BEANS OF CURIOSITY’
Espresso contains less caffeine than moka or filtered coffees. This is down to its quicker preparation, meaning that the caffeine has less time to be “extracted”. It is often thought that ‘long shot’ coffee from bars contains less caffeine but nothing could be further from the truth. This type of coffee, owing to it taking more time to prepare, ‘draws out’
more caffeine. To ‘lengthen’ a short espresso, it just needs to be diluted with water.
Toasting also serves to colour the bean, in different hues. The prime colour is “monk’s tunic” but, in northern Europe and North America, the preference is for a bean lighter than the dark brown typical of Italian coffee.
King Gustavo III of Sweden condemned two swindlers, sentencing them to be punished by the “administration of coffee”. As they didn’t die, the sentence was repeated a second, third and fourth time. The two lived to tell the tale and passed away at the ripe old age of 83.
Composer Johann Sebastian Bach was so partial to coffee that he dedicated a cantata to it: Kaffeekantate, performed in Leipzig, Germany, between 1732 and 1735.