Sustainable Coffee

For the most people, living asustainability is all about living using eco-friendly and environmentally feasible approaches to supporting the human ecosystem. The delicate balance that exists in between different aspects of this particular system needs to be maintained. Broadly speaking, we need to find solutions for replenishing the energy we have used. This approach should be incorporated into various types of activities. This includes agriculture and in particular, for the coffee market. It’s an approach that has various benefits.

Coffee that is grown using sustainable methods

This a practical approach towards living a well-rounded and sustainable lifestyle.

Coffee economics

Unroasted coffee is one of the popular goods when it comes to agricultural products. This has a major influence on the consumers and farmers. Before sustainable approaches were introduced to the coffee industry, the main approach was to use ethical agricultural approaches. Other factors included the environmental impact and the poor settings of farmers in the less developed nations. These factors were surpassed by the demand and supply of other countries

Growing coffee sustainabily

Eight years ago, countries such as Vietnam and Brazil were some of the leading produces of coffee globally. While the higher-grade coffee beans and Arabica grow well in the shades, most Vietnam and Brazil farms grow Robusta beans. These farms often have minimal cover whereby there is a small amount of shade. According to a recent article that was published in the Huffington post had some interesting insight about the trade methods used by farms. The study showed that in between 1996 and 2010, the farms that used conventional shade-growing techniques reduced from as much as 43% to 24%.

What implication did this have for the environment? Well, this compromised the level of biodiversity and the ground on top the farms also lost some topsoil as well. The increasing level of deforestation to make room for coffee farms meant that workers had to work in several hours of sunlight.

More so, this also had various implications on the areas of the world such as South America, Africa, Asia and more. In particular, the people who were working for several hours harvesting the beans and making a small amount in return. The use of Fairtrade approaches was developed to ensure that produces in the third world countries made a good return. That said, this particular amendment is not that effective.

What actions can you take

Using unsustainable coffee is compromising the planet in many ways. In particular, it is not fair for those who work for several hours on the farm and earn a small amount in return. It’s important to note that coffee that is grown sustainably has a superior taste and it has a genuine coffee taste.

Here are some recommendations

Purchase coffee that is labeled as organic. Failure to do so and you might consume coffee that is compromised by various artificial chemicals. This includes chemicals such as pesticides and herbicides, which often affects the unroasted coffee.

Purchase fair trade certified coffee. As identified earlier, purchasing coffee that is based on the Fairtrade regulations is reasonable. This allows families that harvest the coffee producing farms to have less reason to damage their farms to compete with other producers.

Settle for coffee that is grown in the shade. Monoculture in the environment is a complication that has negative results. For instance, invasive species can compromise the development of a particular ecosystem. More so, coffee that is grown in natural settings such as tropical rainforests has been shown to play a major role in the migration patterns of some birds.

For the coffee connoisseur, coffee grown in the shade has a rich taste and aroma than those grown in the direct sun.

More so, consider the carbon-neutral coffee. Global climate change is essential compromising the natural taste of coffee. Since the coffee plant itself is delicate, even a slight change in temperature, the quality of air or soil can compromise the harvest.

Using sustainable approaches to growing coffee is importable. We all enjoy the beverage and it would be sad to see it become extinct on the planet. By considering the suggestions mentioned above, you can easily play a major role towards sustainable coffee. It does not matter how you take your coffee, just ensure that it is produced using sustainable approaches.

Role of Coffee on Attaining Exercise Goals

We all love coffee for its warmth and its ability to energize us, but the truth is coffee is actually good for your health in more ways. Research indicates that coffee has amazing health benefits. One of the amazing health benefits of coffee is helping you attain an effective workout.

Among the major functions of coffee, increasing alertness ranks top. Alertness is one of the great requirements for improved performance when performing physical activity. This is because alertness helps an individual increase the intensity and vigor of exercises with minimum pain and fatigue. How is this done? Well here is how.

Coffee helps in burning fats
One of the major objectives of any fitness challenge is burning fats. When you drink a cup of coffee before exercising, it causes the body utilize fat cells instead of fuel source glycogen. By utilizing the fat instead of fuel, the body muscle enables you to lose the fat belly and reveal the amazing Abs.

Further, the high caffeine content in your coffee helps you to increase the metabolism rate, thus enabling you to burn more calories in a day. Remember, to lose weight, you must burn more calories than you are taking,. However, this doesn’t give you the green-light to over-indulge, drink coffee and stay in shape. It simply means that if you have a good cheat meal in the course of the week, and drink coffee, the effect will be inconsequential due to high metabolism rate and caffeine fat burning ability of coffee.

Increases performance
One unique feature of coffee is its ability to influence the central nervous system, the heart, and your brain. All these organs affect your ability to push yourself harder and for longer during your workout. Also, coffee stimulates the brain to release a feel-good hormone called dopamine. The hormone enhances your mood thus making you enjoy the workout even when you are tired, panting and sweating. When you enjoy the workout, you are likely to push yourself harder, right?

Preserves the body muscles
The body muscle is subjected to waste daily, especially as we continue to age. Research indicates that coffee promotes the release of human growth hormones which are responsible for preservation and maintenance of body muscles. Loss of body muscles has negative implications in your body including; pre-mature aging decreased body tone and slowed fat burning ability among others. Thus, by helping in maintaining the muscles, coffee helps you to offset the age-related atrophy, thus maintaining a youthful look.

What is the best time to drink coffee?
The ideal time to drink coffee before a workout depends on many factors. However, experts recommend that for best results in the morning, drink your coffee 30 minutes before the work-out. This is because coffee takes 15 to 45 minutes before getting the stimulatory effect and reaches an optimum level within 30 to 75 minutes.

For someone exercising in the afternoon or evening, the best time to drink coffee depends on several factors like age, sex, weight, and body tolerance. Remember, different people react to caffeine differently. Coffee can stay in the human body up to 6 hours after drinking, hence imagine the effect it can have on your sleeping pattern if you take it at 7 pm considering you have a low tolerance to coffee.

Which is the best coffee to drink?
Truth is, there is no ideal coffee for everyone. Remember that different kinds of coffee contain different caffeine levels. For instance, light roasted coffee is known to have a higher caffeine content as compared to dark roasted coffee. Thus, start with coffee containing less caffeine and see how your body responds. If you don’t get trouble sleeping at night after taking it, then you can upgrade to high caffeine content coffee.


10 Steps for Better Coffee

For most of us, starting off the day without a solid cup of coffee, is no way to start the day at all.

Probably 99% of us, continue topping up the cup through out the day as we go about our daily routine.

Some people don’t care much about it, and see it as a mere hot drink, others however, are passionate about the drink. The taste, the smell, and the way it makes them feel, they find it impossible to compromise on these key qualities that enriches their day.

Though every one can prepare cups of coffee, not every one can claim to make great cups of coffee.

The good news is that with the help of some basic steps when preparing your coffee, you and those you make coffee for will definitely notice a difference. So, let’s get started with our 10 steps, that will help ensure you understand the many ways to purchase  and brew delicious coffee.

Find the right coffee.

It all starts with the right coffee.

You may not have realised this if you’e ever used outdated beans, the taste changes radically.

This is because the natural gases surrounding the beans, responsible for the flavour, have already escaped.

You should look into what the best roasters in your area are, and then purchase from someone, preferably that sources their products in an ethical way. This will just ensure your conscious is clear as you enjoy your cup of coffee.

Next, look at your local coffee shops. There aren’t many different methods to try, the best shops roast it themselves at the time of brewing, with others order smaller batches from roasters that are local to them.
Either way, you should know that coffee tends to reach its maximum amount of flavour in ther days after the roast. In order to preserve this taste, consumption should be done within a month of the roasted date.

Start with whole beans

It may be easier to go to the supermarket and pick jars of pre-ground coffee that’s been sat there for months, I assure you, fresh whole beans are the way to go.

This ensures that the coffee’s natural flavours stays with the oils of the beans. That oil can evaporate pretty quickly, shortly after the beans have been grounded, meaning the coffee jar at the supermarket is sure to have lost all its flavour long before it made its way to the shop.

Invest in a good grinder

For the right beans, the right grinder is also required.
The best electric burr grinders will prove to be the best purchase for your home brewing station.

When to grind

For the utmost flavours your raw beans should be grinded immediately before brewing, to preserve as much of the natural flavours we’ve discussed, as possible.

Don’t try and do it all at once though, grinding all your beans in one go, is one sure way to ensure they’re no longer fresh later on.
Grind only as much as you’ll need for the time.

Measure everything

It’s in the little details good cups of coffee can be turned into great cups of coffee, Don’t settle for eye-measurements, spoon scooping until it ‘feels right.’
Knowing the precise weight of coffee, will ensue you have acquired a reliable and repeatedly brilliant way of making coffee.

Brew at the right temperature

There will be a little trial and error initially while attempting to discovering the ultimate brewing method that suits your tastebuds best, will reinforce the experience.

Automatic drip coffeemaker tend to brew a mild pot of coffee, whereas if you’re after a bolder, stronger flavour, a fresh press offers this.

The right temperature to brew your coffee is between 90.5 to 96.1 C / 195 to 205 F.

A pour-over setup

Taking control of the brewing process is crucial in order to extract all the flavours that are locked in your beans, consider using pour-over set up.

A pourover device gives you full control over every aspect of the brewing process, as well as the ability to try using variety of temperatures, grind size, and water-to-coffee ratio.

Filtered water

A genuinely extracted cup of coffee is 98 percent water, so it’s only natural that the quality of water you have matters. This is perhaps the most underestimated ingredient in quality cups of coffee, but water from the tap often brings unintended flavours to your cup such as chlorine or rust.

My advise would be to use only filtered water.

Clean it often

The oil your beans leave behind will build up in yourpot, if you don’t wash it enough. This will result in a burnt taste, because of the oil that has been depositing.

Wet and Dry Cappuccino Recipes

One of the popular drinks among most coffee lovers happens to be a light, foamy cappuccino, made with the top rated coffee machines. Traditionally, a cappuccino is prepared by mixing hot milk, a double espresso, and steamed milk foam (in the ratio of 1:1:1). Originally from Italy, this coffee beverage is typically less in volume than a regular café’ latte but possesses a somewhat thicker consistency. The cappuccino recipe has over time evolved to accommodate different tastes worldwide. For instance, in America, cappuccino has a higher amount of steamed milk and a milder espresso flavor than the original Italian drink. To help you differentiate between the different coffee options, we can start by describing an espresso; which is fundamentally the base form for all coffee drinks. In regards to an espresso vs cappuccino; an espresso is coffee brewed in hot water, while a cappuccino is brewed coffee (espresso) with made from steamed milk and milk foam. In regards to Cappuccino vs latte; a latte has more steamed milk and less milk foam than a cappuccino. An Americano is a regular espresso with copious amounts of water.

There are variations to the traditional cappuccino including iced, wet, and dry cappuccinos. Flavored cappuccinos, which are vastly popular in America, are made by adding syrups such as caramel, vanilla, strawberry, peppermint, or raspberry. Many baristas, however, have signature variations and twists to the main types of cappuccinos. Iced cappuccinos are a cold version of the conventional Italian hot cappuccino. In America, however, the drink is served iced, as opposed to frothed in Italian recipes. The key difference between a wet and dry cappuccino lies in the quantity of the milk used. Dry cappuccinos require less milk while wet cappuccinos require more milk than a regular espresso. Below are wet and dry cappuccino recipes.

Wet Cappuccino

Creating a remarkable wet cappuccino is an art of finesse every barista bears pride in. Getting the perfect velvety and smooth textured drink depends on the level of skill. Wet cappuccinos should be almost ready-to-drink with a temperature that is just right. To make a wet cappuccino, you need a coffee machine with a steam arm, a milk jug, milk, and a thermometer (a seasoned barrister would, however, know how to gauge the temperature of the milk).

Start off by texturizing the milk. Fill the milk jug to one-third of its capacity to ensure you have enough milk and space for foaming. Next, purge the steam arm just underneath the surface of the milk. As hot air from the stirring gets drawn into the milk, a sucking sound should be heard. This step takes a few tries before one can do it perfectly.

Next, lower the steam arm to the side of the jug as the milk begins to heat. This ensures the milk spins and subsequently, layers. Just before the milk gets hot, turn off the steam arm, and give the base of the jug a tap to get rid of large bubbles that might have formed.

For a well-compacted, smooth, and glossy finish, you need to pour the espresso with skill. To achieve this, swirl the milk gently in a circular motion as you pour the espresso from a fairly low height. When the jug is halfway full, pour the remaining espresso into the center, and place the jug flat; also do this gently. This achieves a white spot with a solid brown ring. To craft a heart-shaped figure, pour in the center, letting the shift pour from side to side.

A creative presentation has become a reason to smile at cappuccinos for most coffee lovers. One can sprinkle cinnamon or flakes of chocolate at the cappuccino foam. Do this once the foam settles, to give it a professional look. It is imperative to use the proper cappuccino jugs or cups if you want excellent results.
Serve the cappuccino immediately when it is neither too hot nor too cold.

A cappuccino jug is ideally small, elegant, and should hold about 12 ounces. A professional barista knows that great tasting cappuccino is all about the effort and art that goes into creating the beverage. Hence, the drink should be served in an equally deserving vessel.

Dry Cappuccino

Dry cappuccinos are relatively easier to make than wet ones, and hence, easier to find at the local coffee shop. One fundamental difference between dry cappuccinos and wet cappuccinos is that the foam is thicker and stiffer in dry cappuccinos.

Start with making the espresso. Grind coffee beans, and brew about two heaped teaspoons of ground coffee per cup of water to make a good espresso. It is important to note that Arabica coffee beans are less bitter than robust coffee beans.

Gently, heat milk over a low flame. Milk with around 2 percent fat gives a perceptible rich flavor, and non-fat milk gives a kick of froth. On to foaming; place the tip of the steam arm just underneath the surface of the milk, and turn on the steam valve on high speed.

Once the foam has formed, purge the steam arm completely into the milk jar, submerging it. When the milk almost comes to a boil, retract the steam arm gently from the milk and foam, and tap the jar to remove large bubbles.

Pour equal parts of the heated milk into the espresso, while holding back the foam using a spoon. Scoop the top layer of foam onto the top of the milk; preferably from the middle.

There are other methods used to make foam in the absence of a steam pitcher. Some barristers swear by a milk-frother which is specifically designed to give milk bubbles. Such equipment can easily be found in online stores and are relatively inexpensive. When using a frother, however, one is not able to heat the milk and simultaneously cause it to foam as in a steamer. Another innovative way, quite handy when you need that convenient homemade cappuccino, is to shake up the milk in a sealed container and throw it in the microwave. This action, however, does not exactly produce that rich flavor characteristic of a spectacular cappuccino.

Coffee enthusiasts recognize a great cappuccino by its flavor and texture. In addition to expertise, making a good cappuccino requires excellent gourmet coffee and richly flavored milk to complement the lactose sugar. The quality of coffee beans significantly depends on one’s taste. For example, Ethiopian coffee beans have a creamy flavor while the Brazilian coffee beans have a chocolate-like taste. One can source for coffee beans online; though, it is essential to have the supplier package the beans in air-tight coffee bags to preserve the flavor during transit and storage.