A quarter-century on, WHO drops claim that coffee is a carcinogen

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The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer reviewed 1,000+ papers investigating the link between coffee and cancer and concluded that the WHO's 1991 classification of coffee as a carcinogen was mistaken. Read the rest

Cryogenic freezing improves coffee extraction

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A new study in Nature by University of Bath chemist Christopher Hendon and colleagues from various universities and coffee shops finds that cryogenic freezing of coffee beans prior to grinding them produces a more uniform grind that allows for optimal extraction. Read the rest

Starbucks to roll out nitro cold-brew this summer

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Cold brew is the easiest, most foolproof way to make amazing coffee (seriously, all you need to do is fill a $6 cloth bag with coarse-ground coffee, put it in a pitcher of water overnight, squeeze it out in the morning and discard the grinds). Read the rest

How to build a microcontroller-driven cold brew coffee drip tower

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Our friend and frequent Boing Boing contributor John Edgar Park built a large cold brew coffee drip tower using laser cut parts, lab glassware, a food-safe solenoid valve, and Arduino-based controller. I'm waiting for him to invite me over for a glass of ice coffee!

I love cold brew coffee. Its rich and delicious flavor, and low acidity, means it tastes great over ice. Traditional hot-brewed coffee methods simply can’t compare; when chilled and served on ice they tend to taste diluted and acidic. I have a small commercial drip tower that works very well, however, given the fact that cold brew takes up to 18 hours to brew, it’s disappointing to finish it off in just a few drinks. You can buy large cold-brew towers, but they’re very expensive, aimed at coffee shops. I decided to build a much larger brewing tower from scratch, and to make it considerably higher precision while I was at it — drip rate is everything when it comes to cold brew — using a microcontroller-driven solenoid valve for exact drip rate.

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I fixed my coffee maker in a bad way, then in an awesome way

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My orange Bialetti Moka Express Stovetop Percolator is my version of the red stapler. (I have a real red stapler, too.)

Over the years, I've tried to keep my Moka in pristine condition, but my family members don't care about it as much as I do. They would leave it on the burner after the water boiled up from the lower chamber to the upper chamber, which caused the bottom part to overheat and turn black.

The final straw dropped on Saturday when one of my family members forgot to put water in it *and* forgot about it on the burner. I was in another room and when I smelled burning plastic, I knew what had happened. I ran into the kitchen and grabbed the handle with a dish rag. It stretched like taffy. Even the plastic knob on the lid was melted. Disgusted, I threw the coffee maker in the trash.

An hour later I pulled it out of the trash. I decided I could make a new handle. That was a good idea, but I idiotically thought I could get away with making a handle on a 3D printer. I designed the handle on Tinkercad (a fantastic web-based 3D modeling application):

I also designed a knob for the lid. It took about an hour to print out both pieces. While it was printing, I used a Dremel tool to remove the carbonized black stuff from alternating facets of the octagonal boiler chamber. I was pleased with my new orange/green/black/silver Moka and posted a photo of it to my Instagram feed:

The espresso maker that wouldn't die.

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How to wake up without coffee

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Fascinating, now gimme a double latte. (AsapSCIENCE)

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Former Starbucks designer on what makes a "third place" feel like home

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Suppose you wanted to design a home away from home. What would you put in? What would you leave out? What kind of seating would you have? (Soft? Hard? Low? High?) What kind of tables — big working slabs or intimate little two-tops?

A good “third place” may seem casually homey, but its design is the end result of a million tiny decisions. This week on HOME: Stories From L.A., it’s a conversation with Kambiz Hemati, who oversaw store design at Starbucks for two years and now owns Love Coffee Bar in Santa Monica, where he gets to think hard — and think small — about what makes a place feel like home.

Thanks for listening. And if you like what you hear, please subscribe and leave us a rating and/or review on the iTunes Store. 

Check out all the great podcasts that Boing Boing has to offer! Read the rest

Watch an ultra-automated cappuccino maker brew up a latte

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My friend Ian Clarke of Uprizer and Freenet fame recently invested in a Jura Ena Micro 9, a swank, ultra-high-quality espresso machine in which many elements of the brew and milk steam processes are cleverly, thoughtfully automated. Ian was sharing something about how his new purchase was working out for him (he digs it), and I asked him to shoot a video of it so i could share it with our Boing Boing readers. Here it is.

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A Cup of Coffee (1980) Mormon anti-coffee short

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If you haven't subscribed to the Hard-to-Find Mormon Videos YouTube channel, you don't know what you're missing. Watch this anti-coffee film from 1980. It's got edge of your seat action, engaging characters, humor, ethical dilemmas, and intrigue, plus an American Sign Language interpreter, and is presented in an experimental time-slice format that would make any film school student envious. [via] Read the rest

How to drink your morning coffee in Norway like a boss

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This dude makes Norway looks cold, but also cool.

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In case you were wondering, there's no reason to squirt coffee up your ass

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Coffee enemas have been around since the 19th century (when medical science was a mess) and they persist today (when woo advocates like to hold up the fact that medical practices have persisted since the 19th century as proof that they work). In case you were wondering, they're bad for you. Read the rest

The complicated psychology and behavioral economics of a beautiful, $700 coffee-dripper

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At $700, the beautiful Iikone single-cup coffee brewer is quite an extravagance, albeit one made of precision-milled, polished surgical steel. The coffee it produces will doubtless be delicious, because, assuming you start with good beans and carefully measure your water temperature and ingredients quantities, this is a very good coffee-production method. Read the rest

World's largest collection of coffee cup lids

Architects Louise Harpman and Scott Specht own the world's largest collection of disposable plastic coffee cup lids, a seemingly simple product that raises myriad design questions and challenges.

From their 2005 Cabinet magazine essay:

Although the earliest examples of drink-through lids were designed for cold beverages, the true efflorescence in drink-through lid design and production can be traced to the 1980s, when we, as a culture, decided that it was important, even necessary, to be able to walk, or drive, or commute while drinking hot liquids. A quick survey of the US patent registry reveals nine patents for specialty drink lids in the 1970s, jumping to twenty-six individual patents in the 1980s. 


We began our collection during college in 1984 when the purpose-built cup lids began to appear with some frequency. Up until that time, coffee drinkers who wanted a drink-through lid had to go DIY: beginning from two points along the outer edge of any flat plastic cup lid, the drinker would peel back the plastic rim along two radial axes toward the centerpoint of the lid, creating a jagged wedge of an opening. This operation yielded a reliable aperture, but also a triangular bit of garbage which design writer Phil Patton (RIP - ed.)

calls the “guitar pick.” The strategy was serviceable, but inelegant. Some degree of improvement was surely mandated, though not the “dizzying array” of lid designs that we now see. “There is no coffee lid that occupies the same status as the paper clip,” agrees Patton. Read the rest

How to make a dairy-free foamy latte with coffee and xanthan gum

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Boing Boing's Weekend of Wonder in association with Baby Tattoo was tremendously fun. One of the many highlights of the 3-day event was a tricked-out coffee station that we set up on Saturday morning. I brought my Rancilio Silvia espresso machine with a retro-fitted PID temperature control system and pulled about 75 shots in on hour. John Edgar Park brought a device that carbonates beverages and used it to make fizzy cold brew coffee. He also brought a little sack of xanthan gum (a food thickening agent), which he mixed into coffee using an immersion blender. It was really good!

Above, a video from ChefSteps with the recipe for a xanthan gum latte. Read the rest

Beautiful pixel art of a cyberpunk coffeeshop in the rain

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In this 12-frame animated gif, pixel artist Kirokaze imagines a small sliver of a rainy day in a world of "thought vigilance" and random ID checks, where a mysterious woman sips coffee and watches the world rush by, twirling a knife idly in her hand. Check out more of Kirokaze's work on Deviantart, or follow them on Twitter. Read the rest

OXO's Good Grips Cold Brew Coffee Maker

The $50 cold-brew maker makes some important design improvements over its pioneering competitor, the Toddy, but you get the same quality coffee with easier cleanup for $10 with my nut-milk bag method. Read the rest

A barista takes a close look at "Bulletproof Coffee"

Bulletproof Coffee was invented by self-described bio-hacker Dave Asprey. He uses mold-free coffee blended with unsalted butter and MCT oil. I've had it and it is very tasty. I don't know if it is the wonder beverage that Asprey says it is, and his claim that a lot of coffee has harmful mold in it is dubious. (Watch this video on the Joe Rogan podcast where Rogan talks about sending different coffee samples to testing labs and learning than none of them have mold).

Recently, Matthew Perger, a world champion barista, roaster, green buyer, consultant and partner at St Ali and Sensory Lab in Melbourne, Australia got to the bottom of Bulletproof Coffee in a fascinating blog post.

Will I lose weight by drinking it? That sounds easy! Give me a Bulletproof coffee please!

Short Answer: No.

Long Answer: Bulletproof coffee is like a really fatty latte. And when I say fatty, I’m talking somewhere close to your entire recommended daily intake of fat (~60g per serving). This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Many popular studies have recently salvaged fat’s reputation as diet devil, showing that fats can be part of balanced diets. But, 440 calories is 440 calories. If you eat it, your body will burn it or store it somehow.

Most humans that would potentially drink a bulletproof coffee spend a lot of the day in an anabolic state. That is, they’re well fed, and blood glucose is relatively high from eating. This means their body is content to store any excess calories as glycogen in the muscles and liver, or fat in adipose tissue.

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