Coffee and caffeine
Coffee should never be
merely the beverage at a meal. Coffee should be the
center of any sit-down, if not the ONLY thing consumed.
The odd doughnut or slice of cheesecake is allowed,
though not preferred.
Coffee must be drunk from a porcelain mug that must be
larger than a Dixie cup. The main reason that Styrofoam
and plastic just don't feel right, and more importantly,
your spoon (which must be metal) will not "clink"
properly through the various stages of stirring unless
porcelain is used. The mug mist be large so that you do
not need to refill it too frequently, and so that
stirring may properly take place without spillage.
Stirring occurs in very distinct stages. First a rotary
swirling which makes the coffee forms a small whirlpool
and dip slightly in the center. Over ambition at this
stage will cause spillage over the side-- something to
avoid and to caution beginners of. Next, the
cross-stroke, with follows a chord form one side of the
mug to the other, passing roughly through the mug's
geometric center, and which is generally made towards
you so that over-ambition at this stage will slop coffee
on you and not your companion. That cross-stroke creates
random eddies in the coffee and effect proper mixing of
the cream or sugar, or at least stirs up the sediments.
Finally the removal. The spoon should be tapped lightly
on the rim of the mug, two or three times to knock off
any large drops. DO NOT lick spoon to remove final
drops. Spoon will leave a stain where ever you place it,
so place it accordingly.
Companionship is the most overlooked part of drinking
coffee. At its finest coffee is never consumed alone.
However the proper companion is important. They should
not talk too much, nor require that you talk too much.
Talking limits one's ability to savor the moment and the
brew. If silences are embarrassing between you and
someone, do not drink coffee with them. If looking
blankly at someone, or if being looked blankly over a
mug bothers either of you, do not drink coffee together.
Never drink coffee with someone drinking tea -- they are
COMPLETELY INCOMPATIBLE experiences.
Coffee should be strong. Hot, brown colored water does
not coffee make. But this does not mean it should taste
like kerosene -- coffee should be smooth, almost like
melted, unsweetened chocolate. There is no such thing as
good instant coffee. Nor will decaffeinated coffee ever
hack it. Also, sugar should always be used to sweeten --
never some artificial placebo. How much fat can one lump
of sugar slap on your thighs? -- use the real stuff,
because deep down you know nothing tastes the same.
finally where to go with the perfect companion to drink
this, hopefully, not completely repulsive cup of
something they're calling coffee. The place must exist
cafe style. Lots of small tables. Little organization.
There should be a light buzz of conversation around you.
Enough indistinct noise to cover the sound of you
breathing, but not enough to cover the "clinks" of the
removal stage of stirring. Well lit. Airy. Coffee is a
private experience that can only be properly appreciated
in a public place. If there aren't other people around
who are screwing their coffee experience up completely
you do not realize how wonderful yours is.
Always exhale after finishing a cup and enjoy the heat
and flavor of your breath.
Lastly, if you are a man, then remember that just
because your well- sized, porcelain mug has a handle
doesn't mean you have to use it. Assuming you have
fairly large hands you can merely grip the mug near the
top with the tips of your thumb and fore- and
middlefinger, with the ringfinger draped around the
handle so that you know where it is and don't bop
yourself in the nose with it, and drink from the mug
that way. Women must always use the handle, and putting
two fingers through the hole is allowed. Sexist as it
may sound, women and men approach coffee and food in
general in different manners, ie, civilized versus
"what's the extra fork for?".
Coffee tasting terminology ranges from easily
understandable to highly technical, and some of the more
esoteric terms may be a little difficult to decipher.
short vocabulary list explains some basic phrases that
will help increase your understanding of fine coffees.
Flavor, acidity, and body are the three fundamental
is the total impression of aroma, acidity and body. It
can be used in a general sense ("this coffee is
flavorful"), or with specific attributes in mind ("this
coffee has a flavor reminiscent of chocolate").
is the sharp, lively quality of all high-grown coffees.
Acid is not the same as bitter or sour, and has nothing
to do with objective pH factors. Acidity is the brisk,
snappy quality which makes coffee refreshing and palate
is the tactile impression of the weight of the brewed
beverage in the mouth. It may range from watery and
thin, through light, medium and full, to buttery or even
syrupy in the case of some Indonesian varieties.
is the odor or fragrance of brewed coffee. Bouquet is a
less frequently used term, and refers only to the smell
of coffee grounds. Aroma is often distinctive and
complex. Terms used to describe aroma include: caramelly
(candy or syrup-like), carbony (for dark roasts),
chocolaty, fruity, floral, herbal, malty (cereal-like),
rich (over-used), rounded, spicy.
is a basic taste perceived primarily at the back of the
tongue. Dark roasts are intentionally bitter, but
bitterness is more commonly caused by overextraction
(too little coffee at too fine a grind). Bitter is not a
synonym for sour.
is the pale, insipid flavor often found in low-grown
coffees. Underextracted coffee (made with too little
coffee or too coarse a grind) is also bland.
is a salty sensation caused by application of excessive
heat often brewing. You'll recognize it as the familiar
smell of "truck stop" coffee.
is often used to describe the spicy, "of the earth"
taste of Indonesian coffees. Carried to an extreme, as
in the case of the cheap filler coffees used in
commercial blends, earthy can become dirty, an obviously
undesirable sensation caused by poor processing
techniques like drying beans on the ground.
refers to a coffee with unusual aromatic and flavor
notes, such as floral, berry, and sweet spice-like
qualities. Coffees from East Africa and Indonesia often
have such characteristics.
is a term for well balanced coffee of low-to-medium
denotes a coffee with harmonious, delicate flavor. Fine,
high- grown Latin American coffee is often described as
mild. It is also a coffee trade term for any arabica
coffee other than those from Brazil.
describes low-acid coffees such as Indonesians, that may
also be called mellow or sweet.
is a primary taste perceived mainly on the posterior
sides of the tongue, and is characteristic of
refers to an aroma or flavor reminiscent of a particular
spice. Some Indonesian arabicas, especially aged
coffees, evoke an association with sweet spices like
cardamom. Others, such as Guatemala Antigua, are almost
technically refers to the degree of presence of various
taste defects and virtues, or to the relative proportion
of coffee solubles to water in a given brew. In popular
use, it's often the assertive flavor of dark-roasted
beans. It is also incorrectly associated with high
caffeine content. In fact, caffeine is actually highest
in bland canned coffees, due to the large percentage of
high-caffeine robusta coffees they typically contain.
is used as a general term for smooth, palatable coffee,
free from defects and harsh flavors.
is a darting sourness, almost fruit-like in nature,
related to wininess. A fine high-grown Costa Rican
coffee is frequently tangy.
describes a coffee with extreme flavor characteristics.
It can be a defect or a positive attribute, and denotes
odd, racy nuances of flavor and aroma. The textbook
example is Ethiopia Harrar, a coffee which nearly always
exhibits such flavors.
is a desirable flavor reminiscent of fine red wine. The
contrast between fruit-like acidity and smooth body
creates flavor interest. Kenyan coffees are a classic
example of winy coffee flavor.
Coffee flavor and aroma may be classified according to
geographic origin. Coffees, like wine grapes, get much
of their flavor from the specific growing conditions and
preparation methods of each producing region. Each
region has common characteristics that you can learn to
Central and South American
coffees are generally light-to-medium bodied, with clean
lively flavors. These are the most popular varieties
Starbucks sells, and their balance and consistency make
them the foundation of good coffee blending a well. This
category includes coffees like Colombia, Costa Rica Tres
Rios, Guatemala Antigua and Mexico. Kona, though
geographically a product of the Pacific islands, falls
within this Latin American range of taste and aroma.
coffees are unique and under-appreciated. They often
combine the sparkling acidity of the best Central
Americans with unique floral or winy notes, and
typically are medium-to-full bodied. These coffees are
found in the morning cup of nearly every professional
coffee taster. The category includes Kenya, Ethiopia
Sidamo and Yergacheffe and Ethiopia Harrar.
coffees are at the opposite end of the spectrum from
Latin American coffees. Usually full-bodied and smooth,
low in acidity, and often possessing earthy and exotic
taste elements. Their fullness and depth make them an
important "anchor" component of choice blends like Gold
Coast and Yukon Blend. This group includes Estate Java,
Sumatra Boengie, Papua New Guinea and Sulawesi.
use coffees of varying geographic origins to provide a
specific range of flavors, from the caramel spice of
Espresso, to the smoky tang of Italian Roast, to the
pungent roastiness of French Roast. The difference at
Starbucks is using specific, varietal-quality coffees in
each dark roast blend.
combine varietal tastes to create greater complexity and
completeness. Typically, a blend might play off Central
American acidity with Indonesian smoothness, or spice up
a delicate varietal with the tang of a dark roast.
Blending, at its best, is high art, offering a unity in
diversity which few straight coffees can match.
roasters use the opportunity to dump low-grade filler
coffees into the mix, to "extend" the blend along with
their profit margins. At Starbucks, we blend according
to taste, using premium quality beans to create a
balanced brew, harmonious in body, acidity and aroma,
seeking an overall flavor that is greater than the sum
of its parts.
Decaffeinated coffees are growing in popularity and--we
are pleased to note--in quality and availability, as
well. Some find the effects of too much caffeine
unpleasant; others are looking for a hot cup to enjoy
before bedtime. Whatever the reason, Starbucks is here
to ensure that these deserving souls are not condemned
to drink the thin, flavorless decaffeinated blends sold
in supermarkets. We are proud to offer a complete
selection, both in water and traditional processes, in
regular and dark roasts.
Caffeine in various beverages
Coffee (5-oz. cup)
Brewed, drip method
Tea (5-oz. cup)
Brewed, major U.S. brands
Brewed, imported brands
Iced (12-oz. glass)
Cocoa beverage (5-oz. cup)
Chocolate milk beverage (8 oz.)
Milk chocolate (1 oz.)
Dark chocolate, semi sweet (1 oz.)
Baker's chocolate (1 oz.)
Sugar-Free Mr. PIBB
Shasta Cherry Cola
Shasta Diet Cola
Diet Dr. Pepper
Sugar Free Big Red
Canada Dry Jamaica Cola
Canada Dry Diet Cola