Coffee Then and Now: The Universal Beverage

Coffee has been known to mankind for thousands of years. Considered an elixir, a medical treatment and even a beverage that enabled us to communicate with the heavens, its uses are as varied as they are interesting…

Added: 12th September 2014

Still, modern times have ushered in what many observe to be a completely new type of drink. Let us take a look at a few evolutionary facts in regards to this tempting beverage.

Changing Tastes

In the past, coffee beans were ground by hand and added to boiling water over a wood stove. As the grinds were generally allowed to sit for some time in the water, many other compounds were extracted from deep within the bean. While this proved to make a strong cup of coffee, its bitter flavour was disagreeable to some. It was not until coffee was brought to Europe during the seventeenth century that aficionados began to add chocolate to the coffee along with sugar. This soon led to other additions such as citrus extracts; enabling popular coffee houses of the time to offer a variety of different blends. With the advent of the coffee filter in 1908, grain sizes and the overall concentration could be accurately controlled. This further removed the bitterness and thus, the truly “modern” cup of coffee was born.
chocolate powder topped drink

The International Variable

Of course, certain cultures will have their own unique preferences in terms of taste and how the coffee is served. For instance, coffee in the United Kingdom tends to be much stronger than its counterpart in United States. While many Americans espouse the convenience of an instant blend, the British will frequently use fresh-roasted coffee that has been percolating for longer.
Still, these disparities are not only limited to the United Kingdom in reference to the United States. The Spanish enjoy a “cafe con leche” (coffee with milk and a good deal of sugar) while Italy is famous for its espressos. Likewise, the French enjoy a variant simply known as un petite cafe (a tiny cup of black coffee without milk or sugar). These tastes have developed over time and reflect interesting cultural differences.
latte in white mug

Counting Those Calories

For many people in the modern world, along with the taste, the amount of calories within a certain coffee is a concern. Thankfully, for those who enjoy a cup of black coffee with no additives, the calorie count is practically zero. A cappuccino will contain approximately 73 calories (with whole milk) and a latte around 110 calories (again with whole milk), so both lower than a can of coke – however those with a sweet tooth, be careful of the amount of sugar you put in!
Coffee is perhaps the most universal drink on the planet. Offing a pleasant burst of energy and a tempting aroma, it is no wonder that the earliest written recordings of mankind mention this decidedly delectable beverage. In modern times, the amount of options to enjoy will suit even the most discerning of tastes and will no doubt increase even more over time.

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