Posted in Kafevend Blog
1- Where might you be if your tea was served from a samovar?
d- Russia: While kettles and teapots have been the traditional way to brew tea here, in Russia the samovar has served the same function. Made of metal, the main body of the samovar is like an urn. Modern versions contain an electric heating element and there's a spout at the bottom for dispensing the hot water. A teapot sits atop the main part of the samovar containing highly concentrated tea. Water is added to the tea concentrate according to individual taste. Samovars are used to make tea across much of Eastern Europe and the Middle East too.
2- What is the alternative name for that popular piece of coffee making equipment, the cafetière?
b- the French press: Despite its alternative name it's not entirely certain whether the cafetière was invented in France or Italy. The first patent was taken out by Italian designer, Attilio Calimani around 1930. However, it would appear that the principle of a mesh screen plunged through a pot of coffee and water was in use in France from the mid 1800s. What is certain is that, whatever you prefer to call it, the cafetière remains a popular method of brewing coffee, despite the plethora of more complex coffee making machines on the market today.
3- Which item out of the following four would you need to enjoy the south American favourite, yerba mate?
c- a straw: Yerba mate is a herbal tea, widely consumed throughout Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and
Uruguay. The drink is both prepared in and drunk from a gourd, so in order not to get a mouthful of the chopped up leaves, the drink is sipped through a metal straw called a bombilla, which has a strainer at one end.
4- Which piece of equipment is key to preparing Turkish coffee?
a- a cezve and c- an ibrik: Even odds of getting this question right! Turkish coffee is prepared in a long handled pot known as a cezve or ibrik. Traditionally made from copper or brass, the pot has a wide base and narrow neck. This is for practical rather than aesthetic reasons; Turkish coffee is a filterless method of brewing and so the narrow neck stops too many coffee grounds from escaping when the coffee is poured, while the wide base ensures maximum surface area for the heat source. The long handle is simply to help avoid getting burnt!
5- Used when preparing matcha tea, what is a chasen?
b- a bamboo whisk: A chasen is carved from a single piece of bamboo. Used during a Japanese tea ceremony it aerates the tea and creates a good head of froth. Another essential piece of equipment is the chawan, or tea bowl. A deep bowl is used in the winter to keep the tea hotter for longer and a shallower version in the summer to let the tea cool quickly.
6- If your drink had been made with the aid of a molinillo what would be in your cup?
c- cocoa: This is in fact another question about whisks! In central America, the birth place of the cocoa bean, chocolate has been the drink of choice since time immemorial. The molinillo is a whisk made from turned wood which is placed in the cocoa and rubbed between the palms of the hands to ensure the cocoa is well blended and to produce a good froth.
7- What were the very first teabags made from?
a- silk: You'd be forgiven for choosing any of the other three materials as a better medium for making an infusion, but the invention of the teabag was actually something of an accident! Although perforated egg and ball shaped metal containers had been used as a precursor to the modern disposable teabag, it was in 1908 that a New York tea merchant by the name of Thomas Sullivan, sent out tea samples to his customers in little silk bags. Some of the recipients mistakenly assumed that the bags were to be used like the aforementioned tea eggs and reported back to Sullivan that his silk bags had too fine a mesh to allow the tea to impart its flavour. Realizing he might be onto something, Sullivan worked on the idea and created gauze teabags instead.
8- In which country do people use a mukecha and zenezena to grind up their coffee beans?
b- Ethiopia: This is where the story of coffee first began and the Ethiopian coffee ceremony is an integral part of daily life. A mukecha and zenezena are basically the pestle and mortar used for grinding the coffee beans once they've been roasted.