The J.M. Smucker Company is hoping on the supply chain transparency bandwagon by starting to use blockchain technology.
Smucker’s partnered with Farmer Connect; this startup uses IBM’s blockchain to trace products from farm to table for consumers. Once a customer scans a QR code on the packaging of their coffee, their phone or table will take them to the Thank My Farmer website where they presented with information about where the coffee was grown, processed and exported. Smucker’s is trialing the software with their 1850 100% Colombian bagged coffee.
Sustainability and environmentally responsible brands are very important to many consumers who are willing to pay a premium for brands who meet their high standards. IBM’s blockchain technology provides this information in an easy way for both the producer and the consumer.
People also like a story that comes along with a hand-grown, hand-crafted product. Who produces it, their name, their history, their story can be equally valuable to a consumer. In vast ocean of faceless or celebrity endorsed products knowing the story of “the little guy” who grew your coffee or whatever the product is can has value.
The European Society of Cardiology has completed a new large-scale study of 20,000 participants that determined that drinking coffee and (maybe as much as you want) may help you live longer.
The study found that people who drink four or more cups of coffee a day were observed to have a 64% less chance of early death when compare to people who never or rarely drink coffee. The study notes that the risk reduction increased as people reached the age of 45. This suggests the benefits of consuming coffee increase as we age.
This all echoes another recent and large observational study that both regular and decaf drinkers appear to live longer. Other research has shown that coffee reduces the risk of disease like type 2 diabetes, liver disease, Alzheimer’s, skin cancer and colorectal cancer.
While all of this is true, this is not a free for all to for everyone to start ingesting copious amounts of coffee. Both pregnant women and those with heart conditions should limit their intake. Data is inconsistent when it comes to pregnant women consuming more than 200mg of caffeine a day when it comes to risks like miscarriage or premature birth. As caffeine speeds up heart rate anyone with a heart condition should consult a doctor before consuming too much caffeine.
Remember that decaffeinated coffee isn’t “no-caf” and that drinking 3-4 cups a day of decaf could still be problematic for heart patients.
Some final thoughts: if you don’t take you coffee black low-fat milk is better than cream; though a teaspoon of sugar in a cup of coffee isn’t much, it does add up if you drink multiple cups a day; those with high cholesterol should avoid unfiltered coffee, compounds left in unfiltered coffee can increase cholesterol in some people; those with sleep issues should avoid caffeine in the evening or even earlier.
Japanese coffee equipment company Cafec has added a new layer of subtlety to home brewing coffee with a line of paper, cone-shaped coffee filters designed to take advantage of particular roasts. The line of filters allows the serious coffee drinker to perfect their home brew further.
Called Cafec Osmotic Flow, the filters come in three types. One each for light, medium-dark and dark roast coffees.
The magic comes from Cafec’s proprietary drying process that uses hot air and results in what Cafec calls “creping.” This is a crepe paper like texturing on their paper filters, each side of the cone, instead of just on one side. Each filter in the line takes a different approach to the dual sided texturing that allows different mesh densities and thicknesses which changes the water flow and extraction from the ground coffee.
The light roast paper filters is the thinnest but the most dense at 0.15mm. This allows the fines to gather evenly along the walls. This slows down the flow and encourages aroma while brewing. The density retains fines for better cup clarity.
The thickest paper is for medium-dark filters that are creped on each side. The paper is 0.28 mm thick but lower density. This gives the paper a faster flow that is supposed to promote balance.
The darkest roast paper filters come in at 0.22 mm thickness and are creped on each side. The interior crepe allows for faster liquid flow in the beginning and then accumulates fines towards the end. This slows the flow at the tail end in order to promote body and sweetness.
Cafec’s line includes a selection of drippers each intended to be paired with a custom filter. Cafec’s cone filters fit the ceramic Flower Dripper which has a petal shaped interior that promotes flow.
While the first ever International Tea Day has passed us by (21 May), there is a whole lot to say about tea. While coffee, especially espresso beverages, are becoming more and more popular around the world lots of people still drink hot tea.
While many people were sheltering at home during the pandemic, they enjoyed a “quarantea” everyday at the same time with whomever they were sheltering with. Many found this ritual to be calming and reassuring during times in which we’ve all been stressed out and unsure of what was coming next.
Many are evening finding ways to keep the tradition of a daily tea as part of their routine as we all begin to transition out of sheltering at home.
People, for centuries, have drank tea to reinvigorate, to soothe, to relax and just because it tastes good. Even with the rising popularity of fancy espresso and coffee drinks tea remains a mainstay around the world. In the UK the ubiquity of tea remains with the British drinking about 100 million cups of the stuff every day, according to their Tea Advisory panel.
Experts have begun to study what affects tea might have on mood and cognition. One thing they are trying to find out is whether it is the compounds in tea itself that are relaxing or invigorating or the context in which tea is consumed that brings on these effects.
Green and black teas come from the same source, the plant camellia sinensis. Green tea is processed differently resulting in higher concentrations of compounds scientists believe have a positive effect on mental health.