Browsing articles from "January, 2009"
Jan 29, 2009

Coffee Linked to Lower Dementia Risk

The New York Times featured a story about a recently concluded study that linked coffee consumption to a lower dementia risk. The researchers were able to conclude that “subjects who reported drinking three to five cups of coffee daily were 65 percent less likely to have developed dementia, compared with those who drank two cups or less.” They were not able to draw significant conclusions about even higher coffee consumption because the number of participants who reported drinking 5 or more cups per day was too small.

One of the reasons that this particular study is noteworthy – aside from the results – is that it is one of the longest running studies on the subject. Swedish and Danish researchers tracked coffee consumption in a group of 1,409 middle-age men and women for an average of 21 years. The data on coffee consumption was self reported over that period of time, though the tests that accompanied that data were not.

It’s not conclusive, but the observational study is interesting and offers insight into one possibility that may help keep us alert longer.

Jan 28, 2009

No decaf drip after noon at Starbucks

I know a few people who prefer to drink decaf coffee in the evenings. They order decaf after dinner in restaurants and brew it at home after dinner parties. These people might be a little bit concerned to hear that Starbucks is planning to stop automatically brewing fresh decaf in the afternoons. But not to worry, decaf-drinkers. If you want decaf coffee, the baristas will brew a fresh pot for you. Your coffee will not only be decaf, it will be extra-fresh in about 4 minutes. You’ll still be able to get decaf espresso, as the shots are always pulled fresh. If the 4-minute wait for brewing is off-putting, you can always order a decaf americano.

The change – which may not be done at stores where there is an unusally high demand for decaf drip in general – is a cost- and labor-saving measure. Ordinarily, Starbucks brews fresh pots of coffee every 30 minutes. They end up throwing away lots of decaf – far more than regular drip – because it is ordered less frequently.

Jan 25, 2009

Valentine’s Dunk Mug

Pink Dunk Mug

Forget flowers. What could make a better Valentine’s Day Gift than cookies and hot coffee served in a dunk mug? The mug has a little shelf built into the bottom to hold cookies (or other similarly sized treats) so that you don’t need to hang on to a separate saucer or plate while you sip. The Valentine’s Day edition is pink, while the standard dunk mug color is white.

The mug is made of smooth earthenware and the cookie compartment is large enough to hold two regular sized chocolate chip cookies. You’ll get a few more in if you choose to munch on thinner biscuits, however.

Jan 23, 2009

Trader Joe’s Colombia Supremo, reviewed

TJ's Colombia Supremo

Trader Joe’s Colombia Supremo is one of the mainstays of TJ’s coffee selection. It’s been available for some time and looks like it recently got a bit of a makeover, with a brightly colored label festooned with toucans, tropical flowers and tree frogs. It’s a medium roast, making it a coffee that is likely to appeal to just about all coffee drinkers as an everyday coffee.

Trader Joe’s notes that Supremo beans are “larger and more flavorful than other Colombian-grown beans,” and while I can’t compare them to all Colombian beans, they are quite large.  The coffee has a lovey cocoa flavor with a hint of smokiness and a smooth aftertaste. It seems to be a little on the light side of the spectrum and, while it is good black, you might find yourself wanting to brew it a little bit stronger if you want the coffee to be dark enough to stand up to a lot of creamer.

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