Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Coffee brewing

Research shows that perhaps as early as 800 AD, the practice of coffee consumption was started by crushing the whole ripe berries, beans and hulls, in mortars, mixing them with fats and rounding them into food balls.

The practice of making a beverage from coffee beans and boiling water began about 1200 AD. Even then, the beans were not roasted. The dried fruit, beans and hulls were boiled in stone or clay cauldron. Then about 1300 AD, men began the custom of removing the hulls, roasting them and grinding the beans to powder, this powdered was then mixed with boiling water.

Right from the beginning, coffee pots were used for brewing coffee. They had sharp pour spouts to block most of the coffee grounds from escaping, and a squat bottom for good heat absorbtion. There were the first coffee pots, and they have been evolving since the seventeenth century.

The common early method of preparation throughout the Levant was to keep the powder in water for a day, to boil with liquor half away, to staring it, and to keep it in earthen pots for use as wanted.

Then, evolution struck when someone poured hot water through sock containing ground coffee. This was the first known use of a filter. For quite some time, filters were made of cloth. Still today, in many parts of the not so civilized world, socks are still used to filter coffee.

Sugar seems to have been introduced into coffee in Cairo about 1625. Veslingius records that coffee drinker in Cairo’s three thousand coffee houses ‘did begin to put sugar in their coffee to correct the bitterness of it’.

About 1660, Nieuhoff the Dutch ambassador of China, was the first to make a trial of coffee with milk in imitation of tea with milk.

Around 1919, the infusion brewing process was introduced in France, Infusion called for enclosing the coffee ground in a linen bag called a ‘biggin’.

The filter evolved and it got a commercial name: “Mr. Biggin.” In 1780 “Biggin pots” appeared for the first time. A biggin brewed coffee by pouring water through a series of filters, metal and cloth, onto the coffee grounds. The system of filtering coffee produced a far smoother brew than the customary tradition of boiling the grounds and water together in a metal coffee pot.

 The coffee Biggin appeared in England about the year 1817. After the Biggin pot, there came the metal filter baskets with spreaders that would evenly distribute the coffee grounds and the water. The “water filter spreader coffee brewer” was used to spread the water evenly into the coffee while the coffee dripped through the filter.

In 1802, the metal coffee filter was patented in France. In the same year, Charles Wyatt obtained a patent in London on an apparatus for distilling coffee.

Many coffee brewing devices evolved after that. One of them was the vacuum pot, patented by Madame Vassieux of Lyons. Coffee percolators appeared around the same time. Percolator was developed in France in 1891 forced the hot water upwards through a tube, after which it dripped down through a filter or series of filters.

In 1901 Luigi Bezzera, invented the espresso machine because he wanted to make the time to brew coffee shorter, so that his employees would not spend as long on their coffee breaks.

During the 1930s, coffee makers were further revolutionized with the addition of electricity. One of the first electric coffee machines was made by Willy Brandl. The most innovative invention of the electric coffee maker was the switch that turned it off at the right time.

In 1945 Achille Gaggia developed a new type of espresso machine and spread to coffeehouses and restaurants across the rest of Europe and North America in the 1950s. By 1946 cappuccino (named after the color of the robes worn by Capuchin monks) was born. The scene was set for the growth of an edgy alternative culture based in the coffee bar.
Coffee brewing 

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