chocolate covered coffee beans

coffee: the nectar of the gods

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Why Antique Coffee Grinders Are So Great For Grinding Coffee Beans

For coffee lovers, the rich smell of freshly ground coffee beans in the morning is enticing. The aroma fills the house and you can almost taste the coffee before you pour it in your cup. The delightful aroma increases as the coffee brews and you stand ready with your mug in your hand just waiting to take that first delightful sip. For coffee lovers such as this, an antique coffee grinder is a welcome kitchen appliance.

Reasons to Buy an Antique Coffee Grinder

You can buy pre-ground beans in packages or cans, but there is no comparison to the taste of the freshly ground ones. You can also buy whole beans at the grocery store and grind them there, but if the person who used the machine before you ground a different flavor of bean, then that flavor could change the flavor of the ones you choose to grind.

You also have to grind all of the beans at once, instead of grinding them as you need them. Grinding them all at once will still allow that fresh taste to come through in the first cups that you brew but the flavor may decrease with each successive cup that you make. That's why it's better to own your own coffee mill. A lot of people purchase electric coffee grinders. They work well but they make a lot of noise. There's also the chance that it may heat up the beans and take away from the great flavor.

Unlike their electric cousins, antique coffee grinders grind the beans to the proper texture with the added benefit of not overheating the beans. Another reason to own one is that they are beautiful objects, rich in history. Since they come in different styles, you can find one that will go well with whatever decor you have in your kitchen.

What Styles do They Come in?

Some antique coffee grinders mount on the wall, while others are countertop models. They are made from a variety of materials, one of which unpainted wood. These have handles that are made of cast iron and have intricate designs painted on them. There are other collectible coffee grinders, such as the Parker Nation Coffee mill. This mill was created circa 1905, in Connecticut. The beautiful bronze finish at the top sets them apart from other antique coffee mills. Another popular one was made in the 1920s, during the famous Art Deco era. Its sleek design makes it an attractive addition to any kitchen.

An antique coffee grinder is a great investment, not only for the wonderful coffee it provides but also because it's attractive and lends a sense of history to your home

Gregg Hall is an author living in Navarre Florida. Find more about this as well as Gourmet Coffee Gifts at http://www.gourmetcoffeeplus.com

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Kona Coffee: the Pride of Hawaii

Coffee is one of the most important commodities the world over. This byproduct of coffee cherries and coffee beans has remained one of the most popular beverages.

From the time that it originated from Ethiopia centuries ago, coffee has become a household basic – something that people cannot do without.

There are two basic coffee variants: one is the traditional Arabica, and the other is Robusta coffee. Many coffee enthusiasts agree that the former has a stronger flavor than the latter, so it tastes better.

This is because Arabica coffee contains beans in its purest form – rather than Robusta coffee which only has half of the caffeine amount that can be found in Arabica coffee variants.

Due to the high demand of Arabica coffee in the industry, many rare coffee variants found only in certain places have found a niche market.

Hawaii's Kona Coffee

Aside from the gorgeous beaches, lush forests and warm people, another thing that Hawaiians are proud of is a coffee variant that is solely produced in their islands, which is the Kona coffee.

Kona is a part of the Hawaiian archipelago where this special coffee variant is grown. Kailua-Kona is the largest town in the district, and it has two districts: the northern and southern districts of Kona.

On the Dry Side of the Island

The word Kona literally means on the dry side of the land. Kona coffee if therefore grown on the dry side of Big Island, which is the largest among all the Hawaiian islands.

There are two districts which divide Kailua-Kona, and Kona coffee grows primarily on the West side of the Hawaiian archipelago.

This location, as well as the climate, makes Hawaii an ideal setting to grow Kona coffee, which has become a world-class coffee variant.

What makes coffee plants in Kona unique from other coffee plants in the world are:

1. The ideal location

Hawaii is basically a group of islands formed by volcanic slopes. Kona coffee if grown along the rocky volcanic slopes of Mount Lona and Mount Hualalai.

2. The ideal climate

Due to the tropical climate in Hawaii, the mornings are almost always warm and sunny. During the afternoon, there is a slight mist which befalls the islands, further nurturing the coffee plants.

3. The meticulous care of coffee farmers.

Most of the coffee farmers in Hawaii rely on the basic hand-picking method, ensuring the freshness of the freshly-gathered coffee cherries.

Some coffee producers use modern machinery to ensure fast harvesting when the coffee cherries are mature enough. However, a machine cannot give out the personal touch that farmers can give during harvesting.

A machine may not recognize overripe or immature coffee beans, and put them all together once harvested. This results in an impure coffee blend once the beans are processed.

On the other hand, a hand-picked batch of coffee cherries is assured of almost 100 per cent quality.

Kona coffee is also an Arabica blend, making it a truly premier coffee variant that Hawaiians can proudly offer to the world.

Dave Poon is an accomplished writer who specializes in the latest in Food and Drink. For more information regarding Kona Coffee please drop by at http://www.hotcoffeeplus.com/