Coffee News Headlines

4/10/2013

The Price of Beans.

Himileia Vastatrix, colloquially known as Roya or coffee rust, outbreaks are occurring at a frightening pace in Central America. Coffee futures and associated prices for specialty coffees, especially from small family-run farms are expected to rise, drastically, on top of a lower estimated harvest. Some research is putting the blame on climate change, but others suggest that farming practices, monoculture and the high rate of pesticide and anti-fungal use are to blame. Specialty coffee production in many Central American countries is already threatened by abnormal weather patterns, and some farms are now exploring the possibility of replacing decades-old Bourbon varietal plants with newer cultivars that yield less, and are resistant to rusting.more…

Nespresso vs Espresso

Can individual human flair and creativity be bettered by the mass-produced and mechanised?more…

Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality

Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality [FULL TEXT HTML]: “We used data from a very large study, the National Institutes of Health (NIH)–AARP Diet and Health Study (ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT00340015), to determine whether coffee consumption is associated with total or cause-specific mortality. The current analysis, involving more than 400,000 participants and 52,000 deaths, had ample power to detect even modest associations and allowed for subgroup analyses according to important baseline factors, including the presence or absence of adiposity and diabetes, as well as cigarette-smoking status.”

“Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages, both in the United States and worldwide. Since coffee contains caffeine, a stimulant, coffee drinking is not generally considered to be part of a healthy lifestyle. However, coffee is a rich source of antioxidants and other bioactive compounds, and studies have shown inverse associations between coffee consumption and serum biomarkers of inflammation and insulin resistance.

Considerable attention has been focused on the possibility that coffee may increase the risk of heart disease, particularly since drinking coffee has been associated with increased low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and short-term increases in blood pressure. Results from a number of studies have been inconsistent. The heterogeneous findings may be due to differences between case–control and prospective study designs and possibly also to inconsistent control for important confounders such as tobacco smoking. In addition, the numbers of deaths have been small in most studies. Cohort studies do not support a positive association between coffee drinking and mortality, however, and some even suggest a modest inverse association.

Previous studies have also investigated the association between coffee consumption and other major causes of death, and they have shown inverse associations with diabetes, inflammatory diseases, stroke, and injuries and accidents, although associations with cancer have generally been null. The results of studies of coffee consumption and total mortality have been mixed, with associations that have been consistent with either the null hypothesis or a modest inverse effect. Data are lacking to clarify the association between coffee drinking and mortality, to determine whether there is a dose–response relationship, and to assess whether associations are consistent across various subgroups.”

more…

Drinking Black Coffee Drinking Black Coffee

U.S. Champion Barista Katie Carguilo shares her secrets on making the perfect cup of Joemore…

Totnes: the town that declared war on Costa Coffee

“Like a lot of locals, he says that one of his big fears is Costa serving notice that Totnes is ready to be colonised, and sparking the arrival of Caffe Nero, Subway and all the rest.” A town declares war on Costa Coffee.more…

Nothing is withheld from us…

Two things about working in coffee shops. First, don’t assume everyone else in there is a hipster. Second, don’t assume that the elderly person who befriends you is a crazy old man telling tall tales. Else you may miss out on the meeting experience of a lifetime.more…

I do not advise you to do as I have done. Any modifications will most likely void any warranty.

Like coffee? Maybe even looking to buy a home-roaster? Not enough, you say? Check out the Hot Rod Home Coffee Roasters of those that have gone beyond. From a modest roast coffee in a mug, to a bit more complicated heat gun & dog bowl combo, to seriously industrial, and incorporating tech from hand cranked brick ovens to linux powered machines, these guys are doing whatever it takes to get the perfect cuppa joe.
If modding is more your thing, you can go for a Caffe Rosto, or some hot-air popcorn poppers, or put a bit of oomph into your espresso press.
If it’s all too much for you, there’s the old roasting in a frypan route.
more…

Folgers

Coffees, a new short by actor/writer/director Alex Beh. The 2 main same characters appeared in a kind of a sequel, called Babe. Reminded me of, though not as perfect as On S’Embrasse? (Which is now a dead link on my old post here)more…

“Coffee comes in five descending stages: Coffee, Java, Jamoke, Joe, and Carbon Remover.”

The Steampunk (Alpha Dominche): A Curious Coffee Contrapulation: “With just a few quick taps on the touch screen, the barista customizes the STEAMPUNK brewing process to optimize the flavor of each beverage. The anticipation then begins. The customer is treated to a dazzling theatrical presentation as the STEAMPUNK’s gleaming glass crucibles fill with swirling steam. The barista then places the ground coffee on the piston and plunges it into the crucible. The grinds whirl and dance as they’re agitated and aerated by the millions of tiny bubbles. At the barista’s command, the liquid coffee is pulled by vacuum through a specially designed ultrafine photo-milled metal filter, and the dark brown elixir streams gracefully into the awaiting cup.” [Via] [Alpha Dominche]more…

The interesting story of Good African Coffee

“Trade, not aid:” the interesting story of Good African Coffee. [slnyt]more…

The Iced Coffee Economy

Why iced coffee costs so much more than the hot stuff.more…

Hep

London coffee bars of the 1950s (SLYT)more…

Is it organic?

Have a cup of coffee with David Lynch.more…

Coffee Jerks

Husbands, tell us how you really feel about the coffee. (SLYT, 0:53) The jerk store called, and they’re running out of coffee drinkers.more…

It Tastes Bitter But I Feel Good About Drinking It

Is your cup of fair trade coffee tasting a little funky this morning? This might be why. “Fair Trade-certified coffee is growing in consumer familiarity and sales, but strict certification requirements are resulting in uneven economic advantages for coffee growers and lower quality coffee for consumers. By failing to address these problems, industry confidence
in Fair Trade coffee is slipping.”
more…

Alex Cox’s “Straight to Hell”

Straight to Hell is a 1987 action-comedy film directed by Alex Cox, featuring Sy Richardson, The Clash frontman Joe Strummer (after whose song the film is named), Courtney Love, Dick Rude, Dennis Hopper, Grace Jones, Elvis Costello, Xander Berkeley, Kathy Burke, Jim Jarmusch, Edward Tudor-Pole, Miguel Sandoval, as well as members of The Pogues, Amazulu and The Circle Jerks. … While the film received almost no positive reviews, it has (like several other of Cox’s films) achieved a minor cult status, largely due to its cast of musicians, many of whom have cult followings of their own. A soundtrack has been released. (previously, awesomely)more…

Starbucks better than Hospital.

Men who drink the most coffee have a 60% lower risk of developing lethal prostate cancer. ‘Even drinking one to three cups of coffee per day was associated with a 30% lower risk of lethal prostate cancer.’ But is that down to perhaps coffee drinkers having healthier habits? No: ‘Coffee drinkers were more likely to smoke and less likely to exercise, behaviors that may increase advanced prostate cancer risk. These and other lifestyle factors were controlled for in the study and coffee still was associated with a lower risk.’ This study should not come as a total surprise, and coffee has been having increasingly better press in recent years, particularly when it comes to cancer. Head and neck cancer? Check. Liver cancer? Check. Maybe even some forms of breast cancer for some women.

Wait, wait. But what about Mormons? On the one hand there are reports of Utah residents being among the highest consumers of porn, and there’s that report about the one hand and prostate cancer. But in the other hand, no cups of coffee. It would be interesting to see how that finally shakes out with regard to prostate cancer. And it does:

Toward a better understanding of the comparatively high prostate cancer incidence rates in Utah

This study assesses whether comparatively high prostate cancer incidence rates among white men in Utah represent higher rates among members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormons), who comprise about 70% of the state’s male population, and considers the potential influence screening has on these rates.

Results
LDS men had a 31% (95% confidence interval, 26% – 36%) higher incidence rate of prostate cancer than nonLDS men during the study period. Rates were consistently higher among LDS men over time (118% in 1985–88, 20% in 1989–92, 15% in 1993–1996, and 13% in 1997–99); age (13% in ages 50–59, 48% in ages 60–69, 28% in ages 70–79, and 16% in ages 80 and older); and stage (36% in local/regional and 17% in unstaged). An age- and stage-shift was observed for both LDS and nonLDS men, although more pronounced among LDS men.more…

Coffee and Torts

Hot Coffee, a documentary film by Susan Saladoff, debuted at Sundance to considerably more enthusiasm than one would expect for a film about tort reform. Saladoff is a first-time filmmaker, having spent twenty-five years as a civil litagator. Hot Coffee undertakes to debunk our consensus narrative about the case of Stella Liebeck, who sued McDonald’s after being badly burned by spilled coffee. The case was famously parodied on an episode of Seinfeld. (previously) The film goes further; using three other recent cases to argue that the brief for tort reform is built on myth and held up primarily by the lobbying efforts of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and affected corporations. (previously) The backlash has already begun.

Hot Coffee is currently making the festival circuit; I saw it yesterday at Full Frame, and will see it again at the Atlanta Film Festival in May. It will appear on HBO in June.more…

Happy Trails (of Tarnation) To You

Nicholas Gurewitch, the insane genius behind the surreal webcomic The Perry Bible Fellowship, is now the co-creator of a new online live-action series, an Adult Swim-ish psychedelic-comedy Western: Trails of Tarnation. The first episode is up…NOW. Previously on MeFi. Previouslier. Previousliest.more…

52 Cups of Coffee

52 Cups of Coffee: one girl’s year-long experiment with caffeine and conversation. “Each week for a year, I’m having coffee with someone I don’t know and writing about what I learn along the way.”more…

Obsessives

Videos about people who love (and know) coffee, tea, soda, sake, absinthe, bread, pizza… It’s Obsessives, by CHOW. Useful tips and fascinating personalities. (Some of these were linked previously on the Blue, but they work great together as an ensemble.)more…

A tall post about Starbucks, anger and language

Even though Starbucks was founded by an english teacher, history teacher and writer, the company has grown to have a particular relationship with language, especially with its drink menu. Notably, the sizes of drinks defies commonly understood usage as it attempts to engage customers on multiple levels while providing a new experience. Said experience has resulted in a glossary of terms and even step by step instructions on how to order and decode the lingo.

All of this helps to explain the recent trouble English professor Lynne Rosenthal had at a Starbuck’s on New York City’s Upper West Side when she ordered a plain multigrain bagel. The barista asked the Rosenthal if she wanted cheese or butter.

“I just wanted a multigrain bagel,” Rosenthal told the Post. “I refused to say, ‘without butter or cheese.’ When you go to Burger King, you don’t have to list the six things you don’t want. Linguistically, it’s stupid.”

Perhaps the professor and the barista could have used a bit of a few lessons in the language of anger. If they had both known their anger language perhaps they could have deflated the situation after going through the 12 Step Program in Language Anger Management, which has been helping defust angry linguistic mobs for months, if not years.

Having successfully learned the anger language of themselves and other humans, they could have learned to read the anger language of lagomorphs, a rare and vanishing skill.more…

Too much cofffee man

What Caffeine Actually Does to Your Brainmore…

Not just a city in Egypt

Cairo, Illinois is mostly abandoned. It was once a thriving city of 15,000, but the Mississippi barges don’t stop there anymore, and racial turmoil, including a three-year boycott of white-owned businesses that refused to hire black workers, killed the town’s economy. The Cairo Project, from Southern Illinois University, is a good overview of Cairo’s history and its current situation.

Can punk label Plan-it-X start a rebirth by moving to Cairo and opening a coffeeshop? If it helps, there’s still good barbecue.more…

WE ARE HAPPY TO SERVE YOU

Father of the Anthora, dead at 87. Known to people outside of New York mostly from Law and Order episodes, the Anthora is one of the most recognizable symbols of the city, the blue and white paper coffee cup with a Greek design and “We are happy to serve you” written on the side. “The Anthora seems to have been here forever, as if bestowed by the gods at the city’s creation. But in fact, it was created by man — one man in particular, a refugee from Nazi Europe named Leslie Buck. ” For use outside of NYC, you can order the paper version in bulk or get a ceramic replica from MOMA.more…

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