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Syndicate
Coffee beans in danger of extinction
Written by c0ff33   
Feb 22, 2013 at 03:11 PM

A cup of morning coffee could be much harder to find, and much more expensive, before the century is out thanks to climate change and the possible extinction of wild Arabica beans.

That’s the warning behind a new study by U.K. and Ethiopian researchers who say the beans that go into 70 per cent of the world’s coffee could be wiped out by 2080.

Researchers at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew and the Environment and Coffee Forest Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia looked at how climate change might make some land unsuitable for Arabica plants, which are highly vulnerable to temperature change and other dangers including pests and disease.

They came up with a best-case scenario that predicts a 38 per cent reduction in land capable of yielding Arabica by 2080. The worst-case scenario puts the loss at between 90 per cent and 100 per cent.

There is a “high risk of extinction” says the study, which was published this week in the academic journal Plos One.

That would be bad news for both coffee drinkers and coffee-producing countries such as Ethiopia, Brazil and Colombia, which in 2009/2010 shipped some 93 million bags of coffee around the world, worth an estimated $15.4 billion.

Most coffee is made from Arabica beans. They are prized for their genetic diversity and grow best at between 18 C and 21 C. Above that, the plants ripen too quickly — which affects taste — or grow too slowly. Other coffee stems from Robusta beans.

The study goes on to note that its results are “conservative” because it did not take into account the large-scale deforestation of the Arabica-suitable highland forests of Ethiopia and South Sudan.

"The models assume intact natural vegetation, whereas the highland forests of Ethiopia and South Sudan are highly fragmented due to deforestation," the researchers wrote. Pests, disease and other factors were also not considered.

The authors of the report say certain "core sites" capable of yielding Arabica until at least 2080 should be set aside for conservation.

Last Updated ( Mar 14, 2013 at 01:56 PM )
7 Reasons Why Coffee Is Good For You
Written by c0ff33   
Feb 21, 2013 at 10:25 PM

Coffee isn’t just warm and energizing, it may also be extremely good for you.

In recent years and decades, scientists have studied the effects of coffee on various aspects of health and their results have been nothing short of amazing.

Here are 7 reasons why coffee may actually be one of the healthiest beverages on the planet.

1. Coffee Can Make You Smarter

Coffee doesn’t just keep you awake, it may literally make you smarter as well.

The active ingredient in coffee is caffeine, which is a stimulant and the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world.

Caffeine’s primary mechanism in the brain is blocking the effects of an inhibitory neurotransmitter called Adenosine.

By blocking the inhibitory effects of Adenosine, caffeine actually increases neuronal firing in the brain and the release of other neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine (1, 2).

Many controlled trials have examined the effects of caffeine on the brain, demonstrating that caffeine can improve mood, reaction time, memory, vigilance and general cognitive function (3).

Bottom Line: Caffeine potently blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain, leading to a net stimulant effect. Controlled trials show that caffeine improves both mood and brain function.

2. Coffee Can Help You Burn Fat and Improves Physical Performance

There’s a good reason why you will find caffeine in most commercial fat burning supplements.

Caffeine, partly due to its stimulant effect on the central nervous system, both raises metabolism and increases the oxidation of fatty acids (4, 5, 6).

Caffeine can also improve athletic performance by several mechanisms, including by mobilizing fatty acids from the fat tissues (7, 8).

In two separate meta-analyses, caffeine was found to increase exercise performance by 11-12% on average (9, 10).

Bottom Line: Caffeine raises the metabolic rate and helps to mobilize fatty acids from the fat tissues. It can also enhance physical performance.

3. Coffee May Drastically Lower Your Risk of Type II Diabetes

Type II diabetes is a lifestyle-related disease that has reached epidemic proportions, having increased 10-fold in a few decades and now afflicting about 300 million people.

This disease is characterized by high blood glucose levels due to insulin resistance or an inability to produce insulin.

In observational studies, coffee has been repeatedly associated with a lower risk of diabetes. The reduction in risk ranges from 23% all the way up to 67% (11, 12, 13, 14).

A massive review article looked at 18 studies with a total of 457.922 participants. Each additional cup of coffee per day lowered the risk of diabetes by 7%. The more coffee people drank, the lower their risk (15).

Bottom Line: Drinking coffee is associated with a drastically reduced risk of type II diabetes. People who drink several cups per day are the least likely to become diabetic.

4. Coffee May Lower Your Risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

Not only can coffee make you smarter in the short term, it may also protect your brain in old age.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common neurodegenerative disorder in the world and a leading cause of dementia.

In prospective studies, coffee drinkers have up to a 60% lower risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia (16, 17, 18).

Parkinson’s is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder, characterized by death of dopamine-generating neurons in the brain. Coffee may lower the risk of Parkinson’s by 32-60% (19, 20, 21, 22).

Bottom Line Coffee is associated with a much lower risk of dementia and the neurodegenerative disorders Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.

5. Coffee May be Extremely Good For Your Liver

The liver is a remarkable organ that carries out hundreds of vital functions in the body.

It is very vulnerable to modern insults such as excess consumption of alcohol and fructose.

Cirrhosis is the end stage of liver damage caused by diseases like alcoholism and hepatitis, where liver tissue has been largely replaced by scar tissue.

Multiple studies have shown that coffee can lower the risk of cirrhosis by as much as 80%, the strongest effect for those who drank 4 or more cups per day (23, 24, 25).

Coffee may also lower the risk of liver cancer by around 40% (26, 27).

Bottom Line: Coffee appears to be protective against certain liver disorders, lowering the risk of liver cancer by 40% and cirrhosis by as much as 80%.

6. Coffee May Decrease Your Risk of Dying

Many people still seem to think that coffee is unhealthy.

This isn’t surprising though, since it is very common for conventional wisdom to be at exact odds with what the actual studies say.

In two very large prospective epidemiological studies, drinking coffee was associated with a lower risk of death by all causes (28).

This effect is particularly profound in type II diabetics, one study showing that coffee drinkers had a 30% lower risk of death during a 20 year period (29).

Bottom Line: Coffee consumption has been associated with a lower risk of death in prospective epidemiological studies, especially in type II diabetics.

7. Coffee is Loaded With Nutrients and Antioxidants

Coffee isn’t just black water.

Many of the nutrients in the coffee beans do make it into the final drink, which actually contains a decent amount of vitamins and minerals.

A cup of coffee contains (30):

6% of the RDA for Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5).
11% of the RDA for Riboflavin (Vitamin B2).
2% of the RDA for Niacin (B3) and Thiamine (B1).
3% of the RDA for Potassium and Manganese.

May not seem like much, but if you drink several cups of coffee per day then this quickly adds up.

But this isn’t all. Coffee also contains a massive amount of antioxidants.

In fact, coffee is the biggest source of antioxidants in the western diet, outranking both fruits and vegetables combined (31, 32, 33).

Bottom Line: Coffee contains a decent amount of several vitamins and minerals. It is also the biggest source of antioxidants in the modern diet.

Take Home Message

Even though coffee in moderate amounts is good for you, drinking way too much of it can still be harmful.

I’d also like to point out that many of the studies above were epidemiological in nature. Such studies can only show association, they can not prove that coffee caused the effects.

To make sure to preserve the health benefits, don’t put sugar or anything nasty in your coffee! If it tends to affect your sleep, then don’t drink it after 2pm.

At the end of the day, it does seem quite clear that coffee is NOT the villain it was made out to be.

If anything, coffee may literally be the healthiest beverage on the planet.

 

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Last Updated ( Jul 04, 2013 at 11:00 AM )
Study Finds Coffee May Cause Happiness
Written by c0ff33   
Feb 21, 2013 at 01:19 PM

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.

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Espresso machines have become more and more popular over the last decade. The first commercial espresso machines were built by Achille Gaggia in 1938. They work on the principle of hot water being forced over coffee under pressure to produce espresso coffee.The size and complexity of machines vary and consideration must be given before choosing the right system.

 

Smaller espresso machines have a single group head and low capacity boilers. Some of these single group machines have hand fill water tanks however most commercial espresso systems need a mains water supply. Single group espresso machines have a single steam wand for steaming and foaming milk and can produce either one or two cups of espresso coffee at any one time.

 

Commercial espresso machines have one, two, three or four group heads, one or two steam wands, hot water facilities and a cup warming areas. Choices of semi or fully automatic group heads are usually available however automatic group heads are the most popular. These automatic group heads allow the water doses to be pre-set providing a more constant product.

 

Each group head can produce one or two espresso coffees at a time.  Water boiler capacities vary and must be taken into consideration when selecting the right espresso machine. If high volumes of coffee or hot water are required high volume espresso machines with high capacity water boilers are necessary. It is also important to have the right power supply for the model selected.

 

Most high volume espresso machines need minimum 20 amp power supply. This allows the water boilers to recover quickly after water of steam has been drawn off. The most common espresso machines are two group machines. Usually they have two team wands allowing more than one operator to use the machine at any one time. A 10 litre boiler and a 20 amp power supply should be ample for most small to medium requirements.Three and four group espresso machines have larger water boilers and may need 30 amp or 3 phase power supplies.

 

The demand for espresso machines with high level group heads has increased due the growth of the takeaway coffee market. The requirement for large cup volumes and high volume demand has seen a growth for the more powerful espresso machines. Some of the most popular espresso machines manufactures include Wega, Gaggia, Brasilia, and Iberital. 

 

Wega espresso machines are now one of Italy’s largest machine manufacturers and produce high quality and innovative systems. Gaggia and Brasila espresso machines are also produced in Italy and have been popular for many years. Iberital espresso machines are produced in Spain. The high level group head models with high volume boilers are very popular in the takeaway market.

 

Smaller volume domestic espresso machines vary. It is very important to select the correct machine for your situation. Some smaller units do not have pressure boilers and struggle to produce both espresso coffee and steamed milk at the same time. Large espresso machines with pressure boilers are recommended particularly if more than one cup of coffee is required.

 

 

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