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Whether you love coffee a “latte” or just a little, coffee has evolved since being discovered 14 centuries ago. According to National Coffee Association USA, coffee is a $200 billion industry, enjoyed by over 25 million people. In celebration of National Coffee Day on September 29, learn about the special beverage that has become a part of everyday life.
History of Coffee
Coffee’s origins differ depending who you’re talking to. With ancient roots in both Ethiopia and Yemen, there are many tales surrounding its claim to fame. One legend purports that a goat-herder named Kaldi observed his goats behaving wildly after eating particular berries from a nearby Coffea Arabica tree. After trying some of the red berries he later brought them to a monastery where they utilized the energizing effects for long hours of prayer. He shared his findings with other monks and it was not long before the fascination with these berries spread. Since then, many ways of preparing and serving coffee have emerged.
Roasts: What Do They Mean?
We have all seen the varying roast labels or have an idea of our personal favorite, but what exactly makes them different? The process of roasting coffee beans is calculated to the very second to get the perfect amount of flavors out for each. The different roasts carry different qualities and even caffeine content:
Also known as Light City, Cinnamon Roast, and New England Roasts, light roasts are tan in color, and serve as a milder coffee option. This kind of roast does not have oil on the surface of the beans because they are not roasted long enough. Light roast beans have a toasted grain taste and the most pronounced acidity as well as caffeine content. Many beans from Latin America possess the characteristics of light roasts, in order to preserve the brightness of the bean and downplay the bitterness.
Medium roasts are the preferred roast of the U.S! Regular, Breakfast, American and City roast are all common names for medium roasts. This roast is a medium brown color with a strong flavor. Similar to lighter roasts these do not have any oil on the bean surfaces. However, medium roasts do not have the grainy flavors that lighter roasts typically have. Caffeine levels are lower, but there is still more caffeine than the darker roasts.
Medium-dark roast beans are among the oldest roasts in coffee history since they are grown on the continent of Africa, in the Middle East, and Arabia regions. Roasts are commonly known as Full City, After Dinner, and Vienna Roasts, are rich and darker color with some oil on the surface. A medium-dark roast has a bolder flavor in comparison with the light or medium roasts. The flavors from roasting become more prominent in this roast.
You’ve likely heard dark roasts referred to as Italian, French, Espresso, Continental, New Orleans and Spanish Roasts. The dark roast coffee color runs from slightly dark to charred, producing shiny black beans with oily surfaces. The flavors in darker roasts are mostly influenced by the roasting process rather than the bean itself, and the caffeine level also decreases as the roast gets darker. Many of these beans have heavy body with low acidity. Typically these beans are from Asia, Indonesia and surrounding Pacific islands. Dark roast beans are roasted to preserve the smooth and flowery undertones, making them the perfect complement with espresso.
What is your coffee preference? Take part in celebrating National Coffee day and everyday with your AARP member benefits! Check out these offers by our providers:
Enjoy your brew today at Dunkin’ Donuts and receive a free donut with a large or extra-large sized beverage. Learn more here.
Enjoy a classic cup of coffee with your meal today at Denny’s and get 15% off! Learn more here.
These articles present general information and are for informational purposes only. They are not a substitute for legal, financial, medical, or other professional advice.