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July 16, 2018 | Coffee In Ghana

How-To: Drink Coffee The Proper Way

How-To: Drink Coffee The Proper Way

You might be wondering what qualifies as the proper way to drink coffee?

To start, let’s define what the word “proper means: proper is “strictly following rules or conventions especially in social behavior” (American Heritage Dictionary of English).

Based on this definition, the proper way of drinking coffee will have to conform to certain methods which are generally acceptable by society.

Coffee and Culture?
But, society in itself is made up of various cultures that differ from one geographical area to another. Hence some people may relate the proper way of drinking coffee to:

  1. coffee rituals,
  2. taste and
  3. coffee culture

Other variables -including health consciousness, also play a crucial role in their definition.

To the French: buying a cup of espresso, sitting and sipping while going over issues and watching the world go by, qualifies as a proper way.

An Italian on the other hand mostly sees standing at the bar to take your coffee as the way not forgetting never drinking a cappuccino afternoon.

In his 2017 his article; “The proper traditional way to drink Arabic Coffee”, Ismail Sbugwaawo portrays coffee culture as the proper way of drinking Arabic Coffee is “sitting with friends and family in the evening and over several tinny cups of steaming coffee poured from a dallah discussing the day’s event”.

By the way, in a Business Insider UK article, Herrine Ro stated that “people the world over follow a similar ritual; wake up, grab a cup of coffee, where the rituals divert however is in the coffee preparation and sometimes its ingredients”.

Brewing Culture.
Coffee brewing has some basic practices that make a perfect cup, like:

  • using fresh coffee beans,
  • grinding your own beans (grinding just before brewing gives it the best taste),
  • using a standard measure of 2 level tablespoon per 6 ounces cup at brewing temperature of 200-205 oF or about 45 seconds off a full boil.

Flavoring and proper sweetening without sugar in some places is considered the best, cinnamon and coconut milk or stevia can be used as sugar substitutes to reduce the calories count if you are going to take it more than once a day, adding natural flavors like vanilla extract, cardamom, dark chocolate (cocoa powder) or dates are mostly preferred.

The Ethiopian Way
Jebena Buna is a three-cup ceremony:

  1. the first of which is called the Avole,
  2. the second cup is called Tona,
  3. and the third Bereka served in small, handle-less cups and traditionally all brewed from the same dose of grounds.

At its most traditional, the Jebena Buna ceremony includes the process of roasting the coffee freshly by hand in a pan over hot coals and then grinding it with a mortar and pestle immediately prior to brewing.

This ‘amplifies’ the view that coffee culture is used to determine how to properly drink coffee. Most ‘coffee experts’ believe that Jebena Buna the only way to drink Ethiopian coffee.

More Ways to drink Coffee.
Many schools of thought also state that the British have American coffee tastes thus when it comes to coffee, however, the British are much more relaxed. While they’ve enjoyed the caffeinated beverage for centuries, it hasn’t become a country tradition - we all know that they prefer their tea to coffee.

Therefore, many British are happy to trust a barista whom they don’t know with their cup of coffee.

Those with health in mind also consider avoiding artificial creamers, using filtered water and organic beans, adding some cinnamon and eating before drinking coffee as the proper way to drink coffee.

And a small note on Greeks. Greeks drink two types of coffee:

Greek coffee in a very small cup- almost identical to Arabian coffee (this is where their coffee and Greek coffee preparing and drinking tradition comes from). By the way, you cannot add milk to these kinds of coffees.

Frappé: an instant cold ‘shaken’ coffee drink in a large glass / tall-cup created. These are usually drunk when people are relaxing and thus have the time to leisurely enjoy a rather large cup of fresh, iced coffee. The word frappé is French and means 'chilled in crushed ice.

Coffee and our Health
There is the myth that coffee if properly consumed can actually aid in weight loss -but there is no scientific evidence to that.

Finally, some also see coffee serving portion as the proper way to drinking coffee. To help determine what the proper portion is, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee looked at whether coffee poses any health risks, a topic they have previously been silent on.

They concluded that “strong evidence shows moderate coffee consumption (3 to 5 eight-ounce cups per day, or up to 400 milligram/day caffeine) is not tied to any long-term dangers for healthy people.

Now, the word "healthy" is key in their analysis and this is a general statement, not a directive. In other words, the committee is not saying that everyone should drink 3 to 5 cups a day.

So, what is the proper way to drink Coffee?
It might be difficult if not impossible to choose a proper way of drinking coffee based on a particular brew process, colour, and choice of sweetener or flavor, to outrightly state that this is a proper way of drinking coffee.

Globalization and modernization have influenced most coffee cultures in recent times leading to the development of more sophisticated taste and habit.

In my personal opinion, all these variables are considered on individual level bases to determine what constitutes a proper way of drinking coffee. How-to properly drink coffee, should consist of the above-mentioned variables that give the individual maximum satisfaction after taking a cup of coffee.

Did you know?
The first instant coffee patent was granted in Britain in 1771. It was called a “coffee compound”.

The first American instant coffee was created in 1851. It was used during the Civil War and experimental cakes of instant coffee were shared in rations to soldiers.

David Strang of Invercargill, New Zealand invented and patented instant or soluble coffee in 1890.

All the Earth’s coffee is grown within 1,000 miles of the Equator along the so-called “Coffee Belt.”

In 2013, a converted Ford pickup that heated coffee-bean husks in an onboard stove reached a top speed of 65 miles per hour.

Coffee is actually a fruit.
Historians believe that the first African tribes to consume coffee did so by grinding the berries together, adding in some animal fat, and rolling these caffeinated treats into tiny edible energy balls.

About the Author:
Benedicta Tamakloe is the Founder of Bean Masters, a Ghanaian StartUp focused on the coffee business of course.

She welcomes all remarks/questions/ feedback via email at [email protected]

© 2018 Benedicta Tamakloe and © 2018 Bean Masters

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