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Articles - Gourmet Pleasures:

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Taking the basic method of preparing coffee as the starting point, there are now hundreds of different ways to enjoy it, depending on the drinker’s culture and personal taste.


But the step that is common to all variations is the first one: hot water being poured over roasted, ground coffee beans. This releases the beans’ aroma and produces the drink we know as coffee. To prepare coffee you can either use a percolator or a coffee machine, brew the coffee yourself or filter it by hand. Coffee can also be prepared with or without milk, with sugar or syrup, with cocoa or alcohol. Salty coffee is another alternative, but not particularly widespread nowadays.


Here are the most common preparation methods:

Filter coffee is usually made using a coffee machine, into which you insert a filter paper, or brewed yourself. With this method, a filter attachment containing a filter paper is placed on a pot and a little water is poured over the ground coffee. The whole thing should be left to soak briefly, before adding the rest of the water.

Instant coffee is a very finely ground, soluble coffee onto which hot water is poured; it does not have to be filtered.

Espresso is produced using pressure. Hot water under nine to ten bars of pressure is forced through finely ground coffee powder. This either happens in an espresso machine or using a stove top screw-on pot. In Italy, espresso is simply drunk on the go, whilst in Germany it is common to finish a good meal with this type of coffee.

Latte macchiato is made from a freshly prepared espresso, hot milk and milk foam. Firstly, hot milk is poured into a tall glass, followed by an espresso (added very carefully) and finally, the glass is topped up with frothed milk. This gives the three-layer effect that is characteristic of the drink: milk at the bottom, espresso in the middle, a crown of frothed milk at the top. Latte macchiato is typically drunk by Italians at breakfast or during a coffee break. But in Germany it is also enjoyed with cake or even during the evening. Latte macchiato goes really well with vanilla pods, unwaxed orange peel or liqueurs, but the most popular pairing is with syrups like vanilla, caramel, nut or chocolate.

Cappuccino is made from an espresso, poured into a large cup and filled up with hot milk foam. This creates an even brown colour, topped off with a small crown of frothed milk. In Italy, cappuccino is typically drunk at breakfast. Italians often find it amusing that foreigners drink it at dinner or with cake.

Latte is a strong coffee, poured into a large cup at the same time as hot milk. Latte is also known as café au lait and is particularly popular in France as a breakfast drink. The French drink their café au lait from large cups that look more like little soup bowls.