Coffee beans grow on small evergreen tropical trees. The two main types of bean are Arabica and Robusta. Arabica grows at high altitudes and generally makes the best coffee; Robusta is much hardier, grows at lower altitudes and produces greater quantities of lower-grade coffee that are much used in coffee blends and instant coffee. Coffee beans have particular characteristics depending on their country of origin. Brazil is the world’s largest producer and exporter of coffee, but more than 40 countries export coffee beans. Broadly speaking, coffee production divides into three areas. The Caribbean, Central and South America produce coffees with good balance and a smooth, elegant taste. East Africa and Arabia produce coffees with a more pronounced acidity and fruitiness. Coffee from South-East Asia, India and the Pacific tends to be full-bodied and rich with a relatively low acidity.
2 cups (500ml) cream
10 cardamom pods, bruised with a pestle
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons instant coffee
6 egg yolks
1/3 cup brown sugar
crushed chocolate coated coffee beans, to serve
In a saucepan place the cream, cardamom pods, vanilla and coffee. Bring to the boil over a medium heat then turn down heat and leave it to simmer for a couple of minutes, stirring often. Take off the heat.
In a medium sized bowl whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Place a sieve over the bowl and pour in the cream mixture. Whisk together until smooth then pour into a clean saucepan. Stir over a low heat until just thickened and coats the back of a wooden spoon.
Pour into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. Cool and then chill in the fridge. Once cold, churn in an ice-cream maker.
Serve with crushed chocolate coated coffee beans.