It's official: Asbury Park, NJ, is a destination for music lovers, boardwalk devotees, those who enjoy amazing mural art---and intrepid coffee drinkers like myself. Today was simply one of those epic early-August Sunday beach days in Asbury. Warm sun prevailed, but there were periods of overcast breeziness; people were sparkling with contentment. And the water was absolutely perfect. 
For me, a day in Asbury Park would not be complete without a trip to the Asbury Park Roastery. This small coffee roasting company, which has been around since 2007, has 2 locations---and they are both continually trafficked by coffee-lovers all summer long. 
The flagship location is downtown at 803 Second Avenue, and the boardwalk location is 1300 Ocean Avenue in the Grand Arcade of Convention Hall. They specialize in selling freshly roasted coffee, mainly fair trade and organic, to both retail and wholesale customers. They also offer loose-leaf teas and various vegan and non-vegan pastries. The vibe i…

Wanna lose weight? Here's why everyone is excited about coffee’s effect on brown fat

Last month, an analysis of two studies published in Nature’s Scientific Reports, confirmed what every avid coffee drinker knows---drinking coffee can help you lose weight. While the idea that caffeinated coffee can increase metabolism via increased thermogenesis is not new, what is new is the introduction of the acronym BAT into the discussion about diet and weight loss.

What is brown fat?
BAT stands for brown adipose tissue, also known as brown fat. There are two types of fat---brown fat (which is full of mitochondria that turn on a fat-burning mechanism in response to cold, releasing both heat and sugar) and white fat (which is mainly stored in the body in the form of large droplets). White fat is plentiful in adults, in contrast to brown fat, which is found in abundance in infants and hibernating mammals.
Researchers at the University of Nottingham in the U.K. and at UCLA Medical School conducted two studies---one in mice (UK study) and one in human volunteers (UCLA study). The goal …

Hemp Milk---Hallelujah

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)…

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

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...

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

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…