Coffee-shops are good places for first dates. Coffee-shops with Wi-Fi are great for staying in touch with friends or getting your work done while sipping a cappuccino. Coffee-shops are also good places to try out various brands of healthy organic coffee as well as the various types of coffee house coffee. First of all let us look at the types of coffee available in coffee-shops and then how to use their stock to try out new brands of coffee.

Coffee House Coffee

First of all, all coffee in a coffee house starts with espresso. Hopefully they use healthy organic coffee in making their espresso but you probably have to ask for it. Espresso is very concentrated coffee that retains a lot of dissolved as well as suspended solids from the roasted coffee bean. It is made by forcing steam (boiling water) through fine ground coffee. It has a thicker feel because of the suspended solids and foam because of the pressurized steam. Espresso concentrates the flavors of coffee and is served in a small cup, usually an ounce (30 cc). Espresso is about four times more concentrated than the cup of coffee that you probably had a home for breakfast.

Variations on a Theme

In coffee-shops espresso is the basis for the following:

  • Americano
  • Breve
  • Cappucino
  • Latte
  • Mocha

Americano is easy. When GI’s visited coffee shops in Europe after World War II they wanted their espresso watered down so that it tasted like the coffee that mom made back home in Iowa, North Dakota or Washington state. Americano is half espresso and half water. Breve and latte are both made with espresso and foam. Latte is made with steamed milk and breve is made with half and half. Cappuccino is made with espresso plus hot milk plus lots of steamed foam. Mocha is made with espresso plus chocolate syrup plus milk.

Trying Out New Brands of Coffee

There are all sort of great coffees in the world. Our favorites are the Colombian organic coffee brands. Rather than going out and buying a pound of a coffee that you might not prefer, consider visiting various coffee-shops and sampling their coffees from around the world. There is Kona coffee from Hawaii, coffee from Ethiopia where coffee was first discovered by humans, Panama mountain grown organic coffee and, of course, coffee from Brazil where they grow more coffee by far than anywhere else. Besides trying different brands of coffee in coffee-shops you will want to try different roasts.

Coffee Roasting

The more recently you coffee was roasted and ground the fresher it will be. And the amount of roasting has a very definite effect on coffee flavor and aroma. The amount of roasting of green coffee beans produces various degrees of caramelization, color change, and aroma. Here are a few coffee types their roasting temperatures.

  • Cinnamon Roast 195 °C (383 °F)
  • New England Roast 205 °C (401 °F)
  • American Roast 210 °C (410 °F)
  • City Roast 220 °C (428 °F)
  • Full City Roast 225 °C (437 °F)
  • Vienna Roast 230 °C (446 °F)
  • French Roast 240 °C (464 °F)
  • Italian Roast 245 °C (473 °F)
  • Spanish Roast 250 °C (482 °F)

In general the taste and aroma of the bean is more dominant at lower roasting temperatures and at higher temperatures the roasting process produces flavors and aroma that dominate. An advantage of taste testing in coffee-shops is to compare not only various brands of coffee but various roasts as well.

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