The Spirit of Coffee – Coffees of the World

Ever wonder where the coffee beans in your morning coffee come from? You probably know words like Arabica and Robusta in terms of taste, but did you know that these words can also tell us where those coffees were grown? Here is a look at three of the world’s best specialty coffees and the regions in which they originated. Read on to discover the rich history of these coffees.

Yemen Arabian Mocca

Grown in the mountainous region of Sanani in south Yemen at an altitude in excess of 4,500 ft, Arabian Mocca is the world’s oldest cultivated coffee, distinguished by its richness and full body with chocolate undertones. Yemen is on Asia’s Arabian peninsula, a stone’s throw from Africa. Since there are no other Arabian coffees, it is classified as part of the family tastes of North African coffees.

It is here that the term “mocca” was coined. Its correct spelling is Mokha, for the port city that Yemen coffees ship from. Yemen’s arid climate contributes to the production of one of the best-loved specialty coffees that led Europeans to fall in love with coffee many centuries ago.

Yemeni coffee is one of the most distinct and prized coffees in the world. It’s been called a “wild” or natural cup, earthy, complex, pungent — to some it may be strange and bitter. This coffee can also be characterized as dry, winey, and acidic with chocolate and fruit undertones, rustic flavors, and intense aromas.

(Source: http://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.arabia.yemen.html)

Mexico “Spirit of the Aztec”

The state of Veracruz produces many average coffees in its low-lying regions, but atop the tall mountains near the city of Coatepec an excellent Arabica bean coffee called Altura Coatepec reigns. The word Altura itself means “high grown”. Altura Pluma indicates the finest coffee of Mexico. Coetepec, a coffee district of Veracruz, provides particularly outstanding coffee beans. Mexican Altura beans have a full medium body, fine acidity, a wonderful bouquet and a satisfying flavor that is mild and sweet. This fine Mexican coffee is noted for delivering a consistently smooth taste and fragrant flavor with good body, depth, and overall balance. It is likely one of the most underappreciated coffees around.

Mexican coffee botanists celebrate Mexico’s highest altitudes (with their approximately one hundred species of Arabica coffee plants) as the finest region of all the world’s gourmet coffees. An inferior grade of coffee bean known Robusta grows at lower altitudes. Mexico itself produces huge quantities of these unremarkable coffee beans, often utilized as dark roasts, supermarket coffees and beans for blending.

Arabica coffee arrived in Mexico at the start of the nineteenth century from the West Indies. Today, Mexico ranks among the world’s top coffee exporters. Most Mexican coffee is processed by the wet method to ensure better acidity and body. Mexican coffee is graded based on the altitude where it is grown. The plantations of Veracruz account for 60 to 70 percent of the Mexican coffee crop. Approximately 5 million bags of coffee a year originate in Mexico. Most of the better beans are grown on large plantations in the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, and Guerrero. These are producers of “high-grown” Altura Coatepec coffees, among the finest coffees grown in the Americas.

Their flavor is light and nutty with medium acidity and a mild, well-balanced body. With a fine chocolate tang and a hint of sweet undertone beneath the finish, these coffees make an ideal beverage for those of us who enjoy a smooth, mellow-tasting brew that is not overpowering. Altura’s smoothness produces many loyalists of the coffee drinkers who sample it. Mexican Altura Coatepec is an incredible morning coffee, as it could be used in a blend to tone down accompanying fuller-bodied coffees, or better yet, alone for the pure regional flavor.

(Source: http://www.coffeeuniverse.com/world_coffee_latin.html)

Java “Dutch Estate”

As a synonym of coffee, “java” introduced itself in the seventeenth century when the Dutch began cultivating coffee trees on the island of Java (part of the islands of Indonesia) and successfully exported it globally. Often the standard by which all other coffees are measured, Java’s finest golden beans are roasted to yield a piquant aroma, displaying an exquisite acid balance, a heavy body with chocolate undertones, and a lighter finish than Sumatran.

At one time the island of Java was ruled by sultans and dominated by mysticism. The early Dutch settlers who came in the late 17th century found Java to be a wonderfully diverse place with high mountains, thick tropical rain forests and a sultry climate that revolved around the monsoon rains. The Dutch and the Javanese settled the coastal volcanic plains, while much of the interior of the island was left to the jungle and a few tribal groups. The Dutch found that coffee grew very well in this climate, and began to set up plantations around their initial foothold in Batavia (modern day Jakarta). Initially Arabica coffees were planted, but many of these were killed by the coffee rust plague that devastated the region in the 1800’s. Robusta was the logical replacement — a tough plant resistant to many diseases.

Eventually the Dutch plantation owners conquered Java and took on the elements. Large plantations were established in the east of the island, as well as in Central Java and the west. After the Japanese occupied Java in the 1940’s many of these plantations were destroyed or absorbed back into the jungle with their owners imprisoned by the Japanese. After the war and the ensuing independence struggle, many of the larger plantations ended up under the control of the government. Today the big Java plantations (such as Nusantara XII) are still government-owned. However there are many medium and smaller growers who produce excellent quality Arabica beans. These coffees are known as “Government Estate” Java. They are primarily produced at 4 old farms (Kayumas, Blawan, Djampit, Pancoer). The Government body grows about 85% of the coffee in East Java, close to Bali on the Ijen area. The range of altitudes suitable for coffee production is 3,000 to 6,000 feet, with most growing in the plateau region at 4,500 feet.

Medicinal And Culinary Uses For Corn Silk

Corn silk may now be associated with a healthy lifestyle and medicinal benefit, but, as an adolescent, my memories of the use of corn silk was as a cigarette alternative. I have been told tales of those people in the Dirty Thirties who regularly rolled this dried corn fibre into cigarette papers, since tobacco was prohibitively expensive. While I do not recommend this practice today, the anecdote illustrates that desperate people use creative tactics to achieve an end.Continue reading: Medicinal And Culinary Uses For Corn Silk

Fitness Personal Training for Healthy and Fit Living

It’s never easy to avoid being a victim of food. Chocolates, ice cream, cake, etc., how can one resist? It’s really hard to avoid digging in to a plate of delicious goodness. But, if you want to stay healthy and fit, do you have to neglect eating? The answer is no! There’s no need to watch out keenly over your diet. You can lose those extra ounces of fat in your body without having to starve to death. The secret to a healthy and fit life is fitness personal training.Continue reading: Fitness Personal Training for Healthy and Fit Living

Building Fitness Requires Muscle and Nutrition

If people are at all aware of what is going on around them, then they also have heard that building fitness in their body is an important way to assure good health, even as they move through the aging process. However, there still is a common misunderstanding that people have about being skinny and equating this to being in good physical condition.Continue reading: Building Fitness Requires Muscle and Nutrition

Golf Fitness Exercises For Women Golfers

Golf fitness exercises can be beneficial for the woman golfer in terms of improving the foundation of the swing, rotation in the backswing, speed development in the downswing, and a consistent finish position. Learn how golf fitness exercises can benefit the woman golfer. Lowering scores and making the game more enjoyable.Continue reading: Golf Fitness Exercises For Women Golfers

Six Best Culinary Herbs for Cooking

Freshly picked culinary herbs add flavour to food and many are delicious additions to salads. Edible herb flowers such as pot marigold, nasturtium and rosemary can also be added to the salad bowl. Many culinary herbs are rich in vitamins and minerals and when freshly picked and eaten raw they can form part of a well-balanced diet. Raw herbs can also be used to add flavour to oils and vinegars for cooking and for salads.

Parsley

Parsley leaves gives a fresh flavour to sauces and salads, when added just before serving. The stems and leaves of parsley can also be used in bouquet garni. Parsley tastes particularly good with pasta dishes, omelettes, vegetables, fish and any meat or poultry.

Parsley is one of the most widely known and used of the culinary herbs. There are two main types of parsley – curly leaf and flat leaf – and both are excellent for culinary purposes. Both of these herbs are a rich source of vitamins and minerals and they can be used to enhance the flavour of cooked dishes and green salads.

Basil

Basil goes with almost any dish but it has a special affinity with tomatoes and is a favourite in Italian cooking.

Sweet basil with its soft green leaves and creamy white or purple tinted flowers is the most popular type of basil. This culinary herb can be used in sauces and salads and to enhance the flavour of cooked dishes such as soups and stews. Perhaps the greatest basil dish is pesto sauce, eaten with spaghetti. This combination makes a wonderfully delicious meal.

There are many other types of basil. Purple ruffle, dark opal and Greek basil are three of the other more unusual varieties, all with differing flavours.

Mint

Spearmint and peppermint are two members of the mint family most widely known and used as culinary herbs. There are many varieties of mint, some with distinct scents and flavours and some can be used for a variety of culinary purposes, such as in sweet and savoury dishes, in salads and for herb tea.

Spearmint is a favourite for mint sauce to accompany lamb and tastes particularly good with dishes such as soups, stews, plain meats, fish and lemon-based deserts.

Peppermint is also popular as a culinary herb flavouring. This herb is most commonly used as flavouring for sweets and chocolates etc. and is also used to flavour cordials. Fresh peppermint leaves can be used to make peppermint tea and the leaves can be added to fresh green salads.

Thyme

Thyme can be used to improve the flavour of most dishes. Both the fresh and dried leaves of this herb are used for cooking. Fresh thyme leaves are useful in many savoury dishes.

Thyme has a rich flavour which makes it an ideal accompaniment to roast meats and tastes good in slowly cooked dishes such as stews and soups. The finely chopped fresh leaves may be added to new potatoes or salad.

Thyme is regarded as one of the great culinary herbs and is widely used in European cooking. This herb is an evergreen perennial it is recognisable by its mauve flowers and small leaves.

The Road To Fitness

For most of us, choosing to be fit is more a test of will than a one time decision. Being “fit” covers a change in our lifestyle much more than just embarking upon a new exercise or diet program. For me, the choice came about 15 years ago. I was about 24 years old when friends of mine convinced me to start going to the gym as a group. At that time, I knew I didn’t really like the way I looked, so I thought it would be a good idea. How hard could it be? Well, it didn’t take long before I knew the answer to that question.Continue reading: The Road To Fitness

A Good Coffee Mug Makes Your Day

We all have a fetish for our favorite coffee mug, and you are no exception to it. Your cup exudes warmth. If some one dares to use it, you are sad, angry or disappointed.

What are the ideal features of a good mug? Well each one of us has a different take on it. However there are tons in varied colors and styles to choose from.Continue reading: A Good Coffee Mug Makes Your Day

4 Tricks to Make Healthy & Delicious Banana Bread

IF you are already ripe bananas, then one way to avoid wasted process is to make banana bread. To taste more delicious and healthy recipes change with healthy cooking tricks.

4 Tricks to Make Healthy & Delicious Banana BreadHere are the best tricks to create healthy and delicious banana bread, as reviewed EatingWell:

Use brown sugar
Try using sugar as little as possible for your banana bread. As a result, the sweetness of the bread will feel natural and soft bananas. So, the recipe asked for two medium-sized banana, three banana change with use. As a result, the banana bread is softer and more strongly flavored banana and toast do not worry because you will be fine.

Should select brown sugar. This sugar will add a sense of deeper and more caramel for you than sugar bread where it is less nuanced.

Use whole wheat flour
Replace white flour with whole wheat flour. Generally, at least half of the composition of the flour called for in the recipe can be replaced with whole wheat flour. However, you can also substitute whole wheat flour with whole wheat flour.

In addition to healthier, more nutty taste if using whole wheat flour. The fiber content of whole wheat flour four times higher than regular wheat flour, contains potassium, magnesium and zinc.

Add Healthy Fruits and Nuts
In addition to increasing the number of banana bread in the recipe, you can also mix different kinds of fruits and nuts in your banana bread recipe. The result, texture, taste and health benefits of growing anyway.

If you want to add fruit, you should select with a sour taste, like blueberries. Add approximately 1 1/2 cups of blueberries to your banana bread, add after the wet and dry ingredients are well blended.

As for the beans, use 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts that have been rough. Mix into the dough before baking to add a nutty flavor and crunchy taste on your toast. Nuts contain omega-3 good fats, which can help lower “bad” cholesterol LDL. Walnuts contain monounsaturated fats are healthy.

Cut butter and buttermilk multiply
Buttermilk gives a sense of the fantastic banana bread. By using a mixture of non-fat buttermilk 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons canola oil, you can make banana bread contains almost no butter. You only need 2 tablespoons, a very little amount. In addition to sharp and unpleasant taste, buttermilk helps keep the bread moist during the roasting process.

Without oil, the fish can be cooked, how come?

DURING this to get a level of maturity in fish, of course, you use oil for frying, there is now a way that can be done, without using oil.

“To cook the fish, do not ever use oil but to use other materials, then you can do it, do I just use salt water,” said Heriyanto, Executive Chef at the Millennium Hotel Okezone when met at the Millennium Hotel, Tanah Abang, Central Jakarta.

According to him, the use of salt water fish will easily mature, because salt has a high compound to make the body of the fish so hard.

Well, to make it, then simply soak the fish with salt water use, with size 50 tablespoons water, and just one tablespoon of salt, then soak the fish for 30 minutes.

“With salt water soaked, then the texture of the fish will be hard to change,” he continued.

After soaking the fish removed, then cleaned the fish, then cut the fish to taste. New you can eat.

In mature fish using salt water, then do not use warm water, as hot water will kill the bacteria in fish meat, the freshness factor was so lost.

Similarly, using cold water, because cold temperatures will cause freezing, as cold curing properties.

“Simply use water temperature of 20 degrees Celsius, equivalent to room temperature,” he concluded.