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2007-05-11 13:22:08
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Coffee Beans

and the differences between them

There are two types of coffee beans: Arabica and Rubusto. The coffee bought in cans is typically of the robusto type while coffee purchased in packages is of the Arabica type. 

Robusto has much more caffeine content than Arabica but is considered inferior to the quality of Arabica. If caffeine is your only concern, buy Robusto coffee. If quality and taste is important, buy Arabica. Coffee shops of good reputation will sell only products made with Arabica beans. Fast food restaurants mostly sell coffee made from Robusto beans. 

Robusto beans are also cheaper to grow, harvest, and roast than Arabica. Why? Robusto beans are grown at low elevations. The plants grow profusely and the labour to harvest them is fairly cheap because of easy accessibility. The result of growing at lower elevations is a dirty-flavoured cup of coffee, abundant with caffeine, bitter, and pretty disappointing overall. Your tongue simply begs you to have mercy on it and to put more cream into a cup of this stuff. Nervous jitters soon follow. 

With Arabica beans it’s much different. Arabica beans are grown at higher elevations in mountainous regions. The plants produce fewer berries and are harder to maintain because of where they are grown. This is the kind of coffee you want to drink, the kind that is worth spending more money on. The result: heaven…or near heaven. Arabica has less caffeine, is smoother in taste, and simply floats like oil on your tongue. Cafés and coffee shops worth their salt will never sell Robusto coffee. These are the places you want to visit and purchase coffee from.

Moisture and coffee beans or ground coffee do not get on well with one another. When you buy coffee beans or pre-ground coffee or even if you grind your own coffee beans, remember to keep them in a tightly closed container when storing them. Moisture will have the same effect on coffee as it does on bread: the coffee will go stale and in some instances even begin to grow mold. Coffee is essentially a food product so it must be taken care of properly to stay its freshest. Also, never never store coffee in the freezer. Take this example: you've opened a bag of frozen corn, used what you needed, then twisted the bag shut and put a clip on it. Many months pass and you either forget about the corn or just simply don't want it. Finally one day you remember it and cook some of it. By this point the corn is freezer-burnt and tastes like the inside of your refrigerator. YUK! The same thing will happen to your coffee and the taste will be far less than desirable. At this point it will only be good for your compost pile or trash bin. Only buy as much coffee as you will consume within a month's time to ensure its freshness. If you buy more than you will use in thirty days, its best to store it in an airtight container away from extreme temperatures.

Never trust your supermarket to stock gourmet coffee, although gourmet brands are starting to make their way onto store shelves. Don’t be fooled by canned coffee that says “gourmet” or “premium” on its label. Robusto is sold in cans and is still a pariah to Arabica in packages. Some companies are trying to be sneaky lately by putting Robusto into packages. Don’t be fooled. If you see the same brand in a can, it’s likely the stuff in the package is a Robusto coffee. From this point forward, any coffee mentioned is referring to Arabica unless otherwise noted. That being said, we will now explore the differences between a cup of brewed coffee and espresso.

**Note: Espresso is made mostly from Arabica beans! Some espresso blends will use a bit of Robusto to create a more unique Robusto isn't completely useless you see.



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Coffee 101

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Coffee Beans
Caffeine Content
The Pros and Cons of Coffee
Home Brew vs. Cafe Brew
Espresso Preparation
Espresso Drink Recipes
Espresso Website Resources
Cappucino At The Fuel Station

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