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Coffee Entrepreneurs Discover Growth of Hospitality and Culture between People of the World

coffee, culture, language, people, entrepreneurs, world, growth

A few years ago I found myself being lured into the world of the hospitality industry when my daughter started working in a bustling coffee shop. After learning about the various beverage preparations and observing the enjoyment by both staff and customers, I have come to the conclusion that food is indeed a pivotal part of lifes pleasures. In cultures which divide the individual into body and soul anything that borders on celebrating human pleasure and sensuality seems almost profane. People are seldom in agreement on what constitutes the exotic and what borders on being erotic. In contrast those people who remain in blissful ignorance of cultural labels become prosperous and enjoy winged impulses, wild imaginations and happy thoughts while indulging in the vices of culinary seductions. So between artistic abandon and writing precision we will embark on a journey to evaluate one of the oldest beverages known to excite and stimulate the senses of both man and beast.

Coffee brought prosperity to many as the demand for this product increased. Today coffee exports are second only to petroleum and the economies of some countries are entirely dependent on coffee production and exports. The art of good coffee requires a considerable amount of experience, intense precision and significant skill.

The plant is an evergreen shrub which belongs to the madder family Rubiaceae, genus Coffea (approximately 80 species). The two main varieties are Coffea Arabica and Coffea Canephora (Robusta). Coffee is the bean of a berry (drupe) cherry -like in appearance. The bean is usually divided into two parts but may also be single (caracolito, also known as Pearl Coffee).
If you have tried to describe the taste of a superb cup of coffee you know how difficult it is to find just the right words that will convey that special message. Here are some commonly used definitions that are part of the international coffee language. Whether your preference is for cappuccino, latte or espresso you will be able to add clarity to your descriptions if you add some of these terms to your vocabulary.

There are many different blends of coffee, mostly as a result of the following:
Over-extraction has occurred when the beans have been roasted too much and as a result it gives the blend or brew a characteristic bitter tast. However the darker roasts are intentially so as they will be used in blends to compensate for the blander types.
The blander blends of coffee are usually known as Robusta coffee which results because of under extraction. The smell of coffee is normally known by its rich aroma or fragrance.
Indonisian coffees have a more characteristically spicy and pungent aroma. Body is the description, similiar to that of wine, used to explain either a full, medium, thin or syrupy type of flavour.
When the coffee beans are roasted there is a cracking sound. This is commonly known as a city roast and yields a lighter and milder variation than the longer roasting stages.
Strong blends with floral or berry undertones are classed as exotic. A classic french roast means that the beans have been roasted so that a second cracking occurs between 188 to 282 degrees celsius for approximately eleven to thirteen minutes. This normally results in a bitter-sweet taste.

Here is a quick selection guide:

Coffee Arabica
•More common
•Less bitter
•More aroma
•More delicate
•Less astringent
•Caffeine: 0.8 – 1.5%
•Essential oils: 18%
•Sugars: 8%

Coffee Robusta
•More bitter
•More body
•More pungent
•Caffeine: 1.7 – 3.5%
•Essential oils: 8 – 9%
•Sugars: 5%

Roaster Guidelines:
The type of blend - (species, origin, percentage of blending)
Roasting periods - (fast , semi-fast, slow)
Degree of roasting - (light, medium or full roasts)
This can help us understand how the product of each roaster is unique as it is a combination of technical know-how, experience, taste, imagination and research.

[Decaffeinated coffee]
Caffeine contained in coffee is an alkaloid which in excessive amounts can be unsuitable to sensitive persons. Given that caffeine is soluble, it can be extracted from raw coffee by either water, ethylene acetate, methylene chloride or carbon dioxide. By law coffee is considered decaffeinated if its caffeine content is less than 0.1 percent. Volumes of solvent residues are also established by law. Extracted caffeine is used in the chemical, pharmacutical and food industries.

To obtain parameters necessary to prepare your favourite brew, an espresso machine should feature the following basic components:
Pump – to obtain a 9Bar pressure in water flowing through coffee.
Water boiler – where circulating water is heated to approximately 90 degress (for hot water/steam) and heat exchangers for coffee water.
Brewing groups – with filter holders for 7/14 grams of coffee
Home espresso, latte and cappuccino can be made from ground coffee or pods by using a pump driven model with portafilters. Many of these machines have been made with distinctive interior design trends in mind. Models range from semi to fully automatic, are easy to clean and simple to operate. Wall mounted models are ideal when space is limited. There are a range of additional benefits such as quick heat up, frothing, removable drip trays and heated cup warming surfaces.

[Coffee History]
Here are the most significant historical and chronological facts about coffee:
•800 A.D. Archeological findings in the Emirates confirm the use of roasted coffee in the Middle-East
•1400 Documents of Arab physicians (Avicenna and Al-Rhazes) speak of the therapeutic use of coffee
•1592 The botanist and physician Prosperus Alpinus describes the plant and confirms its popular use in Egypt
•1600 Introduction and development in Europe, not only as a medicine, but also as a normal beverage
•1645 The first coffee bar opens in Venice
•1652 The first coffee bar opens in London
•1672 The first coffee bar opens in Paris
•1683 The first coffee bar opens in Vienna
•1690 The first coffee bar opens in Hamburg
•1700 The plant is exported from the Arab countries to the whole world
•1690 – 1700 The Dutch export coffee plants from Yemen to their colonies, Indonesia & Guyana
•1723 The French introduce the coffee plant in the Antilles
•1727 The Portuguese introduce the coffee plant in Brazil
•1730 The British introduce the coffee plant in Ceylon, Jamaica, Cuba and Central America
•1730 The Spanish introduce the coffee plant in Colombia

Coffee tasting techniques differ from culture to culture. However cupping is used to evaluate the aroma and flavor profile of a particular coffee. To appreciate the differences between the the various growing regions it is wise to taste coffees from around the world. This method of tasting is also used to evaluateand create blends. The smell of the ground coffee will determine the fragrance. After hot water has been added a first whiff is taken. Another whiff of the aromatic fragrance is taken after one or two minutes by breaking the crust of the coffee using a preheated spoon. This releases the most potent aroma and allows for the best evaluation. Samples usually consist of two tablespoons of freshly roasted and ground coffee. The ideal is 55 grams of grind per liter of water. In the coffee industry the roast is often stopped about 30 seconds into the first crack, long before the second crack is due to occur. This will allow for the evaluation of defects, sweetness and aromas which would be burned off during the process for darker roasts. Much as with wine tasting, coffee cupping is about trying to identify the various characteristics that are most common to the coffee language, culture and common interest. There is quite a strict and scientific protocol to coffee cupping. For those who would like to indulge in more than just the fun side there are various sites and books that describe the professional angle to coffee cupping.

For more information about coffee cupping, visit
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[For exotic temptations using coffee and tea visit]
Published: 2009-05-28
Author: Veronica Hankey

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