A newly published scientific study adds to the evidence that drinking coffee reduces the risk of diabetes. Researchers in Athens, Greece have discovered that habitual coffee drinkers have lower levels of inflammation and more antioxidants in their blood. Reuters reports how coffee drinking seems reduce the risk of diabetes via reduction of inflammation and increasing antioxidants.
Coffee drinkers in a long-term study were about half as likely to develop type 2 diabetes as those who didn’t drink coffee, and researchers think an inflammation-lowering effect of the beverage might be the key.
Drinking less than 1.5 cups of coffee per day was termed “casual” coffee drinking, and more than 1.5 cups per day was “habitual” drinking. There were 816 casual drinkers, 385 habitual drinkers and 239 non-coffee drinkers.
The participants also had blood tests to evaluate levels of protein markers of inflammation. The tests also measured antioxidant levels, which indicate the body’s ability to neutralize cell-damaging “free radicals.”
Habitual coffee drinkers were 54 percent less likely to develop diabetes compared to non-coffee drinkers, even after accounting for smoking, high blood pressure, family history of diabetes and intake of other caffeinated beverages, the researchers reported in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Levels of serum amyloid, one of the inflammatory markers in the blood, seemed to explain some of the relationship between coffee and diabetes, the authors write. Higher coffee consumption went along with lower amyloid levels.
An interest thought arises here. High levels of coffee consumption are also related to a lower incidence of Alzheimer’s disease, a disease in which amyloid plaques damage nerves in the brain. The Alzheimer’s Association explains how beta-amyloid destroys nerve cells in the brain by causing brain plaques.
Plaques form when protein pieces called beta-amyloid (BAY-tuh AM-uh-loyd) clump together. Beta-amyloid comes from a larger protein found in the fatty membrane surrounding nerve cells.
Beta-amyloid is chemically “sticky” and gradually builds up into plaques. The most damaging form of beta-amyloid may be groups of a few pieces rather than the plaques themselves. The small clumps may block cell-to-cell signaling at synapses. They may also activate immune system cells that trigger inflammation and devour disabled cells.
How coffee reduces the risk of diabetes seems to be related to how it reduces Alzheimer’s risk as well.
Previous studies have shown that people who drink up to six cups of coffee a day have half the risk of developing type II diabetes. This study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated that people who report drinking a cup and a half a day have this benefit. The additional value of this study is that it provides more insight into why this works. Fox News reports on the same story of how lower inflammation seems to go along with a reduced incidence of diabetes.
The study, published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that people who drank coffee were about 50 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared to people who did not drink coffee. Scientists believe that the reason for a reduction in the risk for type 2 diabetes could be the effect coffee has on the reducing the amount of inflammation in the body.
There have been prior studies that have shown a link between coffee consumption and diabetes. This study is unique in that it may help confirm a cause-and-effect hypothesis regarding coffee consumption and diabetes.
The only way to prove all of this beyond a doubt would be to confirm daily coffee consumption versus no coffee to comparison in two groups and do it for years. That would be a task but there are probably coffee drinkers who would be up to the challenge.
A constant threat to coffee production is an infestation by the coffee borer beetle. This insect burrows into the coffee bean and lays its eggs. The larva thrives by eating the bean after it hatches. The coffee borer beetle is not bothered by the caffeine in the coffee bean although caffeine is essentially poisonous to other beetles. Why is it that the coffee borer beetle thrives on caffeine? A recent article in National Geographic tells how with the help of bacteria the coffee borer beetle thrives on caffeine.
The beetle is the only animal that can feed solely on coffee beans. Others might occasionally nibble the seeds or other parts of the coffee plant, but they don’t dedicate themselves to the task. There’s a reason for that: caffeine. This stimulant draws many of us to coffee, but it effectively deters plant-eating animals. Not only does it taste bitter, but at the doses found in coffee seeds, it can poison and paralyze any wayward insect. Any insect, that is, except for the coffee berry borer. As a larva, it’s practically bathed in caffeine, and yet it survives. Even the most caffeine-rich beans fail to deter it.
Javier Ceja-Navarro from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has discovered its secret: it has bacteria in its guts that can detoxify caffeine.
Bacteria in its gut are the reason the coffee borer beetle thrives on caffeine. Dr. Ceja-Navarro treated the beetles with antibiotics and their protection against caffeine went away. The question is if organic coffee growers would want to treat their field with massive doses of antibiotics in order to combat the coffee borer beetle.
Dealing with the Coffee Borer Beetle
Because no one wants to go out and give a penicillin injection to every coffee borer beetle larva there must be other approaches to controlling infestations of the coffee borer beetle. Options for coffee borer beetle infestations include spraying with a fungus that is toxic to the beetle. Bassiana fungus is mixed with water, soap, oil and even fertilizers and sprayed on the soil as well as on the coffee beans. It tends to reduce infestations to the 2% range.
According to Kona coffee farmers integrated pest management includes field sanitation.
Simple sanitation is vital, and can be cost-effective with a few preventative measures. Many CBB experts consider it the most effective form of control. The beetle can live in the infected bean for up to 5 months without feeding.
- Do a “final round” gleaning of the field to break the life cycle. In a well-picked field, it should take approximately 16-24 man-hours to glean old crop from 5 acres of trees.
- Remove all infected beans before pruning each tree. One beetle can multiply into 200 if left behind.
- All CBB-infested beans or floaters should be placed in black garbage bags and left in the sun for several days. The heat will kill the beetle. Freezing will also work.
- Train your harvesters not to discard green beans out of the picking bucket. Also train them to spot La Broca (Spanish for CBB) damage so that they may report trouble areas.
Sanitation is consistent with organic coffee management and so are traps. Traps do not significantly reduce the coffee borer beetle population but are a good way to spot area of higher infestation. And last of all dry all beans to lower than 12% moisture as this hardens the bean and the beetle cannot enter.
We recently wrote about a new craze in the coffee world, bottled cold brew coffee. Today we ask, what are the benefits of cold brew coffee? The Washington Post wonders the same and poses the question, why you should be drinking more cold-brew coffee.
[T]he cold-brew process swaps piping hot water for room-temperature water, and requires grounds to steep for up to 24 hours.
What results is a batch of coffee – which can be served iced or heated – that’s much less bitter than coffee brewed the traditional way. According to a study conducted by Intertek in 2005, cold-brewed coffee contains about 65 percent less acidity than coffee brewed in hot water, making it a viable alternative for sensitive stomachs.
“When you brew with cold water over a longer period of time, you extract the fruity and chocolaty notes as well as the caffeine, but you don’t extract the bitter notes,” says Terry Darcy, co-founder of Confluence Coffee Co., a D.C.-based line of cold-brew coffees.
If you are prone to gastritis or esophageal reflux it is probably a good idea to try the benefits of cold brew coffee. Another issue is the antioxidants in coffee. Are they preserved or lost when you cold brew coffee.
We have written about regular and organic coffee antioxidants. Antioxidants reduce the effects of free radicals and are the reasons for many of health benefits of coffee, such as a reduced incidence of Type II diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and various forms of cancer. Are antioxidants preserved in the cold brew method? It turns out that no one has done any research to find out!
Is It All about Taste?
If you are looking for a less bitter coffee, that is one of the benefits of cold brew. Of all people, Business Insider writes about how to make cold brew.
Because cold brew extracts different flavors than those found in hot coffee, it also tastes much smoother and richer.
“The more delicate fruity and floral flavors that make great coffees distinct from one another need heat to make it into your cup —cold water simply can’t dissolve them,” Sam Lewontin, an award-winning barista and KRUPS brand ambassador, told Business Insider in an email. “What it can dissolve are the things that we think of as tasting like ‘coffee’: chocolatey, nutty, and toasty flavors.”
The most popular part of cold brew seems to be the less acidic taste combined with the toasty flavors that we normally associate with coffee.
The next extension of cold brew coffee is to add a little fizz. That makes nitro coffee, the latest iced coffee trend. Read what Refinery29 has to say.
If you see your barista serving fellow coffee drinkers what looks like pints of beer, don’t panic. You may not have had your morning Joe just yet, but you’re not seeing things – and your local coffee shop isn’t attempting to get everyone tipsy on a Monday morning. Nitro cold-brew iced coffee is, in fact, the latest rapidly growing coffee trend (not to be confused with last year’s bubbly iced coffee du jour, espresso tonic).
So, what exactly is nitro cold-brew iced coffee? It’s regular cold-brew coffee, plus nitrogen, that is then pulled on a pressurized nitro tap (just like when you order beer on tap at a bar). The result is a bubbly coffee drink that has a head of foam, similar to a pint of brew.
Enjoy the flavor and the fizz if you like. And don’t forget that healthy organic coffee is best.
Keurig Green Mountain is coming out with a new product line, organic coffee in K cups. Our question is if organic coffee in a K cup makes any sense. People drink organic coffee because they like the taste and aroma of high quality coffee, they like the idea of a pure produce free of unnecessary contaminates and because they want to help protect the environment. Putting organic coffee in a K cup raises some questions but first a little about the new Keurig product line.
Keurig Green Mountain Organic Coffees
Market Realist reports on Keurig Green Mountain Organic Coffee.
Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR) launched its Green Mountain Coffee Organic line on June 26. This new line is both organic and certified fair trade, making it the first double-certified line of Green Mountain coffee available for the Keurig hot brewing system.
The new line of double-certified coffee comes in four varieties:
- Ethiopia Yirgacheffe
- Peru Cajamarca
- Sumatra Aceh
- Founder’s Blend
The first three varieties are single-origin coffees sourced from Ethiopia, the Cajamarca region of Peru, and the northern Sumatran province of Aceh, respectively. Founder’s Blend is a medium-roast coffee with notes of floral citrus, apple, and caramel.
Keurig Green Mountain’s double-certified coffees are available in ten- and sixteen-count boxes of K-Cup pods priced at $9.49 and $11.49, respectively.
Keurig sells a lot of coffee and a lot of folks like the singe serving approach because it is easy and does not waste coffee. The trouble is that there is a lot of other waste with this product that goes against protecting the environment.
How Many Billion K Cups?
Billions of K cups go into landfills each year. If part of the reason you drink organic coffee is that you want to protect the environment then even organic coffee in a Keurig K cup is a problem. But there was a solution. Keurig also made refillable K cups under the brand, My K Cup. You could also refill these with any coffee of your choice, which would commonly be cheaper than the coffee from Keurig. Unfortunately that changed.
Some years back, thousands of Keurig single-serve machine fans found a cheaper alternative, however -refillable, non-disposable K-cups, little plastic coffee grounds holders, which the company graciously sold under the brand of “My K-Cup.”
Not only was it cheaper, but the coffee drinker had more choice, as “My K-Cup” could be filled with any brand of coffee off the shelf.
But in August 2014, when Keurig introduced its “2.0” line of coffeemakers, it stopped making “My K-Cup” for it and made the machine incompatible with any K-cups already in existence, as well as with any unlicensed disposable K-cups made by other companies.
So Keurig is back to producing little plastic cups to fill up landfills and is enticing environmentally minded coffee drinkers by selling expensive organic coffee in those cups.
Recycling K Cups
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!
Research into resistant coffee strains and significant replanting has led to increased Honduran coffee output and exports. Agrimoney.com writes about how the third ranking exporter of Arabica coffee is well on its way to overcoming coffee leaf rust and bringing exports back up to traditional levels.
Honduran coffee production, and exports, will hit a record high in 2015-16 as Central America’s top bean grower reaps the benefit of efforts to counter rust, which badly hurt the region’s output two seasons ago.
Honduras – Latin America’s third-ranked coffee exporter after Brazil and Colombia, and renowned as an origin of higher quality supplies – will produce 6.11m bags of beans in 2015-16, on an October-to-September basis, the US Department of Agriculture bureau in Tegucigalpa said.
That would take to 37% the rebound in output from a low last season, as coffee rust spread through the country, as it did through other Central American producing nations.
And it would lift output – all of arabica beans – above the record 5.60m bags achieved in 2011-12, before the outbreak of rust, caused by the roya fungus, which cuts yields dramatically and can result in tree death.
Honduras, like Colombia has been carrying out research to develop coffee leaf rust resistant strains. This effort has been successful and many coffee plantations that were replanted a few years ago are back in production.
Corporate Efforts to Fight Leaf Rust
The mega coffee shop people, Starbucks, are pouring money into supporting high end and organic coffee farmers in fighting leaf rust. The Seattle Times reports that Starbucks is giving $30 million more for this effort.
Starbucks renewed a commitment to fund loans for coffee farmers in a bid to strengthen the often wobbly supply chain for the bean that underpins its sprawling empire.
The coffee giant said it will allocate $30 million to a global fund for farmers to be distributed over the next five years, a follow-up to the program that has applied $20 million since 2010 toward loans made through microfinance nonprofits such as Root Capital. The loans are designed to help farmers with little access to traditional financing from banks.
Starbucks’ promise comes as coffee farmers in Central America and the Caribbean struggle to recover from a devastating epidemic of coffee rust and deal with the impact of climate change on their crop.
The company says some 62 cooperatives in eight countries – representing more than 40,000 farmers – were aided by the initial $20 million.
This is an example of enlightened self-interest. Starbucks prospers because it provides a great cup of coffee and that cup of coffee threatened when small high end and organic coffee farmers go under.
Not All Nations Are Successful
While leaf rust resistant Honduran coffee is leading that nation back to its accustomed spot on the coffee export list nations like Nicaragua are struggling with the plant disease. CCTV America writes about how coffee rust threatens crops in Nicaragua.
High-quality coffee produced in Nicaragua is one of the country’s most lucrative exports. But a disease called “coffee leaf rust” is devastating the crop fields of Nicaragua and the farmers who harvest them. The same plant that won one of the most important coffee prizes in Nicaragua a few years ago has now been deeply affected by coffee rust.
The most successful nations, like Honduras will follow the example of Colombian efforts to fight leaf rust and see their production and exports recover.
If you have visited New Orleans there is a good chance that you have tasted chicory coffee. What is chicory coffee? Chicory coffee contains the root of the chicory plant. Chicory grows wild in Europe and has adapted to North America and Australia. Roasted and ground chicory has a flavor similar to coffee so when coffee has been scarce chicory has been used as a substitute either entirely or in part.
Root chicory has been cultivated as a coffee substitute in Europe. If the roots are baked and ground they can be used as a coffee substitute or additive. This is common in the Mediterranean region of France where the plant grows wild. In Southeast Asia chicory is mixed in Indian filter coffee. Chicory coffee is common in Southeast Asia, South Africa and the Southern USA, especially New Orleans. Elsewhere Chicory has been used when coffee is not available such as during the Second World War in Europe and everywhere outside of coffee producing countries in the Great Depression. Strong blond Belgian style ales often contain chicory to augment the hops.
Making Chicory Coffee
Let us say that you are a fan of healthy organic coffee but would like to try something a little different. You can certainly buy, coffee, chicory or a mixture of both. But is you want to do it right, how do you make chicory coffee?
- Starting with fresh chicory root, preferably from your own garden, pick and clean.
- Cut into slices and dry in the sun or in the oven on low temperature.
- Roast the chicory in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for at least half an hour or longer for a “darker” roast.
- Grind the roasted chicory chips, twice as they do not grind as well as coffee.
- Grind your whole bean organic roasted coffee.
- Make the first batch with half coffee and half chicory.
- Then adjust to taste in later batches.
Chicory has a chocolate and malt-like aroma and flavor. It is slightly more acidic than coffee. Drink your chicory coffee and think of New Orleans.
If you want the entire New Orleans chicory coffee experience you need to have your chicory coffee with beignets. A long term New Orleans favorite, beignets are squares of bread dough, deep fried and dusted with powdered sugar. Ideally they are made fresh in front of the customer. Fortunately you can find beignets outside of New Orleans although not always with chicory coffee. The LA Times reports that there is a beignet food truck that roams the Arts District Farmers Market.
With all the different food trucks roaming around the streets of Los Angeles, it’s comforting to know there’s one truck serving nothing but piping hot beignets, chicory-laced coffee and hot chocolate.The Beignet truck is at the Arts District Farmers market in downtown L.A. most Thursdays. It’s parked next to a health food vendor and across from a man who serves rotisserie chicken out of a truck.Every instinct will tell you to rip open the bag and stuff one in your mouth. Just be a little cautious. These golden, puffy pillows of dough are served exceedingly hot, with every inch covered in sugar.The beignets have a light, crisp coating, but are fluffy and chewy on the inside. And when you take a bite, a small cloud of sugar poofs out of the top, showering your clothes and anything nearby in a layer of sweet white snow.
And if you find a place that makes fresh beignets, look for chicory coffee as well!
Nitro coffee is ice cold coffee, slightly bubbly, on tap. People have likened its appearance to a glass of Guinness on tap. The coffee is treated with nitrogen, or carbon dioxide, under pressure and chilled in a keg. Those who have tried it say that nitro coffee is sweeter and less acidic than other cold brew coffees. You will typically have your nitro coffee served to you in a pint glass, like beer. Variations on the theme can include adding cream, vanilla, syrup and cinnamon. Beware of chugging down this tasty concoction as you may suffer acute caffeine overload!
What Is the Point of Nitro Coffee?
Nitro coffee is different. If you are tired of the usual coffee house coffees, nitro coffee may be a pleasant change of pace. But, if you like the aroma and taste of freshly roasted, freshly ground Arabica coffee you may be disappointed. The point of drinking freshly roasted, freshly ground and freshly brewed coffee is that it is in fact fresher. Regular and organic coffee antioxidants provide much of flavor as well as the health benefits of drinking coffee.
So You Want Coffee or Caffeinated Soda?
Historically coffee drinkers with a sweet tooth added a lot of sugar. Now there are a lot more variations on the theme. Coffee house coffees include Americano, Breve, Latter, Cappuccino and Mocha to all of which you can add sugar.
Americano is a coffee house coffee made from espresso and diluted with water. This goes back to the World War II era and after when GI’s who were used to Mom’s home perked or boiled coffee asked the barista to add water to their espresso to make it less strong. Think “weak espresso.”
Breve and Latte
Both of these are made with espresso and foam. Latte is made with steamed milk and breve is made with half and half. For latte think “coffee with milk” or café au lait and for breve think “coffee with milk and cream.”
Cappuccino is made with espresso plus hot milk plus lots of steamed foam.
Mocha is for coffee and chocolate lovers. It is made with espresso plus chocolate syrup plus milk.
And now nitro coffee with the appearance of beer provides a coffee flavored, bubbly caffeinated soda to which you can add cream, vanilla, syrup, cinnamon and more.
What Do You Gain or Lose?
What you gain with nitro coffee is a cold drink that you can store and serve on tap. What you lose are probably the antioxidants that make coffee healthy.
Scientifically an antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits the cell damage and cell death in human cells caused by oxidative breakdown of other molecule in the cell. Oxidation is a factor in sickness and aging. Antioxidants help prevent the damage caused by excessive oxidation and to a degree inhibit the aging process. When an oxidative reaction brought on by disease gets going it produces free radicals that start chain reactions which in turn cause cell and tissue damage. The human body has or uses antioxidants to control this situation. Natural means of controlling oxidation include vitamins C and E as well as glutathione. It is low levels of antioxidants that can lead to a condition referred to as oxidative stress and resultant damage to cells in the body. Organic coffee antioxidants are in the same class of molecules that help reduce oxidation.
Coffee is good for you. It wakes you up in the morning and keeps you from falling asleep in the afternoon. You can reduce the risk of Type II diabetes with coffee. You would think that perhaps coffee is chuck full of vitamins and minerals but that is not the case, with one exception. Coffee is good for you because of the antioxidants. The one mineral of use in coffee is potassium. An eight ounce cup of coffee contains 116 mg of potassium which is three percent of the recommended daily amount that the body needs. By comparison an average banana contains about 400 mg of potassium and an average orange has about 237 mg of potassium. If your doctor tells you to eat an orange or banana each day to add potassium to your diet you could just as easily drink three cups of coffee!
Why Is the Potassium in Coffee Good for You?
Whfoods.org suggestions sources of potassium and explains why it is important.
Along with sodium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium, potassium is an electrolyte, meaning that it helps to conduct electrical charges in the body. Like all the other electrolytes, our bodies have evolved elaborate systems to control blood levels in a narrow range. This is good news since normal levels of potassium are absolutely critical to life-if potassium levels get too high or too low, the heart and nervous system completely shut down. Luckily, most of us are able to obtain enough potassium from foods to meet our most basic needs. But since just meeting a minimal intake need is not a recipe for health, many people in the United States often fail to obtain optimal amounts of this nutrient, and pay a health cost for it.
Don’t forget about bananas, oranges, avocados, lentils and beet greens as sources of potassium but also don’t forget that the mineral in your daily cup or cups of coffee is potassium.
And the Antioxidants
There are no vitamins in coffee but if you are looking for healthy ingredients you will find antioxidants. Better Health defines antioxidants.
Antioxidants are compounds in foods that neutralise chemicals called free radicals (unstable molecules), produced by oxidation in the human body. These chemicals have been linked to diseases such as heart and liver disease and cancer. Plant foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and wholegrains are rich sources of antioxidants.
The protective effect of antioxidants continues to be studied around the world. For instance, men who eat plenty of the antioxidant lycopene (found in tomatoes) may be less likely than other men to develop prostate cancer. Lutein, found in spinach and corn, has been linked to a lower incidence of eye lens degeneration and associated blindness in the elderly. Flavonoids, such as the tea catechins found in green tea, are believed to contribute to the low rates of heart disease in Japan.
And the antioxidants in a good cup of coffee are known to reduce the incidence of disease ranging from Type II diabetes to Alzheimer’s to various forms of cancer. The one mineral in coffee is potassium but the antioxidants are the reason to expect health benefits.
A refreshing summer drink is cold brewed coffee. Cold brewed coffee is about two thirds less acidic than espresso or percolator coffee. It has to do with extracting caffeine and healthy antioxidants but less acid using a slow, cool extraction process. Basically the coffee just diffuses out of the ground beans over a few hours. And now, if you do not want to spend the time making your own cold brew coffee, you can buy bottled cold brew coffee and store it in your frig!
Bottled Cold Brew Coffee
The New York Times reports that a New York coffee roaster, Toby’s Estate, makes cold-brew coffee in a bottle.
Toby’s Estate, a coffee company with three outposts in New York, has introduced cold-brew coffee in bottles. Drink it straight or pour it over ice. The coffee is deliciously full-bodied with slightly fruity and chocolaty notes: Toby’s Estate Cold Brew Coffee, $4 for 12 ounces at the Toby’s Estate cafes in the West Village, the Flatiron district and Williamsburg, Brooklyn, tobysestate.com.
If you are not a New Yorker check out the web site and see if they won’t send some to you. Or if you live in Phoenix check out Royal, Press, Cortez or Mama’s cold brews.
Bottled Coffee or Fresh
Bottled cold brew coffee sounds interesting but if you like the idea of healthy organic coffee is the cold brewed bottled coffee organic? And how to the organic coffee antioxidants preserve in a bottle? The best way to make sure that your coffee is organic is to buy it yourself. And the best way to make sure that your coffee is fresh with strong antioxidant content is to store, grind and brew it yourself. Antioxidants degrade in the presence of oxygen. So if you bottle your just made cold brew coffee you should be able to preserve the antioxidant potency for at least a while. What are other ways to preserve potency of antioxidants in coffee?
Smart Coffee Storage
Remember that the warmest place in the kitchen is above and beside the stove. So, don’t put coffee in containers in this kitchen hot spot. Although your refrigerator is cool the top may be warm from heat bleeding off. Try a cupboard away from heat and sunlight.
Many coffee containers are fine for shipping and until opened. After first use it is often wise to put remaining coffee into a container with an air tight seal. The cost is worth it as you will store coffee and preserve freshness away from the air. Coffee ages. The reason that Panama Mountain Grown Organic Coffee is often shipped to the USA for roasting is not because they cannot roast coffee in Panama (or Colombia, or Brazil, or Vietnam). It is because coffee starts to lose its flavor as soon as the roasting process is completed. Thus roasting takes place close to the market where coffee will be sold. You will want to store coffee and preserve freshness but you will also want to purchase small quantities of coffee, enjoy our coffee, and buy more when you run out. Coffee is not a fine wine. It does not improve with age. Green beans maintain their potency for two years if properly stored and roasted whole coffee beans are good for six months. If have ground coffee you want to brew in now!
We have written frequently about the benefits of regular and organic coffee for your health. More and more the world has come to realize the medical benefits of coffee, both the caffeine and antioxidants. Because we could think only of the health benefits of coffee, we should consider coffee as medicine and ask what is the right dose? Forbes seems to have been thinking along those same lines as they write about the right doses of coffee and alcohol.
The world’s most-used stimulant and best-loved depressant – caffeine and alcohol, respectively – have shared an interesting phenomenon in recent years: They’ve both moved from the probably-not-healthy-but-socially-acceptable category to the probably-healthy-in-moderation-because-science-says-so category. Based on the scientific evidence of the last decade or two, coffee is now believed to reduce risk of everything from Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases to depression to erectile dysfunction to some forms of cancer to overall mortality. Alcohol is thought to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and perhaps even curb obesity and type 2 diabetes risk. Each drug has been shown to have these much-desired health benefits, and few risks, provided they’re consumed in moderation. The operative words are of course in moderation.
A study by the European Food Safety Authority indicates that 400 mg of caffeine a day, the equivalent of five shots of espresso is safe over the long run. Pregnant and breast feeding mothers should cut this in half. This is good news for coffee as medicine as a dose of four cups a day is where the health benefits are most pronounced.
The Goldilocks Approach
Not too little and not too much but just right is the moral of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. It would seem to fit with finding the right dose of coffee as medicine. The drawbacks of too much coffee include stomach upset, acid reflux and wakefulness at night. The drawbacks of too little coffee are that the many benefits mentioned in the Forbes article do not come into play. Some of the benefits of coffee such as alleviation of depression come from caffeine so one could simply drink a coca cola. But the antioxidants are what kick in to help prevent various forms of cancer and Type II diabetes so the four to five cups, equivalent to five shot of espresso is probably ideal.
Condition Specific Dose of Coffee
Women who report drinking four cups of coffee a day have the best reduction of diabetes incidence. Just one or two cups an hour in advance are sufficient to boost athletic performance. Research shows that more is a waste of time. If you are drinking coffee to stay awake while studying for finals all bets are off as you need to stay focused for as long as it takes. The downside is that if you consistently drink lots and lots of coffee you eventually need to sleep and may take a long time to wake up. And, the caffeine in excessive amounts is an acid stimulant and that can lead to ulcers and acid reflux.