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Fresh Roasted Coffee Facts

Depending on the day, coffee is either the number one or two most consumed beverage in the world. It is enjoyed daily by hundreds of millions of people in virtually every country around the globe.

Many fresh roasted coffee lovers have no idea how their favorite morning cup of coffee is ‘made’. This article briefly explains the process of roasting gourmet coffee beans and how those wonderful flavors and aromas’ get into your morning cup!

It takes around fifteen to twenty minutes to roast gourmet coffee beans using a typical small commercial gas roaster. The usual rule-of-thumb is the quicker the roast, the better the coffee.

Short roasting retains the largest percentage of the gourmet coffee bean’s aromatic properties. Slow roasting gourmet coffee beans results in the beans baking and usually prevents them from developing fully. Also slow roasting normally won’t produce bright roasts and typically makes the beans hard instead of brittle even after the color standard has been attained.

Gourmet coffee beans have varying degrees of moisture when they are green or raw. The best fresh roasted coffee is created by first starting the roasting process with a slow fire until some of the moisture has been driven out of the bean. If too much heat is used at the beginning of the roasting process there is a high risk of “tipping” or charring the little germ at the end of the bean which is the most sensitive part of the bean.

Kissing The Cheeks” of a gourmet coffee bean is caused by loading too many beans in the roasting cylinder at one time and revolving the roasting cylinder too fast. This causes some of the beans to ride the cylinder walls for a complete revolution instead of falling off the sides into the cylinder as it revolves. As a result one face of the gourmet coffee bean gets burned or ‘kissed’.

There are no universal standards for coffee roasting. Because roasting is part ‘art’, a roaster will develop a personal blend and roast combination and establish that blend/roast combination as a sample ‘type’ to be used as the in-house standard the next time a batch of that blend/roast is roasted. Coffee drinker’s tastes run the entire gambit of roasting possibilities, from light roasted to extremely dark roasts.

Many roasters use the following roasting classifications:

  • Light
  • Cinnamon
  • Medium
  • High
  • City
  • Full City
  • French
  • Italian

A city roast is a dark roasted bean. A full city roast is a few degrees darker yet. A French roasted bean is cooked until the natural oil appears on the surface. And an Italian roasted bean is roasted until it is carbonized so it can be easily powdered.

In the United States, lighter roasted beans are favored on the west coast, the darkest roasts are enjoyed in the south and a medium-colored roast is the primary roast enjoyed on the east coast. Coffee drinkers in Boston especially enjoy cinnamon roasted coffee.

Coffee loses weight during the roasting process. The amount of weight lost varies according to the degree of roasting and the nature of the bean. Green beans, on average, loose sixteen (16%) percent of their weight during the roasting process. Typically one hundred pounds of coffee in the cherry produces twenty-five pounds in the parchment. One hundred pounds in parchment produces eighty-four pounds of cleaned coffee. And one hundred pounds of cleaned coffee produces eighty-four pounds of fresh roasted coffee.

During the roasting process the gourmet coffee bean undergoes both physical and chemical changes. After it has been in the roasting cylinder a short time the color of the bean turns a yellowish brown which gradually darkens the longer it is cooked. Likewise as the beans heat up they shrivel up until they reach the halfway point of the roasting process called the “developing” point. At this stage the beans start to swell back up and “pop open” increasing their physical size by fifty percent. When the developing point is reached the heat is turned up and the roasting is finished as quickly as possible.

“Dry” and “Wet” Roasts

A coffee roaster uses a utensil called a “trier” (it looks like an elongated spoon) to check the progress of the beans often during the roasting process. The trier is slipped into the cylinder taking a sample of the roasting beans and compared to a type sample. When the coffee has reached the desired level of roasting the heat is shut off to “check” or stop the cooking by reducing the temperature of the coffee and roasting cylinder as quickly as possible.

In the wet roast method the coffee is sprayed with water while the roasting cylinder is still revolving to cool the beans and stop the cooking.

In the dry roast method the beans are poured out of the roasting cylinder into a large colander type basket where they are stirred rapidly while air is blown through the beans to cool them down as quickly as possible to stop the cooking.

Excessive watering of coffee in and after the roasting process to reduce shrinkage is typically frowned upon. “Heading” the coffee or checking the roast before removing it from the roasting cylinder is considered a legitimate practice.

When water is used to quench the roast and stop the cooking most of the water turns to steam and does not get absorbed by the beans. However the beans do tend to swell slightly and brighten the coffee. Even though some water is used to check the roast it is still considered to be a “dry roast”.

It is doubtful that more than a handful of American coffee roasters use an absolutely “dry” roasting method – it is difficult to maintain consistent results from one batch to another and usually doesn’t provide the best possible product. The term “dry roasted” has been abused for years by coffee company marketing departments. Of course “dry roasted” coffee as described above will always make better coffee than beans that have been soaked with water but the word “dry” needs to be defined as to what exactly that means among roasters before the term can provide any real meaning or value to consumers.

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Culinary Career Options in the Hospitality Industry

Careers in the culinary arts go beyond basic cooking. There are a variety of specialized chefs that focus on anything from sauces to deserts. In bigger establishments there are chefs whose duties almost exclusively involve the management of other chefs and there can even be chefs who manage them. Here are some of the culinary world careers.

Executive chefs are going to be those chefs at the highest levels and are considered executives. Their main functions are to manage the chefs and preparation workers at a restaurant. They can also advance to be responsible for multiple restaurants in a chain. They are required to plan the menu, estimate food needs and cost plus supervise the staff of chef and other kitchen help. They are also responsible for the hiring and training of new chefs. They still may have some regular cooking duties or may just prepare certain meals and at special functions.

Sous-chefs are also managers but are below executive chefs. They are responsible for the direct supervision of the staff. They also play a hands on role in the training of new techniques, equipment and recipes. They also may be involved in menu planning, food and supply ordering. They are usually still required to prepare the main dishes as well as help in special events.

A saucier is exactly as is sounds, a chef whose main purpose is to prepare sauces and also dished cooked in sauces or gravy. Sauces are a foundational part of cooking so a saucier needs to be very knowledgeable. They need to know everything that has anything to do with the possible permutations and mixtures that go in to creating a fine sauce.

A garde manager, also known as a chef garde manager, is also used to describe a chef that is in charge of all colds foods. Garde is a French term for a pantry where cold dished are stored and prepared, prepared foods such as desserts, salads, sandwiches, dressings, cold sauces and appetizers. They are usually very skilled at using left overs in a creative way to invent new dishes.

A pastry chef may have the most delicious job of all. They have to make a variety of confections and baked items. This may include pastries but also cookies, cakes, chocolates, beignets and petitfours but they can routinely make any desert imaginable. Not only are the very knowledgeable of the flavors and tastes involved in deserts, they can also fill supervisory roles in establishment large enough to a pastry staff.

Upscale establishments the career an extensive wine list will employ sommeliers. Sommeliers are experts in wine and they routinely suggest wine for customers that are complimentary to their meals. While some may think that a job that requires you to consume and judge a ton of wine sound like a dream, it can be difficult work the needs a lot of practice and an abundance of knowledge. There are classes that can be taken that will focus on wine. They will teach you the chemistry that goes into making wine as well as how to properly taste wine. You will also learn how to judge wine based on its aroma, flavor, color and body.

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Wine and Food Pairings

Pairing food and wine is an art. To create a pleasurable dining experience, there are some basic considerations to understanding how food enhances the taste of wine, and vice versa. The goal is to find balance and synergy, keeping in mind that this process is one of personal preferences. Success is achieved when you find a combination that is pleasing to your palate.

Here are some suggestions on how to pair food and wine, so that they may accentuate the flavors in one another and as a result, taste better.

Consider how the dish is being prepared, and if there will be a dominate seasoning, sauce or flavor. Delicate foods should be served with a delicate wine, while heavy dishes go better with heavy full bodied wine.

Keep in mind how the wine will react with the food. For example, sweet foods will taste less sweet with a wine high in tannins. While salty foods offset the sweetness and emphasize the fruit in sweet wines.

Bring wine and food from the same geographical region together. It is natural for these combinations to work, especially with the culinary history in certain wine-producing regions around the world.

For wine and cheese pairings, white wines compliment softer cheeses, while red wines taste better with hard cheeses. A Chardonnay, for example, enhances the flavors in a provolone or gruyere cheese. While a Merlot pairs well with brie.

Below are some suggestions for pairing wine and food:

Chardonnay- salmon, shellfish, veal, grilled chicken, grilled fish, cream sauces
Sauvignon Blanc- fruit, white or light fish, lemon based sauces
Pinot Grigio- turkey, shrimp, veal, cream sauces
Dry Riesling- shrimp, lobster, chicken
Zinfandel- tomato pasta dishes, pizza, pesto, chicken with heavy sauces
Dry Rose- salads, light spicy food, pasta salads
Cabernet Sauvignon- red meats, roast, dark chocolate, lamb
Syrah/Shiraz- sausage, stew, peppered red meats, spicy pizzas
Pinot Noir- salmon, light meats, chicken, tuna, beef stroganoff
Merlot- pasta dishes, game birds, smoked or grilled meats, chicken

These are only starting points for wine and food pairings. Experimentation is the key to finding a combination that fits your personality and works best for you.

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What You Need to Finally Get in Shape

 

If you are like most people, you long to finally get in shape. However, you likely don’t know where to start. You have a general idea how to eat and what to do, but the whole task seems daunting. Fortunately, there are ways that you can get in shape easily from the comfort of your own home. By employing the right techniques, you can realize your goal without spending too much money or forcing yourself to be in an uncomfortable situation. With the ability to have an online personal trainer and other tools, you already have most of what you need!

How to Finally Get in Shape

There are two elements of fitness, exercise and nutrition. They are both required to form long lasting health. Having one without the other will not help you succeed. Fortunately, there are straightforward ways to do both:

  • Exercise –You don’t have to work terribly hard to get in decent shape. It is more about consistent effort than regularly exhausting yourself. If you go for a run every day, you’ll notice intense benefits. If you add in some quality weight lifting routines, you’ll be on pace to be in the best shape of your life.
  • Nutrition –Most people know how to eat healthy foods, they just don’t like to hear that they have to! You need to eat a lot of vegetables, fruits, nuts and grains to form a well-rounded diet. Simply by eating healthy food, you’ll notice a tremendous amount of increased energy. Eating healthy starts when you buy food. Try this simple trick – eat a big meal right before you go grocery shopping. You won’t be shopping hungry, so you’ll make better decisions. Go for a variety of fruits, vegetables and other healthy goodies. You’ll be thankful you did.

That’s all you need to get in shame! Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? Don’t overcomplicate the matter – do something physical and give your body what it needs.

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Coffee Brewing Methods: Is Your Coffee Brewer Just a Drip?

For most of us, brewing up our morning cup of coffee is more than just a necessity, it is a matter of convenience. Each night, millions of us coffee lovers pile heaping tablespoons of our favorite gourmet coffees into those paper filters, fill the tank of our coffee makers with water and set the timer so that our coffee is ready and waiting first thing in the morning.

So if you are like me and you enjoy the finest gourmet and specialty coffees available, then you must also believe that they deserve the best and most reliable coffee brewing equipment available.

Here is a quick list of the most popular coffee brewing methods & equipment starting from the best:

French Press
The French press coffee maker (or press pot) is universally recognized as the best brewing method, allowing for the truest coffee taste and aroma. This method actually brews the coffee in the hot water (as opposed to drip machines which only pass the water through the coffee and a filter). After a few minutes of brewing, a metal filter is pressed through the brew catching the coffee grinds and then trapping them at the bottom of the carafe. What is left over is full-bodied coffee with all its aroma and essences.

One of the main advantages to using a French press, other than great coffee taste, is the amount of control you have. You can control the water temperature (which incidentally should be around 190 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit, a temperature that drip makers do not achieve), you can control the amount of coffee you want to add, and you can control the brew time. Four minutes of brew time and 30 seconds of “plunging” time is considered best.

Another great feature about the French press is that it is extremely portable and only requires hot water. You can take it camping or use it in places with limited kitchen space, like a boat or an RV. Some press pots can also be used to brew loose leaf teas in the same manner.

As an aside, you shouldn’t leave your brewed coffee in the press-pot with the grounds after you brew it! Either consume it or transfer it to a carafe, preferably a thermal carafe.

Vacuum Brewer
Vacuum brewers aren’t very common, but they make coffee just about as well as a French press since the coffee and water are brewing together. A vacuum brewer has an upper and a lower chamber connected by a tube with a small filter inside. Coffee grounds are placed in the upper chamber, and water is placed in the lower chamber. As the lower chamber is heated, the water rises up to meet the coffee in the upper chamber where the brewing begins. After brewing, the water (now coffee) cools and seeps back down into the lower chamber leaving the used coffee grinds behind in the upper chamber. Ideally, the upper chamber is removed and the lower chamber is used as a decanter for the finished coffee.

Vacuum brewers can be electric, stovetop, or even used over a sterno can for dramatic tabletop brewing!

The Toddy Maker
The toddy maker or Cold-Brew Coffee Maker uses an unusual cold-brewing method that creates a coffee concentrate. This concentrate is then mixed with hot water to make coffee. The concentrate can be stored in a refrigerator and used to make one cup at a time if you so desire. This method produces a low-acid coffee, which is doctor recommended for coffee drinkers with stomach conditions.

Although this method of coffee brewing is sounds a bit odd, the result in taste is pleasantly surprising. One drawback is the amount of time it takes to brew. A good idea is to brew the coffee overnight. Once brewed, the concentrate can produce more than just one pot of coffee, so it’s not a nightly event for a great cup of morning coffee!

Drip Grind Coffee Makers
Drip Grind coffee makers are the most common and usual coffee brewing method that we are familiar with.

In this method, water is dripped over and passes through the coffee grinds and a filter and is caught by the coffee pot below. Despite being the most common brew method it also happens to be the one which produces a coffee brew with the least amount of flavor and aroma.

There are generally 2 filter options for the drip grind coffee makers.

Permanent filters: are just what they say, permanent. They are usually gold-plated so they don’t add any unwanted metallic taste to your coffee, resistant to corrosion so they are dishwasher safe and economical because they don’t need replacing. Permanent filters are preferred because they allow for better coffee taste as opposed to the second filter option, paper filters.< are the most common filter choice for the drip grind coffee makers. Unfortunately, paper filters can filter out more than just coffee grinds. Flavorful oils can be left behind in the filter and not make it to the finished coffee brew resulting in less coffee flavor and aroma. Since permanent filters allow for more liquid to pass through, the end result is a more flavorful cup.

As you can see, the most common brew method happens to be the one which produces the least amount of coffee flavor and aroma. Since, mornings usually need to be made quick and simple, most people have never had their coffee brewed any other way. If you are one of these people, don’t just splurge on gourmet coffee’s, get a small French press maker, start experimenting and experience the truest coffee flavor & aroma in each cup.

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Food Flavorings Bringing Out Good Taste

In order to get food to taste good most people think that you have to result to unhealthy food flavorings. Most people wonder if it is possible to eat healthy while maintaining the great taste. Artificial sugars are an alternative to table sugar (sucrose) as they tend to be more intensively sweeter and have zero calories. Artificial sugars have become the main functional ingredients in many diet drinks and other healthy food products. Many artificial foods have been made to cater for those of us who watch what we eat. You can add texture to your food which is good for your digestive system via food texturizers. Here is how to add taste to your food:

Spices: Its definition tends to be a grey area for many culinary aficionados, as one definition is inclusive of herbs. The American Spice Trade Association has it that, flavoring is “any dried product used primarily for seasoning purposes.” The other widely and most accepted definition is whether fresh or dried or derived from the bark, stem, root, seed or fruit of a plant. They tend to be grown in tropical climes. They are highly regarded for their medicinal value and in preparation of cosmetic products. Examples include garlic, ginger, cloves, pepper, cinnamon even wasabi.

Herbs: Herbs are different in that they are derived from leaves. They may be whole, grinded a little to be flaky, or well grinded to be powder. When consumed whole they tend to give texture to food and hence are a great natural food texturizer. Herbs do not favor tropical climes and are commonly found in more temperate areas. Herbs are similar when it comes to their medicinal values and also cosmetic properties. Examples of herbs are parsley, basil, oregano, thyme and rosemary.

Condiments: They tend to be simple sauces; good examples include mustard, ketchup and barbecue sauce.

Others: Salt is a mineral, but it would be unfair to ignore it when talking of seasonings. Salt has preserving qualities, commonly used to preserve fish before refrigerators, hence the term salted fish. There are many different types of salt, from rock salt to sea salt. Iodized salt is usually recommended so as to limit the salts’ dehydrating properties. Some like to confuse sugar as a seasoning, but it is considered as part of functional ingredients as food can be made out of it. To be fair sugar changes the taste of whatever it is mixed in, but it is more commonly referred to as a sweetener.

We are what we eat and whenever we want to eat healthy there is always the drawback of sacrificing taste. Good food has to have the right functional ingredients and complementing food flavorings to bring out great tasting food. Food that tastes good is not enough; addition of good food texturizers will ensure that your food also feels good in your mouth. We usually rush at what tastes good to us every meal time, and probably our best meal is usually what we remember tasting best. With the proper application of food seasonings you will always have a feast of even the smallest meals.

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Some Tips for Preventing Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is one thing that people often worry about when eating food at a restaurant, especially if they have not eaten there before. While food poisoning is widely regarded as something that comes from food in a restaurant, or somewhere else outside of the home, keep in mind that food prepared within your own home can cause this problem as well. One benefit, though, is the greater degree of control you can have over the food prepared in your kitchen.

To reduce the risk of food poisoning, one must understand how the food poisoning process works. Coming down with a food-borne illness is a direct result of digesting food that has viruses, bacteria, and even parasites, which have developed on the food over time. While harmful bacteria and other “germs” are common in virtually any environment, a healthy immune system usually protects the body from becoming ill. When you introduce tainted food directly into the body, however, it becomes harder to combat.

Coming down with a food-borne illness typically leads to symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, and even vomiting. Food poisoning symptoms can appear either within a few hours or can take up to a few days to manifest; any timeline will greatly depend on the food that was digested, as well as how your body handles it. With that said, here are a few safety precautions that one must take in order to avoid this type of poisoning:

Know the Risky Foods

If you cannot control the foods that are handed to you such as dishes at a restaurant, you must know which kinds of foods that can cause this sort of poisoning. Food such as undercooked meats, raw produce, and even seafood are notorious for carrying viruses and parasites. Avoiding these dishes altogether can reduce your risk of food poisoning a great deal, but may be considered an unreasonable precaution for meat eaters. It is important to consider both your appetite for risk along with your literal appetite when making choices. However, if you ever feel your food is undercooked, never be afraid to send it back.

Always Wash your Hands and Food Contact Surfaces

Before serving any type of food at home, always make sure that you wash your hands properly and with antibacterial hand soap. You should wash both before and during preparation, especially after handling raw meat, fish, and poultry. Not washing your hands between handing raw meat and lettuce used in a salad, for example, can easily cross contaminate the salad. You also need to sanitize cutting boards, countertops, pans, utensils, and other surfaces that encounter food.

Use a Thermometer

When preparing and cooking items such as meats, use a meat thermometer to ensure that the inside of the meat is at an appropriate temperature. When cooking foods such as fish and chicken, the temperature should always be higher than 140 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. By reaching these temperatures, you will kill the vast majority of live bacteria or parasites.

Always Chill Food

The longest that raw meats should stay out of a refrigerator is two hours. It is best to either thaw your meats in the microwave, or let them sit in the refrigerator until they are ready to be cooked. When thawing food at room temperatures, be sure to set it down on a plate away from any other types of food and make sure that it does not touch the countertop.

Check the Expiration Date

Although this may sound obvious, it is crucial that you check the expiration date on the meats that are going to be prepped. All grocery stores and butchers will place a date to use by on all labels. Be sure to glance at these labels before cooking. If the meat has expired, do not gamble and try to cook it – play it safe and toss it out.

By taking basic precautions and using your head, food poisoning can be prevented, especially in your own home. When eating outside of the home, try to avoid raw foods and inspect your meats before consumption. By being more aware of the food you consume, you can decrease your own risk of becoming ill from food poisoning.

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Coffee Yesterday and Today

HOW about a cafezinho, freshly made and piping hot? For some, this custom is on the wane, but Brazilians still enjoy the fame of drinking coffee from early morning till late at night.

Inflated cost of coffee has not caused a hurried switch to other drinks. In fact, one third of the world’s population still are coffee drinkers. For instance, every year the Belgians drink 149 liters (39 gallons) of coffee, compared with only six liters (1.6 gallons) of tea. The average American drinks 10 cups of coffee to one of tea. In the Western world, only the British break the general rule by annually consuming six liters of coffee to 261 (69 gallons) of tea.

Brazil holds the title as the world’s largest producer and exporter of coffee. In the first four months of 1977, receipts for exports of this “brown gold” reached the staggering total of $1,000,000,000 for 4.5 million bags, an all-time record.

However, coffee is not at all native to Brazil. Would you like to know how the use of this almost universal drink developed, where it originated, and how it got to Brazil?

Origin and Use

The word “coffee” is derived from the Arabic qahwah, meaning strength, and came to us through the Turkish kahveh. Coffee’s early discovery is shrouded in legend. One story tells about Kaldi, a young Arabian goatherd who noticed his goats’ frolicsome antics after nibbling on the berries and leaves of a certain evergreen shrub. Moved by curiosity, he tried the mysterious little berries himself and was amazed at their exhilarating effect. Word spread and “coffee” was born.

Originally, coffee served as a solid food, then as a wine, later as a medicine and, last, as a common drink. As a medicine, it was and still is prescribed for the treatment of migraine headache, heart disease, chronic asthma and dropsy. (Immoderate use, however, may form excessive gastric acid, cause nervousness and speed up the heartbeat. The common “heartburn” is attributed to this.) As a food, the whole berries were crushed, fat was added and the mixture was put into round forms. Even today some African tribes “eat” coffee. Later on, the coffee berries yielded a kind of wine. Others made a drink by pouring boiling water over the dried shells. Still later, the seeds were dried and roasted, mixed with the shells and made into a beverage. Finally, someone ground the beans in a mortar, the forerunner of coffee grinders.

Coffee in Brazil

Although coffee probably originated in Ethiopia, the Arabs were first to cultivate it, in the fifteenth century. But their monopoly was short-lived. In 1610, the first coffee trees were planted in India. The Dutch began to study its cultivation in 1614. During 1720, French naval officer Gabriel Mathieu de Clieu left Paris for the Antilles, carrying with him some coffee seedlings. Only one survived and was taken to Martinique. From Dutch Guiana coffee spread through the Antilles to French Guiana, and from there Brazilian army officer Francisco de Melo Palheta introduced it to Brazil by way of Belém, doing so about 1727. During the early nineteenth century, coffee cultivation started in Campinas and other cities of São Paulo State, and soon reached other states, especially Paraná.

Nowadays, coffee plantations are planned with technical rigidity. Instead of sowing seeds in the field, seedlings are cultivated in shaded nurseries. About 40 days after planting, the coffee grain germinates. Its unmistakable appearance gave it the name “match stick.” After a year of careful treatment in the nursery, the seedlings are replanted outside.

Usually on hillsides, the seedlings are placed in curved rows to make mechanized field work easier and to prevent soil erosion. Four years after planting, the trees are ready for the first harvest. All the while, irrigation boosts growth and output up to 100 percent.

On the other hand, the coffee grower’s headache is his never-ending fight against insects and plant diseases, such as leaf rust and the coffee-bean borer. Rust is a fungus that attacks the leaves and may kill the tree. The coffee-bean borer is a worm that ruins the beans by eating small holes into them. Of course, there are effective fungicides and insecticides, but their constant use increases production cost.

Preparation of the Coffee Beans

On the plantation, coffee may be prepared by either a “wash” or a “dry” process. It is admitted that the wash process yields a fine quality product, since only ripe coffee berries are selected. But because of less work and lower cost, Brazilian coffee usually goes through the “dry” process.

First, all the berries, from green to dry, are shaken off the bush onto large canvas sheets. Then they are winnowed with special sieves. Next, the berries are rinsed in water canals next to the drying patios, in order to separate the ripe from the unripe and to eliminate impurities. Afterward, they are spread out in layers for drying in the open air and sun. They are turned over frequently so as to allow even drying. Eventually, the dry berries are stored in wood-lined deposits until further use.

The drying process, by the way, is of utmost importance to the final quality of the coffee. Some plantations, therefore, use wood-fired driers for more rapid drying, especially in rainy weather.

In other Latin-American countries and elsewhere, the “wash” process is customary, although it is more time-consuming and costly. First, a pulping machine squeezes the beans out of the skin. They fall into large tanks where they stay for about 24 hours, subject to light fermentation of the “honey,” as the surrounding jellylike substance is called. After fermentation, the “honey” is washed off in washing canals. Next, the coffee is laid out to dry in the sun, as in the “dry” process. Some growers make use of drying machines, perforated revolving drums, in which hot air circulates through the coffee. Finally, the coffee beans pass through hulling and polishing machines. And just as the best quality coffees are hand-picked, so the inspection of the berries after washing is done by hand.

Soon the last step is taken–packing the coffee in jute bags for shipment. The 60-kilogram (132-pound) bag, adopted by Brazil, is held world wide as the statistical unit. Bags are stacked in clean, well-aired warehouses. At last, the coffee is ready for sale.

Classification, Commercialization and Cost

The Instituto Brasileiro do Café (IBC: Brazilian Coffee Institute) supplies technical and economic aid to Brazilian coffee growers and controls the home and export trade. For classification, coffee is judged by its taste and aroma. No chemical test for quality has ever been possible. The senses of smell and taste are still the deciding factors. According to its source, preparation and drying, it is classified as strictly soft, soft (pleasant taste and mild), hard (acid or sharp taste) and rio (very hard type preferred in Rio de Janeiro). Other types are less important to the trade.

For the last 20 years coffee has brought about 50 percent of Brazil’s export receipts. Some 15,500,000 persons are employed in its cultivation and trade. But Camilo Calazans de Magalhães, president of the IBC, warned that 1978 will present an unheard-of situation in the history of the coffee trade. For the first time ever, it will depend entirely on the harvest, as any stocks of Brazilian coffee outside Brazil will be exhausted by then. Additionally, the IBC fears that the specter of problems with frost, insects and diseases may unleash new losses in the 1977/78 and 1978/79 harvests.

Very recently, a series of misfortunes befell some of the world’s large coffee producers, causing scarcity of the product, price increases–and a lot of speculation. It all began in July 1975. Brazil was hit by an exceptional cold spell, which destroyed almost half the plantations, or 200 to 300 million coffee trees. Next, in Colombia, a drought, followed by torrential rains, devastated their plantations. In Angola and Uganda, political unrest affected exports. And then an earthquake struck Guatemala. The “coffee crisis” was on!

While the reserves dropped, tension grew in trade circles. Brazilian coffee was first to go up in price, dragging behind it the Colombian coffea arabica, traditionally more expensive because of its superior quality. The African coffea robusta, usually less esteemed, followed the trend. To make things worse, Brazil imposed an export tax of $100 (U.S.) on each bag, which in April 1977 went up to $134 (U.S.) a bag.

Speculation amplified trade tension, as coffee is bought in advance. It is a veritable gamble. Traders and roasters foresee a “high” and buy up great quantities, which, however, are delivered only months later. The movement gathers speed and prices skyrocket. The IBC permits registering of export sales some months before delivery of the goods, provided the registry fee is paid within 48 hours. Consequently, exporters often “take the risk” of registering sales that, in reality, have not yet been effected. This enables them to favor their clients or take advantage of higher prices.

Despite the upward trend, Brazilians are not yet paying the high coffee prices others have to pay. The Brazilian government is protecting the local coffee roasters, and the price per kilogram (2.2 pounds) is to continue lower than abroad, it being $4.08 (U.S.) in July 1977. Nevertheless, statistics reveal that Brazilians are drinking less coffee. In 1976 the consumption was 3.5 kilograms (7.7 pounds) of ground coffee per person, whereas it was 5.7 kilograms (12.6 pounds) in 1970.

Producers seemed satisfied with the new price policy, since they get more money from the consumer. The coffee-plantation worker, too, is benefiting financially. To keep prices high, Brazil bought up large quantities of Central American and African coffees. Suddenly, however, Brazil’s exporters had to face the absence of international buyers. As an immediate reaction, prices abroad began to fall, and in July 1977, a sudden maneuver at the New York and London Exchanges slashed the price further, so that a 50-percent drop has been registered since the record prices three months earlier. Exporters are jittery. Buyers ask, Will Brazil reduce the price? What will be the future of coffee? Time will tell.

Meanwhile, Brazil’s Conselho Monetário Nacional approved a plan to revive and upgrade the nation’s coffee plantations by adding 150 million trees during 1977/78, bringing the total to 3,000,000,000 trees and an output of 28 million bags by 1980. So there is no fear of coffee going off the scene. Although this popular beverage now is more costly, yesterday’s enjoyment of coffee remains with us today.

Junk-Food

Exploring the Mental Aspect of Fitness

I promote and teach the 3 phases of fitness to all my clients. Many are unaware of what the three phases entail. If you fall into this same category…let me take this opportunity to enlighten you. The 3 phases are the Mental, Physical and Financial aspects or phases of fitness. This is a concept I developed a little over two years ago and have had great success with improving client’s mindsets. Let’s look at how each of these relate to your health and fitness. (more…)

great sushi

How to Make Better Health Pasta Salad

Pasta salad can be one of the dining options at home is also a special occasion for a family meal. You can also make a pasta salad tastier and healthier, but still simple.

1. Use of whole wheat pasta.
Do not use regular pasta, but choose whole-wheat pasta. When using this type of pasta, you can get fiber intake twice as much per one cup of pasta.

2. Replace mayonnaise.
To add flavor do not use mayonnaise. We recommend using a combination of low-fat mayonnaise, low-fat yogurt with no flavor and olive oil. This way you can cut calories and saturated fat.

3. Add the vegetables.
Add vegetables doubled. Select vegetables with more variety of color combination. For pasta salad, veggie options usually consist of carrots, tomatoes, grape tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers.

4. Add fresh herbs.
Spices add flavor without fat or sodium. Add basil, cilantro, or want to try tarragon, herbs typical of Central Asia. Add spices to suit your taste.