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Creative Cappuccino - Points to Ponder...

Here at Creative Cappuccino, we're more than pretty faces with a knack for making the best cappuccinos in town. We also have an amazing wealth of knowledge about coffee. We will now bestow some of our wisdom upon you:

  • The average price for an espresso-based drink is $2.45, while brewed coffee averages $1.38.
  • Men drink as much coffee as women, each consuming an average of 1.6 cups per day.
  • Women seem to be more concerned than men about the price of the coffee.
  • Among coffee drinkers in the US, the average consumption is 3.2 cups per day.
  • The average coffee cup size is 9 ounces.
  • 30% of the population drinks coffee occasionally.
  • 65% of all coffee is consumed during breakfast hours - 30% between meals - 5% with other meals
  • Among people with a preference, 35% of coffee drinkers prefer black coffee, while 60% add sugar and/or cream
  • Women indicated that drinking coffee is a good way to relax, while men indicated that coffee helps them get the job done.
  • The United States imports in excess of $4 billion worth of coffee each year.
  • Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee per day, making the US the leading consumer of coffee in the world!
  • On average, 250 cups of espresso and coffee drinks are sold per day at almsot any espresso drive-thru business with a great visible location. (500 cups per day is extraordinary.)
  • Independent coffee shops manage to sell 31% of espresso-based drinks, while the rest is brewed coffee.
  • The coffee tree is a shrub with a straight trunk.  It can survive for 50-70 years.  The first flowers appear during the third year, but production is only profitiable from the fifth year onward. 18th century botanists classified coffee as a member of the rubiaceous family. There are approximately 60 different species of coffee tree with two dominating - arabica and robusta.
  • The three most well-known coffee plants, all related:
    • Arabica (from Ethiopia, known from prehistoric times) beans do best at altitudes of 3000-6500 feet where the slower growing process concentrates their flavors. They have a much more refined flavor and contain about 1% caffeine by weight.  Because of its delicate nature, it yields only 1-1.5 pounds of green coffee per year. This is the coffee that specialty roasters search for. It accounts for about 75% of the world production.  Because the arabica tree is susceptible to disease, frost and drought, it requires very careful cultivation with just the right climatic conditions.
    • Robusta (from Congo, discovered in 1898) beans come from a high-yield plant that is resistant to disease. It does best at lower elevations and has harsh flavors. It contains about 2% caffiene.  It bears more coffee cherries than the arabica plant. It yields 2-3 pounds of green coffee per year. This plant is used for the lower grades of coffee that are sold in the market. Although generally not found in gourmet shops, robusta beans are often used in the processing of soluble (instant) coffees and popular commercial blends.
    • Liberica (from Western Africa, of no great importance in the coffee trade) is the third recognized commercial variety. it is also hardy and low-altitude.  It is a minor crop of coffee from Africa and is similar to robusta.
  • The flowers of the coffee are white with 5 or 6 petals.  The pistil that emerges from cupule is tipped with delicate stigmas.  The shape and scent resemble those of jasmine and it is for this reason that the coffee tree was called Arabian Jasmine in the 17th century. The flowers form glomerules, or little tufts made up of 8 to 15 elements, at the base of the leaves. They produce the same number of berries, commonly known as cherries because of their color.  The flowers last only a few hours and wilt as soon as fertilisation has taken place, however, others quickly replace them.  As a result, it is not uncommon to find leaves, flowers and berries on the tree at the same time! One tree can produce over 30,000 flowers in a year.
  • The coffee tree is an evergreen with spear-shaped leaves, which are green and shiny on the upper side. As with all Rubiaceous plants, the leaves grow in pairs on either side of the stem and they are stipulated -- that is to say the two foliaceous organs are to be found at the base of the leaf stalk. The leaves of the Robusta trees are much larger than those of the Arabica.
  • The cherry is the name usually given to the fruit of the coffee tree.  Botanists prefer to call it the "drupe." green to begin with, the berries ripen over several months becoming successively yellow, then red, garnet red, then finally almost black.
  • The ideal time for harvesting is when the berries are red. Inside the drupe, protected by the "mesocarp" or pulp, lie two small beans separated by a groove. These must be extracted and roasted before they can be used for consumption. Coffee is a member of the Rubiaceous family (gardenias, quinquina, garence), it has a lot in common with jasmine.  The plant was first classified in 1753 and there are no about 60 different species, each having different varieties. However, there are two main types: Arabica and Robusta.
  • Coffee grows on varied soils -- volcanic, siliceous clay, alluvial, peat and sand. Like the vine, soil gives a particular character to the same botanical species and different "vintages" arise. Soil must be deep (roots are 1 to 2 meters) and acidic (pH 4.5 to 6).
  • Important coffee growing factors are:
    • Avoiding excessive heat or cold
    • 1200-1500 mm of rain per year
    • A few hours of light per day
    • No strong winds
    • Altitude - the higher, the better!
  • Coffee is grown between 28 degrees North and 30 degrees South, so growing areas include Central America, Caribbean, Brazil, West Africa, East Africa, Yemen, Madagascar, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
  • You can grow your own coffee!
    • Patience. Do you have patience? Because this is what you need if you want to grow your own coffee tree. It will take four to five years before you can harvest your first beans from your very own coffee plant. In the meantime, you can enjoy the dark shiny green leaves and fragrant white flowers of this unique, ornamental plant.
    • Planting and Treatment. Plant them in any good commercial, fast-draining potting soil.  The soil should be kept on the moist side, but never soggy. They do best in filtered sunlight with night temperatures in the lower to mid 50s and daytime temps around 70-80 degrees. In 6-8 weeks, the bean will appear above the surface at the top of a sleek shoot.  Leaves will appear after about one month. The seeds should be watered daily.  Too much water or too little water will kill the seed  The soil should remain well-drained, but moist at all times. After the sixth pair of leaves appear, plant permanently in the shade of larger trees to give shade and retain soil humidity. The coffee takes 3 years to flower and 5 years before the first crop is ready to harvest.
    • Harvesting. It is possible to roast your own beans in the oven. This method will tend to smoke up the house a bit, and the smell of the burned off chaff will tend to linger in the house for quite some time.  The amount and size of beans, as well as your altitude will make a difference in the roasting process. So, this is a live and learn process. The beans should be placed in some form of perforated container (like a steel strainer or vegetable steamer). Place the container in a pre-heated 120 degree Celcius oven for about seven minutes. Increase the temperature to 230 degrees Celcius. In about ten minutes the beans should begin to crackle. The timing will depend on the temperature, the heat capacity of the oven, and the beans, so keep an eye on them. When the beans start crackling, mix them up to promote an even roast. Check their color every two minutes until they have achieved a color slightly lighter than the end color which you desire. As the beans cool, they continue roasting a bit. When they are the correct color, remove them from the oven and set out to cool. Once they are completely cooled, store them in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
  • The average cup of American-style coffee contains 100 - 150 milligrams of caffeine. A properly prepared demitasse or single serving of espresso contains 80 - 120 milligrams of caffeine.  The average cup of tea delivers about 40 milligrams, while you get between 20 and 60 milligrams in an average chocolate bar. A 12-oz bottle of cola soft drink contains 40 - 60 milligrams, about half as much as a cup of coffee.
  • There are four popular coffee regions worldwide:
    • Arabia & Africa - some of the most distinct coffees you will ever taste including coffees from Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Ethiopia. Grown at the perfect altitude in rich black soil and the almost foggy evenings with hot days produce a coffee of legendary stature.
    • Americas - these coffees are grown on some of the most beautiful mountains ever witnessed.  With virtually rainforest conditions these coffees are grown in an almost perfect atmosphere bearing the most aromatic and well-balanced coffees of all time. These include coffees from Columbia, Costa Rica and Guatemala.
    • Pacific - Ready to go island hopping? That's what you'll have to do to find all of the great coffees grown in the Pacific. These coffees include Sumatra, Java, New Guinea and Sulawesi. The almost magical climate with some of the best coffee growers in the world produces coffees that will embed themselves into your taste buds forever.
    • Exotics - include certified Jamaican Blue Mountain and Certified Hawaiian Kona.
  • What Does the Dictionary Say About Coffee?
    • Any of various tropical African shrubs or trees of the genus Coffea, especially C. arabica, widely cultivated in the tropics for their seeds that are dried, roasted, and ground to prepare a stimulating aromatic drink.
    • The beanlike seeds of this plant, enclosed within a pulpy fruit.
    • The beverage prepared from the seeds of this plant.
    • A moderate brown to dark brown or dark grayish brown.
    • An informal social gathering at which coffee and other refreshments are served.
  • Where did the word "coffee" originate?
    • Kaffa - a province in Ethiopia where it was first discovered
    • Kaaba - the holy building in Mecca
    • Kavus Kai - a Persian king who was able to defy gravity and levitate by drinking coffee
    • Kahwe - meaning roasted in Turkish
    • Cahouah - A hunger curing drink in Arabic
    • Couet - meaning strength or vigor in Arabic




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Creative Cappuccino offers coffees, espressos, lattes, ice cream, and more!