Instant coffee gets a bad rap. But like it or not, instant coffee---a freeze-dried, powdered concentrated form of coffee--- is coffee. And like other types of coffee, it is full of antioxidants. The obvious downside for many people, however, is that instant coffee has a different flavor profile than traditionally brewed coffee. But that does not mean that it can’t be good. In fact, there are now second- and third-generation instant coffees that have gained a following. However, this post is NOT about the most au courant instant coffees. This post is about an old-school, first-generation instant coffee. Specifically, Juan Valdez Café instant coffee (which I recently received as a gift from good friends). The Juan Valdez Café brand represents coffee produced by Colombian Coffee Farmers---500,000 strong, who are devoted to continuing a coffee-growing tradition that many say produces the best coffee in the world. Amazon reviewers tend to rate Juan Valdez Café coffee with 4.5 to 5 stars (
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About a week ago, the unthinkable happened. One mid-August morning, my Barista Aroma TM 8-cup coffeemaker broke. It became essentially unusable. My first reaction was denial. The large rubber lip of the thermal carafe had become completely unhinged. I tried to meld it back together, but this coffee maker was almost 4 years old. Indeed, if ever there was ‘planned obsolescence’ this was it---because it was definitely NOT abuse. Over the years, I have loved that coffeemaker. On some cold winter mornings, I would practically coo at it as it competently brewed my coffee. I loved many of its features. It’s black and silver sleekness, the gold mesh flat filter, the fact that I could yank the carafe away from the case before it finished brewing in order to pour myself half a cup. I loved the shushing sound it made as it brewed, the strategically placed water canister, and the digital read-out. Ours was a warm respectable relationship informed by my primal addiction to coffee.
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,