Coffee is the most popular drink worldwide with around two billion cups consumed every
In the UK, we drink approximately 70 million cups of coffee per day - Mintel Coffee
UK 2008 Report.
In 2011, consumers retail spend on coffee was £941 million - Mintel Coffee UK April
In 2012 the estimated turnover for coffee shops was £5.8 billion - Allegra Strategies
UK Retail Coffee Shop Market Report Dec 2012.
Three quarters (74%) or all UK adults drink instant coffee, compared to around half
(48%) who drink fresh coffee (i.e. ground/full bean coffee or coffee pods) - Mintel
Coffee UK April 2012 Report.
Two thirds of consumers actually buy coffee/other hot drinks out of home, and this
rises to three in four among 16-24-year-olds - Mintel Coffee UK April 2012 Report.
Radio Relations Market Research, October 2012.
Generally, coffee is grown within 1,000 miles of the equator, from the Tropic of
Cancer in the north, to the Tropic of Capricorn in the south.
Coffee grows in more than 50 countries and is the second largest export in the world
after oil (in dollar value).
Central and South America produce approximately two thirds of the world’s coffee
The main suppliers of coffee in the world are Brazil, Colombia and Vietnam, with
Brazil contributing around 30% of the total.
Hawaii is the only US state in which coffee is grown commercially.
There are two main commercial types of coffee bean – Robusta and Arabica. Robusta
coffee grows best at lower altitudes whereas Arabica is better suited to higher
It takes 42 coffee beans to make an espresso.
In the Ethiopian highlands, where the legend of Kaldi, the goatherd, originated, coffee trees grow today as they
have for centuries. Though we will never know with certainty, there probably is some truth to the Kaldi legend.
It is said that he discovered coffee after noticing that his goats, upon eating berries from a certain tree, became
so spirited that they did not want to sleep at night.
The Arabs were the first, not only to cultivate coffee but also to begin its trade. By the fifteenth century, coffee was being
grown in the Yemeni district of Arabia and by the sixteenth century it was known in Persia, Egypt, Syria and Turkey.
Coffee was not only drunk in homes but also in the many public coffee houses -- called qahvehkhaneh -- which began to
appear in cities across the Near East. The popularity of the coffee houses was unequaled and people frequented them for all
kinds of social activity. Not only did they drink coffee and engage in conversation, but they also listened to music, watched
performers, played chess and kept current on the news of the day. In fact, they quickly became such an important center for
the exchange of information that the coffee houses were often referred to as 'Schools of the Wise.'
European travellers to the Near East brought back stories of the unusual dark black beverage. By the 17th century, coffee
had made its way to Europe and was becoming popular across the continent. Opponents were overly cautious, calling the
beverage the 'bitter invention of Satan.' With the coming of coffee to Venice in 1615, the local clergy condemned it. The
controversy was so great that Pope Clement VIII was asked to intervene. Before making a decision however, he decided to
taste the beverage for himself. He found the drink so satisfying that he gave it Papal approval.
Everyone recognizes a roasted coffee bean but unless you have lived or traveled in a coffee growing country, you might not
recognize an actual coffee tree. Pruned short in cultivation, but capable of growing more than 30 feet high, a coffee tree is
covered with dark-green, waxy leaves growing opposite each other in pairs. Coffee cherries grow along the tree's branches.
It takes nearly a year for a cherry to mature after the flowering of the fragrant, white blossoms. Because it grows in a
continuous cycle, it is not unusual to see flowers, green fruit and ripe fruit simultaneously on a single tree. The trees can live
as long as 20 - 30 years and are capable of growing in a wide range of climates, as long as there is no harsh fluctuation in
temperature. Optimally, they prefer a rich soil and mild temperatures, with frequent rain and shaded sun.
The Definitive Guide
There are many methods for brewing a fine cup of coffee -- no single technique is right for everyone. The method you
choose for brewing your coffee should be based on your needs and your unique coffee preferences. Do you want a hearty
mug of coffee for breakfast? An afternoon cappucino?Or a dessert espresso? Do you prefer a milder coffee or a more robust
The quality and flavor of your coffee is not only determined by the brewing process you prefer but also by the type of coffee
you select. For example, what country is the coffee from, what region and what variety of coffee tree? Or is it a blend from
several countries, regions or varieties? Do you favor a dark roast coffee, a light blend or something in between? What kind
of grind have you selected? Remember to be creative -- you can choose a dark espresso roast coffee and still have it ground
to be brewed in a drip system.
But no matter how you choose to brew your coffee, there are guidelines to follow which will give you the best cup of coffee
possible. To optimize the quality of every cup of coffee you prepare, fine-tune your brewing routine by incorporating these
How to Brew Coffee
Make sure that your equipment is thoroughly cleaned after each use by rinsing it with clear, hot water and drying it with an
absorbant towel. Check that no grounds have been left to collect on any part of the equipment and that there is no build-up of
coffee oil. Such residue can impart a bitter, rancid flavor to future cups of coffee.
Purchase coffee as soon after it has been roasted as possible. Fresh roasted coffee is essential to a superb cup of coffee.
And purchase your coffee in small amounts—only as much as you can use in a given period of time. Ideally you should
purchase your coffee fresh every 1-2 weeks.
If you purchase whole bean coffee, always grind your beans as close to the brew time as possible. A burr or mill grinder
is preferable because all of the coffee is ground to a consistent size. A blade grinder is less preferable because some coffee
will be ground more finely than the rest. If you normally grind your coffee at home with a blade grinder, try having it ground
at the store with a burr grinder. You may be surprised at the difference!
Do not underestimate the importance of the size of the grind to the taste of your coffee. If your coffee tastes bitter, it
may be overextracted, or ground too fine. On the other hand, if your coffee tastes flat, it may be underextracted, meaning
that your grind is too coarse. Tell the professionals where you purchase your coffee exactly how you will be brewing it. For
example, will you be using a plunger pot? A flat drip filter?A cone drip filter? A gold mesh filter? They will grind it
specifically for the preparation method you have chosen and the equipment you use.
Before using the coffee, try rubbing some of the grounds between your fingers so that you can 'feel' the grind and become
acquainted with the differences in size.
Never reuse your coffee grounds. Once brewed, the desirable coffee flavors have been extracted and only the bitter
undesirable ones are left.
The water you use is VERY important to the quality of your coffee. Use filtered or bottled water if your tap water is not
good or imparts a strong odor or taste, such as chlorine. If you are using tap water let it run a few seconds before filling your
coffee pot. Be sure to use cold water. Do not use distilled or softened water.
Ratio of Coffee to Water
Use the proper amount of coffee for every six ounces of water that is actually brewed, remembering that some water is lost
to evaporation in certain brewing methods. A general guideline is 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for every six ounces
of water. This can be adjusted to suit individual taste preferences. Be sure to check the 'cup' lines on your brewer to see how
they actually measure.
Water Temperature During Brewing
Your brewer should maintain a water temperature between 195 - 205 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal extraction. Colder
water will result in flat, underextracted coffee while water that is too hot will also cause a loss of quality in the taste of the
coffee. If you are brewing the coffee manually, let the water come to a full boil, but do not overboil. Turn off the heat source
and allow the water to rest a minute before pouring it over the grounds.
The amount of time that the water is in contact with the coffee grounds is another important factor affecting the taste of
your coffee. In a drip system, the contact time should be approximately 5 minutes. If you are making your coffee using a
plunger pot, the contact time should be 2-4 minutes. Espresso, as the name implies, means that the brew time is short—the
coffee is in contact with the water for only 20-30 seconds. If the taste of your coffee is not optimal, it is possible that you are
either overextracting (the brew time is too long) or underextracting (the brew time is too short) your coffee. Experiment with
the contact time until you can make a cup of coffee that suits your tastes perfectly.
After Your Coffee Has Been Brewed
Brewed coffee should be enjoyed immediately!
Pour it into a warmed mug or coffee cup so that it will maintain its temperature as long as possible. Brewed coffee begins to
lose its optimal taste moments after brewing so only brew as much coffee as will be consumed immediately. If it will be a
few minutes before it will be served, the temperature should be maintained at 180 - 185 degrees Fahrenheit. It should never
be left on an electric burner for longer than 15 minutes because it will begin to develop a burned taste. If the coffee is not to
be served immediately after brewing, it should be poured into a warmed, insulated thermos and used within the next 45
Never reheat your coffee.
Enjoy Your Coffee!
A finely prepared cup of coffee should be enjoyed as thoughtfully as it was brewed. Take a moment to smell the aroma.
Take a sip and notice your coffee's flavor. How does it compare to other coffees with regard to body, acidity and balance? If
it is a coffee that is new to you, notice how it is different. If it is what you normally drink, note its degree of freshness or
how simple changes in preparation affect the cup's flavor.
A steeping cup of coffee will not last long, but every sip is meant to be savored and enjoyed!