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Five Facts About Coffee

Category Kitchen
Published 29 September 2017

Five Facts on Coffee

First of October is International coffee day – the third year that this day has been held. It's an annual celebration of coffee's journey from the farm to your local shop— an opportunity to honour the men and women who grow and harvest the coffee we love.

At Ideal World we know the importance of a great cup of coffee. Nothing beats the smell of fresh coffee, and whether you're after a bargain pick-me-up or a gourmet espresso experience we've got the deal for you. Coffee can bring people together, or perk you up ready for the day, it's an ages-old tradition, constantly improved by ultra-modern technology, and we've got everything you'll need. Why not make yourself a nice cup of coffee and browse our range in the coffee hub while thinking about how to improve the cup you're drinking?

Take a look at our best deals below, or get yourself in the know with our five coffee facts:

Coffee is technically a fruit

Coffee beans are actually the seed or pits of a cherry-like berry that grows on bushes. It's called a bean only because of it's shape. The bright red berries are picked and then shucked of their fruit and the green centre seeds are roasted to produce coffee beans as we know them.

In the past, people even used the fruit to make a caffeine-fuelled wine!

There are two main types of coffee beans, but a lot more besides

Most coffee beans you'll buy can be separated into two types: Coffee Robusta and Coffee Arabica. Robusta are cheaper, have more caffeine in them and taste more bitter than Arabica, Arabica are considered to be better tasting with stronger aromatics but tend to push up the average price of a cup. 75% of the coffee beans commercially produced in the world are Arabica, so if you're drinking fresh coffee now, it's likely that it's Arabian.

In reality there are over a hundred different types of coffee beans but the majority never see export markets as the cost and organisation to grow and roast rare beans can be prohibitive.

What's the difference between a latte and cappucino?

There are many ways to serve coffee, whether you use a cafetiere (also known as a French Press), a filter, instant or an espresso machine: how can you tell the difference?

"Espresso" doesn't mean fast, it means forced (and should never be spelled or pronounced "expresso!"). Water is driven through ground beans at high pressures and temperature, causing the grounds to infuse into the water and create a short but powerful "shot" of coffee.

Served on its own it's an "espresso," but during World War II, American soldiers in Italy struggled with the strength, being more used to slow-brewed, longer drinks of coffee at home, so the Italians compromised with the Americano: pouring the coffee into a tall cup or glass of hot water to weaken it.

Add steamed milk and you've got a latte, but if you froth that milk up with the same steamer spout to make a thicker layer of microfoam and you've got a cappuccino: named after the thick, brown habits/cloaks of the Capuchin monks of the Italian Catholic church.

The latest craze being the flat white, an antipodean invention, where in New Zealand they sought to address the ratio of coffee to thick, frothed milk by creating a smoother (flatter) drink with less milk in it, so you could taste the coffee more.

A nice cuppa!
Coffee at Ideal World

How is instant coffee made?

Instant coffee is made the same way as any other cup of coffee: the beans are picked and extracted from the coffee fruit, roasted and ground and prepared in hot water. However, then the coffee is frozen solid in a slow process that produces small crystals and ground into flakes, then the water is removed from the crystals by removing all the air from a chamber and heating it, leaving the dried granules we buy in supermarkets.

When was coffee discovered?

Coffee was discovered in Ethiopia in 800 A.D.. Legend has it that local goat herders noticed their goats "dancing" after eating the beans, and a curious local monk decided to try it for himself, and found it kept him awake at night.

Coffee houses spread across Arabic countries in the middle ages, and came through to Europe via the Ottoman empire. As empires rose and fell over the middle East, coffee culture spread to Paris and London, and from there to the rest of the ancient world.

Coffee was just as popular in 1675 as it is today in major cities, as at this time there were over 3,000 coffee houses in England alone!