Coffee Notes, by Jay Spencer Seiler

What’s the best Coffee? And What’s the best way to store it?
November 30, 2009, 8:18 pm
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If you ask me the real answer to both questions is, “it’s depends”. Cause it really is a matter of tast as to what is the best coffee. My wife thinks the best coffee is brewed at Dunkin Donuts. I tend to prefer a local roast that is fresher and bolder. So the bottom line on what is the best bean for you is which one really rings your bell. I am a big fan of the peaberry, there are a couple of roasts put out by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and Maine Roasters This is a type of coffee with a smaller berry that has a great flavor. But really your opinions should be your own guide. They key I think is to have as fresh a roast as possible, and to grind your own beans. If you buy your beans already ground it is very likely that they have sat on the shelf for a while. To get the best flavor in your coffee you want to brew it when the oils of the bean are still fresh. That means local roast and grind em yourself just before you brew.
Now of course you got your coffee blend that is your personal fave and you just brewed a GREAT cuppa and now you throw your beans into the freezer for storage right? AkKK! NO! Most coffee snobs will now agree that storing your beans in the freezer is a BAD THING. You want to keep them cool and dry and in an airtight container. Most coffee shops. even Dunkin Donuts, have a container that will work for this. Though there is still some debate about this I have found from experience that storing it in the freezer is not an optimal way to store your beans. It seems to dry out the oils of the bean and result in a harsher tasting coffee. So get yourself a good container and store your favorite blend right on the cupboard. That’s what I do, right next to my grinder and ready for my first morning fresh cuppa joe. Now THAT’s good to the last drop!


The history of Coffee
November 3, 2009, 9:31 pm
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Since the title of my blog is coffee notes, I thought it apropos to provide a history of Coffee,that wonderful beverage, one of the elixirs of life. This history is from ABOUT.COM.

For us Westerners coffee is three hundred years old, but in the East it was widespread as a beverage, in every level of society, since earlier times. The first definite dates go back to 800 b.C.; but already Homer, and many Arabian legends, tell the story of a mysterious black and bitter beverage with powers of stimulation. In the year 1000 about, Avicenna was administering coffee as a medecine. And there is a strange story, dating from 1400, of a Yemeni shepherd who, having observed some goats cropping reddish berries from a bush, and subsequently becoming restless and excited, reported the incident to a monk. The latter boiled the berries, and then distilled a bitter beverage, rich in strength, and capable of dispersing sleep and weariness.

However the discovery occurred, the fact remains that the coffee plant was born in Africa in an Ethiopian region (Kaffa). From there it spread to Yemen, Arabia and Egypt, where it developed enormously, and entered popular daily life.

By the late 1500’s the first traders were selling coffee in Europe, thus introducing the new beverage into Western life and custom. Most of the coffee exported to European markets came from the ports of Alexandria and Smyrna. But the increasing needs of a growing market, improved botanical knowledge of the coffee plant, and high taxes imposed at the ports of shipment, led dealers and scientists to try transplanting coffee in other countries. The Dutch in their overseas colonies (Batavia and Java), the French in 1723 in Martinique, and later on in the Antilles, and then the English, Spanish and Portuguese, started to invade the tropical belts of Asia and America.

In 1727 coffee growing was started in North Brazil, but the poor climatic conditions gradually shifted the crops, first to Rio de Janeiro and finally (1800-1850) to the States of San Paolo and Minas, where coffee found its ideal environment. Coffee growing began to develop here, until it became the most important economic resource of Brazil.

It was precisely in the period 1740-1805 that coffee growing reached its top spread, in Center and South America.

Although coffee was born in Africa, plantations and home consumption are comparatively recent introductions. Actually it was Europeans who introduced it again, into their colonies, where, thanks to favourable land and climatic conditions, it was able to thrive.

Hello world!
November 3, 2009, 6:37 pm
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First post here! Let’s see what we can do  with a blog.  This one is about a myriad of anything.  The title is coffeenotes and as that may imply we can talk about anything, just like we would over coffee.  Politics, religion, sales and marketing, new stuff on the interwebs and just whatever comes into my wee little mind.  This is just a beginning………..