Coffee Break – For Those That Love Coffee As Much As We Do!
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7 Incredible Health Benefits of Coffee
Whether you take it black or with cream and sugar, if you’re a coffee lover, you depend on that first cup of java to get your morning started. However, the good things this popular caffeinated beverage offers aren’t just limited to providing a jumpstart to your day or that extra boost of energy you need to get past the afternoon slump. It’s been proven that coffee is also good for you in a variety of ways. Read on to discover seven surprising health benefits of coffee.
Take a walk through the nutritional supplements aisle of your local drugstore and scan the ingredient lists of the popular fat burners. More than likely, you’ll see caffeine listed on nearly every one. That’s because this natural chemical has been shown to significantly aid in the fat burning process by boosting the body’s metabolic rate.
Lowers Risk of Type II Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a rising health problem in developed countries where diets are often high in white sugar and carbohydrates. This form of diabetes is characterized by increased blood sugar levels that lead to insulin resistance. Though the reason isn’t clear, regular coffee drinkers tend to be less prone to Type 2 diabetes.
Protects the Liver
The liver is an essential organ in proper functioning of the human body. There are quite a few diseases that attack the liver. Cirrhosis is the culmination of long-term liver deterioration in which only scar tissue remains. Drinking coffee may significantly lower the risk of developing this condition.
Reduce Likelihood of Alzheimer’s
The risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or other form of dementia increases as we age. Those 65 and over are most susceptible. While there is no known cure, eating healthy and exercising can help to ward off the disease. Studies have also indicated that coffee drinkers may be less likely to succumb to Alzheimer’s.
Decreases Risk of Some Cancer
Various types of cancer exist and are caused by an overgrowth or mutation of cells in the body. Coffee drinkers seem to be less likely to succumb to two specific kinds of cancer; these are colorectal and liver cancer. This is good news as these are both common forms of the disease.
Improves Physical Performance
Epinephrine, perhaps better known as Adrenaline, is the body chemical that increases with the “fight or flight syndrome.” It is also responsible for pushing the body through bouts of physical activity. Caffeine increases levels of Adrenaline in your blood, which breaks down fat, fueling the body for better performance.
You probably know someone affected by depression or you may have the condition, yourself. Depression is marked by an overwhelming sadness that greatly affects the daily lives of sufferers. Studies point to indications that regular coffee intake can lessen the chances of developing depression, as well as decreasing the risk of suicide.
Coffee contains a number of ingredients and compounds. In most cases, researchers haven’t determined the specific reason for the many health benefits of coffee. However, a great deal of evidence indicates that your favorite morning brew gives you far more than energy and alertness.
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Guide to Common Coffee Roasts
Did you know that coffee beans are usually stored when they’re green? They’re stored this way in order to maintain freshness and quality prior to roasting. It’s the roasting that brings out the aroma and taste you love. Roasting uses high temperatures in order to bring about the chemical changes necessary to produce the desired taste when brewed. Roasts can be divided into four main categories. These are light, medium, medium-dark and dark. A bit of trivia you may not realize is that it’s the light roasts that actually have a higher concentration of caffeine than the darker ones. This guide to common coffee roasts will give you a basic understanding of each category and the types of coffee in each.
Light Roasts: This type of roast usually yields a milder, more subtle flavor. The outer surface is dry due to the fact that the roasting process is not long enough to break the bean down. Sometimes the flavor can be a bit sour, and such beans will be used in less expensive coffee blends. Common names for lightly roasted coffees include Cinnamon, Light, Half City and New England.
Medium Roasts: A bit stronger in flavor with a medium brown color, these roasts yield a bean that also has a dry surface. A bright, crisp and fully developed flavor is offered by medium roasts. A favorite of many U.S. coffee drinkers, you’ll find American roast in this category. Breakfast, Regular, City and Medium also fall into this group.
Medium-Dark Roasts: These roasts have a slightly oily surface and dark in color. They have a rich body and a sweet taste. You’ll find Full City, Continental, Viennese and Light Espresso among medium-dark roasts.
Dark Roasts: The final roast category is generally bittersweet in flavor with a black, shiny appearance. Low in acidity, these roasts have a broad variety from dark all the way to charred, losing acidity as darkness increases. Common names are French, Italian, Neapolitan and Spanish.
If you’re an experienced coffee drinker, you may know which roast is your preference. Those new to the beverage may wish to explore. Because there are so many varieties in types of coffee roasts, it’s always a good idea to try something new.
How to Make Popular Types of Coffee Drinks
If you’re a coffee lover with a weakness for yummy frothy and deliciously dark beverages, you probably know these treats can be rather pricey. Perhaps you’re ready to try your hand at making your own caffeinated creations at home, but you’re not sure how to even begin. Sure, it can be a bit confusing. Each different drink is made with its own particular roast of bean, particular grind, temperature and ingredients. Relax, sit back and take a look at this simple primer on how to make popular types of coffee drinks in your kitchen.
Espresso: The key to making a good espresso is the grind of the bean. You should use finely ground, quality coffee beans instead of the coarse grind used in regular coffee. In addition, an espresso is much stronger than your regular cup of Joe. It’s made with one tablespoon of coffee per ounce of water. The ground beans should be packed firmly and evenly in the basket prior to brewing. Because of its strength, a small cup is used for serving espresso.
Mocha: This chocolatey coffee drink is a blend of coffee, hot chocolate and steamed milk. Prepare your favorite hot cocoa. Then add just a shot or so of coffee to taste, and then finish off with steamed milk. Serve in a clear mug with whipped cream on top for the perfect coffee house experience.
Cappuccino: A shot of espresso mixed with equal portions of steamed and frothed milk make up this classic concoction. Add the shot of coffee to a large mug, and then fill with the milk mixture. You can dust the top with a sprinkle of cinnamon, cocoa powder or nutmeg.
Latte: This yummy hot beverage is similar to a cappuccino. However, the difference is that your frothy milk is combined with the coffee, rather than poured separately on top. Start with a shot of espresso at the bottom of your mug, and then slowly pour the milk down the side. The goal is to blend the two gently.
These are the basics of making your favorite types of coffee drinks at home. If you plan to indulge in specialty java regularly, you should consider investing in a proper espresso maker in order to get the best results.
Tips to Properly Store Coffee
If you’re a coffee connoisseur, you’ll likely want to keep a variety of their favorite roasts on hand. After all, the various types of drinks require different grinds or roasts. However, it’s important to note that coffee is perishable and that the freshest beans make the best-tasting cup. Therefore, it’s important to know how to keep your coffee fresh for as long as possible. Follow these tips to properly store coffee in order to ensure your beans maintain their appeal.
Choose Whole Beans
Whole coffee beans are always preferable to pre-ground varieties when it comes to the ultimate in freshness. You’ll achieve the best flavor by grinding the beans yourself immediately prior to brewing. Grinding leads to faster oxidizing of coffee, giving it a bitter or flat taste. Beans are definitely best.
Don’t Buy Too Much
While it’s great to have your favorites on hand, you don’t want to go overboard. Experts agree that it’s best to consume your coffee within two weeks of purchase because coffee beans start to slowly lose their defining properties immediately after the beans are roasted. While it may be tempting to stock up on those super sales, you’ll soon discover that ending up with bags of coffee that won’t keep really isn’t much of a bargain.
Keep It Airtight
Exposure to air contributes to the degradation of coffee’s freshness, so it’s imperative that you keep your beans in an airtight container. The bag you bought them in is fine if it has a strong seal. However, many do not. A glass jar with a tight fitting lid will do the job if you want to ensure longer-lasting quality.
Cool and Dark is Best
Sunlight breaks down the natural properties of your coffee beans, so always be sure to store them someplace dark. In addition, cool temperatures are best for maintaining freshness. However, room temperature is generally fine, as the refrigerator is too cool and also steals the flavor and aroma from your beans. A dark cupboard or corner of your counter should be fine.
These are the basic tips to properly store coffee at home. Just a bit of care and preparation will help to ensure your favorite morning beverage always tastes its best.
How to Brew the Perfect Cup of Coffee
Coffee lovers are particular about their favorite beverage. Chances are you like your morning java a certain way. Some folks want it strong and dark, while others prefer a bright and crisp flavor. No matter what your preference, there are some key recommendations when it comes to achieving an end result that is as fresh and flavorful as possible. Here’s what you need to know about how to brew the perfect cup of coffee at home.
Whether you’re using a high-end espresso machine or a simple coffee maker, you’ll achieve the best tasting coffee when your equipment is clean. This includes your grinder, as well. Wash everything following its use. Use hot water or a clean, dry cloth according to the directions that came with your tools. Make sure to clean every nook and cranny so that oil or residue aren’t left behind, which can lead to a bitter tasting coffee in the future.
The type and roast of your beans is a personal choice and varies by individual. However, there are some things to keep in mind when choosing your beans if you want great taste every time. First of all, freshness is crucial. Buy just enough to last you a couple weeks, and store them in an airtight container to avoid oxidizing. Also, buy your coffee beans from a reputable source or brand you trust. In addition, grind just enough for the serving size you desire immediately prior to brewing.
Type of Grind
Whether your coffee is finely or coarsely ground makes a difference. However, too fine leads to a bitter taste and too coarse can wind up flat. The type of grinder you use also matters. Burr or mill grinders give you a consistent grind, while a less expensive blade grinder can leave you with various sizes. Consistency of grind yields to better flavor.
Quality water is crucial to flavorful coffee. If your tap water is heavily chlorinated or contains excess minerals, it’s definitely a good idea to opt for filtered or bottled water for use in brewing. Distilled or soft water should be avoided also. Be sure to start with cold water. The amount of water you use is also a factor in the taste of your brew. It’s recommended to use between one and two tablespoons of ground coffee to six ounces of water. This can be adjusted to your taste preference.
Once your coffee is brewed to your liking, be sure to drink it immediately. Coffee that sits around loses its flavor. A thermal carafe is a good option for keeping your java hot. These tips to brew the perfect cup of coffee will ensure you start every morning off right.
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