Archive for the ‘Coffee & You’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Morning Coffee 1.33 for Firefox

If your daily routine includes perusing the same websites and you use Mozilla’s Firefox browser, there’s a great addon for you called Morning Coffee.

Morning Coffee appears as a button on your toolbar. You configure it by adding the urls of the websites you check each day. Once it’s set up, click the Morning Coffee button and the sites will automatically open in separate tabs. You can even configure different websites for different days of the week.

You can download Morning Coffee 1.33 here.

PostHeaderIcon Five Cups of Coffee a Day May Prevent Alzheimer’s.

According to Gary Arendash, a researcher at the Byrd Alzheimer’s Institute in Tampa, Florida, giving Alzheimer’s mice the human equivalent of five cups of coffee, or 500 milligrams of caffeine, a day has plaque-busting effects and reverses symptoms of impaired memory in aging Alzheimer’s mice.

Arendash presented data that shows caffeine can reduce levels of two enzymes that play a role in the complex process of amyloid plaque formation.

“I don’t know of any drug under development that can address and suppress both of these enzymes,” Arendash said.

If preventing Alzheimer’s is as easy as drinking coffee, why do so many elderly Americans develop the disease? Arendash says the average American drinks only 150 milligrams of coffee a day and reduces intake with age.

Arendash’s institute has recently started clinical trials to determine if coffee will also prevent or treat Alzheimer’s in people.

“Caffeine could be a surprisingly effective treatment against this disease,” Arendash said. “It’s almost too good to be true.”

Source: Bloomberg

PostHeaderIcon Chocolate-Espresso Torte

This torte has the light texture and deep chocolaty appeal of a flour-less chocolate cake but it’s a little easier to handle because the small amount of flour gives it some structure. The espresso makes the torte not too sweet; use decaf if you have guests who don’t drink regular coffee after dinner.

Makes 8 to 10 servings

  • 5 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces (1 stick); more for the pan
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup brewed espresso or double-strength coffee, cooled to room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon sifted, finely ground espresso beans (from about 1 heaping tablespoon whole beans)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour; more for the pan

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch cake pan and line the bottom with kitchen parchment. Butter the parchment and lightly flour the pan, shaking out the excess.

In a small, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, melt both chocolates and the butter, stirring frequently. Set aside. Using the whisk attachment of a stand mixer if you have one, or an electric mixer, whip the eggs, sugar, brewed espresso, ground espresso beans and salt on medium-high speed until thick and voluminous, at least 8 minutes. Turn the mixer to low and mix in the butter-chocolate mixture. Turn off the mixer. Sift the flour over the batter and fold until all the ingredients are fully incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack for 10 minutes. Set a plate over the torte and carefully invert onto the plate; peel off the parchment. Flip the torte back onto the rack to cool completely before slicing. Serve with a little whipped cream or a scoop of coffee ice cream, if you like.

— Adapted from Fine Cooking magazine, April/May, 1999

PostHeaderIcon Coffee May Protect Against Ovarian Cancer

OnMedica News reports that a study in the journal Cancer suggests that drinking more coffee and team may prevent the development of ovarian cancer, especially in the absence of oral contraceptive or hormone replacement therapy (HRT).

The findings follow on from the publication this week of research showing that high caffeine consumption can double the risk of miscarriage (see Researchers: Caffiene may double risk of miscarriage).

The the health and dietary habits of over 110,000 women were tracked as part of the long-term US Nurses Health Study.

The results of the study showed that there did not seem to be any association with smoking―either current or past but caffeine intake seemed to be protective. Those drinking the most caffeine, including tea, every day were 20% less likely to develop the disease than those drinking the least.

You can read the entire article here.

PostHeaderIcon Drinking Coffee Reduces Stroke Risk in Women

A study recently published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, shows that women who drank four or more cups of coffee a day reduced their risk of stroke by 20% as compared to women who had less than one cup of coffee per month. Drinking two to three cups per day reduced risk by 19%. Drinking a cup five to seven times a week reduced risk by 12%.

Read the American Heart Association News Release here.

PostHeaderIcon Coffee May Help Prevent Cavities

Science Daily reports that a new research study indicates that coffee might help prevent cavities.

The Feb. 27th print issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, a peer-reviewed publication of the American Chemical Society, states that coffee made from roasted coffee beans has antibacterial activities against certain microorganisms, including Streptococcus mutans (S. mutans), a major cause of dental caries.

You can read the entire story here.

PostHeaderIcon Coffee: The New Health Food for the 21st Century

There is a drug that could lower your risk of diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and colon cancer. It could also lift your mood and treat headaches. It could even lower your risk of cavities.

If you think it sounds too good to be true, think again.

Coffee, our much maligned but much beloved beverage, has been making the headlines for its therapeutic and preventive qualities. From lowering your risks for type 2 diabetes, to preventing dental caries, coffee is moving to the forefront of health foods for the 21st century. And the real news seems to be that the more you drink, the better.

Read more of the latest findings at here

PostHeaderIcon Run Your Own Coffee Shop

Think you’ve got what it takes to run a coffee shop? Now you can try it without the financial risk. Check out:

PostHeaderIcon How fair trade coffee is changing lives in Kizi, Rwanda

If you ever wonder whether buying fair trade coffee makes any difference, read this article in the Guardian newspaper.

PostHeaderIcon Has fair trade coffee become the new “gourmet” coffee?

When I read this article at, I didn’t know whether to laugh, cry…or think.

Here’s an excerpt:

Consumer Reports recently compared coffees and came up with an interesting result. According to its tasters, Starbucks’ (Nasdaq: SBUX) coffee was outdone by McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) premium coffee offering. Should Starbucks — and its shareholders — be experiencing more than caffeine jitters?

Led by a professional tester and some employees of Consumer Reports’ food testing unit, the team sampled medium plain coffees (with no sugar and cream, mind you), from two stores each of Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s, and Burger King (NYSE: BKC). The team of taste testers deemed McDonald’s premium coffee the best-tasting and the best value, at $1.40 a cup. It might surprise some people that the priciest cup of that size regular coffee actually came from Dunkin’ Donuts, at $1.65.

I started thinking about this news, simply because, unless this was some cupper’s aberration, it signifies a significant shift in the gourmet coffee business.

Not so long ago one could buy what was considered gourmet coffee at Starbucks and other quality coffee shops, or junk coffee anywhere else. You know, diner coffee.

But if McDonald’s coffee really is as good as Starbucks coffee, then we have hit a taste plateau.

And if coffee shops can no longer differentiate their brew as being "gourmet", then how can they set themselves apart from McDonalds, Dunkin’ Donuts and others?

(Not with wi-fi. McDonalds is getting that too.)

Can they do it by selling fair trade coffee? McDonald’s UK is already on top of that one.

But perhaps we’ll see more coffee roasters and coffee shops selling not just a generic fair trade coffee, but fair trade coffee beans with a story.

Small companies can tell an honest, human story about their relationship with specific cooperatives in particular regions.

Big companies can’t do that. They have to buy too much coffee. And nobody believes a huge corporation when it shows a photo of one of its employees giving a paternalistic hug to a coffee grower.

In other words, large companies and small can both sell fair trade coffee…the "new" gourmet coffee. But only small companies can tell an honest, engaging story. That is, if they choose to become genuinely involved with individual cooperatives, or small groups of cooperatives.

This is one of the great things about fair trade coffee. Doing the right thing benefits everyone, from the bean to the cup.


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