‘General’ Category

Stages of Coffee Preparation

One of the most highly consumed beverages worldwide is coffee. Many families as well as individuals drink coffee more than once a day. There are al...


One of the most highly consumed beverages worldwide is coffee. Many families as well as individuals drink coffee more than once a day. There are also some people that drink it even in their office. But only a few people know the stages involved in the preparation of coffee raw coffee beans before it can be taken. Generally, there are four stages in the process of preparing coffee for drinking, namely, roasting, grinding, brewing and separation stages. Read on to know more about these stages.


Roasting of raw coffee beans

Before the the raw coffee is ground, it has to be roasted. The roasting changes the chemical as well as the physical properties of the raw coffee. As it is being roasted, the size of the coffee beans increases. They also lose their green color. The color changes occur in stages. The roasting is completed when the coffee beans turn to dark brown. However, the longer they are roasted the darker they become. You buy the raw coffee beans and roast it at home by yourself since ordinary kitchenware such as frying pan, popcorn popper and the likes can be used in roasting it. But a special machine known as coffee roaster is meant for that purpose.


Grinding stage

In this stage, the roasted coffee beans are ground in preparation for brewing. It can be ground to different coarseness or fineness. The fineness or coarseness is what makes the difference in taste as well as what determines the brewing method to be used. For example, faster brewing method is best suitable for finer grind while slower brewing methods are most suitable for coarser grind. Coffee grinder is specifically meant for grinding of coffee. This machine is available in a number of types, brands, models, styles and sizes. There are commercial grades as well as home grade types.


Brewing stage

This is the stage when the liquid coffee that is taken is made. At this stage, hot water is passed through the ground coffee to extract the its content. Ground coffee can be brewed in different ways in order to obtain different tastes. There are four basic methods of brewing coffee which include decoction, infusion, pressurized percolation and gravitational feed method. What differentiates these methods from one another is the manner in which hot water is poured in the ground coffee. There are different coffee brewers meant for different brewing method. Coffee brewer just like coffee grinder has various brands, models and sizes.


Separation stage

This is the final stage in the process of making coffee. Here, the liquid coffee is separated from the ground beans before it is taken. After brewing, you don't have to consume the ground coffee beans with the liquid. You have to sift the chaff from the liquid and then consume the liquid.


The above processes can be carried out home. In fact today, many people prepare their own coffee in order to obtain a better freshness and taste. You can also prepare your own coffee at home. 

The History of Christmas Present


So many customs and traditions that are carried out during Christmas are being believed to have kick-started mainly in the Northern part of Europe – Germany, Spain and Italy, especially.


Among the major motivations for the giving of Christmas gifts is the Biblical story of the “Three Wise Men,” popularly known as “The Maggi.” Then, it was believed that giving gifts make us remember the gifts that were presented to Jesus Christ by the Three Wise Men in the aftermath of his birth – Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. 


Jesus Christ was believed by the Christians to be the King of Kings and Gold was heavily linked with Kings. Frankincense on its part, as a perfume was used by the Jewish tribe during worship, and that signified that Jesus Christ will be worshipped by the world. As for Myrrh, it was a balm used on dead bodies to make their bodies produce nice smells. That means Jesus Christ will experience great suffering and will afterwards, die.


According to the famous book authored by Stephen Nissenbaum, “The Battle for Christmas,” Christmas presents was also believed to have originated from what was then known as “Christmas begging.” Then, in the modern Europe, young men form several boisterous groups hit the streets of big cities, moving from home to home and demanding assistance from wealthy families. As at that time, Christmas celebrations looked nothing like the kind celebrated today.


Christmas has experienced a lot of modifications that have made it more interesting. The presentation of gifts for instance, is done in a variety of ways today. In Europe, most people leave it for children in their shoes. Italians, British and people from the US often leave theirs in stockings hanging –them by fire places (an idea gotten from the St. Nicholas story). In most parts of the globe, they are left under the Christmas Trees.


There are other interesting ways of giving presents that were also devised as Christmas got older. Children always hoped to receive presents from a “Christkind,” as Germans believed; “Wise men,” as the Spanish believe or an “Old Lady,” as the Italians believed, but generally referred to as “Santa Claus.” This has in the US today, graduated to a phenomenal practise known as “Santa in the Shopping Mall.” 


Another typical example is the “Secret Santa” Christmas parties where gifts are bought for a person whose name was, out of many names, pulled out of a hat at will. The fun of it is that the beneficiary of each of these gifts will not know who in the group bought it.


Different parts of the world present and opened Christmas gifts on different days. The Dutch for instance, present gifts to their children on the 5th day of December (the Eve of St. Nicholas Day). The Germans, Belgians and some other countries in Europe open theirs on the 6th (the St. Nicholas Day). In the US, UK, Japan and most parts of Africa, they do theirs on the “D” day, the 25th day of December. The Spanish and Mexicans are known to always do theirs a month after the St. Nicholas Day, the Epiphany.


Right from the first ever Christmas celebration more than 2000 years ago till date, this celebration has grown to become the most celebrated in the history of Christianity and the world in general. It is to Christians, the birthday of salvation and to the entire world, the birthday of the most iconic and charismatic human that ever, and will ever touched the surface of the earth – Jesus Christ.