Monthly Archives: November 2014

Caffeine Trivia 11.28.14

THE JUG METHOD: When all else is not available….The jug method of making coffee is the simplest of all. The coffee should be quite coarsely ground and then the hot water added. It is somewhat like the cafetiere method, but without the convenience of the cafetiere’s plunger to separate the coffee grounds from the infusion. The jug is not now widely used, although it is always a serviceable stop-gap method.

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Caffeine Trivia 11.20.14

MAKING TURKISH COFFEE IN AN IBRIQ – Two years ago today, I was in Kusadasi, Turkey so it’s fitting that today’s trivia is on making Turkish Coffee:  Turkish Coffee (also Arab Coffee) is made in an ibriq, a small copper pot with a long handle. Two teaspoons of finely-ground coffee plus one of sugar are added to a cup of water and the mixture is brought to the boil. The ibriq is taken off the heat as it comes to the boil, usually three times, and then it is poured out and drunk. A cardamom seed is sometimes added for flavour. The drawback of this method is that boiling the coffee causes the more delicate flavors to be lost.

Turkish Coffee  Turkish Coffee

 

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Caffeine Trivia 11.19.14

The Arabs were the first, not only to cultivate coffee but also to begin its trade.  By the fifteenth century, coffee was being grown in the Yemeni district of Arabia and by the sixteenth century it was known in Persia, Egypt, Syria and Turkey.

It’s popularity was perhaps due, in part, to the fact that Muslims, forbidden alcoholic drink by the Koran, found coffee’s energizing properties to be an acceptable substitute.

Coffee was not only drunk in homes but also in the many public coffee houses — called qahveh khaneh — which began to appear in cities across the Near East. The popularity of the coffee houses was unequaled and people frequented them for all kinds of social activity. Not only did they drink coffee and engage in conversation, but they also listened to music, watched performers, played chess and kept current on the news of the day.  In fact, they quickly became such an important center for the exchange of information that the coffee houses were often referred to as ‘Schools of the Wise.’

With thousands of pilgrims visiting the holy city of Mecca each year from all over the world, word of the ‘wine of Araby’ as the drink was often called, was beginning to spread far beyond Arabia. In an effort to maintain its complete monopoly in the early coffee trade, the Arabians continued to closely guard their coffee production.

From the history of coffee National Coffee Association of USA, Inc.

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Caffeine Trivia 11.18.14

The Kaldi Legend:  In the Ethiopian highlands, where the legend of Kaldi, the goatherd, originated, coffee trees grow today as they have for centuries. Legend has it that Kaldi discovered coffee after noticing that his goats, upon eating berries from a certain tree, became so spirited that they did not want to sleep at night.

Kaldi dutifully reported his findings to the abbot of the local monastery who made a drink with the berries and discovered that it kept him alert for the long hours of evening prayer.  Soon the abbot had shared his discovery with the other monks at the monastery, and ever so slowly knowledge of the energizing effects of the berries began to spread.  As word moved east and coffee reached the Arabian peninsula, it began a journey which would spread its reputation across the globe.

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