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Serving Coffee

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The Coffee Association of Canada reveals that 63% of Canadians of 18 years or older drink coffee every day, making it the most consumed hot beverage in the country. For years, specialty coffees (cafés au lait, cappuccinos and other special preparations) have become increasingly popular.

For many centuries, North Americans have enjoyed coffee and tea. The tea industry is rapidly expanding: consumers appreciate the flavour and variety of products and are conscious of the health benefits associated with tea.

History of Coffee

The coffee tree is a native of Africa. Immediately following its discovery, it was quickly transformed and adopted by the imams with the desire to remain awake much longer.

Originally called K'hawah, meaning "reviving", coffee became popular in Mecca, Persia, Egypt, northern Africa and Turkey. Coffee made its entry into Europe only in the XVth century. The monks, for the same reason as the imams several years earlier, quickly embraced it. Coffee was often blamed for raising the spirits against the power in place, notably in Egypt and Europe. The authorities failed their attempt to ban its consumption because the beverage was too popular.

How to Prepare Coffee

There are several ways to serve coffee and all are good. Before broaching the serving process, let's discuss its preparation. Several methods exist, but some prevail in the market:

  1. Brewing coffee: the oldest method

    Mainly used in the preparation of Turkish coffees, this method requires an extra-fine grinding of the coffee bean, to which we add a little water and a lot of sugar.

    The mixture is then brought to a boil in a saucepan, or more precisely in an Arabic coffeepot. Having let the boiling liquid settle, put the coffeepot back on the stove and reboil. In total, it is recommended to boil the liquid three to five times.
     
  2. Steeping coffee

    Steeping coffee requires a French press (also known as a cafetière), which isolates the beverage from the coffee grounds that remain at the bottom of the container. The coffee is coarsely ground to allow a longer steeping process without making the coffee bitter.
     
  3. Drip brewing (or filter coffee): the most popular method

    Coffee can also be filtered. In fact, it is the most popular method today with the use of conventional coffeemakers. The coffee grounds are put into a filter (disposable or reusable) allowing the boiling water to seep slowly through the ground coffee.
     
  4. Percolating coffee

    Coffee percolation is also an old process. This last method is very common in preparing espresso.

    While the water is warming up, it is forced by high pressure from one compartment to the other by seeping the coffee that was previously put into the filter. This process is used by Italian coffeemakers. On the other hand, high pressure brewing has the same function except for the fact that the pressure, which makes the water rise, is created by compressed air. The coffee is thus separated from the water more quickly.

Serving Coffee

As mentioned above, there are several ways to serve coffee: black, with milk, with cream, with or without sugar, etc. We can also add chocolate or cinnamon.

It is served warm, however, iced coffee beverages have recently begun to spread. The taste for coffee is not instant. It is acquired because it is strong and bitter.

At the end of a meal, after clearing the table, serve the coffee on a serving tray with cappuccino cups and a teaspoon that you will have placed in the saucer.

When serving coffee, leave the water glasses on the table, but remove the wine glasses. Coffee is served on the right side of the guest and the teaspoon is placed in the right side of the cup. Sugar, presented in a sugar bowl, is served with sugar tongs for sugar cubes. Provide an assortment of white and brown sugar, cane sugar, milk and cream around the coffee.

Offer your guests the choice to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and always offer a second cup. Eventually, you can add dark chocolates or cocoa - you will see, it is delicious!

The Secrets to a Good Cup of Coffee

Choosing coffee is a question of taste. Some prefer it stronger, and will lean toward the robusta, while others like it less bitter, and will choose the arabica. For the indecisive, choose a balanced mix of the two!

To prepare a good cup of coffee is not always obvious. You must count 10-12 grams of coffee per cup by using a coffee scoop. Pour tap water that you barely simmered (and not boiled). Place your paper filter that has already been wet with cold water and add your ground coffee.

Do not forget that freshness is the main ingredient to a good cup of coffee. So, grind the beans yourself. Buy some already ground coffee only if it will be consumed regularly. Preserve it in a canister that will maintain freshness at the bottom of your refrigerator.

An insulated carafe is perfect to maintain your coffee warm. There are many shapes, styles and colours available.

Interesting Facts?

For different variations, you can add different ingredients. Do not hesitate to offer new flavours or presentations to your guests:

  • Crema coffee with whipped cream
  • Espresso coffee and café au lait
  • Crema coffee (coffee with some fresh cream)
  • Cappuccino (an espresso with frothy milk sprinkled with cocoa)
  • Café Mocha
  • Coffee sundae (a cold coffee beverage and ice cream)
  • Irish coffee (coffee mixed with some whiskey)
  • Viennese Cappuccino (espresso lungo with some whipped warm milk and some whipped cream, sprinkled with cocoa powder).

* Suggested retail price in Canadian dollars

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