A Brief History of Coffee and Tea
Coffee can be traced back to ancient Ethiopia as long ago as 850 CE, but it didn’t make its way to Europe until the 1700s. Today, coffee is by far one of the most popular and beloved beverages on the planet.
Tea made its first appearance in China, and then reached Japan by the 12th
century. Tea was first brought to Russia around 1618, when it was introduced by a Chinese ambassador. Soon, all of Europe fell in love with tea, and it spread throughout the continent. Settlers eventually brought it to the New World, and later, the infamous 1773 Boston Tea Party was held.
Not only are tea and coffee delicious to drink, but each offers a few health benefits, too. Tea is rich in antioxidants, which can help your body fight cell-damaging free radicals. Both coffee and tea contain varying amounts of caffeine to help boost your mood and improve energy levels. Some studies show that both of these drinks may help to fight cancer and may even play a role in preventing or improving symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Tea has less caffeine than coffee but is richer in polyphenols, a powerful form of antioxidant. Let’s take a closer look at tips for brewing coffee and tea so you can enjoy them to the fullest at home
Essentials for Brewing Coffee and Tea
Before you get started, there are a few must-haves that you’ll need when brewing either coffee or tea.
Choose your favorite brewing method based on your own needs. Whether it’s with a drip coffee maker or a tea infuser, the method you choose will determine what type of accessories you need.
Type of coffee or tea.
If you love fresh-ground coffee, you’ll need some fresh whole beans. You may also purchase ground coffee or instant coffee if you prefer. Tea lovers can choose between fresh tea leaves, tea bags, or a tea infusion to enjoy.
Cups or tea sets.
Grab a nice coffee mug for your favorite hot beverage. True tea fans may want to purchase a beautiful tea set that includes cups, saucers, and a teapot
Those who love fresh coffee beans will need a grinder to get the beans to a nice, fine consistency before brewing.
Your coffee and tea should be kept in an airtight storage container, like a canister with a sealed lid, to keep them as fresh as possible.
Syrups or other flavor additions.
From flavored syrups like cinnamon or vanilla to herbs and spices
, look for some ways to add a boost of flavor to your drink.
Coffee Brewing Methods
Here are some of the most popular coffee brewing methods you can use at home to help you decide which is best for you.
Drip coffee maker.
These coffee makers are easy to use and automatically start to brew once you hit the button. Fresh ground coffee beans always taste best, but you can also use pre-ground beans of a medium-fine consistency in a drip coffee maker. This option is easy to use and brews coffee quickly, but some people claim that they produce a more astringent, acidic flavor. Moisten your coffee filter with hot water before you brew whenever possible.
Using a French press produces a full-bodied, flavorful cup of coffee and doesn’t require a paper filter. Grind coffee beans to coarse, place them into the carafe, then add hot water and stir everything for around five seconds. Add some more hot water, allow the coffee to steep for about four minutes, then stir. Wait another four minutes, and push the plunger down as you slowly pour the fresh coffee into a mug.
Espresso is a strong, dark, and powerful coffee that requires skill to make. Use finely ground coffee, and always clean the portafilter and preheat your equipment before you begin. Grind just enough beans to make one serving at a time, and allow 25-30 seconds for extraction. Use one tablespoon of coffee for a single shot and two for a double shot. Make sure you press the correct button on your machine, depending on whether you want a single or double shot.
Your coffee should be ground as fine as possible when using a Moka pot. Fill the base chamber with cold water up to the valve level, and completely fill the filter with your ground coffee. Put the pot on a stovetop with a low flame, then remove the Moka pot as soon as the coffee begins to gurgle and bubble. Mix the coffee with a spoon, then pour it into a mug and enjoy.
Use medium-fine ground coffee beans when using a pour-over pot. Put the brewing vessel on top of the carafe, and moisten a paper filter with hot water. Put the coffee in the filter, and pour hot water over it in a slow, circular motion. Let it sit for 40-45 seconds, then pour the rest of your hot water slowly over the coffee grounds.
This option is great if you’re in a hurry and need coffee on the go. Pour a spoonful of instant coffee grounds into your favorite mug, then fill the mug with hot water and stir thoroughly. You can adjust the amount of coffee to suit your taste.
A capsule machine brews coffee quickly with self-contained capsules that contain different blends. Use this machine if you want delicious coffee without a lot of fuss, and make sure you choose a quality machine.
Tips for brewing great coffee at home