10 Surprisingly Nutty Facts About Coffee That You Probably Didn’t Know

October 9, 2019

On an average day, billions of cups of coffee are consumed all across the world. And odds are, you’re responsible for at least one of those.

It’s one of the most popular beverages in the world, the subject of far too many memes and the long-standing antidote to a very sleepy state of affairs.

So let’s explore a few fun, strange, but ultimately interesting facts about coffee!

1. Brazil: The Land of Coffee, Finland: The Land of Coffee Lovers

Brazil is the largest producer of coffee in the world, followed by a distant second – Vietnam. However, it is by no means the largest consumer of coffee. That distinction goes to Finland, with over 12 kilograms or 27 pounds per capita.

In fact, the entire list of top consumers is dominated by Scandinavian countries. Norway ranks second, Iceland ranks third, followed by Denmark and Sweden in sixth place.

2. The Most Expensive Coffee is Sourced from Civet Poop

The Indonesian specialty, kopi luwak or “cat poop coffee”, is the most expensive coffee in the world. The civet consumes the cherries from the coffee plant, leaving only the seeds undigested with all its flavors intact. The seeds (or beans) are then fermented for human consumption.

However, like any commercial success, this process has been the subject of exploitation and unethical practices with regard to the civets.

3. 2 States for Coffee

While Americans consume a ton of coffee, just two of the 50 states are able to grow these plants commercially. One being Hawaii and the other California. Most of our coffee is actually sourced through imports from South American countries like Brazil or Colombia.

4. The 16th Century Church Hated It?

So, at one point coffee was actually banned by 16th-century Catholic leaders in Italy.

Why, you ask?

They believed that the effects of coffee were nothing short of satanic. However, Pope Clement VII, couldn’t stand this and unbanned it after a quick baptism. Maybe that’s where all those health benefits come from.

The controversy wasn’t limited to 16th century Italy. The Swedish government also attempted to ban the drink, claiming it aroused a rebellious sentiment among the public. Their ban even went a step further, outlawing cups and other associated accessories.

Given the current Scandinavian prevalence of coffee, this is now quite ironic.

5. Your Low-Calorie Pick-Me-Up

Black coffee? That’s a one-to-six calorie drink, right there. So if you’re watching your weight an espresso or two are ridiculously easy to burn off. A venti frappuccino? Not so much.

When you add creamers, milk, ice-cream, and flavonoids it ups your calorie intake.

6. Brainstorming Over Coffee

London considered coffee the drink of conversations. Well, not so much the drink itself, but the coffee shops that sold them. Men would converse over a cuppa, exchange thoughts and ideas and share events of the day. However, it was common practice to ban women from these shops.

7. The Dancing Goats of Ethiopia

The hunt for the “real” origin story is shrouded in controversy, but legend has it that the first traces of coffee date back to 9th-century goat-herders in Ethiopia. According to this story, the goat herders observed that their goats would begin “dancing” energetically, after grazing.

Upon investigation, they discovered that the goats were consuming the fruit from the coffee plants. He confided in a local monk, who then made a drink from the fruit (or cherries) and noticed that it helped keep him up at night.

8. The Story of Espresso

In Italian, espresso means “pressing out”. The name comes from pressing or forcing boiling water on coffee grounds to give it a stronger taste. While espresso does have more caffeine per volume, a conventional cup of cappuccino collectively has more caffeine.

9. Seeds, not Beans

Yeah, we call them beans, but technically they’re seeds. Coffee is actually sourced from the cherry seeds on coffee shrubs. While there are actually hundreds of sub-species of coffee, only arabica, and robusta (also known as canephora) varieties are commercially grown and consumed.

The cherries themselves were consumed by combining the pulp of the fruit with fat, in certain parts of the world. Most cherries contain two beans, but a small percentage hold just one.

10. Three Waves to the Coffee Movement

What defines the evolution of coffee?

Well, so far there have been three observable trends in humanity’s love for the drink.

The first wave saw coffee as an inexpensive, unsophisticated drink, that was available to everyone. There was no emphasis on varieties, no coffee connoisseurs or major discernible differences in the taste across the world.

The second wave saw the growth of coffee shops and cafes. Each of these added their own spin on the beverage by adding various other flavors and sweeteners to give it some distinction. At this point, the coffee itself was similar, but the added flavorings allowed some customization.

Now the third wave is where coffee has truly moved beyond a drink. It is now an art. Roasting, cultivating, and brewing are concepts to be studied and perfected. And on a more literal note – there’s the practice of latte art.

Some Bonus Facts About Coffee

The list says ten, but we’ve got a couple of bonus facts about coffee that we think you should know.

For one, the Boston Tea Party helped contribute to the rise of its popularity, and for another, our menu has a bunch of amazing coffees that you have to try!

Come visit us at any of our locations for a fantastic cuppa joe!

Tea Time: 9 Benefits of Drinking Tea in the Morning

September 8, 2019

tea drinking
Did you know that you can now find tea in almost 8 in every 10 U.S. households? Or that every single day, 159 million Americans drink this aromatic beverage?

That’s right!

After all, tea drinking is one of the best, not to mention delicious ways to start your morning. More than that, research has proven that tea brings exceptional health benefits.

What exactly are the benefits of drinking tea every day though? Why should you adopt the habit of sipping it in the morning, in the afternoon, or even before bed?

That’s exactly what we’ll cover in this post, so be sure to keep reading!

1. Regular Tea Drinking Helps Fight Off Free Radical Damage

Excessive levels of free radicals in the body can damage the cells in the body. Left alone, these “uncharged molecules” can lead to a multitude of health problems. These include diabetes, atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, and cancer among many others.

Antioxidants appear to negate these damages by stabilizing free radicals. At the same time, they help prevent the formation of more free radicals.

Teas, such as green and black tea, contain loads of these antioxidants in the form of polyphenols. In fact, teas can have up to 10 times more antioxidant content than fruits and vegetables.

2. Fires Up Your Energy Levels

Drinking coffee and tea is a great way to give your senses a jolt in the morning. That energy boost comes from their caffeine content, which is a natural stimulant.

Caffeine stimulates your brain by blocking the neurotransmitter called adenosine. This then leads to an increase in other neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, in the body.

Ultimately, this process enhances the firing of neurons in your system. It’s in this way that caffeine causes a rise in your energy levels.

3. Energy Boost without the Jitters

Granted, coffee has shown to have a more potent antioxidant activity than tea. However, it also has a much higher caffeine content than tea.

That’s why you can’t rely on coffee alone for your daily dose of antioxidants-in-a-drink. Go full-on with coffee, and it can trigger your jumpiness and make you jittery.

Whereas tea has less caffeine, but still has loads of antioxidants. For instance, a cup of black tea has only around 25 to 48 mg of the stimulant. An 8-ounce cup of brewed green tea has about 25 to 29 mg of caffeine.

That said, the caffeine in tea can still be enough to give you an energy boost. But unlike coffee, it doesn’t have too much caffeine that can mess with your adrenaline levels. Meaning, you can sip it all day long without worrying about caffeine jitters.

4. A Delicious Way to Relieve Stress

You know how in movies when someone feels stressed or has been crying, someone offers them a cup of tea? Well, there’s science behind it, and it’s not only the plant’s aroma that can help lower stress levels.

Tea contains an amino acid called L-theanine that has a soothing and relaxing effect on the mind. One study found that black tea helped bring down cortisol levels in stressed patients by as much as 47%.

Plus, tea doesn’t induce drowsiness since it has caffeine. So, if you’re looking to lower your stress levels while still staying alert, reach out for a cup of tea. The act itself of tea making can already be therapeutic.

5. Boosts Brain Function

Drinking green tea in the morning, or any other tea for that matter can help make you smarter. This amazing benefit comes from the mix of L-theanine and caffeine in tea.

As mentioned above, caffeine helps increase the levels of dopamine in the body. L-theanine has the same effect, plus it triggers the brain to produce more alpha waves. The combination of these effects helps boost brain function, particularly memory and focus.

6. Helps Protect Against Cancer

Another of the benefits of drinking tea in the morning, be it black or green tea, is a reduced cancer risk. This is again due to the teas’ polyphenol or antioxidant content.

A study of green tea, in particular, found that it may help keep esophageal and lung cancers at bay. Moreover, green tea has shown to have an inhibiting effect on the development of some types of tumors.

7. May Help Keep Your Weight in Check

Look at the ingredient list of fat burning supplements, and chances are, you’ll see green tea in it.

One reason is that studies have found this type of tea to raise the body’s metabolic rate. At the same time, it enhances the body’s fat-burning abilities.

White tea has also shown promise on the weight loss area. Researchers say that white tea may help stop the development of new fat cells. Moreover, white tea’s active ingredients appear to “mobilize” mature fat cells.

In layman’s terms, this means that tea may help complement your weight loss goals. Of course, you still need to eat healthy all day and remain active to stay fit and keep your weight in check.

8. May Help Prevent Memory Problems

The bioactive compounds in tea may help prevent your memory from diminishing. The plants’ active ingredients have shown to prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease. It may also help reduce your risks of Parkinson’s disease.

9. An All-Natural Antibiotic

Teas are also full of catechins, another type of disease-fighting antioxidant.

These may help hinder bacterial growth, which can then lower your risk of infections.

Make Tea Your Next Favorite Drink

There you have it, all the good things that you can enjoy when you pick up the habit of tea drinking. From being a “tamer” source of energy to keep your memory sharp, there’s a lot of benefits of drinking tea. So, as soon as you finish reading this article, be sure to get yourself a cup of brew.

Ready to get your daily dose of antioxidants in a cup delivered straight to your doorstep? Then be sure to ring us up now so you can order quality teas, coffees, and even all-day meals!

Set Your Day Off Right! 8 Healthy Breakfast Sandwich Ideas

August 25, 2019

breakfast sandwich
How many times did your mom tell you to never skip breakfast because it’s the most important meal? It turns out almost 25% of Americans don’t listen to that advice, instead skipping breakfast.

If you’re a chronic breakfast skipper, trying some fresh breakfast ideas may get you excited about your morning meal. A breakfast sandwich is an easy way to get the benefits of eating breakfast.

Forget the soggy English muffin sandwiches you can get at fast-food restaurants. Getting creating with the bread and fillings means every morning is a new culinary adventure. Packing the sandwich with proteins and veggies loads them up with nutrients to start your day in a healthy way.

Check out these breakfast recipes for inspiration. Then get creative and experiment with your own combinations.

1. Egg and Bagel Thin Sandwiches

An egg breakfast sandwich with or without meat is a classic option. A large egg has just 70 calories, but it provides your body with 6 grams of protein. If you want a lighter version, use only the egg whites on your sandwich.

Make it lighter by using thin bagels instead of full-sized bagels to cut the carb count and lower the calories. You can also use light English muffins as your base. Using only one half of the bread to eat the sandwich open-face style cuts calories even more.

Cook an egg any style you like. Add your choice of breakfast meats and cheese. Turkey bacon or chicken sausage is a healthier option for your sandwich.

If you don’t have time to eat your sandwich at home, wrap it up in foil and take it to work. Grab your favorite type of coffee on the way to complete the meal.

2. Veggie Egg Scramble Pitas

Keep it light and simple by mixing egg whites and veggies to make a healthy pita filling. Spinach, onions, peppers, mushrooms, and tomatoes are good choices.

Add veggies like onions and peppers to the skillet first so they soften. Add spinach toward the end of the egg cooking time to wilt it just a little. Add tomatoes after the eggs are fully cooked.

If you want a little extra flavor, sprinkle shredded cheese into the eggs when they’re done cooking. Season the mix with salt, pepper, and other favorite herbs or spices.

Scoop the veggie egg scramble into a pita pocket and serve.

3. Ham and Egg Wrap

Skip the carbs by using the ham as the wrap on this handheld sandwich. The ham holds the eggs and other fillings inside the wrap.

Scramble eggs with spinach or other favorite veggies. Stir in a little cheese just until it melts. Season the egg scramble with salt and pepper plus other seasonings you enjoy.

Layer two slices of ham on a plate to give the “wrap” extra stability. Scoop some of the egg mixture onto the ham, and roll it up like a wrap.

If you want a crispy outside, place the ham roll-ups in a baking dish. Broil them for a few minutes until they get crispy. Always watch broiling food closely as it can turn from perfectly browned to burnt quickly.

4. Huevos Rancheros Breakfast Sandwich

This classic Mexican breakfast dish is served traditionally on tortillas. In this version, you can use a light English muffin or thin bagel to hold the ingredients.

Toast the English muffin to give it a crispy texture. Top the base with heated refried beans, mashed avocado, eggs cooked your favorite way, and salsa. Finish the sandwich with the top of the English muffin.

5. Whole Wheat Waffle Sandwiches

Start your morning with a healthy dose of grains when you use whole wheat waffles as an alternative bread for your sandwich. If you’re really hungry, use two waffles for a top and bottom. Make it a lower calorie and lower carb sandwich by folding a single waffle in half with the fillings in the middle taco style.

What you put inside your waffle is up to you. Scrambled eggs with veggies and turkey bacon or sausage. Sprinkle a little cheese on top for extra flavor and protein.

6. Open-Face Portobello Mushroom Sandwich

Replace the traditional bread on your breakfast sandwich with a robust portobello mushroom cap. The thin, flat shape makes it a good stand-in for a bagel or English muffin.

Soften the mushroom cap by drizzling it with a little olive oil and broiling it for 10 minutes or until it’s soft. Saute your choice of vegetables and some chicken or turkey sausage. Fry an egg to the doneness that you like.

Assemble the open-faced sandwich by scooping the cooked veggies inside the mushroom cap. Add the egg on top.

7. Avocado Toast Sandwich

Sure, avocado toast is a bit of a cliche, especially among the millennial set. But the benefits of avocados make this a serious contender for a healthy morning sandwich. They’re packed with vitamins and good fats.

Start with two pieces of your choice of bread or a light English muffin and toast it. Mash an avocado and spread it over both sides. Salt and pepper the avocado.

Now you can get creative with other toppings. Add eggs, other vegetables, bacon, or any other toppings that sound good. With the variety of filling options, you can have avocado toast every morning with variety each day.

Put the two slices of toast together like a sandwich, or eat them separately open-face style.

8. Breakfast Burrito

It may not technically fall under the sandwich category, but a morning burrito is a savory handheld dish that you can make healthier depending on what you add. Choosing corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas starts off the burrito on a lighter note.

Inside, stuff eggs cooked in your favorite style with veggies, cheese, and salsa. Add a little light sour cream to balance out the flavors.

Enjoy a Breakfast Sandwich

Which breakfast sandwich recipe are you ready to try? No matter how you make it, a sandwich is a healthy and filling way to start your day.

On busy mornings, let us take care of the breakfast sandwiches, or stop by for a cup of coffee to go along with your homemade breakfast sandwich. Check out our menu to plan your morning stop to make sure you’re fueled for your day.