Coffee

Filtered coffee is more heart healthy than other brewing methods, study claims

Say what you will, coffee purists, but the best way to brew is by the humble drip method, cardiologists claim. Between 2018 and 2019, the world’s coffee growers produced nearly 1.357 trillion pounds of coffee, and the unfathomable number of cups that makes means the plant-derived stimulant has far-reaching health effects. A Swedish university study that aimed to analyze the risks associated with different brewing methods has revealed that drinking filtered coffee is more heart-healthy than not. Filtered coffee, as with drip or pour-over, provided a 15 percent cut in risk of death from any cause. In terms of cardiovascular-disease risk, filtered coffee was linked to a 12 percent decreased risk of death in men, and a 20 percent discount for women. Published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, the findings — which include that drinking filtered coffee may actually extend your life compared to drinking no coffee at all — are a boon to coffee snobs everywhere. “Our study provides strong and convincing evidence of a link between coffee brewing methods, heart attacks and longevity,” said University of Gothenburg professor Dag S. Thelle. “Unfiltered coffee contains substances which increase blood cholesterol. Using a filter removes these and makes heart attacks and premature death less likely.” Thelle has been studying coffee for a long time. In the early ’90s, he discovered that coffee-drinking was linked to higher rates of cholesterol, particularly “bad” LDL cholesterol. Further experimentation uncovered the lipid-raising compounds in coffee and showed that unfiltered coffee contained 30 times the concentration of those substances compared to filtered. They wanted to take their research a step further, to determine whether a coffee-induced cholesterol spike put drinkers at a greater risk of heart disease. “But it was unethical to do a trial randomizing people to drink coffee or not,” said Thelle in a statement on the European Society of Cardiology’s website. “So we set up a large population study and several decades later we are reporting the results.” Over 500,000 Norwegian men and women, ages 20 to 79, enrolled in the study, which lasted from 1985 to 2003. The region is known for its particularly high coffee consumption. (Currently, the Netherlands is the world’s leading per capita consumer of the stimulant.) For an average of 20 years, volunteers answered periodic surveys about their coffee drinking habits, how much, what type and when, as well as other aspects of a health profile, including body measurements, blood pressure, cholesterol, history with cigarettes and level of exercise. During the study period, 46,341 participants died, 12,621 deaths were caused by cardiovascular disease and 6,202 were the result of a heart attack. Those who drank between one and four cups of filtered coffee per day showed the lowest mortality rates of the entire cohort. Other studies have suggested that up to 25 cups a day could still be considered safe for your heart. “The finding that those drinking the filtered beverage did a little better than those not drinking coffee at all could not be explained by any other variable such as age, gender, or lifestyle habits. So we think this observation is true,” said Thelle. Overall, they determined that coffee-drinking is generally not a significant contributor to premature death. The only age group whose coffee drinking actually elevated mortality rates was men ages 60 and above, and only when the brew was unfiltered, such as with a French press or Turkish style, which brews with finely ground beans directly in the cup. This, said Thelle, is likely tied to the “cholesterol-increasing effect of unfiltered coffee,” as previous research had uncovered. Coffee’s potential benefits go beyond the heart. Other studies have put coffee consumers at a lower risk of other illnesses, including Type 2 diabetes, depression and some neurodegenerative diseases, namely Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s, according to Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Cheers!!    🙂

Panera Bread starts unlimited coffee subscription for $9 a month

Ever wished you could pay a flat fee for endless coffee on the go? Panera Bread has brewed up a hot project with that very pitch, offering an unlimited coffee subscription for $8.99 a month. Starting March 2, the bakery-café will serve unlimited coffee across its nearly 2,200 locations for those who sign up for the company’s free loyalty program and pay the $8.99 monthly subscription fee, plus tax. The promotion offers one cup of hot drip coffee, hot tea or iced coffee every two hours during regular Panera hours, in addition to free refills of the same drink at other locations. “We’re changing the game for coffee drinkers across the country with our no compromises, unlimited subscription service — great coffee at an amazing value,” Niren Chaudhary, Panera CEO, said in a statement on Thursday. “We are eliminating the price barrier and the false choices between convenience and quality – between good coffee and craveable food. At Panera, there’s no more compromise — and your cup is always full.” However, those who enjoy their daily cuppa in the form of cold brew iced coffee, espresso or cappuccino won’t be too happy to hear that those beverages are not included in the program, USA Today reports. Though Panera claims to be “the first national restaurant company” to offer an unlimited monthly coffee subscription program, the premise is not entirely new. Last March, Burger King tested an unlimited coffee program, good for one small hot coffee a day for $5 at any time. The trial was ultimately discontinued a few months later. Nevertheless, the coffee news from Panera had fans buzzing with excitement. One Twitter user even claimed to have gotten their first sip of their first “big ol free subscription coffee” on Thursday. With over 160 million American adults drinking coffee every day, per Panera, the coffee cup has never looked quite so half-full.

🙂

Everyone is making coffee wrong, study suggests

Wake up! You’ve been making coffee wrong this entire time! According to a study published last week in the academic journal Matter, we as a society have been making espresso incorrectly for a while now. At least that’s what scientists and mathematicians across the world think. In the study, “Systematically Improving Espresso: Insights from Mathematical Modeling and Experiment,” the authors claim coffee makers — both at home and in cafés — are using too many beans and too finely a ground, which is resulting in “wasted raw material” and inconsistent flavor. “With instruction from our model, we outline a procedure to eliminate these shortcomings,” the study says. An espresso shot that uses fewer beans and a more coarse grind is how scientists claim consumers can eliminate waste and have more uniformity of flavor among shots while maintaining the strength of the coffee from a finer grind. “Most people in the coffee industry are using fine-grind settings and lots of coffee beans to get a mix of bitterness and sour acidity that is unpredictable and irreproducible,” said study co-author Christopher Hendon, a computational chemist at the University of Oregon, Today reported. “It sounds counterintuitive, but experiments and modeling suggest that efficient, reproducible shots can be accessed by simply using less coffee and grinding it more coarsely.” Hendon and the study authors claim their “novel brewing protocols,” which call for 15 grams instead of 20 grams of coffee per shot, would “decrease the mass of coffee used per espresso by up to 20 percent” and have a “significant economic impact and create a more sustainable coffee-consuming future.” Though, not everyone is ready to convert to the new practice. “The best extraction practices are extremely dependent on the origin of the coffee bean,” Adam Budnick, a barista at Kettner Coffee Supply, told Today. “This includes the presence of lactic acid based on elevation, fermentation of the coffee bean husk or cherry and how the washing process affects the available sugars.”

Indeed…  And that’s before the art of the process is even brought into the mix; something these mathematicians and scientists aren’t addressing in their “study.”

This Is the Right Time to Drink Your Coffee, Scientists Say

We love coffee. And what’s not to love? It perks us up in the morning, tastes heavenly and even has health benefits (plus a few extra benefits if you try it “bulletproof”-style). But as much as we love a hot cuppa as soon as we roll out of bed, it turns out that might not be the best time to take advantage of all coffee has to offer. In fact, scientists have found that there’s a better time to get your morning caffeine fix. Turns out the best time to drink coffee might not be first thing in the morning, but an hour after you wake up. This is because in the hour after you wake up, your body’s production of cortisol is at one of its three daily peaks, according to researchers who published a small but intriguing clinical study. We tend to think of cortisol as the “stress hormone” because it’s secreted in higher amounts when feel strain or tension from circumstances we perceive as demanding (and decreases when we eat yummy chocolate). But another way of thinking of cortisol is as the “alertness hormone,” because the reason our bodies produce more cortisol when we’re under stress is that it increases alertness (which supports our “fight or flight” response when we’re faced with stressful situations). Consuming caffeine while our bodies are already at peak cortisol-production teaches the body to produce less cortisol, according to chronopharmacologists who study the way drugs (such as caffeine) interact with our body’s natural biological rhythms. Not only does this undermine the effect of the caffeine, it also works against cortisol’s alertness effect. Perhaps even worse, it may contribute to developing a tolerance for coffee (meaning that it takes more and more just to get to the same place — yikes)! So to get the biggest jolt from your morning coffee, try to wait an hour after waking to brew that first cup (I know it can be hard!). And when you’re looking to follow up with another caffeine fix, try to do it outside the other peak cortisol production times — typically between noon and 1:00 p.m. and between 5:50 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. This will definitely help you kick any of those afternoon lull feelings and will power you into a productive evening.

Good to know!    🙂

National Coffee Day 2018: Where to get free java

Though true java lovers know that the dreamy drink is worthy of celebration 365 days a year, National Coffee Day is nearly upon us once again. On September 29, coffee shops across the country will mark the occasion by giving out free (or discounted) cups of joe. Various chains are brewing up tons of deals and steals at participating stores – so get ‘em while they’re hot. Click here to see our list:

🙂

More evidence that coffee is safe for your heart

Coffee lovers, rejoice. There’s more evidence that your morning mug won’t harm your heart, according to a new study from Sweden. In the study, researchers found that drinking coffee was not associated with an increased risk of a condition called atrial fibrillation, which is a type of irregular heartbeat, in either men or women. “This is largest prospective study to date on the association between coffee consumption and risk of atrial fibrillation. We find no evidence that high consumption of coffee increases the risk of atrial fibrillation,” Susanna Larsson, an associate professor of epidemiology at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and lead author on the study, said in a statement. “This is important because it shows that people who like coffee can safely continue to consume it, at least in moderation, without the risk of developing this condition,” Larsson said. The study comes on the heels of an earlier study from this year, which suggested that coffee may lower the risk of heart attacks. In the new study, the researchers looked at data from about 42,000 men and nearly 35,000 women who were participating in two long-running studies, the Cohort of Swedish Men and the Swedish Mammography Cohort. In 1997, all the participants filled out questionnaires that asked about their health and diet, including how many cups of coffee they drank daily or weekly. During the 12-year follow-up period, the researchers used the Swedish Hospital Discharge Register to determine which patients developed atrial fibrillation. The researchers found no association between coffee consumption and an increased risk of atrial fibrillation, though they did observe a slight increase in risk when they limited the analysis to men. However, this increase was not statistically significant (meaning it could have been due to chance), the researchers wrote. “Whether men may be more sensitive to a high coffee or caffeine intake warrants further study,” the researchers wrote in their article, published today (Sept. 22) in the journal BioMed Central. The researchers also did a meta-analysis, looking at six other studies on atrial fibrillation and coffee intake, which confirmed their results. The researchers cautioned that although coffee does not appear to increase the risk of atrial fibrillation, it may increase risk for other types of irregular heartbeats.

YES!!!! 🙂

Brazil finds coffee protein with morphine effect

Brazilian scientists have discovered a protein in coffee that has effects similar to pain reliever morphine, researchers at the state University of Brasilia (UnB) and state-owned Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation Embrapa said Saturday.

How cool is that?!  Just another reason to start your day with a nice cup o’ joe.     🙂