All things coffee

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Coffee, Good or Bad for the Blood Pressure

By Stephen Morgan

Caffeine, Good or Bad for the Blood Pressure? This is another one of those “is it or isn’t it” issues that probably by and large depends on a whole variety of associated issues but as it is one of the most regular of all of our queries I thought I would go ahead and try and provide some form of opinion.

Firstly from my own point of view, I have just started drinking Coffee again after an absence of about 15 years and thought that while I was undergoing a review of my medication for High Blood Pressure that I would see whether I could resume my on/off love affair with Caffeine.

To be honest the jury is still out as far as I am concerned in that yes there are the positives of being able to sit down every now and then with a hot cup of coffee and savour the rich and glorious aroma of freshly ground coffee but there is the down side also. For my part this is now a recurrence of the headaches that made me give up drinking the stuff in the first place and then there is the caffeine “hit” that has now started to resemble a punch!

It is probably best to try and understand the chemistry behind Coffee and the human being before you start to make what comes remotely close to a definitive pronouncement of whether Coffee is good or bad for you. How does Coffee manage to have this sort of effect that one minute has legions of aficionados claiming it to be the “nectar of the gods” and the next minute claiming it to be the “juice of the devil!”

The famous Native American hero, Chief Crazy Horse is widely acclaimed to have made the following statement about Coffee. “If the Great Spirit has something better than coffee, he keeps it for himself.” Now it is a medical fact that Caffeine increases blood pressure. For those with normal blood pressure this is not a problem. For those with an already increased blood pressure then this can be an issue that causes further problems.

The whole situation is further complicated by the fact that Caffeine is such a widely available substance by which I mean that it is present in a great many different beverages and drinks and also in a wide variety of freely obtainable over the counter (OTC) medicines such as certain types of Painkillers, weight loss drugs and various cold remedies.

The other side issue with the consumption of Coffee is that coffee increases the excretion of calcium which in turn tends to compound the whole “High Blood Pressure Cycle” by further acting as another cause of increased Blood Pressure.

As far as Women are concerned, the Calcium loss can have a further side effect and this is especially the case with regards to Woman who already have issues with a calcium deficiency. Because Coffee acts as a diuretic as has been mentioned above this further loss of calcium is aggravated via increased excretion. For those who already suffer from Osteoporosis, studies have shown that the diuretic qualities of Coffee can be an issue.

And the conclusion to all of this?

I’m afraid it is the same with Coffee as with most things, there is a lot to be said of the old saying that “a little bit of what you fancy does you good” but in this case it really does mean a little.

More information on the above can be found at

Coffee, Good or Bad for the Blood Pressure

where Stephen Morgan is principle Editor and also at

Coffee, Good or Bad for the Blood Pressure
Stephen also contributes to

Friday, November 10, 2006

Coffee Cuts Risk of Diabetes

Along with the discovery that coffee is replete with those wonderful antioxidants, another study now shows that it can cut your risk of diabetes. All the moe reason for me to refill my cup :)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Best Pot of Coffee I Ever Made

By Bonita Anderson

I think the aroma of fresh coffee in the morning wakes up your senses and starts the day off with a feeling of vitality. With no coffee in the morning a lot of people have a hard time getting started. Coffee jump-starts my day.

I have used just about every type of coffeemaker there is. The percolators make a fine brew as do the programmable automatic ones. Whether you use glass or prefer stainless steel the finished product is only as good as the water you started with. Too much iron in the water tends to turn it green. Chlorine or fluoride will give the coffee an odd taste. Good water is essential. If you are lucky enough to have an artisan well I am jealous. I get coffee water from my neighbor, he has an artisan well with no iron.

I generally use a French Press coffeemaker but my favorite way to make the brew is with an egg.You are probably thinking, an egg? Yes, an egg. My great grandmother made egg coffee and it is a real treat. I make it for special occasions or when I want to share a cup with someone who has never heard of egg coffee.

To make egg coffee you need a clean pot and fresh cold water. I use an enamel one. Measure your coffee grounds into a cup and add a beaten egg. Stir the mixture into the cold water and put the pot over a low heat. Slowly heat to a boil, stirring often. When it comes to a boil, turn off the heat. Let sit for about two minutes then strain it into a cup.

That may sound like a lot of monkey business but I think it is well worth the effort. Coffee made like this over a campfire in the outdoors is delicious. At Christmas we add a little Irish Creme for flavor. Santa sure enjoys it.

I am such a cooking enthusiast that I made a website as a tribute to five generations of country cooks. You will find other cooking tips at

Friday, October 20, 2006

Gourmet Coffee

Why Gourmet Coffee Is More Popular Than Ever Before
By Gregg Hall

Most coffee drinkers don't give much though to the coffee they drink. They drink whatever coffee is cheap and nearby. When shopping for coffee most people buy whatever is cheapest. The coffee most people drink is weak and tastes alarmingly like cardboard.

There are those out there who have finer taste in that lovely dark elixir made from what are, in fact, berries. These gourmet coffee lovers don't just drink their coffee to give them a jolt in the morning (or afternoon, or evening); these coffee connoisseurs drink coffee because they savor the rich flavor and subtle tones of this increasingly popular drink.

It used to be difficult to for people who enjoyed good coffee to find the quality they were searching for. Some popular coffee shop chains have changed all that. Now, all but the most backwoods of towns, has at least one coffee shop, whether a chain or local business, which serves up high quality brew. This kind of coffee often costs more than convenience store brown water sold as coffee, but to the coffee drink with class, the extra money spent is well worth it.

In addition to coffee shops, which offer already brewed gourmet coffee and bags of gourmet coffee to bring home, more and more grocery stores and supermarkets are carrying it as well. You can get gourmet coffee already ground or you can buy whole beans and grind them at home. You can also get whole beans and grind them with the in-store grinder which accompanies almost all decent gourmet coffee displays. Don't be afraid of the machine. It won't chop your fingers off. They're easy to use. You just select the coarseness of the grind, dump your coffee in the machine, load a bag below, and push the button. In seconds you have fresh-ground coffee. If you want to grind gourmet coffee at home, there are a variety of home coffee grinders on the market. Most are pretty cheap and will last a long time. The grind of the coffee is important and needs to selected based on what method you'll be using to brew your coffee. Standard drip coffeemakers work best with a medium grind. If you're making espresso, which is very strong-tasting condensed coffee, you use a fine grind. If you're going to use a french press, you'll want a fairly coarse grind.

You can also get good coffee from specialty shops which are springing up even in the smallest of markets. The proprietors of these establishments are always happy to give helpful advice and they love to share their knowledge with others. These kinds of shops are probably the best place to go to learn about coffee. They're run by people who truly love what they're doing and who have a ton of information about gourmet coffee. If you have any questions about what kind of coffee to get or which roast is best or what grind you should use, the people at gourmet coffee shops will provide all the advice you need.

The darkness of the roast is probably more important to the taste than the grind. If you don't know if you prefer light, medium, or dark roast, experiment! Try all sorts of coffee. Try coffee from different places around the world. Even if roasted and ground the same, coffee from Colombia will taste different than coffee from Sumatra. Half the fun of gourmet coffee is trying new types. Some you won't like, but you'll find most gourmet coffee, no matter where it's from, is infinitely superior to the shoddy stuff found in most kitchens and doughnut shops.

Article Source:

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Brewing Coffee

When brewing coffee the ratio of ground coffee to water is vital. Generally the rule is 1 standard coffee scoop (2 tablespoons) of ground coffee to every 6 ounces of water. The only problem here is that coffee scoops can vary in capacity. The ideal way is to measure the capacity of your coffee scoop and adjust your subsequent coffee measurements accordingly. If weaker coffee is preferred then the 2 to 6 rule applies. Make it full strength and then dilute to taste with hot water or milk.

There are many ways to brew coffee but a percolator should not be one of them. Percolators violate two of the fundamental rules of good coffee brewing. They boil the coffee which extracts bitter and sour substances that should play no part in coffee and they pour water that is too hot over the grounds repeatedly. The water should be just right and poured only once.

There are many recommended methods of brewing a good cup of coffee.

The filter cone method involves pouring the hot water through ground coffee that has been measured into a filter set inside a cone. Over recent years this method has become increasingly popular. Connoisseurs prefer to use gold-washed metal filters but paper filters are convenient and easy to use.

Electric Drip machines operate in much the same fashion as manual filter cones except that they pour water over the coffee electrically from a pre-measured reservoir. The flat-bottomed cupcake shaped filters are thought to allow the water to saturate the ground coffee more evenly than the cone shaped filters.

The commonest version of the Metal drip pot is the old-fashioned stovetop pot divided from top to bottom into chambers for hot water, ground coffee and brewed coffee. These are excellent and produce coffee, which is full in flavor and body.

Plunger Pots or French Press Pots operate in a unique manner. The course ground coffee is placed into the pot. Hot water is then added and the grounds are left to steep. Then a metal screen attached to a plunger is slowly pushed down forcing the coffee grounds to the bottom of the pot. This coffee has a thick texture and is particularly appropriate to the flavors of dark roasted coffees.

Espresso coffee is fast becoming popular and the term espresso refers to the brewing method and not a coffee bean. This method gives the fullest bodied coffee by far. Espresso machines force hot (not boiling) water through finely ground coffee at high pressure.

Almost certainly every nation of the eastern Mediterranean brew coffee with a very simple method which is though to have originated in the coffee houses of Cairo in the fifteenth century. Very finely ground, sweetened coffee is lightly boiled several times in a medieval looking long handles brass or copper vessel called a cezve in Turkish and ibrik or briki in Greek. Although the coffee is not filtered the grounds stay in the bottom of the pot but some sediments will find there way into the cup where it sinks to the bottom and remains.

Michael Russell
Your Independent guide to Coffee

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Cappuccino Machines With An Italian Touch

Cappuccino began in Italy where it is still a delight of the morning routine. The Italians can tell a tourist from a native though because only a tourist will order a cappuccino after noon. It is considered a morning beverage in Italy, but in other regions of the world it is served throughout the day.

The Steps to Making a Cup of Cappuccino

Cappuccino is a tricky drink to master. It is divided into 3 parts: the espresso, the steamed milk, and the frothy or foamy milk. These layers created at the perfect proportions, textures and temperatures are what make the ideal cup of cappuccino. It used to take highly skilled chefs to create this concoction, but with the advent of the cappuccino machine, most of the guess work is taken out of it.

How Cappuccino Machines Work

Cappuccino machines are designed to brew and dispense the espresso coffee. Many can also do the step of grinding the coffee beans for an ultra fresh brew. When the espresso has been dispensed into the cup, the machine then adds steamed milk. These two steps are relatively easy, even though milk temperature and the strength of the espresso are important ingredients in this recipe.

The frothy milk is the most difficult part for humans or machines to get just right. The objective is to create a light foam, just the right temperature and with the optimal number air bubbles. This micro-foam stays warm when added to a cup of espresso and creates sweeter tasting foam than more dense concentrations of milk. This helps offset the bitterness of the espresso.

Makers of Cappuccino Makers

Bunn is one manufacture of some of the best cappuccino makers in the world. They are used in restaurants and homes alike because they are durable and able to maintain the ratios and temperatures required for great cappuccino. The restaurant models have up to 5 spouts for instant cappuccino and can cost close to $2,000. For home use, other brands provide more affordable options.

The Nespresso machines for home use costs about $400. This is a versatile machine that makes espresso but has plumbing for water to steam and a milk dispenser to create the foam for cappuccino or latte.

There are many other brands available of home and commercial cappuccino makers. Prices are more than a regular coffee maker because of the specialty features. Home machines generally dispense one or two small cups of coffee, while commercial grade machines can handle 5 cups simultaneously.

The Right Recipe For You

Unlike other types of coffee, espresso and cappuccino are very specific in terms of flavour, consistency and ingredients. One cup of coffee from one particular machine may taste just fine to one person, while the next person thinks it is weak or bitter. With espresso and cappuccino, there is a right taste and a wrong taste. You either like it or you don’t, but don’t mess with the recipe!

About The Author

Clinton Maxwell is a contributing designer for the news section of Clinton is also publishing on issues like and new coffee varieties.

Visit A1 Coffee Makers for more on cappuccino machines and cappuccino makers.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Bunn Coffee Makers

The Bunn Coffee Maker Won't Leave a Bitter Taste in Your Mouth
By Eric Comforth

There are many different coffee makers available in the marketplace to choose from. One of them is the Bunn Coffee maker. The Bunn Coffee Maker is made by the Bunn-O-Matic Corporation. The Bunn-O-Matic Corporation was founded in 1957 and they are credited with introducing the first paper coffee filter. Over the years the company has evolved and started making commercial beverage equipment and, more recently, home coffee brewers. There are seven different types of Bunn Coffee brewers available which include; My Café Brewer. My Café Brewer brews one cup of coffee at a time. The Bunn coffee makers take pride in brewing coffee at home that matches the standards of the expensive restaurant cups of coffee. They have a stainless steel tank with an advanced spray head, which dissipates the water over the coffee, and a very effective hot water heater. The coffee machines are either black or white with a stainless steel trunk which allows them to blend with any of the home décor styles. The decanter on most of the machines can hold up to ten cups of perfectly brewed coffee. Bunn also makes the BCG Grinder for pre-grinding your coffee beans.

The Bunn Advantage claims that Bunn Coffee makers brew coffee that is robust in flavor without the common bitterness encountered with some coffee machines. Bunn Coffee makers do this by using a patented system that keeps the temperature at the ideal brewing temperature of 2000 Fahrenheit. The coffee maker has a fast brew cycle which exposes the water to the ground coffee beans for the perfect length of time for a perfect coffee flavor. The Bunn Coffee maker creates the right amount of turbulence via its spray head to suspend the ground coffee and extract it’s flavor uniformly for the perfect cup of coffee.

How to Use a Bunn Coffee Maker

Start with a good quality coffee that has been well stored. The coffee maker requires one tablespoon of ground coffee for one brewed cup. Use good clean odorless water preferably water that has been filtered. If you need to keep your coffee for more than 30 minutes store it in a thermal carafe; it can hold its flavor here for up to 60 minutes. Clean your decanter after every use, even the faintest trace of old coffee can taint your fresh pot.

Bunn Coffee maker replacement parts can easily be obtained from vendors and from the manufacturer. Parts for the Bunn coffee maker are easily accessible. On the companies website you can find access to customer service representatives who can answer your questions and help find the replacement part or accessory that you need. Bunn coffee makers are available at many different locations. You can purchase your coffee maker online at the different sites of the coffee makers distributors. There are Bunn coffee makers and replacement parts available on the different auction sites online; this allows you to purchase your coffee maker at a discounted price.

Eric Comforth is a consultant who writes on many consumer topics. Learn more about coffee makers at
Coffee Maker Central

Visit A1 Coffee Makers for more on the Bunn coffee maker.