Let’s take a coffee break

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Coffee was first consumed in the 9th century, when it was discovered in the highlands of Ethiopia. From there, it spread to Egypt, Yemen and by the 15th century had reached Armenia, Turkey and northern Africa. From the Muslim world, coffee spread to Italy, then to the rest of Europe, Indonesia and the Americas. Today, coffee is one of the most popular beverages worldwide.

Coffee had played an important role in many societies throughout modern history. In Africa and Yemen, it was used in religious ceremonies. It was banned in Ottoman Turkey in the 17th century for political reasons, and was associated with rebellious political activities in Europe.

Drinking coffee: The good and the bad

Studies have shown that consuming coffee constantly in small quantities protects the human body against type two diabetes and colon cancer.

Large quantities of coffee seem to help at preventing diabetes. Scientists have discovered that the person who drinks four to six cups of coffee per day has a 28 percent lower chance of developing diabetes than persons who drink only two cups or less daily. Studies have shown that people who drink more than six cups of coffee daily have a 35 percent lower chance of suffering from diabetes later in their life.

However, an exaggerated consumption of coffee may have become addictive, and it can cause nervousness, tremulous hands and fast heart rhythm. Pregnant women, people who suffer from heart diseases and ulcer are advised not to drink coffee.

Types of coffee:

1-Espresso Con Panna:

A basic standard espresso with a shot of whipped cream on top.

2- Flavored coffee:

Ethnic traditions, syrups, flavorings and/or spices are added to give the coffee a tinge of something else. Chocolate is the most common additive, either sprinkled on top or added in syrup form, while other favorites include cinnamon, nutmeg and Italian syrup.

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3- Frappe:

A big favorite in parts of Europe and Latin America, especially during the summer months. Originally a cold espresso, it has more recently been prepared by putting 1-2 teaspoons of instant coffee with sugar, water and ice. The brew is placed in a long glass with ice, and milk if you like, turning it into a big coffee milkshake.

4- Iced coffee:

A regular coffee served with ice, and sometimes milk and sugar.

5-Indian (Madras) filter coffee:

A common brew in the south of India, Indian filter coffee is made with rough ground, dark-roasted coffee Arabica or Peaberry beans. It’s a drip-brewed for several hours in a traditional metal coffee filter before being served. The ratio of coffee to milk is usually 3:1.

6- Instant coffee (or soluble coffee):

These grounds have usually been freeze-dried and turned into soluble powder or coffee granules. Basically, instant coffee is for those who prefer speed and convenience over quality. Though some prefer instant coffee to the real thing, there’s just no accounting for taste.

7- Kopi Tubruk:

An Indonesian-style coffee that is very similar to Turkish and Greek in that it’s very thick, but the coarse coffee grounds are actually boiled together with a solid piece of sugar. People from the islands of Java and Bali tend to drink this brew.

8- Melya:

A coffee mixed with one teaspoon of unsweetened powdered cocoa and drizzled honey. Sometimes served with cream.

9- Mocha:

This popular drink is basically a cappuccino or latte with chocolate syrup added to the mix. Sweeter, not as intense in coffee flavor and a good ‘gateway’ coffee for those who don’t usually do the caffeine thing.

10- Oliang/Oleng:

A stronger version of Thai coffee, Oliang is a blend of coffee and other ingredients such as corn, soybeans and sesame seeds. It is traditionally brewed with a “tung tom kah fe”, or a metal ring with a handle and a cloth bag attached.

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11- Turkish coffee (also known as Greek coffee):

Made by boiling finely ground coffee and water together to form a muddy, thick coffee mix. In fact, the strongest Turkish coffee can almost keep a spoon standing upright.

12- Vietnamese style coffee:

A drink made by dripping hot water though a metal mesh, with the intense brew then poured over ice and sweetened with condensed milk. This process uses a lot more coffee grounds and is thus a lot slower than most kinds of brewing.

13- White coffee:

A black coffee with milk added.

Etymology

The word coffee first came to be used in the early to mid 1600s, but early forms of the word dated back to the last decade of the 1500s. It came from the Italian caffe. The term was introduced to Europe via the Ottoman Turkish kahve which, in turn, was derived from the Arabic qahweh. The origin of the Arabic term is uncertain; it is either derived from the name of the Kaffa region in western Ethiopia, where coffee was cultivated, or by a truncation of qahwat Al-bunn.

Turkish coffee:

Turkish coffee is just simple and aromatic. It is not the kind of coffee you grab on the way to work. It’s a coffee to be enjoyed quietly. Turkish coffee is especially good for those who love … life! Turkish coffee was invented as a drink during the 16th century in the Middle East — brewed in little pots called ibriks or cezves. From Egypt, it spread through the Middle East and then into Europe and Russia.

Fun fact: In the 15th century in Turkey, it was legal for a woman to divorce her husband if he failed to provide her with her daily coffee quota!

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