Tag Archives: Coffee

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.


See my other Food and Location posts


 

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%.

Feeling Anxious? A Cup of Coffee with Satori Might Help

Coffee – Coffee has many benefits of its own as I have posted about previously. While I don’t use creamers in my coffee, the “Vanilla Steamer” from Satori Food Project might be something to think about.

Dr. Kwadwo Owusu-Ofori, while he was pursuing post-doctorate work in pharmaceutical sciences, wanted to find an easy way for people to manage stress and anxiety without prescription drugs. He worked with the startup accelerator Gener8tor and received an award from the National Science Foundation to further his efforts to create foods for mental health. The result is the Satori Food Project based out of the Concordia University of Wisconsin Pharmacy School.

They currently have two products – the powdered coffee creamer mentioned above and a hot chocolate mix. Both are enriched with magnesium, GABA, and L-theanine. They say on their website about their creamer:

You know that feeling you get when you’re painting, writing, or coding. You know. When you’re 100% focused on what you’re making. When you’re in that special place where joy meets skill meets performance…

Well, scientists have figured out the brain chemistry behind that special place, and they call it “FLOW”. And we have turned that discovery into a delicious vanilla steamer that unlocks your brain’s potential to get into Flow – and stay there.

. . . helps you calm your nerves and stay focused on accomplishing your goals. Imagine what you can do at the next level of CONSCIOUSNESS and Clear Thinking…

As for their hot chocolate, their website claims:

RELAX. Imagine finally returning home from a long and busy day. You did a lot of things. And you helped a lot of people. 

Now it’s time to lay on the couch, snuggle under a warm blanket, and watch your favorite shows with your favorite drink.

Satori Hot Chocolate Mix is a gourmet beverage that helps your brain CALMLY UNWIND and detach from a hectic day. Now it’s night-time. Your time.

A Peaceful Mind can be yours with every cup of SATORI Hot Chocolate. It gives your brain the vitamins it needs to relax after a busy day. No Artificial Flavors. NO PILLS. No Stress. JUST CHOCOLATE.

A $25 can of the hot chocolate mix will make eighteen 56 calorie cups of hot chocolate. The $25 can of Vanilla Steamer provides twentyone 63 calorie servings.

Perhaps one or both (you can buy a package with a can of each for $45) is something to help you through your day.

Atomo, the Coffee Replacement

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Coffee – Climate change is affecting the coffee fields around the world. Some predict that the supply of coffee will be severely curtailed in the years ahead. The International Center for Tropical Agriculture in their 2014 report “A bitter cup: climate change profile of global production of Arabica and Robusta coffee” predicts that less than half of the land now used for growing coffee will support the crop within 30 years.

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The Seattle based start-up Atomo is planning ahead to this potential shortage. It is trying to replicate the flavor and mouthfeel of coffee at a molecular level. There are more than 1,000 compounds in a roasted bean, and 40 of those are critical for taste. They hope also to remove or reduce the strong acids that give coffee its bitter taste.

They ran a small scale test on the campus of the University of Washington. Of the students participating, 70% chose Atomo’s “coffee” over Starbucks. They have a Kickstarted campaign going on to fund further development. At the time I wrote this post their campaign for $10,000 had already reached $11,698 and had 24 days remaining. If you pledge $24 or more they will send you enough Atomo to brew 50 8oz cups.

Atomo is more expensive coming in at around $0.48 per cup. Compare that to a 38.4 oz container of Folgers for $6.91 on Amazon which will brew (using the recommended 2 Tbsp. [10.6 g or 0.37 oz] of ground coffee) about 78 cups of the same size for about $0.09 per cup.

Atomo will likely come down in price as they ramp up production. The price of real coffee will likely begin to climb as the coffee fields are affected by climate change.

Good Instant Coffee?

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Coffee – I am not a fan of instant coffee. That is why the article “Specialty Instant Coffee” caught my attention.

Instant coffee has been around a long time. The first patent on it was granted in 1881 to Frenchman Alphonse Allais. The well known Nescafé brand was introduced in 1938. Instant coffee became a staple of the military during World War II.

Early instant coffee was made using a “spray drying” method which strips the coffee of most of its aromatic compounds. That resulted in poor flavor and coffee quality. A much better “freeze drying” process was developed after World War II that produces a much more flavorful cup of coffee.

I don’t plan to switch to instant coffee anytime, but in certain situations it may be the only option. At least with article cited above you have some recommendations for high quality instant.

 

Study Shows Dark Roast Coffee Helps to Protect Your DNA

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Coffee – I came across an article a short time ago that gave further reasons to drink coffee. In the study “Consumption of a dark roast coffee blend reduces DNA damage in humans: results from a 4-week randomised controlled study” published in the European Journal of Nutrition helps protect your DNA.

In this test, participants were split into one group that drank water and another that drank coffee. At the end of a month, those who had been drinking the coffee had fewer breaks in their DNA strands. The official conclusion of the test:

Our results indicate that regular consumption of a dark roast coffee blend has a beneficial protective effect on human DNA integrity in both, men and women.

Just one more test that indicates that drinking coffee in reasonable amounts is good for you.