case 23

SECTION III
BEVERAGES

GENERAL

A beverage is any liquid used to quench thirst. A hot drink on a cold day or a cold drink on a hot day can make an important contribution to the comfort and morale of the troops. Beverages such as coffee, tea, and carbonated drinks of low nutritive value, and those containing cocoa, milk, eggs, fruit, or fruit juices are of high nutritive value. Beverages may be served hot or iced, depending upon the season of the year, the meal being served, and the type of work performed by the troops. The essential factors to be taken into account in the preparation of beverages are freshness, blend and temperature of ingredients (including water); accuracy of measurements; care in preparation; time of preparation (just before serving for coffee and tea); cleanliness and adequacy of equipment; and selection of the other components of the meal.

 

COFFEE

The preparation of coffee demands as much detailed attention as does any other part of the meal. Well-prepared coffee that ideally complements a meal adds immeasurably to eating enjoyment. Coffee is made when hot water comes in contact with ground coffee and extracts certain soluble materials from it. The amount of time the water is in contact with the coffee grounds governs to some extent the flavor of the coffee. Mild-flavored coffee results from short-time contact of water and coffee and bitter or more astringent flavors, from long contact. However, coffee that tastes good to one person does not necessarily taste good to another. Three ingredients of coffee, caffeols, caffeine, and tannin, control the flavor and aroma, the stimulating effect, and the bitterness. Caffeols are water soluble, and when the temperature of the water rises, their flavor and aroma are transferred from the coffee to the water.

GENERAL PRINCIPLES OF COFFEE BREWING

  1. Measure or weigh quantities of water and coffee carefully. Prepare only in amounts necessary to maintain continuous service. Urn coffee held 1 hour or longer and automatic coffee maker coffee held 30 minutes or longer deteriorates in flavor and loses its aroma.

  2. Use the proportion of 3/4 pound of coffee to 2-3/4 gallons of water for a standard strength brew.

  3. Ingredients for a good coffee brew are fresh coffee and freshly boiling water. Water that has been boiled a long time will have a flat taste which will affect the brew.

  4. For an ideal brew, boiling water should pass through coffee within 4 to 6 minutes.

  5. Keep equipment clean. Clean immediately after each use to prevent rancidity.

  6. Urns and urn baskets should be washed with hot water and special urn cleaner or baking soda. (DO NOT use soap or detergent powder.) Rinse with clear water. When not in use, leave 1 or 2 gallons of clear water in urn. Drain before making coffee.

  7. When using new urn bags: A new urn bag should be thoroughly rinsed in hot water before using. After using, urn bags should be thoroughly rinsed in clear, hot water; keep submerged in cold water until next use.

  8. Faucets and glass gauges should be cleaned often with gauge brushes, hot water, and urn cleaner or baking soda. Rinse with clear water. Caps on faucets and gauges are removable to permit cleaning.

ICED COFFEE PREPARATION

Iced coffee can be prepared either from instant coffee or from ground coffee brewed in an urn. The procedures and precautions for proper coffee brewing should be observed when preparing iced coffee, but another factor, dilution, must be considered. The original brew must be twice as strong to allow for melting of the ice.

SUGGESTIONS FOR CONTROL OF QUALITY

Listed below are several suggestions which help to produce brewed coffee of standard quality. For instant coffee issued for use in a dining facility, the instructions on the package are used for preparation of the brew.

  1. Store roasted coffee in an airtight metal container because coffee loses its flavor and aroma rapidly when exposed to air, and because it absorbs odors which lower its quality.
  2. Use older stocks first. Within three days after opening, vacuum coffee has lost much of its flavor.
  3. Realize that coffee brews are definitely affected by the type of water used. Extremely soft or hard and very alkaline waters do not produce good coffee yields. Excess chlorine, sulfur, ammonia, and other chemicals in water produce off-flavored coffee.
  4. Do not store routed coffee in wooden containers because the coffee may absorb odors from the wood, and the containers cannot be properly cleaned and dried.
  5. Do not brew coffee in an iron container, because the chemical reaction between the tannic acid and the container will produce a brew that is unfit to drink.
  6. Brew coffee 15-20 minutes prior to serving.
  7. Serving temperatures should never exceed 180 F--185 F.
  8. Do not allow brewed coffee to boil.
  9. Do not add a new brew to a leftover brew.

JUDGING THE FINISHED PRODUCT

Fresh coffee should have a pleasant taste and should not have a bitter or acid flavor. It should smell fragrant, mellow, and rich, not rancid or oily. The color of a rich brew should be rich, dark brown, not black. Clarity of the brew is more related to coffee strength than to color. Coffee should be bright, clear, and sparkling. To test the clarity of coffee, lower a teaspoon into a full cup of coffee, and observe the spoon through the coffee; there should be no cloudiness, dullness, or muddiness. The constituents of brewed coffee which are of chief importance in judging it are flavor substances, stimulating substances, and bitter substances. Table 1 shows the characteristics of these constituents and how they are affected by improper temperatures.

 

TEA

Like coffee, tea has three ingredients that control the flavor and aroma, the stimulating effect, and the bitterness. These ingredients are theols, theine, and tannin. Theols are water soluble, and their flavor and aroma are transferred from the tea to the water. Tea brewing is known as an "infusion," a process whereby boiling water poured over tea leaves causes a chemical reaction that releases theine (or caffeine), a vegetable tannin, and tiny amounts of oils, color, and other substances from the leaves. The basic idea of good brewing is to capture the flavor essence of tea obtained by this reaction at the proper time. Two forms of black tea are used, bulk tea and teabags. In addition powdered instant tea has special uses in the military services.

METHODS OF TEA BREWING

Standard recipes from Armed Forces Recipe Service for preparing hot tea and iced tea are shown in figure 4. The most frequently used method of brewing tea in the dining facility is the use of individual teabags. The teabags are placed conveniently near urns of water heated to 175 to 185 F. ), and each person brews his tea in a cup. When powdered instant tea is issued for use as iced tea in summer menus, the tea is added to cold water, not water to the tea. The mixture is stirred until the tea is dissolved and is then poured over cracked ice.

SUGGESTIONS FOR CONTROL OF QUALITY

The following suggestions should help to control the quality of brewed tea:

  1. Store tea leaves or bags in airtight metal containers to avoid loss of flavor and aroma.
  2. Determine the hardness and softness of the water available, and adjust the brewing time accordingly. Very soft water hastens the extraction of the flavor-color components from tea. Hard alkaline water slows down the rate of extraction and produces cloudiness and darkness.
  3. Schedule the preparation of hot tea so that not more than 15 minutes elapse between preparation and serving. Prepare in small batches. Maintain a temperature between 175 and 180 F. throughout the serving period. To prevent a bitter taste, tea must never be boiled.
  4. Do not warm over tea, and do not mix a new brew with a leftover brew.
  5. Store leftover brewed tea to be used as iced tea, provided that ice has not been added to chill it. If the tea is cooled too rapidly, clouding will occur. This is particularly true of an overbrewed tea containing a high amount of tannin. By either heating the tea slightly or adding hot water will clear cloudy tea instantly.
  6. To prevent cloudiness when diluting strong tea, pour the tea into the water, not water into the tea.

JUDGING THE FINISHED PRODUCT

A good cup of tea has a fragrant, fruity aroma and flavor. It is clear and is free of oiliness and leaf silt. Unlike coffee, tea has little or no body.

 

COCOA

Hot cocoa (hot chocolate) or cold cocoa (chocolate milk) is frequently served in place of, or in addition to, coffee or tea at one of the three daily meals. Milk, as the major ingredient of these beverages, contributes to the nutrition of the meal by supplying liberal quantities of minerals, vitamins, protein, and liquids.

PRINCIPLES OF COCOA PREPARATION

There are several cooking principles in cocoa preparation that must be learned to produce a consistently good standard product.

  1. The starch in the cocoa must be cooked to make it soluble.
  2. When milk is heated for more than a few minutes, even at temperatures below the boiling point, a thin skim forms over the surface. If the container is kept covered during the heating process, the amount of skim is reduced.
  3. Beating the milk-cocoa mixture produces a foam that serves as a surface coating.

JUDGING THE FINISHED PRODUCT

A good cup of hot cocoa should have a pleasing appearance and taste. The color should be light, rich-brown, not gray or muddy, and the texture should be smooth with no skim, foam, or sediment. The flavor should be delicately sweet, not scorched.

 

FRUIT DRINKS

Tasty, cold fruit juices may be served as a valuable addition to a breakfast meal, or they may be served as appetizers. Fruit drinks such as lemonade, orangeade, and mixed fruit punch stimulate and boost energy and provide a cooling effect for a hot summer day.

METHODS OF PREPARATION

Cold fruit juices and fruit drinks requiring sugar are usually prepared as outlined below.

CANNED FRUIT JUICES. Iced juices should be prepared far enough in advance so that they are thoroughly chilled before serving. To help the palatability of these juices, shake the containers before opening them to redistribute the fruit solids tending to settle in the bottom of the container, and serve the juices as soon after the containers are opened as possible to insure that the solid particles stay in suspension.

FROZEN, CONCENTRATED FRUIT JUICES. To prepare frozen, concentrated juices, thaw them to a slush stage in a refrigerator, empty the contents into a pitcher, add the specified amount of water, mix vigorously, and chill and serve. DO NOT ADD ICE.

INSTANT FRUIT JUICES. In some situations instant fruit juices may be issued to dining facilities. These products, which are highly palatable and easy to use, should be prepared according to the instructions on the containers.

LEMONADE, FRUIT PUNCHES, AND OTHER SWEETENED ICED DRINKS. The standard recipes show the ingredients and the methods for making fruit-juice beverages requiring sugar, such as orangeade, lemonade, and fruit punches. It is important to note that in most instances a simple sweet syrup, instead of granulated sugar, is used as a sweetener. The fruit mixture is refrigerated until time to be served, and then crushed ice is added.

SUGGESTIONS FOR CONTROL OF QUALITY

The following suggestions should help to control the quality of fruit juices and fruit drinks:

  1. Store unused portions of opened canned fruit juices in a satisfactory storage container with a tight-fitting cover. Acid fruit juices left in the can tend to develop a "tinny" taste. Also, fruit juices absorb refrigerator odors and flavors.
  2. Store frozen fruit juices at 0 F., or lower, to retain maximum quality.
  3. Taste sweetened fruit drinks before serving them to insure that the beverage is not sour. Sharp, acid fruit beverages are preferable because acidity leaves a fresh taste, and sour beverages are not palatable.

JUDGING THE QUALITY

Fruit beverages must have a good flavor with just the right amount of sweetness. Iced beverages must not be diluted by melting ice.