Coffee 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Coffee Drinking

Baristas in coffee shopCoffee drinking has been a part of millions of people’s daily routine. In the U.S. alone, 64% of the population drinks coffee every day. But, if you’re one of the many who just discovered coffee’s superpowers, there are things you need to know about this beverage that will make you appreciate it even more.

Cool Beans

The energy-boosting brew you consume to start off your day comes from beans. Coffee farmers cultivate three primary varieties of beans for commercial consumption. These are Arabica, Robusta, and Liberica.

Arabica beans are often used for gourmet coffee. The beans are handpicked, which ensures their high quality. When roasted, Arabica beans have a complex aroma and multiple flavor layers.

Robusta coffee beans are used in instant coffee powder.  This type of bean has double the caffeine compared to Arabica and has distinct hints of chocolate when roasted.

Finally, Liberica beans have a smoky and nutty aroma. Due to the coffee rust disease in 1890 and the rise of Arabica and Robusta, Liberica’s production declined. It’s now mainly cultivated in the Philippines as a sub-variety known as “Barako” coffee, and some parts of Malaysia, where there used to be a huge market.

Companies like Canada-based Bobby the Coffee Guy make a point of indicating which kind of roasted beans they use in their products if you’re buying online. Knowing this can help you decide which one fits your palate.

Know Your Cup

Despite being new to the coffee party, you must have already heard of the fancy names of different coffee concoctions. What’s the difference between them?

Espresso is a strong, black coffee made by forcing steam through ground coffee beans. It’s the base of most coffee beverages. An Americano is a lighter version of espresso, with hot water added to the mix. A latte is a coffee with milk, in a nutshell. It’s made with espresso and steamed milk.

Espresso, hot milk, and frothy milk foam make a cup of cappuccino. Café mocha is the same, except that, instead of milk foam, baristas add chocolate syrup or cocoa powder.

With all these new information, you can better appreciate what goes into your cup of energy every morning. Welcome to the world of Javaphiles!