Category Archives: Coffee

Coffee – Have a cup for a better microbiome

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(See my other Coffee related posts) – I came across the article “Could more coffee bring a healthier microbiome?” recently and wanted to share it.

The essence of the article is that research indicates that caffeine consumption is linked to a healthy gut microbiome. This can help you with your overall health. Evidence is suggesting that the makeup of your gut microbiome can affect your health.

A recent study shows that consuming coffee can improve microbiome health. This result was presented at the American College of Gastroenterology annual meeting, in San Antonio, Texas on October 28, 2019. In the study, those participants who drank two or more cups of coffee per day had better gut microbiome profiles.

This looks like one more reason to enjoy a few cups of coffee each morning.

Good Instant Coffee?

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(See my other Coffee related posts) – I have never been a fan of instant coffee, but I came across the article “Waka Coffee: Bringing Instant Back” earlier today and I thought it was worth sharing.

This instant is made by Waka Coffee. The company offers both regular and decaffeinated instant coffee. As they say on their website:

Most products are made from inferior Robusta beans roasted in huge spray-dried batches. This production method – used by traditional instant coffee companies – saves the companies money, but it sacrifices taste. Waka Coffee sources only 100% Arabica beans instant coffee, which are commonly used in coffee shops, to provide the best taste. Our beans are freeze-dried to best preserve the coffee’s aroma and depth of flavor.

Our high-quality instant coffee solution provides a simpler coffee experience to fuel your entire day. No more spending money on coffee equipment that occupies valuable kitchen space and waiting for your coffee to brew.  We engage directly with fellow coffee lovers to continuously improve our product and make the coffee experience more enjoyable.

waka-coffee-best-instant-coffee_1_540xWaka offers single-serving packets as well as bulk instant. Prices vary but the single-serving packets start at about $1.20 each while the 8 oz/ bag (80 cups) goes for $38.99 or around $0.49 per serving.

I’m not sure I would want to forego my fresh ground coffee brewed up every morning for this, but it might be an option for those who are traveling.

USA, Colorado, Ouray – Mouse’s Chocolate & Coffee

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(See my other 2019 Road Trip posts) – While in Ouray, Colorado my wife and I visited Mouse’s Chocolates and Coffee located at 520 Main Street, Ouray, CO, 81427. This was a very pleasant surprise in this town of only about 1000 residents.

When we were there it was full of many out of town visitors. We were driving through but wanted to stop for a little something. This place caught our eye and we got in line.

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It being a warm day, we opted for ice cream. At first we were each going to get something, but in the end, we were glad we decided to share one of their treats. The selection we chose was more than enough for both of us. That is certainly not the only choice. The Mouse’s Chocolates and Coffee offers:

Handmade Chocolates, each made right here by the Chocolatier, using imported Belgian Chocolate. Coffee roasted on-premises. Espresso drinks, Coffee, Ice Cream, Milkshakes all served year-round. 

We really enjoyed our visit. It was very busy while we were there. The Yelp rating is 4.5/5 and the TripAdvisor rating is an even better 5/5. If you are interested in Mouse’s, you may want to also check them out on Twitter or Facebook. The shop is open 9 – 7 Sunday thru Thursday, and 9 to 8 Friday and Saturday.


See my other Food & Location posts


 

USA, Texas, Georgetown – Galaxy Bakery & CoffeeHouse

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(See my other dessert related posts) – A few days ago, friends, Michelle and Addy came to visit and they brought my wife and I each a Boston Cream Croissant. That taste of Galaxy Bakery was enough to send us up to Georgetown this morning.

The Galaxy Bakery & CoffeeHouse is located at 107 E 7th Street, Georgetown, Texas 78626 – just east of the square. The Galaxy is housed in one of the older buildings and you might just go past it. If you do though, you will be making a mistake.

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So what does the Galaxy have? Per their menu:

  • Full size and Mini CUPCAKES
  • GLUTEN FREE CUPCAKES  Available Fridays & Saturdays (or by the dozen upon request)
  • Full size and Mini CANNOLI – Chocolate, Confectioners Sugar, and Pistachio.
    CHEESECAKE – New York, Tuxedo, Chocolate, Raspberry White Chocolate, Peanut Butter
    Full size and mini CINNAMON ROLLS
  • COOKIES – Chocolate Brownie, Chocolate Chunk, Cranberry Oatmeal Walnut, Peanut Butter, and Sugar.
  • CROISSANTS – Almond, Dutch Apple, Peach Cobbler, Cherry Cobbler, Chocolate, Ham & Swiss, Jalapeño Sausage & Cheddar, Raspberry, Sausage & Cheddar, Spinach & Feta, Jalapeño Popper, Boston Cream, Turkey Gouda, and Almond Joy.

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  • Full size and mini MUFFINS – Blueberry, Lemon Crunch, Maple Walnut, Raspberry.
  • Full size and mini PIES – Apple, Blueberry, Cherry, Chocolate, Coconut, Galaxy-Pie, Key Lime, Lemon Meringue, Pecan, Pumpkin, Peach
  • Full size and mini SCONES – Almond, Blueberry, Cranberry Orange, Raspberry.

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The Galaxy also has a selection of coffees and bottled soft drinks. There are a few tables inside and more outside on their patio for when the weather is better. We sat inside and enjoyed Turkey Gouda Croissants, then shared a cupcake. Of course, we had to stop at the counter and order a few other items to take home with to enjoy later.

So far I have only tasted the Boston Cream and Turkey Gouda Croissants, along with one of their cupcakes (their website lists 47 different flavors – they rotate through them every two weeks) and one of their cookies. Everything I have tried so far has been very good.

Now that I have visited Galaxy Bakery, I am sure I will be back many times! If you are near the Williamson County Courthouse on the square in Georgetown, I recommend you take a few minutes to visit the Galaxy Bakery.


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Coffee Seems to Combat the Onset of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

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(See my other Coffee related posts) – I read “Dark Coffee Can Reduce The Risk Of Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s Diseases, A New Study Showed” a few months ago now, but seeing it again today, I wanted to share it. This article is based on “Phenylindanes in Brewed Coffee Inhibit Amyloid-Beta and Tau Aggregation” published in the October 12, 2018 issue of the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience.

In the study conducted at Krembil Brain Institute in Toronto, researchers tested three different Starbucks coffee blends (Instant light roast, dark roast, and decaffeinated dark roast) for phenylindanes. They looked for phenylindanes as these compounds which are produced in the coffee roasting process are known to inhibit proteins linked to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s from clumping.

The study links the consumption of coffee, particularly dark roast coffee, with a reduced risk of developing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. The darker the roast, the more phenylindanes that are produced. This avenue of research is in its early stage and much is still unknown about the exact interaction of the compounds.

Still, this is yet another in a series of studies that indicate that chemicals contained in coffee have a beneficial impact on health.

Coffee: Which type of filter do you use? There is a difference!

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(See my other Coffee and Food  related posts) – The University of California, Davis Coffee Center has been investigating the best ways to brew coffee. In March of 2019 the article “Flat vs. Cone: Basket Shape is as Important as Grind Size in Drip Brew Coffee” was published in 25 Magazine.

A very well designed [see the article for details] experiment was designed to evaluate flat versus cone shaped filters. The quick take from the article:

  1. filter shape does affect the taste of coffee
  2. grind size does not affect the taste of coffee
  3. there is a taste difference between light and dark roasts

With light roast:

  1. flat bottom filters “yielded flavor attributes with more dried fruit, sweet, and floral flavor intensities
  2. cone filters “yielded more citrus, berry, and sour

With dark roast:

  1. flat bottom filters “yield more pronounced chocolate, cocoa, and woody flavors
  2. cone filters “yield much more intense bitterness

Which filter type is best? That is really up to the consumer because we each have our own taste preferences.

2B-Alert Web 2.0 Better Predicts When to Take Caffeine

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(See my other Coffee related posts) – I made the following post about 11 months ago on July 28, 2018. I am reposting it now becasue the website had been update. It is now 2B-Alert Web 2.0.

Many of us brew coffee first thing in the morning and begin our daily consumption. The U.S. Army researched the consumption of coffee and found that there is an algorithm we can follow to achieve optimum alertness. The results of the study indicate that people’s performance on an attention task can be improved by up to 64 percent. When the algorithm is followed, caffeine consumption can be reduced by up to 65% while still maintaining elevated levels of performance.

As a result of the research, a web-based tool 2B‐Alert Web has been developed to help predict a person’s alertness based on their sleep time and caffeine consumption.

The study “Caffeine dosing strategies to optimize alertness during sleep loss” was published in the Journal of Sleep Research on May 28, 2018.

I don’t drink coffee intending to enhance my alertness these days. I drink it because I simply like the taste. However, if you are in a position where alertness is essential to your job, this may be something to look into.

The 2B-Alert Web 2.0 web tool per their website will:

This software tool predicts the alertness of an “average” individual as a function of sleep/wake schedule, caffeine consumption, and time of day. Optionally, it also provides optimal caffeine schedules for user-provided periods of desired peak alertness. Specifically, it allows users to manually enter a sleep/wake/peak alertness schedule, as well as caffeine dosing and timing, and displays the corresponding predictions for three different statistics of alertness on the psychomotor vigilance task (PVT). If the user provides the desired period of peak alertness, the system will output the estimated optimal caffeine schedules. The tool predicts alertness for the duration of the given schedule and 48 hours of subsequent total sleep deprivation.

This tool can be used to:

  1. Assess the effect of different sleep/wake schedules and caffeine consumption
  2. Design sleep/wake and caffeine schedules to optimize alertness
  3. Generate hypotheses that can be experimentally tested
  4. Optimize the benefits of caffeine use

Do you need to optimize your coffeine consuption?

Want a Perfect Cup of Coffee?

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(See my other Coffee related posts) – Are you a coffee lover and keep searching for how to make that “perfect” cup of brew at home? If so, you might be interested in the article “How To Make The Best Coffee at Home – According to 6 Experts” I came across today.

In a nutshell, what they say is:

  • start with quality of the water
  • recommended water to coffee ratio 16 (plus or minus 1) to 1 (by weight)
  • use fresh ground coffee
  • a Keurig is NOT recommended

Your Preference for Coffee is in Your Genes

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Coffee – After reading the article “Why Do I Like Coffee, But Not Tea? Science Says It May Come Down To Your Genetics” I now know part of what is in my genetic makeup – bitter taste receptor genes.

A study was undertaken at the University of Queensland in Australia to find out more about the genetic factor in the individual’s preference for coffee. The results of their study (“Understanding the role of bitter taste perception in coffee, tea and alcohol consumption through Mendelian randomization“) has been published in the journal Scientific Reports.

The study looked at 400,000 people in the UK between the ages of 37 and 73. It compared both their coffee/tea-drinking habits, along with data on their genetic makeup. They found that those who carry the “bitter taste receptor gene” are much more likely to drink large amounts of coffee. In fact, for each “extra copy” of that gene, the probability that the individual would be a coffee drinker went up by 20%.