Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Coffee Setup in the Office: Spreading Coffee Love

Source: New York Times Ristretto blog
A week ago I brought my Counter Culture pour over to the office.  Along with the porcelain coffee brewer, I packed a handful of filters, two bags of Sumatran and Columbian coffee, and a mug stating, "Don't mess with my Dad."  Thankfully the office had a "whirly blade" grinder and a spouted device that boils water.  Now I can make fresh coffee and not spend two dollars at Starbucks!  The only other game in town is Bourbon coffee, but that is a 25 minute round trip, which is a tad too far for a quick a coffee pick me up.

After bringing in my coffee making materials, I quickly found that other people wanted coffee too!  Gathering around our makeshift coffee kitchen, I waxed eloquent about the benefits of black coffee, the flavor of freshly brewed joe, and the monetary savings from making your own.  After brewing three cups, one for myself naturally, my two companions seemed quite content and impressed by the results.

  +1 for specialty coffee and -1 for Starbucks.

Next, I will need to train people on making coffee with a pour over, so I am not the only person who will  be able to do so.  While my system isn't the easiest, it certainly is fun and a nice distraction from studying and writing.  And besides, what would academia be without coffee? 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Breaking News: Whoppers and Coffee Not Healthy!

A new Canadian study reveals that washing down a fast food meal with a coffee is twice as bad for your blood sugar levels than without one.
Photograph by: Jim Noelker/Bloomberg News

"The bad news about fatty fast food just got worse. Researchers have found that a cup of coffee doubles the adverse health impacts of a greasy meal." - Vancouver Sun, 5 April 2011

False alarm! Well for the most part.  We coffee lovers have read that there are many health benefits for drinking a cup of coffee everyday.  Stumbling upon this article I thought my world was turned upside down.  I was lied to and deceived?!  But upon further inspection, the article assumes too many things, namely that everyone puts sugar into their coffee.  Wheww.  Doesn't apply to me.  Apparently fats found in fast food inhibit the body's ability to deal with sugars and remove it from the bloodstream.

Here is the relevant piece of the article,
The study, published April 1 in the Journal of Nutrition, examined the results of 11 active, healthy men, between 20 and 30 years of age, given one meal consisting of a special lipid concoction that had the saturated fat content of a cheeseburger, large fries and a shake, and six hours later, a second meal of a sugar-laden drink.
[Me interjecting]: Ahem, "Sugar-laden drink!" 
When sugar is consumed the body normally produces insulin, which takes sugar from the blood and distributes it to the muscles. But the fat meal apparently interfered with this process leaving blood sugar levels 32-per-cent higher than when the men had not ingested the fat beverage.
In the second part of the study, test subjects were given two mugs of coffee five hours after the fat beverage. An hour later, they were given the sugar drink. The results showed blood sugar levels were 65-per-cent higher than when the subjects had not ingested the fat and coffee. Beaudoin said the severity of the outcome -blood sugar spiking to pre-diabetic levels -was unexpected.
The study also looked at the levels of incretin hormones, which are released in the gastro-intestinal tract to signal the pancreas to release insulin to dissipate sugar in the blood. Ingesting the fat beverage seemed to blunt the hormones' responses to carbohydrates. In short, fat and caffeine impaired communication between the pancreas and gut, making it more difficult for the body to remove sugar from the blood."
Nevertheless of it being not applicable to Metro Espresso readership :-), if you know someone who loves some BK or McD's, it may be useful to pass on some scientific knowledge.