Friday, July 22, 2011

History of Coffee: Part V - Speciality Coffee

With the large multi-national coffee companies focused purely on coffee as a commodity rather then a drink to be savoured, it allowed a new sector to emerge in the coffee industry: Speciality Coffee. Speciality coffee was nothing new, rather the opposite; it stripped coffee making back down to the grass roots: pure arabica beans, roasted long enough for the coffee to fully develop all its characteristics and flavours.

During the 'Dark Age' of coffee there was still excellent coffee available, if you knew where to look for it. A number of small cafes and shops continued to trade, sourcing and roasting high quality arabica beans. These outlets were typically run and frequented by immigrants (usually Arabs, Turks, Greeks and Italians), far from the mainstream.

All this began to change in the 1960s, with the post World War II 'Baby Boomers' coming into adulthood. Many of this generation were keen not to follow in their parents footsteps, preferring to act in a more bohemian way. For them, these cafes and shops were an ideal place to meet, read poetry, take drugs and experience alternative culture.

One such coffee shop in Berkeley (California) is widely credited as being the main inspiration on the emergence of the speciality coffee sector. Peet's Coffee & Tea store, opened in 1966 by Alfred Peet (dubbed the 'grandfather of speciality coffee'), enthused a number of its customers, who later became key players in the speciality sector. Peet, an immigrant from Alkmaar (Holland), had developed a distinctive style of roasting coffee from working in his family's coffee and tea business. After emigrating to California, aged thirty-five, he opened his shop employing his artisan coffee roasting techniques to build a loyal customer base. Peet's coffee was so loved that he even had his own set of groupies: the 'Peetniks'.

Two of Peet's most important customers (historically) were a couple of Seattle coffee lovers named Jerry Baldwin and Gordon Bowker. In 1971, after tasting Peet's fine brews, they were inspired to open their own coffee shop back in Seattle called Starbucks. Starbucks opened as a bean-only-store, steadily building a loyal customer base during the 70s and early 80s through its fine arabicas and darker roasts.

In 1984, the director of retail operations and marketing, Howard Schultz, tried to persuade Baldwin and Bowker to open the first Starbucks coffeehouse. Schultz had just returned from a trip to Milan, where he had noticed the existence of coffeehouses on almost every block. These were not just places to enjoy great espresso coffee, but also served as meeting places. Schultz was keen to recreate this kind of coffeehouse in America, but Baldwin and Bowker rejected Schultz's plans as they were unwilling to get into the restaurant business.

Undeterred, Schultz left Starbucks in 1985 to open his own coffeehouse, 'Il Giornale'. Still using Starbucks coffee beans to make espresso drinks, Il Giornale proved extremely popular with the Seattle public. So popular in fact() that, in 1987, Schultz was able to buy Starbucks from Bowker and Schultz. Changing Il Giornale's name to Starbucks, Schultz began to rapidly expand, opening over 1,000 stores in a decade.

The story of the first British speciality coffeehouse also involves Alfred Peet. In 1995, Scott and Ally Svenson wanted to open a coffeehouse in Covent Garden, London. Their background was in marketing and design and, even though they were originally from Seattle, they did not know much about coffee. This is why they approached Steven Macatonia and Jeremy Torz of Union Coffee Roasters. Steven and Jeremy had fallen in love with coffee while working at Peet's in California. On their return home they decided to open their own roasting outlet and were soon supplying places such as the River Café, the Caprice, and the Ivy.

The Covent Garden coffeehouse, named the Seattle Coffee Company, was another big success and inevitably expansion soon followed. The rapid growth of the company caused increasing demand on Union Coffee Roasters, so the two companies decided to merge together. In 1998, after opening over 60 outlets throughout the UK, Starbucks came knocking at their door. They saw the acquisition of the Seattle Coffee Company as an ideal way to enter the UK market. Soon the Seattle Coffee Company was no more, with all its stores re-branded as Starbucks.

The popularity of coffeehouses has been phenomenal. Almost every high street in Britain has a least one coffeehouse now. Words such as espresso, cappuccino and café latte are commonplace. In fact the price of a café latte is now one of the products that the British government use to measure inflation. Market analysers believe that the success of the coffeehouse is not solely due to the coffee they serve, but the atmosphere in which it is served. Coffeehouses in Britain in the 1990s were a break from convention. In the consumerist landscape of the high-street, coffeehouses represented a place to relax. Customers were encouraged to take their time over their coffee; sit on big comfy sofas; offered the daily newspapers to read; allowed to idle the afternoon away watching the world go by. In other words, coffeehouses had returned to playing their original role in society, as they had done when they first arrived in Britain back in 17th Century.

The growth of these coffeehouses has helped to heighten the public's awareness of the speciality coffee sector. Increasingly, individuals are looking to have a slice of the coffeehouse in their own home, investing in espresso makers and other coffee accessories. Coffee is now widely available from a multitude of origins, roasted to differing degrees and ground to your requirement. In short, the 'Dark Age' of coffee is well and truly over.

James Grierson is the owner of Galla Coffee: - Uk online retailer of designer coffee accessories. Through the Coffee Knowledge section of his website he aims to help people understand more about coffee and give them tips on how to make great tasting coffee in their home.

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The Bunn Coffee Maker Won't Leave a Bitter Taste in Your Mouth

There are many different coffee makers available in the marketplace to choose from. One of them is the Bunn Coffee maker. The Bunn Coffee Maker is made by the Bunn-O-Matic Corporation. The Bunn-O-Matic Corporation was founded in 1957 and they are credited with introducing the first paper coffee filter. Over the years the company has evolved and started making commercial beverage equipment and, more recently, home coffee brewers. There are seven different types of Bunn Coffee brewers available which include; My Café Brewer. My Café Brewer brews one cup of coffee at a time. The Bunn coffee makers take pride in brewing coffee at home that matches the standards of the expensive restaurant cups of coffee. They have a stainless steel tank with an advanced spray head, which dissipates the water over the coffee, and a very effective hot water heater. The coffee machines are either black or white with a stainless steel trunk which allows them to blend with any of the home décor styles. The decanter on most of the machines can hold up to ten cups of perfectly brewed coffee. Bunn also makes the BCG Grinder for pre-grinding your coffee beans.

The Bunn Advantage claims that Bunn Coffee makers brew coffee that is robust in flavor without the common bitterness encountered with some coffee machines. Bunn Coffee makers do this by using a patented system that keeps the temperature at the ideal brewing temperature of 2000 Fahrenheit. The coffee maker has a fast brew cycle which exposes the water to the ground coffee beans for the perfect length of time for a perfect coffee flavor. The Bunn Coffee maker creates the right amount of turbulence via its spray head to suspend the ground coffee and extract it's flavor uniformly for the perfect cup of coffee.

How to Use a Bunn Coffee Maker

Start with a good quality coffee that has been well stored. The coffee maker requires one tablespoon of ground coffee for one brewed cup. Use good clean odorless water preferably water that has been filtered. If you need to keep your coffee for more than 30 minutes store it in a thermal carafe; it can hold its flavor here for up to 60 minutes. Clean your decanter after every use, even the faintest trace of old coffee can taint your fresh pot.

Bunn Coffee maker replacement parts can easily be obtained from vendors and from the manufacturer. Parts for the Bunn coffee maker are easily accessible. On the companies website you can find access to customer service representatives who can answer your questions and help find the replacement part or accessory that you need. Bunn coffee makers are available at many different locations. You can purchase your coffee maker online at the different sites of the coffee makers distributors. There are Bunn coffee makers and replacement parts available on the different auction sites online; this allows you to purchase your coffee maker at a discounted price.

Eric Comforth is a consultant who writes on many consumer topics. Learn more about coffee makers at Coffee Maker Central

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Myriad Varieties of Coffee Makers With Enhancements

Coffee is one of the most important beverages that are known to have many benefits for people of all age groups when it comes to stimulating them and keeping them active for a prolonged time period. There are a lot of appliances that serve the purpose of brewing coffee without having to add water. Hence, manual coffee preparation is not necessary and the whole process is made automatic. Many households with working professionals opt for these appliances that are termed as Coffee Makers. Coffee making appliances are available in various designs, with different capacities and with different specifications too. There is a huge spectrum of devices for the public to choose from, according to their custom needs.

The working of the simple coffee making device is easy and simple enough for any layman to understand. Coffee is put in the device container in a simple powder form and water is added according to the specified measurements given on the container. The device is plugged on. In a few seconds, a delicious aroma of coffee reaches you with the gurgling sound and depending on the strength that you need, you can keep the coffee brewing for as long as you like. The decoction will then be ready and upon adding warm milk and sugar, you can get to sip that mind blowing coffee that will make you drool. What an awesome way to refresh yourself! This is particularly useful in hostels and offices where there are huge coffee stations installed where continuous brewing takes place and instant coffee can be served.

The inner mechanism of the sleek and stylish coffee pot can be segregated into three basic parts which are the reservoir, used for storing the water that is needed for heating and brewing coffee; the shower head through which extremely hot water is sprayed over the coffee and the coffee bean container. In certain types of coffee making appliances there is an additional drip area where the water drips onto the coffee brewer. The basic working is quite comprehensible. Water is poured into the reservoir and then after continuous heating, it is passed through slender white tubes into the shower head where the hot water is showered onto the coffee beans for good brewing. In other Coffee Makers, the hot water is made to pass through the perforated sheets called the drip area from where the water is allowed to drip into the coffee container. Here, the brewing starts and continues until the taste and the pungent sensation is fulfilled up to your liking and then the appliance will be switched off either automatically or manually as per the model standard.

The heating element is another important component when it comes to the coffee maker. It is also the most critical and important as many a times, failure occurs because of malfunctions and manufacturing defects in the heating filament. It is made of an aluminum extrusion and is coupled with slim white tubes that carry hot water from the reservoir to the drip area. It is therefore, extremely important to note that you have a satisfactory warranty on the heating filament. The overall making of the coffee ultimately relies on the heating element and its apt working. Thus, it can be easily said that this equipment is the heart of the coffee making device.

Many coffee brewers come with an internal alarm installed in the device that will automatically switch the device on. Thus, people can pre set the time that they want their coffee to brew, so that while they wake up and have a wash, their coffee will be getting ready according to their preference. It will be quite a hassle free affair to get up from slumber and directly sip your favorite coffee that will energize you before you set about doing the other chores lined up for the day.

In certain up market coffee machines, it is not even necessary to put in coffee in the form of powder. Coffee beans can be directly added and they will be roasted to perfection using the modern state of the art technology. These roasted coffee beans will then be crushed into fine powder and after this operation; the water will be added that will start the brewing process. Thus, you will have instant freshly ground coffee at your disposal. This can be mixed with chicory or other forms of sweeteners where the bitter taste of the coffee will get reduced and give you a richer and juicier taste.

More advanced Coffee Makers also have the facility of adding up milk and sugar and other ingredients to stir up the whole mug of coffee without any contribution from you. Coffee is first brewed with hot water, then the decoction is mixed with milk and sugar set according to the measurements of your choice and then after the final brewing, that cup of perfect coffee is ready to drink. The joy of waking up and finding an almost readymade cup of coffee waiting for you is pure ecstasy. Of course, these models are on the more expensive side, but then when it is value for money, splurging does not seem to be a bad idea.

There are coffee brewing devices that allow you to use a small quantity of coffee before brewing it in a lump sum amount. This is typical for a family where the mother wakes up way before the others and wishes to have a cup of coffee before she sets up everything for the day. In such cases, after the machine is switched on, it will prepare a cup of coffee according to the set of instructions given and then proceed to make the quantity of coffee that is required for the whole family. In this way, two batches of coffee can be made where the tastes can be altered too and saved in the program list.

Thus, these wonderful appliances are finding their way in almost all the kitchens and have become more of a style statement and a status symbol that oozes class and panache in addition to providing great services. Thus, coffee brewing appliances are excellent devices to splurge on.

Ramya Mohan is a renowned expert author and has written numerous articles. She can be contacted for article writing jobs at

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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Mr. Coffee Versus Bunn-o-Matic - The Coffee Maker Battle Heats Up

For coffee lovers, there are few things more appealing than being met in the early a.m. hours by a perfectly brewed pot of coffee. That first cup sets the mood for your entire day, doesn't it? If it's brewed up right, you'll feel that extra zing in your step from morning till night. However, if that first cup is too strong or too weak, too hot or not hot enough, you quickly find yourself spiraling into a first-class coffee crisis.

So, how do you avoid a coffee catastrophe? It's simple, buy the best coffee maker on the market made especially for your coffee-drinking needs! Sounds simple enough, right? But, who makes the best coffee maker today? In other words, who is the All-Time Champion of Coffee Makers?

Ladies and gentlemen, we'd like to welcome you to our title bout of the day where two mighty coffee making titans - Mr. Coffee and Bunn-o-Matic - will meet in the kitchen to crown the undisputed coffee making champion of the world.

Introducing The Coffee Maker Contenders

In the green corner, we have Mr. Coffee - long-recognized as the undisputed champion of home coffee makers. Affordable with many models to choose from, Mr. Coffee currently has over a dozen models on the market retailing from between $24.99 to $89.99. With makers serving up between one and twelve cups, he'll be hard to beat. In fact, Mr. Coffee is in great shape with an amazing array of features and settings, including single serve, speed brew, switch, programmable, and thermal models.

In the red corner, we have the Bunn-o-Matic - king of the commercial coffee making market. Found in restaurants and chosen by baristas around the world, Bunn-o-Matic is known for his professional-grade machines. With a limited variety (e.g., currently seven models, with one single serve and 6-10 cup models), judges will need to pay close attention to the details to see what kind of punch the Bunn-o-Matic packs. One thing is for sure: with a starting price of $89.95, Bunn-o-Matic definitely tips the scales as a higher-priced option for home consumers.

For those of you who are new to the clash of the coffee makers, here's what the judges will be looking for during the brew-off:

Cup size

How many cups can your coffee maker cook up (say that five times fast)? Most brands today have single-serve and multiple cup models, with 10-12 cups being the upper limit for most home coffee makers.


If having your coffee pre-made for you when you wake up is important, then a timer is going to be key! Timers allow you to set the time when your coffee maker will start doing its thing and brewing you up your beloved coffee.


If you have unlimited counter space, then this criterion might not matter much to you. But, for those of you for whom counter space is at a premium, deciding upon a model that fits your space as well as your décor might be an important consideration.

But, to truly separate the two competitors, our judges will also be looking closely at the following four areas:

Ease of Use

This is self-explanatory - at 6 a.m., you want a machine that is easy to use


As you know, coffee makers aren't the most pampered of home appliances. They can get pretty banged up with daily use. Choosing a hardy model is essential.

Ease of Cleaning

Starting with a well-maintained and cleaned pot is one of the best ways to assure yourself of a great cup of coffee day after day.


Yes, in the end, many of us like our coffee makers to look cool. Sure, while it's true that they are simply functional machines, we want these machines to represent our love for coffee.

The fight is on between the top coffee makers in the world. So, who wins the home coffee maker battle? Bunn-o-Matic definitely has significantly higher priced models and less of a home-based selection, but is known for superior performance and durability. Mr. Coffee has a wider range of home models to choose from and most of their machines are significantly less expensive than even the lowest priced Bunn-o-Matic.

In the end, it's a personal choice for you to decide. Remember, a great cup of coffee ends up being more than your coffee maker. Quality water, beans, and the proper grind for your machine all make a big difference in whether your coffee maker and first cup of coffee are winners. Good luck!

Jon Butt is the host of [] ">The Coffee Guide, an innovative website dedicated to all things coffee. From beans to gourmet, espresso machines to coffee makers, or just great tasting coffee

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Brewing the Perfect Cup of Coffee

Do you remember your first experience with coffee? I'm sorry to say that I do. All I remember is that it was powdered and freeze dried and worst of all, decaf. I remember sitting in a restaurant with my mother and stepfather asking a waitress for Sanka, and explaining to my mother that I'd had it before and avoiding her disapproving stare. What was wrong with a ten year old drinking coffee? It was Sanka for God's sake!

My remaining experiences between ten and thirty five were noncommittal and mediocre to say the least. Mixing Tasters Choice in tepid tap water, graduating to Maxwell House and a Mr. Coffee; suffice it to say that there was no passion in my coffee. If I asked a girl out for a cup of coffee, it usually meant a Styrofoam cup at a Dunkin' Donuts or a Winchell's somewhere.

Then I stepped into my first Specialty Coffee Shop. Now that I remember well. It was a combination bookstore and coffee shop called the Upstart Crow in San Diego, California. The most important thing to me was the feeling I got when I walked in there. Complete comfort. There, I was able to sit in one of their comfortable armchairs, sit back, cross my legs and enjoy a cup of joe while reading a good book. Back then I was into science fiction and I remember vividly reading 'Ender's Game' by Orson Scott Card while sipping some of the most wonderful coffee from a paper cup.

Oh that coffee! Rich and smooth, I fell into it's flavor; jumped actually. I spent many a day off sitting in that shop in Seaport Village... then I left San Diego for Atlanta and it was back to Maxwell House and Sanka. sigh...

Then, simply because I was unemployed and late with the rent I walked into a local Starbucks and asked for an application. I was hired and that's where my obsession with coffee renewed itself. I was sent to their training center for intensive classes teaching not only how to promote the product, but how to differentiate the taste between two coffees and most importantly, how to brew and serve the perfect cup. This, my faithful reader is what I am going to teach you now. Get ready to learn how to brew the perfect cup of coffee!

The Fundamentals of Coffee

All coffee, no matter whether you get it from your local coffee shop or the supermarket has four basic fundamentals:





Let's look at each of these one by one...


The ratio between coffee and water is an important one. Anyone who's ever had coffee that's too weak or too strong knows what I'm talking about. When it comes to brewing the perfect cup of coffee, the proportion should be two tablespoons of ground coffee to every six ounces of water. No more no less. A lot of people try to stretch their coffee for two weeks or more without realizing what a sacrifice to the taste this is. Use too little coffee and it tastes weak. Use too much and it becomes bitter and you risk a terrible nights sleep.

The best way to measure two tablespoons is with a measuring scoop. There are scoops that are specifically measured for two tablespoons but if you don't have one made especially for coffee measuring then you can use a standard 18 cup measuring cup. If you don't have that you can use regular run of the mill tablespoons, but that method isn't as precise. If you want to purchase a coffee scoop, you can get one at a specialty coffee shop or online. Starbucks is a good place to get one.


The type of grind you use for your coffee depends upon what kind of coffee maker you brew your coffee in. If you use an espresso machine you use a fine grind. For automatic drip coffee makers (such as Mr. Coffee), you use a medium grind and you use a coarse grind for coffee presses (my preferred way of brewing). There are other grinds as well, just as there are other ways to brew coffee such as percolators and Turkish coffees.

If were going to talk about the way a coffee is ground, then we also have to talk about grinders. Basically there are two types of grinders: blade and burr Blade grinders have two blades that rotate at a high speed to grind your beans. The pros of this method is that blade grinders are affordable. The cons are that they generally break down quicker.

Burr grinders grind the beans between two textured plates and the grind is much more consistent than a blade grinder. Also, it's easier to adjust the grind with a burr grinder. To get an espresso grind with a blade grinder, you have to hold the grind button for x amount of seconds. A burr grinder allows you to turn a dial and voila! Your grind is done. Obviously, I prefer a burr grinder.


It's pretty much a good idea to use fresh, clean water to brew your coffee. If at all possible, try not to use tap water; you should always use filtered or bottled water. Before you begin screaming at me that you don't have that kind of money, don't worry. Yes, using nothing but bottled water is not exactly cost effective but there are inexpensive water filters available to purchase. Water filtration pitchers are also a good way to get fresh water for brewing.

Your water should be heated to just below boiling, around 190 degrees. You don't want your water to be too hot. It could overheat the grounds and spoil the taste of your coffee.


This is pretty obvious. Once a bag is opened, the freshness lasts about a week. After grinding, it lasts about two days. The best way to keep your beans and ground coffee fresher longer is to keep it in an airtight container like the one shown here. And never, ever freeze your coffee no matter what you've heard or read. Coffee that is frozen is a high risk for freezer burn and take it from one who has experienced the horror: freezer burnt coffee is not a great taste!

Well those are the basics. I hope you enjoyed reading this article and Happy Brewing!

Loy Williams' articles can be found at his website along with other quality content about his prime obsession; coffee. Be sure to check it out:

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Which Coffee Maker? Grinding Out the Answer

When you stop at the convenience store or at a local coffee shop for your morning cup of coffee have you ever wondered how your cup of coffee came about? No, not how it was brewed but how it was that you are able to drink a cup of coffee. Sure, the coffee machine plays an important role in making your perfectly brewed cup of coffee, but just how did that coffee maker first come about, or how did the first person who ever sipped the first cup of coffee discover its magic?

Legend goes back to a lonely sheep herder in Ethiopia who noticed his sheep acting strangely every time they ate certain red berries from a certain bush. One has to wonder why he himself decided to give the berries a try. Well that is of no consequence because since that life altering decision man has been enjoying coffee in many different cultures, different countries and different places. Do you know they even drink coffee on the Space Shuttle? I wonder what kind of coffee machine they have.

The one million dollar question is exactly what makes a good cup of coffee? Does buying one of the best coffee makers lead to a great cup of coffee? Not necessarily.. Start with great coffee beans. You can even roast your own coffee beans with the Home coffee roaster machines. Roasting machines allow coffee drinkers to buy premium coffee beans at discount prices and roast them at home. The coffee drinker is in charge of the roasting level; medium or dark roast. Coffee drinkers also advise against buying pre-ground coffee, pre-grinding diminishes the coffee flavor and aroma. Apparently the best part of the coffee bean is found deep within it therefore pre-ground, once the package is opened loses that rich coffee aroma. Grinding your beans before you start percolating your coffee ensures you get the most out of the bean. Talking about grinding the beans there are also two types of coffee grinders; burr and blade grinders, both serve the purpose equally well, so the type of grinder you have does not affect your cup of coffee.

Shopping for coffee makers

There are three different types of coffee makers. There are filter coffee makers that basically drip hot boiling water over the ground coffee beans then filter the coffee over a disposable paper filter. Then there are the espresso/cappuccino coffee makers and finally the combination coffee makers that make both cappuccino and filter coffee. Choose a coffee machine that suits your needs. Take into consideration how much and how often you drink coffee. How much you are willing to spend on seeking the perfect cup of coffee. Remember to look online, you can find many discount coffee makers.

Whether you enjoy your coffee with or without cream or whether you enjoy a robust and flavorful cup of black coffee remember to thank that lowly sheep herder who took a risk and ate the first coffee bean.

Eric Comforth is a consultant who writes on many consumer topics. Learn more about coffee makers at Coffee Maker Central

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Secrets to the Perfect Cup of Coffee

How to Make the Perfect Cup of Coffee

Want to know how to make the perfect cup of coffee? A few simple steps will make your coffee taste great every cup.

Before you even start, when you bring your coffee home, store it in an airtight container that blocks the light. Ceramic is best because plastic and metal containers can impart a taste to your coffee or coffee beans. Keep your coffee at room temperature. Storing it in the refrigerator or freezer will also lead to deteriorating flavor. Water or ice attaches itself to the porous coffee and ruins the taste. And buy only the amount of coffee that can be used within a couple of weeks.

Enthusiasts agree. Coffee drinkers who want the perfect flavor use whole coffee beans and grind their coffee just before brewing. Coffee grinders improve the taste of coffee because they release the oils and aromas of the coffee beans immediately before you brew your coffee. Experts advocate using two heaping tablespoons of whole beans to the grinder for every six ounces of water you use.

Since coffee is 99% water, use water that is free from chlorine and other minerals. You want the taste of the coffee, not the taste of the water used for brewing. And if you have control of the temperature of your water, keep it between 195 degrees and 205 degrees to ensure getting the best flavor extraction from your ground coffee.

And what about that coffee maker? Drip coffee makers are easy and can produce terrific coffee. The key to making perfect coffee with a drip coffee maker is making sure to use a gold, nylon, or other type of permanent filter. Permanent coffee filters insure that the flavor molecules from the coffee grinds pass into the water without adding additional flavors. Those disposable paper filters have an aftertaste that they impart to the coffee on the one hand and on the other, they absorb those special aromatic oils from the grinds that are essential for excellent taste. If you must use paper filters, use the unbleached kind and rinse them with hot water before you use them.

When was the last time you cleaned your coffee pot and mugs and cups? Clean equipment can make a tremendous difference in how your coffee tastes. Every so often clean out your mugs and cups with baking soda and water, and rinse them out thoroughly. Every month pour a mixture of 1 part vinegar and 2 parts water into your drip coffee maker and turn it on. Let the mixture run all the way through, turn off you coffee maker and let it cool for a half hour. Pour out the vinegar mixture and run one or two reservoirs full of clear water to rinse it out, letting the pot cool for 15 to 20 minutes between each rinse.

And one last step. Be sure to drink it while its fresh - more that 20 minutes after brewing is done, your coffee will begin to taste bitter. Now its time to make your coffee.

And now--ENJOY.

Joe Bland will help you bring your ordinary coffee to gourmet coffee status. Find how some easy habits will easily make your next cup your best. Check out the articles and tips at [].

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Coffee - It Isn't All Bad!

The debate has raged for many years, and it will probably continue for years... is coffee good or bad for your health? While the jury may be out, here are some findings that indicate coffee is not all bad.

Coffee, as we all know, is high in caffeine, and caffeine is suspected of increasing blood pressure and heart rate. The medical fraternity have long suspected that coffee drinking might therefore contribute to higher rates of heart disease. However a recent study by researchers at the Harvard University School of Public Health found no significant increase in the risk of heart disease or stroke among men who drank up to four cups of coffee a day - a finding supported by the Kaiser Permanente health care organization in California.

The same outcome was found in women where data collected from more than 85,000 women over a 10-year period produced no evidence for any positive association between coffee consumption and risk of heart disease for women consuming six or more cups of coffee a day. That's a lot of coffee!

This is not to say that there aren't physical effects to coffee drinking. Caffeine does excite brain cells, and this in turn improves concentration and reaction time and reduces fatigue. In fact, caffeine can increase the speed of rapid information processing by 10%. A study in 1993 clearly demonstrated that caffeinated coffee had a beneficial effect on alertness and improved performance in a variety of tasks. Caffeine also has a beneficial effect on asthma by reducing the severity of attacks. Two studies found that three or more cups of coffee a day reduced the prevalence of asthma and this is further supported by improved ventilatory function in exercise-induced broncho-constriction - although this required over five cups of coffee a day!

Interestingly, it has been found that increased activity, alertness and efficiency are associated with a decline in levels of depression and anxiety. Two independent studies noted a significant inverse association between coffee drinking and the risk of suicide. Further research into the possibility that coffee drinking may decrease depression is certainly needed.

Although, caffeine is often singled out as the chemical in coffee that has the most impact on our health, coffee has a complex chemical composition. One beneficial characteristic of coffee is that it contains compounds with antioxidant properties. Polyphenolic compounds known as flavonoids are common in plants and are known to have disease suppression benefits. What is most interesting is that the roasting process increases antioxidant activity in the beans. Although the beneficial role of food antioxidants is a relatively new research area, this is likely to become more important in years to come.

Yet too much caffeine can lead to irritability and restlessness along with an increase in urination. Talking of this, kidney stones are extremely painful and in a study of some 45,000 men with no history of kidney stones it was found that increased consumption of regular and decaffeinated coffee, tea, beer and wine were linked with a decreased risk of stone formation. The same effect was found in a study involving 81,000 women where caffeinated coffee and wine were found to be significantly more effective than water in helping women avoid kidney stones.

Coffee also has several metabolic effects that could reduce the risk of gallstone formation. According to a study conducted at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), drinking coffee is associated with a 40 percent lower risk of gallstone disease in men. Men who drank four or more cups of regular coffee per day had a 45 percent lower risk profile.

The link between coffee and cancer is probably more weighted in favour of coffee. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, with some 131,000 Americans being diagnosed with cancers of the rectum and colon on an annual basis. Now there is some convincing evidence for a protective effect of coffee against the development of colon cancers. A recent review of over 15 studies on coffee consumption and colorectal cancer from 1960 to 1990 found the risk of colorectal cancer to be 24% lower among those who drink four or more cups of coffee per day, than among those who rarely or never drink coffee. Researchers in Sweden also found that " consumption appears to be protective against colon cancer, and tea against rectal tumors". The most likely explanation for lower risk of colorectal cancer among heavy coffee consumers is the enhanced colonic activity induced by coffee, and the inhibition effect on the cancer-causing effects of various micro-organisms by anti-mutagenic components in coffee and caffeine.

Coffee is also commonly used to "lift" hangovers and to get going "the morning after". However it might be more useful to drink it before having the in the past decade, research in the United States, Japan and Italy has shown that the consumption of coffee has a strong protective effect against cirrhosis of the liver. Drinking 3 to 4 cups of coffee a day was associated with an 80% reduction in risk for cirrhosis of the liver, compared with those who don't drink coffee at all.

On the subject of losing brain cells, Parkinson 's disease, a progressive nervous disease occurring generally after age 50, destroys brain cells that produce dopamine and is characterized by muscular tremor, slowing of movement, weakness and facial paralysis. Research into the relationship between caffeine consumption from a variety of sources and the risk of developing Parkinson's disease, has shown that moderate consumption of caffeine reduces the risk of Parkinson's disease in men and women.

In fact, men who drank four to five cups per day of caffeinated coffee cut the risk of developing Parkinson's disease nearly in half compared to men in the study who consumed little or no caffeine daily. Women who consumed between one and three cups of caffeinated coffee per day also cut their risk nearly in half of developing Parkinson's disease when compared to women who drank less than a cup of coffee per day - but this apparent benefit was lost at higher levels of intake.

Finally, while some people believe that coffee can induce acid reflux, recent research has found that coffee consumption has no effect whatever at inducing heartburn in healthy people. Even for those individuals with gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, coffee consumption was found to have only a minimal effect.

Is coffee all that bad? Probably moderation. Indeed, many studies identifying beneficial effects also noted the loss of these effects at high consumption rates. So, enjoy your three to four cups of coffee a day...on average you'll be just fine!

Steve Giddings is Managing Director of Frontier Beverage Corporation (Pty) Ltd. This article and other coffee related information can be found at

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The Great Bean Mystery - Find the World's Best Coffee

Who doesn't love solving a good mystery? Is the Loch Ness monster real? Who built Stonehenge? Does Big Foot really exist? What is the world's best coffee? While you may need to be an expert to solve the first three, no advanced degree or special knowledge is required to unravel one of the greatest mysteries of the 21st century: What is the world's best coffee?

All you need to solve this caffeinated mystery is equip yourself with the right information. And, thanks to the Internet, finding the information for your coffee trekking adventure is as easy as the click of a button. If you're ready, grab your favorite coffee mug and join me as we head out to discover how you can find the world's best coffee.

Learn How To Speak The Language

Before you embark on your journey to find the world's best coffee, you'll want to brush up on your coffee lingo. If you head out into the great unknown of Coffeeland and don't have a good grasp on the language, all of your searching will be for nothing. Learn the language and you'll understand what to look for in your coffee. A few important terms include:

Acidity -

The acidity of a coffee determines how "sharp" it'll taste. More acidity tends toward a bold coffee. Less acidity tends toward a milder cup.

Body -

Like a wine, when talking about a coffee's body, you'll be referring to its "texture." You're likely to find terms such as heavy, light, and syrupy to describe a coffee's body.

Flavor -

Much like a wine's bouquet, flavor refers to your overall sensory experience of the coffee. Terms you might hear a coffee connoisseur use include floral, nutty, smoky, spicy, and winy.

X Marks The Spot

Whether you're finding buried treasure or the location of the world's greatest coffees, you'll need to discover where the x marks the spot. Coffee is grown in various regions around the world, including such differing locales as South America, Africa, and Indonesia.

To unravel the mystery of the world's greatest coffee, you'll need to learn the about the distinctive characteristics based on where and how it is grown. For example, coffee from Colombia is typically rich while coffees from Kenya often have a mildly sweet-tart flavor and coffees from Sumatra coffee are full-bodied and contain low acidity. Learning which regions produce the best coffees suited to your tastes is an important first step on solving the mystery. How do you learn which regions produce the best coffees for you? It's really quite simple: start sampling coffees!

Follow Your Nose

If you truly want to find the best coffee, simply follow your nose. Good coffees and beans not only look good, but they smell wonderful, too. Fresh beans that have been well-roasted will fill your senses with an unmatchable aroma. Starting with premium beans such as Arabica, you'll want to smell for the type of roast that fills your fancy. Popular roasts such as French, Italian, or American will give you a variety of coffees from mellow to bold. When you've sampled coffees that use premium beans and a variety of roasting techniques, you'll begin to start zeroing in on the world's best coffee and discovering what type of roast is your personal favorite, too.

What To Look For

As with any great mystery, it's important to know what you're looking for. If you were tracking Big Foot, you'd look for footprints. But, what do you look for when you're trying to find the world's greatest coffee? That's a great question. Here are some key things to look for when choosing the ultimate cup.

Ask experts -

Find a gourmet coffee shop where the baristas really know their coffee. Ask about roasting styles, types of beans, flavors of coffee. Be sure to taste test any coffees before buying!

Go fresh -

The quality of coffee deteriorates rapidly after being roasted. In addition, the flavor weakens considerably as time passes after grinding. Look for freshly roasted coffee. Don't be afraid to ask your coffee shop experts when, how, and where the beans have been roasted. If they don't know, it's not a good sign that the beans are fresh-so shop elsewhere. If you're shopping in your market, check to see if the coffee has a "roasted on" date printed on the bag. Whatever you do, you're always looking for the freshest you can find. Fresh is best!

Make It Au Natural -

Look for all-natural ingredients in your coffees. Finding organically-grown, sustainable coffee crops are a great place to start. In addition, when choosing flavored coffees, be sure the flavoring is natural and not a chemical. Not only do the natural flavors taste better (like nuts, cinnamon, and chocolate), they're sure to make you feel better about your choice, too.

Know Thyself -

The most important thing to know when searching for the world's greatest coffee is yourself. That's right; the answer to the mystery of the world's greatest coffee doesn't come from some connoisseur or from some ancient book of coffee lore. No, the solution to the timeless mystery of great coffee comes simply down to what you prefer. If you arm yourself and your taste buds with the right information and know the correct questions to ask, and sample, sample, sample, you'll soon find your favorite cup of coffee.

Your choice might not be your neighbor's favorite, but who cares? You're the one doing the drinking, so knowing yourself is the only thing that matters!

Along with his caffeine addiction, Jon happens to be an expert on many other strange areas of everyday life including the subject of the humble powder fire extinguisher and its related goodies.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Coffees of India

India produces two fine coffees, but even among coffee devotees - at least in America - they remain relatively unknown and un-drunk. That's too bad. They deserve to be extolled for the romance attached to them, if nothing else; happily, they also taste pretty good as well.

According to legend, coffee was discovered in Ethiopia. The first big coffee craze, though, occurred in Arabia, where by the 13th century Muslims were brewing and drinking huge quantities of it. Travelers from Arabia took the beans with them wherever they went - beans deliberately made infertile, allegedly, by parching or boiling. Because of this strict export control policy, it is claimed that no coffee seed sprouted outside Africa or Arabia until the 17th century.

Enter (or exit, as the case may be) one Baba Budan - one of the great heroes in the history of coffee, in my opinion. Wrapping up a pilgrimage to Arabia from his native land of India, Budan left Mecca with several fertile coffee beans strapped to his belly. From those beans sprouted the first coffee trees to be grown in India, as well as an agricultural industry that could no longer be contained to one small part of the world.

For romance, though, nothing in the world of coffee, to my mind, beats the story of Monsooned Malabar, one of the two coffees for which India is known today.

The British began the modern commercial cultivation of coffee on the hills of southern India, along the Malabar coast, a century-and-a-half ago. The coffee grown there was packed raw into the holds of wooden ships and sent on a six-month trip, around the Cape of Good Hope, to the coffee houses and shops of Europe. On such a long journey, and in such vessels, the beans inevitably became exposed to almost constant humidity. That humidity turned the beans pale gold and leached them of their acidity. When the coffee finally reached its destination it had been considerably mellowed - and Europeans loved it.

Progress eventually intervened, though, to temporarily deny the coffee drinkers of Europe their beloved aged Indian bean. The opening of the Suez Canal made the trip from the Malabar Coast much shorter. And, the coffee began to be shipped in modern steel vessels. These developments conspired to deprive the coffee beans of the prolonged exposure to humidity which had been responsible for their distinctive flavor.

To meet the demand for the old style of coffee from Malabar, some growers hit on a simple but ingenious solution. They would duplicate the moist conditions of the old sea voyage by exposing their beans to the Indian monsoon. Thus, Monsooned Malabar.

The monsooning process is a long one - and actually fairly labor intensive. First, the coffee to be monsooned is stored in a special warehouse to await the monsoon season. When the time comes, the sides of the warehouse are opened, allowing the wet monsoon winds to circulate around the beans. The beans may also be raked or hand-turned on the floor of the warehouse to assist in the process. Monsooning takes 12 to 16 weeks. During this time the beans swell to twice their picked size and turn that signature pale golden color.

The taste of Monsooned Malabar coffee is usually described in terms such as musty, earthy, corky and woody. Some writers have called it "mellow" yet "aggressive" at the same time! All agree that it has a polarizing quality - you'll either adore it or detest it. Maybe I just haven't had enough cups yet to really judge, but in my opinion the taste is not as idiosyncratic as all that. Musty, maybe, put not off-puttingly so. I think that many people would enjoy it, not just those of us who enjoy seeking out the more unusual offerings of the coffee world. And again, for my part, the fascinating story behind this particular coffee makes up for any deficiency in the cup.

Unfortunately, you still can't find Monsooned Malabar just anywhere. Ordering it by mail is still the best bet for most of us. Oddly enough, until very recently it was easier to acquire green (unroasted) Malabar coffee beans than roasted ones. My first cup came from beans that I roasted at home, myself, in a popcorn popper. There are many resources on the Web for anyone interested in getting into home coffee roasting, an enjoyable hobby in its own right.

There are a few coffee sellers on the Web now who offer roasted Monsooned Malabar and similarly exotic or hard-to-find beans. In the case of Malabar (as opposed, say, to geunine Kona or Jamaican Blue Mountain), the price actually compares quite favorably with more mundane or "normal" coffees. If you like traveling the world in a coffee cup - and especially if you'd like to drink something with a bit of romance to it - you owe it to yourself to get your hands on some Monsooned Malabar. By the way, if you drink a lot of espresso, you might have had some Malabar coffee without knowing; some expresso producers include it in their so-called exotic blends.

India's other major coffee variety comes from the Mysore region (now the state of Karnakata). Called Indian Mysore, Mysore Nuggets, Mysore Straight, or simply Mysore, it makes a rich and spicy cup of coffee that at its best may be termed "sweet" -- a word you would never hear applied to Monsooned Malabar. Interestingly enough, though, Mysore coffee also gets its unique taste from being exposed to the monsoon wind and rain, which pump up the beans with moisture and smooth out their flavor. The difference may be simply that in the case of the Malabar, the monsoon exposure is purposely carried to an extreme.

Mysore coffee is also becoming easier to find in the United States, although most people will still have to seek out a reliable seller on the Web. It's definitely worth finding and trying some. According to some connoisseurs, Indian Mysore at its best is among the finest coffees produced anywhere.

About The Author

Steve Smith is a writer and editor living near Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He serves as webmaster for his daughter's Web site, Send Me to India (

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Arabica Coffee Beans Are Pricey Yet Priceless!

Arabica coffee beans are known for a better-flavored coffee. There are two main species of coffee beans that are grown for sale: Robusta and Arabica. Gourmet coffee houses serve the smooth and very palatable Arabica coffees, while the worst cup of coffee you ever had probably came from a pot of bitter Robusta coffee that had been sitting for hours.

If you have been spoiled by the quality coffee served at coffee houses and cafes, you are probably craving the taste of Arabica coffee beans. You can brew fine coffee at home as well; the trick is to use only Arabica coffee beans. Organic coffee beans, grown without the use of artificial fertilizers, allows plantation owners to grow their farms in a sustainable way, without the use of chemicals, thus producing a mild, non acidic coffee bean. You should expect to pay a little more for organic coffee beans, but you can be confident in knowing that you are securing the future of the coffee industry worldwide.

Most specialty coffee and tea retail outlets only sell Arabica coffee and beans. On the other hand, the large commercial companies either sell Robusta coffee beans, or a mixture of both types of beans. This is because they are cheaper for the wholesaler and subsequently cheaper for the consumer. Arabica coffee beans produce a stronger-tasting coffee, and actually contain less caffeine than robusta beans. They cost a little more, but are far more satisfying.

While many people are only familiar with coffee beans grown in Colombia, they are actually commercially grown in more than 80 countries around the world. Coffee only grows near the equator, between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. While it is grown at varying altitudes, experts say that the richest coffee beans are harvested at high altitude plantations.

Wholesale coffee suppliers are available via mail-order catalogs or the Internet and can ready to assist you in making your next coffee purchase. Why pay retailers more, when cheaper costing, fresher wholesale coffee beans are available to you? Wholesale coffee bean buying allows you to eliminate the high cost of retail buying and let you purchase the same beans at a much lower cost. A savings of 20-30% over store chain prices can easily be expected. Savings can be more if you just shop around.

Wholesale coffee beans are far fresher than those beans that may have been sitting on a dusty store shelf, not for days, but for weeks, sometimes months longer than if you were to buy them direct from a wholesaler. You can be assured of the quality afforded you when you select wholesale coffee beans. Each supplier generally offers a huge selection of beans, bean blends and roasts available. You can order standard size one pound, or two pound packages directly from the wholesaler easier than if you were to pick them from a shelf in your favorite market.

Looking for information about Coffee?

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DK Coffee is published by Julie Carter - The Complete A to Z Of Coffee Resources

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In Search Of The Best Cup Of Coffee

The search for the best cup of java is over. It is more than personal taste. It's a science and it is acquired. We love our Tim Hortons and Starbucks. So I was wondering what is it that makes their coffee so good? When you need to watch your budget, going out for coffee gets to be very expensive. So last summer I went on a quest to learn how to make the best cup of coffee right at home.

To start with, I needed a great coffee grinder. My research showed that grinding fresh as you go is the best. The one I got is great because you can choose the type of brew, size of grind and how many cups. Shortly after purchasing it, we went on a camping trip up north to a place called Sambaa Deh with my sister, her husband, my niece and her husband, and my nephew. Since we were only going camping, for convenience I purchased a can of Nabob. I figured it would not matter, the coffee will taste great just because we are out doors by a campfire or in the fresh air.

First morning there, I was too excited to sleep in. I had been waiting for this the whole year, to just sit outdoors with a good book and sip my coffee. I made my pot of coffee and was just settling in to my chair when I saw my niece and her husband stirring. Now, Ken and I paid our dues of sleeping on the ground, we now camp in luxury. My niece is young and they were roughing it in a tent. So I thought I would spoil them and run over with my pot of coffee. They politely refused and proceeded to make their own. That's ok. I figured they were just as anxious to go through that ritual as I was. So we visited and drank our coffee.

It didn't take long when I realized NOBODY wanted to drink my coffee. They would rather have crawled on hands and knees to the next town than drink my cheap store bought coffee.

That, my friends, is when I got serious about making the best cup of coffee. The Martha Stewart in me rose to the surface because I did not want to go down in record as serving crappy coffee.....even when camping.

I used to thoroughly enjoy my coffee until I tasted my niece's, then I could see that there is a huge difference. Once you have a great cup of coffee... there is no going back! So, how do you make a great cup of coffee?

There are many methods for brewing, and no single technique is the right one. Personal taste is the determining factor.

Kinds of coffee makers and how they work:

Automatic Drip: Is by the far the most popular. You fill a chamber with water, load your coffee into a filter basket and flick a switch to heat the water which will then drip through the filter basket into the pot. Some Automatic Drip Makers include a built in grinder where the coffee is ground first.

French Press: Presently our favourite, also called a Coffee Press. A French press requires coarser ground coffee which you pour hot water over, leave to brew for a few minutes, then you press the plunger to trap the coffee grounds at the bottom of the beaker.

Pod: These machines force water through a coffee packet called a pod that fits inside the dispenser. No measuring or spilling, very convenient.

Percolator: This is what we use in our camper. You fill with cold water, put your ground coffee in the basket which sits near the top of the of the pot, water comes to a boil and rises through the straw-like center and through the coffee. There is discussion that the coffee gets bitter because of water passing through it more than once.

Espresso: Traditionally a European beverage, this type uses steam pressure to push hot water through the ground coffee. The coffee must be very fine. Some machines include automatic grinding and then brewing, so no measuring.

Vacuum: Consists of two connectable compartments with a filter in between and the coffee is brewed by vapour pressure and vacuum, producing a clean, crisp, rich,and smooth coffee.

But no matter how you choose to brew your coffee, here are 11 tips you need to follow to get the best cup of coffee possible:

The equipment must be thoroughly cleaned after each use. Make sure that no grounds have been left and no build up of coffee oil. Such residue can impart a bitter, rancid flavour to future cups of coffee.

Purchase coffee as soon as possible after having been roasted. Fresh roasted coffee is essential to the best cup of coffee. Purchasing small amounts is ideal, enough for about 2 weeks.

Grind your beans as close to the brew time as possible. A burr or mill grinder is preferable because all of the coffee will be ground consistently. The size of the grind is so important because, if it is too fine the coffee will be over extracted which will make your cup bitter. If it is under-extracted the coffee will taste flat.

Never reuse your coffee grounds. Once brewed, the coffee flavour has been extracted and only the bitter undesirable flavour is left.

Be sure to use cold filtered or bottled water if your tap water has a strong odour or is high in minerals or chlorine. Do not use distilled or softened water.

Use the proper amount of coffee to water. A general guideline is 1 to 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for every 6 ounces of water. You can adjust this to your individual taste.

The water temperature is important, it should be between 195 to 205°F for optimal extraction. If it is too cold your coffee will be under-extracted and flat, too hot and it burn and lose quality. For French Press, bring your water to a full boil, then let sit one minute before it hits the coffee grounds, that should be the perfect temperature.

The amount of time the water is in contact with the coffee is also important. The drip system should be approximately five minutes. If using a French Press, let sit about 2 to 4 minutes. Espresso is just as the name implies, the brew time is short, only 20 to 30 seconds.

Pour your coffee into a thermos or carafe to keep it hot after it is brewed. It is best if drank within 45 minutes. It should not be left on a burner for longer than 15 minutes, and never reheated.

Never refrigerate or freeze your coffee because contact with moisture causes it to deteriorate. Instead, store it in an air-tight glass or ceramic container in a dark and cool location. If you've purchased coffee in bulk, then wrap in airtight bags, and they can be stored for up to a month in the freezer. Once you have opened them, do not keep in the fridge or freezer but keep airtight, cool and dry!

Use a porcelain mug because it's not porous, it holds the warmth for longer which preserves the flavor, and stainless steel for a travel mug. These mugs are also reusable so they're environmentally friendly too. Wash your mug regularly. Avoid paper, plastic and styrofoam which alters the taste.

My niece's coffee was so good because she bought a dark bold bean, and ground it just before leaving. Their coffee was rich in flavour and aroma. It is too bad for them it was so good, because she was designated to provide Ken and I with our morning coffee for the rest of the trip!

Next camping trip.... I am packing freshly roasted coffee beans AND my coffee grinder because WE have a generator! The Martha Stewart is coming to the surface again!

Elvie Look: Is a "Back To Basics, Step By Step Expert Organizer" who currently is helping people get organized with her tips and suggestions. Her systems help the average person to learn the keys to organizing in simple, easy and manageable steps, as well as maintaining organization even with a busy lifestyle. She is the author of "21 Steps from Chaos to Calm." She provides organizing solutions, tips, and recipes at

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Advantages of Coffee Consumption

Almost all the people in the world like to kick start their day with a mug full of coffee and those who stay up working at nights usually end up having more than five to six cups to keep awake and alert. Thus, there is no doubt that coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world with the consumption numbers averaging around 550 billion cups per day. No other drink has gained such unique levels of popularities over the world.

With so many people swearing by their cup of coffee and going over record stating that they cannot even think of working without the continuous sipping of coffee. So much is the craze that many companies and institutes have put up coffee machines to ensure that the coffee cravings of their employees are met. Though a lot of myths have surfaced about coffee being bad for health due to the excessive amounts of caffeine present in them and with certain cynics going to an extent of claiming that coffee is carcinogenic, the good news for all the coffee aficionados is that many health experts have given the clean chit to this drink and have stated a few Benefits of Coffee as well.

It is known that coffee has far reaching effects on the heart and cardiovascular organs in the body. The chemicals present in coffee help it in getting rid of certain additional lipids present in the blood and thus reduces the occurrence of heart artery blockage and heart attacks. Thus, a number of heart patients are advised by their doctors to consume at least one cup of coffee a day. The intake of coffee also helps in curing asthma and is actually so effective in this regard that many practitioners prefer a lot of coffee intake during asthmatic attacks when other prescribed medications are not available or are not working out well. Though there is no scientific theory or research done in this regard, this fact is openly accepted by almost all doctors over the globe.

There is good news for diabetic patients as well; as it is officially confirmed that intake of coffee regularly helps in curing diabetes. For non diabetics, the risk of contracting the disease is reduced by almost two and half times. Coffee helps to reduce the presence of sugar levels in the blood and improves the insulin composition that is characteristic to avoid diabetic problems. In the case of overweight men in their forties and fifties, regular consumption of coffee can decrease their gout by almost ten pounds in two months as coffee contains a lot of heat and can melt away excess fat, especially if consumed in the black coffee way, rather than mixing whole milk which again adds to the calories consumed. Also, the risk of having gallstones in ones body is reduced due to coffee. Millions and millions of people who consume coffee everyday are surprisingly more resistant to obesity issues and have quicker fat dissolving metabolisms than those who do not consume the beverage.

Contrary to assumptions about coffee being cancer causing, one of the myriad Benefits of Coffee actually claims to be anti cancer. It has been adequately researched and proved that coffee intake in a regular manner decreases the possibility of being affected with oral and breast cancer. Many cancer patients have reported that drinking coffee immunizes them to the pain caused by the chemotherapy. Many doctors and health experts have theorized on the topic and have come to the similar conclusions with a huge number of experiments carried out that verify the statement. Thus, it is out in the open that coffee is anti-cancer and can be drunk without any fear.

When it comes to patients who constantly suffer from migraine and headaches, a cup or two of coffee during the day will do them a world of good as the various chemicals and ingredients in coffee are particularly good as analgesics and pain removers. The legend goes that coffee was discovered by a tribal when he found that certain animals were unusually lively after they consumed certain berries, now popular as coco nuts. From these nuts, coffee is synthesized and crushed into powder form. Sometimes, another agent called chicory is mixed which reduces the bitterness caused by the coffee. This component, chicory, acts as a wonderful activator and stimulant. This is the main reason why coffee is preferred as a wake-up drink by so many individuals through out the world. Those who are up toiling through the night also find occasional coffee breaks reviving them and boosting their concentration levels.

The daily consumption of coffee helps you prevent becoming a prey to liver cirrhosis. The difference rate is more than eighty percent between regular coffee drinkers and non coffee drinkers. Also, one of the most dreaded Parkinson's' Disease can be avoided if coffee s consumed daily as brain cells are rejuvenated from time to time. Alzheimer's disease is also kept at bay with regular coffee intake. Many of the people who drink coffee state that they never have tooth problems. Upon a lot of surveys that were carried out by various agencies, it was unanimously agreed that those who drank coffee on a day to day basis, developed no tooth cavity and also spotted a reduction in the plaque levels. This is possible citing the chemical of Trigonelline which has bacteria killing and anti adhesive properties that help cleanse the enamel and cure an individual of any tooth related problems.

There are various other Benefits of Coffee that state it to be a laxative and an effective diuretic saying that regular and limited intake of coffee causes the drinker to keep away gas and constipation problems. Since coffee basically contains a lot of heat within itself, it is particularly consumed during winter months.

So, all the coffee freaks out there in the world, rejoice! You can gulp down moderate amounts of coffee without feeling guilty about consuming something potentially harmful, and in fact giving your bodies numerous benefits as you do so. Turn a wild ear to all those naysayers and keep sipping cups of coffee as you go about doing your job!

Ramya Mohan is a renowned article expert and can be contacted for further writing tasks at

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Gano Coffee - Can Coffee Be Good For You?

Coffee, in all sorts, could be a "pick me up drink " or a " real downer-down the shaft-drink" depending on how the person is affected by it. But, do you know that a single cup of coffee--aside from boosting your alertness, perking you up, and even improving your concentration--can actually lead you to addiction: caffeine addiction. While many people think that drinking coffee is a "healthy" habit, some experts say that it's very important for them to remember that coffee's main ingredient is caffeine--a "drug" that can be abused even in mild dosages.

Although now, we all know that too much coffee is bad for our health, most of us cannot help but indulge into this addicting act. Since nutritionists cannot do anything about the world's addiction to coffee, most of them continuously search for alternatives to give people better options. And one of these breakthrough alternatives is Gano coffee.

Made from Ganoderma extract, Gano coffee is considered to be nutritious and healthy beverage. Recognized as the first known "healthy coffee," in the world, Gano coffee is produced by growing and processing organically without the use of chemicals, pesticides, hormones or artificial fertilizers. Gano coffee gives you an energy boost - not from caffeine, but from the ancient healthy ingredient called "Ganoderma Lucidum," that has been recognized for it's amazing properties.

Being a coffee that that has a lower caffeine amount compared to commercially processed decaf coffees, Gano coffee is now one of the most popular coffee crazes to catch up on the modern coffee drinking world. Contrary to the common conception, Gano coffee is not a "substitute coffee" but an "alternative coffee" that gives you the richer flavor than fully-caffeinated coffee. Gano coffee also allows you to continue savoring the full-bodied flavor you are getting in a premium instant coffee while providing you more energy than your usual caffeinated drink.

Proven as a delicious and nutritious drink, Gano coffee gives you more vigor while reducing you stress and fatigue. Among the so many benefits of drinking gano coffee include the detoxification and rejuvenation of your body while strengthening your immune system. Aside from helping you boost your energy level, Gano coffee also contributes to the improvement of your sleeping patterns while increasing the oxygen to your brain, and helps balance your weight. Since Gano coffee contains less net caffeine than most of your other favorite caffeinated beverages, you can actually enjoy the benefits and delicious taste of a "healthy coffee" that is good for your wellbeing. And with every cup of gano coffee you drink, you are making it as a healthy habit.

With every cup of gano coffee you drink, you are getting a "caffeine jumpstart" that will last for hours without the caffeine. Aside from making gano coffee as a good habit, here are some hints on how you can keep your coffee habit as healthy as possible especially if you are an avid coffee lover.

Although you are a person that has higher "caffeine urgency" than the others, you must still listen to what your body says. When it says it can no longer take an extra cup, learn not to let your urgency control over you. If you still don't resort to drinking healthy coffee like gano coffee, always be aware of the caffeine content of your coffee since it varies widely depending on brewing and roasting methods. And though most research says that drinking 1-3 cups of coffee a day does not seem to have any negative effects in most healthy people, always make sure that you know the level of caffeine intake especially if you are undergoing any medications.

Terry Dunn is Webmaster of - a Informational Resource about Ganoderma

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The Wedding Coffee Favor Craze - Ideas on Adding Personal Touches to Your Coffee Wedding Favors

According to recent statistics, more than 110 million Americans enjoy at least one cup of coffee each day! Whether it be Java, Lattes, Cappuccino, Espresso or just a plain 'ol cup of Joe - coffee is America's preferred method of energy boost. So, it’s no wonder that gourmet coffee favors are so popular for receptions, showers and other celebrations.

Whatever your taste or theme, coffee favors have a variety of styles and flavors to choose from. With some companies even personalizing the packs with the bride & groom's names and date or special custom message. Increasing in popularity over the last five years, wedding coffee favors are the new traditional wedding favor. If you're looking for a unique, personalized or highly customizable wedding favor - coffee (or drink) wedding favors should be a wedding favor to consider.

But what if some of your guests' don't drink coffee? The same personalization options, designs and themes are available in cappuccino favors , hot chocolate / cocoa favors , cosmopolitan and margarita cocktail mix favors to tea wedding favor designs. There are beach theme, floral designs, fall or winter scenes, plus many other chic styles that usually play on words, such as "The Perfect Blend" Coffee or "A Tea-lightful Couple".

If handing out just a packet of coffee just doesn't seem enough, you can couple it with a silver plated coffee scoop, place both in an organza bag, and you have an instant do it yourself wedding favor. Not only will your guests be able to enjoy a delicious gourmet cup of coffee, but they will also have a highly useful coffee scoop to use for the rest of their lives.

Here are some more ideas for coffee and drink wedding favors:

Coffee Mugs: They can be imprinted with a picture, graphic, your names & date, or they can be a simple design. A bag of coffee can be placed inside and the whole package wrapped in organza, tulle, or cellophane.

Bags of Gourmet Coffee or Gourmet Cappuccino – Bags of gourmet of flavored coffee can be imprinted with the happy couple’s details and wrapped in decorative packaging.

Coffee & Cookies: Pair a packet of coffee with a couple of cookies for a delicious edible wedding favor treat.

Coffee & Chocolates: There are not many coffee drinkers who would turn down an elegant chocolate or truffle to enjoy alongside their coffee. Add a few high quality chocolates, truffles, chocolate covered stir sticks, chocolate covered almonds or chocolate covered coffee beans for an irresistible coffee wedding favor treat!

Coffee & Accessories: Couple a packet of coffee with some of the unique accessories available on the wedding favor market today. For a romantic touch, you can add a heart shaped coffee scoop. For a more traditional feel, add a round coffee scoop. Or to give the gift of relaxation while your guests enjoy their gourmet coffee, you can add a java scented coffee cup candle!

Coffee & Coasters: Another popular trend in wedding favors is coaster favors. Coffee favors pair beautifully with coasters. Simply warp the coasters with the coffee for an upscale wedding favor idea.

Drink Gift Sets: If you want to give your guests a bit more of variety, you can combine coffee, tea, cappuccino and a hot chocolate favor together in a mug, bag, or box. Add a scoop, candy, chocolate, or a coffee accessory for even more fun!

A "Drink" Wedding Favor Gift Table: If you're not sure who likes what, you can create a wedding favor gift table by the exit doors. Take a few decorative boxes, and stack a different type of drink in each box (coffee, cappuccino, tea, cocktail mixes, hot cocoa) . You could also include favor accessories (scoops, stir sticks, marshmallows in decorative bags, chocolates, cookies in decorative bags, etc...) and have guests help themselves before they leave. A bit more expensive idea and there is always a chance you may have a greedy guest or two who takes more than one of each.

Erica Tevis is the owner of Little Things Wedding Favors which carries thousands of wedding favors and wedding accessories to suit every couple's style, theme and budget.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Coffee Makers For Different Coffee Types

There is nothing quite like waking up in the morning, stumbling to the kitchen and finding your favourite coffee brewed and waiting for you. Of all the drinks in the world, coffee seems to have universal appeal. But if you have ever travelled you quickly discovered that one person's coffee can be quite different from another's.

A World Wide Business--Coffee Types

Coffee is grown on five different continents and dozens of countries around the world. There are coffee plantations in Columbia and much of South America. There are hundreds of plantations in Africa. The growing region expands to the east and west including the West Indies, Sumatra, and Java.

All of the coffee growing regions are in tropical zones within 30 degrees or so of the Equator. While all coffee grows in bean form, there are different types or varieties of coffee plants, hence the many different coffee types.

Roasting and Brewing

Although plant variety can affect the taste of coffee, the way it is handled following harvesting has a great deal to do with the flavour as well.

Some coffee beans are naturally roasted. These generally produce the darker and bitterer tasting coffees. The sun does the roasting and then the grinding and brewing take care of the rest of the flavourful attributes.

There are many different recipes for a great cup of coffee and variations on how they are served. The cooking methods require specific kitchen gadgetry to help make the best rated coffees.

>From Coffee Makers to Cappuccino and Espresso

There are different types of cappuccino, espresso and coffee makers on the market. Each of these appliances is designed to make specific coffee types. Cappuccino is a rich, dark coffee whose recipe originated in Italy. It is a milder version of Espresso, but not as light as "city" coffee.

Espresso is made by high heat and pressure which produces a thicker and more potent cup of coffee.

This is usually served in much smaller cups and quantities because of how strong it is.

Electric machines are making their way from the restaurant into many home kitchens. The cleaning and care including the job to decalcify are made easier by the popularity of stainless steel appliances. There are coffee makers also that do all of the jobs of creating the perfect mug of coffee right on your counter top and even while you sleep. The grind and brew combination machines are the ideal way to get the freshest cup of coffee possible.

Decaf and coffee types that contain caffeine can be equally as appealing to the taste buds. An important fact to remember is that just because a coffee type taste strong, it does not necessarily contain more caffeine. On the other hand, a decaf cup of coffee will taste and smell just as good, but without the health concern of having too much caffeine. The process with all of the new recipes available at coffee shops, restaurants and even at home, it is possible for anyone to make the best rated coffee around. This includes caffeine and decaf varieties.

About The Author
Peter Mason publishes many news and information to the news section of Within his publication Peter is publishing from coffee makers to cappuccino machines and other areas in this field.

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7 Steps for World Class Gourmet Coffee

For a change, a good cup of coffee would be nice. It does take some time and some energy to find a great cup of gourmet coffee these days. If you do know of a perfect coffee shop, you are one of the lucky ones. But, did you know that you can actually make a wonderful cup of coffee on your own from home?

Here are 7 simple steps that you can take to produce the perfect cup of coffee every time.

Start with quality. One of the most important aspects of coffee drinking is the quality of the coffee that you start off with. If you have a favorite flavor, then purchase whole beans in that flavor. If you can do this, it will allow you to get the freshest coffee available.

Grind away. Purchase a quality coffee grinder. Some of the best grinders available today are easy to use and easy to clean up. By grinding your own coffee beans, you'll be able to only grind what you need, meaning that you will have complete freshness in your coffee.

Store It Right And Tight. It is very important to store your coffee tightly. Air oxidizes the coffee and can cause it to get bitter quickly. Metal canisters can also allow a metal taste to get into the coffee, making it taste bad.

The best solution is for a plastic or ceramic air tight container for your coffee and coffee beans. Also, store it at room temperature because the moisture in the fridge or freezer can make it go bad faster.

Getting To The Coffee

The Maker. The coffee maker that you use is also important. No matter what style that you go with, you can get a good cup of coffee out of it if you take the necessary steps to keeping it fresh.

For example, you should insure that the coffee maker is kept clean after each use. In fact, you'll need to make sure that you detail clean it, with the help of vinegar, every so often as well. Your preferences will ultimately determine which style of coffee maker you will use. Make sure that it uses a permanent filter in it.

Even In The Water. Even the water that you use is important to the quality of the coffee you will get from it. It is essential that you use water that is free from chlorine and minerals.

Often, using bottled water rather than tap water will improve the quality of the coffee. Also, keep the water nice and hot. A good temperature for the water is about 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

Provide The Right Amount. It is also important for you to use the right amount of coffee beans and coffee grounds in the maker. Too many and you will have a very strong cup of coffee and too few will make it to be too weak. Follow the directions provided by the coffee producer for the best cup of coffee.

Lastly and probably the most important aspect of getting a great cup of gourmet coffee is to make sure to enjoy your coffee when it is hot and fresh. Most restaurants are told to keep coffee for less than thirty minutes, but at home, the best coffee is the coffee that hasn't sat for more than twenty minutes.

World class gourment coffee awaits you at [] where you will find items such as the Gaggia coffee machine [] on sale.

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Coffee Houses - The Real Seat of Civilization?

Throughout all of history, coffee houses have been more than places where innocent people like you and I could get a regular caffeine fix.

Although coffee itself apparently originated in Ethiopia before the 11th century, the first coffee house known to history was located in Constantinople in 1475. I know that coffee is an important part of MY life, but in those days a wife could divorce her husband if he could not keep her properly supplied with coffee! In Turkey, coffee was normally brewed in an ibrik, a long-handled pot originally designed for brewing coffee upon the desert sands.

In the early 1500's a coffee house was established in Vienna, Austria by the only person in town who had both lived in Turkey and who recognized the intrinsic value and potential income lurking in several bags of coffee abandoned by Turkish invaders. It seems to be about this time that the custom of softening coffee by adding sugar and cream came into practice. Value was added when coffee shops began serving pastries as well as coffee. Although some pious individuals considered coffee to be the drink of the devil, the pope who was asked to so describe the beverage in this manner was already a coffee drinker and, instead, blessed it, calling it a Christian beverage.

Although coffee houses spread through Europe, England actually got into the act through a Turkish link rather than the import of the new custom from the continent.

It was in 1652 that history records the first coffee house being founded in England by two servants of an importer of Turkish goods. They left their employer and went into business for themselves marketing the new brew at their establishment, The Turk's Head. Coffee houses of this era were referred to as "penny universities" because of the penny that was charged for admission and the camaraderie and exchange of ideas that were included in the price.

In fact, coffee houses of that era were the mass media of the day. The free public exchange of information was actually frightening to those in power. Because of this, coffee houses in England were shut down for a while in 1675. Public outrage was so great, however, that this only lasted a few days.

One figure of note, Samuel Pepys, famed diarist of the era and proclaimed "right hand of the navy" noted that he often frequented coffee houses for naval news as it seemed to be more up to date and reliable than the information available to him at the admiralty. One well known coffee house of the day probably provided him with a great deal of news concerning ships and the sea.

Edward Lloyd's coffee house which opened in 1688 (or 1687, by some sources) near the Thames river on Tower street, eventually lost its roots but became one of the most famous institutions in the world - Lloyd's of London. This was perhaps a natural metamorphosis due to the number of seafaring men from the ships at London's docks who found their way to Lloyd's. Edward Lloyd, being an astute individual, as are all of us addicted to coffee, began in 1696 the practice of listing arrivals and departures of ships in addition to information received from arriving vessels about the conditions of ships and crews and conditions at sea. Eventually, so much shipping information was exchanged at the nearly round-the-clock establishment, that insurance brokers began doing some of their business there.

One of the earliest functions of the coffee houses of the past was to provide a meeting place for many, but particularly for intellectuals of each era. The combination of the exchange of ideas and caffeine proved to be a heady experience, launching careers and in some cases legends. Perhaps you have heard of Jonathan Swift, Honore de Balzac, Alexander Pope, Oliver Goldsmith, or Henry Fielding?

One source states that by the end of the 17th century, there were over 2,000 coffee houses in London alone. Although most were just in the business of serving coffee, some had unsavory reputations and customers, and more than one could have been mistaken for a brothel. They were also often the place for assignations or just plain dates.

It has been said that our modern word "tip" as in "to leave a tip" was first coined (no pun intended) in early English coffee houses. Usually a tin receptacle of some sort was marked with a sign reading "To Insure Prompt Service" (TIPS) to receive the coins of those who needed their coffee and needed it fast!

In the new country of America, the coffee house seemed to follow in the footsteps of its Britannic predecessors. One of the earliest coffee houses in America served as the founding location for the New York Stock Exchange. Of course, after the Boston Tea Party, being a coffee drinker was considered to be patriotic. Many strategies of the American revolution were born or raised in the coffee houses of the day.

A breakthrough in the history of coffee occurred when instant coffee was first successfully produced and marketed by Maxwell House in the 1950's.

Whether instant or brewed, most modern American coffee drinkers would probably not recognize the brew of their forefathers. With a much higher ratio of coffee to water (one tablespoon to 16 ounces of water), and having been boiled for half an hour, not even the introduction of such common additives of the day as fish skin or egg shell would probably have done much to bring the taste close to a modern Starbucks mocha or latte.

In fact, the modern coffee house, typified by Starbucks or Tim Hortons might be recognized by the denizens of the past...if they were able to identify laptops as intellectual tools for research and the exchange of ideas, and cell phones as a means of conversation.

After much success in America, the modern coffee house, in the Starbucks name, image, and mold has moved westward to the East...the Far East, that is. Although coffee was not of much national interest until 1961, by the 1980's coffee shops were quite the rage in Japan, and Starbucks opened its first store in Japan in August, 1996. Starbucks' name recognition seems to have been its ticket to success in Japanese culture. By the time the first outlet opened, world-traveling Japanese had already had the Starbucks experience in foreign lands. The story is told that upon the opening of the first Starbucks store in Japan, the first customer, who ordered a "Double short latte!" did not speak English! As of 2003, Starbucks had 503 stores in Japan.

Starbucks opened its first store in China in 1999, and as of February, 2006, had 165 outlets, complete with cell phone carrying, laptop using customers like anywhere else in the world. I guess it's possible that considering the history of coffee shops something besides coffee might be brewing.

Donovan Baldwin is retired from the Army after 21 years of service, has worked as an accountant, optical lab manager, restaurant manager, and instructor. He is a University of West Florida alumnus (73 BA Accounting), and has written and published poetry, essays, and articles on various subjects for the last 40 years. Although primarily interested in the subjects of health, weight loss, and making money, he began drinking coffee at about age six and 60 years later, still hasn't figured out how to stop...nor does he want to! In addition to caffeine, he is also addicted to blogging and blogs on the subjects of senior health and fitness at

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Search For The Right Coffee Machine

"Joe was on the department store one day in search for a coffee machine he will use at his kitchen. He scanned and looked around for several brands just to make sure he ended up with the perfect one. Few minutes later, he was on his way home. When he arrived, he set up his brand new coffee machine on the kitchen. In the first few days, the machine worked perfectly. But after some time, he discovered that it was not the right one for him. He wanted more and can't have it with his present coffee machine."

Most people experience this. They buy what they think are the mort attractive coffee machine on display but ending up disappointed because it seems that their choice is wrong. But it does not automatically exclude that fact that there are those who have somehow landed on the perfect coffee machine. It is just there are more and more people craving to have the perfect coffee machine without knowing what they really want. So in order to put everything in place, this article may help you or ever improve your chances in bringing home the right coffee machine by determining different kinds of coffee machine available.

There are as many types of coffee machine makers as the types of coffee around the world and choosing the right one has to be perfect so as not to end up buying another set few days later.

The most popular coffee machine must be the percolator. It might not be your expected electric coffee machines but this type makes great tasting coffee by boiling water with coffee beans several times. This is perfect if you are going to use mild coffees.

For more flexible coffee mixture, the drip coffee machine might be right for you. There are two types of drip coffee machines: automatic and manual. Both use filters of nylon, paper, or gold. Temporary filters are also essential that is usually paper filters. The method of automatic drip is to pour cold water to the reservoir and place coffee on the filter. When the coffee machine reaches the right water temperature, it will pour to the coffee in the filter.

The automatic drip also has a wide array of great designs from different coffee machine manufacturers with lots of features you can use. Manual drip on the other hand has the same principle with that of the automatic.

The main difference is that the manual has greater flexibility that enables the owner to change, the taste of the coffee in the middle of the brewing. If in the automatic drip you cannot add more coffee once you close the lid, the manual gives you all the freedom to keep the right taste you want without worrying of spillover.

One drawback from the drip coffee machine though is the after taste of the paper filter.

Another type of coffee machine is the French press. All you have to do is the mix coffee beans and hot water and you can have a great tasting coffee in no time. If you don't mind the temperature of the coffee, you can consider French press.

Espresso coffee maker is another type of coffee maker you can have. There are two types of these: the stovetop and the electric. The stovetop is much cheaper than the electric with the same principle of making coffee. For some, this type of coffee machine makes the perfect cup of coffee.

There are more coffee machines available but basically these types are widely used. It is up to you then to choose from these.

Robert Thatcher is a freelance publisher based in Cupertino, California. He publishes articles and reports in various ezines and provides coffee machine resources on [].

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