Posted by Paul

Paul

Is coffee bad for you? Know the facts and findings

Coffee

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It’s morning and I long for my cup of coffee. After all it gives me the right kick to start my day. A few days back I came across someone who told me drinking coffee could lead me to lots of health problems. And, I wondered whether such a horrendous claim could be true! So I did some research and found out something that I wanted to share with all coffee lovers – like me.

Is coffee bad for you & is it addictive?

The first thing I would like to say is that you don’t need to worry, especially if you are consuming a moderate amount of coffee. Some feel they are addicted to coffee because of the energy ‘high’ it provides. The reason for this energy boost is because coffee prevents the chemical adenosine from telling the brain it is time to relax. However, with time the body and mind gets accustomed to the caffeine and so, you need to drink more coffee to feel that same energy rush. This is the reason why it is said to be addictive.

Different ways of drinking coffee

Coffee in its natural form, which means without milk and sugar, can be good for you. On the other hand, if you add lots of milk and sugar to your coffee, you are doing more harm than good to your body. In any case, drinking one or two cups of coffee is not going to harm your system. Just keep in mind that coffee has been praised and heckled for centuries. If there are disadvantages of drinking coffee, there are health benefits also. Here are some facts about coffee and the caffeine intake.

Facts about coffee

  • The toxins found in one cup of coffee gets filtered by our kidney in 24 hours
  • You can reduce the bad effects of coffee by drinking lesser quantity of coffee and also changing it to filter coffee.
  • If you have digestive problems, you can drink coffee after meal.
  • You can minimize the risks of coffee by limiting the daily intake of coffee

Is coffee bad for you…or is it good?

One of the facts is that drinking high quality coffee shows some health benefits.

  • Organic coffee contains antioxidants and this helps reduce aging, cell damage and reduces oxidation.
  • Diseases like Parkinson and Alzheimer are said to be less problematic if you take moderate amount of coffee regularly.
  • If you take coffee daily, you can protect yourself from type 2 diabetes.
  • Coffee intake results in better cognitive function also.
  • Drinking coffee will increase your mental attention
  • Coffee boosts your physical performance
  • Coffee helps you burn fat and lose weight
  • Reduces fatigue and tiredness
  • Helps in digestion
  • Increases fertility by providing speed and vigour to sperm
  • It lightens your mood and reduces the risks of getting depressed in life

Disadvantages of drinking coffee

  • Bad quality coffee can cause sickness, headache and make you really feel bad.
  • Excess of coffee can cause insomnia and restlessness
  • A lot of coffee could literally kill you, but this is almost 23 litres of coffee, which you just can’t drink in one go. Anyway long before reaching to this point you will start vomiting.
  • If you are pregnant, you should avoid drinking more than one cup of coffee a day.
  • If you suffer from high cholesterol, you should choose filter coffee.
  • Last but not the least, avoid offering coffee to kids as it increases bed wetting.

Properties of coffee

Coffee apparently does not contain any nutrition. Although there are some minerals, protein and vitamins found in coffee, most of them get destroyed while it is prepared. Also, since a very small quantity of coffee is taken in the cup and is diluted, even if there are some nutrients available, they do not have any positive effect on your body.

So, is coffee bad for you or good….

Consider the facts and findings mentioned above and analyse. If you are pregnant or you are cholesterol sensitive, you should avoid drinking coffee especially in large amount. Also, make sure you choose filter coffee to drink.

For others, reasonable amount of coffee daily is not going to do any harm to you. In fact, if chosen sensibly, it can prevent many illnesses, help you lose weight and also help you boost body and muscle building efforts. Just buy good quality coffee and brew it to taste and you should be fine if you don’t drink it in excess.

The quality and quantity matters

So, if you are still confused and wondering if coffee bad for you, I can help you come to a conclusion: The quantity of coffee or caffeine that you digest is a deciding factor in whether coffee is good for you. So, keep the quantity in check and switch to good quality coffee. So, don’t worry you can still enjoy your morning cup of hot coffee now!

 

Paul

6 Simple steps for making great coffee

Coffee

Many of you must have a coffee as something of a morning ritual. As we’re half asleep we measure the water, milk and coffee and put them as you have been doing for, perhaps, many years. However coffee, its preparation, and the taste has gone through a lot of change through years. Roasts, brewing techniques and brewing gear can now offer you the chance to take advantage of the taste of ‘real’ coffee. Once you know how to brew, you will love your coffee even more.

So, What is good coffee?

In order to understand good coffee, you will have to first understand how the professional coffee makers measure the brews. Measuring the quality of coffee can be traced back to 1950s. In fact, despite popular beliefs, strong coffee has no relation to the bitterness or the caffeine content. It is about the ratio of coffee and water in the cup – thats what makes a good cup of coffee.

My Steps to making great coffee

Here are some steps, you can use to make great coffee today.

  1. Buy good coffee beans – Coffee beans should be whole, organically farmed and roasted within few weeks from the time you are using it. If you want to have the ‘actual’ flavor of coffee, you should choose heavily roasted beans. However, you can keep it to the recommended or common level also, as per your taste.
  2. Grind your coffee fresh – Roasted coffee is fragile and delicate. Coffee has many flavors which get reduced with time as they are exposed to oxygen. If you grind your coffee just before brewing, it will help keep all the compounds intact and this will help you have improved taste of coffee while you are at home.
  3. Store coffee beans properly – You should use an air tight container so that you can store the coffee beans securely and away from sunlight. If you are not going to use the beans within two weeks, it is better to freeze them.
  4. Focus on right proportion of coffee and water – If you want that golden look and flavour, make sure you pay attention to the right ratio of coffee and water. This is the most fundamental and simple way to get that perfect taste.
  5. Use the right technique – Making the perfect cup of coffee does not only mean following the step by step guide, but it is about accuracy and uniformity. Different people use different brewing techniques, but when you follow a specific one and repeatedly make coffee with all precautions and care, you overcome your mistakes and improve unbelievably making great coffee.
  6. Use high quality tools – When using tools to make coffee, make sure you make use of high quality ones. You will definitely get better results. You might find spending on it an extravagance, but it is a one time investment and if you are a coffee lover it is definitely worth it. High quality tools are sturdy and provide better performance as well. It will make the brewing process easier and faster.

Once you choose a method, you simply need to keep in mind the above points and tune your coffee by adjusting some variables:

Pay attention to the grind size of your coffee beans and make sure they are finely grind. Secondly, the temperature of the water can also affect the taste of your coffee. Make sure the water you use for brewing coffee is not very hot because it will make the taste bitter as unpleasant acids are released from the coffee beans when very hot water is poured on it. You should measure the water after pouring it in the cup to stay assured that the measurement is right.

If you are still working on finding the perfect method or perfect taste, work on any one variable at a time. Measure the result and see whether it fits in your taste and quality or not. Just keep in mind that when you are working on making great coffee, you should give it some time. In fact, this is the beauty of coffee. It takes time to get that perfect flavor and taste. Do not get disheartened if you make any mistake because this is what leading you towards progress. Since you are preparing and drinking coffee for years from now, the basic knowledge actually exists. You simply need some modification.

So, participate in the journey of making great coffee – enjoy your next cup.

Paul

My Sneakily Cheap Way To Make Coffee – Without A Coffee Machine

Coffee
My Sneakily Cheap Way To Make Coffee – Without A Coffee Machine

In my last post I spoke about how much I love the coffee shops and how I wanted to make my own coffee at home. Well, I thought I’d continue this theme and let you know some of the top tips I use to improve the quality of my coffee – still without a coffee machine!

Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against these devices and they can do some pretty amazing things. In, fact you can read a bit more about coffee makers with this guide, if you’re a bit curios about what they can do. You can also find a guide on the same site for milk frothers on the mainpage. But, I also know that most people don’t have around £200+ to pay for one. So here’s  few sneaky tips you can use to improve your coffee!

  1. Look after your beans. Ground coffee doesn’t stay fresh for long. Especially when its exposed to the air. It can quickly loose flavour over just a few days. You’ll know when this has happened because it will loose its glorious odor which smells rich and flavourful. Once this has gone you can expect dull, muddy coffee. Try storing it in air tight containers to make it last longer.
  2. Use filtered water. Coffee is around 98% water. So, it is clear why any impurities in the water will alter the taste – for the worse. Make sure your water is fresh and filtered and, trust me, you will taste the difference in your drink.
  3. Make sure your water isn’t too hot. Freshly boiled water isn’t the best friend to coffee grounds. Too hot and the grounds will become scorched and your coffee will taste like old tyres. The simplest thing you can do is to leave the water after it has boiled for the minute or two to cool down.
  4. Leave the sugar to hot chocolates. Coffee is supped to be a bitter drink and, loading it with sugar only masks the wonderfully rich flavours the drink offers. Most people only want to sweeten the coffee if it tastes bad, a good brew should be divine all on its own.
  5. Use the same spoon to measure your grounds every time. If you find that 2 tablespoons of grounds to 200ml of water gives you a brew you like then use two tablespoons next time. Don’t use a teaspoon and try to guess because you’ll only get it wrong. You’ll be surprised how many people think they can just guess the right amounts and then wonder why their coffee tastes bad. Remember what works for you and stick with it – don’t leave it to guess work.
  6. Be adventurous. If you find a certain blend doesn’t work for you they try another brand, strength or both. For example I love Costa coffee grounds. Sorry to be a corporate slave, but I do. However, some own brand coffee grounds just don’t sit well with me. How do I know? Because I experimented until I found a brand and strength I enjoyed. You should too. You’ll be surprised what is out there.
Paul

I’m the New Starbucks!

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I’m the New Starbucks!

OK, I lied. I’m not the new Starbucks (All Starbucks lawyers please back away). I’m a fan of the coffee shops. I enjoy socializing in them with my friends and they’ve became a nice part of my life – I enjoy the coffee and the company. So, I wanted a little bit of that in my home and thought about making my own cappuccinos. I’ve tried the sachet cappuccinos, you know the one’s which self-froth when you pour water on them? But to be honest they’re crap. They’re bland and there’s no foam (which is my favourite part!).

So, off I set on my own home-made-cappuccino making journey. I didn’t have too much money to spend and wanted to keep this as cheap as possible – which ruled out the the all-in-one coffee machine things, like the ‘dolce gusto’ et al. Don’t get me wrong they do make really nice coffees, but they’re still not authentic tasting. Tasty, but clearly artificial.

I did a bit of research online and found that using a cafetiere (which you can pick up for a fiver) and a milk frother you can get an authentic cappuccino at home. I did deliberate over some of the slightly more expensive milk frothers like those made by Dualit or Krups, but settled on a cheap hand held version. All in all the whole set cost me about £15, so I was quite happy

No armed with everything I needed I set off very optimistic I could make a great cappuccino! Well, it wasn’t quite so easy. It wasn’t rocket science or anything but it took a bit of time to get the espresso part right. The frothed milk was easy, just turn the milk frother on and let it do its thing. But I needed some help, luckily a few searches on youtube provided me with the answer:

Pretty cool, huh? Well, it is to a coffee lover! Once I got the coffee portion of the drink right, the rest followed. I have to say I was quite impressed with myself and enjoyed the results. I just wish I had taken a photo. Maybe next time…