Coffee, how do you like yours?

Today is International Coffee Day.
Today is International Coffee Day.

Whether it’s espresso or latte, instant or filter, today is the day to savour and appreciate your favourite beverage.

The number of coffee shops popping up in towns and villages all over the country is proof of the nation’s love affair with coffee.

I went out the kitchen to make coffee – yards of coffee. Rich, strong, bitter, boiling hot, ruthless, depraved. The life blood of tired men.

from The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler

Now the International Coffee Organisation has declared today the first official International Coffee Day.

Coffee is thought to have originated in Ethiopia. The story goes that a 9th century goat herder noticed the stimulating effects coffee berries had on his goats and began experimenting.

Coffee was first cultivated by Arabs during the 14th century.

Coffee beans are actually the pit of a berry, making them a fruit.

There are two types of coffee beans: Arabica and Robusta. Seventy per cent are Arabica, while Robusta is slightly more bitter and has twice as much caffeine.

Once ripe, coffee beans are picked, processed, and dried.

Green (unroasted) coffee beans are one of the most traded agricultural commodities in the world. Once traded, the beans are roasted to varying degrees, depending on the desired flavor, before being ground and brewed to create coffee.

But do you know exactly what’s in your favourite type of coffee?

Espresso: A small but strong shot of caffeine, usually about 30ml. It takes 42 coffee beans to make an espresso.

Cappuccino: A cappuccino is equal parts espresso, steamed milk and foamed milk (about 60 ml each).

Ristretto: A ristretto is a very concentrated espresso shot, only 22ml.

Americano: If you like the taste of espresso, but are left wanting more, an Americano is a 30ml shot of espresso but with twice the amount of water (60ml).

Doppio: Doppio, meaning ‘double’ in Italian, gives you a 60ml shot rather than the regular 30ml.

Latte: The latte gets its name because it’s full of milk, generally a 60ml shot of espresso with 300ml steamed milk - and only 2ml foamed milk.

Cafe au Lait: Cafe au lait has warm, steamed milk in place of cold milk over an espresso.

Mocha: For something sweeter, a mocha is 60ml of espresso, 60ml of chocolate and 30ml of steamed milk.

Macchiato: A macchiato gives you get a shot of espresso (sometimes two) with a dash of foamed milk.

Cafe Noisette: The noisette - somewhere between a macchiato and a latte - is a big shot of espresso with half of that amount in hot milk.