Posted in Coffee, Everyday life, Family, Human Rights, Morality, Politics, Science, The Conscious Disbeliever

The end of modern civilization

English: Coffee berries Polski: Owoce kawy
English: Coffee berries Polski: Owoce kawy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the past  weeks I stumbled upon a series of articles in the news that quite frankly were the harbingers of doom. Modern civilization is coming to an end in this century.

The Mayas missed the date, but it seems that in the later half of this century, civilization will come to a halt. At least in the way we know it today.

The articles all talk about climate change and how around 2080 wild arabica could be extinct. This does not mean that coffee per se will disappear, but it will be more difficult to keep up production of this variety of coffee.

Coffee production will not come to a halt, but we could be in for a change in the variety of coffee used in our blends. Reuters reported in an article called Analysis: Coffee roasters stick with less costly robusta that roasters are using more robusta in their blends due to cost and the possibility to maintain market share .  Consumers have switched to non-premium blends of coffee that contain a higher content of lower quality robusta.

The more resistant variety of coffee known as Robusta or Coffea canephora gives your coffee more bitterness, more caffeine and an unpleasant rubbery taste.  The best espresso roasts use primarily Arabica beans, which originated in Ethiopia, but have spread around the  world. In some blends Robusta beans are typically included in the blend because of their ability to generate crema. High quality Italian espresso blends such as Illy  use no robusta at all.

Robusta has on average half the flavour and aromatic oils compared to Arabica. These oils attack the foam and make it disappear. Less oil in your brew equals more foam – crema. But at a cost. Less oil equals less aroma, flavor and overall quality of your espresso.


So let us reduce, reuse and recycle so as to limit our carbon footprint, lest we leave behind a world of low quality/high price coffee to those that come after us.

Here is the link to the article from PLOS ONE.

See you next time.

Posted in Coffee

Caffè Americano

A Caffè Americano or Americano is a coffee made adding water to espresso. It has different strengths depending on the amount of water added to the espresso and the number of shots of espresso.

An Americano

A similar but inverse concoction is called a Long Black, it is obtained adding espresso to water.

A Long Black

So what is the difference? They are both water and espresso. Aren’t they the same?

Well, no. If you add espresso to water you keep the crema (the beautiful golden foam on an espresso), but if you do it the other way around, you wipe out the crema. It is a matter of preference, and in the end you get a drink that is closer to an ordinary brew coffee, maintaining a strength similar to your Cup of Joe but with a richer aroma and body.

An Americano (left) next a Long Black (right)

This style of coffee can be long or short and the amount of water varies.

It is believed that the name comes from the way American GIs during WWII would water down espresso  to get something that resembled the coffee they had back at home.

Why drink an Americano?

If you are at an espresso bar and crave something near an ordinary brew, including the size of your drink, this is a good option. And being at home, craving something full of flavor, but not too strong, this is also for you.

How to make it?

You have different options to make this style of coffee.

If you have an espresso machine: make your espresso as usual and then add water from the steam spout to the dilution you desire. If you are making a Long Black get the water in your cup and then draw the espresso on top of the water.

If you have a Neapolitan Coffee Maker make your coffee as always and meanwhile heat some water and then mix them in the order corresponding on your desired drink.

See you next time.