Monday
Feb112013

"Caffeinated" Valentines Ideas

Want to try something a little different than flowers for Valentines Day?  Here are a few suggestions to spoil your coffee-loving Valentine. 

"Coffee Lovers" Gift Basket

Have fun with gathering up items to include in your gift.  Anything from gourmet whole bean coffee to Biscotti to Espresso Candy will fit perfectly in the coffee-themed gift.

Red French Press Bodum Brazil 8-Cup French Press Coffee Maker

Red is the perfect color for Valentines...why not buy your coffee lover a red french press.  Much more affordable than an espresso machine, the french press does not filter out the essential oils and sediment, delivering an intense, flavorful cup of coffee.  

Handmade Chocolate Covered Beans 

Want to make your Valentine something?  Using two ingredients - coffee beans and chocolate - you can make your own chocolate covered beans.  

Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans

  • Good coffee beans (you can use flavored beans)
  • Chocoate - a richer chocolate, such as Dove's Bliss or Ghiardelli, balances out the bean. You can also use "regular" chocolate.

Using approximately 4 ounces of chocolate for every 1 cup of coffee beans, melt the chocolate in a double broiler until creamy.  Add the coffee beans and stir until completely coated.  Remove with a slotted spoon, allowing excess chocolate to drip off, then lay the beans on wax paper to set.  Once the coffee beans have cooled sufficiently, but while the chocolate is still soft, roll the beans in your hand to form round balls.  You can skip rolling the chocolate covered beans into balls if you prefer the "coffee bean" shape.  Harden the chocolate covered beans by freezing for 30 minutes or refrigerating for 1 day.  

Variations - add a splash of liquer to the chocolate, roll the chocolate covered beans in cocoa powder (once the coffee beans have cooled sufficiently, but while the chocolate is still soft - after you have rolled the beans to form balls) or experiment with the chocolate you use...milk, dark or white chocolate.

You can also roast the beans in the oven prior to dipping in chocolate if you prefer a "crisper" coffee bean.  Simply preheat the oven to 350 degrees, place the coffee beans on a baking sheet and roast for 8 - 10 minutes.  

Be creative with the packaging - a nice container or cellophane bag (used for candy making) tied with a nice ribbon. 

Do you have any "caffeinated" Valentines ideas? 

Saturday
Dec292012

Top Ten Health Benefits of Coffee

Love coffee?  You also have to love the many health benefits of coffee...and the list continues to grow.  Here are "top" ten benefits to consider. 

Coffee...

A good source of Antioxidants

Coffee has been shown to have more antioxidant properties than green tea and cocoa. Scientists have identified approximately 1,000 antioxidants in unprocessed coffee beans with hundreds more developing during the roasting process. Antioxidants fight inflammation, an underlying cause of many chronic conditions, including arthritis, atherosclerosis and many types of cancer. Antioxidants also neutralize free radicals, which occur naturally as a part of everyday metabolic functions, which can cause oxidative stress that leads to chronic disease. In simpler terms, antioxidants help keep us healthy at the micro-level by protecting our cells from damage. 

May help keep your Mind Healthy

Regular coffee consumption may help prevent cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia. In one recent study, researchers found that drinking three to five cups of coffee daily was associated with a 65 percent decreased risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia. According to studies published in The Journal of the American Medical Association, caffeine is a cognitive stimulant that boosts brain functioning.

Good for your Heart

Coffee may protect against heart disease. A recent Dutch study found that moderate coffee drinkers (two to four cups daily) had a 20 percent lower risk of heart disease as compared to heavy coffee drinkers,  light coffee drinkers and nondrinkers. Coffee is full of flavonoids, a powerful antioxidant, which help to prevent LDL cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol).  Chlorogenic acid, an important antioxidant found almost exclusively in coffee, is also thought to help prevent cardiovascular disease.

Helps Exercise Performance

We often hear that caffeine is dehydrating, however moderate consumption (3 to 4 cups daily) doesn’t dehydrate enough to interfere with your workout. Caffeine is a performance and endurance enhancer; not only does it fight fatigue, it also strengthens muscle contraction, reduces the exerciser’s perception of pain and increases fatty acids in the blood which supports endurance.

May decrease your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes

Scientific research suggests an association between coffee drinking and a reduced risk of diabetes. The antioxidants in coffee help prevent tissue damage to the body. Coffee also contains minerals that helps the body use insulin effectively.

Good for your Liver

Coffee consumption has been linked to a lower incidence of cirrhosis, especially alcoholic cirrhosis. A study in the Archives of Internal Medicine demonstrated an inverse correlation between increased coffee consumption and a decreased risk of cirrhosis - a 20 percent reduction for each cup consumed (up to four cups).  Scientists found an inverse relationship between coffee drinking and blood levels of liver enzymes. Elevated levels of liver enzymes typically reflect inflammation and damage to the liver. The more coffee subjects drank, the lower their levels of enzymes.

 Good for your Teeth

Did you know that a recent study found that people who drink coffee are less likely to have cavities?  Roasted coffee beans have antibacterial effects against the microorganisms which cause tooth decay.

Curbs Depression

Multiple studies have linked coffee drinking to lower rates of depression in both men and women.  The science evidence is not sure how coffee helps with depression, but it is known that caffeine activates neurotransmitters that control mood, including dopamine and serotonin.

Reduces risk of Strokes

Studies have shown women who drank four or more cups of coffee a day had a 20 percent lower risk of stroke, compared to those who had less than one cup a month. As with heart disease, the antioxidants in coffee may offer protection by improving blood vessel function. 

May help curb certain Cancers

Men who drink coffee may be at a lower risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer. In addition, new research from the Harvard School of Public Health suggests that drinking four or more cups of coffee daily decreased the risk of endometrial cancer in women by 25 percent as compared to women who drank less than one cup a day. Researchers have also found ties between regular coffee drinking and lower rates of liver, colon, breast, and rectal cancers.  Polyphenols, antioxidant phytochemicals found in coffee, have demonstrated anticarcinogenic properties in several studies and are thought to help reduce the inflammation that could be responsible for some tumors.

Thanks to Find Me Coffee and One Medical for compiling the list of Top 10 Health Benefits of Coffee.  

Information provided on this website is for entertainment and information purpose and not intended to diagnose or give medical advice. Consult a physician with your medical concerns.  

Wednesday
Dec192012

2012 Holiday Gift Guide - More Gifts for Coffee Lovers

More Gifts for Coffee Lovers

A few we have already covered and few too good to pass up

1. Hot Rod Heated Travel Mug – $25

2. minibru Coffee Mug – $25

3. Plug Mug – $18

4. Coffee Joulies – $50

5. AeroPress Coffee and Espresso Maker – $26

6. The Kug – Link

7. Handi Sleeve – $6

8. Chemex Wood Collar Glass Coffee Maker – $35

9. Presso – Link

10. Stainless Steel Coffee Grinder – $85

11. Handpresso Car Espresso Machine – $194

12. The Floating Mug – Link

13. Kapu Coffee Scoop and Bag Closer – $26

14. Grower’s Cup – Link

Thanks Cool Material for the additional finds.

Thursday
Dec132012

How Coffee Revolutionized the World - an Infographic

How Coffee Revolutionized the World

Thanks Online MBA Programs for the creation of this inforgraphic

Friday
Dec072012

2012 Holiday Gift Guide - It's in the Mug

The 2012 Holiday Gift Guide continues with coffee mugs.  We have looked at grinders and brewers, now it's time to look at mugs.  We all have an assortment of mugs, including our favorites.  Can you have too many?  Coffee mugs are also great "novelty gifts" for those "hard to buy for" or coffee lovers on your list.

Thermos Stainless King 16-ounce Leak-Proof Travel Mug

Thermos is well known as the quality and performance leader in insulated food and beverage products. The Stainless King series creates a new chapter in Thermos' history with a modern line that blends the newest technology with a dash of the past. We have all experienced the "dreaded dribble" down the front of us with travel mugs.  This ultra-durable travel mug (for hot and cold beverages) features a leak-proof Drinklock sealing lid.  The unbreakable stainless steel interior and exterior stays cool to the touch with hot liquids and is condensation-free with cold liquids.  This travel mug also features TherMax double wall vacuum insulation for maximum temperature retention, hot or cold.  The blue travel mug is currently available on Amazon for $20.60.  (Also available in "cranberry" for $27.99)

For the Sports Fan

From mugs to travel mugs, you can find a mug to help any sports fan "sport" their favorite team.  Check out the MLB and NFL mugs available on Amazon.  College Fan?  No problem, you can find a mug for your favorite university.  (prices vary)

For the Coffee Addict - Prescription Coffee Mug

For the coffee lover or addict, this mug says it all.  This mug looks like a prescription bottle with hilarious puns about coffee that any "Java Joe Espresso" will enjoy.  Available on Amazon for $10.60.  This novelty mug is among many noveltyies offered by Big Mouth Toys.

World's Largest Coffee Mug

For the coffee lover that can't seem to have enough coffee (or trying to keep their coffee consumption to 1 cup per day).  This novelty mug will symbolize their love of coffee.  The 6.5" (15.9 cm) tall, 10" (25.4 cm) in diameter real porcelain cup will hold 20 cups of coffee.  Available on Amazon for $59.95.  

Chalk Talk Mug

Another wonderful novelty mug for the person that likes to "doodle" or is constantly making notes on post-its.  No need for paper or post-it notes - they can now use the included chalk write directly their coffee mug.  You can write on the mug like a chalkboard then erase when you are done.  This 12-ounce mug is made of highly durable porcelain.  Available on Amazon for $18.43.  This mug is offered by Konitz - at Konitz everything revolves around mugs.  Check out the assortment of mugs, including other novelty mugs.  

Coffee Joulies

In a previous article, Go-Go-Gadget, we featured Coffee Joulies which deserves another mention as a perfect pairing with coffee mugs.  Coffee Joulies are engineered beans that cool coffee to the right temperature faster and then keep it there longer. Made in USA from 85% recycled stainless steel using hydro power from Niagara Falls.  Coffee Joulies will bring your coffee to a drinkable temperature sooner and keep it hot longer.  

Do you have gift suggestions for the coffee lover?  We would love to hear from you.

Thanks Daily Shot of Coffee for the list and reviews.