chocolate covered coffee beans

coffee: the nectar of the gods

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Inventing the perfect coffeemaker

The Chemex coffeemaker was a consequence of intersection of Schlumbohm's scientific and marketing interests. Between his first American trip in 1931 and the filing of the U.S. patent for Chemex, Schlumbohm applied for dozens of patents, focused on his core specialty of refrigeration but also wildly diverse. Patents included applications for a ‘method of illuminating rooms’, ‘unburnable gasoline’, a ‘writing utensil’, and a ‘show window’ among many others, most of which are assumed to have been produced for sale. The final event of the process which culminated in the marketing of the Chemex was Schlumbohm’s final attempt to market the ‘open system’ transitory refrigeration cycle device which he had been perfecting for some years. A working prototype had been exhibited at the 1939 New York World’s Fair, claiming to be the cheapest and simplest refrigeration system ever invented. Schlumbohm considered this to be the invention that would provide the financial independence he had been seeking since his graduation more than a decade before, and had in fact been working on versions of the same device since 1929. Finally, an investor offered to provide sufficient money to put the prototype into production, but demanded a controlling interest in the company which would produce the device. Schlumbohm refused the overture, which placed him in a difficult financial predicament. “To afford that refusal, I had to take an appraising look at the other arrows in my quiver. There was this new patent for the coffeemaker, with its broad appeal. Within a week, I had sold half-an-interest in it for $5000 and planned to license it.” Schlumbohm’s patent No. 2,241,368 for a ‘Filtering Device’ had been filed on April 13, 1939. The original version included a spout and handle, much more complex than the final familiar version, and was intended for multiple uses, including laboratory filtering processes.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Social aspects of coffee

Many social aspects of coffee can be seen in the modern-day lifestyle. The United States is the largest market for coffee, followed by Germany. The Nordic countries consume the most coffee per capita, with Finland, Norway and Denmark trading the top spot depending on the year. However, consumption has also vastly increased in the United Kingdom in recent years.

Coffee is so popular in the Americas, the Middle East, and Europe that many restaurants specialize in coffee; these are called "coffeehouses" or "cafés". Most cafés also serve tea, sandwiches, pastries, and other light refreshments (some of which may be dunked into the drink). Some shops are miniature cafés that specialise in coffee-to-go for hurried travelers, who may visit these on their way to work as a substitute for breakfast. Some provide other services, such as wireless internet access (thus the name, "internet café" — which has carried over to stores that provide internet service without any coffee) for their customers.

In some countries, notably in northern Europe, coffee parties are a popular form of entertaining. Besides coffee, the host or hostess at the coffee party also serves cake and pastries, sometimes homemade.

Coffee plays a large role in much history and literature because of the large effects the coffee industry has had on cultures where it is produced or consumed. Coffee is often mentioned as one of the main economic goods used in imperial control of trade, and with colonized trade patterns in "goods" such as slaves, coffee, and sugar, which defined Brazilian trade, for example, for centuries. Coffee in culture or trade is a central theme and prominently referenced in much poetry, fiction, and regional history. "Die Reading," by Joey Parks, is a modern novel centered around a New Zealand barista/barrista (and his lifestyle), which is a person who works in a coffeehouse and generally knows the aromas, names, recipes and special effects of espressos and other coffee beverages.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Monday, August 14, 2006

Instant Coffee

Instant coffee is a beverage derived from brewed coffee beans. Through various manufacturing processes the coffee is dehydrated into the form of powder or granules. These can be rehydrated using hot water to provide a drink similar to brewed coffee. At least one brand of instant coffee is also available in concentrated liquid form.

The advantages of instant coffee are speed of preparation (no time is required for infusing the coffee — it is ready as soon as the hot water is added) and long shelf life (natural coffee, especially in ground form, loses flavour as its essential oils evaporate over time).

The disadvantages are that instant coffee is easily spoiled if not kept dry and that its taste is of a lower quality than that of freshly-brewed coffee. In particular, the percentage of caffeine in instant coffee is less, and undesirable bitter flavor components are more present. The lowest quality coffee beans are used in the production of instant coffee (the best beans are usually kept to be sold whole) and sometimes other unwanted residues from the harvest are used in the production process.

Instant coffee is commercially prepared through vigorous extraction of almost all soluble material from ground roasted coffee beans. This process naturally produces a different mix of components than home brewing.

Opinions on instant coffee range from "intolerable imposter", through "reasonable alternative", to "better than the real thing." Due to the fact that it was the norm in American homes until the 1980s, some areas of the world see it as a particularly sophisticated beverage. Ironically, instant coffee is the only form of coffee available in certain coffee exporting countries. This may possibly be due to a society's appeal to novelty. In countries where it is popular, it is often referred to as "Café Puro", much to the horror of those aficionados who dislike instant coffee.

From Wikipedia

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Colombian National Coffee Park

Colombian National Coffee Park is a Colombian theme park located at Montenegro, Colombia. It features a telepheric, a colourful animatronic orchids ride, a World´s coffee garden, a roller coaster, coffee-based food stands, Colombian folkloric architecture, and other attractions. It make up part of the Colombian Coffee-Growers Axis

from Wikipedia