New Goals Announced for The Sustainable Coffee Challenge

The Sustainable Coffee Challenge, which includes many of the world’s biggest brands, trading and roasting companies, announced a wide sweeping and ambitious set of climate and labor related goals aimed at making the coffee the world’s first sustainable agricultural project.

Some specifics include the removal of 1.5 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. This would be done by making existing coffee farmland more sustainable. Some targets for 2025 include some green initiatives and labor goals such as protecting workers’ rights and to generally make coffee farming more prosperous.

The new goals from the Sustainable Coffee Challenge come from its celebration of the organizations first five years. They are managed by Conservation International, a sustainability nonprofit, and are funded by Starbucks. The Sustainable Coffee Challenge includes now 158 partners the encompass all parts of the coffee industry from trading companies, to roasters, government organizations, producer groups, membership associations, retail and others.

This announcement makes real a selection of different goals that are now more tangible than five years ago.

 

Dunkin’ Donuts Partners With Homesick to Make Special Holiday Candles

File this one under things weird things you never knew you needed. If you’ve got any Dunkin’ Donuts devotees on your shopping list, pay attention. By popular demand Homesick lifestyle brand and Dunkin’ have collaborate to release a limited release candle that smells like some of Dunkin’s classic coffee blends and treats.

“Flavors” include the ubiquitous Dunkin’ Original Blend and favorites like Old Fashioned Donut. The candles have notes of chocolate and caramel or nutmeg, cinnamon and clove, respectively.

The candles can be had for $34 as they are or for another $15 can come with personalized message printed on the jar.

Outside of fragrance based industries some may not be aware of the power of smell. It is more closely linked to memory than any of the other five senses. Dunkin and Homesick hope to reproducing happy memories for their candle customers. Especially considering how many will have very different holiday plans this year.

 

3 Top Rated Single Cup Makers

The internet has spoken. After looking over a few sets of reviews of single cup coffee machines three stand out as royalty among the rest, in three categories: Best in Show, Best Budget Single Cup, Best Luxury Single Cup.

Best in Show: Nespresso VertuoPlus

The internet seems to agree that the Nespresso VerturoPlus (about $169.99) consistently made a great cup of coffee at a perfect temperature and also does espresso. It is an easy to use, pod-based machine that has a lot of brewing options. The pods help guarantee you’ll get a great cup of coffee but check the cost on the pods before purchasing as they are pricey. There is a pod recycling program if you are trying to be green, but it isn’t effortless. Finally, people seemed to think it looked great in most kitchens with a sleek, modern all black design.

This could make an excellent gift for the coffee snob on your giftlist looking for a single cup, pod-based machine.

Best Budget Single Cup: Sboly Single Serve Coffee Maker

If you are looking for something that is lower on cost but high in quality look no further than the Sboly Single Serve Coffee Maker (about $58.95).

The internet seemed to agree on two things. It is small, but it does a lot!

It gives one many cup size options as well as the ability to brew ground coffee or K Cups. Some reviewers noted that the recommended amount of ground coffee made a weak cup; however most noted this experience is common with most single cup makers. Add more to your taste. Its water receptacle is only big enough for one brew but has very easy to read lines to get the amount of coffee you want.

Sure, it doesn’t do a lot and the coffee doesn’t get pipping hot, but for the cost it seems to be a favorite.

Best Luxury Single Cup: Moccamaster Technivorm Cup One Coffee Brewer

The Moccamaster Technivorm looks like it belongs in a fancy café and will make you feel like a barista (about $201.22). This machine is going to give you one hell of a cup of coffee and that is partly because of the copper heating element that heats the water and fast. Additionally, it uses a drip system that ensures great flavor.

This machine, as you might have guessed, is grounds only. So, on the convivence end of things this won’t be the choice for many. It also uses paper filters. It also takes up much more counter space than the others. However it is made to last and besides being a tad slower than the other machines in total cup prep time any amateur who follows the directions can make a top notch cup of coffee.

 

 

Coffee as Therapy for MS Fatigue?

According to a study published in Nutrients, coffee can help reduce Multiple Sclerosis related fatigue for those who have milder cases.

MS related fatigue is a huge problem affecting about 70% of MS patients and the fatigue they report is more than just being tired. It as been described by many as “extreme exhaustion” which can occur suddenly for no reason or be triggered by things like stress, infections, digestion or simple activity. Most experts agree that there is no clear therapeutic recommendation to treat this fatigue.

However, researchers at the University of Regensburg Hospital in Germany saw that coffee helped patients with mild MS symptoms concentrate better and helped them achieve a more structure daily routine.

The study’s authors noted that in the absence of any severe side effects and any other effective fatigue therapy that coffee consumption might be an approach for some patients with MS-related fatigue.

The self-reported study was limited to just 124 subjects and is not conclusive. However, it is a step forward.

As always it is recommended that both those that are healthy and those who have acute or long-term illnesses consult with a doctor before making changes to their diet or trying new therapies.

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Recent, Large-Scale Observational Studies Agree Coffee Might Help You Live Longer

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.