It can be tempting to take the easy way out when faced with a difficult problem or task. Sometimes this equates to a simple shortcut that really does help you do a job more efficiently. Other times, this equates to just doing a half-assed job, bypassing important procedural steps or, progressing further down the poor-ethics road, to lying and stealing. A new study that was published in the March issue of Journal of Applied Psychology found that at least two cups of caffeinated coffee could improve the ethical response of tired employees.
The study presented sleep-deprived volunteers with a choice to cheat by going along with a lie on a task with the promise of extra money or to resist cheating. Caffeinated employees were more likely to resist the temptation to cheat. This study also simply shows that tired people may be more likely to take the “easy way out” even if it is unethical.
The solution is for employers to encourage employees to stay bright and alert by suppling them with coffee as needed and by making it possible for them to get adequate rest at the end of a work day. Since you can’t control whether your employees are staying up all night watching marathons of low-budget-yet-addictive SyFy channel movies, stocking the break room with good coffee is the most reliable option.
One of the biggest complaints about K-cups is that they create a lot of waste. Coffee itself is compostable, and is actually great for enriching a garden, but the little plastic cup that makes the k-cup so useful when it comes to making a quick cup of coffee isn’t great for the environment. There has long been a call for someone to create a more eco-friendly k-cup and EcoCup is the first one to be widely released.
A Canadian company, Mother Parkers Tea and Coffee, has launched the EcoCup, a clear, recyclable pod that they hope will have appeal to consumers that less environmentally friendly pods don’t. They’re going to launch them in the next couple of weeks, filled with their Higgins & Burke tea, and will increase the tea brands that they use with the pods throughout the remainder of the year. Coffee pods are planned to launch next year. The cups and coffee are recyclable, but the lid and filter materials used in the EcoCups are not, but it is still a big improvement over the less eco-friendly alternative for consumers looking for convenience with a hint of green.
The most valuable part of the coffee plant are the coffee beans, but coffee beans don’t grow on trees ready to be picked and roasted. Coffee trees produce coffee cherries, a small fruit that contains the coffee beans. The coffee cherry is discarded after it has been processed to remove the bean and it is generally discarded. But there is one company that is trying to come up for a new use for those leftover cherries by turning them into coffee flour.
The gluten free Coffee Flour is made by drying and grinding up discarded coffee cherries, waste from the coffee bean harvesting process. It may sound like a stretch, but with the tremendous growth of the gluten-free flour market, there is actually a lot of potential for this unusual flour. Coffee flour contains 5 times more fiber than whole grain wheat flour, 84% less fat than coconut flour and three times more protein per gram than fresh kale. It is high in potassium and, like coffee, contains a bit of caffeine (although less than brewed coffee). It can be used in cooking and baking and, apparently, tastes more like roasted fruit than coffee. That’s certainly an interesting flavor profile for a flour and it could very well add a lot of complexity to baked goods. The flour is not yet commercially available, but it is being produced in Hawaii, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico and Vietnam, and should start showing up in products and on shelves sometime in 2015.
McDonalds is probably the first fast food chain that comes to mind when you think about breakfast on-the-go because they’ve been serving up their McMuffins for so long. In the past few years, they’ve also really improved their coffee to offer a better quality brew for customers who need a cup of joe to get going in the morning. But they’re not the only fast food chain to offer coffee or breakfast options, and Taco Bell is the newest competitor to jump on the breakfast bandwagon. Taco Bell has had breakfast at some locations for a while now, but this week they rolled out a new breakfast menu to stores nationwide. In response, Mcdonald’s will be serving up their coffee free of charge!
Starting Monday, March 31th, customers can get a free small cup of coffee every morning for two weeks. Breakfast last until 10:30, so you should have plenty of time to swing by and pick one up on your way to the office.