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The Coffee FAQ

March 3, 2005


Looking for the last word on the hows, whys, and techniques of coffee? You need look no further than The Coffee FAQ, kept up-to-date by the bug-eyed denizens of alt.coffee.

According to the International Coffee Organization, 101,324,000 sixty kilogram bags of coffee were produced by exporting countries in the crop year commencing 2003. Yet, the vast majority of people have probably never had a good cup of coffee, let alone an excellent one. Even with the rise of “specialty coffee” over the last decade or two, the overall quality of brewed coffee is poor. There are many possible reasons for this: uncaring vendors, an attitude of convenience over quality, uninformed consumers… the list could go on. A great brew isn’t a simple thing, but even simply realizing that your coffee should be better takes some initiative. Many people regularly drink weak, bitter, brownish hot water and accept it, thinking “that’s what coffee is.” It isn’t.

But an excellent cup of coffee is worth it. If it isn’t a simple thing, neither is it very difficult. And the rewards are substantial. Coffee need not taste bitter, nor must it taste like charcoal. It can taste chocolaty, without any chocolate having been added. It can have elements of citrus, without ever having come near an orange. You should be able to look forward to a morning cup for reasons beyond the caffeine rush.

This FAQ explores the how, what, where, and why of coffee. It will explain the elements involved in making a great cup of brewed coffee (espresso is a vast enough subject to deserve its own FAQ). The FAQ will be particularly helpful for those who have little or no knowledge about coffee, but even more experienced people should be able to glean new information.

It doesn’t much matter what you’re looking for — if it involves coffee, The Coffee FAQ is a great place to start.

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