If you have gone to the trouble of buying high quality Arabica organic coffee from Colombia don’t use just any old non organic creamer. What is the best organic coffee creamer? Here are a few thoughts on the subject.
Cream Instead of Non Dairy Creamer
Lots of folks end up using a non-dairy creamer because they are lactose intolerant and thus avoid all dairy products. Here we are talking about organic creamers and that can include the original, but organic. If you live on the West Coast contact the Strauss Family Creamery.
Our certified organic milk comes from our own farm and from eight other local, family farms in Northern California. The first thing you’ll notice when you pop the top of the reusable glass bottle of our cream-top milk is the beautiful aroma. Our organic milk is pasteurized and non-homogenized; you can really taste the difference our cows’ diet makes. Our cows graze on the sweet grasses that grow in the unique, coastal climate of the Tomales Bay region in Northern California. This is reflected in the full, rich flavor of our organic milk, organic cream and all of our other organic dairy products.
Look for organic milk products in your local supermarket and if you want is milk or cream in your coffee simply buy organic. Now how about all of those non-dairy but organic alternatives?
Organic Soy Creamer
If you can’t drink daily products but want a little creamer in your coffee consider organic soy creamer. A reliable source is Organic Valley.
Absolutely NO antibiotics, synthetic hormones, toxic pesticides or GMO anything.
Filtered Water, Whole Organic Soybeans, Organic Soybean Oil (expeller pressed), Organic Fair Trade Unrefined Cane Juice, Organic Inulin, Sodium Bicarbonate, Organic Soy Lecithin, Organic Fair Trade Vanilla Flavor.
Organic Coconut Creamer
If your preference in creamers is coconut consider Native Forest organic coconut cream. You can find this on Amazon and have it shipped to you.
About the Product
Coconut cream is certified organic; Certified kosher and verified by the non-GMO project
Coconut cream is a gluten free and vegan food
It is produced in a facility that is both HACCP and organic certified, your assurance of product safety and organic integrity
It makes a delicious topping for fruit pies, cobblers, puddings and sundaes
Product of Thailand
This organic product comes from a long ways away but so does your organic coffee!
How about Almonds?
If you shop at Whole Foods look for organic almond milk.
Organic almond milk (filtered water, organic almonds), tricalcium phosphate, sea salt, xanthan gum, potassium citrate, sunflower lecithin, vitamin a palmitate, ergocalciferol (vitamin d2), dl-alpha tocopherol acetate (vitamin e).
Contains tree nut (almond) ingredients. Produced in a facility that processes milk and soy.
Certifications: Kosher, Organic
Or Would You Prefer Oats?
Oatly makes an organic oat drink that you can use in your organic coffee.
Water, organic Swedish oats and a little bit of sea salt for flavor. That’s it. Then this product is packaged in a process that allows it to be stored without refrigeration. That means you can take it to the summer cottage and store it in the hall and then pop it into the fridge to chill before using.
So, if you went to the trouble of having organic coffee from Panama or Colombia shipped to you go organic all the way and buy an organic creamer too.
Year after year meteorologists report that average global temperatures have hit another high for the modern era. Considering that what is today the frozen arctic once supported palm trees we have wondered if growing coffee on the arctic tundra will one day be possible. But what would extreme climate change do to coffee production? Last year we asked if climate change could destroy coffee production.
Higher temperatures, more chaotic weather patterns, droughts and floods we become the norm as the world climate change, according to experts. The Tech Times writes about the effect of climate change on agriculture.
As average global temperatures begin to rise due to human activity, scientists say the drastic effects of climate change continue to take effect all over the world.
One of the most severely affected sectors is the field of agriculture. In the past decades, extreme weather conditions caused by climate change have disrupted global food production.
The researchers found that global cereal production was as much as 10% lower in the last twenty years. However, there appears to be a “fertilizer” effect of higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere. The problem for coffee is that the fertilizer effect would not reduce the risk of leaf rust or help when crops are washed out by floods or die because of drought. Climate change may not destroy coffee production but it may well reduce it.
What should coffee producers do? Phy.org reports that Nicaragua focuses on climate change resistant coffee.
With climate change threatening crops in many parts of the world, Nicaragua is turning to a robust variety of coffee bean to protect one of its key exports.
The appropriately named robusta coffee comes from the Coffea canephora plant, which is being increasingly planted in the Central American country under government authorization.
The sturdy variety is easier to care for, higher in caffeine, faster to produce fruit and more disease-resistant than the more popular Arabica sort Nicaragua traditionally grows-although it is of lower quality, fetching a lower price.
However, its advantages make it better suited to ride out climate change and bring benefits to smaller producers, industry groups say.
“Robusta coffee production has proven its profitability through its high productivity, low production costs and high potential,” says Luis Chamorro, an executive with the Mercon group, which plans to plant the variety on 7,000 hectares (17,300 acres) it owns on the eastern side of the country.
The problem for many producers is that they grow high quality Arabica coffee and not the more disease resistant but lower quality Robusta. An alternative approach has been taken by the Colombian coffee growers association in regard to one of the threat of climate change which is coffee leaf rust. They have simply bred high quality Arabica coffee strains that are leaf rust resistant.
When coffee leaf rust swept into Latin America the Colombian coffee research organization, Cenicafé started work on producing a Colombian leaf rust resistant coffee. This was in the 1980s. Today Colombian leaf rust resistant coffee comes in two varieties, Colombian and Castillo. The first is a cross between an old Colombian variety, Caturra, and a rust-resistant strain from Southeast Asia, the Timor hybrid. Castillo is an offshoot of further cross breeding of the first Colombian leaf rust resistant coffee strain. Replanting with Colombian leaf rust resistant coffee in Colombia has reduced the incidence of leaf rust from 40% to 5% from 2011 to 2013.
The bottom line is that traditional coffee producers are working to adapt to expected climate change with modifications of what they plant and new strains of coffee.
A primary reason to drink healthy organic coffee instead of regular coffee is to avoid unwanted contaminants such as pesticide or herbicide residues or chemicals from synthetic fertilizers. Just what is in non organic coffee? One of the most complete analyses of contaminants in coffee comes from the Australia New Zealand Food Standards authority. Their study, Survey of Chemical Contaminants and Residues in Espresso, Instant and Ground Coffee is informative albeit somewhat lengthy. Here are some of the high points and our comments.
This survey considered a range of chemical contaminants thought to be present in coffee. The range of chemicals analysed in this survey included metals, acrylamide, furan, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), ochratoxin A , and a range of pesticide residues.
Using state of the art technology scientists tested 164 samples of espresso, ground coffee and instant coffee purchased from stores in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia. The authors also compare their results to testing done in other nations.
It is important to note that some of the things they tested for are produced in processing of coffee and are therefore found in both non organic and organic coffee. Toxins from fungi are caused by improper storage of coffee beans and are also found in both non organic and organic coffee. And if the water you are using contains things like arsenic, don’t blame it on the coffee. That having been said here are some of the results of what is in non organic coffee. These are chemicals found on non organic coffee.
Although pesticide residues, beryllium, mercury and ochratoxin A (fungal toxin) were not found these have been discovered in other testing of non-organic coffee including in previous testing in New Zealand.
Roast Your Coffee to Be Safe
Even if you are drinking regular coffee that originally has pesticide contamination you are better off with roasted coffee than green coffee. It turns out that roasting degrades pesticides. NCBI reports a study from Japan about pesticides in coffee beans during the roasting process.
In Japan, maximum residue limits for pesticides (MRL) in coffee are set on green coffee beans, but not roasted coffee beans, although roasted beans are actually used to prepare coffee for drinking. Little is known about the behavior of pesticides during the roasting process. In the present study, we examined the changes in the concentration of pesticide (organochlorine: γ-BHC, chlordane and heptachlor) residues in coffee beans during the roasting process. We prepared green coffee beans spiked with these pesticides (0.2 and 1.0 μg/g), and the residue levels in the beans were measured before and after the roasting process.
We determined the residual rate after the roasting process. γ-BHC was not detectable at all, and more than 90% of chlordane was lost after the roasting (3.1 and 5.1% of chlordane remained in the beans spiked with 0.2 and 1.0 μg/g of chlordane, respectively). A low level of heptachlor (0.72%) was left in the coffee beans spiked with 1 μg/g of heptachlor. Disappearance of γ-BHC during the roasting process may be due to the high vapor pressure of γ-BHC, while chlordane has a lower vapor pressure. We also examined the behavior of piperonyl butoxide and atrazine during the roasting process. Piperonyl butoxide behaved similarly to chlordane, but atrazine disappeared after the roasting process, because it is unstable to heat.
Your best bet if you want to avoid consuming pesticides with your coffee is to drink only organic coffee. However, it is reassuring that roasting tends to degrade these chemicals.
Coffee with sugar in the morning is more effective than coffee alone in improving brain performance according to a study from the University of Barcelona in Spain.
The Daily Mail reports that coffee with sugar boosts memory and attention span. But we already knew that. That’s why we drink coffee and often why we add sugar. And then there are those who argue that sugar has no nutritional value except energy and cream, milk and other coffee additives are bad for you. So, they say you should just drink your coffee black. An article in Public Health details the amounts of sugar and fats ingested with coffee by U.S. adults. The study is very detailed and they comment that ingestion of sugar and creamers should be considered part of the diet to the extent that they are ingested in excess. So what is wrong with putting cream and sugar in your coffee? It would appear that in moderation there is no problem. Obviously the devil is in the details.
Coffee and Diabetes
Years ago we wrote that more organic coffee can lead to less diabetes.
Drinking organic coffee reduces the incidence of Type II diabetes, the type that affects 95% of people with the disease. This has been known for some years but until recently no one really knew why. Now researchers at UCLA have found what may be the reason. It turns out that there is a protein called sex hormone-binding globulin. Its normal job is to regulate sex hormone activity in the human body. Researchers have long suspected that the same hormone has an effect on the development of Type II diabetes. How does organic coffee come into the picture? Drinking coffee increases the body’s levels of sex hormone-binding globulin. The bottom line of the UCLA study was that drinking 4 or more cups of coffee a day, with caffeine, reduces Type II diabetes incidence by 56%, more than half.
It appears that this benefit of drinking coffee comes from the antioxidants in java. What do daily products do to antioxidants? An article in naturalsociety.com says that antioxidants lose their power when eaten with milk protein. They quote a study of blueberries in yogurt. Thus, it would appear that if you put a little bit of coffee in a lot of yogurt, cream, milk or other milk protein compound you may reduce the effect of the antioxidants and thus reduce the effect of reducing diabetes incidence. We think, however, this does not really apply to a small amount of cream in a cup of coffee.
Too much sugar worsens diabetes in diabetics. However, sugar is not the cause of the disease. The antioxidants in coffee have been shown to have a beneficial effect in reducing the incidence of Type II diabetes. If you are a coffee drinker and have diabetes it is probably wise to cut out the sugar in your coffee but there is no evidence that I see that sugar, or cream in your coffee causes diabetes.
The same argument can be made for fats in daily products or non-dairy creamers in regard to heart disease. Adding these to your coffee in moderation is unlikely to be a problem for the majority of people and if you have known heart disease or cholesterol problems drink your coffee black until your doctor says otherwise.
High quality organic coffee has great taste and aroma. It is free of more than a hundred impurities that can be found in regular coffee. And organic coffee is more expensive than regular coffee. Is organic coffee worth it? What qualities distinguish organic coffee from regular coffee and what are those qualities worth to you?
High Quality Arabica Coffee
On Amazon you can find a 14 ounce bag of medium roast Kona coffee for $31.34 if you buy several bags. And you can get a one pound (16 ounce) bag of organic coffee from café solar for $14.50. It would appear that organic coffee is worth it when you can get a high quality organic coffee for less than a well-known regular coffee brand.
What Is Your Health Worth?
If you want to do a health benefit-related cost benefit analysis of coffee you will find that healthy organic coffee and regular coffee both have substantial health benefits. That is providing that both coffees are fresh. Most of the health benefit aspects of coffee come from the antioxidants. Unfortunately antioxidants don’t last forever; in fact they oxidize when exposed to the air. Green coffee beans when properly stored are good for two years and roasted coffee beans when properly stored are good for 6 months. Ground coffee is good for as long as it lasts which is a short time. If avoiding diabetes, various forms of cancer and more are worth it to you buy fresh organic or regular coffee.
How about Those Impurities?
“produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled ‘organic,’ a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards. Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too.”
If it is worth it to you to avoid drinking pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and synthetic fertilizer residue perhaps you would like to drink organic coffee.
What Is a Healthy World Worth?
Sustainable coffee production is the basis of organic coffee.
Does sustainable coffee production mean that the coffee produced is healthy organic coffee? Organic coffee certification tells the consumer that their coffee was grown, harvested, processed, stored, and roasted in accordance with rules of the United States Department of Agriculture. But, does coffee need USDA certification to be organic coffee? The answer is obviously no. Many growers find the yearly $500 needed for USDA certification to be too expensive and many find that being certified does not bring them any more customers or customers who pay any better. Although organic coffee grown and certified by the USDA is the result of sustainable coffee production so is coffee that is UTZ certified or Rainforest Alliance certified.
Sustainable agriculture builds up nutrients in the soil and protects the water table from contamination. Sustainable agriculture means that farmers can produce crops on the same soil generation after generation. If this is worth something to you buy organic coffee!
Will wonders never cease? Keurig, the folks who invented the k cup for single serve coffee, are now working on a single serve machine for beer and liquor. CBC News writes about the Keurig single-serve alcohol machine.
Imagine popping a single-serve pod into your Keurig machine and – ta-dah! – out pours a martini.
The idea is not far-fetched. Keurig Green Mountain – the manufacturer of the popular single-cup coffee maker – is now working on an at-home booze machine.
If all goes according to plan, it would be like having a personal bartender in your home, offering everything from single servings of beer and spirits to cocktails and mixers.
For the project, U.S.-based Keurig has teamed up with Anheuser-Busch InBev, a multinational beverage and brewing company.
Critics are quick to mention that there are already quick and convenient ways to consume alcohol like cans of beer, single serve bottles of wine or pre mixed cocktails from your frig. What critics have not mentioned are the drawbacks that are already an issue with k-cups. We wrote about the death of the k cup.
Are we going to see the death of the k cup? Keurig, the maker of single serve coffee saw its stock drop 30% after reporting diminishing sales. Fortune reports as Keurig sales plunge. We wrote recently about k cups in our article, Does Organic Coffee in a K Cup Make Sense? There is a basic contradiction in the equation of selling organic coffee in plastic containers that will fill up landfills and not decompose for thousands of years! However, the more likely case is that single serving coffee is a fad and fads run their course. So, is this the death of the k cup or simply a retrenchment into a smaller market?
K cups make sense when you are traveling and need a cup of coffee in your hotel room. And k cups make sense if you really need to reduce your coffee intake or don’t want to keep throwing out all of that unused coffee. But, these arguments do not apply to alcoholic drinks which are typically available in cans and bottles and don’t require a machine for their use. Will single serve alcohol bloom into a fad like single serve coffee and if so will it go bust?
CNN Money addresses the k cup coffee fad.
It seems that Keurig alienated its core customers with its newest machine, the Keurig 2.0. Some consumers balked at the $199.99 price tag. But what really irked caffeine addicts was the fact that the new Keurig could only make coffee with officially licensed K-Cups.
But there is a big cottage industry of cheaper, private label coffee pods that were compatible with older Keurig machines.
Two makers of those cups, TreeHouse Foods and Rogers Family Co., have both sued Keurig Green Mountain and accused the company of anti-competitive practices.
Rogers went as far as creating a “Freedom Clip” that lets Keurig 2.0 customers brew non-licensed pods.
It would seem that the k cup fad is wearing thin and Keurig has hurt itself by trying to corner the market with a machine upgrade that excludes other brands. That, in the end, is probably the reason for the death of the k cup.
In light of this one can see the single serve alcohol machine as a last gasp effort by Keurig to stay solvent.
The world has fallen in love with single serve coffee. Make a single cup of coffee when you want it and stop pouring all of those coffee grounds down the drain or into the garbage. Keurig started the single serve craze with its k-cups.
Keurig is an American manufacturer of coffee brewers and producers of K-cups.
Each K-Cup is a plastic container with a coffee filter inside. Ground coffee beans are packed in the K-Cup and sealed air-tight with a combination plastic and foil lid. When the K-Cup is placed in a Keurig brewer, the brewer punctures both the foil lid and the bottom of the K-Cup and forces hot water under pressure through the K-Cup and into a mug or cup.
From small beginnings this single serve revolution has moved into one in four US homes as well as offices and hotel rooms.
And when there is a success product there are imitators. In fact there are biodegradable k-cups which answer the issue of whether organic coffee in a k-cup makes sense. After all why go organic with coffee and then fill the world with plastic cups that last forever in the land fill?
Waste 360 reports that it is possible to recycle K cups into cement.
A B.C. program that recycles Keurig coffee K-Cups into cement has been so successful that it may expand into Alberta.
The Lafarge cement plant in Kamloops, B.C. turned about 1.4 million K-Cups into cement last year, after teaming up with Van Houtte Coffee Services, which collects the used pods for recycling.
Now Keurig just needs to give every customer a pre-paid envelope with each set of cups so that customers can mail their used K Cups to Alberta!
A new system does not use cups but rather a disc. These organic coffee t-discs come from Tassimo. A promotional article in Organic Sunshine describes the Tassimo coffee maker.
All you do is take a little disc (T-disc with barcode), put it in the machine, close the lid and push the go button and voila you get your favorite drink. Another cool thing about the Tassimo is that you can adjust the strength of your coffee. It’s totally customizable. You can make a strong, small cup of coffee or a large, weak cup of coffee. Pick your poison, as the old saying goes. It’s that simple.
The T-disc options include coffee, espresso, tea, milk (for lattes and cappuccinos) and hot chocolate.
A drawback to Tassimo organic coffee t-discs is that their coffee maker does not allow you to use any other product including any of the Colombian organic coffee brands shipped directly to you from Colombia.
The positive part of organic coffee-discs is their programmability and the fact that they are a single serve choice. If you do not make coffee or a group of people every day and if you want to limit your coffee intake to just a cup every so often single serve in the form of organic coffee t-discs could be the right choice.
Wake up and smell the coffee, the saying goes. The aroma of coffee entices us to drink our java but just what is coffee aroma? The tongue tastes sweet, bitter, salty and sour. The rest of what we call taste comes from aroma and coffee has lots of it. Coffeeresearch.org tells us all about coffee chemistry and coffee aroma.
Coffee aroma is responsible for all coffee flavor attributes other than the mouthfeel and sweet, salt, bitter, and sour taste attributes that are perceived by the tongue. Therefore, it might be said that coffee aroma is the most important attribute to specialty coffee. Even instant coffee has the components responsible for stimulation of our taste buds. The difference, however, is that instant coffee lacks most of the aromatic volatile compounds causing a dramatic decrease in the overall coffee flavor.
It seems like every year more and more aromatic chemical compounds are discovered in coffee. The count today is more than 800 of these. However we don’t experience most of these. The coffee aroma we experience is based on the following:
How strong is the aroma of the compound?
How much of the compound is in your coffee?
How receptive are you to that particular aroma? This is known as the odor threshold.
What compounds provide the most aromas and what aroma do we experience from them? These are the big four in descending order.
Furans: These compounds come from the breakdown of sugars in the coffee bean during roasting and result in a caramel-like aroma.
Pyrazines: These compounds are responsible for cereal, roasted, cracker, toast-like walnut aromas in coffee.
Pyrroles: The sweet, caramel-like and mushroom-like aromas in coffee can come from these compounds.
Thiophens: If your coffee has a meaty aroma it probably comes from the breakdown of amino acids and sulfur in these compounds.
These are complex chemical compounds. For example, guaiacol which gives coffee a phenolic and spicy aroma has this chemical structure and chemical names.
Synonyms: o-Hydroxyanisole; Guaiacol; guaicol; o-methylcatechol; pyroguaiac acid; pyrocatechol monomethyl ether; Catechol monomethyl ether; Hydroxy-2-methoxybenzene; 1-hydroxy-2-methoxybenzene; Methyl catechol
Aroma and Much More
The aromatic compounds in coffee provide the smell of the coffee and the taste but many of these compounds are also the antioxidants that make coffee so healthy.
Recent research shows that organic coffee antioxidants include chlorogenic acid lactones and lipophilic antioxidants. Chlorogenic acid lactones and lipophilic antioxidants are capable of protecting nerve cells when challenged with hydrogen peroxide.
Scientific American has a cute video entitled The Universe in a Cup of Coffee in which it mentions several compounds that provide the aroma in coffee.
That rich coffee aroma rises from the steam because roasting coffee beans converts bitter chlorogenic acid into a diverse set of compounds. Some smells you’d expect-fruity, spicy, earthy, vanilla-but there are a few surprises (cabbage??). And adding a splash of milk or sprinkle of sugar sets off a chain of physical reactions. Convection makes the cold milk sink while the interactions between milk and coffee molecules create the milky swirls. Brownian motion also will spontaneously mix the coffee over time, no need for a stirrer.
Pyrazine gives coffee an earthy smell. Methylpropanol is responsible for fruity and spicy aromas. Vanillin gives us the vanilla aroma in coffee. Methional is responsible for any baked potato aroma in your coffee. If your coffee has a bit of a cabbage odor you can blame methanethiol. It is in the roasting that most of these compounds are created
One of our readers asked recently about if she can safely drink organic coffee when she cannot eat foods that contain gluten. The quick answer is that healthy organic coffee is gluten free. This might not be the case with all coffees however. Organic coffee certification assures you that there is nothing in your coffee but toxin free, contaminant free high quality coffee.
Organic coffee differs from regular coffee in several aspects. The soil in which organic coffee is grown must have been verified as free from prohibited substances for at least three years. In addition there must be distinct boundaries between land on which organic coffee is grown and land where pesticides, herbicides, and prohibited chemical fertilizers are used. This guarantees that drift of substances sprayed or otherwise applied on adjacent land will not contaminate the organic plot of land. Organic coffee certification includes the adherence to a specific and verifiable plan for all practices and procedures from planting to crop maintenance, to harvest, de-husking, bagging, transport, roasting, packaging, and final transport. Along the way procedures must be in place at every step to insure that there is no contamination of the healthy organic coffee produced in pristine soil with regular coffee produced on soil exposed to herbicides, pesticides, and organic fertilizers.
This also insures that coffee is not transported in or stored in containers that previously included other foodstuffs including those containing gluten.
If you cannot digest it properly gluten can cause gas, bloating, diarrhea or even constipation. It can cause a rash on your arms and make you feel tired after eating. The primary offender is wheat in bread, crackers, bran and wheat in all its forms. In addition barley and rye contain gluten as well and although oats are gluten free they may have been stored or processed where gluten containing grains are stored and thus are contaminated.
Gluten sensitive people learn what foods to avoid which foods to eat. A problem is that gluten also shows up in salad dressings, veggie burgers, soy sauce and even packaged seasonings and spice mixes. The issue of gluten hiding in with other foods is where coffee can bother gluten sensitive people.
What’s in Your Coffee?
A couple of years ago we wrote an article entitled Coffee Please, No Dirt.
We have found yet another reason to only buy whole bean healthy organic coffee from reputable suppliers. A recent article in the Washington Post noted that as coffee supplies diminish and prices go up some suppliers of ground coffee are adding things to their coffee. The title of the article is Dirt, corn twigs, soybeans and other fillers are appearing in coffee.
Cream and sugar may not be the only additives in your morning cup of coffee. Tough growing conditions and rising demand are leading some coffee producers to mix in wheat, soybean, brown sugar, rye, barley, acai seeds, corn, twigs and even dirt.
As we noted in our recent article Brazil Drought Drives Arabica Prices Higher there is a historic drought in Brazil, the country that produces more coffee than anyone else. The ten million or so bag deficit in production this year will amount to about a forty billion cup of coffee deficit! Looks like some folks are looking to make up for ten million missing bags of coffee by adding corn, soybeans, etc. and grinding it all up to sell. This is actually an age old trick to reduce the cost of doing business while not reducing what they sell the coffee for.
The point of all this is to drink only certified organic coffee if you are a gluten sufferer because healthy organic coffee is gluten free.