1. Global appreciation
Believe it or not, the world’s biggest coffee drinkers are neither the Italians nor the French, but the Scandinavians, with our American neighbours to the south in second place. Coffee lovers are numerous and spread all over the globe, with different coffee drinking cultures and particular drinks, including Irish coffee and Café Liégeois (coffee with ice cream).
NON-ALCOHOLIC DRINKS AND MOCKTAILS
2. To grind or not to grind
That is the question. Coffee starts to lose its flavour once ground, so to preserve the beans’ essence for as long as possible, grind them just before use and avoid grinding more than you need.
3. Sustainable choices
What difference does fair trade make? Easy: It contributes to the quality of life of small-scale producers in 27 countries throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America, as well as promoting a healthy environment and supporting community development programs. Bonus: These days, fair trade coffee costs about the same as the regular stuff.
4. Black gold
Measured in 60 kg bags, coffee is the most traded product on stock exchanges after oil. It’s snapped up by the biggest markets in the world, so it’s no surprise that your mini loaves of coffee banana bread also disappear as soon as they’re out of the oven. First come, first served!
MUFFINS AND DESSERT BREADS
5. Daily allowance
Adults should consume a maximum of 400 mg of caffeine per day. That translates to about three cups of filter coffee or four cups of the instant stuff. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should have no more than 300 mg.
It isn’t a kind of coffee, but rather a way of roasting and preparing beans. Water is forced through packed, finely ground beans to produce the dark, strong-tasting beverage. A shot of espresso (about 30 ml) contains about 40 mg of caffeine. A perfect companion for almond cantuccini (mini biscotti), espresso is also delicious in pies, or even (dessert) risotto!
PUDDING AND TAPIOCA
Looking for a quick dessert idea? Place a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a cup or small dish and add a shot of espresso coffee—regular or decaf depending on the time of day. Delizioso!
8. Fridge or freezer
If properly stored in an opaque, airtight container, whole beans keep fresh for three weeks at room temperature. Ground coffee stored in the same way is best used within 10 days of opening the bag. Need to buy more time? This is where things get a little murky: Some experts claim that the humidity and odours in a fridge will affect the taste, while others swear by the freezer. Our advice? Avoid the issue entirely and buy your coffee in small quantities.
9. The dish on decaf
There are 3 to 5 mg of caffeine per cup of decaffeinated coffee, or about the same as a single-serving hot chocolate mix. Discover our own decaf blend in the RICARDO x Café Touché line of coffee, made with Peruvian beans for a blend that’s aromatic, balanced and comforting.
10. Moderation tastes much better
We like our little corretto iced coffee on a Saturday night, but let it be known that it’s best to consume coffee—alcoholic or not—in moderation! Because even if the mixture is decaffeinated, its compounds called methylxanthines increase gastric acidity, causing stomach pain, especially on an empty stomach or before bedtime.