Organic Food and Beverages
Buy Organics: Where and How?
Organic Coffee Bean Tree
Drink Certified Organic Coffee:
It Tastes Good and is Good for the Environment
Certified organic coffee produces a great taste; learn about the coffee bean tree; how to roast coffee, the best coffee grinder to use and how coffee calories equal zero (so you can drink it without ).
There is nothing as good as a great tasting, and wonderfully smelling, cup of fresh roasted organic coffee!
To get that great taste, you need to start with the coffee bean tree, then have the coffee beans roasted to perfection, stored for only a short period of time, freshly ground in the right coffee grinder, and properly brewed.
Coffee has no calories (unless you add milk, sugar, caramel, chocolate, etc to it) so it can be a delicious guilt-free drink.
If you're worried about the caffeine levels, drink decaf organic coffee (it tastes great too).
The Coffee Bean Tree
Native to southern Asia and Africa, the coffee bean tree is part of the species Rubiaceae and can grow to upward of 15 feet tall. While we think of coffee as brown, the coffee berry starts out green, turns yellow and then red. It becomes dark when it dries. It takes about 7 months for the beans to mature completely.
Coffee begins its life as a seed planted during the rainy season in between other food crops. The most popular type to grow is the flavorful Arabica. Another popular plant is Canephora, which is very hearty but also far more bitter than Arabica beans.
Why Organic Coffee is Better:
With both types of coffee, cultivation of certified organic coffee is becoming more common. The consumer demand for organic options has grown to the point where the price on organic coffee remains competitive even with it requiring more effort to farm.
Certified organic coffee growers focus on using renewable resources, being careful to avoid soil erosion and using water wisely. The coffee bean tree is grown in chemical-free soil (no chemical fertilizers or pesticides or contaminants). The certified organic bean contains no additives, preservatives, or pesticides.
Organic farms help support the people of the region, and protect both the region and farmers from potentially harmful chemicals.
To top those benefits, certified organic coffee also tastes good!
Commercial Coffee Roasting
Once the coffee tree beans are roasted, their flavor is best within the first week. Thats why coffee is typically packaged in air-tight containers. The goal is to preserve the freshness as long as possible.
How to Roast Coffee?
If someone wants to roast coffee at home theyll have to get green coffee beans, which have a shelf life of a year if kept cool and dry.
The simplest method of roasting the beans is placing them in a 440 degree oven for about 8 minutes then cooling them very quickly. Without the fast chilling the beans keep cooking and can end up tasting burnt.
Alternatively you can fry the beans, stirring them regularly. It takes a little practice before you get the hang of how high a heat to use and how long to fry them, but the resulting fresh roasted flavor is astounding.
A third option still is buying a home coffee roaster. These run between $100 - $500 but it takes all the guess work out of roasting your coffee. If you like an even-bodied coffee, look for a drum roaster. Air roasting coffee makes it more acidic.
Many urban centers have independent coffee roasting locations. Check out your local neighborhood and see if you've got a local roaster nearby. Then go hang out there for a while and check out their roasts.
Best Coffee Grinders
Since ground coffee starts losing flavor after two days, its really nice to have a grinder at home so you can get the freshest results. How do you determine the best coffee grinder, however? That depends on the kind of coffee you plan to make.
If youre using a drip coffee maker, a blade or mill grinder will work perfectly well. These are typically very cost effective too. You can purchase one for $20 and save money by buying whole coffee beans.
By comparison a burr grinder creates very evenly ground coffee. The flat plate (or wheel) burr coffee makers are suitable for using with espresso machines, while the conical burr machines work very well for flavored coffees.
Coffee grinders come in a variety of sizes and models, so you shouldnt have any trouble finding one that fits your budget, your lifestyle and your kitchen.
In addition to the freshness of ground coffee (and the flavor), you'll enjoy the wonderful smell of coffee that comes from the grinding process.
Find Out More About Recipes for Beverages: A List of Organic Beverages and Recipes
- Organic Wines are becoming more easily available and are known to have good flavor.
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