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Old 05-13-2010, 12:36 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Almost all coffee, including coffee from Colombia, is made with arabica beans. The difference is in how it's roasted.

If your accustomed to using 1 1/2 tablespoons for 24 ounces of water, then using 2 tablespoons for 6 ounces will certainly taste way too strong. That works out to 8 tablespoons for 24 ounces of water!

Use the Starbucks coffee in the same amount as you usually do and then compare.
My mistake! I meant to write "Arabica and robusta" not "arabica and columbian". Oops!! Here's some info, source is listed at the bottom. Hope it helps!
The two varieties differ in taste, growing conditions, price. Arabica beans tend to have a sweeter, softer taste, with tones of sugar, fruit, and berries. Their acidity is higher, with that winey taste that characterizes coffee with excellent acidity.
Robusta, however, has a stronger, harsher taste, with a grain-like overtone and peanutty aftertaste. They contain twice as much caffeine as Arabica beans, and they are generally considered to be of inferior quality compared to Arabica. Some robustas, however, are of high quality and valued especially in espressos for their deep flavor and good crema.
Robustas, however, are easier to grow. They can grow at lower altitutes than Arabicas, and they are less vulnerable to pests and weather conditions. They produce fruit much more quickly than the Arabicas, which need several years to come to maturity, and they yield more crop per tree.
Robusta is grown exclusively in the Eastern Hemisphere, primarily in Africa and Indonesia. Arabica is also grown in Africa and Papua New Guinea, but it's grown dominantly in Latin America. Colombia only produces Arabica beans. Some countries, like Brazil and India, produce both.
Arabica, then, ends up being pricier, of course. Most supermarket coffee is exclusively robusta, and instant and cheap ground coffees are certainly robusta. You can still find Arabica in the grocery store, but just because it's labeled Arabica does not mean it's of high quality.
Ultimately it's a question of personal taste. Some all-arabica blends are too high and floral for us; some of the rich, dark harshness of robusta can be a good thing in a blend. Just remember that robusta has twice as much caffeine as arabica, too, when choosing a coffee blend.
More info: Coffee Basics: The Difference Between Arabica and Robusta | Apartment Therapy The Kitchn
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Old 05-13-2010, 12:40 PM   #12
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I like Starbucks Christmas Blend and Winter Blend. They are my seasonal weekend coffees. I usually drink what ever is on sale.. Maxwell House or Folgers, although I prefer Chock-full-o-Nuts but that never seems to bee on sale.

FYI - the darker the roast of coffee the less caffine it has. So a dark french roast, although stronger in taste, has less caffine than say a light roast "breakfast blend"
That's so strange... The Kicking Horse coffee that has the most caffeine is a darker roast... I wonder why that is? Either way, it's so good...

And the Starbucks Christmas blend IS great, isn't it?
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Old 05-13-2010, 12:43 PM   #13
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Probably coffee is the single thing dh and I disagree on. He ALWAYS (and I know you are never to say always and never) makes it so strong it is bitter. I like it strong but not to the point that there is any bitterness.
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Old 05-13-2010, 12:45 PM   #14
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Then there's always Kopi Luwak coffee, for a real taste treat!!

Kopi Luwak does exist, is very expensive, and is made from coffee beans passed through the digestive system of an Indonesian animal, that is more like a cat than a monkey. According to a feature article by the Manila Coffee House, which sells the stuff, the people who harvest the digested beans don't really have to pick through cat litter to get it. The animal processes the beans and excretes them whole, unscratched, and without dung.

The animal is a palm civet, a dark brown tree-dwelling cat-like creature found throughout Southeast Asia. The scientific name is paradoxurus hermaphroditus.

According to the Manila Coffee House, the palm civet just happens to like to ingest the ripest and reddest coffee beans, which also happen to be the ones best for brewing. The cat eats the outer covering of the beans in the same way that is accomplished by de-pulping machines. Something happens to the beans in the journey through the cat's intestines that gives it a flavor that is celebrated by coffee drinkers.

At this point, most of the beans are purchased by Japanese buyers.
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Old 05-13-2010, 12:59 PM   #15
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Then there's always Kopi Luwak coffee, for a real taste treat!!

Kopi Luwak does exist, is very expensive, and is made from coffee beans passed through the digestive system of an Indonesian animal, that is more like a cat than a monkey. According to a feature article by the Manila Coffee House, which sells the stuff, the people who harvest the digested beans don't really have to pick through cat litter to get it. The animal processes the beans and excretes them whole, unscratched, and without dung.

The animal is a palm civet, a dark brown tree-dwelling cat-like creature found throughout Southeast Asia. The scientific name is paradoxurus hermaphroditus.

According to the Manila Coffee House, the palm civet just happens to like to ingest the ripest and reddest coffee beans, which also happen to be the ones best for brewing. The cat eats the outer covering of the beans in the same way that is accomplished by de-pulping machines. Something happens to the beans in the journey through the cat's intestines that gives it a flavor that is celebrated by coffee drinkers.

At this point, most of the beans are purchased by Japanese buyers.
OH my!!!!!!!! I'm so curious about that, but don't think that I'm curious enough to seek it out and try it.. hmmm..
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Old 05-13-2010, 01:05 PM   #16
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Then there's always Kopi Luwak coffee...At this point, most of the beans are purchased by Japanese buyers.[/COLOR][/SIZE][/FONT]
That's OK with me.
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:20 PM   #17
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When I hear of products like Kopi Luwak, I always wonder who was the first person wandering around the jungle picking up civet droppings, bringing them home, roasting, grinding, brewing, then having the guts to taste? Sure wasn't me.
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Old 05-13-2010, 03:25 PM   #18
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Just to clarify on the Kopi Luwak coffee, the beans are washed and sterilized before they are ever made into coffee. If I ever had the opportunity to try it I think I just might.
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Old 05-13-2010, 04:18 PM   #19
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Ok, i have to muster some courage to admit this...coffee connoisseurs will be appalled...but, oh, what they're missing out on: For the past ten years I have purchased my coffee from TJMaxx...yes, you heard it here first and you heard it right. I'm picky though...it has to be KONA coffee from Hawaii. I know what your thinking...can't taste fresh from TJMaxx but it's always tasted VERY fresh to me and the date on it is never expired. I can't believe they've carried the same product there all these years. It's $6.99 for a one pound bag.

I was first introduced to Kona coffee many moons ago by a friend who, everytime she would return from Hawaii, would bring me some. How can you resist this description:

"Overlooking the vast blue-green Pacific Ocean in the rich volcanic soils of Kona...we nurture each third generation coffee tree. Grown on Mauna Loa's mountain slopes, bathed in crystalline water, cooled by the warm Pacific trade winds. This is nature's perfect cradle for these superior coffee trees to flourish. These sun-ripened coffee cherries are hand picked, expertly graded and roasted in small batches to insure the highest possible quality."
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Old 05-13-2010, 04:25 PM   #20
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When I hear of products like Kopi Luwak, I always wonder who was the first person wandering around the jungle picking up civet droppings, bringing them home, roasting, grinding, brewing, then having the guts to taste? Sure wasn't me.
I'm with you... that's not exactly a normal thing to do!

And like Mollyanne, I like a Kona blend the best! In fact, I'm spoiled on it now!
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