Category Archives: Coffee

Which way to Brew?

coffee

Coffee – I found the article”Which coffee brewing method makes the tastiest cup?‘ on Quora a couple of says ago. The author’s answer, not a surprise to me, is that the ‘tastiest’ cup of coffee is going to vary from person to person. 

He mentions that each person should try different brewing methods:

  1. Expresso
  2. Drip
  3. French Press
  4. Turkish
  5. Cold Brew

For myself, I prefer Drip as . . . well it is simple an quick. When I get up of a morning, I want my coffee as soon as I can get it with as little trouble as possible. Drip might be brew the tastiest coffee, but it is my preferred method.

 

Clear Coffee????

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Coffee – I came across the article “Clear Coffee That Won’t Stain Your Teeth Has Arrived” this morning. CLRCFF is what the drink is called. Hmmm . . . even though they claim that it tastes like coffee and has the same caffeine, I just don’t think it would be the same to drink this new concoction.

This is a drink produced in the UK, so we may not even be able to try it over here in the States anytime soon. Though since Whole Foods seems to be carrying it in the UK, we may see it here sooner than I expect. The price may also be a deterrent with two 200 ml (about 7oz) bottles selling in the U.K. for £5.99 (about $7.50 today).

Since I like my coffee hot and black, I’m not sure that this will ever appeal to me. I guess if you like iced coffee this might appeal to you. While this is an interesting development, I’ll stick with what I brew at home every morning.

Is this something that you would buy to satisfy your caffeine cravings every day?

Food for Thought: Where to find Bookish Restaurants

Books – I really liked some of the suggestions in this post. In particular I plan to look up the “Hobbit Cafe” when I travel to Houston this summer. I can’t think of a better combination than good food and a good book.

K.L. Kranes, Author

I love to sit alone at a restaurant or a cafe and read a book. When I was a kid, I’d see someone doing this and feel so sorry for them I’d want to go sit with them. As an adult, if some kid did that I’d think it’s cute, but prefer to be left alone. I love a good lit lunch.

For me food and restaurants are linked to books. On our a recent trip to Williamsburg, VA, I couldn’t help but notice the abundance of literary references and motifs in the local restaurants.

Here are just a few.

Food For Thought

20170410_184846I stole the name of this blog from this restaurant, which doesn’t just center it’s theme on books but books that make you think. It had my favorite book – Atlas Shrugged front and center over the waiting room seating inside. Large letters hang from the walls…

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Bulletproof Coffee

I like coffee, so when I saw an article on Bulletproof Coffee it intrigued me. I haven’t tried adding butter to my coffee yet, but one of these mornings I’ll get adventurous and try it. Not sure about the “Bulletproof Upgraded Coffee Beans” and “Brain Octane Oil” though. Making Bulletproof Coffee with these ingredients is claimed to give improved IQ and cognitive function.

Dave Asprey (the ‘Bulletproof’ founder) also recommends using a French Press or Pour Over Method. He likes taking the time to slowly pour his hot water over the grounds in the Pour Over Method. I’m not sure I want to suffer that delay getting to my first cup of the morning.

I see that Picnik, both a Restaurant and Food Truck here in Austin, serves Bulletproof coffee. Perhaps I’ll try it there first before committing to the process myself.

Have you tried it? What do you think?

How Coffee Can Affect Productivity

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Coffee – I certainly can’t operate well with my coffee of a morning. I came across the article “5 Ways That Coffee Affects Productivity” this morning. The points raised in that article are:

  1. It improves mental performance and alertness – this is certainly true for me. There is more evidence included in my earlier post “Coffee Does Help You Get Started“. On the other hand “Wait Till 9:30 for Coffee?” argues that there are optimum times for drinking coffee. Personally I don’t want to wait that late in the morning.
  2. It can affect the quality of your sleep – I can agree with this, but the simple answer is to reduce/eliminate coffee after noon (or what ever time works for you to get a good night’s sleep).
  3. It may enhance your willpower – Hmm, I hadn’t thought of this before. I can certainly see how a cup can give you an energy boost.
  4. Drinking coffee at the wrong time will lead to increased blood pressure and adrenaline levels – I am fortunate that I don’t have high blood pressure, but I can see where this could adversely affect some.
  5. It can help you learn faster – though I can’t find any references handy, I have seen evidence of this.

I guess the bottom line is drink coffee, in a reasonable way. I know that for me brewing my coffee is the very first thing I do every morning.

Top 10 Most Expensive Coffees

Coffee – Well, these rare coffee’s sound interesting, but they seem a little beyond my choice for the two cups I brew for myself each morning. I guess I will have to stick with the Sprout’s Blend beans I pick up around the corner at the local Sprout’s store.

Cafe Book Bean

download (3)These coffee’s are rare and unique and come from all over the world. There is an interesting variety of flavors to keep any coffee connoisseur interested. However not all of these are readily available, some are bought by auction, some are sold in small batches to select people, and some are only sold in far off places.

Starting with the least expensive here are
the top 10 most expensive coffees:

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Black Blood of the Earth $40/750ml
or $95 for Blue Mountain!
Philip Broughton, the man who invented this coffee, says most of the coffee beans come from the rift valleys of Ethiopia and Africa where the beans are loaded with oil.
Flavor Notes: The acid is lost during intense processing, so what you get in your cup is a strong flavored brew that is rich in caffeine, but lacks acid.
Fun Fact: Black Blood of Earth is prepared using cold…

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Coffee DOES help You Get Started

coffee

Coffee – I have certainly always thought that coffee helped me get started in the morning. My wife even refrains from talking to me much until I have had at least part of a cup.

I was pleased to learn of a study published in Frontiers of Psychology last November (“Caffeine Enhances Memory Performance in Young Adults during Their Non-optimal Time of Day“).

It has been well known that caffeine:

  • easily crosses the blood-brain barrier
  • increases the firing rates of the brain in regions controlling sleep and mood
  • increases alertness

This study confirms that caffeine not only improves the memory recall of older adults, but it has the same affect on college age students. Keep in mind that this study specifically addresses the ability of caffeine to improve the memory of those who are struggling to wake up: “caffeine benefits cognition during suboptimal conditions- in this case, during the low point in young adults’ circadian rhythm.

I like the taste of coffee, so I don’t need this benefit. It is nice to know though that there are other benefits to having a cup or two each morning.

A Brief Origin of Coffee

Coffee – Ahh coffee! What better way to begin our day!

But from where did this hot, dark beverage originate?

 

Cafe Book Bean

images (1)The earliest origins of coffee are from Ethiopia. There is not an exact history about how people started roasting and drinking “coffee” only legends and myths. However, it was originally viewed as a food. The Ethiopians chewed the plant for it’s obvious stimulant properties, and also ate the fruit raw (the pulp is sweet and caffeinated.)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
They also pounded coffee cherries and mixed it with animal fat to mold into pellets. There are records that show the cherries were also used to make wine.

artists_thumbnailThe earliest use of coffee as a hot beverage entailed roasting the entire hull over an open fire and then mixing with boiling water for 30 minutes until a yellowish liquid came through.

9The drink stayed a green drink until aprx. the 13 century when they began to first dry the beans. With more  experimentation, the process was adapted further, and the practice of roasting formed.

22adf105-ebf0-4ca9-a446-e7a2789166dc Once…

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DIY for the Best Coffee Brew

coffee

Coffee – I came across an article this morning (“This DIY Coffee Maker Will Brew the Best Cup You’ve Ever Had“) that suggested one way to brew a great cup of coffee was to abandon the electric coffee maker and make your own brewing rig. The assembly is pretty simple and looks like it could be done relatively quickly once you had procured the parts.

I contemplated building this rig for a time – a short time. While having this contraption setting on my kitchen counter might be an interesting object to kick off a conversation, I am not sure I want to go through the manual process of pouring hot water over the the ground coffee.

I guess I am lazy enough to just grind my beans every morning, dump the grounds into a filter, add the water to the maker reservoir and go off to do other things while it brews. I guess this would be a ‘Steam Punk’ kind of brewing solution, but I’ll stick with what I have for now.

 

Evidence that Drinking Coffee May Slow Aging

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I like coffee!

It is always good to read about new findings that give reasons to drinking coffee beyond the good flavor. Today I came across some articles that talk about newly discovered benefits of coffee that may slow down some of the affects of aging.

Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have found that “Drinking coffee may bring with it a long-term perk: Caffeine may protect against age-related inflammation, a process that has been linked to many serious conditions like heart disease, many types of cancers, dementia, and even depression“. Their results was published in Nature Medicine (see Reference #1 below). Further, Time (see Reference #4 below) reports that “the more coffee people drank, the more protected against inflammation they seemed to be“.

A very detailed scientific explanation of how coffee is affecting us is given in #1 below.

So now you have another reason to enjoy a few cups of coffee each day.

References:

  1. Expression of specific inflammasome gene modules stratifies older individuals into two extreme clinical and immunological states
  2. The Surprising Anti-Aging Benefit Of Your Coffee
  3. Drinking Coffee Has a Surprising New Health Benefit
  4. How Your Morning Coffee Might Slow Down Aging