Coffee Blog

Change Your Coffee Clock

The first thing most coffee lovers and caffeine freaks do when they wake up in the morning is to reach for a cup of their favourite coffee. It perks people up and gives you the caffeine boost that many of us feel we need in order to get started and motivated to travel to work, and to be productive when we get there.

It turns out however, that the morning might not be the best time of day for us to drink coffee, and might actually be counter productive! Bad news for many of us. So, why could coffee be a bad thing for us to consumer first thing in the morning? And what can us coffee junkies do to rectify this huge problem?!

Coffee a Restriction on Cortisol

The results of a study conducted by Steven Miller, a Ph.D. candidate at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, USA, has found that those people who drink coffee between the hours of 8am and 9am each morning did not experience the boost from caffeine that we have come to expect as a given. This is down to the natural level of cortisol in our bodies.

Cortisol is a hormone that helps us to naturally feel awake and alert and is produced as part of the body’s internal body clock (or circadian clock), which is in charge of regulating our sleep cycles and initiates hormones and chemicals being released at certain parts of the day to ensure we are awake and ready for sleep when necessary for the benefit of our health.

Sipping on a cup of coffee at these times in the morning won’t give us that boost we’re looking for, as our body is already producing cortisol to help us with that aspect of our wake up pattern. Add to that it may actually have a negative impact on your circadian clock, as caffeine may actually increase levels of cortisol production. What happens to many of us is that the first cup of coffee we consume doesn’t seem to quite hit the mark and not long after we’ll crave another. This is down to cortisol levels starting to naturally dip.

How to Cope with the News

Having an understanding of your natural body clock and the times of day when a boost of caffeine might actually be helpful to keep you awake and productive would help ease this situation. Cortisol is produced by the body at certain times of the day, so for instance, in most people levels will be lower after this initial morning burst for a couple of hours, meaning that you might want to reach for a cup of coffee just before midday. Alternatively wait until 1.30pm to 5pm when levels are lower and a cup of coffee might help you get through the final hours of the working day.

If you are desperate for that coffee fix in the morning, why not try decaf coffee as a way to get the hit, without the caffeine that might be disturbing your natural body clock.

A Cup of Instant Arousal

A new coffee has attracted attention for promoting its image as an invigorating beverage. Stiff Bull claims to be able to help relationships on the rocks by providing an instant coffee that gives the consumer an erection. One that could last up to three days!

Earlier this year the company found America’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) didn’t like this new approach to stimulation, and got into trouble in the process. The fault was found due to the company not listing desmethyl carbodenafil as an ingredient, a drug that has an effect much like the more widely known Viagra.

The FDA released a statement with the following relating to their concern:

“This undeclared ingredient may interact with nitrates found in some prescription drugs such as nitroglycerin and may lower blood pressure to dangerous levels. Men with diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or heart disease often take nitrates.”

How much of this proclamation from Stiff Bull is an exaggeration or pure myth, we couldn’t tell you, as you know by now that we are something of coffee connoisseurs at Coffee Soul and unlikely to sample instant coffee unless it was an emergency. It doesn’t usually float our boat anyway, but we find that our finest coffee beans are enough to excite any man or woman with a wonderful variety of tastes and styles available. If you’d like some invigoration from pure coffee of the highest quality you can find some through us at Coffee Soul.

The Health Benefits of Decaf Coffee

Decaf coffee has become more popular in recent years for a number of reasons. Coffee lovers might not be able to have caffeine as part of their diet for health reasons; it might make them jittery and nervous, or keep them awake at night leading to long-term insomnia.

Here are a few important health benefits if you are considering turning to decaf:

Lower Risk of Heart Problems – Caffeine, if consumed to a high quantity, has been linked to heart conditions such as irregular palpitations and strokes. Decaf coffee provides coffee lovers with the drink they love, whilst lowering this risk.

Reduce the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes – drinking decaffeinated coffee can help lower the risk of developing diabetes, with studies showing a lower risk in those drinking decaf when compared with non-drinkers.

Reduce Gout Risk – Gout is caused by a build-up of uric acid around the joints, and decaf coffee has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of people developing gout.

Lower Risk of Mental Decline – Polyphenols, which boost memory function in the brain and are found in coffee beans, are not lost in the process of decaffeination. This can help ward off the decline in brain function that occurs as we reach an elder age.

We love full caffeinated coffee at Coffee Soul, but we understand it just isn’t possible for everyone to enjoy all the time. That’s why we offer decaf coffee as part of our product range, without letting the quality slip at all. Why not try our decaf coffee and witness all the benefits for yourself.

A Cup of Joe – A History of the Term

The term ‘a cup of Joe’ is something that has become a widespread and well-known slang for a cup of coffee in the USA, and as a result of the globalisation of culture. These days it is a positive term in which to describe your morning beverage, but there is debate as to how the term came about, and whether it was meant well in the first place.

Theory 1 – On the 1st June 1914 the Secretary of the US Navy, Josephus “Joe” Daniels, imposed a general ban on alcohol being served aboard US Navy Ships through Order 99. Coffee then became the strongest drink available on board ships and a ‘cup of joe’ was used as a negative term.

Theory 2 – Another two slang terms used to describe coffee are java and jamoke (java and mocha), with a cup of joe thought to be the shortening again of jamoke. The development of slang terms has changed the original name of many a product.

Theory 3 – The term ‘Joe’ is something that has been used to denote a nice, common guy throughout the use of English language. A ‘cup of joe’ could therefore be a beverage that gives fuel to the common man.

The first theory doesn’t hold up due to the fact that most navy ships had been dry since the spirit ration in 1862, whilst the term itself only became popular in the 1930s. It is an interesting story to put behind the creation of a popular term, but it is more likely that theory 2 is the genuine reason behind a cup of Joe, as language does evolve all the time, with different slang terms from one generation to the next.

 

The Return of Twin Peaks – An Ode to Good Coffee

If there is one television show that springs to mind when you take a sip on a mug of black coffee, it’s the seminal David Lynch weird-fest of Twin Peaks. It certainly held the beverage up on a high pedestal, with numerous positive mentions throughout the course of the show.

The early 1990s hit show documented the FBI investigation into the murder of a high school girl in the small logging town of Twin peaks. Agent Dale Cooper is sent to the town and uncovers myriad strange goings-on involving much of the population.

One of the things that stick out is his calm routine, ensuring he has only the best quality coffee, specific to his taste. One of the best lines in the show is Coop (as he’s affectionately known) describing his perfect cup of Joe as being as ’black as midnight on a moonless night’. A beautiful description we’re sure you can agree. The success of the show, and the character of Coop in particular led to fans demanding a taste of events, and in recent years the creator has even released his own coffee as a nod to the show, which is returning to our screens in 2017 after a long wait of over 25 years.

At Coffee Soul we agree with Coop, there’s nothing better than a damn fine cup of coffee and that’s why we provide only the highest quality to you. Contact us to find out how we can help you savour the best coffee around.

Great Coffee Beans need Perfect Conditions

Coffee is actually a fruit, with coffee branches forming fragile white blossoms that barely last for more than a single day. These blossoms eventually produce round, red coffee “cherries” that really do resemble ordinary cherries. The plants take between three to five years before they even begin to produce coffee, which is still only possible with the correct combination of climate, sunshine, shade and rainfall.

Today coffee is grown in over fifty different countries all over the world, with around thirty producing over five million tonnes of coffee per annum. The world’s biggest coffee supplier is Brazil, with Colombia in second place, producing two thirds of the amount of coffee that is produced by Brazil.

There are over sixty different kinds of coffee growing in the world, yet just two are used for commercial consumption, Arabica and Robusta. Arabica coffee plants thrive in rich and volcanic mountain soil, with the higher elevations resulting in the coffee beans growing at a slower rate, resulting in more flavourful and aromatic coffee. It has less caffeine than is the case with Robusta and is not as hardy, but it is a higher quality coffee. The average perfect temperature for Arabica and Robusta coffee beans to grow in is 15C to 24C, and 24C to 30C respectively.

Robusta coffee plants are grown from sea level upwards and are much more resistant to drought and disease than Arabica. The trees also produce double the amount of beans per tree in a season. Robusta and Arabica beans are frequently blended together by commercial coffee companies.

What exactly is Fairtrade Coffee?

Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, and yet eighty percent of it comes from just twenty five million smallholders. Fairtrade coffee is a way of ensuring that not only can farmers invest in the production of coffee beans of superior quality, but that they are also able to begin building a better life for their communities and families.

At least 25 percent of the Fairtrade premium gained by Fairtrade coffee farmers is invested into improving quality and productivity, and those who choose to purchase Fairtrade coffee are also giving their support to farmers, to help them to deal with the many challenges they are often faced with. These include unpredictable and low incomes, the impact made by a changing climate, and, in some communities that grow coffee, even a lack of food for several months out of the year.

Those involved with Fairtrade coffee gain superior knowledge and understanding of how to protect their local environment, as well as the opportunity to purchase livestock and plants, and grow other crops, in order to be able to put extra food on their tables.

Fairtrade coffee is available to be purchased at a wide variety of different outlets from just about everywhere in the United Kingdom, including, of course, Coffee Soul. Given that there are now more than four and a half thousand Fairtrade products such as flowers, gold, tea and coffee widely available on the market today, it is easier than ever before for coffee lovers to be able to buy Fairtrade.

Coffee styles around the world

Coffee is universal, but different countries and cultures do tend to have different ways of drinking and appreciating it.

Italy

One good example of this is espresso coffee in Italy. Espresso is seen in Italy as the kind of coffee you drink when you don’t have a lot of time, and is usually sipped standing up in cafes. It is also a bad idea to order a cappuccino later on in the day when in Italy, as that particular kind of coffee is only appropriate to indulge in during the morning. A popular drink in Italy is the Espresso Romano, which consists of standard espresso and a slice of lemon.

The USA

Coffee is drunk daily by as many as a hundred and seven million Americans. Examples of unusual America-specific coffee drinking habits include the Café Breve, which consists of one part espresso, a half-part milk foam, and one part steamed and half and half (mixed milk and cream). Another interesting example is the Red Eye, which consists of one part regular drip coffee and one part espresso shot.

Spain

Coffee is usually drunk at breakfast time in Spain, which is the smallest meal of the day in this culture. Popular coffee styles here include the Café Bombon, which consists of 50% espresso and 50% condensed milk, and the Café Con Miel, which consists of cinnamon, honey, steamed milk and an espresso.

Portugal

In the 18th century Portugal initiated coffee plantings in Brazil, making the country partly responsible for coffee’s universal appeal. One example of a popular coffee style in Portugal is the Galao, which consists of one part coffee and three parts foamed milk.

How do you take yours?

Which Bean is Right for You?

Coffee Soul customers enjoy a variety of different coffee styles, such as Seventh Heaven, Cloud 9, Over the Moon, Sunny Side Up and Flying High, all made with delicious but different whole beans. But which would be best suited to your particular tastes?

Seventh Heaven

Seventh Heaven is made with 100% Arabica beans that originated in Fairtrade Cecovasa Cooperative Peru, and Fairtrade Dromia Cooperative Ethiopia, and is a fruity, nutty and sweet drink that comes with a medium body, mandarin citrus acidity and a slight liquorice finish.

Cloud 9

Cloud 9 is made with 100% percent Arabica beans of a dark/medium roast that originated in Brazil, Ethiopia, Papua New Guinea, Colombia and India, with the multi-continental flavours resulting in a complex harmony of the finest Arabica coffees in the world. It has a sweet malty taste with a trace of malted almond and some citrusy acidity.

Over the Moon

Made with 100% Arabica beans of a light/medium roast from Brazil Daterra Farm, Antigua Guatemala, Colombia’s Huila Region and Sumatra’s Mandheling, this coffee combines the sweet taste of layered stoned fruits with dark chocolate and a nutty overtone, to create a complex sophistication with a slightly bittersweet aftertaste.

Sunny Side Up

Made with 100% light/medium Arabica beans from Latin America, Sunny Side Up offers a combination of chocolate and peanut butter with enough acidity and body to make it the perfect way to unwind.

Flying High

Flying High is made of 50% Arabica beans and 50% Robusta of a dark/medium roast from Brazil, Vietnam, Ethiopia and Indonesia. Cocoa, honeyed caramel and faintly roasted hazelnuts combine to provide a smooth full bodied taste.

Which will you choose?