Coconut iced coffee

Today we teach you a classic summer recipe with a twist. Learn how to make an original, creamy, rich-tasting iced coffee. The secret is in two simple ingredients: coconut milk and a good Italian coffee blend.

Coconut iced coffee recipe

To make a tasty coconut iced coffee you need two simple ingredients: coffee and coconut milk. The preparation is really quick and simple. First of all, let’s make a good coffee. Prepare two cups of espresso coffee using a moka coffee pot or an espresso machine. The important thing is using a high-quality Italian blend – we recommend using a delicate Arabica blend).

Pour a few ice cubes in a cocktail glass and add the coffee while it is still hot. You don’t need to shake this iced coffee, so if you want to add some sugar, do it before you pour the coffee on the ice cubes, or it won’t melt. Now add coconut milk to you liking.

The result of this quick and simple summer recipe is a creamy, rich-tasting iced coffee, way more intriguing than a regular iced coffee. Garnish the top of your coconut iced espresso with coconut flakes and, if you want to make it even more creamy and tasty, add a spoonful of whipped cream. One last tip: this delicious coconut iced coffee has to be savored with a straw!

Ali Ben Omar and the invention of coffee
Ivan Aivazovsky, Coffee house by the Ortaköy Mosque in Constantinople (detail. source:wikipaintings.org)

Many legends have been passed down from generation to generation, telling of the invention of coffee. We already told you the story of Kaldi, the Ethiopian shepherd who discovers the properties of coffee cherries thanks to his goats. Today we want to share another ancient legend about the invention of coffee. The main character of this story is Ali Ben Omar, an Arabian sheik.

The legend of the sheik Ali Ben Omar

According to this legend, coffee was invented by an Arab imam, sheik Ali Ben Omar, during a journey to the town of Mocha. His master Schadeli, who was travelling with him, passed away before he could reach the town. Alone and desperate, Ali Ben Omar was about to give up, but an angel appeared encouraging him to go on.

When he reached the town of Mocha, Ali healed many people infected with the plague. Among these, was the King’s daughter, whom he fell in love with. Furious, the King banned the imam from the town. Isolated in the mountains, hungry and thirsty, one day Ali invoked the help of his master, who appeared in the form of a majestic, colorful bird. The bird led Ali to a tree covered in white flowers and red cherries: a coffee plant.

Ali picked the cherries and, finding them hard and bitter, boiled them. He found that the hot infusion was delicious and after drinking it he felt stronger and healthier. His mysterious beverage quickly became famous among the pilgrims who visited his cave, and its fame reached the town of Mocha.

The King recalled Omar to the town with all the honors, and coffee became popular in the whole region and then in the world.

Coffee growing regions: South America

The first coffee plant to reach the American continent was brought to Martinica by a French naval officer, Gabriel Mathieu de Clieu. It was the beginning of the 18th century. A few years later, coffee plantations were growing on the whole island.

Today, South America is the first coffee producer in the whole world. Our journey through the best coffee plantations on Earth takes us in the lands where the finest South American coffees are grown, from the extraordinary Brazilian Bourbon to the precious Jamaican Blue Mountain.

Brazil

Brazil is the largest coffee producer in the world: one third of the coffee consumed in the world comes from its harbors. The main coffee growing regions in Brazil are the state of Bahia in the North-East, the area between Sao Paolo and Parana in the South and the Southeastern region of Minas Gerais. Thanks to the clay soil, the mild climate and the many rivers, the hills of Minas Gerais produce incredible coffee beans, with a rich, complex and velvety taste.

Colombia

The second Arabica coffee producer in the world is Colombia. The Colombia Federation of Coffee Growers supports small farms and guarantees a final product of the highest quality, supporting a careful wet processing of the coffee cherries and selecting the beans following strict, high standards.The best beans are sold with the label Supremo, followed by the Extra and by the blend obtained from the two combined, called Excelso.

Mexico

The main coffee growing regions in Mexico are Oaxaca, Veracruz and Chiapas. Here, wonderful varieties of Arabica coffee are grown, with an unmistakable, delicate and balanced set of flavors.

The Chiapas Plateau gives birth to unique tasting coffee beans: due to the high altitudes and cold temperature, it takes longer for the beans to ripe. The result is an interesting, light-bodied aroma.

Costa Rica

In the mountains of Tarrazu, in Costa Rica, small farmers produce exclusive coffees labeled as Strictly Hard Bean. This designation identifies those coffees growing at more than 3,900 ft. These beans have an intense aroma and a good body.

Jamaica

Jamaica is famous for producing one of the most expensive coffees in the world: Jamaica Blue Mountain, grown at high altitudes and well known for its rich, velvety taste. Coffee labeled as True Jamaica Blue Mountain grows over 3,000 feet. Some plantations grow at more than 5,000 feet above sea level.

Coffee growing regions: AsiaOur journey through the best coffee plantations in the world continues. From the small farms in Africa we move to Asia to discover extraordinary varieties of Arabica and Robusta coffee, from the Pacific Ocean to Yemen.

India

The South-East of India gives birth to some of the most peculiar varieties of Robusta coffee. Grown under the monsoon rains and immersed in the shadows of the mountains for most part of the year, the plants of this region produce unique coffee beans. After the harvest, usually taking place in autumn, the coffee cherries are dry processed and then stored in the monsoon air. The result is a surprising taste, incredibly delicate if compared to the typical Robusta coffee.

Indonesia

The island of Java produces exceptional coffee varieties, made unique by the monsoon climate and the volcanic soil. Old Java is considered one of the best coffees in the world. On the Island of Bali, special varieties of Arabica are cultivated, with an unmistakable mix of mildness and full body. Sumatra coffee, named after the island it grows on, is appreciated all over the world because of its non-astringent taste rich in cocoa and tobacco notes.

Most of the coffee grown in Indonesia is processed using the so called Giling Basah method. It is similar to the wet process, except the mucilage is removed before the cherry has completely dried. This particular process has a key role in building the coffee’s unique taste, with earth notes, great body and low acidity.

Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea’s coffee is incredibly sweet and mild. On small farms, the coffee cherries are dry processed, while the bigger estates use a meticulous wet process with organic solvents. Sigri is one of Papua New Guinea’s finest coffees, appreciated by coffee lovers all over the world.

Yemen

The harvest season in Yemen is very long: from June to December, the cherries of Mocha coffee are picked in the plantations laying on the mountains in the center of the country. Here, coffee is dry-processed, following five-hundred-year-old traditions and giving life to an exceptional Arabica.

Coffee growing regions: AfricaToday we start a journey to the origins of coffee, exploring the coffee growing regions where the finest beans in the world are harvested. The coffee plant grows in three continents: South America, Africa and Southeast Asia. Our itinerary starts from the African continent, where coffee was first discovered and where some of the finest varieties of Arabica coffee come from.

Ethiopia

Ethiopia is coffee’s homeland. According to a famous legend, it was an Ethiopian shepherd who first discovered the taste and the health benefits of coffee cherries, observing the behavior of his sheep after chewing the fruits and leaves of that strange plant that we now know very well: Coffea arabica.

Ethiopian coffee is mostly cultivated on small farms with very low or no use of chemicals. The three main regions where coffee is grown in Ethiopia are Harrar, in the East, Ghimbi, in the west, and Sidamo, also known as Yrgacheffe, where some of the finest coffees in the world are produced.

Kenya

The area between Mount and Nairobi produces widely acclaimed coffee beans. More than half of the coffee produced in Kenya comes from 600,000 small farms. Every week, on Tuesday morning, all the different varieties of coffee are valued based on their quality with a particular grading system where the best and biggest coffee beans are labeled “AA” and lesser grades are labeled “A” and “B”.

Tanzania

Tanzanian coffee is cultivated at high altitudes, mostly on Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Meru. Here a unique kind of coffee bean is grown: it’s called “peaberry” and its cherry pit is not divided in two parts, but it is a whole rounded bean. The grading system used in Tanzania is the same as Kenya.

The first chapter of our journey through the most interesting coffee growing regions ends here. Next stop: Southeastern Asia!

Benefits of white tea

White tea is grown and harvested in China, in the province of Fujian. It has an unmistakable silvery color and a truly unique flavor. Today we tell you the secrets of this fascinating tea.

What is white tea

White tea is obtained from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis, the same plant used for making black tea and green tea. What makes white tea precious and unique is the strict, accurate selection of the leaves with which it is prepared. White tea is prepared exclusively with the buds and the youngest leaves of the tea plant. The particular color derives from the soft, silvery hair coating the newborn leaves. Once infused, this tea has a pale yellow color.

Bai Mu Dan is one of the finest white teas in the world, appreciated by the most discerning tea lovers for its silky texture and the intense bouquet rich of honey-like notes.

Benefits of white tea

The buds and young leaves of the tea plant, picked in the beginning of spring and processed in a very short time, have an incredibly high content of antioxidants. White tea helps fighting free radicals, strengthens the immune system and has an antibacterial and antiviral action. Researchers found that it has an important role in the prevention of tumors.

Certified Italian EspressoToday we tell you the story of a symbol of the art of Espresso: the Certified Italian Espresso, coffee in its purest form, made from select beans and processed with artisan know-how.

What is the Certified Italian Espresso

In 1998, a group of coffee roasters, equipment producers and tasters founded the Italian Espresso National Institute with the goal of promoting and protecting the quality of the real Italian Espresso.

The mark Espresso Italiano Certificato (Certified Italian Espresso) strictly specifies the organoleptic properties of the real Italian Espresso and the guidelines that the roasters must follow in order to be certified by the Institute (using certified coffee blends, certified machines and licensed staff).

The real Italian Espresso

Starting from the results of thousands of consumer tests led by national associations of coffee tasters, the Institute defined the look, taste and scent a real Italian espresso must have.

“On sight, a Certified Italian Espresso has a hazel-brown to dark – brown foam – characterised by tawny reflexes – with a very fine texture (absence of large mesh and larger or smaller bubbles). The nose reveals an intense scent with notes of flowers, fruits, toasted bread and chocolate. All of these sensations are felt also after swallowing the coffee in the long lasting aroma that remains for several seconds, sometimes even for minutes. Its taste in round, substantial and velvet-like. Sour and bitter tastes are well balanced and neither one prevails over the other. There is no, or a barely perceptible, astringent taste.”

Today, the Certified Italian Espresso and Certified Italian Cappuccino mark guarantees the highest quality of a blend and it is a symbol of the best Made In Italy in the world. Filicori Zecchini’s blends boast the title “Espresso Italiano Certificato”, certifying the brand’s century-long passion for the art of coffee roasting.

Mazagran coffee recipe

Mazagran coffee is a cold coffee drink made with espresso coffee and lemon and widely consumed in Portugal and in certain areas of France. Its name originated in Algeria and its story began in 1837. Today we tell you the legend of Mazagran coffee.

The fortress of Mazagran

During the 1840 war, a troop of soldiers from the French Foreign Legion occupied the fortress of Mazagran in Algiers, Algeria. They invented a cold drink made of coffee, lemon and rum to counter the heat and stay awake during the long African nights. Once they got back to France, this new beverage quickly gained success with the name “café Mazagran” and was served in the cafés of Paris.

Recipe of Mazagran coffee

Preparing Mazagran coffee is very simple. First of all, make a good espresso using a strong-bodied blend of Robusta coffee. Pour the equivalent of two cups of espresso in a tall glass and add the juice of one lemon. Add raw sugar to your liking and some crushed ice. Garnish the glass with a lemon slice. To add an exotic touch to your Mazagran, add some cinnamon powder on top.

Fun fact about Mazagran

The name Mazagran refers not only to the beverage, but also to the tall glass in which the Portuguese cold coffee is served. Some Mazagran glasses have a handle and they are usually made of porcelain, glass or terracotta.

 

Filicori Zecchini Italian Espresso

Can drinking coffee make you smart? We know that caffeine and the nutrients of a cup of coffee have many effects: they make your brain more active, they improve your memory and your mood. Did you know that some of the greatest geniuses were coffee maniacs?

 

Beethoven used to consume 60 coffee beans in each cup

 

On the official biography of the great German composer Ludvig Van Beethoven, his obsession for coffee is a recurrent topic. Beethoven was famous for his quick-tempered, solitary nature, but he never failed to offer a good cup of coffee to his guests. For each cup, he toasted not less than 60 coffee beans!

Bach’s Coffee Cantata

Austrian composer Johann Sebastian Bach was also a great lover of good coffee. In the 18th Century, coffee became the most popular beverage in the city of Vienna. All the greatest artists, writers and philosophers gathered in the city’s cafés and Bach even dedicated a famous Cantata to coffee: Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht, commonly known as Coffee Cantata. The lyrics say: “Far beyond all other pleasures, rarer than jewels or treasures, sweeter than grape from the vine. Yes! Yes! Greatest of pleasures! Coffee, coffee, how I love its flavor, and if you would win my favor, yes! Yes! let me have coffee, let me have my coffee strong.”

Voltaire could drink 50 coffees in one day

The french writer and philosopher Voltaire was one of the first “coffee addicts”. He could drink even 40-50 cups of coffee in one day. At the time, he didn’t drink the classic espresso we know today, but a liquid mix of water, ground coffee and cocoa powder. Despite his doctor’s advice, Voltaire drank coffee every day until the age of 80.

David Lynch’s super sweet coffee

And now to a genius of our time: David Lynch, the eccentric director of Twin Peaks and The Elephant Man. Everyone in Hollywood knows about Lynch’s extreme passion for coffee. He is known to drink at least 5 cups a day, always with the addition of a big amount of sugar. Lynch loves coffee so much that he made it a recurrent item in the hands of many of his characters. What would Agent Cooper be without his black coffee and cherry pie? Lynch also owns his personal brand of biological coffee.

How to store tea

Tea can be consumed even several months after its purchase, but is must be stored following some easy rules in order to prevent the loss of fragrance and organoleptic properties. Today we answer three very common questions you probably asked yourself many times while reorganizing your kitchen shelves. Does tea expire? When does tea expire? How to store tea to let it last longer?

Does tea expire?

Tea does not have an expiration date like the common perishable foods. If properly stored, tea leaves will not show any signs of deterioration, such as mold, acidity or unpleasant odors. On the other hand, the precious oils contained in the leaves gradually disperse and the tea loses its unique aroma. To know if your tea is no longer good, you just need to test its scent and taste.

When does tea “expire”?

In average, tea leaves preserve their fragrance and organoleptic properties for one year. This varies depending on how tea is stored and on the variety of tea purchased. A black tea can taste good even after two years, while white tea and green tea lose their aroma more quickly and should be consumed in the first six months.

In general, when the tea leaves are broken or are particularly small, the oils and fragrance will disperse more easily. If the tea is processed without breaking the leaves, like Oolong teas for examples, the process will be slower. No matter the kind of tea you purchased, it is essential that you follow some easy rules on how to store tea leaves in the best way.

How to store tea

Paying attention to the way you store your tea, you will keep your tea leaves fresh and flavorful for months. First of all, store your tea in ceramic, wooden or metal jars: oxygen and light are two of dry tea leaves’ worst enemies. A very common mistake is storing tea in the same cupboard or shelf where you keep spices and coffee. You should avoid this, because tea, like coffee, easily absorbs the odors surrounding it. A last thing you need to pay attention is the temperature at which tea is stored: don’t keep your tea jars close to heat sources such as stoves, burners or radiators.