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New Research Suggests that Coffee does not Lead to High Blood Pressure

I am always keeping an eye on health issues related to coffee and reading every piece of research related to coffee. Today I came across a report that shows coffee does not increase risk of high blood pressure.

Data shown in the research is very persuasive. The study consisted of 72,567 participants and 37,135 incident cases of hypertension, more than enough to be able to draw a definitive conclusion. It turns out we don’t need to worry that we will develop very high blood pressure if we consume more than 3 cups of coffee a day.

As a coffee lover, I have to say this is a good news. I can now enjoy my coffee without worrying about heart attacks and high blood pressure that may be caused by coffee. I love my life.

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The Best Iced Coffee Options

Compared with traditional hot coffee, iced coffee has become more and more popular among young people lately. On a hot summer afternoon, what could be more cool than a cup of iced coffee?

Basically you have 4 choices when it comes to iced coffee.

  1. Buy your cup from Starbucks
  2. Buy an iced coffee maker
  3. Buy Instant Iced coffee
  4. Make it at home by yourself

I think there is no need to explain the first method, we all can do it: pay the money, get your coffee. So let us move on to the next choice – an iced coffee maker. You can buy a coffee maker with an iced-beverage function or buy an ice coffee maker, which is specifically used to make iced coffee.

For a general coffee maker with an iced-beverage function, I suggest you check out the Breville Bkc700XL Gourmet Single-Serve Coffeemaker with Iced-Beverage Function. However, I don’t want to buy an expensive coffee maker for $200 just to make iced coffee. That is unless the coffee maker I have breaks, in which case I will look for this function when buying my next coffee maker.

In fact, I really like those cheap, cute little machines that are just for making iced coffee or cold brewing only. There are a bunch of them out there. For 30 dollars you can pick up a good brewer such as the Hario V60 Iced Coffee Maker. Watch the video below to see how it works.

Another option is the Toddy Cold Brew System. Watch the video below to see how this coffee maker works.

The 3rd choice is also popular because it is cheap and easy. As I have said before, amazon.com is the best place to buy things like instant iced coffee. Amazon is cheap, high quality and sells some products you can’t get at local stores. If you need some instant iced coffee suggestions, some good options are the Cappucino Coolers French Vanilla, Starbucks iced coffee, Maxwell house iced latte and so on. Have a look for yourself; they are easy to find. In fact, instant iced coffee is my favorite way of drinking iced coffee in the summer. It isn’t the best brewing option for flavor, but sometimes we don’t just concentrate on flavor.

If you are ready to make iced coffee at home, it is best to start with the easiest recipe. All you need is coffee, sugar and ice. Things you have to pay attention to are:

Adding more ground coffee than you usually do. For example, if you use one tablespoon for your hot coffee, use 2 tablespoons for iced coffee.

If you want to add sugar, add it when the coffee is hot. When the water cools down, the sugar won’t dissolve as well.

Don’t pour hot water directly over ice. Leave it to cool for a while or you will end up with a weak and flavorless iced coffee. If you watched the Hario V60 video, you will have seen that the coffee maker has ice in the middle section. This is a fast and convenient solution for cooling coffee down faster, without ruining it by pouring it directly over ice when it is still hot or waiting for hours to let your coffee cool down in the summer.

For other recipes choices, it is easy to search for homemade iced coffee recipes online. I am sure you will find plenty of options as well if you want to pick up an ebook so that you can read it when you are not online.

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Coffee Joulies – Keeping Your Coffee HOT

I came across an article in Gizmag today which I found interesting and I wanted to share this really great product with you.

Unless you’re someone who drinks their coffee fast, you likely face a bit of a conundrum when it comes to temperature – either you start with your coffee at the perfect temperature which ends up getting cold, or you have to let it cool down to the perfect temperature by starting with coffee that is too hot. Two young entrepreneurs, however, have created a product that they claim quickly cools your hot coffee to the right temperature, but then keeps it at that temperature twice as long as normal. Their product is called the Coffee Joulie.

Mechanical engineers Dave Petrillo and Dave Jackson grew up together in New Jersey, but have since ended up on opposite sides of the U.S. That hasn’t stopped them from collaborating on the Coffee Joulies design over the past nine months.

Each Joulie contains a proprietary, non-toxic phase change material that is sealed within a polished stainless steel shell. The product is placed at the bottom a coffee mug (or other container), to which hot java is then added. The secret internal material is designed to melt at 140F (60C), absorbing heat energy from the coffee as it does. This reportedly allows the Joulie to cool coffee three times faster than normal.

Once the Joulie has cooled down past 140 degrees, however, it starts to solidify again, thus releasing the energy it stored while melting. This is what keeps the coffee warm for twice as long as a non-Joulified beverage.

Best results are obtained with a covered, insulated container, while heat-absorbing ceramic mugs offer the poorest performance. Users need to experiment with different amounts of Joulies and/or with pre-heating them, depending on the size of the container and whether or not an individual cools their coffee by adding cream.

Needless to say, the product does take up room that would otherwise be occupied by liquid. It pretty much comes down to a question of coffee quantity versus coffee temperature.

The two Daves have been making limited numbers of Coffee Joulies by hand, but are currently trying to raise funds to start automated production at an existing silverware plant. They are doing so by offering Joulies in exchange for pledges on the Kickstarter fund-raising website. $40 will get you five, $100 will get you five Joulies with a custom Thermos travel mug, and the $500 Coffee Shop Pack will score you 20 sets of five.

Check out the project information on their Kickstarter page.

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A Guide to Burr Coffee Grinders

Burr Coffee Grinders are known for their better flavor, more even grind and their ease of use compared to blade coffee grinders. If you follow this blog, you have likely already read How to Choose a Blade Grinder and A Comparison Between Blade Grinders and Burr Grinders where I talked about how burr grinders are superior to blade grinders.

Coffee lovers all know that a cup of freshly brewed coffee needs to be brewed with freshly ground coffee beans. If ground beans are not used within minutes of grinding, the flavor is very quickly lost. That is why it is really important to have a coffee grinder at home.

Before getting into more detail about grinders, let us look at some basic information regrding different grinding levels.

There are three main grind sizes: course, medium and fine. Turkish grind is also often discussed as a fourth grind size. Course ground coffee has the largest coffee granules while the Turkish grind is the finest.

Apart from espresso, medium grind works well with most coffee makers. For espresso machines, a fine grind is necessary. Course grind is recommended for coffee presses and percolators.

You don’t need to buy an expensive burr coffee grinder with loads of different settings, a simple grinder will do the job. If you are grinding for less than three people, a blade grinder will be fine.

Turkish grind is the finest of the four grinding levels mentioned above and is used with Turkish coffee brewers. Turkish grinding requires a particular type of grinder and generally won’t be achievable with a domestic coffee grinder.

Types of Burr Coffee Grinders

There are 2 types of burr coffee grinders:

  • Flat Burr Coffee Grinder
  • Conical Burr Coffee Grinder
Flat Burr grinder vs Conical Burr grinder

Conical grinders are quite popular right now, but flat burr grinders are also great. With so many makes and models out there, it is difficult to say what type of grinder is better. So here we are not going to compare these two types of grinders, we are just going to list some features of both so that you can buy the grinder that best suits your needs. It really does not matter whether you go for a conical or flat burr grinder as long as you get the grinder that is right for you.

The Speed – there are two standard grinding speeds: high and low, powered by either a high or low speed motor. The price for high speed grinders is similar to that of high-end blade grinders. The motor is smaller than low speed grinder motors. As the motor in these grinders is required to operate at a pretty high rate, some heat may be created and transferred to the beans which isn’t good for optimal coffee extraction and can result in bitter coffee. Low speed grinders produce less heat and are also more quiet. Choose a low speed grinder if your budget allows for it.

Noise level – the quiet the better. Burr grinders are quieter than blade grinders and lower speed grinders are quieter than fast grinders.

The design – there are three points we want to pay attention to when it comes to design: how the grind is adjusted, whether or nor the grinder has a doser and finally, whether or not the design fits with your kitchen decor.

Personally, I prefer stepless grinders (grinders without reference options) as they give complete control over the size of the grind. Stepped burr grinders are good too, as it is easy to remember the exact setting for your coffee grind. This is particularly useful for espresso machine owners.

A doser automatically measures out a portion of ground coffee. Non-dosing grinders are not ideal for espresso but are fine for all the other brewing methods such as a drip coffee or French press.

No matter what kind of Burr Coffee Grinder you choose, there is no need to over-complicate things. A cup of fresh coffee is all we want.

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Bunn NHBX-B Contemporary 10-Cup Home Coffee Brewer

If you ever need a 10-cup coffee brewer, you can consider this Bunn NHBX-B Contemporary brewer especially for Christmas – fast and enough cups for all your family members.

When I say fast, that is fast, 50-oz only take you 3 minutes, that’s amazing, and you still have hot water available there when you need it. So how how Bunn delivers such a fast pot?

Bunn nhbx-b

The first way they do it is to have what amounts to two sets of water tanks: one you fill, and the other is preheated. The preheated water tank is delivered to the spray head, and because it is preheated, it doesn’t require any time to heat it up. The second thing they do to get a fast brew is to increase the amount of water that pours in to the filter basket, far greater than other coffee makers.

If you are looking for a brewer which can work great for at least 5 years but not only 1 year or even 6 months, then you should choose this Bunn BHBX-B coffee brewer. Bunn builds coffee makers to last, unlike other coffee makers that will wear out after a year or two. Virtually all programmable models seem to only last a year or two. So by buying this brand, you’ll save money on coffee makers.

If you still need to buy your friend a gift, I have to say this is the best gift for Christmas.

Oh I forget to say that there is a 3-year limited warranty, so you will lose nothing.

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How to Make Your Choice Between Blade Grinder and Burr Grinder

Make your choice between blade coffee grinder and burr coffee grinder is not that hard, you just need to know the differences and what you want,  for example, what type of brewer you intent to use, blade grinder can only be used for automatic-drip coffee maker and burr grinder is good for espresso machines, French press or Turkish.

Let us look into more details.

The Price is something you should consider when buying a grinder

Let us back to the reality, whatever we buy, the factor which may not be the first one but definitely the most important one is the PRICE. Generally speaking, you can get a blade grinder at the price as low as $20, but you have to pay at least $80 for a burr.

The flavor is the next thing you want to consider

When you brew your coffee, you know that the extraction rate of the coffee grounds depends on the size of the granules. When the granules in a given amount of coffee are uniform in size, they will help extract flavor at almost same rate during the brewing process. The burr grinder can do much better than blade ones when it comes to uniformity due to the separation between the grinding surfaces. Coffee beans are fed between them and crushed into uniform grind particles when one of the burrs rotates while the other is stationary.

blade grinderOn the contrary, by chopping the beans, the blade grinder is unable to cut the beans into consistently sized pieces or grounds. The result will be relatively large pieces mixed with small pieces. When brewed, the big granules will be grossly remained under extracted when the smaller granules will add to the bitterness of the brew as a result of over extraction.

Besides, the blade also tend to burn the coffee grounds due to the high heat produced during the grinding process which will add bitterness.

Space should also be considered

The burr is much bigger than the blade, so assess your counter space when you make your choice. Generally a burr can be 14.6 x 9.6 x 7.8 inches when a blade is 3.5 x 3 x 6.8 inches.

Want to grind spices

If you want to grind spices, the blade grinder is your only choice, the burr grinder can not handle this task.

In one word, if you are not coffee addiction, want to grind your coffee beans in a fast and easy way, sometimes grind spices and clean can be done very easily, blade coffee grinder is always your best choice. If you are a really coffee lover, and want to advanced coffee flavor, then go for burr coffee grinder.

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How to Choose Blade Grinder

The perfect way to jump start your day is a cup of fresh coffee, buy yourself coffee beans but not grounds and grind in your own house is a perfect way to get the fresh flavor. So a grinder is a must. If you have not decide which type of coffee grinder to choose, check out this post How to Make Your Choice Between Blade Grinder and Burr Grinder.

In this post I will explain how to choose blade grinder with the following 3 products:

  • Krups Fast Touch Coffee Grinders
  • Proctor Silex E160B Fresh Grind Coffee Grinder
  • Mr. Coffee Electric Coffee Grinder with Chamber Maid Cleaning System

What to look for when buying a Blade Grinder

  • Whether it is easy to clean

There are several types of blade grinders, some have a cleaning system like the third one above, some don’t. For those which don’t have cleaning systems, there are some tips on how to clean them.

The first one is using a piece of bread, check out the video for how it works.

The second one is using brush like the following picture.

When you clean your grinder, remember not to use salt or wet stuff, salt can produce dust, you don’t want your first cup of coffee taste salty, do you? Water is not suggested as most grinders not designed to use water cleaning.

  • Whether it has grind settings

For example, Mr. coffee has 3 grind settings, other 2 don’t have this function, Proctor Silex has a Safety on/off button instead. Make your choice depending on your budget and the function.

  • Power is the higher the better

The higher its power is, the faster it grind. For example, Krups grinder is one with 200-watt motor. Make your choice depending on your need and budget.

  • The last one you should consider is the warranty

Both of Mr. Coffee and Krups provide one year warranty.

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Hawaii Kona Coffee Bean – the Most Beautiful Coffee Beans

The world famous “Hawaii Kona Coffee Beans” are from the old Arabica coffee trees, they are one of finest coffee beans for its suitable acidity and unique flavor – flavor of Hawaii beach, monsoon and volcano. They are also the mostly beautiful coffee beans among the world. Each of them is super plump and shiny with great uniformity, strong flavor and lubricative taste. Because of growing in the volcano, the climate there leads to its particular aroma.

Coffee made from kona coffee beans taste fresh, cool, medium body, a little acid with strong aroma, and leave a lasting and pleasant aftertaste. Generally speaking, the flavor of kona coffee is mild. Some people think it is too mild, tasting too fresh and simple. But I want to say that if you are the person who need the aroma to bring you into the mood before tasting, than kona coffee is for you. It is not as mellow as Indonesia coffee, not as strong as African Coffee, not as rough as South America coffee, it is just like a girl coming from the Hawaii shine, fresh and natural.

Hawaii is the only coffee-growing U.S. states, the coffee was grown in the five major Hawaiian Islands, they are Oahu, Hawaii Island, Maui, Kauai and the MaunaLoa Island. Coffee produced in different islands have their own characteristics, Kauai coffee is soft and smooth, MaunaLoa Island produces high alcohol and low acidity coffee, Maui coffee has the most strong flavor, but the most moderate acidity. Native Hawaiian are very proud of their hundred percent Arabica coffee beans.

Hawaii Island is the largest one of the Hawaiian Islands, so called the Big Island (theBigIsland), Kona coffee is grown in western and southern areas of Kona,coffee trees are found everywhere in Hualalai and MaunaLoa hillside, the altitude there is 150 meters to 750 meters, where is just good for coffee growing.

As early as 19th century, Kona coffee beans have started being cultivated, and never stopped since then, and only coffee produced here can be called the “Hawaiian Kona.” Kona coffee beans are often mixed with coffee beans produced in other parts of the world to produce a blend of coffee. However,Kona beans only take about 10% of coffee blends. Therefore, unless you are living in Kona,Hawaii, it is very difficult to get pure Kona coffee beans.

Never tried 100% Kona Coffee?  Now’s your chance. Have you seen the coffee store in the above pictures?

Go to www.coffeesofhawaii.com now,  yes,  it is the web store of the real store in the picture above.

Save 20% and shipping is free with Coupon code COFFEE20 to Save 20% and FREE shipping!

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Cuisinart Brew Central DCC-1200 Review

The Cuisinart Brew Central DCC-1200 is the best standard coffee brewer, according to reviews. Critics believe this automatic-drip machine is way better compared to a standard low-priced coffee machine, because of the stability, its fantastic coffee as well as its features, includinga small-batch setting, a programmable timer as well as a great adjustable-temperature hot plate. Keepers mention that 3 colour finishes look good. Additionally , it comes with an uncommonly very long three-year guarantee. If you do not wish to invest too much, think about the Mr. Coffee JWX27info (*Est. $45), a standard programmable coffee machine that has a plastic housing (rather than stainless-steel) and without small-batch setting.

The pros are:

  • Great-tasting coffee
  • Three color options
  • Small-batch setting
  • Three-setting hot plate
  • Three-year warranty

The cons are:

  • Clock isn’t backlit

The amount of water registered in the carafe is also the exact number in the water reservoir which is a FIRST for this household. The easy-pour feature truly is not easier to use, but not fool-proof. It will balance the carafe while pouring into the reservoir so I have yet to spill water, which is very good. The coffee truly is much hotter than my older coffeemakers of the past. This is a big plus. The charcoal filter is easy enough to use. There is a separate compartment with a long “stick”. Once pulled out, the bottom of the stick has a small plastic piece to open & insert the filter. I use filtered water (not tap) so I cannot give an accurate statement concerning this filter & how will it is.

There are more than 2000 consumers according to several sites, such as Amazon.com, cook.com and so on. They give this product 4.5 out of 5.

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Bunn NHBX-B Contemporary 10-Cup Home Coffee Brewer

If you ever need a 10-cup coffee brewer, you can consider this Bunn NHBX-B Contemporary brewer especially for Christmas – fast and enough cups for all your family members.

When I say fast, that is fast, 50-oz only take you 3 minutes, that’s amazing, and you still have hot water available there when you need it. So how how Bunn delivers such a fast pot?

The first way they do it is to have what amounts to two sets of water tanks: one you fill, and the other is preheated. The preheated water tank is delivered to the spray head, and because it is preheated, it doesn’t require any time to heat it up. The second thing they do to get a fast brew is to increase the amount of water that pours in to the filter basket, far greater than other coffee makers.

If you are looking for a brewer which can work great for at least 5 years but not only 1 year or even 6 months, then you should choose this Bunn BHBX-B coffee brewer. Bunn builds coffee makers to last, unlike other coffee makers that will wear out after a year or two. Virtually all programmable models seem to only last a year or two. So by buying this brand, you’ll save money on coffee makers.

If you still need to buy your friend a gift, I have to say this is the best gift for Christmas.

Oh I forget to say that there is a 3-year limited warranty, so you will lose nothing.