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C for Coffee

Published on 19 July 17

 

Coffee is a beverage obtained from grinding the seeds of the Rubiaceae, genus Coffea, tropical plants whose family includes many different species (approximately 66) of which just two are mainly cultivated and put on the market: Coffea Arabica and Coffea Canefora, known as Robusta.

 

A cup of coffee consists mostly of water, has a caloric intake of 1 kCal and contains caffeine (1.2 > 4%), a molecule that gives it its characteristic bitter note, as well as the sensations of excitability and alertness that it transmits to those who consume it.

 

Specifically, a coffee is composed of:

 

0.01% caffeine

0.05% lipid (cafestol)

0.05% carbohydrates (glucose, fructose)

0.6% OTHER: acids: chlorogenic acid, quinine, citric acid

minerals: potassium, sulfur and magnesium

Vitamins: A, E and K.

99.3% WATER

 

 

CHEMICAL COMPOSITION OF A CUP OF COFFEE

Scientific research Program, National Coffee Fund

the plant

The coffee plant is an evergreen dicotyledon that produces flowers and fruits and grows in warm climates, in the countries between the Tropic of Cancer and that of the Capricorn. 

Coffee plantations usually require water, especially during the full vegetation phase.

The fruit is a ovoid drupe, green in colour if immature and bright red at full maturation (for some varieties, the colour is intense yellow). The berry (also called cherry) has an external exocarp (peel) and an endocarp (pulp) that envelop the two grains or beans, covered in turn by a parchment casing (pergamino) and more internally by a silverish foil membrane.

 

The two most popular species are:

C come caffè

Coffea Arabica

 

This species represents 70% of world production and has a maximum caffeine strength of 1.4%. As a result, the Arabica quality is more aromatic and soft on the palate, also proving itself more acidic.

 

Main cultivation areas: Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, Ethiopia and India.

C come caffè

Coffea Canephora (Robusta)

 

It has a high caffeine strength (1.7% > 4%), is less aromatic but characterised by a bitter aftertaste and strong body.

Its cultivation represents 30% of the world total and is generally cheaper than the Arabica variety.

 

Main cultivation areas: Vietnam, Indonesia, India, Africa and Brazil.

 

BLENDING

It is the process of merging different varieties of coffee, aimed at creating different flavours and intensities, maintaining a constant quality.

 

The types of blend are:

 

100% Arabica: the acidity, the sweetness and the most refined aromas (for example, citric and floral) are highlighted.

 

Arabica and Robusta: the robust quality adds body, a bitter note and the spicier hints of tobacco and bitter chocolate.

 

ROASTING

This is a crucial process in the production of coffee, as it determines its distinctive aromas.

It consists of adding heat to the beans to increase, according to specific profiles, the temperature and the cooking time.

 

C come caffè
C come caffè

Production and marketing

The coffee is marketed in different forms:

 

Beans

This is the raw material purchased directly by the consumer.

 

 

Ground

The beans undergo a grinding process.

The grinding point of the coffee (its grain size) varies depending on the type of preparation and pressure through which the water extracts the beverage:

• Espresso: fine grind (9 bar pressure)

• Moka pot: medium grind (0.6 > 0.8 bar pressure)

• Filter: coarse grain grind (gravity force)

 

 

Soluble and instant

This is the dry product obtained by means of water extraction from roasted coffee beans and subsequent dehydration.

 

There are two main technologies for producing soluble coffee:

• Freeze-drying: the extracted coffee is processed by freezing and vacuum packing

• Dry Spray: the extracted coffee is sprayed into an evaporation channel, sold in sachets and ready to be dissolved in water or milk.

 

 

Single-dose

This is the packaging system with pre-set doses and an exact pressing point in order to prepare a cup of coffee with a capsule or pod.

 

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