Author Archives: Kat
Maybe we've painted ourselves into a corner with the whole time-is-of-the-essence ideology that seems to influence our focus on developing new and improved gadgets that will save us time, but one thing's for sure: We can't stop now.
Enter a Windows XP powered coffee maker that will allow you to program your favorite coffee, access it over the Internet and initiate the brew so you can walk right into the kitchen and pick it up. It's almost worthy of the Jetson's...but, unfortunately, it's just a home modification at this point. At least we know it can be done -- and that's half the battle, right?
People often think that La Pavoni's manual lever espresso machines are overly complex throwbacks created just for hardcore purists, but they're actually relatively easy machines to use -- and they make amazing espresso!
In this video, watch Gail use the La Pavoni for the first time, experimenting with different grind levels in order to get a great shot.
Written by a mild caffeine addict whose only qualifications are a passion for coffee and tons of wasted money on experiencing bad coffee, Man Seeking Coffee is a blog for lovers of the bean who are looking for tips, corroboration or debate.
The San Francisco-based writer has even come up with a rating system for beans so that you'll come to understand his perspective on a truly quantitative level, but also talks about cafes and coffee culture...you know, just to round it out. Enjoy the read!
Ed. Note: The Man Seeking Coffee blog is currently on hiatus. You may want to try A Table in the Corner of the Cafe blog instead.
A thousand feet up in the hills behind Kona on the Big Island of Hawaii, Jim and Sharon Skibby grow top-notch coffee. Theirs is a small-scale operation, a labor of love. From 75 trees they harvest about 700 pounds of cherries (coffee fruits) -- enough to make 100 pounds of finished coffee.
Read all about how this pair of boutique coffee farmers harvest and process their beans each year -- quite interesting!
Don't care to learn the finer points of steaming milk with microfoam or pouring the latte art favorites of hearts and leaves? Now you don't have to! Just hack together an 80's era Kodak inkjet printer and a flatbed scanner, load it up with caramelized sugar and you're in! At least, that's what these guys think -- hope, actually -- and they've built a prototype to sell to your neighborhood Sbux.
Just think of all the fun variations you could have with this. Sure, you don't need a logo on your latte, but if you're feeling a little bit vain, how about a cameo-style portrait of yourself? Get hardcore with your inner crazy cat lover by imprinting your feline companion's visage on your latte. Or, if you're hoping to smooth out some family ties, put your mother-in-law's smiling face on there as a 'tribute'. Really, the options just might be endless.
Add a little kick to your holiday desserts! We created this sundae because we love the Mayan treat of orange slices coated in cayenne pepper that is found all over the Yucatan peninsula -- and if you love a little spice with your sugar, we think you'll definitely dig this!
- 1 oz. Monin Mandarin Orange Syrup
- 1 oz. Monin Dark Chocolate Sauce
- 2 oz. Espresso
- Pinch of Cayenne (to taste)
- 2 Scoops of Vanilla Ice Cream
Mix the orange, chocolate and cayenne together in a small bowl. Pull a double shot of espresso directly into it and then incorporate all three until well blended. Spoon a little bit of the sauce into the bottom of two serving bowls, put a scoop of ice cream into each of the serving bowls and then drizzle with the sauce. Garnish with orange slices or, if you're looking for something muy caliente, more cayenne.
Sun exposure and skin damage may not be a concern for those of us in more northern climes right now, but if you're wintering in Rio or snowbirding in Santa Fe, you might be interested in this interesting study on the positive effects caffeine may have on post-sun exposure skin.
Based on a study conducted a few years ago that indicated women who drank more than 6 cups of caffeinated coffee per day had a lower incidence of skin cancer than those who drank less, researchers at the University of Washington exposed mice to UV rays and then rubbed them down with a caffeine solution.
The result? Well, preliminarily, it appears that the mice who received the caffeine solution on their skin had a lower incidence of damaged skin cells than the mice that did not and they're hypothesizing that the caffeine helps the body eliminate the damaged cells more easily.
While more testing is needed to determine how caffeine can help with skin cancer prevention, you might think about adding a little extra protection to your sunblock by cooling off with an iced latte while you're relaxing on the beach.
We love working with you and we love coffee, so it's important to us that what we love doing helps others do what they love as well. Sustainability in the coffee industry will keep us all in delicious cups of coffee for years to come, and while we've written before about our support of the non-profit organization Coffee Kids, as well as about Lavazza's Tierra! coffee, we decided to put our money where our mouth is this holiday season and launch a fund drive!
Now through 1/15/09, we're donating 5% of all sales of Lavazza's Tierra! coffee to Coffee Kids! Featuring smoky molasses aromas and flavor undertones of floral and bittersweet chocolate, Tierra! is a tasty gift for anyone you love that loves coffee -- and, yes, that includes you!
If the inability to enjoy a hot cup of coffee in space has kept you from pursuing your cosmonaut dreams, last week's invention of the zero-G coffee cup by NASA astronaut Dave Pettit is sure to make you tingle.
Pettit is known for funky space inventions, but when he arrived at the International Space Station, he had one goal in mind: Find a way to enjoy his beloved joe from a cup, rather than a bag & straw. Liquids in space can be a messy proposition, and hot coffee introduces an element of risk as well, but that wasn't going to stop Pettit from devising a method of enjoying his java from a cup.
Using a piece of his mission book, he formed a vessel with a tear-drop shape that is closed at one end. The surface tension within the cup keeps the coffee inside instead of floating about the station. He suggested that his invention could apply to more than just coffee -- future space colonists could utilize this kind of cup for celebratory toasts.
So now that the coffee cup question has been answered and you're back on track to becoming an astronaut, you'd better hit the books -- time to learn Russian.
You drink it to wake up, to focus more, to get you through the day -- heck, even to sober up. But has the effect of caffeine on your central nervous system been overstated? A group of researchers from the National University of Ireland in Galway think so. In fact, they think that the only benefit you see from your caffeine consumption is to further your caffeine consumption.
Through their study, they were unable to find a measurable difference in alertness and cognitive ability in participants, and found that the only difference was the abatement of caffeine withdrawal symptoms regular caffeine consumers felt in the morning after their body had metabolized caffeine overnight.
For at least a month, they gave a participants either a placebo or a caffeine pill equal to one cup of coffee to take three times a day. They then tested their ability to concentrate, resulting in no discernible difference between the control group and the caffeine consumers. They also tested the control group's reaction to caffeine after having not had the drug in their system for quite some time and were also unable to track a noticeable difference in their level of concentration between their placebo state and caffeinated state.
So if it's not really waking us up, helping us focus and getting us through our day....why are we drinking it? Well, despite the position that drinking it may essentially be a self-fulfilling prophecy, we'll keep drinking it for the taste! Yeah, that's right -- for the taste.
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