For starters, coffee — as with wine — varies greatly in flavors, acidity and even texture. Roasting plays a role in the final flavor of the coffee, but so does the region in which the coffee was grown.
One of the most significant factors on flavor involves the area in which coffee beans are grown.
Latin American coffees are “familiar", with a clean finish and flavors of nuts and cocoa.
Beans grown in African and Arabian regions are crisp and citrusy. Often coffees grown in this region contain floral aromas and hints of berries.
Asia/Pacific coffees tend to be most robust in flavor and contain earthy and herbal notes.
Determining which foods and desserts best pair with your coffee is as simple as knowing what flavors are packed into your coffee grounds. African coffees, for instance, would pair well with a lemon square or strawberry short cake, while a blend of coffee from the Latin American region would go well with a brownie or a slice of pecan pie.
Brewing your best cup of coffee at home starts with the water you use. Filtered or bottled water makes for the best coffee.
And, as if you needed any more excuses to go ahead and grab a cup of coffee, there may be some health benefits to enjoying a cup of coffee.
When coffee is enjoyed in moderation, it can, as some studies have shown, reduce type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s and dementia. According to WebMD.com, those who drink coffee in moderation also may have fewer cases of cancers, heart rhythm problems and strokes.
Despite much earlier studies that linked coffee to cancers and heart disease, more recent studies have found no correlation between coffee and risks of cancer or heart disease. Earlier studies showing the correlation failed to take into account behaviors such as smoking and inactivity.
Keeping your cup of coffee as healthy as possible means using common sense. Heavy creams, sugary syrups and lots of sugar can make coffee unhealthy, but chances are you won’t need any of that once you learn to savor the flavors of the beans themselves.
Copyright 2011 The Independent.