superbarista

blog from the ceo & superbarista of phoenix coffee, home of the best baristas in cleveland, ohio

Friday, June 24, 2005

Melanoidins and Infidels

I like the word melanoidin. It sounds like something exotic, maybe even extraterrestrial, yet endearing. Coffee lovers, caffeine addicts, meet melanoidin and glycosylamine, two reliable porters of pleasure. Melanoidin and glycosylamine, glycosylamine and melanoidin (I am enjoying writing that over and over just so I get to say the words inside my head) are two brown, bittersweet compounds that give rise to coffee's dominant taste. They are produced during the roasting process, when the water inside each cell of the green coffee bean turns to steam, which promotes "diverse, complicated chemical reactions among the cornucopia of sugars, proteins, lipids and minerals within." These are the words of Ernesto Illy, descendent of Francesco Illy, the grandfather of espresso. Francesco patented the first automatic espresso machine in 1933.

Circa 1600, calling it "the bitter invention of Satan", advisers urged Pope Clement VIII to reject the favorite drink of the infidel Ottoman Turks. Instead he decides to give papal authority to coffee, making it acceptable to Roman Catholics.

Infidels! Melanoidin! I thank you for your existence and your contribution to the cause of coffee!

2 Comments:

Blogger bginley said...

whoa - has greg mason taken ovr ?

3:51 PM, June 25, 2005  
Blogger Sarah Wilson-Jones said...

Barista task for the week: use the word melanoidin three times in casual conversation.

10:39 AM, June 26, 2005  

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