What are Biscotti? Biscotti are oblong, thick, brittle cookies designed to be dipped in coffee, cocoa, or wine. Originally from Italy, “biscotti” translates as “twice baked” because the cookies must be baked long enough to make them dry and crunchy. Although traditionally almond flavored to complement dunks in a glass of red wine, now biscotti have multiplied with exotic flavors and creative additives.
The first biscotti emerged from an Italian countryside full of vineyards. They used abundant almonds to flavor a cookie that was so dry and crunchy, it wasn’t apt to turn stale before they could dip in it wine. Soon, other European countries adapted the twice-baked recipes to their own favorite spices and special ingredients. Recently, the increase in popularity of coffee drinks has spurred the proliferation of many new kinds of biscotti. A dunk in a warm beverage softens the cookie and makes it easier to chew. Tomorrow: an easy Biscotti recipe.
Today’s Caffeine quote: “The voodoo priest and all his powers were as nothing compared to espresso, cappuccino, and mocha, which are stronger than all the religions of the world combined, and perhaps stronger than the human soul itself.” ~ Mark Helprin, Memoir from Antproof Case, 1995
Coffee can be good for you! Coffee can increase the effectiveness of pain killers, reduce headaches and can help fight asthma, possibly due to the enhanced adrenal effect from the caffeine. Coffee may reduce the risk for some cancers and Parkinson’s disease. Recent studies have shown that caffeine reduces the incidence of diabetes by 54% for men and 30% for women. Lastly, coffee’s stimulant effects and fat burning potential has some in the medical field pushing it as a means of lowering the incidence of heart disease.
Although it tastes “stronger”, dark roasted coffees actually have LESS caffeine than medium or light roasts. The longer a coffee is roasted, the darker it becomes and the more caffeine burns off during the process. Similarly, contrary to popular assumptions, espresso coffee actually contains about one-third of the caffeine of a brewed cup of coffee. This is partially due to the fact that espresso is typically made using top premium arabica beans which have a lower caffeine content than robusta beans, which are found in many coffee blends used for standard brewing. Also, in the espresso brewing method, water is in contact with the grounds for only 20 to 25 seconds and extracts less caffeine than methods that put water in contact with the grounds for several minutes.
Here’s how to make the perfect cup of coffee…Coffee Tip #1- Make sure your coffee pot is clean.
A clean coffee pot is essential and will make a world of difference in how your coffee ultimately tastes. An unclean coffee pot has residual coffee oils that remain from the previous batches of coffee. There are also other coffee chemicals and materials such as pieces of coffee grounds which can decompose and cause some bad flavors. It’s not likely such small amounts will make you sick, but there’s a good chance your coffee will taste “a little off”.
Be careful about using a whole lot of soap unless you’re sure to remove any remaining residue, following a good wash and rinse with some baking soda and water to neutralize any remaining acids and coffee oil.
Coffee is actually a fruit and grows on trees (although often called plants). Coffee trees are not fast growers. In fact, it takes five years for a coffee tree to reach full maturity. Once it’s become mature, each mature coffee plant yields about 5 pounds of green (un-roasted) coffee beans per year. This results in less than one pound of coffee beans after roasting. It takes about 4000 coffee beans to produce a pound of coffee and roughly 50 coffee beans to produce one cup of coffee.
Men drink as much, if not more, coffee than women. A National Coffee Association survey reported that the average consumption of coffee corresponds to approximately 1.9 cups of coffee per day for men and 1.4 cups per day for women when looking at the total population. However, when looking at coffee drinkers only, the average consumption is raised to about 3.1 cups per person per day.