The Joy of Freshly Brewed Panamanian Coffee
It doesn't matter whether you call it java, joe or a half-caff double-foam non-fat latte with freshly-grated nutmeg and a partridge in a pear tree; we love our coffee. Once upon a time, it was the sacred brew of doughnut shops and all-night diners. People drank it to wake up, and shunned it after dinner, fearing for their sleep. Now we have breakfast blends, coffee dates after work, coffee with dessert, even coffee as dessert.
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According to the National Coffee Association, 83% of Americans drink coffee, a 5% increase from recent years. 31% drink gourmet coffee every day. Single-serve coffee machines are becoming more popular and espresso coffee drinks are preferred by consumers aged between 18 and 39. Clearly, this is not your grandmother's percolated brew.
The Changing Face of Coffee
How did we discover so many ways to enjoy this amazing drink?
Café frappé style coffee is one of the millennials' favorite beverages as they see it as a great way to connect with friends. In the 1900s it was used primarily as a stimulant, a way to wake up before work. The brews served in these primitive times was bitter and watery, made in a percolator or an industrial drip machine. It was often compared to dishwater, except that the dishwater tasted better. Instant coffee was all this, and less, with a thin body and bitter, almost metallic taste.
That began to change near the end of the 20th century. People craved a more sophisticated cup. Entrepreneurs saw the opportunity, and the specialty coffee shop was born. Going to work included a stop for trendy (and expensive!) lattes, mochas and drip brews with names other than "joe". People spent as much on their morning cup as they did on lunch. It was a golden age, and it hasn't ended yet.
Advances in coffee machines make premium fresh coffee available at home for a fraction of the coffee shop price. Try it robust blend with breakfast, a lighter roast for an afternoon pick-me-up, or mellow roasted coffee beans with the complex flavor profile after dinner. Improved decaffeination methods make that late-night cup more tempting.
Good-quality instant coffee lets you take that perfect cup anywhere. Varieties go far beyond the old choice of regular or decaf. They have a flavor and aroma that makes drinking coffee on the go a genuine pleasure.
Specialty roasted coffee beans are available for every budget. Buyers can select by region, growing conditions or depth of roast. Now sharing coffee with friends is more than just a social occasion. It's a way to explore a world of flavor and aroma, experiencing the subtle variations between Kenyan and Guatemalan, or comparing premium fresh coffee from Indonesia with a top coffee from Ethiopia.
The latest coffee machines make anyone a barista. Try roasted coffee beans to get the perfect grind, or espresso coffee for rich body and deep flavor. With top coffee and a little experimentation, it's easy to get the flavor and aroma you enjoy most.
Whether you are a coffee purist, a coffee snob, or you just want to travel the world one cup at a time, it's never been a better time to enjoy the fruit of the coffee bush. With the right tools and a little experimentation, you may find that your favorite coffee shop is right in your kitchen.