National Coffee Day – Sept. 29, 2017

NATIONAL COFFEE DAY

Whether getting one to go or lingering over a second cup, on September 29 be sure to observe National Coffee Day!

Ah, the perfect cup of java.  According to an expert cupper (a professional coffee taster), there are four components of a perfect cup: aroma, body, acidity, and flavor.

From the moment the average coffee lover opens a fresh bag of coffee beans, the aroma beckons, percolating the senses. Even those who don’t drink coffee tend to enjoy the fragrance a roasted bean casts.

 

When determining the body of a coffee, the bean, the roast, and the brew are all factors. The bean affects the texture of the coffee, whether its silky, creamy, thick or thin on the tongue and throat. However, the darker the roast and how it is brewed will alter the feel of a coffee’s body, too. Grandpa’s motor oil blend versus the coffee shop around the corner’s silky smooth, well-practiced grind have entirely different bodies.

The region a coffee is grown determines its acidity. The higher the elevation the coffee grows, the higher the quality and the acidity. These coffees are considered brighter, dryer, even sparkling by cuppers.

When it comes down to it, coffee lovers cherish the flavor as well as the caffeinated boost this roasted bean gives morning or night, black or with cream and sugar. Hot or cold it provides enjoyment even when decaffeinated!

 

There are many legendary accounts of how coffee first came to be, but the earliest credible evidence of either coffee drinking or the knowledge of the coffee tree appears in the middle of the 15th century in the Sufi monasteries around Mokha in Yemen.  It was here coffee seeds were first roasted and brewed, much like they are prepared today. Yemeni traders brought coffee back to their homeland from Ethiopia and began to cultivate the seed.

In 1670, coffee seeds were smuggled out of the Middle East by Baba Budan, as he strapped seven coffee seeds onto his chest.  The first plants grown from these smuggled seeds were planted in Mysore.  It was then that coffee spread to Italy, to the rest of Europe, to Indonesia and the Americas.

Brazil produces more coffee in the world than any other country followed by Colombia.  More than 50 countries around the world grow coffee, providing a delicious variety for the indulgence of steamy cups of the black drink for connoisseurs to consume.

 

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HOW TO OBSERVE.

Enjoy a cup or two of your favorite coffee. Use #NationalCoffeeDay to post on social media.  Here is a list of National Coffee Day Specials.

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4th of July Watermelon-Mint Coolers

Photo by Better Homes & Gardens©

Enjoy this refreshing beverage during your 4th of July picnic! (Photo by Better Homes & Gardens©)

Yield: 8 Servings

Ingredients

  • 3 1/4 lbs.seedless watermelon, chopped (5 cups)
  • 1/4 c. fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/2c .fresh lime juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon aromatic bitters
  • 4-5c. ginger ale, chilled
  • Mint sprigs

 

 

Directions

  1. In a blender container place watermelon; puree until smooth. In a small heatproof bowl, use a wooden spoon to mash mint leaves and 1/4 cup of the sugar; add 1/4 cup of the water. Microwave on high until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer mint leaves to blender, leaving sugar in bowl. Blend until chopped.
  2. To bowl of sugar mixture add the remaining 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water. Microwave until sugar dissolves into a syrup, 1 to 2 minutes. Cover and chill.
  3. To serve, strain watermelon mixture into an ice-filled pitcher or jar. Stir in syrup, lime juice, and bitters. Divide watermelon mixture among ice-filled glasses; top with ginger ale. garnish with mint sprigs.

Nutrition Facts (Watermelon-Mint Coolers)

Per serving: 125 kcal cal.,0 g fat (0 g sat. fat, 0 g polyunsaturated fat, 0 g monounsatured fat), 0 mg chol., 12 mg sodium, 32 g carb., 1 g fiber, 29 g sugar,1 g pro.Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet

 

From the Test Kitchen

ALCOHOLIC VERSION:

Add 2 cups white rum with the mint before chilling for 8 hours. Add club soda or sparkling water in place of ginger ale.

Nutrition analysis per serving: 212 calories, 1 g protein, 22 g carbohydrate, 0 g total fat (0 g sat. fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 19 g total sugar, 11% Vitamin A, 21% Vitamin C, 28 mg sodium, 2% calcium, 4% iron

 

Witches’ Brew Ice Cream Soda

witches brew ice cream soda
Photo by Hershey’s Kitchens.®

Yield: Makes two 8-oz. servings.

Ingredients:

  • 4 tablespoons HERSHEY’S Syrup
  • 16 fluid-ounces Cold club soda, seltzer or ginger ale
  • 4 scoops (about 1 cup) orange sherbet
  • TWIZZLERS Strawberry Twists(optional)

Directions:

1. Combine syrup with small amount of club soda in 16-ounce soda glass.
2. Add sherbet; fill glass with club soda. Garnish with candy. Serve immediately.

 

Pumpkin Frappé

Yield: 5 servings (8 oz. each)

Jack-o-lantern with witch hat

Eat, Drink and Be Merry!

Ingredients: 

  • 2 c. vanilla ice cream
  • 1 1/4 c. pumpkin
  • 3/4 c. crushed ice
  • 2/3c orange juice
  • 1 TBsp. brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. ground cloves
  • 2 medium frozen or very ripe fresh bananas, cut into chunks

Directions:  Puree all ingredients in a blender until smooth, about 3 minutes.  Pour into 5 glasses.  If desired, sprinkle nutmeg over the top.

Calories: 185 per serving