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How To Enjoy Delicious Quality Gourmet Coffee At Home

Coffee is a favorite beverage around the world. Morning, noon, or night a fresh cup of coffee is satisfying. In recent years we have been introduced to a wide array of coffees include gourmet. Gourmet coffee is considered gourmet because it is freshly ground from the coffee beans. Learning to make a great cup of gourmet coffee at home is deeply satisfying and simple as long as you keep in mind a few simple tips.

For the best flavor you should purchase whole coffee beans from specialty shops only. Although larger grocery stores are starting to carry coffee beans, the specialty shops beans tend to be fresher and therefore have more flavors.

When you grind your coffee beans only grind enough for current needs. This will keep the coffee fresh longer. If you don't have a grinder and buy the ground coffee, keep it in an airtight container. I t is important to close the bag or container tightly to keep the aroma in the coffee. Keep the coffee in a cool dry place, if you keep it in the refrigerator or freezer keeps it away from foods which produce a strong odor. The flavors may mix making the coffee bitter tasting. Try to use you coffee up in a few days to two weeks since coffee loses flavor quickly.

Water from the tap is fine although some people swear by fresh bottled spring water. No matter which type of water you choose, always use the coldest water possible. Water contains more oxygen the colder it is making the coffee richer and more flavorful. Do not use distilled water as it produces a flat cup of coffee.

Measuring your coffee is more a matter of taste than anything else. Generally it is recommended 1 teaspoon of coffee for every six ounces of water. Don't trust the measurements on your coffeemaker. Measure out the water to get the best tasting gourmet coffee.

When brewing, the best cup of gourmet coffee is brewed using the manual drip method, a French press pot, or a vacuum pot. Traditional drip pots do an okay job but vary greatly from each other. Some of the best coffeepots are quite expensive but well worth the money. Your coffee should only be kept warm on the burner for twenty minutes, after that it will become bitter. You should brew your coffee no more than five minutes before you plan to drink it, after that transfer the coffee to a thermos or carafe.

Drinking gourmet coffee black will preserve the most flavor. Using creamer in your coffee will produce a richer creamier taste. Skim milk will not change the taste much unless you add a lot, therefore is not recommended. If you would like to add sugar raw sugar will add sweeter flavor than white. For artificial sweeteners Splenda is recommended as other sweeteners will add a bitter taste to your coffee.

Making a gourmet cup of coffee at home is pleasing and easy to do. The flavor and aroma will satisfy you as well as stepping into your favorite specialty shop. Enjoy your gourmet coffee to the fullest by following these tips!


Coffee Tables - The Key To A Great Conversation Area

Every time you host a party, it always seems that your guests have a hard time talking to one another. Well, it might be because your living room is not set up right for it. Take a look around, if you have the couch over here, the love seat and chairs over there, you're guests probably are going to have a tough time talking. So, if you want a nice conversation area in your living room, you need to build it that way and lovely coffee tables are a great starting point.

If you are scratching your head as to why coffee tables are the answer, just keep reading. You see, you can build up everything else in your space around this wonderful furnishing to create a great spot where everyone can face and see each other to make talking and having a good time during those get-togethers easy. Take your living room for example, first you place the coffee table in the space, then add whatever kind of seating you want around it making sure that the seats are facing one another, then you add any other decorative touches that you want like lamps, pictures, and flowers and your space is good to go. With this space, anyone who sits down will then be sitting across from someone else so they can see and hear each other without any having anything in the way distracting them. Plus, you can also use the coffee table to set down drinks and other things if you want.

Along with being a great option for creating the ultimate conversation space, coffee tables will also add a nice decorative element to it as well. Why? Well, it is because this furnishing can be crafted out of a wide variety of eye-catching materials that can be finished off in a number of lovely stunning ways. You can get ones made out of wood, a combination of metal and glass, and even stone that feature all sorts of finishes like espresso, brushed stainless steel, and different painted colors. What is great about all these lovely materials and their finishes is that they produce coffee tables of many marvelous styles and designs, making it pretty effortless to find the perfect one to match your space and your tastes. Like, you can get ones that have a modern flare to them that have a metal base and glass table top or you can get traditional ones that feature elegant scrollwork.

For a stress free way to check out the different choices, just hit the world wide web for some comparison shopping. You can browse all the online stores and their products just with the glide of the mouse.

So, the next time you host a party, make sure that you have a space that is ideal for conversation and a great way to build that space is to start with beautiful coffee tables. Without a nice spot where everyone can talk and have a good time, your party might be over before it even begins.


Choosing The Best Home Coffee Machine

Home coffee machines are available in a plethora of brands, how do you pick the best one? Before hitting the stores, take a close look at your own requirements.

Consider your budget and how much coffee you drink. Do you want a fully automatic machine or are you prepared to put in a bit of effort to get just the taste you love?

Whatever your requirements, whether you want a press machine, drip machine or a machine with a built in coffee grinder, there's a coffee machine out there ideal for you, so let's take a look at some of the various types and brands available here in South Africa.

Automatic drip coffee machine

These work by heating water and letting it drip through the coffee grounds held in a filter basket to a container, usually heated. These machines are probably the most popular and by adjusting the amount of water and coffee grounds put in can make between a single cup to 12 cups of coffee at a time.

Press or plunger coffee maker

If you are after a strong, full tasting and rich cup of coffee and you are not in a hurry, then the press or plunge maker could be the machine of choice for you. It uses a more coarsely ground coffee than the drip machine as the hot water is in contact with the coffee grounds immediately. After a few moments, the plunger can be pressed down, filtering the coffee grounds to the bottom and leaving freshly brewed coffee on top. Press makers are available in single cup or multi-cup models.

Bean to cup coffee machine

Rather than buying ready ground coffee, you may want to buy your own beans and use a bean to cup coffee machine. This eliminates the need to have a separate coffee grinder, simply fill the reservoir with beans of your choice and sit back and enjoy your perfect cup of coffee made in one easy step.

Cold brew machines

If you want to avoid that slightly acid taste in your coffee that comes from a hot brew machine, then the cold brew variant is the answer. The grounds are steeped in cold water for at least 12 hours, and then filtered to produce a coffee concentrate to which you simply add hot water or milk. The drawback is obviously the time it takes to produce the concentrate.

The best brands of coffee machines available in South Africa include Morphy Richards, Saeco, Caffitaly and KitchenAid, while Bodum, Bialetti and Eva Solo have excellent plunger makers. All have models in a range of styles and prices, so why not sit back with a cup of coffee as you make your choice?


Making Your Own Roasted Coffee Beans At Home

As any coffee lover knows, coffee is always best when it's fresh; freshly ground makes a more flavorful and aromatic cup. That's no surprise; however, if you've never tried making your own roasted coffee beans, you've been missing out on an entirely new dimension of flavor. If you really want the best and freshest possible cup of coffee, you will need to buy freshly roasted beans from a coffee roaster and use them within a week or two or to roast your own at home.

Unroasted coffee beans are a yellowish green color, but turn brown once roasted. The longer they are roasted, the deeper and darker their color and the more intense their flavor; French roast coffee, for instance, consists of especially dark roasted coffee beans. If you'd like to start roasting your own, then you have two choices: you could purchase a roasting machine or you could do it yourself. There are a couple of ways to roast your own beans - keep reading to learn about a few of them.

You can roast coffee beans easily on your stovetop. All you need is a frying pan (cast iron pans work especially well) and some green coffee beans. Just place your pan on the stove and fill it evenly with a thin layer of beans. Try not to fill it with more than two or three layers in order to ensure an even roast and prevent accidental burning. Turn on the heat to medium-high and roast for ten to fifteen minutes, stirring continually to prevent burning. How long you'll need to roast your coffee for depends on how dark of a roast you'd like. Once they're done, pour them into a large ceramic or metal bowl and stir constantly for another five to ten minutes until they are cool enough to handle safely.

Once your roasted coffee beans have cooled to room temperature, allow them to sit for twelve hours to allow moisture and carbon dioxide generated by roasting to dissipate before storing them in an airtight container.

For this method, you'll need a hot air popper, a wooden spoon for stirring and a large colander for cooling the beans. A pot holder is also a good idea here for safety's sake. Just set up your hot air popper as you would when making popcorn and roast the coffee beans in small batches; two to four ounces at a time is best. Set the bow under the popper's spout to catch the beans and start your hot air popper.

After a few minutes, you'll begin to see some smoke and smell the aroma of roasted coffee. Roast the beans for about four minutes for a lighter roast and six to seven minutes (but no more than this) for a French style roast. When they're done, turn off the popper and pour the roasted coffee beans into a colander, stirring constantly for seven to ten minutes or until they're cool enough to touch without burning yourself. Allow the beans to sit for twelve hours and store in airtight containers.


Semi Automatic Coffee Machine

Coffee machines sold out in the market today cover an extremely wide price range - these gadgets can cost you from couple of dollars to several hundreds. Apart from the brand, pricing of coffee maker machines largely depend on the options and features that it can give. There are basically two different types of coffee maker machines and these are the fully automatic and the semi-automatic coffee machine. Between the two, the semi automatic coffee machine is considered as the more cost effective choice for those who are shopping on a budget.

A semi automatic coffee machine is also one of the most common types of coffee brewers found in today's kitchens. Although they do not possess the additional features found in a fully-automatic coffee machine, the semi-automatic models can brew coffee relatively fast. The usual brewing process can take you an average of half a minute for your usual black coffee while other beverages that require frothing may take a little bit longer.

One downside to using a semi automatic coffee machine however, it that it makes use of porta-filters made out of metal container and a plastic handle. Operators may need to do a couple of trial and error runs to get the tamp pressure and grind settings just right. For those who want a courser grind, you need to adjust the ring that will allow water to flow through the coffee grinds fast. However, if you want a smoother finish, adjust the rings in such a way that will produce slower water flow.

The semi automatic coffee machine, just like its fully automatic counterpart, is also capable of making fresh and great tasting coffee or espresso in just a single push of a button. However, you might need to pre-program the machine once during first use. The biggest difference between the semi automatic and the fully automatic coffee machine today is that the former allows you to manually turn the pump on or off.

So if you are ready to go shopping for a semi automatic coffee machine today, you should also take some factors into consideration. First off, look for a machine that can operate smoothly and quietly. This is because there are a lot of coffee machines out in the market today that run with an incessant buzzing sound. This can be very bothersome to have, especially in the morning.

Apart from that, a good coffee machine should be easy to clean up and maintain. You should be able to disassemble and assemble all the parts together with ease. The easier they are to maintain, the longer these machines will last.

If you are an avid coffee drinker, then you are bound to be using the machine every single day. Hence, it is very important that you find brands that can assure you of durability and performance. If you want to get the best value out of your money, make sure to get top quality products from well trusted brands. There are now plenty of them around so you will not find it too hard to choose one. For the best deals and discounts, you can turn to stores in the World Wide Web as well.


The Best Espresso Maker For You

Choosing the best espresso maker primarily depends on your own taste. For some people it makes no difference what kind of coffee they are served with, as long as they are able to see after drinking it in the morning. For others, the taste is everything, and they are prepared to spend a lot to have a great peace of equipment on their kitchen counter.

As first, everything depends on your own taste. Filter coffee is something most of people enjoy in the morning, at least in the States. In Italy, for example, the day starts with at least one strong, short espresso. Simple metal pots are used to make mocha, also very popular in Italy. In some areas people enjoy drinking manually prepared Turkish coffee, etc.

Choosing the right kind of coffee is also very important. You just cannot use espresso mixture for filter coffee, the result will be poor. Try some different mixtures and find out which one you like. You can also grind the beans yourself and make your own mixtures.

So, the choice is yours. Filter coffee makers are easy to use, affordable and extremely practical for large families. Large water dispensers and exchangeable filters, together with temperature preserving system make those machines very popular. With great coffee offer on the market today, everyone can find something for himself.

Espresso makers can be simple or sophisticated, for one cup or more, they are never cheap, but make great, rich and tasty drinks. You cannot make a proper cappuccino without them, not to mention a latte. Maintaining it is more complicated. For really superb coffee, the machine parts should always be extremely clean, and the pressure well adjusted and controlled.

Lately, pod machines became very popular. They can be used at home, as well as in your office or shop. Small, ready-to-use packets for making different kinds of coffee have to be inserted into their places, and in just few moments you get a cup of your favorite drink, whether it is coffee, cappuccino, tea or even chocolate. The only problem is that you can use a limited variety of flavors, depending on your supplier.

Whatever model you chose, the best coffee maker should be reliable, quiet, affordable and able to produce the desired amount of fresh, tasty drink whenever you need it. That's why your final decision should be based on your own needs. Don't forget to buy the appropriate kind of coffee for your machine and enjoy.


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