What is the difference between arabica and robusta?

  When it comes to your daily cup, though, there are really only two that matter: Arabica and robusta. These are the two primary types of coffee cultivated for drinking.

  Arabica beans tend to have a sweeter, softer taste, with tones of sugar, fruit, and berries. Their acidity is higher, with that winey taste that characterizes coffee with excellent acidity.

  Robusta, however, has a stronger, harsher taste, with a grain-like overtone and peanutty aftertaste. They contain twice as much caffeine as Arabica beans, and they are generally considered to be of inferior quality compared to Arabica. Some robustas, however, are of high quality and valued especially in espressos for their deep flavor and good crema.
  Arabica is also grown in Africa and Papua New Guinea, but it's grown dominantly in Latin America. Colombia only produces Arabica beans.
  Robusta is grown exclusively in the Eastern Hemisphere, primarily in Africa and Indonesia.
  Some countries, like Brazil and India, produce both.
Some all-arabica blends are too high and floral for us; some of the rich, dark harshness of robusta can be a good thing in a blend. Just remember that robusta has twice as much caffeine as arabica, too, when choosing a coffee blend.

1. Cultivation
Robusta coffee is much easier to cultivate when compared to Arabica coffee. 
The Robusta plants can grow to be about six meters tall and are much more resistant to insects compared to Arabica which grows to about 4.5 meters tall and the beans themselves are much more round as opposed to the oval shape you find in Arabica coffee.

2. Popularity
If you start reading the fine print of most of the beans you will find in your local coffee shop, you will find that most of them are Arabica coffee. In fact, many coffee roasters boast that their beans are 100% Arabica as if it is a badge of honor.
The truth is Arabica is actually the most popular type of bean used in coffee, but that doesn’t mean Robusta beans don’t have their place in the coffee world. In many espresso beans, especially the Italian roasts, you will find a mixture of both Arabica and Robusta beans. You will even find Robusta beans used in coffee that is designed for those that love strong coffee. Robusta beans are also almost exculsively used in the production of instant coffee.
Arabica continues to be the most popular coffee, with about 75% of the coffee produced belonging to the Arabica variety with the remaining 25% going to Robusta.

Robusta beans contain much more caffeine than the Arabica beans. Robusta beans contain 2.7% caffeine content. Contrast that with the 1.5% caffeine content found in Arabica beans and you see that Robusta, with almost double the caffeine content, are tailor made for those of us that love that boost that caffeine gives us in the morning.

We all know that coffee contains many antioxidants that our body needs, but did you know that the amount of these antioxidants vary between coffee species? For example, Robusta beans contain 7 to 10% Chlorogenic acid but Arabica beans only have about 5.5 to 8% Chlorogenic.

Arabicas have a wider taste range, between varieties. They range in taste from sweet-soft to sharp-tangy. Their unroasted smell is sometimes likened to blueberries. Their roasted smell is perfumey with fruity notes and sugary tones.
Robustas taste range is neutral to harsh and they are often described as tasting grain-like, oatmeally. Burnt tires is the description that I personally find most accurate. Their unroasted smell is often described as raw-peanutty. There are high quality robustas on the market but they are rare and reserved exclusively for the best robusta containing espressos.

6.Lipid and Sugar Content
Arabica contains almost 60% more lipids and almost twice the concentration of sugars than robusta. As a result these sugars  play an important role during the roasting process in creating several key aromatic compounds, as well as contributing to the body due to its greater level of dissolved solubles.

On the market, Arabica coffee beans fetch a much higher price than Robusta coffee beans. This is most likely due to the higher demand of the coffee as it tends to be the preferred coffee for use in brewers around the globe.

Ultimately it's a question of personal taste.

How to Make a Simple Cup of Coffee

   All around the world, people are waking up to the rich aroma of coffee—or they're heading out the door to get that first cup of coffee in them!
   If your favorite part of waking up is a warm, steamy brew in your cup, then you're in luck. With its high level of antioxidants and essential nutrients such as riboflavin, pantothenic acid, manganese and potassium, coffee can be a healthy addition to your diet. Regular coffee consumption has even been linked to a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and some types of cancer.

Method 1: Using a Standard Coffee Maker

  • You will need a coffee maker with a clean carafe and filter, a grinder, and a cup.
  • Grind the beans. Set your grinder to medium . You can also use pre-ground coffee, though this is not recommended as the beans lose about 60% of aroma after 15 minutes and you lose a significant amount of flavor.
  • Place the filter into the brewing basket. Following the instructions for your particular coffee maker, use the right size filter and place in the basket. If it's removable, you can rinse the filter and basket in hot water to remove any paper flavor.
  • Most coffee makers like to have about 2 tablespoons (30 ml) per cup. Adjust this proportion to taste: stronger coffee means more grounds, lighter coffee means less. If you brew it too strong, you can always add some hot water to your cup.
  • Fill the reservoir. Use the carafe as a measuring cup by filling it with the appropriate amount of water for the amount of coffee you have used.
  • ress the On or Power button/switch. After a minute or two as the machine pre-heats the water, your coffee should begin brewing. Some machines brew quickly, but others brew slowly. Slow isn't actually all bad though; it gives the end result a more rounded flavor. The coffee is done when you stop hearing bubbling sounds.
  • Drink up! Pour yourself a cup and add cream and/or sugar if desired.
Method 2: Using a Single Cup Cone

  • You will need a single-cup cone, matching filter , a grinder, a waste cup for spillover, and of course, a mug.
  • For a single-cup cone, grind your coffee to medium-fine with a burr grinder.
  • Place the cone onto the cup. Fold the filter at its seam, and place in the cone. Run hot water over the filter to rinse out any paper flavor and preheat cone and cup. Make sure you drain both completely before brewing the coffee!
  • Add about 3 tablespoons of ground coffee to the filter.
  • Pour water around the cone, breaking down the bloom and saturating all the grounds evenly. Fill the cone till the water's just about at the top of the cone, and let the water filter through the coffee, into the cup.
  • Take your cup of coffee. When it's about full, quickly move the cone from your drinking cup to the waste cup so that it can finish dripping through.

Method 3: Using a Moka Pot

  • A moka pot, also known as a stovetop espresso maker, does not really make "espresso" in the traditional sense of the word, but it does produce a small amount of very full-bodied, rich coffee.
  • You will need a stovetop coffee maker with a clean filter, a grinder, and a cup.
  • You will finish the coffee in the pot, but starting with pre-heated will prevent the coffee pot from getting too hot and scorching the coffee, which will result in a nasty taste .
  • Set your grinder to medium-fine to medium using a burr grinder.
  • Fill as full as the pot indicates, for best results.
  • Drop the filter into the bottom section of the pot, and fill it with the ground coffee. Level it off with your finger or the handle of a spoon.
  • Re-assemble the stovetop brewer, being careful not to spill either coffee or hot water. Use a towel to avoid burning yourself on the bottom of the pot.
  • Make sure the handle is not directly over the heating element, be it gas or electric! Leave the lid open so you can observe the brew in progress, and remove when done.
  • As the water comes to a boil, coffee will begin to fill the upper section. It will start out dark, then lighten up as the brewing progresses. When the coffee stream becomes pale or blonde, remove the brewer from the stove, and close the lid. Be careful—it will be hot!
  • Place the base in cold water, or wrap with a towel soaked in cold water. This will halt the brewing and keep the coffee sweet and rich.
  • Serve and enjoy. When the brewing has stopped, serve your coffee as desired. Pour any extra into a thermal carafe to keep it tasting good.

And Finally....Savor it slowly.

  In many cultures, coffee is enjoyed as more of a ritual than a mindless habit, and there may be a very good reason for this. Imbibing too much coffee can lead to a caffeine overload, which can be taxing on the nervous system. Instead of downing your coffee in a hurry, take the time to really savor the flavors, smells, and sensations mindfully. This will allow you to enjoy the experience more deeply, and you'll also be more likely to notice the way your body is reacting to the caffeine intake.

  You might be surprised to find that, even though you usually drink a couple of cups of coffee each morning, a single cup gives you enough of an energy boost and all of the sensory satisfaction you need. Happy sipping!

5 Coffee Drinks to Make at Home on Christmas

Coffee has become recognized as a human necessity. It is no longer a luxury or an indulgence; it is a corollary of human energy and human efficiency.

 William H. Ukers, All About Coffee (1922)

  Coffee is a truly wondrous and magical thing that many of us rely upon to make it though the day and Christmas is no exception, especially with all the extra boozing in the run up to and after the big day.

Gingerbread Latte
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp molasses - blackstrap or regular
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tbsp strong coffee
  • 1 cup milk of choice - almondmilk, coconutmilk, etc.
  • sweetener of choice, to taste
Mix everything together in a small pot or in a mug. Then heat until desired temperature is reached. Alternatively, if you want a foamy latte: Mix spices into coffee. In a big measuring cup, heat or microwave the milk until foamy. Then pour the milk into the coffee mixture.

Pistachio Rose Latte

  • 1 oz. pistachio paste;
  • 1.5 oz. honey syrup; 
  • .25 oz. rose water;
While good lattes should be silky and creamy, this one is downright velvety, and manages to achieve a delicious thick texture without being too rich. You won’t feel heavy or guilty after drinking this special drink, I assure you, but it tastes so good, you’ll feel as if you’ve cheated. Nut-lovers everywhere take note.

Irish Coffee
  • 1 jigger Irish cream liqueur 
  • 1 jigger Irish whiskey
  • 1 cup hot brewed coffee
  • 1 tablespoon whipped cream
In a coffee mug, combine Irish cream and Irish whiskey. Fill mug with coffee. Top with a dab of whipped cream and a dash of nutmeg.

Hot Coffee Masala
  • 2 cups water 
  • 2 cumin seeds, or to taste 
  • 1 whole star anise pod 
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee granules 
  • 2 teaspoons nonfat dry milk powder 
  • 2 teaspoons white sugar
In a saucepan, bring the water to a boil, and stir in the cumin seeds, star anise pod, and cinnamon stick; reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the instant coffee, and allow the drink to simmer gently for 2 more minutes. Pour the drink into mugs, straining out the spices, and stir 1 teaspoon of nonfat dry milk powder and 1 teaspoon of white sugar into each mug.

Christmas Coffee
  • 1 (16 ounce) container powdered non-dairy creamer 
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup instant decaffeinated coffee granules
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar substitute
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch salt
Mix creamer, brown sugar, decaffeinated coffee, sugar substitute, cinnamon, and salt together in a bowl until thoroughly combined. Store in an airtight container.

Thanksgiving Idea Recipe: Classic Pumpkin Pie

  The single most requested dessert at our Thanksgiving table is pumpkin pie.
  To concentrate the flavor of pumpkin pie, the pumpkin flesh is roasted before being pureed. Fresh whipped cream is a cool counterpoint to the filling's ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
  Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie just wouldn't feel right. Here is our version of the classic pie, plus a few tricks to help you make it the best one you've ever had.
  Canned pumpkin puree is quick and easy to use. Don't substitute fresh pumpkin puree; it will be too watery.

Ingredients For the Dough:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3 tablespoons milk

Ingredients For the Filling:

  • 1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (about 2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves or all-spice
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make the Pie Dough: 
  1. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, and salt and mix to combine. Add the butter and continue mixing until the mixture holds together when you clump it, and there are pecan-sized lumps of butter still visible.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk together the yolks and milk in small bowl.
  3. Add the yolk mixture to the flour mixture and mix until a dough forms. Transfer the dough to a sheet of plastic wrap, wrap well and store in the refrigerator for several hours.
  4. On a lightly floured work surface, roll half of the dough into a 11 to 12-inch circle about 1/8 inch thick. Line the pan with the dough and crimp the edges. Chill the pie shell for about 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  6. Line the pie shell with aluminum foil and fill with dried beans. Bake the shell until golden brown, about 45 minutes. Remove the foil and beans.
Make the Filling: 
  1. Combine the pumpkin puree, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, and spices in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Blend continuously until the brown sugar is completely mixed in and the puree looks glossy.
  2. Transfer the puree to a saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Stir frequently until you see wisps of steam rising from the puree, then stir continuously until the mixture is very steamy and "plops" when you pause for a second. The mixture will also start to smell like spices and cooked pumpkin. Total stove time will be about 5 minutes.
  3. Off the heat, whisk the milk and cream into the pumpkin puree. To warm the eggs and ensure that they don't cook when you add them to the pumpkin mixture, whisk them together in a separate bowl, then whisk in a few spoonfuls of the warm pumpkin mixture. Slowly whisk the eggs into the saucepan with the pumpkin mixture. Whisk in the vanilla.
  4. Place the partially-baked pie crust on a parchment-lined baking sheet and set it near the stove. Carefully pour the warm pumpkin mixture into the warm pie crust. If it looks like there's too much filling for the crust, stop when you come close to the edge of the crust.
  5. Carefully transfer the baking sheet with the pie to the oven and immediately turn down the heat to 375°F. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes — until the pie is puffed in the middle, but still jiggles when you gently shake the pan. You'll also see small cracks form in the outer part of the pie and some bubbling around the edge. Check the pie every 15 minutes or so and cover the crust with a ring of foil when it becomes deep brown.
  6. Let the pie cool before serving — it will continue to set as it cools. This pie can be baked a day or two ahead; wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

How to Make the best Frappe

  During warm and sunny days and especially in spring and summer, I prefer to drink the cold Frappe instead of the warm  coffee.
  How about a sweet, cool frappe to refresh you on a summer's day? In this instructable I'll show you how to make an iced coffee frappe at a fraction of the cost to buy one at coffee shops. Here's how to make a single frappe to enjoy. :)

What do you need!

  • Instant coffee in granule or powder form (any brand will do)
  • Sugar (optional)
  • Cold water
  • Cold milk (optional)
  • Ice cubes
  • A frappe mixer
  • A tall glass
  • A tea-spoon
  • A drinking straw
  • Frappe drinkers :)
Step by step

1. Measure the coffee. Put two to three teaspoons of high-quality instant coffee into a shaker.
2. Add sugar. Depending on your personal preference, you can add anywhere from one to four teaspoons of sugar, or none at all.
3. Add water. Next, add a small amount of water: two to three teaspoons (10-15ml). It's important that your coffee and sugar be covered with water, but too much water will decrease the foaminess of the drink.
4. Blend . Place the ingredients in a blender and pulse until they become smooth and frothy.
5. Pour the frappe into a glass. Use a chilled glass or mug to keep it cold for a longer period.
6. Add ice. Add some ice cubes to the glass, filling it up half to two-thirds of the way.
7. Add milk, if desired. Some people like milk in their frappé, while others find it more refreshing without.
8. Add water. Add cold water to fill the glass.
9. Stir with a straw. Always serve with a straw, as the drink will need to be stirred periodically during consumption to combine the froth with the liquid.
10. Enjoy!

Reasons to Drink Green Tea

 Green tea is the healthiest beverage on the planet.
 Green tea has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to treat everything from headaches to depression.
  The leaves are supposedly richer in antioxidants than other types of tea because of the way they are processed.
  Green tea contains B vitamins, folate (naturally occurring folic acid), manganese, potassium, magnesium, caffeine and other antioxidants (notably catechins).
  All types of tea (green, black and oolong) are produced from the Camellia sinensis plant using different methods. Fresh leaves from the plant are steamed to produce green tea, while the leaves of black tea and oolong involve fermentation.
  Green tea is alleged to boost weight loss, reduce cholesterol, combat cardiovascular disease, and prevent cancer and Alzheimer's disease.

Tea has been cultivated for centuries, beginning in India and China. Today, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world, second only to water. Hundreds of millions of people drink tea, and studies suggest that green tea (Camellia sinesis) in particular has many health benefits.
There are three main varieties of tea - green, black, and oolong. The difference is in how the teas are processed. Green tea is made from unfermented leaves and reportedly contains the highest concentration of powerful antioxidants called polyphenols. Antioxidants are substances that fight free radicals - damaging compounds in the body that change cells, damage DNA, and even cause cell death. Many scientists believe that free radicals contribute to the aging process as well as the development of a number of health problems, including cancer and heart disease. Antioxidants such as polyphenols in green tea can neutralize free radicals and may reduce or even help prevent some of the damage they cause.
In traditional Chinese and Indian medicine, practitioners used green tea as a stimulant, a diuretic (to help rid the body of excess fluid), an astringent (to control bleeding and help heal wounds), and to improve heart health. Other traditional uses of green tea include treating gas, regulating body temperature and blood sugar, promoting digestion, and improving mental processes.

Help prevent multiple cancers
The study of green tea and cancer prevention is still in early stages, but the results are promising. Researchers suspect that polyphenols in green tea help kill cancer cells and stop their progression, an important role to prevent various cancers. 
In a study of 472 women with breast cancer, those who drank the most green tea experienced the least spread of the disease. Researchers also found that women in the early stages of breast cancer who drank at least five cups of green tea every day during their diagnoses were less likely to have the disease recur after the completed treatment. 
• In looking at more than 35,000 women in the Iowa Women's Health study, those who drank two or more cups of tea a day were almost 30 percent less likely to develop colon cancer than those who rarely drank tea.
 • One Chinese study found that men who drank more than three cups of tea a day reduced their risk of prostate cancer by 70 percent. In another study funded by the National Institute of Health, 79 men with prostate cancer were told to either drink 6 cups of green tea a day or 6 cups of water. After 3 to 8 weeks, the levels of prostate-specific antigen, a protein that may indicate cancer, were lower in the men who drank green tea than those who drank water. An indicator of inflammation, nuclear factor-kappaB, linked to cancer growth, was also lower in the men who drank the green tea.
 • In skin cancer studies, lab animals that were given green tea developed 1/10th as many tumors as animals that were given water. The EGCC in green tea inhibits the production of urokinase, an enzyme that cancer cells need in order to grow. It also seems to stimulate the process of programmed cell death, or apoptosis, in cancer cells.

Make your heart healthier
Green tea contains significant amounts of flavonoids, antioxidants that protect against heart disease by slowing the breakdown of LDL cholesterol, preventing blood clots, and improving blood vessel function. Green tea is also associated with lower cholesterol and lower rates of artery blockages.
 People who drink a cup or two a day have a 46 percent lower risk of developing narrowed arteries. Upping that to three cups a day lowers the risk of having a heart attack by 43 percent and of dying from a heart attack by 70 percent. 
It can even help prevent a second heart attack. In a study of 1,900 patients recovering from heart attacks at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, the death rate among patients who drank at least two cups of tea a day was 44 percent lower than among non-tea drinkers.
A 2006 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association concluded that green tea consumption is associated with reduced mortality due to all causes, including cardiovascular disease.
The study followed over 40,000 Japanese participants between the ages of 40 and 79 for 11 years, starting in 1994.
The participants who drank at least 5 cups of green tea per day had a significantly lower risk of dying (especially from cardiovascular disease) than those who drank less than one cup of tea per day.
Another study found that consuming 10 cups of green tea per day can lower total cholesterol, however, consuming 4 cups or less had no effect on cholesterol levels.

These are some of the many benefits but the reality is one cup of tea a day will not give you all the abundant gains. The jury is out on how many cups are necessary; some say as little as two cups a day while others five cups — and more still say you can drink up to ten cups a day. If you are thinking of going down this route, you may want to consider taking a green tea supplement instead .
However, as a social drink, it appears to be safe in moderate amounts, so lovers of green tea can continue to enjoy it.

Earl Grey Hot Chocolate Recipe

It’s so cold outside! We are having some really cold weather. This hot chocolate is flavored with Earl Gray tea. The tea gives it more depth of flavor, and scent of bergamot. I can’t think of a more comforting way to warm up at home.
Earl Grey tea is often used to infuse chocolate truffles with citrus fragrance and flavor. Why not use a similar technique to make tea-infused hot chocolate?

1½ cups whole milk
2 teaspoons Earl Grey Tea
1 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon sugar or more to taste

PREP: 5 mins
COOK: 1 min

Bring milk just to a boil in a saucepan. Add the tea, turn off the heat (but keep the pan on the warm burner), cover and let stand to steep for 3 minutes. Whisk in the chocolate and sugar until melted and dissolved. Pour through a fine strainer and into a mug and serve immediately. *You can serve topped with whipped cream.

Loose tea, which is generally of a higher quality than tea found in tea bags, will give you the tastiest hot chocolate blend.
Bergamot is a fragrant orange and the essential oils in the rind are used in perfumery and for culinary.

Drink and enjoy! Get cozy!