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Coffee is the most popular beverage in the world, with people enjoying it to the tune of hundreds of billions cups annually! It’s said to have been originated in Ethiopia in Africa, soon spreading to other parts of the world. Apart from enjoying its wonderful flavor, coffee is known to have some potential health benefits like increased energy and metabolism, increasing the chances of being in better physical shape.
Coffee and us
In our country, though tea is enjoyed in most parts, coffee has become a very popular drink especially in the recent times, with people linking it to office meetings, romantic dates, hanging out with friends, or simply to energize.
In the southern part of India, coffee is the main beverage that’s enjoyed first thing in the morning, in the evening and also served after meals. When I first heard and tasted filter coffee, it was at a Tamilian college friend’s place. It was so tempting, I soon found myself looking for an excuse to land at her place, just to enjoy that filter coffee with hot idlis!
Now a good cup of hot or cold coffee is no longer considered the domain of cafes. We have men, women and youngsters alike, being passionate about their coffee, making sure their cuppa coffee, just the way they like it, is easily available to them.
Coffee at home
Back in the older times, if you were able to make a good cup of beaten coffee using instant coffee powder, you were considered invaluable!
Now, we laugh at this, for there are so many varieties of coffee drinks that we find at café’s, that expectations at home too have risen and instant coffee alone simply won’t do.
That means knowing about and using coffee beans. It also implies using coffee maker machines, which there is now a huge variety of in the market.
Yes, if you aren’t clued in already, coffee machines are aplenty nowadays, even in the Indian market. And you’ll especially find them tucked cozily in a corner in modern kitchens. Kitchens of those we consider elegant, the well-travelled, the cool, the go-getters, the don’t-wanna-lift-a-finger kinds. Yes, I think you’ve got the idea.
So before we dive deeper into the kinds of coffee and coffee maker machines, let’s not forget to take a look at some popular types of coffee.
Sometimes, standing in front of a coffee vending machine we end up blank, not knowing which option would give us the coffee to meet our taste.
So here’s a quick dekko at some of the different types of coffee at coffee machines.
I see you already nodding your head in recognition, so let’s start exploring.
But wait! We need to first know what espresso is, because that forms the base of most.
In layperson language, espresso is concentrated coffee. This forms the base for the various popular coffee drinks.
Espresso is prepared by forcing very hot water or steam through ground coffee beans. It’s usually served in ‘shots’ with milk, cream or water.
Now let’s see the coffee drinks we find popularly at coffee maker machines.
Cappuccino is typically made by combining one-third each of espresso, foamed milk and steamed milk. Sometimes, chocolate or cocoa powder is sprinkled to give it that extra taste and look.
More simply, cappuccino is
1/3 Espresso+ 1/3 Foamed milk + 1/3 Steamed milk = 1 Cappuccino
It can easily be called the most popular coffee drink and you can always go for it if you aren’t a huge fan of black coffee (no milk/creamer).
A latte is milkier than cappuccino.
It’s made with espresso and hot steamed milk, the difference between cappuccino and latte being that more milk goes into latte, with a little foamed milk at the top. The ratio of milk is 3/4th, while espresso and foamed milk make up the rest of it.
¼ Espresso and foamed milk + ¾ steamed milk =1 Latte
- Mocha means the infusion of cocoa or chocolate with coffee. For those who like to balance the bitterness of espresso with the sweetness of chocolate, this is the drink. The shot of chocolate/cocoa added depends on individual taste. Sometimes they’re mixed in equal measure.
Many people like the following constitution of Mocha
1/3 Espresso +1/3 Hot Chocolate + 1/3 Steamed milk = 1 Mocha
How to make Americano ?
Americano is preferred more in the western countries. It’s basically Espresso with water and no milk or creamer. The strong taste of Espresso is offset by the water.
1/3 Espresso + 2/3 Water = 1 Americano
What are the ingredients of a frappe?A frappe is generally a chilled milkshake containing ice-cream. So in the world of coffee, frappe is usually referred to cold coffee made with ice cream, milk and coffee or coffee flavour.
The word ‘macchiato’ is Italian, meaning ‘stained/spotted’. So macchiato is basically an espresso that’s been ‘stained’ with a little steamed milk. Though there’s no hard and fast rule, people usually mix 2 parts of espresso with one part of milk to make a macchiato.
2/3 espresso + 1/3 milk foam/steam = 1 Macchiato
There are mainly 2 kinds of coffee beans we consume- Arabica and Robusta, Arabica being the most popular in the world.
Arabica is mild, containing less caffeine, but is more aromatic, pleasant tasting, more difficult to cultivate and therefore, more expensive. Robusta on the other hand, is stronger, therefore useful for making different blends.
The coffee beans we get in the market are often roasted. These we need to grind at home. Or, simply buy roasted ground coffee from the market.
The flavour of roasted ground coffee is way better than instant coffee. In fact, once you start using ground coffee, you won’t even look at instant coffee.
A word about the grinding now. Coffee can be ground either coarse, medium or very fine. The kind of grind has a lot of effect on the taste. The coarse grind for instance doesn’t allow the true flavours of coffee to be extracted, thus tasting sour and is quite light. The opposite happens with the very fine grind. That is, too much caffeine gets extracted, so it gives a comparatively sharp and bitter taste. However, if the medium grind is done well, i.e., it’s neither chunky nor too fine, then it extracts the coffee flavour really well and gives a pleasant, sweet taste. .
You can easily get good medium ground coffee from the market, which is packed such that it ensures the flavour stays intact. Personally I find this the most convenient, whereby I can enjoy fresh tasting coffee without shelling out too much or spending much time and effort. The ground coffee can be easily stored in airtight containers or in the freezer during summers.
Coffee machines are no longer an appliance typical of the western countries. It’s very much found its way into the Indian kitchens. There’s a wide range of coffee machines available, to suit different family size and taste buds. And no, they don’t burn a hole in the pocket!
But why do we need a coffee maker machine, you might wonder. So here’s why.
Why we need coffee machines
Coffee machines are super convenient to use, saving time and effort. But the main reason is the coffee it produces is just like you’d have at a café. The flavour is perfect, the froth is just right and it’s versatile to allow a variety of coffees to be made. So those who don’t like to compromise on their coffee, generally have a cool coffee machine sitting on their kitchen counter.
So let’s see how to use a coffee machine:
How to use a coffee machine
Most coffee makers have a similar basic set up and function, though of course there will be some variations depending on the brand and coffee machine features. Coffee machines are very easy to use and clean.
Coffee machines have a water jar or tank, a filter, a drip/cup tray, a steam wand and some button options for hot water, steam, coffee.
So first fill the jar or tank with the required amount of water and fix it. Measure out ground coffee and put it in the filter section of the coffee machine. Place a cup on the drip tray. Plug in the machine, choose and press an option from the given buttons and wait. When the water is heated up, the coffee starts brewing. Once done, the espresso pours out automatically into your cup. It’s as simple as that!
This forms the base of your coffee, with which different kinds of coffee can be made. So you may choose the milk frother or steam wand depending on what type of coffee you want.
Now many coffee machines come with coffee pods or coffee capsules, which are disposable pods of roasted ground coffee. All you have to do is insert them in the given slot and start the machine to get your desired coffee. Why coffee pods? These are super easy to use, make sure the flavours remain intact and they come in a wide range to suit different palates.
So there you are. Get your favourite brand of coffee beans, ground coffee or coffee pods.
Order from the widest range of easy-to-use coffee machines.
And gift yourself a cup of excellent, well-deserved coffee!