Saturday, 29 December 2012

Coffee Break Will Make the Boss Happy

Several studies have varying opinions on coffee side-effects. On one side, they say coffee is helpful; on the other, they say it’s dangerous. Well only one thing is for sure—having coffee break will make your boss happy.

Better Memory Retention
David Foster’s research along with colleagues from Massachusetts Institute of Technology has discovered that taking a break helps the brain to retain information better.

They experimented on rats to repeatedly run on a track. Their brain has memorized a pleasurable pattern on the track. What’s surprising is that when they repeated the experiment after the rats’ break, their memory retention is 20 times faster.

So, having a coffee break will help you perform better at a mentally-demanding work. Actually, taking any break from work, like enjoying other office refreshments or self-grooming, is also beneficial for memory retention.
Activate Mind and Body
Better have a coffee break than just any other break. Coffee has caffeine that activates mind and body, keeping you perform better at work. It’s the reason behind sleeping difficulty when coffee was taken within two hours before bed time.

In fact, a study from France found out that taking at least three cups of coffee everyday by women 80 years old and over can reduce their risk of having memory decline to about 70 percent.

But don’t overdo your coffee break. Drinking more than four cups of coffee everyday will lead to caffeine addiction with symptoms like depression, fatigue, irritability, brain dilate, and jumpiness. Your boss will never be happy with a caffeine-addicted employee, for sure.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Coffeeshop Customers Mark Their Spot

Photo from
Most adults love coffee. They can’t live without sipping this drink every day either in the morning or in the afternoon.

Thankfully with the mushrooming of coffee shopsin most urban centers around the world, people who travel to different places can still enjoy their favorite drink, hot or cold and even get to taste some new concoctions.

The coffee shops of today, however, have gone beyond just being a place to drink coffee and have some snacks. For some people, it’s become their comfort zone or even their home away from home. Customers now meet up with friends here to discuss projects or business apart from updating each other of their lives while some go here to study or go online via their laptops to check their mails and social media accounts. The others stop by to catch up with their work.

A study has also found that coffee shop customers often display a territorial behavior by marking their spot. Authors Mary C. Gilly, a marketing professor at UC Irvine and Merlyn Griffiths of the University of North Carolina looked into the habits of people at coffee shops through their research “Dibs! Customer Territorial Behaviors published in the Journal of Service Research.

After spending 103 hours observing and taking photos of customers and interviewing them, they concluded that coffee shop habitués normally mark their spot using their belongings for an indefinite period. They can do this even after consuming their drink and food.

According to the researchers, many of those guilty of showing this territorial behavior are the teleworkers who don’t have an office space and don’t often to work at home all the time. Although it’s not necessarily that they want to be with people, they just want to be around people while doing their work and not be home alone. Students are also part of this territorial group.

A common behavior of this group of people is they believe they can claim theirspace for as long as they want at coffee shops as long as they order drinks and food there. Oftentimes, these territorial customers are seen alone occupying a booth or a table that can accommodate two or more people. And when the shop gets filled, they will even defend their spot and reason out that the extra seat is reserved for a friend although it may not always be true.

For this behavior, the female authors stressed that coffee shops owners should have a clear cut policy notably in using space while still making their shop customer-friendly.

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Dessert and Good Coffee

There is, perhaps, no finer marriage in the world than a fantastic dessert and brewed coffee. It’s an interplay of flavors and textures. But not many people realize that (like wine and food) certain kinds of coffee work especially beautifully with certain kinds of dessert. It depends on the flavor personality of the coffee.

There are essentially three kinds of coffee flavors: nutty, fruity and floral. These depend on where the beans originated. An Ethiopian and a Costa Rican coffee are very different.  You can become more sensitive to the nuances of saltiness, bitterness, sourness (or acidity) and sweetness. For example, brewed coffee from roasted nuts tend to be sweet, while others tend to be bitter.

Temperature plays a large role: colder coffee tends to highlight the flavors, while hot coffee tends to have a more “blended” taste.  Iced coffees also tend to be diluted with water or mixed with syrups which can hide the taste of the coffee—so if you’re serious about understanding coffee, take your cup hot, brewed and plain!

To detect the flavor of the coffee, take a sip and let it sit on your tongue awhile before swallowing. Try to make out whether it is sweet, sour, bitter or salty. Then take a sip of water to wash the palate and taste your dessert. Again, pinpoint the different flavors and textures. Now take some coffee and some dessert and see how they play off against each other. What a wonderful way to end your  food adventure!

So remember that the next time you go to a restaurant! After all, most of us dine out in order to enjoy a full flavor experience; in fact, there are gastronomic delights like seven course meals that promise a full range of tastes and textures. Many of them even offer discount vouchers!

Enjoy the play of these flavors on your tongue—from the appetizer down to the dessert and the brewed coffee. In fact, the more you dine out the more you can educate your palate. This is a great way to learn more not just about brewed coffee but about flavors.  That’s a real bargain!

Many fine dining restaurants know this and offer a complete coffee menu. Others will have a house brew, meant to cleanse the palate and settle the stomach. In fact, they consider coffee such a big part of the dining experience that their discount vouchers will include complimentary brewed coffee.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Coffee Drinking and Kids

Coffee and kids don’t mix; at least that’s what they tell us. Common sense also tells us that this is true, especially with countless sources telling us of the bad effects of caffeine on your body.

Lately though, with the popularity of huge coffee chains like Starbucks, the sight of teenagers, even kids, drinking coffee is something that is becoming more common. Are parents wrong to let their kids drink coffee?

I believe that coffee drinking, as with most things, is not bad unless you take itto the extreme (Attention caffeine addicts!  ^_^). Coffee may contain caffeine, which has been proven to be addictive, but more and more studies are also showing that coffee may have more health benefits than we realize; in fact it may actually be beneficial to people suffering from Type II diabetes, hepatitis C, and skin cancer. The question now is whether the positive effects outweigh the negative ones.

With conflicting studies on the benefits and harm that coffee and caffeine bring, I think that it is impossible to draw a conclusion at this point. So instead of overly worrying about the issue, I would just let my kid drink coffee IN MODERATION and let him enjoy the treat, just like he gets his sweets everynow and then. I do not say that he should get a full cup of coffee every single morning, but he sure can take a sip from my cup whenever he wants to (except late in the afternoon and at night because that’s asking for trouble come bedtime). Of course it goes without saying that they should never drink enough for it to replace their regular nutritional drink (read: milk). And as for teenagers who need an energy boost now and then to help them stay awake during exam week, I’d rather see them sipping on a cup of coffee rather than downing bottle after bottle of energy drinks!

What do you think? Is letting your kid drink coffee a sign of bad parenting?

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Does drinking coffee reduce the risk of skin cancer?

A recent study published in the journal Cancer Research claims that coffee drinkers may be at a reduced risk of developing basal cell carcinoma, one of the most common types of skin cancer. According to the research, individuals that drink at least three cups of coffee a day have a 20 percent decreased risk of developing this mild form of skin cancer which, while not necessarily deadly, can cause significant disfigurement of skin.

Jiali Han, author of the study and associate professor of dermatology and epidemiology at both Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and the Harvard School of Public Health, evaluated data on 113,000 men and women, all of who drank three or more cups of coffee a day. She discovered that rates of basal cell carcinoma were 20 percent less among this group compared to those who drank no coffee at all, and that the active substance in question appears to be caffeine.

"Caffeine may help the body kill off damaged skin cells," claimed Dr. Josh Zeichner, an assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, in response to the study's findings. "If you get rid of these cells that are damaged, then they don't have the opportunity to grow and form cancers."

The findings seem to correlate with a 2011 study out of Rutgers University that identified a link between caffeine and skin cancer prevention. According to that research, caffeine appears to be an effective topical treatment for protecting skin against damage caused by excessive exposure to the sun's ultraviolet (UV) rays.

"Although it is known that coffee drinking is associated with a decreased risk of non-melanoma skin cancer, there now needs to be studies to determine whether topical caffeine inhibits sunlight-induced skin cancer," said Allan Conney, Director of the Susan Lehman Cullman Laboratory for Cancer Research about the Rutgers study.

Drinking coffee can exhaust your adrenal glands, lead to substance addiction
As promising as the new research on coffee drinking may initially appear for preventing skin cancer, it is important to remember that coffee consumption can be dangerous and damaging to health. There are many other ways to prevent skin cancer, including regular exposure to natural sunlight without burning and vitamin D supplementation, that do not cause other health problems.

Coffee consumption stimulates the production of adrenaline in the body, which can overspend the adrenal glands, leading to chronic fatigue, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), allergies, chronic infections, and other problems.

Drinking coffee is also highly addictive, as many who regularly consume it suffer withdrawal symptoms such as headaches when they try to stop. While it may give its drinkers a buzz that helps them through their busy days, coffee ends up exhausting the body's energy reserves, which can lead to irritability, confusion, severe mood swings, and other problems.

Instead of coffee, why not try naturally exposing your skin to between 15 and 30 minutes a day of unfiltered sunlight, or supplementing with between 2,000 and 10,000 international units (IU) of vitamin D3 every day? This simple, inexpensive, and proven health regimen will not only help protect you against skin cancer, but will also improve your health in many other areas while preventing a myriad of chronic illnesses.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Drinking Coffee can Help Reduce the Risk of Diabetes

Coffee lovers across the world have been disheartened by all the bad things that coffee is supposed to do. Caffeine, the major culprit in coffee, is said to cause addiction, dehydration, panic attacks and emotional fatigue. Pregnant and lactating mothers are often advised not to drink coffee at all. However all is not lost! Several studies have found that drinking coffee actually helps in fighting heart diseases, headaches, asthma and Parkinson`s disease. New studies have confirmed that coffee can also help reduce diabetes.

Fumihiko Horio and colleagues at the Department of Applied Molecular Bio-science, Nagoya University found that coffee may help in preventing diabetes. As a part of their study, they fed either water or coffee to two different groups of lab mice that were prone to diabetes. The group that was fed on coffee showed improved insulin sensitivity and they also did not develop high blood sugars. The research which was published in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that coffee has beneficial effects in fatty liver and inflammatory adipocytokines, linked to a decreased risk of diabetes.

Previous studies have also indicated that drinking coffee lowers the risk of diabetes. In one study researchers looked at more than 28,000 post-menopausal women over a period of eleven years. Women who drank more than six cups a day were 22 percent less likely to develop diabetes compared to women who drank no coffee. The researchers found that the more coffee a person drank, the more beneficial effects it had in reducing diabetes. The study also found that women benefited more than men. The improved levels of insulin sensitivity were present regardless of whether decaf or regular coffee was consumed. This indicates that an ingredient other than caffeine may be responsible for the beneficial effects of coffee.

In another study published in the journal of American Diabetes Association, the relation between coffee consumption and risk of diabetes was studied in 88,259 women aged between 26 and 46 years. The objective was to assess the risk of diabetes on lower levels of consumption of coffee. The study found that the risk of diabetes decreased proportionately with the number of cups of coffee consumed. The risk decreased from 0.87 for women who drank one cup of coffee per day to 0.53 for four or more cups per day compared with nondrinkers. According to the journal, associations were similar between caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee.

Coffee is found to be especially useful in preventing type II diabetes. Type II diabetes starts with the onset of insulin resistance, a condition when the cells in the body show resistance to insulin. Insulin is the hormone which is the carrier of glucose molecules to the cells. The pancreas compensates for this by producing larger quantities of insulin. As cells become more and more insulin resistant, even the higher levels of insulin produced by the pancreas may not be sufficient. This results in a concentration of glucose molecules in the cells and is called hyperglycemia. Prolonged cases of hyperglycemia lead to diabetes.

Diabetes, a lifestyle disease, is a leading cause of death in the United Sates and in the world. Fortunately, it has been found that diabetes can be prevented to an extent by certain lifestyle and diet changes. A combination of healthy diet and regular exercise can often postpone the offset of type II diabetes in most people.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Moderation of Caffeine in Women Proven to Boost Memory

Women over the age of 65 have a head start when it comes to mental faculties... if they drink 3 cups of coffee per day, that is. Caffeine consumption in moderation is now a proven boost to women's mental health.

When taken in moderation, it appears that caffeine can actually be a boost to women's health - and in particular, their capacity for memory. A report published in the August 2007 issue of the American Academy of Neurology's medical journal revealed the results of a study conducted by the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research (INSERM), which focused on the impact of caffeine in both men's and women's health.

Three Cups a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
The study by INSERM included around 7,000 individuals over the age of 65, and checked a number of variables for each participant before the study began - things like medical histories and how much coffee or tea they tended to drink on a daily basis. Initially, participants took several tests to determine their level of mental skill, which centered around the use of memory. These tests were repeated two and then four years after the first test.

The women who had originally reported that they drank three or more cups of tea or coffee each day at the start of the study actually had less of a reduction in their test score than those women who consumed a maximum of one cup daily.

Memory Boost Only Impacts Women
Regardless of whether the women drank coffee or tea, it was the amount of caffeine which entered a person's system on a daily basis that made the significant difference – but in women alone.

As for the men, the test scores showed absolutely no benefits to males in terms of regular caffeine consumption, a factor which seems to indicate that women have a higher sensitivity to caffeine than men. The data indicates that caffeine is a psychostimulant which appears to reduce the amount of cognitive decline for females only.

The amount of memory impact also increased in parallel with age; for women around the age of 65, there was a 30% lower likelihood of memory loss, whereas women over the age of 80 were 70% less likely to have memory loss.

Everything in Moderation
The next step is to determine whether caffeine has any significant impact on more severe mental diseases, such as dementia. The study conducted by INSERM did not reveal any effects on degenerative mental diseases when combined with caffeine consumption, however the duration of the study may have simply been too short to effectively produce results in this area.

While doctors do not recommend that women dramatically increase their caffeine consumption as a preventative measure against mental decline, the study certainly indicates that caffeine taken in moderation by women is one way in which women can help boost their memories for significant and proven health benefits.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Different Types of Coffee Explained

For coffee aficionados, the various kinds of coffee available represent an enjoyable combination of choices. Maneuvering to an area coffee house will reveal excess of simply regular and decaf. Besides the vast assortment of coffee beans available, there are many unique ways to prepare and serve coffee. Allow me to share some of the most common.

This is created by forcing domestic hot water through tightly packed, finely ground coffee. Water must be pushed through having a significant level of pressure so that you can go through the reasons. In the event you watch a barista get this, you will probably notice he/she wedging the grounds in very firmly to the filter basket, often pounding the basket, order to make certain good density and proper taste. Espresso is generally served in small cups of about two ounces, because it has a stronger taste and better caffeine content than regular coffee.

A glass or two created by combining espresso, warm milk, and frothy milk. The espresso is along with warm milk and topped with milk foam. If you are in a coffee house and listen to a solid just like canned whip cream being expelled, somebody is making cappuccino. The spurting sound will be the milk being heated to its foamy consistency. Cappuccino is served in larger cups which range from about six to twelve ounces. Based on in places you get a cappuccino from, the barista might even make an artful design in the foam atop the coffee. Iced or frozen cappuccinos have also become a popular drink.

Very similar to cappuccino, a latte consists of espresso and warm milk. Depending on in places you go, there may be foamed milk atop the latte, but generally merely a very thin layer. The flavors of your latte is often nearly identical to that of cappuccino; it is within the smoother texture how the difference lies.

Turkish coffee
Not really a type of coffee bean but instead a style of preparation, Turkish coffee is produced by boiling extremely finely powdered coffee inside a pot. Unlike typical coffee brewing, no filter can be used. This produces a much stronger than normal taste, even stronger than espresso. Although coffee is very finely ground, there will probably nevertheless be dregs found in the bottom with the cup. It is often sugared to cancel out the noticeably bitter taste.

Blended coffees
Not coffees simply made by combining different beans, but coffees combined with teas, spices,chocolate, or even fruit extracts. These exotic brews open up coffee to a wide selection of flavors not ordinarily linked to the drink. Experienced baristas can cause concoctions with such names including pina colada coffee, peppermint spice mocha, or creme brulee roast.

Regular coffee will be commonplace drink and rightly so. However, the many types of coffee open to the coffee drinker makes sure that there's a brew for each and every taste.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Some interesting coffee facts

We listed some remarkable facts about coffee on this page.
Coffee Trivia
  • When shopping for perfume, take some coffee with you in your bag and have a good sniff in between smelling each perfume to refresh your nose!
  • Sprinkle spent coffee grounds around the base of your garden plants and it will stop snails and slugs from munching them!
  • A mixture of coffee grounds and sugar, fed to a pot plant and watered regularly, will revive houseplants that have turned yellow in winter.
  • Some of the worlds most powerful business, including Lloyds of London and the New York Stock Exchange, started life as a coffee houses.
  • In December 2001 Brazil produced a scented postage stamp to promote its coffee - the smell should last between 3 and 5 years. 
  • Vincent Van Gogh was a big frequenter of the café society and famously said “I have tried to show the café as a place where one can go mad.”
  • Pope Clement VIII loved coffee and authorised its use.
  • Revolutions have been planned in coffee houses, namely the French and the American Revolutions.
  • At the end of the 16th century records show there were at least 500 cafes in Istanbul alone. The first European cafes were opened by immigrants from Asia around 1650.
  • A coffee tree has a lifespan of about 50 to 70 years.
  • The coffee cherries turn from yellow to orange and then bright red, 6 - 8 months after flowering.
  • When it is in bloom, the coffee tree is covered with 30,000 white flowers which begin to develop into fruit after 24 - 36 hours.
  • A coffee tree can flower eight times in any one year - depending on rainfall.
  • There are 900 different flavours of arabica. Complex and very volatile, they deteriorate if exposed to air and light.
  • The aromas in coffee develop at the 10th minute of roasting.
  • Coffee increases in volume during roasting by 18.60%.
Coffee is...
  • The second most widely used product in the world after oil.
  • It was worth 6 million tonnes per year in the mid 90's.
  • It is worth €30 billion per year to the producing countries.
  • It is a living to more than 100 million people.
  • It is consumed at the rate of 1400 million cups per day.
  • The world's second most popular drink after water.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Chai Recipes

Chai on Ice
Like your chai on the "rocks"? Then try this recipe and cool those hot days down with an Iced Tiger Spice Chai® latte.
  1. Add 3 Tablespoons of David Rio chai to about 2-3 ounces of hot water or milk/milk substitute and stir.
  2. Pour over a cup of ice. Some of the ice will melt from the hot water.
  3. Add another 1/2 cup of water or milk/milk substitute and a little more ice.
  4. Stir and serve.
(You may also prepare a pitcher of chai ahead of time, keep chilled, then stir and pour over ice when servin
Ice Blended Chai
Cool down with a delicious ice blended chai made with David Rio's Tiger Spice Chai® and share with friends and family.
  1. Start with 1/2 cup milk.
  2. Add 5 Tablespoons of powdered chai.
  3. Add about 8 oz. of ice.
  4. Blend well until smooth.
  5. Top with whipped cream if desired.
Variation: Try adding a shot of your favorite flavored syrup, espresso or chocolate powder.
Blended Chai Smoothie w/Fruit
Add your favorite fruit to your favorite David Rio chai for this delicious iced blended smoothie! Try addingToucan Mango for a tropical twist!
  1. Start with about 1/2 cup of water or milk/milk substitute.
  2. Add 4 Tablespoons of chai.
  3. Add one banana (or use 1/4 cup of blueberries or any other fruit of choice).
  4. Add about 8 oz. of ice.
  5. Blend well until smooth.
Variation: Use David Rio's Toucan Mango Chai and fresh mangoes for a delicious, refreshing treat

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Good News For Coffee Drinkers

Recent research shows that coffee is beneficial not only for the profit of those who commercialize it but apparently for our health too.

Yes, it has been discovered that drinking coffee can reduce the risk of diabetes, colon cancer and Parkinson. It's also good for headaches and even for your teeth. Indeed, coffee does make one's teeth "yellow", it does increase one's blood pressure, the cellulite and so on.

According to a Canadian study, drinking one or two coffees per day is absolutely harmless, and even beneficial. And this is also valid for pregnant women. Also, there is another amazing news. After having analyzed the data referring to 126,000 people within a period of no less than 18 years, Harvard researchers have calculated that, unlike those who do not indulge in the habit of coffee drinking, those who enjoy their coffee cup(s) every day have a much lower risk of getting diabetes type 2. According to a statistical report, those who drink 4 to 6 coffee cups each day have 28% lower risk of getting diabetes than those who drink only two or one cup of coffee. Also, especially in women, drinking three coffee cups per day reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases by 24%. But unfortunately for those who already have cardiovascular diseases, drinking coffee is no longer recommended for them.

Coffee drinkers are 80% more protected from Parkinson disease than non-drinkers. At the same time, the chances of getting hepatic cancer are still 80% lower and the chances of getting kidney stones are 50% lower than of those who don't drink coffee.

Observers from Harvard Medical School have stated that coffee makes you more attentive, energetic and more able to drive on long distances.

Coffee has more fibers and antioxidants than orange juice. Nutritionists always tell us that we need fibers in order to be healthy and that antioxidants help us remain young and free from diseases. And in this respect, some Spanish experts proved that coffee does indeed contain a high level of antioxidants and fibers, and therefore it is very good for us. In fact, they have discovered that one cup of black coffee has a higher level of polyphenols and fibers than any other drink in the world. Also, coffee helps us keep our lips moisturized, especially cappuccino does have this effect. A short time after ingesting about 150grams of cappuccino, the salivary secretion is being stimulated and also the functions of speaking and diction are improved.

A cup of coffee can also improve one's mood. According to Cardiff experts at the University of Wales, a cup of coffee not only improves the brain's work capacity but it also makes us feel better.

Coffee is not an impediment for having dreams during the night. Many people say that they cannot sleep if they have a cup of coffee in the evening, which is only natural. Coffee keeps us awake and alert, with our attention very sharp, and this is the very reason why in fact people drink it. However, according to recent studies, although if we drink a cup of coffee in the evening we might have troubles falling asleep, it does not affect our dreaming ability or sleeping sound. Not even if we drink seven cups per day.

Coffee does not affect our stomach, it does not cause acidity. Gastric acidity is one of the most unpleasant diseases and has a multitude of cause, starting from eating spicy food to stress. Fortunately, contrary to the popular belief, coffee consumption is not at all related to gastric acidity.

Coffee can cure herpes. According to Japanese researchers who tested about fifteen types of coffee, this substance contains an ingredient which destroys the cells infected with the herpes virus.

Most importantly, coffee does not create addiction. There is a big difference between coffee drinking and doing drugs. Many years ago, World Health Organization has established that there is no evidence that coffee might be addictive or compared to drug addiction. In fact, a recent study has proved that no matter what the quantity, caffeine does not activate the brain's reward circuit like amphetamines or cocaine do. And the symptoms coffee drinkers experience in its absence, like headaches, sleepiness, lethargy have absolutely no connection or resemblance whatsoever with those experienced by drug addicts during their withdrawal period.

With all these benefits, it looks like it is worth drinking it, yet each organism is different and we must keep that in mind and have a balanced approach even in coffee drinking.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

Other tips for using old coffee grounds

1. Soften and add shine to hair. When washing your hair, rub coffee grounds through wet hair and rinse. For brown hair, coffee grounds add highlights.

2. Use coffee grounds as an exfoliant for skin. Pat on skin, massage over skin, rinse.

3. Add coffee grounds to your skin mask beauty routine.

4. Make homemade tattoos (temporary) with henna and coffee grounds.

5. Fertilize plants. Old coffee grounds are nutrient-rich for plants that thrive in an acidic soil.

6. Add used coffee grounds to the pots of indoor plants.

7. Work used coffee grounds into your garden soil before seed planting. After your plants start to emerge, work in coffee grounds near the plants. Used coffee grounds are said to repel snails and slugs as well as adding nutrients to the soil.

8. Increase your carrot and radish harvest by mixing seeds with dry coffee grounds before planting the seeds.

9. Use coffee grounds to repel ants.

10. Keep cats from using your garden as a kitty box by spreading used coffee grounds and orange peels throughout flower beds.

11. Deodorize a freezer. Place a bowl with used coffee grounds in the freezer to remove unwanted odors. Add a few drops of vanilla to coffee grounds.

12. Rub coffee grounds on hands to get rid of smells from chopping or cutting up pungent foods.

13. Make a used coffee grounds sachet. Fill old nylons or cheesecloth with dry used coffee grounds. Hang in closets to absorb odors.

14. When you need an abrasive cleaner, coffee grounds can be used. Be careful of any surfaces that might stain.

15. Remove furniture scratches with wet coffee grounds.
16. Got a fireplace? Sprinkle wet coffee grounds over the ashes to keep from becoming engulfed in the plume of dust ashes create when you need to remove them.

17. Dye fabric, paper or Easter eggs. Simply add used coffee grounds to warm water and let sit a bit to create a dye.

18. After you give your dog a bath, rub coffee grounds through the coat of your pet. Coffee grounds are said to repel fleas.

19. Keep bait worms alive by mixing coffee grounds into the soil before you add worms.

20. Grow mushrooms on old coffee grounds.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Coffee Recipes

Photo from Hamilton Beach website
Almond Coffee Cream
2 teaspoons coffee, finely ground to a powder
1/4 cup skim milk
2 egg whites
1/2 teaspoon salt
low-calorie sugar substitute (equal to ¼ cup sugar)
1/8 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 cup finely chopped almonds
4 ounces nondairy whipped topping, thawed

Dissolve coffee in milk and set aside.

Add the salt to the egg whites and beat until foamy. Gradually add the sugar substitute and continue to beat until the mixture forms stiff, shiny peaks. Blend in the coffee/milk mixture, almond extract, and chopped almonds.  Fold in the dietetic topping.

Spoon into individual parfait glasses. Garnish with additional chopped almonds if desired. Freeze until firm.

Serves 6

Ice Cream Parlor Mocha Sodas

½ cup hot water
8 teaspoons coffee, finely ground to a powder
2 cups milk
4 scoops chocolate ice cream
1 quart club soda
sweetened whipped cream or prepared whipped topping

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 or prepared whipped topping.

Serves 4

Profiterols with Coffee Rum Sauce

The Puffs:

1 cup butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cups boiling water
2 cups all purpose flour
8 eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Bring the water to a boil in a medium-sized, sauce pan.  Add salt and butter and stir until the butter has melted. Reduce the heat. Add the flour and beat the mixture until it comes away from the sides of the pan and forms a smooth ball in the center.

Remove from heat and add eggs, one at a time, beating well.  Using a dessert spoon, shape the puffs and place them on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 8 minutes, then reduce heat to 350 degrees F and bake for an additional 10-12 minutes.

Remove puffs from the oven and let cool. Slice off the top of each puff and fill the cavity with cream.

Arrange puffs in the shape of a pyramid. Pour Coffee Rum Sauce over them and serve.

Serves 8

The Cream:

2 cups heavy cream, whipped
4 tablespoons strong cold coffee
sugar to taste

Slowly add the cold coffee to the whipped cream, and fold in well. Sweeten to taste.

Coffee Rum Sauce:

1 cup sugar
1-½ cups (12 oz) strong coffee
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons cold coffee
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons rum

Slowly melt sugar in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly.  Gradually add strong coffee, continuing to stir constantly until the sugar is completely dissolved.  In a small bowl stir the cornstarch into the cold coffee and combine with heated mixture. Cook combined ingredients until they boil and thicken. Remove from heat.  Add butter and rum. Stir until butter melts. Let cool to room temperature.

Café Mexicano

4 teaspoons chocolate syrup
½ cup heavy cream
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 tablespoon sugar
1-½ cups strong hot coffee

Put 1 teaspoon chocolate syrup into each of 4 coffee cups.

Combine the heavy cream, ¼ teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, and sugar and whip until it forms soft peaks.

Stir remaining ½ teaspoon cinnamon into the hot coffee.  Divide the coffee evenly between the 4 cups and stir each to blend the coffee with the chocolate syrup.

Top each cup with the spiced whipped cream and serve immediately.
Serves 4

Coffee Alexander

1 cup cold strong coffee
1 cup coffee ice cream
2 oz. Brandy or Cognac

Pour all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Serve in champagne or wine glasses. Garnish each with a coffee bean.

Serves 2

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Come say hi!

We will be at the Mission Save-On-Foods on Friday, Sept. 28 and Saturday, Sept. 29 from 10:00am - 2:00pm doing a demo of our coffee.

If you can't make it out to see us on those days come out to Coopers in Winfield on Sunday, Sept. 30 from 10:00am - 2:00pm.

Come out to say hi and have a cup of java on us.

Hope to see you there

Colin and Harry

Friday, 21 September 2012

Coffee Vs. Energy Drinks

Photo from Teresa Webb (Pinterest)
There are quite a few differences between coffee and energy drinks, from their preparation to their chemical content. But there's one thing that they share in common and that is, a reputation for being bad for health. Read more to learn about these 2 popular beverages and which one is truly bad for your health. 

For anyone who has spent hours peering at a computer screen or working late at the office, coffee is a savior. You are dog-tired and oh-so-weary but just one cup of joe and suddenly things don't seem so bad. It's the ideal beverage for solitary musings and quiet reading. It's a great social drink for hanging out with friends and meeting new people. Coffee wakes you up in the morning, de-stresses you during the day and is the perfect after-dinner dessert beverage. And there are so many options to choose from! Lattes, cappuccinos, espresso, decaf, etc. whatever your preference, sweet or bitter, there's a coffee for you. With such accolades, no wonder it's the most consumed drink in the world. 

And then there's the energy drink. The miracle drink that raises your energy levels to the maximum and keeps you active throughout the day. Energy drinks are touted as a healthier option to soft drinks and a better energy restorer than water. It is a very popular drink choice among youngsters and the "hip" crowd. Both coffee and energy drinks have come under fire for their numerous risks as opposed to their benefits. 

Coffee vs. Energy Drinks - Caffeine Content 

The hidden villain being argued over in the "coffee vs energy drinks" debate, is caffeine. This is a substance of chemical origin, crystalline in appearance. It is a natural product found in seeds, leaves and fruits of the coffee plant, tea bush and the kola nut. This little white powder, like other white powders, is actually a drug, albeit a legal one. Caffeine acts as a nerve stimulant, it activates and charges up the nervous system. And it's present in large and small quantities in most foods and beverages. 

The properties of this powder have sparked off infinite arguments and debates. Is caffeine good? Is it bad? How much is good? How much is bad? For starters, caffeine has its good and bad points. It strengthens muscles and increases stamina. It quickens the body's metabolic rate and functioning, so fat burns quicker. Caffeine makes other drugs and medications work better and faster, like painkillers. Above all, caffeine is to your brain, like a nitro booster is to a car, a good kick to jumpstart your system.

It speeds up your thinking, your physical reflexes, reduces feelings of tiredness and drowsiness and increases your capacity to do more work, both physically and mentally. On the flip side, there's a limit to your caffeine tolerance and when you cross the limit, caffeine can harm you. Too much stimulation can cause your brain to get all jittery and on edge. Difficulty in sleeping and concentrating are just a few effects of being over-caffeinated. 

On an average, your caffeine amount should be between 150 mg-300 mg per day. Above 400 mg is considered high and above 1000 mg is an abnormal or dangerous amount of caffeine to consume per day. Below is a comparison of the amount of caffeine in coffee vs energy drinks, based on some popular energy drink brands and coffees. 

Energy Drink
Caffeine Content (mg)
Red Bull (8.2 oz)
Espresso Coffee (1 oz)
Rockstar (16 oz)
Decaffeinated Instant Coffee (1 oz)
Monster (16 oz)
Starbucks Grande Caffe Latte (16 oz)
Ammo Energy Shot (1 oz)
McDonalds Small Coffee (12 oz)
Jolt Energy Drink (24 oz)
Dunkin' Donuts Coffee (16 oz)

It's easy to see that both coffee and energy drinks have high levels of caffeine. A 16 ounce serving of either coffee or an energy drink and you have already touched 150 mg, which is the lower limit of your daily recommended caffeine intake. Some energy drinks have alarmingly high levels of caffeine like Cocaine with a whopping 288 mg caffeine content in an 8.4 oz can! The danger here is in over-consumption. It's easier to chug down 2 cans of a chilled energy drink than 1 steaming cup of coffee, especially in the afternoon or evening. And while gaming, watching movies or working out, energy drinks are the beverages of choice. From the caffeine point of view, coffee and energy drinks are tied in content but the risk of an overdose is with energy drinks. 

Coffee Vs. Energy Drinks - Benefits 

Ultimately coffee and energy drinks have the same purpose. Both serve as legal stimulants and powerhouses of energy. Both can help an individual's sense of concentration and reaction time. But there are some additional benefits of coffee over energy drinks. Coffee reduces the risk of a number of diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, type 2 diabetes and cancer. It helps medicines work faster, due to its caffeine content. It helps prevent occurrence of heart problems and liver related issues. Now one can argue that the caffeine in energy drinks could do the same. But energy drinks also contain refined sugar and other ingredients, as well as very high caffeine levels. And the tendency to overindulge is more in case of energy drinks. In fact the labeling of most energy drinks advise limited or moderate consumption and a minimum age limit. Energy drinks can also be mixed with alcohol, a dangerous combination, as a mixture of both beverages can dehydrate the body severely. 

Aggressive advertising tends to promote energy drinks as a substitute for water, which is definitely not true. The bottom line in the coffee vs energy drinks comparison is this: both are safe, good for health and great beverages, when enjoyed in moderation. And of course, there's nothing like water for the human body.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Nutrition Facts for Coffee

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages all over the world. It is derived from coffee beans and caffeine is its major component. Here are some interesting nutrition facts for coffee.

What's your idea of pleasant morning? I like to enjoy my morning sitting in balcony or garden reading daily newspaper with a sip of steaming, refreshing coffee in a cheerful atmosphere. I am sure; most people start their day in a similar way. Coffee is one of world's most frequently consumed beverages. It is popular not only for its amazing smell and taste, but for its stimulation properties. Coffee is derived from coffee beans, which are roasted, ground to powder and dissolved in water. Coffee can be taken in hot or cold form such as cold coffee. You can choose to have coffee with sugar and milk or without them. Coffee usually comes in a wide variety such as regular, drip, instant, brewed, espresso and decaffeinated. You must be curious to know about many nutrition facts about coffee, your favorite beverage.

Nutrition Facts

Caffeine is the main component of coffee. Average caffeine content in various types of coffee is as follows:
  • Espresso-100mg
  • Drip coffee-115-175mg
  • Instant-65-100mg
  • Brewed-80-135mg
  • Decaf, instant-2-3mg
  • Decaf, brewed-3-4mg
Other compounds found in coffee are carbohydrates, lipid, vitamins and minerals. Besides this, there are more than thousand compounds likely to present in coffee. The qualities and quantities of these compounds may vary depending upon processing of coffee.

Coffee beans are likely to contain abundant quantities of three major polysaccharides. Out of them, galactomannan and type II arabinogalactan are dominant in coffee beverage. There are mainly two types of polysaccharides such as digestible and indigestible. The indigestible form is known as dietary fibers. Coffee beans are known for having a large quantity of dietary fibers. However, they are not passed onto coffee beverage consumer due to roasting, grinding and brewing of coffee beans. Coffee beans have abundant amount of phenolics, which are able to bind to dietary proteins and fibers, possessing significant nutritional benefits.

General nutrition facts for coffee include about 0.01g of total fat, 0mg cholesterol, about 1mg of sodium, approximately 14mg of potassium, about 0.01g of total carbohydrates and nearly 0.04g of proteins. This amount is for serving size of 1 fl oz. Coffee with sugar and milk, if served 10fl.ozs, contains about 1gm of total fat, about 5mg cholesterol, approximately 70mg sodium and nearly 16gm of total carbohydrates. It consists of 4% calcium. Coffee consists of numerous trace minerals such as Niacin, Thiamin, Magnesium, Phosphorous, folate and Manganese.

Possible Benefits

Coffee is known for several health benefits. Caffeine present in coffee is mild stimulant and shows effects on central nervous system. It enhanced and alters mood as well as increases alertness. Caffeine is found to be effective for decreasing muscle pain and augmenting pain-reliving ability of other drugs. It also boosts athletic performance and endurance. Consumption of coffee can help to lose weight, improves normal glucose metabolism and burn excess calories.
  • Reduced risk of gallstone disease
  • Decreased risk of Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease
  • Reduced risk of Type 2 Diabetes
  • Enhanced cognitive performance
  • Analgesic enhancement
  • Cardioprotective
  • Antioxidants present in coffee are beneficial for health
  • Reduced asthma attacks
  • Reduced risk of cancer such as esophageal, oral and pharyngeal cancer.

Have you had your cup of coffee today?

Colin and Harry

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Myth 2: Freezing Coffee Beans will prolong their Freshness

I generally recommend against freezing or even refrigerating coffee beans. I have yet to see any evidence or explanation about how freezing coffee would delay staling of the coffee. In addition, it creates the risk of condensation on the beans as well as exposing the coffee to large changes in temperature, which can be destructive on its own.
So how should you store coffee beans? If we are talking about fresh coffee that will be used up quickly, within a week or two, then no special measures are really needed. Because freshly roasted coffee slowly releases CO2 over the first couple of weeks, it does a pretty good job of protecting itself against oxidation, the main culprit of staling. Keep it out of the sun and away from sources of heat and you should be good. If you go through your coffee slowly, say only drinking on weekends, I generally advise the use of mason jars, which are relatively cheap, air tight and easy to clean. The smaller the jar the better. I have found the half-pint jar hold just enough coffee for a medium-sized pot of coffee.
Enjoy your daily cup of coffee
Harry and Colin