Nov 28, 2012

Coffee Makes the Glass Half Full

Espresso Close Up

Coffee has many wonderful properties. It can make you more alert, and there are plenty of studies that have shown that caffeine can help you to concentrate better. More recently, some researchers have found that coffee can help boost your dopamine transmission which makes your process positive words and rewards much faster. Picking up on positive words and actions more quickly makes everything seem a little brighter – in other words, it makes you a bit more optimistic and a bit happier overall.

A little bit of caffeine isn’t going to completely turn a frown upside down (and I think if you were truly having a bad day and tried to counteract it with coffee alone you would get jittery faster than you would be gleeful), but it is going to help take the edge off. I’ve experienced this myself on a rough day – but usually gave credit to just relaxing in a comfy chair at a coffee shop, rather than to the coffee itself!

Nov 19, 2012

Dangerous Grounds: Coffee gets its own show

Todd Carmichael from Dangerous Grounds

Coffee is a drink that most of us associate with getting up in the morning, but it is making its prime time debut with a coffee-centric show on the Travel Channel! Dangerous Grounds follows Todd Carmichael, an extreme coffee lover and co-founder of the artisanal coffee roasting company La Colombe Torrefaction, as he traverses the globe in search of some of the world’s best coffees.

Carmichael’s methods for coffee sourcing may seem extreme to some, but he is a serious explorer known for being the first American explorer to cross Antarctica to the South Pole alone, on foot and with no assistance. His unusual sourcing methods are also excuses for adventure that make for exciting TV. He definitely knows how to find coffee!

I still think that it is fairly implausible that one man (and a camera man) could plunge into the jungles of a hostile country (they’re pretty much always hostile) and just happen to randomly stumble upon the best coffee that country has to offer. Find coffee, yes, but to know that that one farm just happens to have the best is a little bit of a stretch for me. Still, it’s a TV show, even if this really is the way Carmichael goes about sourcing coffee at least some of the time, and I still enjoyed watching it. I’m willing to take a grain of salt along with my coffee because I’ll be back to watch the next episode. And hopefully you will check it out, too!

Dangerous Grounds is on the Travel Channel on Tuesdays at 9/8 central.

Nov 17, 2012

BOGO on Holiday Drinks at Starbucks Nov 15-18

Starbucks Holiday Cup

People wait all year for some of the holiday drinks to come out at Starbucks. There is something about an Eggnog Latte that just screams “Christmas!” I personally prefer some of the other holiday drinks to the eggnog options, but they all deliver some holiday flavor. And now is a good time to get your favorite and try out one of the other options, because Starbucks is having a Buy One, Get One offer on all holiday drinks on November 15-18 from 2-5pm. The offer is good on all Caramel Brulee, Gingerbread, Eggnog and Peppermint Mocha drinks. So start your holiday with a splurge.

And if you don’t know which one to try, I can say that the gingerbread is a good option because it tastes like a hot, liquified gingerbread man cookie. Yum.

Nov 15, 2012

Deep Tea Diver

Deep Tea Diver

I love that tea infusers are become more and more creative lately, mostly because it gives me an excuse to actually have more than one in my cupboard at a time. They also make fantastic gifts, with something for just about everyone… and since one of my dear friends happens to be an expert scuba diver, the Deep Tea Diver is something that I am planning on gifting her this holiday season! The tea infuser is a tiny diver, made of food-safe silicone and stainless steel. Simply fill the diver up with your favorite loose leaf tea and let him sink to the bottom of your mug. His counterweight air tank will keep him from wandering too far off – and makes it easy to pull him out when he is done. The diver is dishwasher safe, for easy cleanup, too.
Of course, it goes without saying that you don’t need to be a diving enthusiast to enjoy this tea infuser. Anyone with a collection of jumbo mugs will get a kick out of it.

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