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  Pumpkin Spice Lattés: ‘Tis the Season (Barely)... Today is the last day of November, which means that it is still pumpkin spice latte season---just barely.   What exactly is a pumpkin spice latté and does it have any real pumpkin in it? A Starbucks pumpkin spice latté is made with espresso, milk, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. But the most important thing: There is real pumpkin in Starbucks pumpkin spice lattés---something that didn’t happen until 2015. Despite the hater backlash against PSLs, sales continue to soar. Since their introduction, almost 425 million PSLs have been sold and happily consumed worldwide. For most people, drinking a pumpkin spice latté is part comfort, part seasonal appreciation, part nostalgia (somehow pumpkin spice lattés evoke stock images of happy Thanksgivings spent in the country), and part habit. After all, when December comes (tomorrow), if you haven’t had at least one pumpkin spice latté that season (prefe

College Students Legit Love Their Coffee

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  It’s that time. Lots of young people are leaving home for college. Some for the first time, others not. It’s exciting to watch them venture forth into the big, wide world. We can only guess what their lives are like on a day-to-day basis. One thing we do know, however, is that they are drinking coffee. And apparently lots of it. A study of college students’ coffee drinking habits was published in Clinical Nutrition in April 2019. The study included 1248 students from five colleges around the country (U Mass Amherst; Louisiana State University; Kent State (OH); California State University at Fullerton; and Tufts University (MA).   Caffeine, mainly from coffee, was consumed by 92% of the college students over the 1-yesr study period. Overall, they rated caffeine positive, citing its ability to make them feel more awake (79%), improve concentration (31%), increase physical energy (27%), improve mood (18%), and alleviate stress (9%). In addition, 68% of the students said they actuall

Is There a Coffee-Covid Connection--and Why Was Coffee So Heavily Consumed in 2020?

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 Have you ever thought about the relationship between coffee and covid? Probably not, but some researchers have invested a lot of time to find out. A new study shows that drinking coffee reduces the risk of getting covid.  The study, which was led by researchers from Northwestern University, found that drinking at least one cup of coffee reduces the risk of getting covid-19 by 10%. Based on data from 40,000 people in the U.K. Biobank, the study focused not only on the impact of coffee on covid risk, but also oily fish, processed red meat, vegetables, and fruits. Still Life With Fruit --by Alice Neel, 1940 Oil on Canvas currently on view at the Met in Gallery 899  (Is that coffee by the fruit??) According to the researchers, coffee boosts the immune system via different pathways. It’s a major source of antioxidants---largely phenolic acids--- in the American diet (the #1 source according to researcher/professor Joe Vinson, PhD). Plus---coffee has an anti-inflammatory effect in the body,

What Time is It? It's Time to Drink Coffee (8 o'clock coffee)

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  Have you ever wondered why Eight O’Clock Coffee is called Eight O’Clock Coffee? Probably not. Eight O’Clock Coffee is one of those immediately recognizable, iconic supermarket coffee brands, and like other brands, it has a unique story. Eight O’Clock Coffee was launched in 1859 by the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P) as a whole-bean coffee. In 1919, A&P-branded coffee got a new name. A&P fielded a survey to find out the most popular times for drinking coffee. It turned out that the most popular times cited were 8 am and 8 pm. And that’s how Eight O’Clock Coffee got its name. Apparently, the name change was a good idea. In 1930, Eight O’Clock Coffee became the #1 selling coffee in the United States and maintained that status until around 1950. During that time, Eight O’Clock Coffee became iconic, with solid branding and marketing strategies that set the standard for other companies for years to come.   In 1933, a 25-foot Eight O’Clock Coffee billboard was

Another Reason to Heart Coffee

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Here’s another reason to love coffee. According to research published by the American Heart Association, drinking coffee may reduce the risk of heart failure. In a combined analysis of more than 21,000 adults, including coffee-drinkers and non-coffee-drinkers. researchers looked at data to examine the impact of drinking coffee over a 10-year period (versus not drinking coffee). According to data analysis: 1 cup of coffee reduces the risk of heart failure by 5-12% 2 cups of coffee+ reduces the risk of heart failure by 30% What is heart failure? Heart failure is a term used to describe a heart that cannot keep up with its workload. As a result, the body may have a hard time getting the oxygen it needs. Heart failure is a chronic, progressive condition---but disease progress can be slowed down. Lots of Other Health Benefits Data about the health benefits of coffee have accumulated over the last 20 years into a treasure trove of insights. Coffee is associated with reduced risk of type 2 di

Some Like it Hot...But Most Like it Cold Even More

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  Regardless of the groundhog’s experience on February 2nd, spring is in the air (though we had a few flurries earlier in March). And when the first buds appear on the trees, and the sun stays higher in the sky, later into the day, we all start to celebrate in different ways. I personally celebrate by drinking coffee outside more frequently. There’s nothing I like more on a beautiful spring day than walking in the park or sitting in the backyard with a large cup of steaming-hot coffee---and when friends are there, even better. But what about cold coffee? For me, cold coffee is something I drink mainly in the summer. Surprisingly, I am not in the majority. According to a survey commissioned by Mr. Coffee, and conducted by One Poll, 63% of people polled (2,000 respondents) are happy to drink iced or cold-brewed coffee all year long. I’m definitely part of the 37%---those people who only drink iced coffee in the summer and drink hot coffee the rest of the year (assuming a 4-season loc

Channeling the Magic of Coffeehouse Culture Online (Check out Jason’s Cover of “Dock of the Bay”)

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  Within the last year, I’ve been to some outdoor concerts, mainly in large backyards, all socially distanced. And of course, I’ve brought coffee, and I get to see friends, and the music was really good. But I haven’t had a true coffeehouse experience in more than a year. (My local go-to coffeehouse is Trend Café, in Montclair, NJ.) I miss the myriad seating options, the ambient sound of coffeehouse culture---poetry reading, clinking mugs on ceramic plates, and singers and songwriters. Where are we going to hear live music anymore---and drink coffee---and maybe even eat some baked goods. (Yum!) Enter Live Streamer Café , an online community where people gather to watch artists perform. Artists of all sorts, including singer/songwriter, multifaceted musicians like Jason Didner , who sings and plays guitars, keyboards, and drums.  Fans can support their artists by tipping them via the Artist's chosen platform (PayPal, Venmo, etc). Because the artists use their own tipping syten, 10