Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Coffee Terminology Trivia

Since Best International Tea has announced our line of premium coffees, I thought I'd keep with the coffee trend and share some "trivia" that will make for good conversation at your next dinner party or trip to the coffeehouse. Thanks to our friends at SD Bell for this great section of their book, "Creating a Stir,"  here's the backstor that you may not have known on some common terminology and brewing techniques:

Percolator: This describes a brewing method in which water is repeatedly boiled through a perforated chamber within a large pot, invented in 1865. Contrary to common misuse, it does not refer to the processes of filtering or plunging.

The Coffee Filter: In 1908, Melitta Bentz invented the coffee filter in Germany. She experimented using her son's school blotting paper to separate the coffee solids (grounds) from the liquid, ultimately inventing the method most of us use on a daily basis ... that is until the Keurig came around!

Cowboy Pot: This was the method of brewing for wild west cowboys in the late 1800s - Pour a good amount of coarsely ground coffee in a tin pot, fill with water and heat over the campfire until simmering.

Instant Coffee: The first instant coffee was invented by Japanese-American chemist Satori Kato in Chicago in 1901. It was later improved upon by English chemist George Constant Washington in 1906 using dried coffee left in his carafe. Instant coffee as we know it today was created in 1938 when American troops in Europe called for caffeine during World War II.

Cafe Americano: This is another coffee that has its origins in World War II. When American GI's were making their way through Italy, they found the traditional Italian straight espresso to be too strong. Baristas helped them out - and also teased them - by adding boiling water to their espresso and naming it an Americano.

Cafetiere: Often known as the plunger part of a French Press, which creates a popular cup of coffee. This method allows the coffee gronds to infuse in hot water before being separated by the plunging down of a gauze disk.

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