Category: Charming Eats

All Things Coffee III

The Ultimate Super Drink

Benefit Your Bean

It’s a no-brainer! Lifelong caffeinated-coffee fans may be less prone to develop Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Coffee’s antioxidants may tamp down cell damage linked to Parkinson’s. And caffeine blocks inflammation in the brain, which is associated with Alzheimer’s.

Sip For Your Smile

Caffeinated java has antibacterial and anti adhesive powers, so it may keep cavity causing bacteria from eating your enamel. And drinking a cup daily has been shown to slash oral cancer risk by half. Also, compounds found in coffee may limit cancer cell growth and DNA damage.

Brew For Your Breasts

Coffee’s a bosom buddy! Premenopausal women who downed four cups of regular coffee per day experienced a 38 percent reduction in  their breast cancer risk. Coffee unleashes phytoestrogens and flavonoids that may stifle tumor growth. But drink up: Those who drank less than four cups didn’t benefit.

Stop Stones

Gallstones grow when mucus inside your gallbladder traps cholesterol crystals. Xanthine, found in caffeine, may reduce mucus and risks for deposits. Two or more cups daily may help.

Save Your Skin

Two to five cups of regular coffee daily may help lower your risk for nonmelanoma skin cancer by up to 17 percent. Caffeine may spur skin to kill precancerous cells, and it also inhibits tumor growth.

Dodge Diabetes

People who sip 3 to 4 cups of regular or decaf coffee a day are 30 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. Chlorogenic acid may help prevent insulin resistance, a harbinger of the disease.


All Things Coffee II

Make a Tastier Cup of Coffee

Seek Out Better Beans

Delicious coffee starts with beans that suit your taste buds. Keep these guidelines in mind when you shop: African beans yield a cup with fruity and floral flavors and less bitterness. On the other hand, beans grown in South and Central American countries brew richer, fuller-bodied coffee.

Do the Daily Grind

For a more flavorful mug, buy whole beans and grind right before you brew: Grinding releases the beans’ oils, but they degrade quickly. Choose a conical burr grinder (such as the Capresso Infinitely Conical Burr Grinder, $100;, which doesn’t heat up grounds, preserving the delicate oils.

Strike the Right Balance

Two level tablespoons per cup of cold water is the standard ratio for drip coffee, but you can experiment to get a taste you like. If your pot tastes acidic, add an extra scoop of grounds (or use less water). Beans from lower altitudes–Mexico, Hawaii and the Caribbean–also tend to taste less bitter.

Store Smartly

Stale beans make for a batch that taste like day-old dregs. To keep your beans fresh, transfer them from their bag to an opaque, airtight container and stash in a cupboard away from heat and light up to three weeks. Whole beans also hold well in the freezer for up to about six weeks in a resealable bag (but not the paper bag you buy), which helps keep moisture out and prevents other flavors from seeping in.heartcoffee


A Bean’s Life

  • Coffee beans are actually the seeds of the coffee berry fruit. Shade-grown beans are eco-friendlier (because no fields are cleared to grow them), but they may have fewer antioxidants than sun-grown varieties.
  • After the fruit has been harvested, farmers remove the seeds from the berries either by machine or hand, rinse or them and then dry them out. Occasionally, the beans are dried inside the berry –called dry processing– to produce an earthier flavor.
  • Roasting brings out the beans’ natural oils, which give you brew its flavor. But the longer beans are roasted, the less caffeine they contain. Choose light roasts for more buzz (be prepared for a mild, possibly acidy taste) and dark roasts for fewer jitters (plus stronger flavor).
  • While the dried beans are roasting, certain antioxidants such as cancer-fighting polyphenols break down as others are created. This means a medium roast can be the best choice: It contains the richest mix of antioxdants for the healthiest cup of coffee.
  • Coffee is often  labeled based on how it was grown. Fair Trade certification means farmers were paid a fair price and a portion of  profits fund projects like school. A Rainforest Alliance seal indicates that beans came from farms full of native trees (rather than a cleared plantation).