Know Your Coffee Espresso, Home Brewed or Latte

Written by Mita Majumdar, M.Sc. | Medically Reviewed by dr. reeja tharu, M.Phil.,Ph.D on Jun 27, 2018
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Know Your Coffee Espresso, Home Brewed or Latte

The Arabica coffee or the Robusta coffee; espresso, home brewed coffee, or latte – know your coffee to enjoy the flavor and aroma of your favorite decoction.

The two most commercially important species of coffee grown are Coffea canephora (Robusta coffee) and Coffea arabica (Arabica coffee). Coffea arabica beverage is superior in taste and has lower caffeine content than Coffea canephora.

Coffee is mostly harvested by hand, although some larger farms do employ mechanical harvesters. Outer soft, red, layers are removed from the harvested fruits to get stable, dry, green coffee beans. These coffee beans are then processed either by ‘dry’ method or by ‘wet’ method. About 12 to 20 kg of coffee can be produced from every 100 kg of harvested coffee beans.

The flavor and the aroma that we enjoy in the coffee come solely through roasting coffee beans. Green coffee beans are heated between 180o C and 240o C for 8-15 minutes. This heating process releases the ‘caffeol’ or coffee oil which is responsible for the essence of coffee. That said, coffee roasting has to be done very carefully, since this is the process that gives bitterness in coffee. Stronger the coffee roasting, the harsher it tends to get. However, caffeine is not the main bitter compound found in coffee. Researchers have found 25-30 compounds that contribute to coffee’s bitterness. Among these, chlorogenic acid lactones, formed during coffee roasting, are some of the most dominant.

The choice of brewing method may also add to coffee’s bitterness. Espresso coffee, which is made using high pressure and high temperature, is the most bitter of all coffee.

Home-brewed coffee tends to have the least bitterness. Again some instant coffees are less bitter than regular coffee.

The flavor of coffee can also be damaged by moisture, light and air.

Some of the popular types of coffee preparations are:

  • Espresso
  • Java
  • Cappucino
  • Caffe Latte
  • Cafe au lait
  • Irish coffee
  • Turkish coffee
  • Mocha
  • Frappe

References:

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  13. Ludvigsson JF, Ludvigsson J. Socio-economic determinants, maternal smoking and coffee consumption, and exclusive breastfeeding in 10205 children. Acta Paediatr. 2005 Sep;94(9):1310-9.
  14. Pelucchi C, Tavani A, La Vecchia C. Coffee and alcohol consumption and bladder cancer. Scand J Urol Nephrol Suppl. 2008 Sep;(218):37-44.
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  17. Pizziol A, Tikhonoff V, Paleari CD, et al. Effects of caffeine on glucose tolerance: a placebo-controlled study. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1998;52:846-849.
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  19. Tan EK et al. Dose-dependent protective effect of coffee, tea, and smoking in Parkinson''s disease: a study in ethnic Chinese. J Neurol Sci. 2003 Dec 15;216(1):163-7.

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