caffeinated drinks

Spice Up Your Holidays With Coffee

So much cooking and baking goes on around the holidays. I just love this time of the year. While I’m feeling all festive, I also like to fill my coffee mug with some holiday cheer. Here is my favorite recipe.

You will need 1/3 cup ground coffee, 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/8 tsp ground cloves, 1/4 cup of orange marmalade and, of course, cold water to put into your coffee maker (I generally make 3 cups).

Mix your ground coffee, cloves and cinnamon together and place them in a coffee filter. Put your orange marmalade straight into the coffee pot. It will melt when the hot brew comes through and will fill your coffee with orange delight-fulness:) Just to make sure your marmalade is blended properly stir your brewed pot before enjoying.

So what are your holiday coffee drink specials? I’d love to know!!

Study Finds Coffee May Cause Happiness

Lars Kuchinke, a German researcher at Ruhr University, and his team have discovered that coffee is a likely source of happiness. They really didn’t have to spend the money on this research project, I could have told them for free that coffee makes people happy.

The researchers asked 66 people, half of which were given 200 mg of caffeine 30 minutes prior, to quickly look at a computer and determine whether or not they saw any words in the string of letters presented on the screen. The half that were given caffeine, as opposed to those that received a placebo, were 7% more accurate in picking out positive words.

Lars Kuchinke believes that this is because caffeine stimulates the part of the brain that is responsible for positive thoughts. “Although caffeine improves some mental functions, our study shows this may be specific for certain types of stimuli, like only positive words,’ he said.

Caffeine consumption leads to more accuracy and faster response times in simple tasks. It is believed that caffeine increases a brain chemical known as dopamine, which is linked with rewards, creativity, impulsive and addiction.

Are Energy Drinks Just Sweetened Coffee?

Eric T. Schneiderman, New York’s Attorney General, is investigating whether or not the energy drink industry is misleading consumers about the ingredients in their products along with the health values that they are alleged to contain.

PepsiCo and Monster Beverage Corp claim that their products will boost energy with ingredients like B vitamins, taurine and ginseng. Schneideran is concerned that the boost comes more from caffeine than the other ingredients. The problem is that the amounts of none of these ingredients are listed on the energy drink packaging.

The investigation that Schneideran is heading is looking at whether or not energy drink companies are deliberately trying to mislead their consumers about their ingredients and what is giving them the energy boost. Are you paying a premium for little more than a cup of coffee? I guess we will find out!

Tis’ the Season

Tis’ the season for flavored coffee!!!! This year, more regional and grocery store brands are participating with holiday blends of their own according to Bloomberg Business Week reports.

Starbucks has Peppermint Mocha Latte, Gingerbread Latte and Eggnog Latte. They also carry a lower-calorie version of the Peppermint Mocha Latte in select markets.

Dunkin’ Donuts has added a low-cal version of its gingerbread-flavored drip coffee to its holiday lineup.

Caribou Coffee has Fa La Latte and Ho Ho Mint Mocha.

Maxwell House is offering a Peppermint Mocha Latte mix.

Get your holiday flavor on!

Starbucks Introduces TRINTA

Americans love their coffee.  It seems we can’t get enough of the stuff.  Well, Starbucks is going to try to fill our unfillable thirst and addiction to java.

Starbucks introduced us to the 24 ounce Venti, but apparently that was not enough.  They are now introducing us to the Trinta, which will bring us a full 31 ounces off caffeinated (or decaffeinated if you are so inclined) goodness fit to fill anyone’s habit, at least for the morning.The catch, your only going to be able to get the Trinta size in iced coffee drinks and teas.  Also, since it is still in the test market stage, you will only be able to get the new size in Tampa and Phoenix. 

Hopefully the Trinta will do well in the test markets and get adopted nationwide.  Apparently the folks in Phoenix like it because Starbucks reports it’s doing well in approximately 280 stores in the area.  Its great because you get 30% more caffeine without paying for extra shots, which I think should be mandatory in the morning and early afternoon, for me at least.

Time will tell how Starbucks will fair next to its biggest competitor as of late, McDonald’s, who sales a 32 ounce coffee for $1.  I do not know the price point on the Starbucks brew, but I highly doubt it is economically competitive with McDonald’s, but the quality of the Starbucks brand and its minion of loyal followers are likely to get over the price point in a hurry.  One things for sure, we at coffeesage.com intend to give it a try.  The more the better!  Bring it on Starbucks, and bring it nationwide!

Go Green With Your Coffee Brewer

We are all looking to Go Green for the environment. Hourglass has created a new coffee maker to help us do just that. The catch? It uses no electricity.

The Hourglass Cold Brew Coffee Maker looks sharp with its hourglass design. Its very easy on the eyes, and on your electric bill. Its easy on the back too, weighing only 2.8lbs.

The high heat and fast brew times of hot brew coffee makers can create bitter tasting coffee that’s often high in acid, causing stomach aches. Hourglass coffee maker solves this problem, with cold-brewing. Because the coffee beans are not exposed to heat, bitter acids and oils are not released. Hourglass claims that this brewing process results in 69.6% less acid than hot brewed coffee.

Centuries ago, native cultures perfected the art of coffee making. These ancient coffee connoisseurs hand-selected the best beans, dried them in the sun, coarsely ground them, and soaked them overnight in pure, cold water to produce a rich and smooth tasting coffee extract. The Hourglass coffee maker brings the Lost Art of cold brewing into the 21st century, and into your home.

World’s Most Expensive and Caffinated Coffee

Kopi Luwak.  Something you have to see to understand. Is it tasty? Can you get past where it comes from to find out?

ICEE Introduces Iced Coffee

We all loved it as a kid.  ICEE made our mouths turn blue and red and left us full of delight.  Now, as adults, they are about to make us even happier. 

ICEE has teamed up with Javo Beverage to introduce 2 new iced coffees in North America under the trademark name of Java Freeze.

Cody C. Ashwell, Javo chairman and CEO, said, “ICEE is a stand out supplier to the foodservice industry and has longstanding relationships with some of the most important foodservice operators in our industry.” Ashwell added, “We believe this alliance will complement our own sales efforts because ICEE has reach to thousands of independent foodservice operators seeking to capitalize on the growing market for iced coffee but require a non-concentrated dispensed beverage solution because of lower daily cup sales.”

Mr. Ashwell added, “As the leading provider of dispensed beverage iced coffee, we have the infrastructure, service, and distribution capabilities to supply national foodservice operators with specialty iced coffee as well as hot coffee and tea. Our products are cost effective and eliminate waste, and in this challenging economic environment, foodservice operators are committed to offering great tasting beverages in the most cost efficient manner possible.”

The company will intitially start out with two tasty flavors, caramel latte and mocha latte.  Look for them soon anywhere ICEE’s are sold.  Come back to coffeesage.com and let us know what you think of ICEE’s frozen coffee.

Kona, Not Hawaii’s Only Brew

Hawaii is best known for Kona coffee, but the state is about to put another brew on the map. Tea.

The federal Department of Agriculture has been encouraging Hawaii’s commercial gowers to cultivate high quality tea crops for the past decade.

Tea Hawaii,, a company that cultivates two high quality black and oolong teas, has been shipping their teas to Samovar Tea Lounge in San Fransisco. However, you do not need to go to California or Hawaii to try Tea Hawaii tea. Samovar Tea Lounge will be adding these teas to their website on August 7th for delivery right to your door.

Mauna Kea is another one of Hawaii’s up and coming tea companies. They carry oolong and green teas. Hilo Coffee Mill has great oolong tea as well.

If you are interested in finding more out about Hawaii’s best teas, please visit the following sites:

www.samovartea.com

www.maunakeatea.com

hilocoffeemill.com

Learn Advanced Press Pot Techniques

I watched this video from Coffee Geek about advaced press pot techniques and though I would share it with you!  I hope you enjoy it and learn a lot about getting a better press pot brew.

Coffee Helps You Become and Stay Fit

You have heard it for years. Personal trainers practice it diligently and so do bodybuilders. It helps your workout making you more effective. What is this miracle substance? Coffee. Plain and simple, coffee has remained a sort of “supplement” of choice among fitness buffs to become fit and maintain fitness.

Coffee is very effective when consumed just before a workout according to research by Dr. Robert Motl of the University of Illinois. It helps to block muscle fatigue symptoms, alowing you to do more and push yourself that extra mile.   Its important to remember to also consume enough water during your workout and the rest of your day to counter the fact that coffee is a diuretic.

Go ahead, drink up, workout hard and become fitter with less pain.