffee.

Unroasted coffee is also prohibited in being brought into some US states so check before travel if the intended destination is one of those. The continental States is usually without incident, but entry to the United States via the Island states such as Hawaii can only as transiting goods.

In all cases though, inspection of unroasted coffee beans is likely and might be subject to temporary quarantine and fumigation if pests are found to be present.

Whole coffee berries


Importing whole coffee berries is prohibited in all US territories due to the presence of fruit pulp which is attractive to fruit flies and other pests and so unprocessed coffee will be refused entry.

Of course, most travelers won’t be travelling with whole coffee berries so this won’t be an issue. Most are likely to travel with roasted coffee either in jars as instant coffee, or bagged for use with a ground coffee machine.

Larger quantities might incur some questioning regarding use of the coffee, but so long as it is for personal use then there should be no problems bringing in an amount of roasted coffee to the United States; just make sure to declare it to the customs official however to avoid any problems on arrival.

Bringing coffee into the United States as a tourist is perfectly legal so long as the proper procedures are followed and in most cases an import permit won’t be required so long as it is declared properly when asked and the traveler will only use the coffee for personal use and not for commercial purposes.

Also, regardless of which type of coffee is brought in, be sure the country of origin of the coffee is clearly marked on each jar or bag as this will help inspectors determine the coffee meets entry conditions.

In most cases travelers bringing coffee into the United States will do so trouble-free and without incident, although with a huge range of coffees available across the United States there might not be much of a need to bring in coffee in the first place!