Coffee Basics: Introduction
Coffee is one of the world's most popular beverages.
Some claim it is the most widely consumed liquid in the world
aside from water.
Coffee is more than a beverage, however. It is
a memory, an anticipation, a lifetime of consoling moments of
modest pleasure woven into our lives.
Coffee's success as a beverage undoubtedly is
owing both to the caffeine it harbors and to its sensory pleasure.
Coffee lovers come to associate the energizing lift of the caffeine
with the richness and aroma of the beverage that delivers it.
Coffee is produced from the seeds of a small red
(sometimes yellow) fruit that grows on plants halfway in size
between shrub and tree. The process that turns these seeds into
beverage is a long and complex process, perhaps the most complex
process associated with any major beverage.
It is also a very labor intensive process involving
a vast intercontinental collaboration that starts with the coffee
grower, moves from there to the picker, then to the mill workers
who meticulously remove the fruit and dry the beans, then to those
who clean and grade the beans, to those who roast them, to those
consumers and baristas who finally grind the beans and prepare
the beverage. Every act along the way can be performed either
with passion and precision or with careless shoddiness. It is
the cumulative quality of all of these creative contributions
that together make the difference between a lackluster cup and
a fine and distinctive one.
Coffee Review is devoted to promoting the fine,
distinctive cup and celebrating its lore and pleasures.