27 April 2018

Modern Day Coffee Culture Basics

In the mind of the modern person, coffee is the perfect fuel that keeps the wheels turning on the rocky roads of 'mundane-ness'. Coffee culture has thus become incredibly developed, which can be seen in the ever-growing number of excellent coffee places and shops round the globe.

Such is the case in Norway, for instance, where this drink is sold in inconceivable amounts, while the prices there are more than reasonable for coffee of extraordinary quality.

Norwegians also step up their game of taking over the coffee scene with the assistance of the most renowned baristas, including Tim Wendelboe, owner of one of the most famous espresso bars in the world. This coffee artist has perfected his craft, and is now proud to have the 2004 Norwegian Barista Champion, 2005 World Cup Tasting Champion, and many other awards among his achievements.

Go to the USA, and again you will find yourself surrounded by passionate coffee drinkers. They’ll rush off to the nearest Starbucks, or yet grab a coffee from a local coffee brewing shop for a quick caffeine injection.

Australia is no exception to this coffee-frenzy, with cosy places like Gloria Jean’s Coffees, The Coffee Club, Ona Coffee, or Market Lane that Aussies just can’t resist. Their flourishing coffee culture keeps setting the quality standards higher and higher, and their coffee places invest great effort into making sure that every sip of the drinks they serve is a memorable experience. Some of the greatest coffee suppliers in Melbourne are also known to provide dedicated baristas with world-famous blends, thereby helping their mission of making the best cup of coffee there is.

But what do all these places offer that makes millions of thirsty souls flock to them? Well, that one is quite easy to answer. What makes them so attractive is the variety of top-notch options that just never seem to fail at keeping the clientele satisfied.

Now you have the opportunity to taste the flavors from different regions in the world, from the mellowness and sweetness of Colombian beans, the soft chocolate-like taste of Brazilian coffee, to the strength and fruitiness of Ethiopian beans, or the richness and brightness of Kenyan coffee. You name the destination and flavor, and it’s on the menu.

The two types of coffee you are guaranteed to find in pretty much every coffee place are Arabica and Robusta. Because of its harsher flavor caused by higher amounts of caffeine in the beans, Robusta generally costs significantly less than Arabica. Arabica is milder, gentler and contains more sugar than Robusta, making a much more popular beverage.

Coffee places brew this treat in different styles and with methods; boiling, steeping, filtration, or pressure brewing. All these methods of preparation typically involve the use of specific types of pots or coffee machines, such as the siphon, chemex, aeropress, French press, percolator, etc.

Turkish coffee for example is prepared by boiling – finely ground coffee beans are added to boiling water, and the drink is left unfiltered, resulting in a fuller taste. Cold brew coffee, another coffee trend, is a delicacy brewed by steeping coffee powder in lower-temperature water for up to a day. Once the steeping is done, the mixture is filtered (the powder is removed from it) and diluted with water and/or milk to make a pleasant tasting beverage. If you see an item called Nitro Coffee on your menu – don’t panic! This coffee is enriched with nitrogen and is therefore creamier, sweeter, and stronger than a regular cup of coffee.

Let’s not forget another favourite – espresso, prepared with an espresso machine. Here, a smaller amount of hot water is run through fine coffee powder under really high pressure, resulting in thicker, more intense coffee served as a “shot”. Espresso is also used as a basis for other drinks, like cappuccino, macchiato, cappuccino, latte, flat white, mocha, and so on. Those who prefer it a bit softer can go for a cappuccino, macchiato, a flat white or a latte, whose mellowness depends on how much milk and foam is added, latte being the softest one as it contains most milk. A mocha, on the other hand, is perfect for those who also crave the sweetness of chocolate in their coffee.

Put simply, in its endless forms and variations, coffee truly is a drink that strives to suit everyone’s taste and lifestyle.

Thank you to Roxana for this wonderful guest post for our blog!

What's your favourite type of coffee?