Friday, September 21, 2012

Coffee: The Magic Ingredient

Dirty Chai Latte - yes please!

Coffee, Coffea, Caffeine!  
by Mira Treatman, Old City Coffee, inc.

Coffee is many things to many people, it's a: 

  • pick me up in the morning, 
  • an after-dinner treat with frothy milk, 
  • a cultural icon, 
  • a millennium-old stimulant, 
  • a commodity, 
  • a status symbol, and, most significantly...
  •  an energy-bearing plant.              
Coffea Arabica is a species indigenous to the Red Sea region that includes modern day Yemen and Ethiopia. 

Legend has it that Ethiopian farmers discovered the plant’s powers after witnessing their livestock gain more energy after noshing on the Coffea Arabica leaves. The secret to this varietal is its soil content. Mountainous regions, such as the coffee-growing highlands of the Red Sea, tend to have high levels of volcanic soil rich in minerals that supply the bush with calcium, iron, and magnesium. 

Why Do We Love Coffee..?
Caffeine, the key chemical in coffee, evolved in Coffea because it acts as a poison to many herbivores.  This protects the plant from being eaten. The consumers of the plant who are not poisoned by this stimulant reap many benefits: 

Caffeine inhibits the sleep receptors in the brain. Essentially, this means that once caffeine enters the bloodstream it tells the happy energizer brain chemicals to be energetic and the sleepy relaxer brain chemicals to not act. 

Caffeine also increases adrenaline in the bloodstream as it’s metabolized, which tells the body to prepare for battle or a jog or even simply helps us face the work day. 

Through a transfer of energy from sunlight to leaves to beans to you, coffee has gained its status as an iconic, well-loved drink.  It's got a kick in every cup!
At Old City Coffee we think that Coffee is the perfect accompaniment to social gatherings.  So we've reinstated our popular Open Mic Night!  Old City Coffee at 221 Church Street will be open on First Friday, October 5th, for an open stage for musicians and spoken word artists. 

Interested in taking part?

Sign ups start at 5:30 pm with a 6:00 pm show. This is the perfect venue to sip on your favorite caffeinated beverages while enjoying the best local arts Philly has to offer.

If you can't make it on the night, then try this popular recipe at home.  And maybe we'll see you next time!

Old City Coffee Dirty Chai Latte
Now that you’ve learned a bit more about coffee culture and our obsession with caffeine, here's a well-loved recipe with a maximal amount of boosting energy in our delicious recipe. 

This latte combines espresso with another source of caffeine, black tea.

5 oz Old City Coffee house-made Chai (a secret mix of spices and black tea brewed to near perfection and sweetened with honey)
3 oz soy, whole, or skim milk
1 shot espresso
Ground cinnamon

  1. To serve hot, heat chai either in a stainless steal pitcher if at an espresso machine or in a saucepan on a stovetop. 
  2. Pour tea into mug and cover with a lid. 
  3. Froth milk until about an inch of foam forms. If using an espresso machine, use the same stainless pitcher and pour milk followed by the foam on top. Saucepans work just fine too. To enjoy cold, mix ingredients in a pitcher and pour over a glass of ice. 
  4. A dusting of ground cinnamon on top is always a nice finish. 
See you soon we hope either in Old City or at our cafe in Reading Terminal Market.

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