Monthly Archives: December 2014

Caffeine Trivia 12.31.14

Coffee comes to the New World:  In the mid-1600’s, coffee was brought to New Amsterdam, a location later called New York by the British.  Though coffee houses rapidly began to appear, tea continued to be the favored drink in the New World until 1773 when the colonists revolted against a heavy tax on tea imposed by King George.  The revolt, known as the Boston Tea Party, would forever change the American drinking preference to coffee.


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Caffeine Trivia 12.30.14

A little more coffee history: 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.

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Caffeine Trivia 12.29.14

Here’s some instant history on decaf and instant coffee:

1901: The first soluble “instant” coffee is invented by Japanese-American chemist Satori Kato of Chicago.

1903: German coffee importer Ludwig Roselius turn a batch of ruined coffee beans over to researchers, who perfect the process of removing caffeine from the beans without destroying the flavor. He markets it under the brand name “Sanka.” Sanka is introduced to the United States in 1923.

1906: George Constant Washington, an English chemist living in Guatemala, notices a powdery condensation forming on the spout of his silver coffee carafe. After experimentation, he creates the first mass-produced instant coffee (his brand is called Red E Coffee).

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Caffeine Trivia 12.28.14

Here is some information about Single-Origin Coffee – I filed this under “who knew?” ….certainly not me!

Costa Rica – Excellent acidity creates a bright taste with a hint of smoke flavor.

Guatemala – Medium bodied with a lively acidity, very aromatic with spice and chocolate overtones.

Colombia – Smooth, well balanced acidity with a sweet flavor.

Kona – Kona coffee is grown in the Hawaiian islands and benefits from its rich volcanic soil. It is typically mild and sweet with a hint of spice.

Sumatra – Very full bodied with a slight exotic earthy taste. Slightly sweet with floral nuances.

New Guinea – Very well balanced with complex aromas. Moderate acidity and full body.

Sulawesi – Unique nutty and woody aromas add to this full bodied, complex flavored coffee.

Ethiopia – Medium bodied with a tangy and pungent liveliness and a pronounced floral aroma.

Kenya – Kenya coffee is considered by many to be the finest coffee in the world. They are wonderfully aromatic with overtones of fruit and berries.

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Caffeine Trivia 12.27.14

I found this explanation of  coffee break on Wikipedia:  A coffee break is a daily social gathering for a snack and short downtime practiced by employees in business and industry. The Pan American Coffee Bureau popularized the term in the United States in 1952, but it has become widespread in the modern world and occurs whether or not participants actually drink coffee.

The coffee break corresponds with the Commonwealth terms “elevenses”, “morning tea”, “tea break”, or even just “tea”. However people outside the United States increasingly use the term “coffee break”.An afternoon coffee break, or afternoon tea, sometimes occurs as well.

The coffee break allegedly originated in the late 19th century in Stoughton, Wisconsin, with the wives of Norwegian immigrants. The city celebrates this every year with the Stoughton Coffee Break Festival.In 1951, Time noted that “[s]ince the war, the coffee break has been written into union contracts”.The term subsequently became popular through a Pan-American Coffee Bureau ad campaign of 1952 which urged consumers, “Give yourself a Coffee-Break — and Get What Coffee Gives to You.”An alternative legend of the advertising world credits John B. Watson’s work with Maxwell House for helping to popularize coffee breaks.

Coffee breaks usually last from 10 to 20 minutes and frequently occur at the end of the first third of the work shift. In some companies and some civil service, the coffee break may be observed formally at a set hour; in some places a “cart” with hot and cold beverages and cakes, breads and pastries arrives at the same time morning and afternoon, or an employer may contract with an outside caterer for daily service.

Gatherings for coffee breaks often take place away from the actual work-area in a designated cafeteria, tea room or outdoor area. As well as a chance for sustenance, the coffee break provides time for gossip and small talk, or a time to smoke a cigarette (thus the alternate term “smoke break“. Australians and New Zealanders may also refer to this break from work (particularly manual work) as smoko). Coffee breaks give workers a chance to wind down slightly and “re-group” for the remaining work of the day.

More generally, people can use the phrase “coffee break” to denote any break from work in any arena; popular culture often portrays housewives as taking a coffee break in their kitchens. Celebrity magazines use the term “coffee run” to describe people going for a short coffee break in the morning at a nearby cafe.

In some companies a mock carpet rule is used in order to remind colleagues not to discuss work in the tea room.

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Caffeine Trivia 12.26.14

Fact of the Day: coffee percolator

This is the anniversary of the coffee percolator, invented by James Nason of Franklin, Massachusetts, and patented on this day in 1865.

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Caffeine Trivia 12.25.14

Merry Christmas!

Coffee - Christmas1

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