The old fashion way to roast your beans.
There's A Good Chance That You're A Coffee Lover Too!
Some people perceive southern culture as being backwards. Some imagine southern life being like the movie "Gone With the Wind". People are often scared to drive through the south afraid that they may become the next victim to brutality simply for having a New York or Boston accent. The truth about the south is that it's quite mystical and charming. The people are friendly, the country is beautiful and things tend to taste better. The average Southerner believes that moderation is the key to survival, and that everything happens for a good reason.
Fears often consume me, are changes really for the better? Suspending kids from school for reading the bible to class mates, while the ugly face of hate runs rampant throughout out our nations school yards. Humans are very sociable animals, we need contact from others for our growth and well-being. When my seven year old daughter comes home from school crying, after what she considered to be a difficult day, saying that she really needed a hug and the teacher said to her that she 'wasn't allowed' to give her students hugs. This really bothers me. People really want to feel loved, especially our children, please don't deny them that love. It's all about the children don't you know. Working in the mental health field for years has taught me many wonderful things. Here are a few tips to make parenting much easier and more enjoyable.
Hug your kids often, even the teenagers who have a way of agitating the hell out of you.
Tuck your kids in. Even the big kids like this, just another way of showing them that you love them.
Watch TV with you kids. I know all the Barney, Arthur, Teletubies episodes by heart. Even watch Mr. Rogers, he is a true American Hero.
Talk to the them. When 4 and 5 all they ever seem to do is yap yap yap. As they get older they listen more to their peers, but if you establish a relationship where they feel they can ask you anything, chances are they will.
Keep your promises. If you say you're going to take your child bike riding on Saturday, take him/her on that ride.
Be there for them, they only grow up once. You don't have to make elaborate plans, they just want to be with you, most kids are fine with it.
Be a great role model. Kids know what they see, and will copy you whether you like it or not.
Have a cup of coffee. You need quiet time for yourself to relax and bring down the blood pressure.
Have a snack, eat some popcorn. Indulge yourself once in a while. It's good for you, in fact you need it, as long as you enjoy it in moderation.
It's just the southern way, charming and cozy, smooth and robust. From the little coffee houses in French Quarters of New Orleans to the Book Stores and Cafes of Historic Downtown Melbourne, meeting with old friends while in the Coconut Grove of Miami, all share the right idea, the appropriate philosophy in life, our means for survival. We need each other and we've got to take it easy. Moderation is the key.
George G. Bailey
(A Great Cup Of Coffee To Me Is A Warm Fuzzy!)
Now For The Coffee History.
There are three principal growing regions of coffee: Africa, Indonesia, and Central and South America. In a very broad sense, coffees grown near each other have similar characteristics. Beans taste differently dependent upon where they are grown. The species and varieties of coffee trees, which vary by region, determine their flavor. Even if the label on the coffee you buy says the same thing each time you but it, it may taste different. Flavor changes with each roast, and taste and quality of the coffee beans vary with each crop and shipment. The best coffee comes from the Arabica plant that originally grew wild in Ethiopia. It now has been cultivated and spread all over the world, mostly amongst mountainous countries close to the equator. There now are many varieties of coffee and many flavors to choose from. The worlds best coffee now comes from the Blue Mountains in Jamaica. Blue Mountain Coffee is generally more expensive because it is more scarce (supply and demand). Drinking a cup of Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee ranks right up there with one of the things you should do if you love yourself. Other things you should do at least once is: Drive a 12 cylinder sports car, ride the Kumba Roller Coaster at Bush Gardens in Tampa Bay Florida. Colombian Coffee is considered a neutral type of coffee, not too strong nor too weak. When you buy coffee for home, remember that coffee beans maintain their freshness nearly three times longer than ground coffee. If you don't own a grinder, you might consider purchasing one and grind your beans daily. It only takes a minute, and you will notice the difference.
When you prepare a great cup of coffee it all depends on your personal taste. You ever wonder how people could drink a cup of black coffee that has been sitting on the coffee machine getting stronger and stronger over the past eight hours, he would then turn to you and say, "Hmm, good coffee!" It all has to do with personal taste. First you take a rounded or heaping tablespoon of ground coffee per two cups of water. Now when I say two cups of water I mean the numbers on the side of the coffee pot you will be brewing the coffee into. If you're brewing 8 cups of coffee use 4 rounded tablespoons of coffee grounds. As the water begins to run through the coffee machine it's dark and strong (espresso) and as the water continues to flow through the machine the flavor of the coffee is much weaker and the lighter in color. The weaker coffee dilutes the stronger coffee that began the brewing cycle. From there you can judge the amount of coffee to use. If the coffee is too strong for your taste use less coffee, if too weak for your taste use more.
I'm sure you've heard a great deal about espresso's, and the trendiness that follows the term espresso. But what is it? What does an espresso taste like? The espresso is the first bit of coffee that comes out of the coffee machine. Espresso machines are useful because they can easily harness and control the amount of water that goes through the coffee grounds and we don't allow the espresso to be diluted. The espresso is normally a short burst of water (steam) forced through compressed coffee grounds (ground coffee pressed into a metal espresso filter). Just like DNA is the building block of all life, Espresso's are the backbone to most coffee drinks, including cappuccinos, mochas and my personal favorite, lattes.
Choosing A Great (or descent) Espresso
This is very important, BE EXPERIMENTAL. Ever walk through the shopping mall and pass a coffee shop such as Barnies® (http://www.barniescoffee.com) and just get drawn in like one of those tracker beams in a science fiction movie. The aroma is very important to choosing the beans, they should have a strong yet pleasing smell. If they lack a sent they may have expired in age. Most respectable coffee shops have a excellent turn over of beans and you shouldn't have to worry about the age of the beans. When in question ask the people behind the counter. Taste the coffee if you have a chance, try out new flavors, you may be pleasantly surprised by a the flavor of the day. When you buy coffee it's best when you buy the beans and have them run through the grinder. Have the setting placed on the fine grind for espresso machines (whether you have one or not) and only buy enough for a two week supply. After two weeks the ground coffee may become stale. If using a press coffee brewer use a coarse grind. Typically the faster the machine the finer the grind. Always store your coffee in an air tight container. You may get away with freezing ground coffee but I wouldn't recommend freezing longer than six weeks mainly because your coffee may absorb the odors from your freezer and just like everything else it may experience freezer burning. The best reason to only buy a two week supply is to enjoy the great coffee shop experience, and get something different. Variety is the spice of life.
If you don't want to work that hard you may want to try grocery store. Many large grocery stores (and some small ones) now have the mini coffee shop experience where you can pick out a new and exotic flavor and grind the beans yourself. Later on in this book I will touch on the coffee machines and grinders. Beneath the coffee beans there usually is a selection of gourmet coffee normally in a vacuum sealed container. By all means try out a couple of flavors and make yourself a cup of Jo following instructions I laid out for you in detail earlier in this book. A good coffee to start with would be Maxwell House® (good to the last drop) Italian roast.
The Dangers Of Coffee Drinking
First of all you have
to know that regular caffeinated coffee contains a
stimulant. That stimulant is called caffeine. Caffeine can
be found in many places such as tea, chocolate, soda's and
many pain relieving medicines. Caffeine is added to many of
these products but naturally occurs in Coffee and many teas.
Even though caffeine has it's benefits just like anything
else, if taken in abundance it may assist in physical
problems such as hyper tension and high blood pressure.
Caffeine and sodium may be linked to water retention, so
after consuming a large amount of caffeine you may feel
bloated. But if taken in moderation there will probably be
zero negative health related issues.
To answer the question on how many people drink coffee I would have to say a lot. Approximately two thirds the earth's population. In the United States more than 150 million people drink coffee. Coffee is the second most consumed beverage in the world, second only to water
Date Last Modified: 9/24/01