Coffee
Coffee

Once ripe, coffee "berries" are picked, processed, and dried to yield the seeds inside. The seeds are then roasted to varying degrees, depending on the desired flavour, before being ground and brewed to create coffee.

Berries have been traditionally selectively picked by hand; a labour intensive method, it involves the selection of only the berries at the peak of ripeness. More commonly, crops are strip picked, where all berries are harvested simultaneously regardless of ripeness by person or machine. After picking, green coffee is processed by one of two methods—the dry process method, simpler and less labour intensive as the berries can be strip picked, and the wet process method, which incorporates fermentation into the process and yields a mild coffee.

The best (but least used) method of drying coffee is using drying tables. In this method, the pulped and fermented coffee is spread thinly on raised beds, which allows the air to pass on all sides of the coffee, and then the coffee is mixed by hand. In this method the drying that takes place is more uniform, and fermentation is less likely.

The next step in the process is the roasting of the green coffee. Coffee is usually sold in a roasted state, and with rare exceptions all coffee is roasted before it is consumed.The roasting process influences the taste of the beverage by changing the coffee seed both physically and chemically.

The actual roasting begins when the temperature inside the seed reaches approximately 200 °C (392 °F), though different varieties of seeds differ in moisture and density and therefore roast at different rates. During roasting, caramelization occurs as intense heat breaks down starches, changing them to simple sugars that begin to brown, which alters the colour of the seed.

Once roasted, coffee seeds must be stored properly to preserve the fresh taste of the seed. Ideally, the container must be airtight and kept in a cool, dry and dark place. In order of importance: air, moisture, heat, and light are the environmental factors responsible for deteriorating flavour in coffee seeds.

Coffee seeds may be ground in several ways. A burr grinder uses revolving elements to shear the seed; a blade grinder cuts the seeds with blades moving at high speed; and a mortar and pestle crushes the seeds. For most brewing methods, a burr grinder is deemed superior because the grind is more even and the grind size can be adjusted.

The espresso method of making coffee is by forcing hot pressurized and vaporized water through ground coffee. As a result of brewing under high pressure (ideally between 9–10 atm), the espresso beverage is more concentrated (as much as 10 to 15 times the quantity of coffee to water as gravity-brewing methods can produce) and has a more complex physical and chemical constitution. A well-prepared espresso has a reddish-brown foam called crema that floats on the surface.

Here are ten convincing reasons why coffee can be considered good for you…

Now don't forget it is all about moderation.

Coffee has earned a bad rap! As far as health food goes, it’s typically the first item banished from your diet if you go on a health cleanse. Although drinking too many cups a day is linked to increasing heart rate and cortisol (your flight response hormone)—there are several surprising health benefits to that morning cup of coffee—as long as you keep your consumption down to two to three cups per day and nix the cream and sugar.

 

1. Coffee Increases Memory

Studies show that two cups of the caffeinated stuff can actually strengthen your long- and short-term memory. In a 2005 study presented at the Radiological Society of North America, researchers found that consuming 2 to 3 cups of coffee improved short-term memory as well as lowering the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

2. Depression Prevention

Women who drank two to three cups of daily coffee were 15% less likely to develop depression, and those drinking four cups were 20% less likely, according to a 2011 report in the “Archives of Internal Medicine.”

3. Coffee Revs Up Metabolism

The “dreaded” caffeine in your morning Joe has also been linked to boosting the metabolism, which aids in weight loss. The chlorogenic acid present in coffee is also linked to lowering glucose absorption; ensuring sugar is flushed out of the body.

4. Lowers Diabetes Risk

If you have a history of type 2 diabetes in your family, drinking coffee can lower your risk by 50% according to several medical journals. The reduction is thanks to a type of a polypeptide within coffee that prevents abnormal protein fibers from developing—common to those with the disease.

5. Increases Endurance

It makes sense that drinking a cup of caffeinated coffee would increase energy prior to a workout, but it also strengthens endurance as well, greatly aiding athletic performance.

6. Helps Prevent Parkinson’s Disease

The study reported by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that drinking up to 3 cups of the brewed stuff is linked to lowering the risk of Parkinson’s by 25%.

7. Thwarts Gout

Coffee has also been applauded for its’ anti-inflammatory benefits. In fact, drinking java is linked to reducing uric acid, which prevents gout in middle-aged men.

8. Anti-oxidant Booster

A Harvard study from 2005 found that coffee contains higher levels of antioxidants than the majority of fruits and vegetables present in the typical North American diet.

9. Averts Breast Cancer

Numerous studies around the globe have recommended women who have a family history of estrogen-receptor-negative breast cancer to drink coffee in order to postpone the onset of breast cancer altogether.

10. Reduces Prostate Cancer Risk

Findings from a recent Harvard study recommend men drink both caffeinated and decaf coffee to lower the risk of developing prostate cancer.

 

Information sourced from Wikipedia and Activebeat.co

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