Author Archives: Keri Honea

Is there a Difference between ‘Drip’ Coffee and Pour-Over?

There’s been a lot of talk in coffee circles about “drip coffee” and pour-over methods for brewing coffee, which has led to a lot of confusion. Does drip coffee mean it’s from your typical coffeemaker? Is it a special type of brewing? Is the pour-over method a type of drip brew?

The answer to all of these questions is yes.

The drip-brew process for coffee refers to pouring hot water over ground coffee beans and letting the coffee-absorbed water drip from the filter into a mug or carafe. Coffeemakers simply automate this process, letting consumers press a button and walk away without needing to manually boil the water first before pouring it over.

Drip-brew can refer to either coffeemaker-brewed coffee or coffee brewed via pour-over method, but typically, when someone mentions the pour-over method, they mean a manual pour-over brew. Continue reading

How Coffee Helps Your Brain Stay Healthy

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It’s popular to hate on coffee and caffeine in a few health circles, but there’s been plenty of evidence that coffee and caffeine do a body good, especially your brain. The key is moderation, the same rule that governs most of the wonderful things in our lives.

But here is what caffeine does for our brains:

Kickstarts our memory. That jolt you get from coffee does more than make you a bit more alert; it actually briefly kickstarts your mental processing. Caffeine accomplishes this by binding to the neurotransmitter that causes sleepiness and preventing it from attaching to the receptors.

Inhibits Inflammation. Polyphenols, a powerful antioxidant that prevents osteoporosis, cancer, and heart disease, are in coffee. There’s also some evidence that these polyphenols in coffee reduce inflammation in the cortex and hippocampus of the brain.

Protects against Alzheimer’s. With this inflammation inhibition, the effects also help stave off Alzheimer’s, something we’ve discussed before. A study has found that those who consistently consume 3-5 cups of a coffee a day could have as much as a 20% decrease in developing Alzheimer’s.

Improves brain function for a lifetime. A study from the National Institute on Aging found that men and women over the age of 70 performed better on mental functioning tests if they consumed caffeine first.

Obviously, caffeine won’t prevent aging or the lovely side effects that comes with the process of life, but studies are showing that a healthy dose of caffeine each day can delay the inevitable for far longer. And in doing so can create a more optimal life in your golden years.

Have you had your cup or two of coffee today?

Make Your Coffee More Eco-Friendly

is-recycle_coffeeMany environmentalists like to point to coffee-drinkers as some of the biggest culprits when it comes to harming the environment, from the excessive waste of K-cups to drinking coffee from styrofoam cups at the office. If the finger-pointing bothers you, there are several things coffee lovers can do to reduce the amount of waste and be a tad more eco-friendly all around. The best part is, they’re all very simple and easy to do!

Use coffee mugs.

Instead of using plastic or styrofoam cups, invest in a coffee mug or five. Keep one at work, and several at home. You can even create your own coffee mugs on Etsy or on CafePress.

Use washable filters.

Paper filters are great, as they’re easy to clean up, but they create waste. Look into buying permanent filters that need to be washed to save how much gets dumped into a landfill.

Recycle coffee grounds.

We’ve explained before the benefits and how to reuse your old coffee grounds, but it’s worth mentioning again.

Coffee grounds make great additions for your compost pile, but if you don’t have a compost pile, throw your used grounds into your garden. The nitrogen in the grounds makes for an all-natural fertilizer, and the grounds will keep unwanted pests away, such as ants and even stray cats.

Do you have your own eco-friendly coffee tips? Leave them in the comments below!

How to Make Oreo Iced Coffee at Home

oreo-iced-coffeeOreos go great in milk for sure, but have you thought about making your own Oreo iced coffee concoction? It’s actually easier than you may think.

All you need are coffee, milk, ice cube trays, and Oreo cookies.

First, crush up the cookies and then line the bottoms of the tray cubes with the crumbs. Fill the tray with milk, and then freeze it overnight.

The next morning, brew some coffee, and then drop in a couple of the Oreo milk cubes into your mug. Instant Oreo iced coffee.

Watch this six second video below for a hands-on demonstration.

Want to make an Oreo frappuccino? Continue reading

Guest Post: How to Make Your Coffee Healthy

Healthy coffeeIt’s rare these days for coffee drinkers to take their coffee black. Most people (this writer included) prefer coffee a bit sweet. However; many don’t consider their sweet coffee habits are what hinders them from losing weight. If you’re consistently adding lots of calories to your coffee, here are some things you can do to help turn that daily cup into healthy coffee and you’ll be amazed at how quickly the weight drops. From my personal experience, dropping to nonfat milk with my morning indulgence melted off four pounds in a week. Going sugar-free dropped another three pounds.

Dietician Keri Gans offers several tips on how to make that cup of coffee just a wee bit healthier.

Cut down on the size of your coffee.

If you routinely buy coffee at coffee shops, go for the smaller 12 oz cup instead of the 20 oz. You can save 60 calories alone by ordering the small cappuccino. If you add sugary syrups, you can save as much as 170 calories with the smaller portion.

Use nonfat milk.

As I attested to earlier, switching to nonfat milk in your coffee, no matter if you go to a coffee shop or add milk to your coffee at home, will make a huge difference. Unless you tell your barista you want nonfat milk, they will typically use 2% or even whole milk. Switching from 2% to nonfat in your coffee can save you 50 calories with each serving. It may not sound like a lot, but those 50 calories can add up over time, especially if you drink several fancy coffee drinks in a day.

Forgo the syrup.

Adding syrup to your coffee adds many, many calories. If you simply can’t live without that tasty sweetener in your coffee, then try a sugar-free version. Or, better yet, use a sugar-free creamer so you can skip both the sugary syrup and milk altogether.

Skip the whip.

It doesn’t matter if they offer you fat-free whipped cream; whipped cream is chock full of empty calories. Leave it off your coffee entirely. Did you know that three Hershey kisses have fewer calories than the dollop of whipped cream your barista will pour on your coffee?

Cut down on your sugar.

If you add one packet of sugar to your coffee, don’t sweat it. One packet is only 11 calories. If you’re adding more than that or you drink several cups of coffee a day, you’re consuming loads of extra empty calories. Try using artificial sweeteners instead, as they often have fewer calories, such as Truvia.

Your calorie goal for each cup of coffee should be about 100 calories, especially if you drink more than one cup a day. Try it for a couple of weeks, and you’ll be amazed at much easier it is to lose weight.