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Category Archives: Food & Drink

History Of Coffe

Most believe that coffee was originally discovered by mankind in Ethiopia. Once local monks discovered it, they began to dry the berries and ship them to other monasteries. The berries would be refreshed with water and then the fruit would be eaten and the water that the berries had soaked in would be drunk as well.

By the time the dried berries made it to the Middle East, there was quite a lot of interest in them and farmers began growing them first in Yemen. In Turkey, the coffee beans were roasted for the first time and began to resemble what we would recognize as coffee today. After roasting, the dried beans would be roasted, crushed and boiled in water. This was a crude early version of what so many coffee lovers drink today.

Coffee was probably brought to Europe by Venetian merchants. Given its stimulating effect, there seemed to be some criticism among Catholics that the drink was evil. Oddly, the Pope at the time was already enjoying it and informed his constituents that it wasn’t evil, it was just misunderstood.

Coffee houses spread across Europe and soon they became gathering places for those intellectuals who debated among themselves. Once settlers began to arrive in the Americas, the dark drink soon followed. By the time of the American Revolution, since the patriots had decided not to drink tea in protest, coffee was actually adopted as the national drink. Since that time, it has continued its domination and is the most popular beverage when you take into consideration all countries.

Coffee is a huge industry worldwide and employs millions of workers. It is a living for many people, but for others it is a great way to start their day and get a kick start in the morning when they need it. Even if you don’t like to drink it, you probably still enjoy the smell of fresh coffee brewing. If you are someone who doesn’t like to drink it, you are in the minority on a world wide scale. This dark pick me up drink is not for everyone, but for those who love it, they are very appreciative of their daily dose of caffeine and usually need it on a daily basis.

Good or Bad | Decaf Coffee

Coffee is one of the world’s most popular beverages.

Many people enjoy drinking coffee, but want to limit their caffeine intake for some reason.

For these people, decaf coffee is an excellent alternative.

Decaf coffee is just like regular coffee, except the caffeine has been removed.

This article takes a detailed look at decaf coffee and its health effects, both good and bad.

What is Decaf Coffee and How is it Made?

Decaf is short for decaffeinated coffee.

It is coffee from coffee beans that have had at least 97% of their caffeine removed.

There are many ways to remove caffeine from coffee beans. Most of them include water, organic solvents or carbon dioxide.

Coffee beans are washed in the solvent until the caffeine has been extracted into it, then the solvent is removed.

The beans are decaffeinated before they are roasted and ground. The nutritional value of decaf coffee should be almost identical to regular coffee, apart from the caffeine content.

However, the taste and smell may become a little milder and the color may change, depending on the method used.

This can make decaf coffee more pleasing to those who are sensitive to the bitter taste and smell of regular coffee.

How Much Caffeine is in Decaf Coffee?

Decaf coffee is not completely caffeine free.

It actually contains varying amounts of caffeine, usually about 3 mg per cup.

One study found that each cup (6 oz or 180 ml) of decaf contained 0–7 mg of caffeine.

On the other hand, an average cup of regular coffee contains about 70–140 mg of caffeine, depending on coffee type, preparation method and cup size.

So, even if decaf is not completely caffeine free, the amount of caffeine is usually very small.

Coffee

Coffee is a plant (Coffea) and the name of the drink that is made from this plant. The coffee plant is a bush or tree that can grow up to ten meters (about 32 feet) high, but is usually cut shorter. Coffee plants originally grew in Africa, and now also grow in South America, Central America and Southeast Asia. They are an important crop for the economies of many countries.

The drink is made from the seeds of the coffee plant, called coffee beans. Coffee is usually served hot, and is a popular drink in many countries. Coffee contains a chemical called caffeine, a mild drug that keeps people awake.

To make a drink from coffee beans, the beans must first be specially prepared by drying the beans and then roasting. The beans are dried a short time after they are picked. This preserves them and makes them ready to be packed or roasted. Before the beans are made into a drink, they must roasted are ground (crushed into tiny pieces in a coffee mill). When the ground coffee is placed into boiling water, the flavour and dark brown colour of the beans goes into the water. Making coffee is called brewing coffee. There are several different ways that coffee can be brewed.

Coffee types

There are two main types of coffee plants. The Coffea Arabica, the most common. Most of the world’s coffee is made from Arabica beans, and the Coffea Robusta, which is easier to grow in places where Arabica will not grow.

Robusta is cheaper and has more caffeine than Arabica and it is used in many commercial coffee products. But Robusta tastes bitter and acidic, so people only drink it with other things. Better quality Robustas are in some espresso blends.

In the past, people gave names to new Arabica coffees from the port they came from. The two oldest Arabica coffees are “Mocha” and “Java”. Today, names are more specific. They tell us the country, region, and sometimes even the property where they come from.

Preparing coffee

Aging

Some sorts of coffee taste better if the beans are “aged”. This means that after they are picked, the beans are dried and then kept from three to eight years. This “aging” gives the coffee a less acidic taste. Coffee that has been aged is often mixed or “blended” with other coffee that is not aged.

Roasting

“Roasting” is one of the important stages in making coffee beans into coffee. When a coffee bean is roasted, it grows nearly two times bigger and changes from green to yellow to brown.

The length of time that the coffee beans are roasted makes the coffee taste different. Some types of coffee, such as Mocha and Java, are roasted for a short time. It is easy to tell from the flavour where the coffee is from. When coffee is roasted for a long time, it is harder to tell the different types apart. Green coffee beans can be bought and roasted at home in the oven.

Grinding

Before the coffee is made into a drink, it is “ground” in a small grinding machine called a “coffee mill”. The coffee mill breaks the beans into very small pieces. Coffee is turned into a drink in several different ways. For some ways of making coffee, such as “espresso” it is best to have the coffee ground into fine powder but for other types of coffee-making, such as “filtered coffee”, the coffee is in larger pieces to stop it going through the filter. Finely ground coffee makes a stronger taste.

Brewing

Coffee is made into a drink by putting the coffee into boiling water. This is called “brewing” coffee. There are many ways to brew coffee. Four of the most popular are:

  • Boiling: The coffee and the water are put into a pot on top of the stove and boiled slowly together. This way of making coffee has been used for hundreds of years. It is the way that coffee is usually made in the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and Greece.
  • Pressure: The boiling water is forced through the ground coffee by a machine. This type of coffee is called Espresso and the machine is called an “Espresso machine” or “Coffee system”. Espresso machines are often found in cafes and restaurants. Espresso is a very strong coffee that can be used to make other coffee drinks.
  • Gravity: Filtered coffee is made by gravity because the boiling water falls from a machine onto the coffee. The coffee grounds are held in a paper or metal “filter” that the water can run through, but the little coffee pieces cannot. The water becomes coloured and flavoured as it runs through the coffee and into a coffee pot.
  • Steeping: Boiling water is poured onto the coffee and it is allowed to stand for a little while, until the water has taken the colour and flavour. This is often done in a cafetière, which is a tall glass or coffee pot which has a special filter inside that can be pushed down when the coffee is ready so that the person does not drink the coffee grounds. Another way of steeping coffee is to have coffee grounds in a small packet, the right size to make one cup of coffee. The packet is placed in the cup and water poured over it. Then the packet is removed.

How Does Coffee Affect Blood Sugar and Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a massive health problem worldwide.

About 29 million people, or 9% of all US adults, had type 2 diabetes in the year 2012.

Interestingly, long-term studies have linked coffee drinking with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.

Yet, oddly enough, many short-term studies have shown that coffee and caffeine can raise blood sugar and insulin levels.

Why this happens is not fully known, but there are several theories.

This article examines the short-term and long-term effects of coffee on blood sugar and diabetes.

Coffee and Caffeine May Raise Blood Sugar

A major paradox exists between the long-term and short-term effects of coffee.

Short-term studies have linked caffeine and coffee consumption with increased blood sugar levels and insulin resistance.

A recent study showed that a single serving of coffee, containing 100 mg of caffeine, can negatively affect blood sugar control in healthy but overweight men.

Other short-term studies — both in healthy individuals and in type 2 diabetics — show that consuming caffeinated coffee impaired blood sugar regulation and insulin sensitivity after meals.

This does not happen with decaf coffee, which suggests that caffeine may be the agent that causes the spike in blood sugar. In fact, most of the studies on caffeine and blood sugar look at caffeine directly, not coffee.

Some studies have tried to address this issue, showing that the effects of caffeine and regular coffee are not the same.

Coffee Drinkers Have a Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

The health benefits of drinking coffee are well-documented.

In observational studies, coffee is linked to reduced blood sugar and insulin levels, which are major risk factors for type 2 diabetes.

Furthermore, consuming regular or decaf coffee on a regular basis is linked to a 23–50% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Studies have also shown that each daily cup of coffee you consume may reduce this risk by 4–8%.

Additionally, people who drink 4–6 cups of coffee each day have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes than people who drink less than 2 cups each day

Can Coffee Increase Your Metabolism and Help You Burn Fat

Coffee contains caffeine… which is the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world.

Caffeine has made its way to most commercial fat burning supplements, for good reason.

It is one of the few substances that is known to help mobilize fats from the fat tissues and increase metabolism.

Coffee Can Help to Mobilize Fat From The Fat Tissues

Caffeine stimulates the nervous system, which sends direct signals to the fat cells to tell them to break down fat.

Another thing that caffeine does is to increase our blood levels of the hormone Epinephrine, which is also known as Adrenaline.

Epinephrine travels through the blood, to the fat tissues and send signals to break down fats and release them into the blood.

This is how caffeine helps to mobilize fat from the fat tissues, making it available for use as free fatty acids in the blood.

Coffee Can Increase The Metabolic Rate

How many calories we burn at rest is called the Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR).

The higher our metabolic rate, the easier it is for us to lose weight and the more we can allow ourselves to eat without gaining.

Studies show that caffeine can increase the metabolic rate by 3-11%, with larger doses having an even bigger effect.

Interestingly, most of the increase in metabolism is caused by an increase in the burning of fat.

Unfortunately, the effect is less pronounced in those who are obese.

In one study, the increase in fat burning in lean people is as high as 29%, while in obese individuals the increase is about 10%. The effect also appears to diminish with age and is more pronounced in younger individuals.

Caffeine can improve athletic performance via several mechanisms, one of those being increased mobilization of fatty acids from the fat tissues. Studies show that caffeine can improve exercise performance by 11-12%, on average.

Coffee | Good Or Bad For Brain

Coffee is a widely popular drink.

It has been unfairly demonized in the past, but is actually very healthy.

In fact, coffee is a major source of antioxidants in the Western diet.

It’s also associated with many health benefits, including a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes and liver disease.

But does coffee also have benefits for your brain? Let’s find out.

Active Ingredients in Coffee

Coffee is an incredibly healthy beverage. It contains hundreds of bioactive compounds that contribute to its powerful health benefits.

Many of these compounds are antioxidants, which fight the damage caused by free radicals in your cells.

Here are coffee’s most important active ingredients :

  • Caffeine: The main active ingredient in coffee, caffeine stimulates the central nervous system. It is the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance worldwide .
  • Chlorogenic acids (CGAs): These polyphenol antioxidants may benefit some biological pathways, such as blood sugar metabolism and high blood pressure, both of which are related to the risk of age-related mental decline .
  • Cafestol and kahweol: Present in coffee’s natural oil, high amounts of these compounds are found in unfiltered coffee. They may be good for the liver and protect against cancer, but a high intake may raise LDL cholesterol .
  • Trigonelline: This alkaloid compound is unstable at high heat and during roasting forms nicotinic acid, also known as niacin (vitamin B3). Trigonelline may also help prevent dental cavities by inhibiting bacterial growth.

However, the amounts of these substances in a cup of coffee may vary.

They depend on a number of factors, including the type of coffee beans, how the beans are roasted and how much you drink.

How Caffeine Can Boost Brain Function

Studies have shown that caffeine can boost brain function in the short term.

This is largely because it blocks adenosine from binding to its receptors.

But caffeine also stimulates the central nervous system by promoting the release of other neurotransmitters, including noradrenaline, dopamine and serotonin.

Caffeine may improve various aspects of brain function, including :

  • Mood.
  • Reaction time.
  • Vigilance.
  • Attention.
  • Learning.
  • General mental function.

That being said, you may develop a tolerance to caffeine over time. This means you will need to consume more coffee than before to get the same effects.

Coffee Is

Research is showing benefits for everything from depression to liver disease. Is it just the caffeine?

Remember when people (and their doctors) used to worry that coffee would harm their hearts, give them ulcers, and make them overly nervous?

In excess, coffee, and more particularly, caffeine, can cause problems. But the fretting about two or three cups a day, or even more, is fading as study results suggestive of health benefits from coffee keep on coming in. In 2011, researchers reported findings that coffee drinking is associated with a lower risk of depression among women, a lower risk of lethal prostate cancer among men, and a lower risk of stroke among men and women. Go back a little further, and you’ll come across reports of possible (it’s not a done deal) protective effects against everything from Parkinson’s disease to diabetes to some types of cancer (see sidebar below).

Caffeine has been studied more than any other ingredient in coffee, and it tends to get credit if the body part benefited is the brain. But coffee contains literally a thousand different substances, and some of the lesser lights are thought to be responsible for healthful effects in other parts of the body. Some studies show caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee as having the same effect, which suggests that something else in coffee is involved.

It gets complicated, though. Caffeine and some of these other substances in coffee seem to have their good and bad sides, and coffee’s overall effect may depend on how much they cancel each other out.

caffein benefit

Caffeine is the most commonly consumed psychoactive drug in the world, and some of its behavioral effects (such as arousal) may resemble those produced by cocaine, amphetamines, and other stimulants. Coffee consumption accounts for about 75% of the adult intake of caffeine in the United States, although that might be changing among younger adults with the growing popularity of energy drinks.

The caffeine content of coffee varies greatly, depending on the beans, how they’re roasted, and other factors, but the average for an 8-ounce cup is about 100 milligrams (mg). Tea has about half as much caffeine as coffee. Decaffeinated coffee has some caffeine, but the 2 to 4 mg in an 8-ounce cup is a smidgen compared with the caffeinated version. The lethal dose of caffeine is about 10 grams, which is equivalent to the amount of caffeine in 100 cups of coffee.

Caffeine gets absorbed in the stomach and small intestine and then distributed throughout the body, including the brain. The amount circulating in the blood peaks 30 to 45 minutes after it’s ingested and only small amounts are around eight to 10 hours later. In between, the amount circulating declines as caffeine gets metabolized in the liver.

Tobacco and marijuana accelerate caffeine metabolism, which reduces the time caffeine circulates in the body. Oral contraceptives slow it down, so they have the opposite effect. Researchers have identified genes that influence a person’s natural risk of caffeine metabolism, which might explain why some people are exquisitely sensitive to caffeine while others are not.

Caffeine probably has multiple targets in the brain, but the main one seems to be adenosine receptors. Adenosine is a brain chemical that dampens brain activity. By hogging adenosine’s receptors, caffeine sets off a chain of events that affects the activity of dopamine, another important brain chemical, and the areas of the brain involved in arousal, pleasure, and thinking. A part of the brain affected by Parkinson’s disease, called the striatum, has many adenosine receptors; by docking on them, caffeine seems to have some protective effects.

Outside the brain, caffeine can be a performance enhancer, boosting the strength of muscle contraction and offsetting some of the physiological and psychological effects of physical exertion. But, especially in the short term, it also has negative effects, which include raising blood pressure, making arteries stiffer, and increasing levels of homocysteine, insulin, and possibly cholesterol. Habitual use may cause some of these effects to wear off. For some conditions, though, coffee may have some benefit despite, rather than because of, caffeine.

A Engineering of Coffee

 The Design of Coffee provides a non-mathematical introduction to chemical engineering, as illustrated by the roasting and brewing of coffee. Hands-on coffee experiments demonstrate key engineering principles, including material balances, chemical kinetics, mass transfer, fluid mechanics, conservation of energy, and colloidal phenomena. The experiments lead to an engineering design competition where contestants strive to make the best tasting coffee using the least amount of energy – a classic engineering optimization problem, but one that is both fun and tasty!

Anybody with access to a sink, electricity, and inexpensive coffee roasting and brewing equipment can do these experiments, either as part of a class or with your friends at home. The Design of Coffee will help you understand how to think like an engineer – and how to make excellent coffee!

This revised second edition presents streamlined lab experiences, adds new bonus material on industrial coffee operations, and includes a new lab experience focused on sensory analysis during traditional cupping of coffee.

FEATURES:
* Covers all aspects of making coffee, from green beans to the final brew
* Does not require calculus or college-level chemistry
* Emphasizes the scientific method and introductory data analysis with guided data sheets and lab report questions
* Includes 10 full experiments, each with background on key concepts, overview of necessary equipment, and detailed instructions:

  • Lab 0 – Safety Overview and Introduction to Tasting Coffee
  • Lab 1 – Reverse Engineering a Drip Coffee Brewer
  • Lab 2 – Process Flow Diagram and Mass Balances for Coffee
  • Lab 3 – The pH of Coffee and Chemical Reactions
  • Lab 4 – Measuring the Energy Used to Make Coffee
  • Lab 5 – Mass Transfer and Flux during Brewing
  • Lab 6 – Coffee as a Colloidal Fluid and the Effect of Filtration
  • Lab 7 – First Design Trials: Optimizing Strength & Extraction
  • Lab 8 – Second Design Trials: Scaling Up to 1 Liter of Coffee
  • Lab 9 – Design Competition and Blind Taste Panel

The World Atlas of Coffee: From Beans to Brewing

 Professionals and enthusiasts alike will love this beautiful book by James Hoffmann. From overviews of the world’s most vibrant coffee-growing regions, to step-by-step brewing tutorials, the content is educational, thought-provoking, and substantial. I’ve already recommended this book to Barista Magazine readers countless times.
— Sarah Allen, Editor
Barista Magazine

A beautiful world guide to the brown bean.

Taking the reader on a global tour of coffee-growing countries, The World Atlas of Coffee presents the bean in full-color photographs and concise, informative text. It shows the origins of coffee — where it is grown, the people who grow it; and the cultures in which coffee is a way of life — and the world of consumption — processing, grades, the consumer and the modern culture of coffee.

Plants of the genus Coffea are cultivated in more than 70 countries but primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia and Africa. For some countries, including Central African Republic, Colombia, Ethiopia, and Honduras, coffee is the number one export and critical to the economy.

Organized by continent and then further by country or region, The World Atlas of Coffee presents the brew in color spreads packed with information. They include:

  • The history of coffee generally and regionally
  • The role of colonialism (for example, in Burundi under colonial rule of Belgium, coffee production was best described as coercive. Every peasant farmer had to cultivate at least 50 coffee trees near their home.)
  • Map of growing regions and detail maps
  • Charts explaining differences in growing regions within a country
  • Inset boxes (For example, what is the Potato Defect? Is Cuban coffee legal in the United States?)
  • The politics of coffee and the fair trade, organic and shade grown phenomena
  • Beautiful color photographs taken in the field.

Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee per day, equivalent to 146 billion cups of coffee per year, making the United States the leading consumer of coffee in the world. The World Atlas of Coffee is an excellent choice for these coffee lovers.