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The Secret Language of Coffee—Can you describe your coffee in 10 words (or less)?

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Coffee has a language of its own. Whether it’s a long macchiato, an Americano, or a ristretto, each drink is unique. A list of 18 coffee drinks, compiled by Webstaurant Store, depicts each drink and shows the difference that one shot of espresso, or a slightly different brewing method can make. What's a Ristretto? I consider myself in the know when it comes to coffee language, but I was shocked by how many coffee drinks I did not recognize in that list. For example, a ristretto sounds amazing. It is brewed in a similar method to espresso---hot, pressurized water is passed through the coffee grounds. However, only half the normal amount of water is used. Ristrettos are STRONG. A red eye combines 6 ounces of drip-brewed coffee with a shot of espresso added, while a black eye is a doubled version of the red eye. And then there’s the breve---a cup of espresso with steamed half-and-half added. While reading all of these coffee drink descriptions, I thought about the joy of descri

Summer Vibes are Good for Drinking Coffee at Urban Water Parks

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  Quick question:   Are you drinking less coffee because you’re concerned about dehydration? Well, don’t worry. Another myth about coffee has been debunked. Medical studies have refuted the longstanding idea that coffee causes dehydration. In fact, drinking hot coffee in the summer actually improves well-being, because it increase energy levels; replenishes antioxidants in the body; helps prevent dizziness and vertigo due to heat; and helps to replenish fluids in the body.   The Science Behind the Effect According to Mayo Clinic: “ Drinking caffeine-containing beverages as part of a normal lifestyle doesn't cause fluid loss in excess of the volume ingested. While caffeinated drinks may have a mild diuretic effect — meaning that they may cause the need to urinate — they don't appear to increase the risk of dehydration. ” So although caffeine has a slightly diuretic effect, the hydration from coffee (or tea) more than offsets the effect.   A rigorous study , conducted in

1984 was a very bad year for the health status of coffee, but 2022 data shows it's heart-healthy

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  Real data changes things. Real data shows you what's real and what's not.    In 1984, an article appeared in the academic journal, Social Problems , entitled “ Coffee Drinking: An Emerging Social Problem ?”  In this article, the authors Ronald Troyer and Gerald Markle wrote: “Though coffee has been suspect for some 300 years, public attention since 1970 has been focused on medical research which suggests that the caffeine in coffee may cause cancer, birth defects, and heart disease.”  It seems farfetched now, but coffee was once considered a vice that could lead to sickness and even death. Now, 37 years later, we have an ever-growing base of evidence showing that overall coffee, in its purest form, is good for us.     A study published in March 2022 showed that drinking 1.5-3.5 cups of coffee a day reduced mortality by 30% during the 7-year study period. This is based on analysis of data from more than 170,000 people between the ages of 37 and 73—the average age was 57. A s

That Morning Coffee Keeps You Focused---Morning Magic

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How many times have you heard someone joke about self-medicating with caffeine? How many of us brag about our coffee addictions? Turns out that there’s some science-based truth in all of this coffee grandstanding. A study from Spain published in Nutrients in March 2022 showed that consuming caffeine can have a positive effect on ADHD symptoms, not only in kids, but also in adolescents and adults. The biggest benefit is shown in the areas of attention and retention capacity. Explosion of ADHD Diagnoses in Adults ADHD is very common. Almost 10% of kids in the U.S. have been diagnosed with some type of attention-related disorder—and according to data from Harvard Medical School, 4.4% of adults have ADHD. 4.4%? That many? Really?  Apparently that is a lowball estimate. In fact, adults are currently being diagnosed with ADHD at 4 times the rate of children. It makes sense considering that ADD with or without hyperactivity was not added to the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of

I Fika, You Fika, We All Fika---the Scandinavian Commitment to Coffee Breaks

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  In 1955, there was a Supreme Court case, U.S. vs Greinetz of Los Wigwam Weavers (a tie factory in Denver), in which workers fought for and were granted the right to drink coffee at work.   Los Wigam’s owner, Phil Greinetz, maintained that workers should not be able to take coffee breaks. He considered it slacking off. But the U.S. Department of Labor intervened, saying that employers MUST allow and support coffee breaks, because coffee is inextricably linked with increased productivity. In contrast to the American experience, employees in Sweden are STRONGLY encouraged to take 2 fika (coffee-drinking get-togethers) breaks per day at work. They also fika at a nice cadence outside of work. Fika (both the noun and verb) is based on three basic foundations: coffee, fikabrod (pastries), and conversation. If I were visiting Sweden, although I know that English is widely spoken, I would master this sentence: En kopp caffe, tack! – A cup of coffee, please! Generally, fika occurs at 10 am

Just a Pinch of Salt Can Make Your Coffee Smoother, Denser, and Less Bitter

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If you think about it, for most people, coffee is an acquired taste. Mainly because coffee without embellishment is generally bitter. So how do we deal with that?  Got salt?  People deal with that in two ways. Either they pump up their brew with sweeteners and creamers—or they learn to love the bitterness, becoming a ‘black coffee’ person.  Studies have shown that people who learn to love bitter, black coffee associate that bitterness with coffee’s stimulating effects. But there are some people who just love the taste of bitter. Our palates have been conditioned to respond to bitter tastes. Consuming bitter food and beverages can have a cleansing effect in the body, but bitterness is also associated with certain toxins. There's more: Bitter-tasting food and drink are widely used symbolically, such as the role of horseradish at the Passover seder, or the Chinese concept of “eating bitter” as a metaphor for resilience. I love bitter stuff---coffee, grapefruit, wasabi, tabasco sauce

Coffee Makes It Easier to Be Alive—Science Says So

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  This is the time of winter when weather is most unpredictable. What will the weather be like this week? Will there be a snow squall, a bomb cyclone, a deep freeze that threatens the pipes, or a bright sunny 70-degree day this week? Perhaps all three, you never know. What I do know is that regardless of what the weather holds, if there is bright sunshine, everything feels better (as long as it's not stultifyingly hot). About 5% of the people in the United States experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD) during the winter months, when the sun sets as early as 4 pm on the darkest December days. Winter is easy to romanticize because of the holidays and the festive décor, but the day-to-day reality can seem bleak. Icy mornings give way to gray days that seamlessly melt into frigid darkness well before dinnertime. How Coffee Helps Beat the Winter Blues Enter coffee. Coffee is like sunshine for the body. First, there’s the uplifting effect of the caffeine, which gets into the

Healthy Organs and Glowing Skin: What is the Connection Between Coffee and DNA Damage?

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  It’s February, but it’s still New Year-ish, and there are still people finalizing their 2022 goals. Like every other year, people want to be healthier this year than last---or at least as healthy as they’ve ever been. Coffee & Overall Health Coffee is a foundational part of a healthy lifestyle. A study dating back to 2015 showed that people who drink coffee are 15% less likely to die compared with non-coffee drinkers. Coffee is associated with a significantly reduced risk of diabetes, various cancers, heart disease, dementia, depression, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and constipation. And this is new for me: There is a body of emerging clinical evidence showing that coffee decreases the risk of premature ejaculation. (More to come in a separate post.) But Why?? What is it about coffee that make it so healthy? Antioxidants are a huge contributing factor, but there must be more. In the quest to learn more about why coffee is healthy, a group of researchers decid

Coffee Trends 2022: Got Alt Milk? Going Bulletproof?

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  One of the major predictions about coffee-drinking in 2020 was that nondairy coffee “creamers” would become a big thing. Well, it happened. Between 2020 and 2021, there was a significant surge in consumption of nondairy “milk", including almond, coconut, oat, soy, and cashew milk. According to Morning Consult, 67% of the adults in the United States have tried nondairy milk and 1/3 drink it on a regular basis, though only 12% actually have it at home in their fridge. I am part of that 12%, I’m happy to say. I am a fan of oat milk---though I have not yet developed brand loyalty. In addition, there are differences in alternative milk (alt-milk) consumption based on generation and politics. Overall, 12% of Gen Z, 37% of millennials, 24% of Gen X, and 27% of Baby Boomers drink alt-milk. As for politics, 35% of liberals and 30% of conservatives drink alt-milk. Coffee chains and cafes have been huge drivers of the significant uptick in nondairy milk consumption, and the trend is co