Sunday, September 29, 2013 is National Coffee Day. A good way to celebrate is with a cup of coffee – but an even better way to celebrate is with a free cup of coffee (and maybe a pastry to go with it!).
- Starbucks: Free coffee tastings of the new Ethiopia coffee blend at Starbucks – and anyone who purchases a one-pound bag of Ethiopia beans in-stores that day will receive a free Ethiopian-inspired ceramic cup (while supplies last – go early).
- Dunkin’ Donuts: Free small hot or iced coffee on all day on National Coffee Day with an offer on the Dunkin’ Donuts mobile app
- Peet’s Coffee & Tea: Order any baked item or oatmeal between 10 am and 2pm on National coffee day and get a free small maple latte, their seasonal offering. You’ll need to bring this coupon with you, though.
- Caribou Coffee: Free small coffee of the day at participating stores with a coupon, printed or shown on your mobile device, from their Facebook page.
- Tim Hortons: Say “Happy National Coffee Day” when you order your coffee and you’ll get a buy one, get one free deal on your coffee order.
- Krispy Kreme: Free 12-ounce cup of hot coffee and $1 small specialty drinks, like the Pumpkin Spice Latte.
Even people who aren’t regular wine drinkers know that wines are chock full of flavors like berries, herbs, chocolate and other elements. There are classes you can take to increase your wine tasting knowledge and skill, and flavor wheels to help you learn to put a name to the notes you’re picking up. But coffee drinkers don’t usually have the same resources. Coffee tasting classes are few and far between, but there is a Coffee Tasting Kit at Uncommon Goods – a fun shop that always offers up unique gift ideas for men (here) and for women (here) – that can help you conduct your own coffee tasting workshop at home.
The Jean Lenoir Le Nez du Cafe includes a brief guidebook and six tiny bottles of fragrance that contain six common – and very different – scents that are often found in brewed coffee. These scents include Garden Peas, Blackcurrant, Butter, Caramel, Roasted Peanuts and Roasted Coffee, and the handbook describes them in great detail and also gives hints as to which types of coffee you might find these aromas in. The general idea is that you can use these bottles to memorize key scents in coffee and you can later call them back to better identify the flavors in your coffee and to better describe them. Continue reading »
Some of the most expensive coffee in the world comes from Indonesia. Kopi Luwak is coffee that has been eaten and partially digested by civets before being cleaned and roasted into a highly sought-after coffee that is prized for its smooth flavor. One of the problems with this coffee is that it can be difficult to tell if it is real or not. In other words, you might be paying extra for coffee that hasn’t come out of the back end of a civet. There is so much novelty associated with the “cat poo coffee” that there are many people out there who try to fake it rather than getting the real thing – and experts say that the fake coffee is giving real Kopi Luwak a bad name, since it lacks the richness of the real product.
Now, biotechnologists in Japan have come up with a test to authenticate civet coffee, so you will finally be assured of its authenticity when you pay full price for a bag of Kopi Luwak. They started looking for chemical signs that could only come from the predigested coffee that civets had actually eaten. They found a marker in the form if citric acid. The predigestion doubled the citric acid levels present final coffee beans, providing an easy way to tell if the coffee had been authentically “processed.”
Coffee is usually made by pouring hot water over coffee beans to extract their flavor quickly and easily. This is a reliable way to brew a great cup of coffee – when you are looking for a hot cup of joe. During the summer months, many of us turn to iced coffee for our coffee fix and you need to brew iced coffee a little differently. Since you’ll be adding ice to your coffee, which will dilute it, you need to brew the coffee stronger. It is tempting to simply let your grounds steep longer in hot water to produce a stronger brew – but this can draw out some acidic flavors in the coffee beans that you might not want in your finished product. When it comes to iced coffee, many turn to cold brewed coffee instead of the traditional hot brew method.
Cold brewed coffee is made by steeping coffee grounds in cool or cold water for an extended period of time – usually 12-24 hours. This slow brewing process draws out the flavor of the coffee beans without getting the mixture hot enough to pull out any overly acidic notes. The result is a strong and smooth cup of coffee that is already chilled and ready to be a refreshing drink on a hot day.