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Hemp Milk---Hallelujah

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Non-dairy milk is the new normal. Gone are the days when a few cartons of soy milk, or maybe almond milk, were relegated to the back shelf at the back of the bodega. It is now perfectly normal to cream one’s coffee with various types of milk made from plants, nuts, and grains.


One-third of all American households consume some type of non-dairy milk. The list of alternate ‘milks’ is long and growing. Options include coconut, soy, rice, almond, hemp, barley, cashew, and the ever-popular oat milk. At the same time, the Dairy Farmers of America reported a $1.1 billion drop in sales between 2017 and 2018 (from $14.7 billion to $13.6 billion), while the Plant Based Food Association reported a 9% increase in sales of nut- and plant-based milk, reaching total sales of $1.6 billion in 2018.
What does it take to be considered milk? Some people scoff at the idea that the white liquid that is extracted from plants, nuts, and grains is actually ‘milk’.The dairy industry has gone as far as asking …

And America’s favorite coffee brand is…(drumroll please)…

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I used to be a Starbucks devotee. I lauded the flavors, the baristas, the brewing processes, and the politics of Starbucks. Like people, brands evolve, and Dunkin’ Donuts (DD) is no exception. Ten years ago, when I was doing research for a book, I looked at DD versus Starbucks and concluded that next to the mega-shiny branding of Starbucks, DD was a stalwart, supermarket-based brand that one drank out of necessity when traveling in New England, which is where DD is based.




But it turned out that I underestimated this 69-year-old American-bred, Massachusetts-based chain, which was founded by William Rosenberg.  Dunkin’, which dropped Donuts from its name as of January 2019, is in the midst of a $100 million brand overhaul.  The new branding goes along with how Dunkin’ has positioned itself---as the premiere, beverage-led, on-the-go brand. As part of this offering, Dunkin’ now offers a special pickup section for online orders, in addition to a bevy of espresso-based drinks, cold beverages…

Caffeine 2.0: How the 'eat your coffee' movement is getting it right

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Happy spring!
It started slowly. First I noticed a few caffeine-bite products with clever names (VERB caffeinated energy bites; Eat Your Coffee caffeinated snack bar; Awake energy granola bars, etc.), and then it became a THING. As a coffee-lover, with a seriously caffeinated lifestyle, I personally like Wild Ophelia cold brew caramel latte bites. Think New England fudge meets morning coffee and Brach’s caramel, with a nice buzz---a little piece of caffeinated heaven.
The market for caffeinated food is not entirely new---there have been coffee- and/or caffeine-infused foods around for a while, but now there is a whole new level of caffeine awareness, as well as a lot of clinical evidence to confirm that caffeine is not only stimulating, but also health-enhancing.
What the data says about caffeine According to researchers at Stanford, caffeine makes people healthier on a molecular level. They looked at the health of two cohorts of adults over time, including a healthy group of 20- to 30-y…

What will it be like to drink coffee in 2019? It could make us wealthier, healthier, and happier...

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As we head into the first days of 2019, speeding along like a rush-hour Acela train, everyone I know is trying to frame the coming year, even as they are still processing 2018.My main goal for the upcoming year is to become thriftier. I try hard, but I’ve certainly missed the mark more than I’d like to admit.I found lots of inspiration on the internet. 
In fact, since the beginning of written history wise people have extolled thrift as a competitive advantage.
“Cannot people realize how large an income is thrift?” ---Cicero
"Cultivate these, then, for they are wholly within your power: sincerity and dignity; industriousness, and sobriety. Avoid grumbling, be frugal, considerate, and frank; be temperate in manner and speech; carry yourself with authority." ---Marcus Aurelius
But even virtues have their limits. For example, although I love coffee unconditionally, I JUST got a new coffeemaker after 13 years. That’s a long time that I relied on my Gevalia drip coffeemaker (very rel…

Coffee-drinking, art-loving, word-smithing & SNOWBOUND

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Have you ever been so distracted by the pursuit of coffee that you lost track of time---and then found out that all the while you were coffee-klatching, a potential disaster was unfolding? That was me on Thursday, November 15---the day of the nor’easter that we all underreacted to until we were stuck in Penn Station, and our children were stuck on buses, while thousands of people were stuck in gridlock that lasted up to 12 to 14 hours, forcing them to deal with their biologic needs the best they could.



After a full morning of working alone, I met up with two of my colleagues (2 amazing women-editors), at News Bar Café near Union Square, to work on a project and drink endless cups of coffee, while enjoying various soups, breads and sweets. News Bar has a traditional wooden exterior, and a café-pub-like feel, with large plate glass windows at the front of the café.  
The best way to describe the feeling of being in News Bar at midday as the snow innocently swirled around outside is ‘fi…

Raise your cup to Veterans---coffee-fueled heroism has always been a ‘thing’

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In honor of Veteran’s Day, many coffee chains, including Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, have been giving free coffee and coffee drinks to Veterans. This is just one way to show respect to these hard-working individuals, who have served our country faithfully. It may seem like a small gesture, but ask any military man or woman about coffee, and they will tell you that coffee is a HUGE deal when it comes being in the service---whether you’re on the battlefield, or in a supportive role.
Coffee is the lifeblood for most demanding professions, from doctors, to traders, teachers, and construction crews---the day cannot start properly without a strong infusion of coffee.Add to this list, soldiers and other military professionals, who drink coffee, frequently, in large amounts.


Coffee-obsessed Soldiers
NPR aired a segment in 2016, which revealed that coffee was an obsession during the Civil War. In fact, according to Smithsonian curator, Jim Grinspin, during the Civil War, letters from soldier…

Mystic seaport: Exploring the coffee-drinking habits of whalers

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1871 was a fortuitous year in the United States.  In 1871, John Arbuckle and his team invented a machine that led to the mass production of coffee---a machine that could fill, weigh, seal and label coffee in paper bags.  While this was happening in New York City, the Charles W. Morgan commercial whaler was being completed in New Bedford, MA. At 106-feet long, with 7,100 square feet of sail, this massive, fully rigged whaler was a workhorse on the seas.

Why we care about whalers
In the fall, there’s nothing like a weekend getaway to look at the leaves, hike a few trails, and drink a lot of coffee. A recent trip to Mystic, CT, got me thinking about what life on a whaling ship would be like. Mystic Seaport Museum, which has been the permanent home of the Morgan since the early 1940’s, does a great job of bringing a reconstructed mid-19th-century New England whaling village to life.




The Morgan is massive and visually impressive. You can board the boat and see the cargo hold for the whale …