In Brazil there are 15ft tall Coffea trees (native to Africa but brought to the New World in 1721) dominating the hillsides. The wide leaves sprout from the thin green branches, free of their fragrant white flowers bearing instead the crimson berries prized heavily in households throughout the world. Those precious, hand-picked berries will turn black when dried, and once roasted, become the fragrant beans we all crave.
Now, how should you enjoy this bounty? Depending on roasting and preparation, many delightful and flavorful options present themselves. From energizing to comforting, robust to mild, the popular drinks below are guaranteed to please any coffee drinker, whether they prefer cappuccino or a common cup of joe.
Finely ground beans brewed with very hot water (190° F) under pressure (130 psi) creates the syrupy and strong Espresso which serves as the base for many coffee concoctions.
Espresso with added hot water produces the Americano (or American coffee) which mimics the strength (if not the flavor) of the coffee preferred in the U.S.
Coffee with milk translated to French is Café au Lait, made with espresso (or French press) and hot milk.
The Italian Cappuccino is similar to the French Café au Lait as both are made with espresso and hot milk, 1\3 of the (traditional) cappuccino is steamed milk foam, which give it the iconic cap level with the rim.
Espresso added to a small amount of foamed milk is the Macchiato, most popular in Italy, where the name translates to ‘stained’ coffee, and Portugal.
What most English speakers dub the Latte, also cafe latté, historically one of the most popular coffee drinks in Europe, is simply milk added to espresso differing from a macchiato, which is espresso added to milk.
Occasionally served with whipped cream, a Mocha is the addition of either milk or dark chocolate (in the forms of syrup or sweetened Cocoa powder) to espresso and hot milk.
Often confused with the café au lait, the humble and delicious Misto is NOT made with espresso but rather drip-brewed coffee with warm milk.
There are many commercially available gadgets that promise café quality coffee at home, but many disagree instead claiming that there is no substitute for a proper coffeehouse. Traditional coffeehouses have long been associated with debating intellectuals, pondering bohemians, political radicals, or underground poetry and as such proved daunting and foreign to some while others boldly sought such fabled coffee-time company. However, with coffee shops blooming up in neighborhoods across America, there is no denying that coffee is more popular than ever before. Go enjoy a cup.