Friday, June 25, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
On a warm, late spring morning, full schedules beckoned---and I, like many, many others woke up to a pot of coffee.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Never mind that coffee is good for you----it needs to taste good. In fact, that first morning cup should be mind-blowing.
Not so with the Ground Rainforest Blend from The Organic Coffee Company. It’s dank and bitter without any subtle traces of chicory or nuts or chocolate or even mystery.
Fortunately, it is utilitarian. Drink it and get the familiar morning jolt. But beyond that it’s all packaging and a nice story.
The package is based on a rainforest meets mountains motif: blue sky, royal purple on one side with little symbols of fecundity, tall trees with deep underbrush, and cool breeze mountains in the backdrop. There is a bright orange sticker on the front that boasts, “Fairly traded (responsibly grown) Rainforest Blend (A perfectly rounded blend yielding a medium bodied, complex flavor)”.
Though I am not a fan of this coffee, which is grown on farms in Central America, their ethics and sense of responsibility are laudable. In 1996, the Rogers family started the Source Aid Development Program that has built schools, started meal programs, improved housing, and established medical clinicas in struggling coffee communities around the world.
Perhaps then I need to rethink my dislike. Maybe if I steam the milk just so---or perhaps if I drink this coffee in January instead of June---or maybe I’ll simply try a different flavor.
There are after all many flavors to choose from----Breakfast Blend, Chocolate Almond, Fair Trade French Roast, Hurricane Expresso, and Guatamala Maya Lake Whole Bean. I’m sure to find something I like…
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Recently, a headline made its way around the global media network in various exclamatory iterations. Composite results from 13 trials undertaken at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine showed that coffee significantly improves performance especially among the nigh-shift crowd.
The headlines were unequivocally upbeat: “Why Caffeine is the Perfect Addiction for a Worker Bee Society;” “Coffee Improves Productivity and Safety at Work;” Coffee Improves Work Efficiency;” “Coffee is Best Perk for Sleepy Workers;” and many, many more. News about coffee is big news---if only because coffee is a $60 billion-plus industry and the world's most widely consumed psyhoactive beverage worldwide.
The scientific community continues to study coffee seriously. One major recent development is the devotion of an entire supplement of The Journal of Alzheimer's Disease. This supplement, "Therapeutic Opportunities for Caffeine in Alzheimer's Disease and Other Neurodegenerative Diseases," is devoted to exploring how coffee affects the cognitive decline associated with aging and with Alzheimer's disease. There are 22 articles devoted to this topic and related topic, but the quick takeaway is that “moderate amounts of caffeine are inversely associated with the cognitive decline associated with both aging and Alzheimer's disease.”
This issue of JAD is a byproduct of a meeting—entitled “Caffeine and the Brain” held in Lisbon a year ago in June 2009. The meeting, which was sponsored by the Associaci˜ao Industrial e Comercial do Cafe in Portugal, was widely heralded as a breakthrough research moment for coffee in which coffee was identified as a disease-modifying agent for Alzheimer's disease and possibly for an entire group of neurodegenerative diseases that involve an element of cognitive decline.
Coffee is the perfect antidote for the aging brain!