How to Fuel Your Week With a Strong Monday Coffee

Fuel Your Week With a Strong Monday Coffee by CoffeeForLess

The weekend is over, and now it’s officially time to get back to business. Having a little bit of trouble getting started on Monday? What better way to kick off your week than with a strong Monday coffee?

Strong Coffee Defined

What is strong coffee, anyway? For some, it comes down to caffeine content. The higher the caffeine content, the more of a lift your coffee will give you.

For others, a coffee’s strength is measured by its taste. That first bracing belt of java during the Monday coffee routine ignites the senses, pries open drowsy eyelids, and gets those neurons firing on all cylinders.

We’d posit that a truly strong cup of Monday morning coffee has the best of both worlds: a substantial dose of caffeine coupled with a robust flavor sure to boost the mood.

Monday Coffee Magic: It’s in the Beans

If you want a good, strong cup of Monday coffee to being your week off right, you’ll need to start with the proper beans. In terms of caffeine content, Tanzania Peaberry, Colombia Supremo, Indian Mysore, and Kenya AA are all known to be among the strongest. Generally speaking, Arabica and Columbian have the strongest flavor.

Don’t Forget the Roast

Of course, the roast has a lot to do with your Monday coffee’s flavor, as well. The longer a coffee is roasted, the more intense its flavor becomes. That being said, it’s important to note that roasting also burns off some of the coffee’s caffeine, so take that into account when choosing your coffee beans. Strong coffee lovers generally favor beans that have been French roasted.

If you’re the DIY sort, you can even roast your own Monday coffee at home. Green coffee beans can be ordered online or purchased at high-end grocers. That way, you can find the perfect balance between a strong roast and optimal caffeination.

Back to the Grind

Image: Good morning coffee at desk via Paolo Valdemarin/Flickr

Image: Good morning coffee at desk via Paolo Valdemarin/Flickr

The way you grind your beans also affects your coffee’s flavor. Fresh-ground coffee is always best, and don’t overdo it. Choose a coffee grinder that allows you to grind your coffee to a coarse, chunky consistency for the strongest flavor, and avoid overheating your grinder, or you’ll end up with bitter coffee.

Speaking of eliminating bitterness, here’s a great tip: add a pinch of salt to your coffeepot. You’ll be pleased to find that it allows the subtleties of even the strongest coffee to shine through.

Monday Coffee Is Where the Rubber Meets the Road

The first day of your workweek sets the tone for the rest of it, so it’s important to kick it off with a bang. That first strong cup of coffee can give you the boost you need to shake off the Mondays and get things done. While we’re big fans of frontloading the week and tackling the tough stuff first, it’s best to enjoy your morning ritual first, just to set the right tone.

Make Your Very Own Coffee Grounds Compost

A Coffee Grounds Compost Helps Your Garden Grow by CoffeeForLess

Every day, people across America wake up to a fresh pot of steaming hot coffee. And every day, they toss their used coffee grounds into the trash or compost bin, and then go about their business.

While this is a normal practice for many, all of those coffee grounds can be reused to create incredible soil for lawns and gardens alike. After all, coffee grounds are packed with nutrients that your plants need, so saving the used coffee grounds will be a boon to your yard or community garden.

Coffee Grounds and Nitrogen

The chief benefit of using coffee grounds in compost is the nitrogen they provide to the soil and thus to plants. Plants need nitrogen to conduct photosynthesis, however, plants also need carbon-rich items in their soil. Gardeners consider nitrogen-rich items ″green,″ and leaves, coffee filters, and twigs to be ″brown″ matter.

The green items create the heat and energy in a compost pile that helps break down the brown items. Greens also provide a hospitable environment for bacteria to flourish. Thus, the heat generated by coffee grounds will help speed the process of decomposition.

Worms Love Coffee Grounds

Worms also love coffee grounds in compost. Composters always rave at the incredible activity they witness when they add coffee grounds to their vermicomposting piles. Gardeners report that when they add coffee grounds to their compost, the worms appear more healthy and ready to lay eggs. This is the best news a composter can hear, because worms accelerate the composting process, as well. Accelerating the proliferation of worms in a compost environment will result in more and better soil for your garden.

Mushrooms Decompose Grounds

Gardeners who love mushrooms also use coffee grounds as a substrate for their mushrooms. You can purchase oyster mushroom kits, and then place the mycelium

Image: Brianna Privett/Flickr

Image: Brianna Privett/Flickr

in coffee grounds and also tealeaves. The fungi will help break down the grounds into usable soil, while providing you and your family with a tasty, protein-packed delicacy.

Starting Coffee Ground Compost

To start a standard coffee ground compost, you will want to begin with 40% grounds, 20% grass clippings, and 40% dried leaves (brown). Mix all of the ingredients and dampen them so that the pile is damp, but not sopping or soaking wet. You might find worms by digging in your yard or by asking a friend or neighbor if they have some extras in their compost piles. It is also possible to find worms for sale to fishermen. Wherever you manage to find them, add them directly to the compost pile with the coffee grounds and other ingredients, and let them get to work!

More Uses for Coffee Grounds Beyond Compost

While coffee grounds make for a great compost material, they are also said to have other important uses. Some gardeners claim that sprinkling coffee grounds around their plants keeps the slugs and snails at bay. Others claim that cats will avoid using garden beds as a litter box if you sprinkle coffee grounds around.

Creating a healthy garden is a snap for coffee lovers. Saving the daily grounds and mixing them in a compost pile will speed the success of your flowers and food-bearing plants. If you need more coffee grounds for compost purposes, you might talk to your local coffee shop to see if they offer their leftover grounds to the public. Just a few pounds of coffee grounds should set your compost pile well on its way!

Jerry Seinfeld Created a Successful Show about Comedians Drinking Coffee

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Jerry Seinfeld may be a brilliant comedian, but he’s a little lazy when it comes to coming up with actual premises for shows. And it seems that now, he’s come up with a show about comedians going for coffee. As premises go, it’s a little stronger than a show about nothing. And guess what? It’s really funny. When you’re Jerry Seinfeld, you don’t need convoluted plotlines or crazy twists and turns.

The Cars

Jerry Seinfeld and Louis C.K. ride in a Fiat Jolly

Jerry Seinfeld and Louis C.K. ride in a Fiat Jolly

It must be said that the cars featured in Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee aren’t just any cars. They’re prized automotive relics. Jerry and Louis C.K. take a spin in a Fiat Jolly, a wicker-seated deathtrap that would look more at home on a beach than it does on the highway. Chris Rock is treated to a high-speed cruise in a vintage Lamborghini P400S Miura, complete with a police stop.

Jay Leno, famously an automotive connoisseur himself, is duly impressed to be picked up in a 1949 Porsche 356/2, a hand-built early example of the famous automaker’s signature profile. So all in all, we’re talking about watching a show that features comedians drinking coffee, and little else!

Comedians Drinking Coffee

Jerry and friends don’t seem too picky about the coffee itself. Sometimes they hit the trendy local coffee shop, other days they opt for a full breakfast at a greasy spoon. Watching the show, though, you will find yourself craving a cup of Joe, as there are some great shots of both coffee and espresso prep – and you can almost smell it brewing.

The Comedians

The real stars of the show are the comedians drinking the coffee, of course. Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee features some of comedy’s top established talents, as well as some of its brightest rising stars. Former guests on the show include Seinfeld co-creator Larry David, Daily Show star John Stewart, 30 Rock star and writer Tina Fey, stand-up sensation Sarah Silverman, and comedy legends Carl Reiner and Mel Brooks in one episode – all comedians drinking coffee during the show.

The show is all improvisation, which leads to some really funny and unexpected moments. Fans of improv standup performances and impromptu shows such as The Trip and An Idiot Abroad will find plenty to laugh about here.

Where to Tune In to See Comedians Drinking Coffee

If Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee sounds like your cup of… coffee, you’ll be happy to know that you can tune in any time you at the show’s website. It’s also available to stream via Crackle, the Sony-backed online entertainment distributor.

Tune In, Top Off, and Enjoy

If you’re finding your regular carpool companions to be a bit of a bore, just grab your tablet, your favorite coffee mug, and your headphones, and it will almost be like you’re there with Seinfeld and his guests. You’ll likely be surprised just how entertaining it is to watch comedians drinking coffee together. Just make sure it’s not your turn to drive when you do!

Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee by Jerry Seinfeld

The Rich History of Coffee: Separating Fact from Fiction

history-of-morning-cup-of-coffee

You might not give your coffee a second thought when you take that first sip in the morning. But as it so happens, your beloved morning cup of joe has a very interesting backstory. Let’s delve into the true history of coffee, to see where this beverage finds its origins.

Mysterious Origins of Coffee

Regarding the history of coffee, its initial discovery is shrouded in mystery, but there are a few legends. As one story tells it, a traveling Sufi mystic who went by the rather lengthy moniker Ghothul Akbar Nooruddin Abu al-Hasan al-Shadhili was trekking through Ethiopia when he noticed that a particular flock of birds seemed to have more than their fair share of vim and vigor. He observed them dining on a particular berry, and upon eating a few of them himself, discovered that it imbued him with the same spunk he’d observed in the local avian population.

Another account credits a Sufi disciple named Omar with discerning the coffee bean’s stimulating properties. Exiled to a desert cave, Omar found himself in desperate need of sustenance. In an act of desperation, he began to eat coffee berries, but found them unpleasantly bitter. So he built a fire and roasted them, but they became too crunchy to eat. Finally, he boiled them and found that the resulting liquid gave him the extra vitality he needed to survive in the desert. Word spread of his discovery, and he was welcomed home to Mocha as a holy man.

Yet another origin story tells of Kaldi the goatherd, who saw his goats frolicking a little more enthusiastically than usual after eating some strange red berries. After trying a few, he gathered some of the berries and took them to a local monastery, hoping the learned monks could explain the berries’ mysterious properties. The monk he met there was leery of these unusual berries, so he threw them into the fire, at which point all the other monks came to investigate the enticing aroma wafting around the monastery. “This smells great! Maybe we can drink it,” they said to each other, and soon, all the monks in the monastery were sweeping the halls with a ferocity not often witnessed in such hallowed locales. Or so the story goes.

Exploring the History of Coffee: Arabian Nights

We’re not sure which of the legendary accounts are true, but one thing is for certain: coffee as we know it did come from the Sufi monasteries of southern Arabia, probably sometime during the 15th century.

The Arabians knew a good thing when they saw it, and they were eager to share it with traders from neighboring lands. Soon, the intoxicating aroma of coffee was filling the air in Persia, Syria, Egypt, and Turkey.

Coffeehouses began to spring up in the more cosmopolitan cities, and the originals were much like the ones we frequent today. There were chess games, gossip, intellectual debates, and the occasional open mic night, only without the microphones, of course.

With Mecca being a popular destination for religious pilgrims, word of the invigorating and pungent beverage soon spread far and wide. The Arabians were fine with visitors enjoying their coveted local flavor, and didn’t mind selling them some beans to take home, but they certainly didn’t want to lose their hold on such a profitable product, so they kept their cultivation and production secrets closely guarded. Or so the ancient history of coffee goes…

dawn-of-european-coffee-culture

The Dawn of European Coffee Culture

Later on in the history of coffee, by the 1600s, the beverage had found enthusiastic fans in Europe. In typical fashion, members of the clergy initially condemned it, but calmed down once the Pope gave it the papal OK. Soon, there were coffee shops all over London, Vienna, Venice, and Amsterdam, and they quickly became popular social gathering places.

Coffee in the Colonies

Coffee’s first introduction to the New World took place in New York City, which was then known as New Amsterdam. The colonists enjoyed coffee, but weren’t completely sold on it at first. Of course, that all changed with the Boston Tea Party. After that, Americans switched to imported Dutch coffee in droves, just to spite the Brits. To this day, we’re still a devout nation of coffee drinkers.

Turn Your Coffee Obsession Into a Profession and Learn How to Become a Barista

Barista doing your coffee

People who are passionate about wine can become sommeliers, but people who are passionate about coffee become baristas. Because about 65% of adults drink coffee every day, there is no shortage of opportunities out there for baristas. Espresso, coffee, or cappuccino – most of us know that the recipes are all different. And while the average coffee drinker might not know if their beans are Arabica or Robusta, their barista surely knows the difference. Passion for coffee is the most important ingredient to creating a great cup of coffee, so let’s look at how to become a barista.

How to Become a Barista: What It Takes

People who love good coffee rarely understand the amount of testing and planning and training that goes into creating their favorite morning beverage. The brew process is complex, and starts with understanding and selecting beans. After that, training for how to become a barista includes grinds, brew methods, times and temperatures, and even cup selection.

Wine geeks have wine tastings but coffee geeks have cuppings. Part of your barista training will include refining of your palate. The last ingredient to any barista education is practice and more practice. But just how does one get the training necessary to become an actual barista?

There Are Schools That Teach You How to Become a Barista

There are many schools and training classes available when you want to become a barista. Simply search online by using a phrase like ‘Barista Schools’ for a list of institutions and programs near you. Often, a part of the training occurs online, which is convenient if you work or go to school. Some of these schools offer certificates so you can find a job right away, after you’ve learned how to become a barista.

On the Job Training for Baristas

For those who want experience and pay while they are training, working as an A barista creating latte coffee art.apprentice barista is a great start. As an apprentice, you get experience while you train – and you typically get paid for your time, too. You can opt to apply at a chain or a small, local coffee shop near you. Either way, make sure the training is thorough and includes a variety of options and specialty drinks, so you can maximize your experience as you learn how to become a barista.

Working as a Barista

The job of a barista is fast paced, flexible, and includes lots of interaction with people. Most baristas make a wage plus tips, and the better you are, the better the tips tend to be. Once you’ve been trained and have some experience, you can get a good job, even if you move to a different city. All it really takes to start is a love and passion for coffee!

Recent Studies Have Found the Benefits of Caffeine for ADHD

Studies Find Benefits of Caffeine for ADHD by CoffeeForLess

One of the most beloved effects from your morning cup of coffee comes in the way that it wakes you up. Because of the caffeine, you become more alert and focused. Well it turns out that the caffeine in coffee can also help to allay symptoms related to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD.) Studies are starting to show that drinking the caffeine in coffee for ADHD can help to treat a problem that doctors tend to refer out to the pharmacy.

For decades, children and adults with ADHD have been treated with powerful prescription amphetamines such as Ritalin and Adderall. While patients often see their symptoms eased, they are also left with strong physical addictions as well as other side effects, including bipolar disorder, aggression, anxiety, and seizures.

Prepubescent ADHD and Caffeine

A 2011 study showed that caffeine was effective for allaying ADHD symptoms in neonatal rats. While the rats did not show any improvement in motor activity, they did improve their focus when scientists provided them with caffeine. Scientists hypothesized that caffeine might thus be effective in treating prepubescent ADHD in human subjects.

The Heart of the Issue: Dopamine

Dopamine is at the heart of the issue, chiefly because patients with ADHD have been shown to have lower than normal levels of dopamine. Stimulant drugs are then used to raise the dopamine levels to more correct levels. If dopamine goes too high, patients experience anxiety and other negative side effects. However, with the right dose, a stimulant like caffeine can raise dopamine production to a level that helps an ADHD patient focus. And this includes focusing enough to perform daily tasks such as reading, or remaining attentive to duties at work.

Synergistic Treatment: Caffeine for ADHD

Coffee Health Benefits ADHD

A cup of coffee may produce a heightened effect for those taking Adderall or Ritalin for ADHD.

For some, having a cup of coffee on top of their pharmaceutical medications might be
helpful, and caffeine and prescription amphetamines have a synergistic relationship,
meaning that each enhances the effects of the other. A patient who drinks a cup of coffee
for ADHD treatment, on top of his Adderall or Ritalin prescription, will experience a heightened effect, but he will also find that any negative side effects are enhanced. Patients might use this information to work with their doctors to see if lower doses of their regular ADHD medications could be prescribed on the assumption that they can be augmented with a cup or two of coffee.

Caffeine for ADHD: Not a One-Size Fits All Fix

It should be noted that caffeine may not provide the same benefits for everyone. ADHD arises from many different genetic mutations, which can come in a variety of combinations and create the same effects. So, if a cup or two of coffee is making someone anxious and jittery, that might not be an appropriate treatment for their ADHD. They might want to try decaf coffee and discuss their issues related to focus with a medical doctor or other healthcare provider, instead.

ADHD is a serious mental health issue that can be potentially helped out with caffeine. While there doesn’t seem to be any great risk in drinking coffee to help with focus and attention, no one should attempt to medicate themselves without consulting a healthcare professional first.

Reduce Your Risk of Endometrial Cancer: Drinking Coffee Is Healthy

Coffee is often a woman’s best friend – for both stay at home moms, as well as working professionals. It helps to wake her up, it keeps her on her toes throughout the day, and it just plain tastes so good. Making coffee an even more attractive beverage, it has recently been found that coffee is also good for one’s health. It seems that the magical brew can reduce the risk of endometrial cancer.

Endometrial cancer is a disease specific to women who are generally over the age 45. The cancer that forms in the lining of the uterine wall will be diagnosed in over 50,000 middle-aged women in 2015, according to Cancer.org, making endometrial cancer the most common cancer of the female reproduction system.

The Link Between Coffee and Endometrial Cancer

Reduce Risk Of Endometrial Cancer By Drinking Coffee

A new study finds the risk of developing an endometrial cancer is reduced by 19% with only three cups of coffee per day.

It only takes three cups of coffee per day to reduce the risk of developing an endometrial cancer by 19%, according to a new study. The study was designed to determine the risk factors associated with 84 different foods and nutrients. Though the exact health implications were unknown, coffee was thought to correlate with cancer risk, alongside foods such as cheese, butter, monounsaturated fat, yogurt, and carbohydrates.

Then, the study group led by European Prospective Investigation Into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC), created a new study group of 1,500 women who had been diagnosed with endometrial cancer. This group, called the Nurses Health Study (NHS), focused on nine foods that were found to affect cancer risk: total fat, monounsaturated fat, phosphorus, carbohydrates, yogurt, butter, potatoes, cheese, and coffee. NHS discovered the positive health effects of three cups of coffee, and also concluded that four cups can reduce risk by 18%.

What to Do With the Correlation Between Coffee and Women’s Health

Now that researchers have determined this strong, positive correlation between coffee and reduced cancer risk, scientists need to get to work to determine what it is about coffee that specifically bolstered the health of so many women. It could be affecting the hormonal system in a particular way, or there might be special antioxidants that stave off cancer cells.

It’s also important to note that not all types of coffee and health benefits are created equally. Some beans have higher caffeine content than others, and there are many other compounds that go into our daily brew that can vary from bean to bean. So some coffee varieties might end up being better for fighting endometrial cancer than others. For now, coffee lovers should continue to drink three cups of their favorite brew each day to help maintain optimal health.

Coffee is a great part of so many people’s days. Some people go to sleep so that they can wake up and have a cup. Now that we know the positive health effects that drinking three cups has on the body, there is even more reason to look forward to it. Make sure that middle-aged women know about this study so they keep the java flowing!

 

Coffee linked to lower endometrial cancer risk

 

How Do You Know if You’ve Had Too Much Coffee in a Day?

too-much-coffee

Some of you might scoff at the notion of there being such a thing as “too much coffee.” We get it completely, because we love coffee too, obviously. Not only that, but drinking coffee has been shown to have significant health benefits. In spite of this, there is such a thing as too much caffeine when you drink coffee. So how can you tell if you’ve overdone it?

Coffee and the Jitters

When you’re working, it’s easy to lose track of how many cups of coffee and caffeine you’ve had. If you start fidgeting or your hands are getting a little bit shaky, then it may be time to switch to water or herbal tea for the day. Ditto that for increased heartbeat and feelings of restlessness – you may have ingested too much caffeine from coffee if you’re exhibiting these signs.

Getting the Heebie Jeebies From Caffeine?

Anyone who has ever experienced an anxiety attack knows that it’s not a pleasant experience, to say the least. And too much caffeine from coffee or other beverages can produce similar symptoms. If you’ve had so much coffee that you begin to sense impending doom for no apparent reason, or feel like spies might be following you around the office, then it’s probably a good idea to hold off on your 9th cup.

Be Still, My Beating Heart

Increased heartbeat is another sign that you may be drinking a bit too much java. You may also experience a feeling that could best be described as your heart “skipping a beat.” That’s not actually what it’s doing, and it’s probably not life threatening, but it can be rather unsettling. If you find the old ticker galloping away with nary a treadmill in sight, it could be the caffeine in your coffee. Oh, and we’re not doctors, so if you feel like something’s seriously wrong, you’d be wise to consider seeking medical attention.

I Don’t Feel So Well. Is It the Coffee?

If you have a knot in your stomach, or start to feel like you just got off the Zipper at the State Fair, then you may have had too much caffeine. Heartburn can also be caused by excessive coffee intake, as coffee and caffeine relaxes the part of the esophagus that normally prevents stomach acid from making its way up the throat.

So Thirsty… Must Have Water

Caffeine is a diuretic, which basically means that it makes you have to urinate. If your urine is dark yellow or orange, then you might very well be dehydrated, and that’s not a healthy thing. Try alternating coffee with water throughout the day, or just cut down on your coffee intake so you’re ingesting less caffeine.

Counting Sheep

After a long day of hard work and an evening of socializing or hitting the gym, your body should be ready for dreamtime. If you have trouble drifting off to sleep on a regular basis, excessive caffeine from your daily coffee intake could be the culprit. Caffeine’s effect can last 5 hours or more, so try cutting out the coffee after lunchtime and see if that makes a difference, before you decide to reduce the amount you drink each day even further.

Morning Coffee Not Hot Enough? Try Warming Up the Mug First

When you’ve just rolled out of bed and you’re still trying to shake the dreamy haze of sleep, there’s nothing quite like a hot cup of morning coffee to pry open those drowsy eyelids and put a spring in your step. But when your hot coffee turns tepid, it can really put a damper on your wake-up routine. Fortunately, there is a way to help your cup of coffee maintain its fresh-from-the-pot heat, and it starts by warming up the mug – here’s why.

coffee-brewing

Source: maorisakai.tumblr.com

Your Mug Is a Heat Thief

When you first grab your favorite coffee mug from the cupboard, you may notice that it’s cold to the touch, especially so during the winter months. And that makes sense; your cupboards are basically sealed off from the rest of your home, so they don’t benefit from your central heating system.

Fast-forward to a few minutes after you’ve filled your cup with steaming coffee, and you’ll find that the cup itself has become nice and warm. If it’s especially chilly, you might even wrap your hands around it to keep them cozy.

It’s a nice feeling, but that heat had to come from somewhere. You guessed it: your coffee cup is stealing heat from your fresh-brewed get-up juice. When hot coffee meets cold mug, thermal energy is exchanged. It’s simply a basic principle of physics.

Warm Your Cup First To Keep Morning Coffee Steaming

By now, you might be feeling a bit betrayed by your favorite coffee mug. Surely it knows you love hot coffee. So how could it do this to you?

Fortunately, there’s a trick to keep it from stealing your coffee’s steam. Just get in the habit of heating up your morning coffee mug first. Get some hot water from the faucet or boil some water on the stove. Fill your mug with the water and let it sit until the mug is warm to the touch. If you’re in a hurry, just throw it in the microwave for a little bit.

This trick works best with mugs that maintain heat well, but even thinner cups will keep coffee hot longer when preheated. And while it may seem like one more thing that you have to do in the morning, trust us – you’ll be delighted with the results as you sit your morning cup of coffee, and it stays hot until you’re finished.

hot drink