We use cookies to make sure our website better meets your expectations.
You can adjust your web browser's settings to stop accepting cookies. For further information, read our cookie policy.
IN Warsaw
Exchange Rates
Warsaw Stock Exchange - Indices
The Warsaw Voice » Other » January 30, 2008
On the town
You have to be logged in to use the ReadSpeaker utility and listen to a text. It's free-of-charge. Just log in to the site or register if you are not registered user yet.
Crazy About Coffee
January 30, 2008   
Article's tools:

One legend has it that coffee was first discovered by a shepherd herding goats in the highlands of Ethiopia. He noticed that the animals became more energetic after nibbling on red berries. The intrigued shepherd tried eating the red fruit himself, and realized that it made him feel vigorous and refreshed. Another legend says that it was Ethiopian monks who drank a brew made from coffee beans so as to be able to meditate and pray into the small hours of the morning.

It's hard to say whether any of this is true. Yet what we do know is that coffee, in the form of a hot beverage, has been consumed since the Middle Ages. For centuries, Christians considered this drink to be the work of the devil. This view sparked many disputes, finally resolved by Pope Clement VII in the 16th century, who "banished the demon" from this beverage. With the pope's blessing, coffee set out to conquer the world.

Most coffee around the world is produced from two species of the coffee plant, Arabica and Robusta. Arabica is deemed the finest variety of all. It was discovered in Yemen, and is grown on the hilltops of Africa, South America and Asia. Robusta, on the other hand, was discovered only in the 19th century. It is easier to cultivate than Arabica. It produces fruit more quickly and is more resistant to climate change. However, it is less tasty.

Coffee brewing techniques

Turkish style
In this technique, very finely ground coffee in a mill is mixed with sugar and put into a copper coffee pot. You add cold water and heat it several times until the brew rises. Before pouring the hot beverage into cups you should add a few drops of cold water so that the coffee grounds settle at the bottom. You may spice the taste up with cinnamon or cardamom.

Drip brewing
In the so-called auto-drip pot, water seeps through a filter containing ground coffee. The pot has a special heating device, which maintains the steady temperature of the beverage. It should not be kept at high temperature for long, as it loses its aroma.

High-pressure coffee machines are solely used to make espresso. You put the coffee into a strainer and press it down. When the water reaches a temperature of 88-92°C, the process of coffee extraction begins. Pressure arises from the resistance of the water passing through the coffee. The coffee acquires a thin layer of delicate froth called crema. Genuine espresso must have distinct characteristics and meet certain standards.

In order to obtain real espresso, you must grind premium quality coffee beans in a mill. The beans must be ground no more than three hours before brewing. A well-made espresso must have a crema of about 2-4 mm.

a brewing
A Moka coffee maker consists of a lower chamber, where you pour in cold water; a strainer for ground coffee placed over it; and the upper chamber for the infusion. You put the pot on a stove top. Once the water reaches boiling point, the pressure forces the water upwards through the coffee. The infusion obtained this way finds its way to the top container.

The coffee market is developing rapidly in this country, and Poles are gradually becoming more acquainted with coffee; it has become a part of the daily routine. And as people become more familiar with the beverage, their expectations grow. In order to keep pace with the growing popularity and demands of customers, café owners employ "baristas."

The barista is responsible for the selection of the coffee blend, for storage and grinding. A barista must also be familiar with the other factors essential to produce the perfect brew, such as brewing temperature, brewing time, and the right pressure in the coffee machine.

"As a barista I try to add a little bit of passion to every cup I make", said Marcin Michalik, a barista for the Coffeeheaven chain. The skills of baristas are appraised by experts at the annual World Barista Championships. Łukasz Jura, who represented Poland in the 2007 competition, finished in the top 10 out of 45 contestants.

Joanna Matysiak

A handful of places in Warsaw that serve good coffee:

Czuły Barbarzyńca
This is a bookstore and club in one. While sipping on a fine brew you can delve into a book, which you can buy if it catches your interest.

Czuły Barbarzyńca holds meetings with writers and art exhibitions. 31 Dobra St., tel. 022-826-32-94

Pewne miejsce
A cozy coffee shop that regularly hosts photo exhibitions. 13 ¦więtojańska St., tel. 022-635-61-09

Same fusy
With its music, the fragrance of candles and incense, as well as its original interior, including drums serving as bar stools, this place has a remarkable atmosphere. 10 Nowomiejska St., tel. 022-831-99-36

Bistro café róża
A warm, romantic spot, with soft music playing in the background. It's the perfect place for a tete-a-tete. There is also a wine bar and shop on the premises. 8 Szpitalna St., tel. 022-826-56-12

Pożegnanie z Afryk±
This coffee chain specializes in importing, selling and, above all, brewing, coffee. It's a place where time stands still, and the coffee never cools. Almost as if by the patrons' tacit agreement, the place is as quiet as can be. A haven in the noisy city center. 4/6 Freta St., tel. 0-501-38-30-91

This coffee chain, with outlets in the city's major pedestrian traffic hubs, is targeted at socially and professionally active people. It offers a wide selection of quality takeout coffees. Coffeeheaven also provides quick and competent service from coffee-savvy staff. 31/33a ¦więtokrzyska St., tel. 022-827-10-37
© The Warsaw Voice 2010-2018
E-mail Marketing Powered by SARE