Fort comme la Mort----Coffee strong as death; Doux comme l'Amour----Coffee sweet as love; and Et chaud Emfer----Coffee hot as hell!
There are two main species grown to produce coffee. Arabica coffee is the more highly regarded than the robusta coffee which tends to be bitter and have less favor. Robusta has a better body than Arabica. There for, three-forth of all coffee cultivated worlds wide is C Arabica. But the Robusta strains contain 40 to 50 per cent more caffeine than Arabica. Robusta is used as an inexpensive substitute for Arabia in many commercial blends. A good quality Robusta beans are used in some Expresso blends to provide a full-bodied taste, a better foam head, or to lower the ingredient costs.
Brazil is the world leader in production and export of green coffee, followed by Viet Nam which tripled its exports since 1995, and became a major produces of Robusta beans. Indonesia is the third largest exported and the largest produces of washed Arabica coffee and then comes Colombia. The Arabica coffee beans are cultivated in Latin America, eastern Africa, Arabia or Asia. The Robusta coffee beans are grown in western and central Africa, throughout Southeast Asia, and to some extent in Brazil. Over eight million tones of coffee beans are grown annually.
Now China is going into the Robusta bean growing and opening coffee shops in their country. They will also dump their coffee on the world market and drive prices down so they can put their people to work at the cost of the Viet Nam people who owe China lots of money.
Beans from the various countries or regions are usually can be distinguished by differences in aroma, flavor, body and acidity. The different varietals and processing are known by the region they are grown, such as Colombian, Java and Kona.
An interesting point is the issue of concerning coffee is its use of water. It takes 37 U.S. gallons of water to produce the coffee bean need to produce one cup of coffee and the coffee is grown where there are water shortages, such as Ethiopia.
One more point, some coffee undergoes a peculiar process know as kopi luwak. These beans of coffee berries have been eaten by the Asian Palm Civet and other related civets, and the bean passes through the digestive tract. This process makes the beans much less bitter and is widely noted as the most expensive coffee in the world with prices reaching $160 per pound. I did not find this bean for sale in Kennett.
In 1583, Leonhard Rauwolf, a German physician, gave his description of coffee as a ten year trip to the Near East:
A beverage as black as ink, useful against numerous illnesses, particularly those of the stomach. Its consumers take it in the morning, quiet frankly, in a porcelain cup that is passed around and from which each on drinks a cupful.
During my travels in 2011 I tried Vietnamese-Style Iced Coffee. To make one drink it takes five minutes plus 24 hours of infusing.
4 ½ cups cold water
½ pound coarsely ground dark-roast coffee
2 ounces sweetened condensed milk
4 ounces milk
* Stir the cold water into the coffee. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 24 hours; strain. (The cold-brew condensed can be refrigerated for up to one week.
* Pour the condensed milk into a tall glass. Add six ounces of the cold brew concentrate and the milk. Stir the drink well, top with ice and serve.
Closer home let make Coffee Rum Punch for a brunch or luncheon.
12 tablespoons instant coffee
2 cups sugar
2 cups water
3 (12-ounce) cans evaporated milk
3 cans whole milk
½ gallon coffee ice cream, softened
2 large bottles soda water
½ pint light rum
Add sugar and coffee to water. Stir, heat, blend, remove from heat, and chill. Add remaining ingredients. Top with whipped cream and serve. Serves about 30 cups.
So when you think about coffee, I hope we all learned something. I did.
Have a Happy.
Larry Eiker is a Kennett resident who enjoys
traveling all over the world and experiencing great food, while bringing some of those ideas back home to the Bootheel to share with others.