Month: September 2014

Where did coffee come from?

Have you ever asked yourself who invented coffee? The stories about how we all got to drink this delicious drink are fascinating!  One legends says that an Ethiopian herdsman noticed that his goats had more energy after eating some sort of berries. He gave these berries to the monks who threw them into the fire and of course, the beans started roasting and the monks obviously fell in love with the smell. Then, they put the beans in water (perhaps to cool them off) and noticed the change of color. Naturally they drank it and liked it and voila!

The other legend mentions a certain Sheik Aboul Hasan whose disciple, Omar, was exiled from Mocha to a desert cave near Ousab. He found some bitter berries and tried roasting the beans to improve the flavor, but they became hard. He then tried boiling them to soften the bean, which resulted in a fragrant brown liquid. Upon drinking the liquid Omar was revitalized and sustained for days. As stories of this “miracle drug” reached Mocha, Omar was asked to return and was made a saint. (source: Wikipedia)


Coffee was first enjoyed in Africa and Arabia. Mocha (a port city in Yemen) was the major marketplace for coffee from the 15th century until the early 18th century. In this age, coffee was primarily enjoyed by the Muslim world (‘cos they couldn’t drink alcohol). Muslim ambassadors came to Europe with coffee beans as gifts to kings and queens, thus coffee spread throughout Europe. From there the colonizers (french, dutch… ) brought it to The New World (Martinique, Latin America, etc).
map-made-from-coffe-beansMaybe coffee was discovered not so long ago but it didn’t take long for it to spread throughout the world. Today we all drown in coffee and can’t imagine our lives without it. 18424-I-Love-Coffee

Advertisements

Relaxing movie for a fine Friday afternoon + a hot cocoa = floating on a cloud

I love watching novel adapted movies, especially the romance / historic ones. There’s something special inside each story and you always get to see how people in the past lived. I especially enjoyed watching “I capture the castle” and Henry Cavil being part of the cast had much to do with it 😉


The story is about a writer who lives in a castle with his family. After being unable to write anything for 12 years they become quite poor and his daughter, Rose, soon realizes that the only way to put meal on the table is if she marries their rich landowner, Simon, who has just arrived from America. Now it gets messy.

Rose wants to marry Simon because he’s rich. However, she likes his brother Neil (their thing was mutual). Rose’s sister Cassandra falls in love with Simon, who loves Rose but flirts with Cassandra as well. Stephen (portrayed by Henry Cavil <3) is their handyman. He loves Cassandra but she doesn’t love him back, although they french kissed once. But who wouldn’t with a guy who has a smile like that?

Rose gets engaged with Simon but ends up running away with his’ brother (classic!). Simon then proposes to Cassandra but she says it will never be good enough. And she’s right. NEVER SETTLE GIRLS, YOU DESERVE THE WHOLE DEAL! 

In order to get her father to write again Cassandra locks him in a cell. He has a meltdown but then starts writing a book called “The cat on the mat”. His’ story was very mysterious and reminded me of how we all get stuck in life sometimes. Everybody needs a little push from time to time in order to have a breakthrough and flourish. I just hope nobody will ever need to lock me down in order to get a positive outcome.

In the end Cassandra writes in her journal that she learned what it is to love and that she will love again. Even in movies, life does move on.

Recovering from internet failure with World Barista Championship videos

Being unable to get an internet connection and update my blog was quite disturbing. It’s been three hours since they fixed the problem and now, I can continue living a normal life… (I’m well aware of how lame that sounds! :D)

The first thing I did was checking out what’s new on the youtube. Amazingly enough, an awesome clip was recommended to me from the WBC channel and I started digging for some other stuff and decided to share with the following video.

I liked this competitor best because he explained so well how the farmer, Mr Arnulfo Leguizamo produced his own coffee. The signature drink from this guy seems yummy, especially because I have a thing for cold coffee 😉

Arnulfo-1
Mr Leguizamo explains the whole production process in this interesting article. He’s had years of experience, a ton of work and nice weather conditions before making the perfect coffee. I’ll definitely drop by his farm if I ever go to Colombia 🙂

I’m so ashamed that I haven’t thought of exploring the coffee industry sooner. There are so many information out there! I’ve learned so much since I’ve started this blog about coffee variations, production and importation of coffee.

Maybe I won’t be a Coffee Master any time soon but I will make up for all the things I’ve missed out on!

The delicious art of coffee cupping

Coffee cupping is the equivalent of wine tasting. However, there’s this whole process attached to it and if you put me in a Cupping Party I’ll be as excited as a kid in Disney World.
excited-kid
The coffee we all drink and enjoy has already been tasted by professionals while it was being prepared in the factory. When the coffee beans roast, the workers take some out for testing. They take them to the lab where coffee tasters make sure that the beans aren’t rotten, and that the aroma/acidity/body/flavor of the coffee is as it should be.

6715941947_479f278a5f_zThey don’t actually DRINK it, they sniff and slurp (YES, they must slurp loudly), taste the flavor and spill out the coffee. But it’s actually NOT THAT SIMPLE. Here’s a guide from HAS BEAN COFFEE that explains the process.

BrewGuide-Cupping

 

I’m new to this as much as most of you are. I found a cupping chart and a flavor wheel that might be helpful. I just need to start practicing this delicious art more frequently in order to get better at it. And I found a new excuse for slurping and drinking coffee! 😛

 

My Starbucks experience

 I’ve been to Starbucks (like any other normal caffeine addict) only twice in my life. The first time was when I arrived in France in the Charles de Gaulle airport and the other time was on another airport in Brussels. 

When my plane landed in Brussels I had exactly 1 hour before Starbucks closed. I rushed as quickly as possible through the gates and found the shop right away. When I stepped in, I felt like I’ve discovered a long lost treasure.  

Looking up to see the menu I stood there frozen, stunned from all the Frappucinos and Lattes that were being offered up to me. 
I chose the White Chocolate Mocha Latte. The cute barista gave me my sweet, big, pleasure in a cup. I sat down and drank it with such delight. It was yummy!!! 

I guess this is how he must’ve made it: 

white_chocolate_mocha_fullThen, I tried to sleep on the most uncomfortable bench in the airport waiting impatiently for Starbucks to open again. When it did, there were bunch of people waiting in line, which gave me enough time to figure out what I want next.
starbucks-lineI was prepared to order a fancy drink with the well known starbucks language and …. things got lost in translation (lets just say that this barista didn’t understand English very well). Some people looked strangely at me when I ordered and made some comments about Americans. I guess in Europe coffee is simply coffee, no matter what you put in it. 

So, I ended up with a Hot Medium Double shot Hazelnut latte with non-fat milk + Cream. I added some nutmeg on top for more flavor. It was very very HOT! 

Since I don’t like strong coffee too much I added more non-fat milk and turned the Medium into Grande 😉 

funny-gifs-winningzach_zpse6daed51Overall it was a nice experience that I’ll treasure ’till the next time I find myself someplace that has Starbucks. 

What I liked about Starbucks: 

You can make a very special coffee if you know how to combine the ingredients, the temperature, the flavors… 
The coffee isn’t bad either.
The atmosphere was very relaxing. 

What I didn’t like about Starbucks: 

THE PRICE! It’s very expensive. I couldn’t afford going there more than twice a year.  

 

Coffee: A hug in a mug

I know I’m obsessed with coffee. I go to bed every night knowing that when I wake up, I’ll make myself two wonderful cups of coffee. Why two? Well, the first one is to wake up. The second one is because one cup is NEVER enough!

But seriously, how can you say no to this face?

IMG-20140822-00471 ffff

There are so many reasons why people drink coffee and there are A LOT of benefits attached to it. You can read more about it here

These are the top reasons for my caffeine addiction:

1. I love coffee, I love smelling it, drinking it, thinking about it and I expect NOTHING in return

18424-I-Love-Coffee

2. When I drink too much coffee and my tummy hurts… I don’t blame it. The pain goes away in a day or two and I feel completely fine afterwards. After all, every relationship has its ups and downs…

sad_coffee_by_pikasaurus-d5bq77w

3. Coffee is my number 1 buddy during exam sessions

collegecoffee

4. When feeling sad or stressed or homesick I make two mocha nesfrappés and it all goes away

latte_art_cat_in_coffee_6

For those of you who are looking for love, look around you. Love hides in many things, it’s up to you to discover them.