How many flavors does coffee contain?

What makes good coffee: types, production, preparation

Transmission date: October 12, 2020 8:15 p.m.

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks. The most common varieties are called Arabica and Robusta. Cultivation and processing are complex. Personal taste decides how it is prepared.

Whether espresso, latte macchiato or classic filter coffee: on average, every German drinks around 160 liters a year. Most coffee specialties are made from the beans of the two coffee plants Arabica and Robusta. Arabica alone accounts for 70 percent of global production. The coffee is considered to be particularly aromatic. The arabica plant originally comes from Ethiopia and grows in the highlands at altitudes between 1,000 and 3,000 meters. Brazil, Colombia and Kenya are important growing countries today.

Robusta contains more caffeine than arabica

The beans are dried in the country of cultivation and only roasted in the destination countries.

The Robusta bean is slightly smaller than the Arabica bean and has a tart, earthy taste. It is more resilient and contains significantly more caffeine. The Robusta also grows in the lowlands and needs a tropical climate. Important growing areas are Brazil, Indonesia and the Ivory Coast.

Robusta beans make for a nice crema

Often the manufacturers offer a mixture of both types of beans, but occasionally they also say "100 percent Arabica". This is a single-origin, mostly higher-quality coffee. Many espresso mixes contain a portion of Robusta - this gives it a nice crema and its typical taste.

The most expensive coffee in the world

The coffee variety Kopi Luwak comes from Indonesia. The beans of this variety are eaten and excreted by a certain crawling cat species. As a result, they go through a fermentation process that is supposed to give the coffee a unique aroma that is slightly reminiscent of chocolate. One kilo of coffee costs around 300 euros.

Soluble coffee is made exclusively from Robusta. In addition to Arabica and Robusta, there are other types of coffee beans such as Liberica, Maragogype or Excelsa: However, they only make up a small proportion of global production.

Personal preference is decisive

Whether mild or strong, whether rather sweet or with a slightly sour note: Which bean or mixture you ultimately prefer is above all a question of personal taste. If you are not sure what tastes best, you can get advice from roasters and try different coffee blends. When buying, consumers should also bear in mind that coffee is often grown under precarious conditions in the countries where it is grown. It is therefore advisable not to decide based on the price alone, but rather to choose fairly traded products, such as those with the Fairtrade label.

How is coffee made?

The type of roast is decisive for the later aroma of the coffee beans.

After the harvest, the coffee cherries are first prepared wet or dry - a process in which the pulp and skin are removed so that the green coffee beans are left over. In the next step, these are cleaned, peeled and sorted and classified by hand or by machine. Only then are the beans roasted. The roasting time and temperature are decisive for the subsequent aroma: the longer the beans are roasted, the darker the color and the more aromatic the bean. Small businesses roast the beans for up to 20 minutes - this makes them milder and easier to digest for those with a sensitive stomach. Industrially produced coffee, on the other hand, is often roasted for only a few minutes, giving it a rather bitter aroma. The temperature is also important: it shouldn't be too high to prevent the beans from burning.

Prepare coffee properly

In general, coffee develops its aroma best when the beans are ground directly before preparation. It is also important how long the water runs through the coffee powder. If it runs too short, the acidic components in particular are released. If the water is in contact with the coffee for too long, it becomes bitter.

A huge range of machines is available in stores for preparing coffee - from simple household machines for filter coffee to fully automatic coffee machines, which also grind the beans and can produce various coffee specialties. Portafilter machines can also be found in cafés. These professional devices, on which, among other things, the amount of grinding, pressure and throughput time can be set, usually cost several thousand euros and are somewhat complicated to use. But it is also much cheaper: The classic filter coffee can be prepared very well by hand, preferably with a porcelain filter, instead of a machine.

Espresso and filter coffee - what are the differences?

Many coffee specialties, such as cappuccino, consist of espresso coffee with frothed milk.

In addition to filter coffee, coffee specialties such as cappuccino, caffè latte or latte macchiato are very popular. They are all made with espresso. Since the beans are roasted longer and more strongly, espresso is more digestible than filter coffee. It also contains less caffeine, as the coffee powder only comes into contact with the water for a very short time - around 25 seconds.

In order to prepare a real espresso, however, a relatively high pressure is required, which can only be achieved with a fully automatic coffee machine or a professional device. With simple cookers that are placed on the stove, an aromatic coffee can therefore be prepared, but not a real espresso.

Coffee capsules - not a good choice

Supposedly of high quality, but often far too expensive and of poor quality: coffee capsules.

Coffee machines that are filled with capsules have been popular for a number of years. This is convenient, but also significantly more expensive: Converted to the price per pound, coffee capsules are around 30 euros - that is many times that of conventionally packaged coffee. At the same time, the quality is often not particularly high. Another disadvantage: the capsules produce a lot of waste, the aluminum used is particularly energy-intensive to manufacture.

Store coffee properly

Ideally, the whole beans should be stored and not the coffee that has already been ground. So the aroma is better preserved. Coffee that has already been ground is best stored in a well-sealable ceramic jar. Transparent plastic containers are less suitable because coffee is sensitive to light. Do not store coffee near other food as it attracts odors. This is why the refrigerator is usually not a good storage location either. You can also freeze coffee, but it is advisable to use it as quickly as possible, preferably within a few weeks, so that it does not lose too much aroma.

How does coffee work?

Coffee is especially popular because of its invigorating effect. The caffeine stimulates brain activity and slightly increases blood pressure - we feel more alert. This effect sets in about half an hour after drinking. But the hot drink can also promote sleep: If you lie down immediately after drinking, you sleep more peacefully, as the sleep center in the brain has a much better blood supply.

Coffee is that healthy

For a long time coffee was considered harmful: it has a negative effect on the heart and circulation, increases blood pressure and draws water from the body. Recent studies refute this. Coffee is by no means unhealthy when consumed in moderation - around three to four cups a day. It even has a positive effect on the liver metabolism. Coffee is also calorie-free and contains minerals such as potassium, calcium and magnesium as well as cell-protecting antioxidants.

People with a sensitive stomach should still do without coffee, because the chlorogenic acid it contains irritates the stomach. Those who suffer from iron deficiency should also only enjoy it in moderation, as it inhibits iron absorption. Pregnant women should also reduce their consumption: the caffeine also enters the child's metabolism.

Coffee: healthy or healthy?

Coffee is healthy in many cases. This is the conclusion reached by British researchers who have evaluated more than 200 studies. However, the effect is not always positive. more

This topic in the program:

Market | 10/12/2020 | 8:15 pm