Legend has it that in the Ethiopian highlands, a goat herder noticed his goats eating berries from a certain tree and becoming increasingly “spirited” to the point they did not want to sleep at night. The goat herder reported this to the abbot of the local monastery who concocted a drink with the berries. The abbot discovered the drink helped him stay alert for the long evening prayers. Word of this amazing berry and its invigorating powers spread across the world.
By the fifteenth century, coffee was being grown in Arabia, and its popularity was spreading quickly through Persia, Egypt, Syria and Turkey. It became a social drink, being sold to patrons in public coffee houses while they were entertained with musicians and performers, played chess or kept abreast of current events.
Since that time, coffee has never lost its popularity. In the New World, tea was the beverage of choice until 1773 when the colonists revolted against a heavy tax on tea imposed by King George. The Boston Tea Party would forever change the American drinking preference to coffee.

Coffee travels a long way before reaching your coffee mug.
Here are some interesting coffee facts:
• It takes three-to-four years for a coffee seed to grow into a tree that produces coffee beans.
• Seeds are first planted in nurseries. Six months to one-year later, seedlings are transplanted to open fields. Workers must prepare the planting ground for the small seedlings by loosening and grading the soil.
• Approximately two-and-a-half years after transplantation, the trees begin to flower and the flowers produce a small fruit known as a coffee cherry. In the center of each cherry are two green coffee beans.
• Coffee plants grow best where there is plenty of rainfall at certain times of the year and thrive in a well-drained, rich, volcanic soil. The plant does not like sudden changes in temperature, and frost can severely damage or kill it.
• During harvest, coffee cherries are handpicked. It takes approximately 2,000 cherries—4,000 beans—to produce one pound of roasted coffee.
• After being husked, sorted and bagged, the green coffee beans are shipped from the countries where they were grown to the countries where they will be manufactured and consumed.
• Manufacturing involves the roasting and grinding of the coffee beans, or the production of instant coffee. Once manufacturing and packaging are completed, the coffee is ready for the consumer.
• The leading coffee producing countries of the world are Brazil and Colombia. The United States imports and consumes more coffee than any other country.
Umpqua Dairy has taken coffee to new heights with this month’s Flavor of the Month, Java Thunder. A smooth coffee flavored ice cream, swirled with ribbons of chocolate fudge, laced with chocolate espresso bean pieces. Enjoy!

Info from:  www.ncausa.org


Ice Cream Parlor Mocha Sodas

• ½ cup hot water
• 8 teaspoons coffee, finely ground to a powder
• 2 cups Umpqua Dairy milk
• 4 scoops Umpqua Java Thunder ice cream
• 1 quart club soda
• 1 Cup Umpqua Dairy Old Fashioned Heavy Whipping Cream, whipped with 2 Tablespoons sugar

Place hot water in a medium-sized pitcher. Add coffee and stir until dissolved. Stir in milk.
Place 1 scoop of ice cream in each of 4 ice cream soda glasses. Pour coffee/milk mixture equally into each glass. Fill glasses almost to brim with club soda. Top with sweetened whipping cream.

From: www.ncausa.org


Caramel Espresso Float

• 6 tablespoons granulated sugar
• 2 cups water
• 1/4 cup instant-espresso powder
• 2 cups ice cubes
• 1/2 cup chilled Umpqua Dairy Old Fashioned Heavy Whipping Cream
• 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
• 4 generous scoops Umpqua Java Thunder ice cream
• 2 tablespoons chopped nuts, such as almonds or hazelnuts , toasted
• 3 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate shavings (made with a vegetable peeler; from a 3-oz bar)

Cook granulated sugar in a dry 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, undisturbed, until it begins to melt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until sugar melts into a deep golden caramel. Remove from heat and carefully add 1 cup water (caramel will harden and steam vigorously). Cook over high heat, stirring, until caramel is dissolved, then remove pan from heat. Add espresso powder and stir until dissolved. Add remaining cup water and ice cubes and stir until espresso is cold. Discard any large ice cubes chunks.
Beat cream with confectioners’ sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer until it just holds soft peaks. Divide ice cream among 4 (8-ounce) glasses, then pour 1/2 cup espresso over each serving and top with whipped cream, nuts, and chocolate.

From: www.yummly.com