About Tim Thompson

Tim Thompson has been a member since May 14th 2011, and has created 560 posts from scratch.

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How CanYou Get Freshly Roasted Colombian Coffee?

The best coffee is Arabica and the best Arabica coffee comes from Colombia.

There are two basic species of coffee, Arabica and Robusta. Arabica coffee is generally believed to be the first type of coffee to be cultivated. When you buy Arabica organic coffee you are choosing the species of coffee with superior taste according to many experts. Café Arabica also contains less caffeine than Robusta. Although wild Arabica coffee plants can reach 12 meters in height coffee growers typically prune the plant to no more than 5 meters and often as short as 2 meters high to make the coffee easier to pick. Arabica coffee grows best at just under a mile in altitude although it is grown at sea level and as high as 7,500 feet.

The Colombian coffee growing region known as the Eje Cafetero has ideal soil and climate for growing coffee and the coffee farmers in the region have been growing high quality Arabica coffees for a century and a half. So, if you want great Arabica coffee, look for coffee from Colombia.

Juan Valdez

If you want to make sure the coffee you buy at the market is Colombian look for Juan Valdez. Juan Valdez is a fictional character invented by the Colombian Coffee Growers Association. When you see Juan of the label you can be assured that the coffee is 100% Colombian. But how can you be assured that the coffee is fresh?

Coffee Freshness: Green Coffee

The coffee that you buy has been dried, had the fruit of the coffee berry removed and has been threshed to remove the outer husk of the bean. At that point the green coffee beans are at their freshest and when properly stored and transported green coffee retains a reasonable degree of freshness for up to two years. Coffee house coffee is made from freshly roasted green coffee beans. But, how old are the green beans? If the coffee house got a great deal on old beans they are making a better profit and you are drinking inferior coffee!

Coffee Freshness: Roasted Coffee

There is an art to roasting coffee. When we visited the roaster at Tilladora Manizales last year the roaster explained that perhaps one out of five batches that he roasts ends up being sold to institutions instead of high end buyers. And the freshness of roasted coffee lasts for up to six months when properly stored. Most of us do not have the skill, time, or interest to roast our own coffee. And we do not know how long ago the coffee that we are buying was roasted. So, how can you get fresh and freshly roasted Colombian coffee if you do not live in the Eje Cafetero?

Buy Organic Coffee to the Rescue

If you would like coffee that was just picked and processed and has been roasted within the last week or so contact us at BuyOrganicCoffee.org. We work with coffee roasters in places like Manizales or Chinchina in the heart of the Eje Cafetero. Order your coffee and we will have our partners select the freshest coffee beans, roast them to perfection, and send to your via express air delivery. That is how you can get freshly roasted Colombian coffee.

Last Word on Coffee: It’s Good for You!

We have written extensively about the health benefits of coffee. While there are still a few naysayers, here is the last word on coffee: it’s good for you! The Annual Review of Nutrition published a comprehensive review entitled Coffee, Caffeine, and Health Outcomes: an Umbrella Review. Here is the short version.

To evaluate the associations between coffee and caffeine consumption and various health outcomes, we performed an umbrella review of the evidence from meta-analyses of observational studies and randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Of the 59 unique outcomes examined in the selected 112 meta-analyses of observational studies, coffee was associated with a probable decreased risk of breast, colorectal, colon, endometrial, and prostate cancers; cardiovascular disease and mortality; Parkinson’s disease; and type-2 diabetes. Of the 14 unique outcomes examined in the 20 selected meta-analyses of observational studies, caffeine was associated with a probable decreased risk of Parkinson’s disease and type-2 diabetes and an increased risk of pregnancy loss. Of the 12 unique acute outcomes examined in the selected 9 meta-analyses of RCTs, coffee was associated with a rise in serum lipids, but this result was affected by significant heterogeneity, and caffeine was associated with a rise in blood pressure. Given the spectrum of conditions studied and the robustness of many of the results, these findings indicate that coffee can be part of a healthful diet.

These people did not study any patients. Rather they looked at all of the studies done regarding coffee and its effects on health. There was a lot of statistical analysis involved and in the end the results confirmed much of what has been written about coffee and health.

Coffee and Diabetes

This last word on coffee confirms what we wrote years ago about how more organic coffee can lead to less diabetes.

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.

The benefit of drinking coffee goes up with the number of cups consumed a day up to six. This is also confirmed in the last word on coffee study.

Coffee and Cancer

Several years ago we wrote that you might avoid cancer by drinking coffee.

Prostate cancer, endometrial cancer, and colon cancer may all occur less often in long term coffee drinkers. To avoid cancer by drinking coffee it appears as though one needs to drink as much as four cups a day although some research studies show benefits in individuals with lower levels of coffee consumption. In general the benefits of coffee in the case of reducing the incidence of cancer have to do with chemicals called antioxidants found in roasted coffee.

The last word study confirms a decreased risk of breast, colorectal, colon, endometrial, and prostate cancers in coffee drinkers.

Degenerative Diseases

Research has linked to coffee to a decreased incidence of degenerative diseases and the last word study confirms the link to Parkinson’s disease.

According to a study of persons on Olmstead County, Minnesota, there is an inverse relationship between the amount of coffee that people drink and their chances of getting Parkinson’s disease. Nearly two hundred persons were followed for twenty years (1976-1995). Researchers noted the amount of coffee that people drank and whether or not they developed Parkinson’s disease. When other things that might affect the incidence of Parkinson’s disease, like smoking, were excluded, there was a clear association between higher coffee consumption and a lower risk of Parkinson’s disease.

The last word on coffee is that it is good for you and up to six cups a day, more coffee is better.

Egg in Your Coffee versus Egg Coffee

Remember in the movie Rocky when Sylvester Stallone drinks raw eggs before going out on his morning run? The rationale was that he needed all that protein because he was in training for a major boxing match. Now there is a new craze in the world of coffee. People are putting a raw egg in their coffee before going to work out. A couple of years ago it was butter coffee.

Butter coffee, also recently called bulletproof coffee, is currently the rage in some places. Butter coffee is eight ounces of freshly brewed coffee plus a teaspoonful each of unsalted butter and coconut oil. There are variations on the theme but the claim of those who like butter coffee is that it gives you more energy, helps you lose weight and avoids the ingestion of so-called inflammatory sugars. It turns out that butter coffee is not really a new idea. In Ethiopia where coffee was first discovered putting butter in freshly brewed coffee is a custom.

Whether you are putting butter and coconut oil in your coffee or a fresh egg, you are getting more calories which you had better burn off with exercise. Otherwise you are probably reducing some of the health benefits of coffee.

A downside to putting a raw egg in your coffee is that there is a risk that the raw egg contains bacteria and will make you sick. We went to Eggsafety.org for more info.

Always thoroughly cook eggs to destroy pathogens and reduce risk of illness.

These bacteria have the ability to result in human illness, and egg farmers vigilantly work to prevent them.

The bacteria that are dangerous to people and can be found in raw eggs include salmonella, bacillus cereus, campylobacter, and staphylococcus aureus. Mild infections result in mild symptoms and severe infections can result in death.

So, is it really dangerous to put a raw egg in your coffee? The point is that you need to heat the egg to a high enough temperature for long enough to kill any bacteria. That means there is less risk if you drop a raw egg into the coffee that you just made with boiling water than if you drop a raw egg into a coffee house latte or, even worse, cold brewed coffee.

But, didn’t your great grandmother make egg coffee back on the farm? When great grandma made egg coffee she boiled the coffee in a big pot and added a couple of eggs, shells and all, to the pot. The protein in the egg and the calcium in the egg shells helped buffer the bitterness of the coffee resulting in a milder brew. After boiling the heck out of the coffee and eggs there was no risk of infection from Grandma’s coffee!

Is there a nutritional difference between egg in your coffee and egg coffee? Grandma did not add enough eggs to make one per cup of coffee so, yes, there is a lot more egg, protein and calories in you cup of coffee with one egg than with the old farm egg coffee variety. But, remember that the rationale is to drink egg coffee before a workout and make sure to heat the water and egg enough to kill any germs.

Why Is Coffee Bitter?

Coffee has a unique and, for some, an acquired taste. Caffeine plus two compounds created when coffee is roasted result in a bitter taste that is unique to java. Caffeine is the minor partner in the bitterness endeavor. The main two culprits are both antioxidants, which are the chemicals responsible for so many of the health benefits of coffee. The first antioxidants are chlorogenic acid lactones. These chemical antioxidants are created in light and medium roast coffees. A more potent cause of bitter taste in coffee comes from phenylindanes which are created in a dark roast coffee. But, there is more to the story than how you roast your coffee. How you prepare coffee is important as well.

Leaving Coffee in the French Press Too Long

Whether you like a light, medium or dark roast, the longer the water is in contact with the coffee grounds the more chemicals, and bitterness, you will extract. The best example of this phenomenon is when you use a French press and make more coffee with a than you will use right away. You let the coffee and grounds remain in the French press and return later for another cup or two. The odds are that more of the bitter antioxidants will have dissolved into the water making your second and third cups increasingly bitter.

Maximum Coffee Ground Surface Area

You could make coffee from putting whole roasted beans in hot water. But, you would need to wait a really long time for the antioxidants and caffeine to leach out and even then you would end up with an awfully weak cup of coffee. The reasons we grind coffee are to increase the surface area of coffee that is exposed to the hot water and to decrease the distance that caffeine and antioxidants need to move to get out of the coffee grounds and into the water. If you do not like bitter coffee, you need to be careful how finely you grind your beans. Very finely ground coffee gives up its caffeine and antioxidants quickly and thoroughly. This is a common reason why your coffee is bitter.

Hotter Water Dissolves Coffee Ingredients More Thoroughly

One reason that cold brewed coffee is less bitter than brewed coffee is that the bitter antioxidants are not as quickly or thoroughly removed from the grounds. The hotter the water you use to brew coffee the more antioxidants you will get in your cup. When you boil water to make coffee you have water at 212 degrees Fahrenheit if you live at sea level. If you live in the Eje Cafetero in Manizales, Colombia your boiling water reaches 198 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live at lower elevations and want to avoid coffee that is too bitter let the water sit a few minutes after removing from the stove. The ideal temperature for brewing coffee according to the National Coffee Association is between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. The folks in Manizales at 7,500 feet altitude can make their coffee with boiling water.  Those of us who live in the low lands should wait a minute or two to let our just-boiled water cool ever so slightly.

Should You Avoid Airplane Coffee?

We know that regular and especially healthy organic coffees are good for you. But, what about the water they are served with? Ideally the water for making coffee is boiling hot and kills any germs that are around. But what if coffee is made using instant powder and lukewarm water? This may be an issue with the coffee you are served on an airplane. So, should you avoid airplane coffee? Here is a news release from the EPA from several years ago. It reports aircraft water testing information from 158 randomly selected passenger airplanes.

As part of enforcement activities, EPA, during August and September 2004, randomly tested the water supplies on 158 aircraft. Aircraft tank water is used in the galleys and lavatory sinks. Initial testing of onboard water supply revealed 20 aircraft with positive results for total coliform bacteria; two of these aircraft (1.3 percent) also tested positive for E.coli. Both total coliform and E.coli are indicators that other disease-causing organisms (pathogens) may be present in the water and could potentially affect public health. When sampling identified total coliform in the water, the aircraft was retested. In repeat testing on 11 aircraft, the Agency confirmed that water from eight of the aircraft tested still did not meet EPA’s water quality standards.

The EPA notes that while water from municipal sources in the USA is generally free of pathogenic bacteria the same may not be said for water taken on in foreign nations during international flights. But, what if the airline has a coffee maker on the plane and brews its coffee fresh? There is still a chance that the coffee maker has not been cleaned and harbors bacteria or mold.

We wrote an article about your moldy coffee maker.

This unappetizing title has to do with cleaning your moldy coffee maker and removing the bacteria as well! Bacteria and mold are everywhere in the environment and when they land on moist surfaces they make themselves at home and start to reproduce. One of the unnoticed places in your home where this will happen is your coffee maker.

At home you can routinely clean your coffee maker but if the airplane crew does not have that chore as part of their routine, and the water contains pathogenic bacteria, maybe you should avoid airplane coffee.

How About Bottled Coffee?

An alternative to drinking instant coffee in questionable water on an airplane is to ask for bottled cold brew 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!

And if the airline offers this choice of beverage you may wish to take it instead of running the risk of a bacterial infection from the infected water in their reserve tanks.