Relax With a Mug of Coffee to Go Faster

Regular practice has prepared you to take on the next strenuous challenge, which may be a bicycle race, mountain bike cross-country trek, 10K mini-marathon or a hike in the hills with some challenging rock climbing ahead. On some days, your muscles seem willing to overpower the course and you feel ready to take on challenges that are more difficult. Then, inexplicably, you struggle to perform a routine that you have performed with ease a hundred times before. About halfway through the course, you feel your energy drain away, your muscles begin to strain and the finish line seems too far away. Climbing up that rock face seemed easy, but the way down is proving to be problematic. Losing your grip now can have catastrophic results.

Of course, many factors contribute to your performance on any given day, beyond general conditioning. Adequate sleep the night before, diet, hydration and rest are just a few of the important influences on your strength and endurance. If you have experienced the unexpected drain of muscle power, doing one simple thing may help to provide the boost of energy and strength just when you need it. You may just go a little faster, and your strength may last a little longer because of it.

About one hour before you start the race or other strenuous activity, drink a large cup of caffeinated coffee. Regardless of whether the exercise is a brief sprint up a hill, or a long hike or cross-country mountain biking event, the caffeine in coffee helps you to improve your strength and endurance. Caffeine boosts your brain’s performance as well, so you will be less likely to lose concentration during the race, keeping your feet firmly placed on the road, your tires on the track or your fingers gripped onto the right crack in the rock face.

The polyphenols in coffee are powerful antioxidants that help to support brain health and lower blood pressure. These antioxidants, combined with the caffeine, also help your body to recover from exercise more quickly by accelerating the recovery of glycogen levels. Athletes often drink carbohydrates and protein drinks after races to speed recovery. Adding a cup of coffee into the mix works even better.

It is possible to overdo the caffeine intake, so it is important to limit yourself to one large cup before the race. A caffeine overdose can make you light-headed and dizzy, create a feeling of anxiety and even produce heart palpitations. All of these are conditions that you want to avoid during any strenuous physical activity and a race in particular. In addition, the extra caffeine won’t do anything to further boost your performance.

The timing of the caffeine intake is important as the peak benefits in performance are experienced about an hour or two after you drink the coffee. The combination of polyphenols and caffeine in coffee seems to work better than pure caffeine supplements so leave those behind and brew your up your own natural booster. Enjoy that morning cup and hit the road faster and stronger.

Cleaning a Coffee Maker – How to Use Vinegar to Clean Your Coffee Pot

Did you know that you can use plain old white distilled vinegar to thoroughly clean your coffee maker? That’s right. You don’t need to use chemicals that could potentially poison you to clean the inside of your machine.

How do you know if you need to clean it?

You’ll know it’s time if your coffee starts tasting more bitter than usual or it your coffee just tastes bad all the time. Also, if your coffee takes longer than usual to brew, it’s also a sign that you need to clean it.

If yours is a Keurig type, then you’ll see grounds from previous brews begin to show up in your new cups.

Using vinegar to clean your coffee maker is actually very easy. And it’s a totally safe method of cleaning.

Here are the steps for cleaning with vinegar.

Fill your water reservoir with vinegar. You can use undiluted vinegar for full strength cleaning or you can dilute it.

Run enough brew cycles to completely empty your water reservoir. For drip coffee makers, it just takes one cycle. For Keurig type, you’ll need to keep running cycles until you use up all the vinegar.

Brew another cycle with just water. When you are done with the vinegar, brew one more cycle with just plain water. This will flush out the vinegar from your coffee maker.

Repeat these steps on a regular basis to keep your coffee maker running great. And if you haven’t cleaned yours in a while, you may need to run more cycles with the vinegar until it comes out clean.

How do you know if it worked?

You’ll know that it worked when it brews smoothly and doesn’t take forever. Your coffee will also taste fresher.

For Keurig type coffee dispenser machines, you won’t see coffee grounds anymore. And even if you do, it’ll be much fewer and only come from the current cup you’re brewing.

How often should you clean it?

It all depends on how much you use it. If you use it everyday or several times a day, then you may want to clean it once a week. If you use it on occasion, then you may only need to clean it every few months.

Also if the water in your area is hard water, then you’ll need to clean it more often too as lime deposits build up more quickly in these areas.

Looking for a new coffee maker?

Home Coffee Roasters – All You Need To Know For Roasting Beans At Home

Roasting coffee at home can be more than just a DIY – it is fun and can mean a sense of freedom to explore a variety of coffee roasting techniques or achieve desired flavors.

Home roasted coffee beans offer unique flavor character that is often lacking in store-bought varieties. It also has a lower price comparison and requires minimal investment in specialized equipment.

Facts about Coffee Roasting

1. The Taste of the Roast is in its Smell: Green Coffee beans emit a characteristic “grassy” smell as they turn yellowish few minutes after heat subjection. With further roasting, the beans begin to smoke, like coffee, giving it its peculiar smell and taste.

2. Cracking Sound Gives Good Clue about the Roast Stages: Further roasting gives off a unique crack sound as the bean loses water and changes structure with rising temperature. Listening for this sound can be a fantastic clue to determine desired roasts.

3. Length of Roast Determines Color and Flavor of Beans: Since bean structure, flavor and color graduates with each upward step in temperature, and increasing time, it is not unexpected to observe the original green bean character turn dark, with a stronger flavor, at the end of the process.

Steps to Roasting Coffee at home

Whatever is the technique employed, the instrument used or even the time set, roasting coffee at home all bores down to achieving significant desired flavors.

1: Choose a Roaster: Depending on budget, technique, time or batch size, it can be done in an oven, a skillet, a stovetop popper, or more specialized equipment.

2: Select Coffee Beans: The original pre-roast character of the bean determines the flavor and nutritional quality of the coffee. Although green coffee beans come highly recommended, many others have equally satisfying benefits.

3: Choose the Desired Roast Process: Since the flavor of coffee depends on the process and invariably the roasting time, understanding the different stages will help control the flavor of coffee.

Understanding the Roast Process

Yellowing – Few minutes after the green bean is subjected to heat, it turns yellowish and emits a grassy smell.

First Crack – Soon enough, a crack sound – an audible cracking sound is heard as the real roasting sets in. The sound is an acoustic signal, calling one’s attention to what stage the roast is.

First Roasted Stage – Also known as a City Roast, this stage, determined by sight and smell, can be considered complete depending on desired taste.

Second Crack – As the heating progresses, a second crack, often more distinct than the first, occurs. This is called a Vienna Roast.

Darkening Roast – As the roast progresses, the bean assumes a very dark tone, and the smoke is more pungent as sugars burn completely. This gives a French roast.

For home coffee roasting, several techniques can be used and roasting times vary; the fundamental process is simple – employing heat to turn unroasted green coffee into brown roasted coffee, using simple techniques and equipment at home.

Types Of Events That Can Benefit From Having A Coffee Caterer

Coffee is the fuel that keeps a lot of people going. Many individuals rely on this beverage to stay awake, morning, afternoon, or night, to do their work, study, or go about their activity.

This hot beverage is also a welcome drink for most types of event. Regardless of the size and time of the event, a lot of attendees will certainly look for coffee as an energy booster and to warm them up.

Below are some of the particular types of events that will benefit greatly from having a good coffee caterer:

Meetings and conferences. No meeting or seminar would be complete without some coffee. Aside from coffee breaks, a lot of attendees would love to sip this hot beverage, especially during a long a meeting or discussion. If you are organizing this kind of corporate gathering, you can’t afford to let the attendees leave and look for some good coffee or have them wait in long lines during breaks. By having a barista (or two, for events with more than 100 guests), you can make sure that everyone has a good cup of coffee when they need or want one. And it will be something that is hot, tastes good, and fully satisfying.

Exhibitions and other kinds of public events. Experts agree that it is always a good idea to arrange a coffee caterer for exhibitions and public events. This is because public events usually require attendees on their feet for long periods of time. Having a reliable coffee caterer on hand will make for a better experience for the attendees and may even tempt them to stay a while longer. Exhibitors who have a private coffee station or add a barista to their stand will always attract a crowd. This will be a great way for the exhibitors to interact with people on their stand and it allows for some valuable talk time while they wait for their freshly made coffee. The coffee station can also be great marketing tool during the public event since you can have your brand placed on the coffee cart, cups, and tissues.

Gala dinners. Finally, serving hot delicious coffee and other specialty hot drinks at the end of a great gala dinner adds an element of luxury to the event. Instead of having your guests drink some lukewarm instant coffee or tea, you can make sure all the attendees have a fonder memory of the event if they are given the option of a freshly made espresso or smooth hot chocolate at the end of the evening. Whether the guests’ orders are taken at the table or you have a coffee cart available in the room for guests to go to at their leisure, having professional barista-style coffee at your event will definitely be appreciated by everyone.

Science Behind The Perfect Cup Of Coffee

If you are a coffee person, your day probably won’t start before you brew that one tasty cup of sweet-smelling morning coffee. But to understand it, it’s important to look at what comprises a perfect cup of coffee.

Water is the absolutely key

Water quality has the strongest effect on the taste of coffee. Water composition is important to ensuring the right proportions of starches, bases, sugars and acids are extracted from the coffee bean roasts when preparing your coffee. The mineral composition of water has the biggest impact in the extraction of six different chemicals from coffee. Water, if rich in magnesium, does not improve the extraction of coffee bean flavours. Sodium along with bicarbonates, tends to mess up the taste. To make things right, low levels of bicarbonate and high levels of magnesium are stand out components in brewing a perfect cup of coffee.

The flavour of a cup of coffee is determined by the level to which the water extracts the chemicals from the ground beans, a process that is largely dependent on the grinding process, overall temperatures, roast profile, brew duration, and pressure. So, different filtration techniques and reasonably hard tap water are the best ways to get the right cup of coffee.

And then, there is the smell
Most of what we taste in coffee is really its smell. If you prevent yourself from smelling the coffee, a cup would only taste sour or bitter. Just try to hold your nose the next time you take your first sip.

Roasted coffee has about 20 major compounds, but it is the influence of the many minor compounds that provides the overall taste that we get to love so much. The smell that we know as “coffee” is a combination of hundreds of different smells given off by by the compounds in the coffee.

What It Takes to get that perfect cup of Coffee?

There are five important operations that you can control to brew the perfect cup of coffee:

1. The coarseness of the grind: The optimum grind of coffee beans, is somewhere between the finely ground powder and the very coarse beans.

2. The temperature during the extraction: When you use boiling water it causes the caffeine and organic acids, to be extracted faster which results in high levels of caffeine and bitter organic acids.

3. The duration of the extraction: If we keep the coarseness of the ground coffee beans and brewing temperature constant, we can influence the amounts of these elements by playing with the duration of the brewing time.

4. The coffee to water ratio: Too little will taste weak and too much is overpoweringly strong. The ideal ratio of water to coffee is your choice of extraction method, along with the factors listed in this list.

In conclusion, to make the perfect cup of morning coffee, the method is fairly simple. Grind the beans to the right coarseness, try and match the temperature of the water along with the duration of extraction, while adjusting the coffee to water ratio depending on the extraction method. Not that easy, isn’t it?

Ever Guessed the Benefits of Using a French Coffee Press?

There are diverse ways to make coffee; however, there is a way that’s considered as the ultimate best if you desire to enjoy best-brewed coffee taste.

Using a French Press Coffee Maker is the way to go! This article is written to reveal to you the precise benefits of using a French press, so read on to your advantage.

If you are someone who loves good coffee and think the only way you can achieve it is by heading out to the local coffee shop, sit tight as this content has the ultimate coffee solution for you. Great coffee is good but it shouldn’t be seen as a thing of luxury that can only be gotten from a special store or bar.

You really do not need to dole out additional cash just to enjoy a creamy cup of coffee when you can simply make it straight from your home.

When you invest in a solid French press coffee maker you will be able to make & enjoy a great cup of coffee on daily basis with your loved ones and friends. A manual press is a perfectly designed coffee maker that helps to push the ground beans straight down to the base of the carafe. Below are some of the benefits:

  • This makes you have a cup of coffee that is not only tasty & creamy but also abundantly bubbly as well.
  • The ideal French Press helps make your coffee making process so easy.
  • It is just super cool when you and your loved ones or friends are out camping
  • It provides you rich tasting coffee that will make you feel so pleasured and satisfied.
  • While a coffee press plunger will help you save money i.e. not having to go buy those expensive cups of coffee outdoors, it also helps you save space as they are portable appliances that can be stored out of sight when not in use.

When you use a coffee press to brew your coffee at home, it helps you with much better temperature control when compared with other regular coffee makers. This is due to the fact that the water is heated distinctly from the ground beans & only put up once the required temperature has been attained.Interestingly, you should also know that diverse kinds of beans necessitate dissimilar temperatures. This is why when you use a coffee press for your brewing, it allows you to control the water temperature so that you can be assured that the beans are being brewed to its best state. When you utilize a best french press – it offers you flexible control. You will be able to control & manage the precise time required to extract the grounds.

Going on a camping trip – you can proudly take your coffee with you. You can’t do such with a drip coffee maker as they come really bulky and needs to be plugged into a power source. The coffee press plunger has a compact design, making it ideal for home, office and outdoor/camp use.

Coffee-Flavored Desserts That Will Make Coffee More Addictive

The first thing that most people look for in the morning is a cup of warm coffee. While some people have their daily dose of the drink to give them energy throughout the day, others simply enjoy its taste and smell and consume it as a “dessert” drink. Whether you want your coffee hot or iced, sweet or strong, you can enjoy the delicious, addictive beverage as a dessert, too!

Try these easy coffee-flavored dessert recipes at home:

Classic Coffee Cake

  • What you need:
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • 1 package instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a large bowl, mix together eggs, yellow cake mix, vanilla pudding mix, milk, vegetable oil, butter and vanilla extract. Pour half of the mixture in a greased 9×13-inch baking dish. In a separate bowl, combine brown sugar, walnuts and ground cinnamon then sprinkle mixture over the batter in the baking dish. Pour other half of the batter into the baking dish. Bake in a pre-heated oven (350F) for 35 to 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.Iced Banoffee Milk

What you need:

  • 1 ripe banana
  • 1 cup cold brew coffee
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon simple syrup
  • Ice cubes

Blend together banana, milk and simple syrup in a blender or food processor. Pulse until mixture is smooth, about 1 minute. Fill 2 glasses with ice cubes and divide cold brew coffee between the glasses. Pour banana milk over coffee. Best enjoyed cold.Coffee Walnut Cookies

What you need:

  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons instant coffee powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream together shortening, white sugar and instant coffee powder in a medium bowl. Add in the egg, all-purpose flour, walnuts and vanilla extract. Mix to combine ingredients well. Drop by teaspoonfuls on greased cookie sheets. Bake in a pre-heated oven (350F) until edges of the cookies are golden, about 10 to 12 minutes. Allow to cool on wire racks for several minutes before serving.When you think you’ve had too much coffee in one day but still find yourself craving for the addictive drink, why not try any of these coffee-flavored desserts instead – you will surely be satisfied!

Adrian T. Cheng is a food blogger and a BBQ expert. Through years of grilling experience, reviewing various grill gadgets and trying delicious and unique recipes, he is sharing his knowledge with everyone through his blog. For more grilling secrets, tips, recipes and more, head over to Adrian’s website where he has other interesting posts.