Category Archives: Coffee News

Coffee, the New Biofuel

Coffee may be your own personal fuel, but Arthur Kay is working on making coffee a viable biofuel.

Kay was in the process of designing a coffee shop and roaster when he noticed that “coffee was being wasted everywhere. It was pouring out of coffee shops, office blocks, transport hubs and factories.” He knew there had to be a use for this discarded coffee, especially when he considered the high oil content in used coffee grounds.

And now Kay has created bio-bean, a company that has partnered with several coffee chain companies to collect London’s 200,000 tons of wasted coffee grounds. He then converts the grounds into biomass pellets that can be used for heating buildings. He’s in the process of helping coffee oil become a viable biodiesel, which could then power our modes of transport.

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Coffee World Records

Did you know that Tuesday, September 29th was National Coffee Day? If not, better drink up a few more cups to make up for the oversight.

To continue the celebration (because seriously, every day should be National Coffee Day), here are a few world records regarding the coffee industry and the consumption of coffee.

World Record for Largest Cup of Coffee

The largest cup of coffee was created by Caffee Bene in South Korea on July 17, 2014. The mug holds 3,758 gallons of coffee.

Largest Cup of Coffee
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Coffee Myths Debunked

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Coffee has numerous myths surrounding it, and it’s hard to weed them out from the old wives’ tales and those that have actually been proved true. Here, however, is a list of coffee myths that have been debunked by research and science. Pour yourself another cup of coffee, and get ready to appreciate your java even more than you already do.

Coffee Causes Insomnia – Myth

It takes between four and five hours for your body to process and remove caffeine consumed, so that cup of coffee you like to drink every afternoon will not keep you up all night. That said, it’s wise to not consume caffeinated coffee six hours before bedtime. Of course drinking coffee late at night will keep you awake; that’s not rocket science. But drink in the afternoon to your heart’s content. Continue reading

A Coffee that Helps You Sleep?

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Those who are sensitive to caffeine often have to switch to decaf if they want to continue to enjoy the lovely beverage known as coffee throughout the day. However, what if coffee could be the last thing you drink before bed and actually help you go to sleep?

Deland Jessop wanted to know why there wasn’t a decaf coffee that helped aficionados go to sleep. Jessop wasn’t a coffee fan, but his wife was an addict who had to switch to decaf after 3, and then not touch it again after 5.

He turned their kitchen into a big of a makeshift lab, and tried several herbal concoctions until he found one that not only lulled his wife to sleep, but was tasty and didn’t overpower or ruin the flavor of coffee. He then partnered with a coffee roaster in Newark to combine powdered valerian root with coffee while it is roasted. Together they created Counting Sheep Coffee.

And yes, it is decaf coffee.

Jessop has created two types of Counting Sheep coffee, 40 Winks and Lights Out. 40 Winks has slightly less valerian root in it and will simply induce drowsiness. Lights Out does exactly what it claims.

“The ritual of having a cup of coffee is a very relaxing ritual,” he said. “It’s just a nice warm beverage you want to sit and sip … With the valerian root added, it just kind of adds to it.”

His coffee brand has now made it easy to have coffee when you first wake up to when you go to sleep, which was captured in his company’s motto: “The best way to start your day is now the best way to end it.”

He said that he and his wife used to have a glass of wine together before bed, but now they drink a cup of Counting Sheep together.

The coffee can currently be found in Fresh Market and Market Basket grocery stores. Jessop is meeting with Walmart next month to talk distribution as well.

Would you like to drink coffee right before bed? Imagine a nice, soothing homemade mocha as a sweet treat before bedtime. This definitely has some great possibilities.

Coffee is in Your DNA. Literally.

coffee-bean-dnaHow much coffee do you drink each day? What time of day do you drink it? Did you know that your genes influence how much coffee you consume each day and when your body naturally craves it?

Scientists have known for a long time that your DNA directly influences your jonesing for java, but a new study has identified the genes that dictate your coffee needs.

The study analyzed results of over 20 other studies that analyzed coffee consumption and implemented DNA scans. These studies included over 120,000 participants. This new study looked specifically for any differences in the participants’ DNA that were associated with drinking more or less coffee.

The research team found eight genetic variants, and two of these had already been linked to coffee consumption. Four of the other variants suggest the genes are involved with caffeine, either in how the body breaks it down or how the body responds to the stimulating effects. The other two variants are actually involved with blood sugar and cholesterol.

Surprisingly though, none of the identified gene variants had anything to do with how people react to the taste of coffee. Perhaps they need to run different DNA-scanning study comparing those who drink coffee, those who drink a lot of coffee, and those who do not drink it to isolate that gene.

So the next time someone tells you that you drink too much coffee or maybe you should cut back, you can always say that you’re genetically driven to love coffee this much. Your DNA demands it. Then pour yourself another cup and smile. Broadly.

Would You Drink Coffee that Tasted like Beer?

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Starbucks is currently testing a new drink in a few select stores in Ohio and Florida, and it is supposed to taste like…beer.

It’s called a “Dark Barrel Latte,” and it’s an espresso drink topped with whipped cream and a dark caramel drizzle. The beer flavor comes from a “chocolatey stout-flavored sauce” (or really, roasted malt flavor) that is blended in the drink. There is absolutely no alcohol within the drink, but it most certainly tastes like there is or there should be. At least that’s what several social media posters have claimed.

There is even a Frappuccino option, so you can drink your morning beer brew cold, like most people enjoy beer.

While Starbucks claims this is all part of their regular tests for new drinks, many are speculating other theories. For example, some think that Starbucks is trying to bridge the gap between coffee and beer for their stores that sell beer in the evenings. Others believe that Starbucks is trying to tap into the craft-beer sensation sweeping the nation.

No word on if Starbucks will spread the test to other states, but if it takes off, what is next? Beer-flavored K-Cups or coffee pods? How many other coffee houses or coffee roasters will try to capitalize on this and make their own various flavors of beer/coffee? A lite beer coffee? IPA coffee? Coffee ale?

Most importantly, is a coffee that tastes like beer something you’d be interested in? Many have compared the taste of Guinness and similar dark stouts as tasting coffee-like, but is that desirable first thing in the morning?

Genetically Engineered Coffee on the Horizon?

coffee_dnaA team of scientists announced that for the first time, they’ve been able to isolate and sequence the coffee genome. As such, they believe they could develop better breeding practices for coffee, and maybe even genetically engineer an optimal brew.

One of the most surprising discoveries from the genome mapping was the discovery of the genes used to produce caffeine. As such, scientists are wildly speculating as to why plants would “want” to create caffeinated leaves. Some of these theories include acting as a deterrent to herbivorous insects, making the soil less hospitable to other types of plants, or turn pollinators into addicts. Regardless the reason, finding the gene means scientists can isolate the gene that creates the caffeine producing enzyme in coffee, tea, and cocoa plants. Continue reading

Coffee Could Actually Be GOOD for Your Teeth

coffee-stain-teeth-healthIt’s long been thought that coffee is far from great for your dental health. It’s been attributed to staining teeth and causing bad breath, and while both may be caused by excessive coffee consumption, new research has found that coffee could be good for your teeth.

“We found that coffee consumption did not have an adverse effect on periodontal health, and, instead, may have protective effects against periodontal disease,” said Nathan Ng of the Boston University Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine and lead author of the study.

The study collected data from 1,152 men to participated in the Veteran Affairs’ Dental Longitudinal Study from 1968 to 1998. These participants self-reported on how much coffee they consumed, and the researchers examined them for oral care, hygiene, gum disease risk factors, and even symptoms of diabetes.

What they found was those who were regular coffee drinkers had a decreased risk of developing gum disease. They theorize that the antioxidants naturally present in coffee form a sort of protection barrier over the teeth and gums.

“The results of the study certainly sound encouraging for long-time coffee drinkers who are worried about how their caffeine consumption can affect their dental health,” said Tan Garrett, spokesperson for ErskineDental.net. “When it comes to their teeth, coffee drinking should be the least of their concerns now.”

Of course, the research team wants to expand their study, using a more diverse sample of the population than just veterans. However, this is a great start, and it could be encouraging for those who don’t want to give up their daily cup o’ joe in the name of dental health. But that shouldn’t still sway all ye coffee drinkers from getting your teeth cleaned on a regular basis. That’s still very necessary for your dental health.

A Coffee Brewing Alarm Clock

Folgers has long said that the “best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup,” a/k/a coffee in your cup. And now, thanks to a British inventor, it may be possible to wake up to Folgers in your cup.

Josh Renouf has created an alarm clock that brews a cup of coffee to wake you up, lulling you out of sleep with the aromatic sensation of freshly brewed coffee. It’s hard to imagine a nicer way to wake up each morning.

The Barisieur

Called the Barisieur, the alarm clock will start brewing coffee at your designated time. In addition to using olfactory senses to wake you, the coffee brewing alarm clock also makes a little noise with its stainless steel ball bearings, which boil the water using induction heating.

All that users have to do, aside from remembering to set their alarm, is to prepare the machine before bed, filling it with water and preferred ground coffee. Continue reading

New Keurig Brewers Will Block Copycat K-Cups

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It’s a no-brainer that the Keurig K-Cup brewer has revolutionized how people brew coffee at home and in the office. The director of the National Coffee Association called the invention “the biggest change in coffee-brewing technology since Mr. Coffee was introduced in the 1970s.”  It’s no shocker since the Keurig has been readily adopted in consumers’ homes, copycat K-Cups and K-Cup brewers have popped up everywhere.

In order to protect its brand, Keurig has created a new brewer that will scan the K-Cups for Keurig’s markings and lock out any unapproved pods. These markings use ink inspired by the US Mint’s own technology to combat counterfeit currency.

Keurig recently showed off the new brewer at a tasting event, and when they tried to use an old-model pod without the new markings, the machine would not operate. The touchscreen displays a message explaining that this machine only uses specific pods, and then it conveniently directs the user to Keurig’s website and customer service phone number. Continue reading