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Is an Americano a Black Coffee?

The Americano is so ubiquitous that finding a café without it on menu would quite strange.  As such a staple of the coffee world, many even confuse standard black coffee with the Americano! This is only one of among many perceptions and misconceptions about Americano; a drink so famous and so well known is bound to have a few such misconceptions! This monolith of the caffeine universe has some secrets to tell, and stories to unfold! Let’s begin by looking at the origins of the Americano’s genesis. The Origins and History of the Americano The Americano, also known as Caffè Americano, has a somewhat mysterious origin. The most popular folk history of the drink and its name comes from stories...

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What is Swedish Fika? And What is Traditional Fika Food?

In most of the world, caffeinated beverages – tea and coffee primarily – are a popular way to start the day and maintain energy levels throughout the day. Getting coffee with friends or coworkers is a cultural mainstay almost everywhere.  However, Sweden takes the world’s adoration for coffee breaks to a new level, incorporating coffee breaks into a daily tradition for the whole nation. This Swedish daily coffee break is known as fika (fee-ka). What is Fika? While fika involves getting together with good company over a drink, usually coffee or tea, and a pastry or other small meal, it has become much more. In essence, fika is a coffee break that has become a national phenomenon in Sweden- so...

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Havasupai Falls: Hiking Havasu Canyon and Camping at Havasupai Campground

Havasupai Falls: At a Glance Type: Overnight, Out-and-back Length: 10 miles (each way) Time to Complete: 4.5 hours Elevation Gain: 2,155 feet Difficulty: Moderate Season: February through November Havasupai Falls is a dream-like tropical paradise of a destination. Located in the Havasu Canyon on the Havasupai Indian Reservation, these pristine aquamarine pools bordered by lush vegetation provide stark contrast to the red rocks of the surrounding desert. Havasupai itself means “people of the turquoise waters.” Before you visit Havasupai... Due to the immense popularity of this desert paradise, the Havasupai tribe limits the number of visitors allowed each year and requires that all visitors obtain a permit. There is no day-hiking allowed on the reservation, so all permits include an...

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What is Dutch Brew Coffee? (And How Yama Towers Work!)

In our article about Selecting the Right Cold Brew Roast, we noted the variety of methods and apparatuses that can be used to make cold brew.  In this article, we'll look at Dutch Brew specifically, as well as a particularly interesting apparatus: the Yama Tower. Are Cold Brew and Dutch Brew the same? Cold brew and Dutch brew are distinct from one another. While they both use cold, room temperature or iced water to prepare coffee, rather than boiling water, the method in which the grounds are soaked is different. Cold brew involves immersing the grounds completely in water that is then strained or filtered out later. Dutch brew, on the other hand, involves slowly dripping water. or letting ice...

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Does your Coffee Taste Sour, Like Paper, or Like Chemicals?

This article is another in our series about "Coffee Notes" (despite these being less desirable notes!).  Check out our other entries on Fruity Notes and Floral Notes! Is your Coffee tasting particularly sour, or have the smell of paper, or even astringent like a chemical? Maybe the SCAA Coffee Wheel!can help you figure out where that flavor comes from.  The SCAA Coffee Wheel is a classification of the different "notes" you may encounter in coffee.  The video below gives a primer on what "notes" are: The SCAA coffee wheel covers a broad range of flavors that you might encounter when drinking coffee- some much more desirable than others.  In previous posts, we considered Floral Notes and Fruity Notes, both of...

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