8/29/12

How to Make Delicious Iced Coffee at Home

My absolute favorite type of drink is an iced coffee! Iced coffee can be done in a variety of ways and methods, and without a doubt Starbucks knows how to make a great iced coffee. The problem with Starbucks is, it can really break the bank if you make it a regular habit. The great thing is, you can make delicious iced coffee at home, just as good as Starbucks can, without spending a lot of money!

The key to making it is to make it very strong. Personally, I think there is nothing worse, than receiving an iced coffee that is simply hot coffee poured over ice. This is never pleasing because the temperature is typically lukewarm as well as the ice melts. In this case, I would actually prefer to drink hot coffee than a luke warm coffee drink.

There are two methods to making great iced coffee. The first is to simply brew a pot of strong coffee and let it chill in the fridge over night. This is an easy thing to do, but you have to make sure you make the coffee strong enough, typically an espresso roast or very dark roast, and let it cool completely before serving. I have tried this method a few times, but find the following method to be even better than this one.

The second method to making a perfect iced coffee is to brew it the old-fashioned way. In this method you actually add the ground coffee to water and let it steep all night long. You take a large pitcher, add a good amount of coffee grounds, stir in water and let it hang out all night on the counter. Once you have let it steep all night long, you simply want to strain the coffee mixture into a new pitcher the next day with the use of cheesecloth and a strainer. What you have is very dark, rich coffee that is perfect for this summer drink!

After you have made the coffee base in your preferred method, comes the fun part! Making the drink just how you like it. Personally, I love an iced coffee that is made the Thai or Vietnamese way, which is adding a bit of sweetened condensed milk to the drink. This is a great pick me up and sweet treat for a hot summer day. It is also lovely on its own or with a bit of milk and simple syrup!

8/25/12

Watermelon Salad


Watermelon Salad

Watermelon salad is an intriguing summer salad, cool and refreshing. This is a very light and filling salad and goes very well with grilled meat fish or even veggies. Watermelon is definitely a fun food to enjoy during summer. The bright red triangular wedges packed with sweet juices are not only eye pleasing but full of healthy nutrients. Many of us think watermelon as a great snacks but when you will come to know about it nutritive value you will give it a star place in your menu.

Now count the healthy facts, watermelons are excellent source of Vitamin A which help to maintain the eye health, Vitamin C which strengthen your immunity, prevent cell damage and Vitamin B6 which helps to convert protein into energy and helps in brain function. In this salad we are also using toasted pumpkin seed which is high in calories but on the positive side pumpkin seed are rich in mono -unsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) that helps lower the bad cholesterol. Research shows that Mediterranean diets which are rich in MUFA prevents coronary artery diseases.

Other than this pumpkin seeds are also packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals and various healths promoting antioxidant. Pumpkin seeds are good source of vitamins like B- complex and vitamin B-6 and folates. It is also good source of copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc and selenium. Consumption of pumpkin seed boost the immune power of our body. Today we are taking this two healthy ingredients water melon and pumpkin seed and making a very appetizing salad.

Ingredients:
  • Watermelon 1 deseeded cubed or scoop balls
  • Onion 1 small finely slice
  • Simple syrup ¼ cup
  • Olive oil 1tbsp
  • Lemon juice 2 tbsp
  • Ginger juice 1tsp
  • White pepper ¼ tsp
  • Black salt to taste
  • Crumbled feta cheese ¼ cup
  • Pumpkin seed (toasted) 1 heaping tbsp
  • Walnut 8 to 10 chopped
  • Fresh mint leaves 1 tbsp chopped

Procedure:

Cut the watermelon in triangles and then with a small fruit scooper scoop small deseed scoop. Take them in a bowl. Now in bowl mix simple syrup, olive oil, lemon juice, ginger juice, white pepper, black salt. Mix well. Now mix half of the vinaigrette with water melon and sliced onion. Place it on a serving bowl now sprinkle crumbled feta, toasted pumpkin seed, walnut and mint leaves and then drizzle rest of the vinaigrette. Have it as healthy snacks or serve it in a brunch with grilled fish or meat. I am sure you will love it.

8/23/12

Coffee With Fruit Recipes

I have been testing various types of coffee recipe since last year. Recently, I have tested coffee with fruits and the outcome was so good. Therefore today, I have decided to release Fruit with coffee series coffee recipes for all the coffee lover. Hope you enjoy these recipes too.

# First Coffee Recipe: Passion Fruit with Coffee latte Recipe
Fruit mix with coffee, does this make sense? If you have tried this, please let me know what do you feel about this recipe too.

Ingredients:

Enough for 1 person (just nice for one tall glass)
1) 2 tablespoons of Passion Fruit syrup as well as Coffee Syrup
2) 1 shot of organic espresso
3) 0.75 cup of low fat steamed milk
4) 2 to 3 ice cubes

Equipments Needed:
Espresso maker and electronic blender

Steps for preparation:

1. Take an empty blender cup and mix all ingredients into it.

2. Once that done, blend it with low speed for 60 seconds.

3. We need a clean tall glass to pour the latte over.

4. At last, you can enjoy your fruit passion latte now.

#Second Coffee Recipe: Passion Fruit and Vanilla Latte Recipe

I have tried vanilla and coffee before, but today I would like to add in some fruit in this recipe too. Just wonder how would it be after that?

Ingredients:

Enough for 1 person (just nice for one tall glass)
1) 2 tablespoons of Passion Fruit syrup as well as Coffee Syrup
2) 5 ice cubes
3) 1 shot of organic espresso
4) 0.75 cup of low fat steamed milk

Equipments Needed:

Espresso maker and electronic blender

Steps for preparation:

1. We need an empty blend cup to put passion fruit syrup, coffee syrup, espresso, ice cubes as well as steam milk.

2. Blend it for 1 minute until they are well mixed.

3. Take an empty glass to pour your latte into the empty glass.

4. You can now enjoy your latte.

Thank you for reading Coffee Lovers!

8/11/12

Sweet Potato Soup


Sweet Potato Soup

Starchy vegetables have a long history of being used to make tasty and nutritious soups. Potatoes, pumpkin, butternut squash, zucchini, peas and beets are all main ingredients for soups all around the world. One of the most overlooked starchy vegetables is the sweet potato, which is a shame because it is full of flavor and goodness.

To be clear, I am talking about the sweet potato that is also sometimes referred to as a "yam". True yams are not often found in North America, but the confusion arises because there are two common varieties of sweet potato. First, there is a harder variety with a yellow interior, and a softer orange type. The orange ones that are sometimes called yams are my favorite, and they are best ones to use in this soup.

Sweet potatoes have a much more complex blend of starches and sugars, and because of this they benefit greatly from the carmelization that takes place in the roasting process. Their natural sweetness gets intensified and the overall flavor becomes richer. If it sounds like it will turn this recipe into a dessert, don't be fooled: even savory flavors get better when roasted.

To start making this soup, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Clean two or three large sweet potatoes and poke some holes in them with a steak knife or something similar. (Don't peel them.) Place the sweet potatoes in a baking dish and roast them for about an hour or so. They'll be soft to the touch when they are done, and they will probably be leaking an orangey liquid. Let them cool, and then peel the skins off (they will come off very easily if they are done.) You can roast the sweet potatoes ahead of time and use them later, or you can start the next process when you pull them out of the oven.

The next step is to thinly slice a large onion. Heat up a small amount of butter and olive oil in your soup pot and add the onion and a bit of salt. Slowly cook the onions until they become golden brown, but don't allow them to burn. The darker the onions get, the more they are getting carmelized, just like the sweet potatoes. This will really enhance the flavor of the soup. (Note: if you like, you can add a few cloves of garlic for even more flavor.)

Chop up the cooked sweet potatoes and add them to the pot. Mash them up a little, then add about 4 cups of chicken stock, or whatever broth you prefer. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce and cook until it reaches a desirable consistency. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup. Add up to half a cup of heavy cream, and a dash of nutmeg, and you're done!

Here are the ingredients listed again for convenience:
  • 2-3 large sweet potatoes;
  • 1 large onion;
  • 1-4 cloves of garlic (if desired);
  • butter and/or olive oil;
  • salt;
  • 4 cups chicken stock or some type of broth;
  • half a cup of heavy cream;
  • nutmeg (or try some allspice and cayenne for a spicy version)
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

8/8/12

Chicken Caesar Salad

To start make the croutons and the salad dressing and put to one side.

Instructions.

Really really quick fake croutons.
  • Take two slices of shop bought bread chopped roughly into cubes. You can use stale bread or fresh. I keep my bread in the freezer as I can never eat a loaf quick enough! It defrosts in the microwave on full power for about 20 seconds per slice.
  • I like to add a few squashed cloves of garlic to my pan to flavour the croutons. You could alternatively add garlic salt/garlic powder/dried herbs or fresh herbs.
  • Put the pan on the stovetop and turn the heat onto medium wait for the pan to warm up a little add the oil or butter and then add the bread. Move the bread around straight away so as to make sure it is evenly coated with the fat. Keep moving the bread in the pan until it is golden brown. Add some more oil or butter if the pan starts smoking. Only a little bit of oil though, you don't want soggy croutons!
  • Add to any salad or soup just before serving.
  • These can be stored in a an airtight container for up to a week.

Low fat homemade caesar dressing.

I know essentially that most salad dressings are probably wheat and gluten free. However you would be surprised where wheat and gluten can and will be sneaked into the most innocent of food stuffs. I have found over the years that if make my own food and sauces then I know exactly what ingredients are in my food. It also means a lot less time reading labels in the shop as as well! Then I know there is no danger of accidentally eating some wheat or gluten and suffering the terrible consequences.

I have found that when you make your own salad dressings it takes minutes, costs less and wait for it, tastes better.

Instructions.
  • Put the yoghurt or buttermilk into a bowl.
  • Slowly add the lemon juice according to your taste.
  • Finely chop or crush a garlic clove and add to mixture.
  • Season with salt and pepper and a glug of good olive oil.
  • Adjust seasoning according to taste. I like mine with a real lemony kick and lots of pepper.
  • I also like to sneak in a cheeky splash of anchovy sauce by Geo Watkins.
  • No one will ever guess low in fat.
Chicken caesar salad.


Instructions.
  • Chop and wash the lettuce, pat dry.
  • Fry bacon until crispy. Leave to cool. Crumble with your hands or chop roughly with a knife.
  • Cut the chicken into strips and fry for 7-10 mins. I cook mine in a big wok and keep the chicken moving all the time. If you are grilling the cooking time may be a bit longer. Cook the chicken until the juices run clear and there is a slight browning. Try to make sure it is not dry and overcooked.
  • Coat the lettuce in the homemade dressing. Add the chicken, anchovies, bacon or bacobits, shaved parmesan and last but not least croutons.
  • This is how I like mine but you could keep it simple and just have the chicken, lettuce, croutons and parmesan with the dressing.
Eat and enjoy.

8/2/12

How to Recognize Good Quality Coffee



Good quality coffee comes in four roast categories: regular, blends, flavored and organic. Because coffee roasts are sold with many different titles under a lot of different brands, choosing the right one really wants is more difficult.

To start with, regular is defined as a single-origin and single-named coffee variety bean that is roasted to varying roast levels. For example, the beans would all be just one of the following: Arabica beans, Robusta beans or India beans.

Blends are combinations of two or more different varieties of coffee beans. These beans may be blended before or after they have been roasted to varying roast levels. The reason for blending is to create new flavors or to add body or crema. They may also be blended to keep the flavor consistency when new crops of the same bean are used. The best definition for blended is it is a mixture which is mingled inseparably.

Flavored are beans that have been roasted and are sprayed with flavoring. Coffee that has been flavored may have inexpensive beans or it may have lower quality beans. The quality of the flavoring may be strong to create the tastes and aroma to other foods by contact with surfaces used previously to hold flavored coffee.

Fair Trade beans are organic. Organic Free Trade coffee is currently being exported by 23 countries around the world. They include those from Asia are Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Indonesia and East Timor. African nations of Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda, Ethiopia and Kenya sell Fair Trade coffee. In Central and South America Free Trade coffee comes from Colombia, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Colombia, El Salvador, Brazil, Mexico, Bolivia, Honduras, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Paraguay.

How does this help you recognize good quality coffee? Fair trade is always organic coffee that is sold to coffee companies and roasters. They roast these beans in a way that brings out their unique flavor. Some of these beans are Robusta beans that are often looked down on as not a quality bean. While some beans like those from Ethiopia, Peru and other parts of South America may be Arabica beans. These beans are said to be a better bean and do not have as much caffeine in them as the Robusta.

Blended coffee beans may also include Arabica and Robusta beans together. These beans are usually found in instant coffees because they are so processed that they will taste better when made into liquid hot coffee.

Recognizing a good quality coffee does not always match what your tongue tells is the best coffee. Think about what you have read here and possibly do some exploring to find a quality coffee that matches what your tongue tells you is the best quality coffee.

7/27/12

Coffee May Help Treat Parkinson's Disease

Drinking too much coffee can give the average Joe the jitters, but scientists say caffeine may have the opposite effect on people with Parkinson's disease.



The Canadian study found that drinking between two and four cups of coffee a day can help control tremors, opening the door to new treatment options for the progressive neurodegenerative condition that affects more than 10,000 Kiwis.

Symptoms can include tremors, stiffness of muscles, depression, disturbance of normal sleep, fatigue and lack of sense of smell.

Parkinson's New Zealand chief executive Deirdre O'Sullivan said she was excited by the research but expressed caution at the small scale of the study.

The effect of caffeine on the healthy human brain was widely known but she had not heard any research into its effects regarding Parkinson's, she said.

Coffee could also lead to negative effects, so she said it was probably not wise for those suffering from the disease to dramatically increase their intake until more research had been done.

The study was one of the first in humans to show that caffeine can help with movement impairment in people who had the disease, said study author Ronald Postuma, of McGill University in Montreal.

Previous studies have found that people who drink caffeine are less likely to develop Parkinson's.

Sixty-one sufferers - whose symptoms included daytime sleepiness and some motor symptoms - were given either a caffeine supplement or placebo pill.

Members of the caffeine group were given 100 milligrams of caffeine twice a day for three weeks, then 200 milligrams twice a day for three weeks, which is the equivalent of between two and four cups of coffee a day.

After six weeks, the half that took the caffeine supplement experienced an improvement in their motor symptoms compared with the placebo group, Dr Postuma said.

"This was due to improvement in speed of movement and a reduction in stiffness."

Caffeine had borderline effects on sleepiness, and did not affect depression or night-time sleep quality in the study participants.

Dr Postuma said larger-scale studies need to be carried out over a longer period to clarify the caffeine-related improvements.

"Caffeine should be explored as a treatment option for Parkinson's disease. It may be useful as a supplement to medication and could therefore help reduce patient dosages."

The study was published yesterday in Neurology, the journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

7/26/12

How to Make Delicious Hot Coffee

Millions of people make coffee in their kitchens every morning and have done so for decades. A good cup of coffee is a hot commodity. You can make the trek to your favorite coffee shop or you can learn how to make a great cup of coffee right at home. Although the type of coffee pot you own makes a difference in how your coffee tastes, you don't need an expensive, gourmet coffee pot. Get what you can afford. Good coffee is decided by an array of other factors you can control.

How to Make Delicious Hot Coffee:

* Clean your coffee pot thoroughly. This may seem elementary, but it's easy to get lazy and only rinse your coffee pot after each brew without truly cleaning it. Residue can burn and heavily affect the taste of your coffee.

* Purchase freshly roasted beans and store them properly. Try to get your beans as soon as possible after they've been roasted and buy only what you need for a week or two. When storing your beans, put them in an air-tight container. If you don't have an air-tight container, seal them in a freezer bag and store them in the freezer.

* Grind only what you will use to keep the rest of your beans fresh until you're ready for them. If your grinder let's you, shake the grinds a little to even them out for a more even cut to avoid powdery grinds.

* Pour cold, filtered water into your pot in the measure that you need. The quality of the water you use is important. Different factors, such as minerals and pollutants, can cause water to taste bad and affect the taste of your coffee.

* Insert a non-bleached coffee filter into your machine if it needs one, then put the proper measure of coffee in it. Some machines have built-in coffee filters, but if your machine does not, avoid bleached filters. The brown or gold filters don't have dyes and other chemicals that can come out in the coffee. Professional tasters use about 2 tbsp. of coffee for every 6 oz. of water.

* Turn on the machine. When the brew is complete, drink your coffee immediately. Coffee starts losing its flavor minutes after it's brewed, so if you don't drink it immediately, store it in an insulated container to preserve the flavor.

# If your coffee is too strong, adjust the grind. A coarser grind will make weaker coffee.

7/18/12

Equipment Needed to Open a Coffee Shop

So you have decided on starting a coffee shop! Congratulations! In my coffee shop business plan package, I go into more detail regarding equipment but due to space here, I am only going to give you some basic ideas of what to consider when looking at your equipment needs.

First of all, do yourself a favor and DO NOT buy any used equipment unless you know the exact age, where it came from, who used it, and that maintenance records are verifiable. I am only referring to anything with a motor or compressor. Used sinks, tables, counters, etc are fine as long as they are in decent shape. All other equipment, be VERY careful!

Even if you get it from a friend, you might be assured by them that the equipment was maintained properly and often, however did they get it used and can they get that guarantee from whom they bought it from? And how old really is it?

As you may have guessed, I fell into this trap and had things breaking down when I did not expect it shortly after I opened my coffee shop. Yes even my espresso machine. I was in a bad spot then! Luckily I had access to a one group machine for backup and a local guy was able to fix the other fast but you may not be as lucky.

I eventually upgraded to mostly new equipment when, but this can be avoided by getting new equipment at the start. You will be glad you did it, trust me!

Equipment Needs

Cash register or POS computer? - A computer POS (point of sale) system is good there is no doubt about it. These are the ones that have the touch screen monitors and such. However, they are probably (and arguably) best for analyzing your sales and inventory only, and not much more. They do not speed up your customer line.

If you want one of these guys, be prepared to pay about $5000 for a base system. The price goes up for multiple terminals and printers, monitors, a kitchen printer, etc.

In my opinion though, a POS fast food register that has price look ups (PLU) and department categories is sufficient for most coffee shops. Try to get one that allows you to download the information to your computer. Most have this feature today. It may, however increase your manual inventory and sales tracking if you have to put this info into your accounting software and spreadsheets manually but it can be a big money saver. If you get in the habit of entering the figures daily, you will not have a huge amount of data entry to do at month's end. You can usually get these types of registers for about $800 or so.

If you end up opening other stores, I think the touch screen computer POS may be the way to go then because it will make your management and inventory control much easier, and you can link all of your stores together and control them from one place.

Espresso Machine

This is the Mack daddy of the whole business, your life blood. DO NOT SKIMP ON IT! However, having said that there is the line of overkill you do not need to cross either. I say, two group maximum, if you need more power or want a backup, get a one group as well.

The feasibility of a three or four group is great but it's difficult to get more than one person working on them due to spacing of the group heads, etc. Ordinarily, you do not need more than one person pulling shots and making the espresso beverages anyway. It is almost impossible for one barista to use all four groups at one time so you be the judge! However that may be up to debate if you get REALLY busy. However, a two group is always my choice.

There are three basic types of espresso machines: Semi-Automatic, Automatic or Super Automatic. Well My choice is always the automatic because you can program them to cut off a shot at 23 seconds, or whatever you choose but still do it manually. The semi-automatic requires manual shut off by the operator.

The super automatic machine will grind the beans, tamp, pull the shot, shut it off and even discard the used grounds. Yes, I am serious. I believe you lose a lot of 'art' when you use one of these. You'd be surprised at the amount of people that love to see a barista set up and then pull a great shot. These super autos are also big bucks. But if all you want to do is move your cattle call through the line, this is the machine for you!

The boiler capacity should be large enough for a big rush, 9-14 liters should be sufficient. You do not want to run out of steam or hot water in a rush and with a smaller boiler that will happen! Trust me on this from experience!

Buy a machine based on the availability to get parts and service locally. Do not buy based on price alone, or 'coolness' or 'features' of a machine. They are all good these days. Features will not mean anything if you cannot get local service on your machine.

As far as water softeners, the choice to get a whole water system softener is going to depend on where you are located. In central Texas, the water is VERY hard but I chose to not soften my whole water system, just for the espresso machine. If you are not familiar with hard water, this is what causes lime build-up. It's a white, crusty looking build up that will kill your $5000 or 10,000 espresso machine. It clogs up the piping that in time, builds up to the point of the water not being able to get through. Then your machine needs to be completely taken apart and de-limed. Not pretty and not cheap!

You will most likely have to have a complete de-liming performed several times over the life of your machine, however if your water is very hard and you do not soften it for your espresso machine, you will most likely have to have it de-limed at a minimum of once per year. This will get time-consuming and expensive, even if you learn to do it yourself. I had my one group de-limed for about $900 so do the math. Avoid lime scale build-up by getting a water softener.

Espresso Grinders

You will need one for decaf and one for regular espresso. There are several manufacturers and models. I will tell you though to be sure it's automatic and has a doser/coffee hopper. They make a doserless model that grinds right into the portafilter and though this is freshly ground espresso, it does not work well in a rush! The units with a hopper allow the hopper to fill with ground espresso and have a lid to keep out the air. The bigger units have a bigger hopper and vice versa. Also, these have a bean hopper that you can get about 2 lbs of espresso beans in.

Bulk Coffee Grinder

These are the types you see in the food store bulk coffee aisle. Be sure to get the full scale version, not the shorter one. The only difference I can see is the taller one is easier to get a bag under to grind beans for customers. The shorter one is not! Try to have one grinder for regular and decaf, and another for flavored coffee if you will serve it. Using the same for all three will make the regular and decaf coffee taste like the flavored coffee. This grinder will need proper maintenance and burr replacement after so many hours as well. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations on this.

Coffee Maker (drip)

Be sure to buy for your volume. Automatics are best as they are plumbed to a water line. Pour over units will you need to fill manually! The air pot brewers are the better fits because they brew the coffee directly into the air pots. There are single unit models and double unit models. You will save a lot of time especially in a rush, with a double brew unit.

Pastry Case (refrigerated and non)

There are several different sizes. Take your floor space into consideration but also buy for capacity and visual display. A nice, attractive unit that holds and displays a nice array of pastries is key for merchandising. Dual zone cases are a good idea because they let you have part cold, and part room temperature (dry case) pastries that do not need to be refrigerated.

Blender

There are several models to choose from but some have features you just won't need. Be sure to get a commercial blender. Consumer units do not have the heavy duty types of motors that commercial units have. That means they will break down a lot faster than a commercial one! I would suggest you give Vitamix a look here.

Sandwich Prep Unit

These come in single, double and triple door units. Of course, plan for your overall room but your needs as well. The larger units have more capacity inside the unit, but the bigger plus is the prep top area that has more compartments to put meats, vegetables, etc in. If you are planning on a regular deli and Panini service, I would say the double door unit would be good. You may even get away with the smaller one!

Under Counter Refrigerator

Do yourself a favor and get a double door unit. These are basically like the sandwich prep units but without the top compartments. The inside capacity should be big enough to hold a good portion of your dairy, as well as opened soy cartons, smoothie mix, bottled water and soda (if you do not have a larger unit or merchandiser for water and soda. Plan accordingly.

Storage Refrigerator

This is for the back of your shop. This will be your commercial refrigerator in the back area to house your back stock of refrigerated items such as milk, as well as your baking ingredients, food items, etc. There are double and single door units.

Ice Maker

Getting an ice maker that can make an average of 600-1000 lbs per day is good. It will give you enough and still be able to make more within 24 hours. In a busy shop, you'd be surprised how much ice you can go through: sodas, fruit smoothies, frappes, frozen chai.

Freezer

You will need one of these to keep your ice cream, and other food ingredients that can and need to be frozen.

Oven

Get this based on your baking level. A 1/4 size may be too small and a full size may be too big. The median unit is a 1/2 size and has 3 racks.

Convection oven? Most pastries, pies and other baking can be done well in a convection oven. That is an oven that has a blower wheel that disperses the heat evenly and faster throughout the oven. Therefore your baking time is usually cut in half.

Panini Grill

Cast iron (non-ceramic) with ribbed plates are the better units. With the ribbed, rather than flat plates you will get the 'grill marks' on the bread and that always looks impressive. I recommend a double plate unit so you can effectively grill up to four Panini at once if you have a large order.

Three Compartment Sink

This will be essential per most health departments for wash, rinse and sanitize. If you have a commercial dishwasher, it usually overrides the 3 bay sink. However, most restaurants have both. You don't need a big one, just one big enough to get your biggest 'washable' piece of baking or cooking hardware into.

Hand Sink(s)

Check your health department requirements because you may need a hand sink every so many feet or based on how many employees you have, or based on your floor plan. These are sinks only big enough to wash your hands in and that is it. That is why they are so small.

Furniture

Pick and choose what is in between comfortable and not. This will help you avoid squatters that love to stay all day. Ordinarily, people in your store is a good thing but not if they are taking up space and just being comfy! This will include your tables and chairs, as well as couch, wing hairs, etc. If you are an eclectic coffee house, good finds can be had at Goodwill and other resale shops.

Phone

Just get one that you can hear when it rings! A cordless phone is a great idea.

Radio System

If u can, get extra speakers and have one in at least all four corners for best sound quality.

Credit Card Machine

This is the swiper w/pin pad - If you accept credit and debit cards, this is essential. Usually they are purchased from your credit card processor. Leasing one of these is usually a rip-off. Try to buy it outright.

Prep Tables

These are stainless steel or aluminum and great to make a kitchen prep area. They clean easily too. They come in various heights and widths, with or without a backsplash and usually have a shelf underneath.

So there you have some information to get you started on planning your equipment needs for staring a coffee shop. Be sure you take your floor space into account when figuring the sizes of your equipment. Also be sure you account for your anticipated customer volume. Early planning is key to having the right equipment to begin with.

7/10/12

Benefits of Organic Coffee

By definition, foods labeled certified organic in the United States cannot be genetically modified. This is one of my main concerns regarding food. Many foods in the United States are genetically modified, and there is no law dictating that you, the consumer be informed about these genetically modified organisms (GMOs). As of 2011 nearly 75% of corn planted in the US was genetically modified. For you vegans supplementing your protein with soy, guess what, nearly 95% of soybeans planted in the United States are genetically modified! I will not go into the myriad forms of genetic modifications performed on plants, but one of the most "successful" was Monsanto genetically engineering corn to resist an herbicide THEY MANUFACTURE. GMO's are relatively new, and there is no real tracking system in the US to know what the long-term health affects will be. I for one, do not want to be a part of a massive epidemiological study to find out.

Other than prohibiting GMO's, organic certification prohibits the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. This requirement has many, far-reaching implications and benefits:

Environmental and Health Benefits of Organic Farming

For the farmer, not being able to use synthetic pesticides and fertilizers will require more work, but also involves much more attention to the coffee trees. This close relationship with the crop may result in higher quality coffees. An added benefit for the farmer is not being exposed to toxic chemical residues. This not only helps the farmer, but their family and the community. There have been numerous studies that correlate disease and long-term health problems with exposure to pesticides used in agriculture. Pesticide exposure can be harmful in the best of situations, but in developing countries the outcome can become deadly.

In the United States, farming and synthetic fertilizers go hand in hand. Without the use of synthetic fertilizers we never would have become the great producer of food that we are. Petro-chemical fertilizers are a powerful source of nitrogen which promotes rapid vegetative growth. Without the use of synthetic fertilizers, coffee growers have to do things differently. They must mulch and compost plant matter. This process mandates re-using coffee tree and other crop cuttings instead of burning them. This process helps maintain a healthy soil and sustainable environment.

Mass Produced Coffee

With conventionally grown crops farmers are in a battle to increase production and reduce costs - at all costs. With coffee and other crops there is a history of slashing and burning vegetation. They do this to open up the land to plant coffee in rows for mass production. This results in nutrient rich top soil being washed away, which creates an endless spiral of having to add synthetic fertilizers to grow the coffee. Mass deforestation and organic farming do not go hand in hand. Organic coffee may cost more, but it helps preserve the rainforest and tends to be much higher quality than coffees that cost a few cents less.

Physiological and Quality Benefits of Organic Coffee Production

Many organic coffees are grown at high elevations in shaded conditions. High elevations and shade contribute to a slow developing coffee, especially in the absence of synthetic fertilizers. Coffee beans grow denser and more complex than coffees grown at low elevations in direct sun. Not only does organic coffee production preserve the environment, but results in better coffees!

A couple items that correlate with complex flavor development in organically grown coffees are antioxidant and nutrient accumulations. Some of the complex and intense flavors associated with organic coffee can be attributed to being shade grown*, but there have been numerous research studies that show that organically grown foods contain higher levels of antioxidants and nutrients. There have been other studies that directly correlate better flavor with organic farming practices. Although there have not been extensive studies comparing the phenolic content of organic versus conventionally grown coffees, it stands to reason that coffee would follow the same trend as other organically produced crops. It is well known that coffee contains loads of antioxidants, which may provide many health benefits. It is our belief that organically grown coffees present the best possible solution for easy consumption of these various antioxidants. Not only are antioxidants higher in organically grown crops, but you don't have to worry about toxic pesticide residues or genetically modified organisms.

Conclusion:

Above, I have outlined the major benefits of organic coffee, but for me organic coffee is much more. There are numerous cultural and social implications which come with exclusively roasting certified organic coffees. By going organic we can make the world a better place.

6/30/12

Guide to Choosing Good Coffee Beans

A professional coffee maker is known as a barista. A professional will have lots of experience that will help them decide which beans are suitable. If you are interested in how to make cheap espresso at home, these are the people to ask!

Cuppers are people that know what coffee tastes like, they might be professional tasters or contest judges. These people share the same desire to produce a really nice drink, however the barista is the person who receives the feedback on how certain types of coffee go down.

Around 70 different countries produce coffee, including Africa and the Middle East, to South American and the Caribbean. The plants grow the best along the equator.

Beans from different countries do taste slightly different, this is due to differences in the altitude, environment and temperature. Even different locations in the same country will often produce a different taste.

There are two different types of coffee, including Arabica and Robusta. The Arabica is used most often because it contains less caffeine than Robusta and has a better taste. Arabica coffee is commonly used in very fine blends of coffee.

Coffee trees grow better at higher altitudes. Arabica beans which are grown above 3000 feet are considered as being of very high quality. Arabica beans grown at lower altitudes in Brazil are known as Brazils.

Everybody will prefer a different type of coffee, it's all down to personal preference. It all depends on whether you are willing to roast your own coffee or not. Unroasted beans should be soft and have a fresh Oder.

If you are looking to buy roasted beans then there are a greater number of categories which are available to you. You can buy a light roast beans which are acidic and are highly caffeinated beans.

Medium roast beans are also known as an American roast, these are a little darker and are much more popular. Most of the coffee chains use this type of bean. It's not exactly the best type of coffee in the baristas eyes.

Dark roast also known as City are only normally seen in specialist coffee shops. These have less caffeine and acid. These cups of coffee are not as bitter, they are often a little sweet. Most espressos will use these types of beans.

Another type of roasting technique is the French roast. These are very dark brown beans which have sheen to them. You should make sure you're not just buying burnt beans though! You can check this out by smelling the beans.

The darkest beans available are Italian roast beans. These are used in specialist espressos and are very dark brown beans. These make a very nice cup of tea!

Darker beans will taste sweeter and less acidic. This is due to the sugar in the beans caramelizing while the beans are being roasted. Caffeine is also burnt away during this roasting process which produces a softer cup.

6/29/12

Coffee Guide From Coffee Lovers

They say there's an awful lot of coffee in Brazil - and there is! But the sheer variety of drinks it can be made into can cause confusion among those of us who just fancy a nice cup, and want something a bit different.

So, when you do venture into your local coffee shop or cafe, how do you know what to ask for? Should it be an americano, a filter, espresso or double skinny latte? ... unless you happen to be a real aficionado you could be forgiven for giving up, going home, and just unscrewing a jar of instant.

Well help is at hand; here is a quick guide to the most common choices, so you can order with confidence.

Espresso: these are those little cups with two mouthfuls in. Generally very strong they are made by forcing boiling water through ground coffee in a machine.

Filter: made using gravity, because the boiling water falls through the ground coffee, extracting the flavour.

Cafetiere: coffee is made by brewing the ground coffee and boiling water together, and a filter can be pushed down when the coffee is ready to be drunk, to separate the grains from the liquid.

Cappuccino: espresso coffee with frothed milk added to it, and cocoa powder shaken on top.

Latte: an espresso made with hot milk (skinny uses semi skimmed milk, double skinny uses skimmed, and a double latte just means double the amount of milk)

Americano: an espresso made with a lot of hot water, and so less strong than usual espresso.

But why stop there?

Apparently 70 per cent of us put sugar in our coffee. Many of us are also discovering there's an interesting alternative to sweetening our coffee - flavoured syrups. They're an easy and enjoyable way to customize a coffee and experiment with tastes.

The syrups come in a vast array of flavours to complement your coffee. Some sweet and others more subtle. It is even possible to get sugar-free versions. Most good coffee shops will offer a range of flavours to choose from.

The most popular coffee syrup is probably vanilla, and a small glug of this in your latte makes a really fantastic drink. Ginger was very popular over the winter and is likely to carry on being so. If you are very sweet-toothed you could try caramel coffee syrup, or even cinnamon coffee syrup. Nut fans might like hazelnut syrup and there is also coffee's perfect accompaniment, amaretto syrup.

If you lack the confidence to go and order one - or just prefer to stay in - then you can actually buy a wide range of coffee syrups over the internet which you can add to homemade coffee. Many are imported from Europe but if you search you can get excellent, top quality British-made coffee syrups. Don't forget they work in instant coffee too - a nice addition to your Nescafe!

And if you get bored with coffee, try adding them to pancakes or ice cream to brighten up a dull dessert.

6/26/12

The Guide For Buying a Coffee Maker

If you are on the market for a new coffee maker, it is important to put serious thought into what type of machine that you will purchase. This is something that you will wake up to in the morning, and it will provide you the essential beverage to get you through the day, so you want to be happy with your purchase!

First of all, it is important to decide what needs you have in a coffee machine. Coffee makers have come a long way, and they have a number of different accessories and features for a variety of purposes. In purchasing a new machine, you want to make sure that you get exactly what you want, and also that you get the best deal for the money that you are spending. To determine your needs, first of all, decide how many cups you will need to brew on a regular basis. If you have a family, then you probably need the maximum size of a 12 cup coffee maker. However, if you are single, you may want a personal sized 4 cup coffee maker so that you don't waste any Java.

If you are brewing for a larger atmosphere, like for your family members or in your office, it may be a good idea to purchase a commercial coffee machine for home use. As an example, Bunn makes a number of smaller professional coffee machines that are affordable at around $100, but they work with commercial features to allow you to brew within three minutes at any time. These machines stay plugged in, and the water will continually be heated. The advantage to this is that it allows you to brew within moments whenever you are ready without any heat up time for the machine, and it also keeps the water within the machine hot to prevent bacteria from growing and affecting the other components of the coffee machine.

If you are looking most of all for convenience, you will want to look for a coffee machine that has programmable functions so that you can wake up to coffee in the morning without having to worry about brewing. You can set up a timer and brew your coffee for the time that you wake up, and you can also use this timer to delay your brew if you would like a cup of Joe after dinner.

The last thing to keep in mind with your coffee maker purchase is what type of accessories that you may need. It is always best to freshly grind your coffee beans before brewing, so consider investing in a kitchen coffee grinder or even a coffee maker that has a grinder included. This is a popular new feature with coffee makers on the market, and it saves you money instead of having to purchase two different machines. There are also a number of different coffee makers that are coffee and espresso combination machines if you want the best of both worlds in brewing!

5/24/12

The Calories in Coffee

If there is one food item that the medical pundits just can't decide is good or bad for us, it has to be coffee. One day they will tell you that coffee makes you tense and can cause heart problems, while the next they may tell you that it brings down cholesterol and people who drink coffee live longer. However, if there is one thing that is true, it is that the best thing about the black nectar is that there are no calories in coffee - that is if you drink it black, which unfortunately not a lot of us do any more.

Is Coffee Healthy?

If you are starting your day with a single cup of coffee, or even two cups, then you have nothing to worry about. You are giving your body a nice, healthy dose of caffeine to get your system up and running. However, there are some coffee habits that are not so good, such as drinking coffee all day long because you didn't sleep the night before, or drinking coffee that might be full of more calories than you might think.

How Many Calories Are There In Your Coffee?

The calories in a cup of black coffee are basically zero, but the trouble comes when we start adding things to it. If you are enjoying a cup of coffee with cream and sugar in the morning, then you are consuming anywhere from 75 to 100 calories per cup. That may not be enough calories to catch your interest until you think that if you cut back on that, you could save around 10 pounds worth of calories over the course of a year. You can do this simply by changing to artificial sweeteners and fat free milk.

What About Those Specialty Drinks?

Calories in coffee really start to add up when you head out to Starbucks. The calories in coffee from the specialty shops like this can start at well over 100 calories and end up being more than what you might get in a cheeseburger. For example, if you walk into Starbucks and order a Venti Mocha Frappuccino, you will be looking at 405 calories, and that is before they put on the whipped cream!

Even a mocha made with non-fat milk and no whipped cream could still clock in at around 350 calories, which is much more than most people eat in a single breakfast. You could have eggs, toast, and bacon for that number of calories.

What Should You Do?

If you are trying to save calories in coffee each day, then it goes without saying that staying away from the coffee shops is the first thing that you can do. Not only will you save hundreds of calories each day, but you might also end up saving hundreds of dollars each month. Those big, tasty drinks are not only full of calories, but they are pricey, and if you add up what you are paying over the course of a year, you might be able to afford a pretty good vacation.

Once you start making your coffee at home and drinking it there or bringing it to work, you can save calories in coffee simply by substituting your sugar with an artificial sweetener. If you like milk or cream in your coffee, just make sure that it is non-fat. You can also buy non-fat whipped cream which is very low in calories, and that will give you a coffee shop experience with a lot fewer calories. By watching your calories in coffee, you will have a lot more calories to spend on more worthwhile foods during the day.

5/12/12

The Top Brands of Coffee

Finding out the top brands of coffee is pretty simple if you do a little searching. If I had to guess off the top of my head, I would assume Starbucks would be at the top of the list. As it turns out, Starbucks is a huge competitor; however, there is a lot of competition out there for top coffee spot. Today I will tell you a few of the top brands of coffee.

One of the most popular coffees on the market today is Yuban. Yuban is a part of Kraft Foods and is known for helping the environment and wildlife of coffee growing regions. This is a popular choice among activists and people who care about the environment.

Whenever talking or thinking about coffee, one city comes to mind for me, and that is Seattle. Seattle's Best is another giant when talking coffee. In addition to serving the Seattle area, this giant also services the rest of the United States, as well as Canada.

One coffee I am quite familiar with and seen in the market often, is Millstone coffee. Millstone is owned by Proctor & Gamble and now for their blends and flavored roasts.

Growing up I always remember my parents having one of two coffee brands in the house, one of them being Maxwell House. Maxwell House has to be the quintessential house coffee. This is also owned by Kraft Foods and quite popular throughout the United States.

The other coffee my parents always had around the house was Folgers. I can remember growing up and the coffee being in a huge tin can. Now of course, they are in more modern plastic containers, but the coffee is still as popular as ever. This coffee is also a Proctor & Gamble brand and is widely known throughout the United States and beyond.

As I mentioned earlier, Starbucks is one of the top three coffee giants. Not only are they known for their coffee shops, you can also find their products on just about all grocery store shelves. If you are looking for some Starbucks, these days you do not have to look very far!

Another popular brand that is all the rage on the East Coast, is Chock full O' Nuts. I have to be honest and say I had not heard of this brand; however, it has been around since 1932 when it was first offered in a New York store!

4/4/12

Coffee Recipe: Authentic Turkish Coffee

In Lebanon, Turkish Coffee is called qahwah or ahweh. It is not referred to as, "Turkish Coffee". The variants of "Turkish Coffee","Lebanese coffee,""Egyptian coffee," "Syrian coffee," and "Iraqi coffee" are completely different in the flavor, preparation and how it is served. Lebanese and Syrian coffee are fairly close.

Turkish coffee is a method of preparation, not a kind of coffee. I have blended a combination of Colombian and French that turned out really well. Yemeni coffee is a common bean used in Lebanon. One can find Turkish coffee already ground with or without cardamom in middle eastern grocery stores.

There is really no special type of bean. It is how they are ground. Beans for Turkish coffee are ground or pounded to the finest possible powder; finer than even for espresso. The grinding is done either by pounding in a mortar (the original method) or using a burr mill.

You can store the ground coffee in an airtight container like any other coffee. Over time it will lose its flavor. So, only purchase and grind what you think you will consume in 1 month's time.

The utensils used to make Turkish coffee is a small pot with a long handle. In Arabic, it is called, a rakweh, raqweh. Small cups are called, shaffe. Sometimes a demitasse cup with a handle may be used but more for social occasions. The shaffe without a handle is more preferred. A teaspoon for stirring.

It will depend on the size of pot you are using for the amount of water that is used. You can use a cup (shaffe) to measure the amount of water. Figure about a heaped teaspoon of coffee per cup. More or less may be added according to taste.

Turkish coffee is prepared by submersing the ground coffee in hot water that has been heated in the rakweh. Bring to a boil. Then remove and stir. Return to the heat. Bring to a boil. Stir. Do this about three times. Let coffee settle.

If you wish you can spoon a little of the foam in each cup if you have guests. Some say, this enhances the flavor. It is difficult to get the same amount of foam into each cup.

Like the Barista that attempts the most intricate design on top of a cappuccino. Getting the thickest layer of foam to form is the pinnacle of the coffee makers craft. Pour coffee into each cup.

Sugar may be added depending on an indivdual's taste. It can be bitter (murrah), little sugar (Sukkar Alil).

Recipe:

3/4-11/2 cups of cold water depending on size of coffee pot

Approximately 2 Tbsp. of coffee. Again depends on how strong you like your coffee. This will take some trial and error.

1/8 tsp. of cardamom. Remember some blends already come with cardamom.

1 tsp. sugar. Again use according to desired taste.

Note: When making Turkish Coffee, one must stand over the pot to prepare. It will boil over quickly if not watched carefully. Some people will pour a little of the hot water into one of the cups, make the coffee then pour the water back into the pot. This will help from boiling over. If adding sugar. Do this after you add the coffee. Bring to a boil. Stir. Repeat two more times. Let settle.

In the Lebanese culture, even in the most humblest of abodes, coffee, tea, cookies and sweets are offered as soon as guests walk in the door. You can find utensils and coffee at most middle eastern grocery stores. The pot and cup are served on a tray. Turkish Coffee is the essence of what coffee should be. From how it is prepared, served and drank. It is such a raw unadulterated way of preparing coffee. Try some for yourself. Enjoy!

3/3/12

How to Get Delicious, Smooth and Rich Coffee Using a French Press (Cafetiere)



Have you ever tried to bake a cake when you didn't have all the ingredients? Or maybe you had to guess how much flour/water to add to the mix? Well, if your baking skills are anything like mine - the end result of your cake was pretty unsavoury!

So, what has baking got to do with coffee? Well, attempting to make a good cup of coffee requires the same level of discipline as it does with baking. If you're guessing at weights and measures and using the wrong type of ingredients, the result will be a bad tasting cup. I promise this isn't coffee snobbery, it's just coffee basics!

So If you follow these simple steps, you'll be making delicious coffee at home in no time! (well, 4 minutes to be precise).

Ready?

Step 1: Boil the kettle and use a little of the hot water to heat the Cafetière. Now put the kettle to one side to cool slightly.

Step 2: Try to buy your coffee beans 'fresh roasted'. Going online is a great place to buy. Good coffee roasters will have the roast date on the packet. Only use the pre-ground supermarket packets as a last resort.

Step 3: If you have your own grinder (well done), grind the beans to a coarse, 'chunky grit' like consistency. If it's too fine the particles will flow through the filter into your cup.

Step 4: Pour away the hot water from the Cafetière and replace it with the fresh ground coffee. Use approx 1 heaped dessert spoon for each mug of coffee. Use a little more for a stronger cup (I will let you experiment here).

Step 5: Now that the kettle has cooled slightly (boiling water will burn the coffee), add a little of the hot water to the coffee, just enough to cover all the coffee grounds. If you have a stopwatch handy, start it now.

Step 6: Leave for 30 seconds, then stir the grounds and pour in the remaining water. Replace the lid and leave to brew until the timer reaches 4 minutes. An extraction time of less than 4 minutes will make a weaker cup, longer than 4 minutes will create a bolder, more bitter cup.

Step 7: Remove the lid from the Cafetière and remove any coffee 'crust' from the top of the liquid.

Step 8: Slowly and carefully, push down the plunger. Pour and enjoy.

Get it right and your friends will mysteriously keep appearing for a catch up over coffee! (Just make sure you get them to do the washing up part!).

2/28/12

How to Keep Ground Coffee Fresh

Keeping coffee fresh is as important as buying a quality product. Once coffee is no longer fresh it will have a stale taste to it and will not have all the notes of deliciousness that you will find in a freshly ground, freshly brewed cup of coffee. There are some tips and tricks to keeping coffee fresh and today I will discuss a few with you.

My first tip is to buy freshly ground coffee or even better, grind it yourself! If you do not own a grinder, and do not want to buy one, you can grind your own beans at the grocery store or coffee shop. These days almost every grocery store will have almost a whole aisle dedicated to coffee. You will typically find a machine to grind your beans if you do not own your own grinder.

Also, if you stop by your local coffee shop and pick up a bag of their coffee, they will be more than happy to grind it up for you. This is always a great place to try some different roasts and blends to find out what is your favorite. Not only is this a great place to do some taste testing, you are getting freshly ground coffee, and once you start drinking it freshly ground, you will never go back to before!

After you get your glorious coffee home, you want to keep it fresh until you actually consume it. It has been a long time misconception that you want to freeze your ground coffee to keep it fresh. This is bad for a couple of reasons. The first reason is coffee is very porous and will absorb not only moisture, but whatever else you have in your freezer. This is not good for the flavors of the coffee. Also when you freeze the beans you remove the natural oils and flavors of the beans, resulting in bland coffee.

The best way to store your coffee is in an airtight container. You want to store it in a cool, dry, dark place as moisture, air, heat and light are enemies to your precious coffee beans. I like to store mine in a large Tupperware container, in my pantry. My pantry has a doors and it is always dark and cool in there. If you do not have a pantry, you may want to keep the coffee in a cupboard away from an oven, stove or any other heat source.

2/13/12

How to Find Used Coffee Shop Equipment

When you first have the idea of starting a new coffee shop, everything is exciting. You will probably approach everything from looking for suppliers, to developing your recipes with a great deal of enthusiasm. However, it isn't uncommon for that passion to eventually fade, as you realize that the task before you is actually quite daunting - to say the least.

Starting a coffee shop, after all, is starting a real business. And, as with any real business - there are going to be challenges.

Finding suppliers with reasonable prices, looking for seating that doesn't cost an arm-and-a-leg, and sourcing good coffee, are all challenges that you will eventually have to face. One of the greatest of these challenges though, will be finding the actual equipment you are going to need to run you coffee shop.

Buying New

Obviously the easier solution for this problem is simply to buy the all the equipment you need new. And, while this is certainly a viable option, it is extremely expensive. You can easily expect to spend upwards of 20k USD, for all new coffee shop equipment.

Buying Used

This is where you can end up saving a lot of money on the start-up of your endeavor. For example, a new barista machine might cost you $8,000 dollars. But, a used machine might go for half of that (and still be perfectly usable.)

How to Source Used Coffee Shop Equipment

The trick is actually finding the equipment that's been used. There are three excellent ways of getting this done.

1. Network

The best way to find used equipment is to be well-connected with other restaurant owners and sales reps in your industry. I used to work in a store that sold restaurant equipment, and even though we didn't make a practice of dealing in used pieces, we often knew where you could find them and how much they might cost.

Secondly, all the restaurant owners that were successful and buying new equipment form us, would try and use us to move their old pieces. So, know a local salesman of new equipment is often to your advantage.

2. Out of Business Shops

The second best way to get used coffee shop equipment is to find coffee shops that are currently out of business, soon to go out of business, or recently gone out of business. Find the owner of these shops any way you can. They are often sitting on large loans, and would do anything to move some of the equipment for cash.

3. Find Used Re-Sellers

The final way for you to find used equipment is to search Google and the phone book for re-sellers of used equipment. Keep in mind, however, that you will often spend more money with a re-seller than you would if you bought the equipment directly from the original buyer. They do have to make money after all.

The advantage of buying from a re-seller is that the equipment will be very clean and ready to put into your establishment.

Conclusion

Don't get to stressed about finding equipment for your coffee shop. With a little hunting, some determination, and maybe a little luck, you shouldn't have too much trouble sourcing what you need. Ultimately, you will likely have to buy a few items new, but sourcing as much used as you can is certainly to your advantage. And, it will keep your pocket book full!

1/15/12

Coffee Bean Roaster Guide

The coffee bean roaster has quickly become a popular item to have in today's modern kitchens. More and more coffee enthusiasts who truly appreciate the flavor and freshness of freshly roasted coffee are putting coffee roasters in their homes. Before you go out and purchase a coffee roaster, here are a few things to be aware of.

There are two different types of home coffee bean roasters available, the heat drum roaster and the fluid bed roaster. The heat drum roaster is what most companies use to roast coffee beans, and is not very well suited for home use. This type of roaster, does not give you the opportunity to watch the beans being roasted, therefore you need to rely on smell or sound to determine when they are finished.

The second type of coffee bean roaster is the fluid bed roaster. The fluid bed roaster is very well suited for home use because they are easy to use. The average roasting time usually somewhere between 10 and 20 minutes. These coffee roasters have rotating roasting chamber made from glass, which allows you to watch the entire coffee bean roasting process. The fluid bed roaster is the best choice for those looking to start roasting coffee beans at home.

The coffee bean roasting process is a relatively simple procedure. A coffee bean roaster is comprised of three main working components including the roasting chamber, the chaff collector, and the heated base. The size of the roasting chamber will determine the amount of coffee beans to be roasted. Place the coffee beans into the roasting chamber, replace the chaff collector, and set the timer to your desired cooking time. When the timer goes off, remove the chaff collector and carefully pull out the roasting chamber. At this point, you will want to dump your roasted coffee beans into a bowl and let them cool to room temperature.

Roasting coffee beans at home is really a lot of fun. Plus, you can roast the coffee beans to your exact desired doneness. Maybe the best part about having your own coffee bean roaster is that you can experiment and create your own custom coffee blends. What better gift to give to family or friends than your own custom blend of coffee, made in your very own home?

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