How caffeine keeps you awake

TedEd tackles the question of "How does caffeine keep you awake?" The answer is fascinating but I care less about how it works and just thank my lucky stars that it does.

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Coffee makes you live longer? Don't believe the buzz

Two new studies from the Annals of Internal Medicine have made the rounds on news sites, each claiming that an increased coffee consumption leads to a higher life expectancy. While this may sound like a great excuse to fuel a coffee habit, the summary of the studies explicitly states that:

Although drinking coffee cannot be recommended as being good for your health on the basis of these kinds of studies, the studies do suggest that for many people, no long-term harm will result from drinking coffee.

Despite the claims from many news sources, excessive coffee drinking has not been proven to prolong your life. For those wondering why the study in inconclusive, an opinion piece in Forbes clearly outlines why association does not prove causation, and why more coffee will not necessarily benefit you.

A compelling article from last year in New York Times' Well explains a fairly decisive link between genetics and the health impact of coffee-drinking. Whether or not you are a fast- or slow-metabolizer of caffeine may determine its health benefits or consequences. If you are interested in the subject, it is worth reading.

While the two new studies do suggest that coffee drinkers live longer lives, there is no evidence that clearly points to coffee as the culprit. For now, drink assured that coffee will not harm you, but know that it may not be the elixir that it’s currently hyped up to be.

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Every year, Starbucks sends 4 billion nonrecyclable paper cups to landfills

In 2008, Starbucks publicly acknowledged that the plastic coatings it used on its paper cups made them impossible to recycle using the kinds of equipment deployed by municipalities around the world, and kicked off an annual competition to improve the cup design -- but five years later, it shut the competition down, went on using the unrecyclable cups, and adopted the line that the world's taxpayers should foot the bill for upgrading recycling plants to accommodate its cups. Read the rest

Make: an Aeropress/water bottle cold-brew dripper

The cheapest and easiest way I know of to make cold brew coffee is with an almond-milk bag and a water jug, but if you favor the drip method over the steeping method, you can spare yourself the expense of a fancy Kyoto dripper and just use a disposable 500ml water bottle with a pinprick in its lid, suspended over an Aeropress. Read the rest

Why aren't there screw-threads inside the Aeropress sleeve?

I'm staying in a hotel with nothing but paper cups in the room, and I'm not travelling with my usual suitcase in which I stash my emergency polypropelene folding cup, so I'm reduced to making my hotel coffee using the awkward hold-the-sleeve method, in which you grip the sleeve as hard as you can with your left hand while pushing down on the piston with your right, supporting the press so you don't crush the paper cup beneath. Read the rest

Spreadable coffee is coming to Japan

Snow Brand Milk will celebrate its 55th birthday by releasing "spreadable coffee" intended to be eaten on toast; it's a followup to an earlier "Edible coffee" product that appears to be basically coffee pudding. Read the rest

Essential coffee GIFs for December

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Seriously elaborate, steampunked coffee siphon

Diguo's Luxury Royal Family Balance Syphon Coffee Maker is an amazingly elaborate coffee siphon, a brewing method dating to the 1830s which is said to produce "a delicate, tea-like cup of coffee," albeit with the caveat that it is "quite persnickety." Read the rest

The Moka Express coffee maker will last forever

Kitchen appliances wear out. When they do, it usually means it's time to toss it and buy a new one. But in recent years, it's become easier to buy replacement parts, thanks to eBay and Amazon. This trend has kept my Bialetti Moka Express stovetop coffee maker alive and well.

My Moka is one of my favorite possessions. I use it a couple of times a day. I have the 6-cup orange-colored Moka, which I bought in December 2014. (I use it to make one-regular sized cup of coffee, not six espresso sized cups.) I've made over 1,000 cups of coffee with it. I get excited every time I use it.

The handle melted off a few months ago when my daughter left the burner on. A replacement handle kit is $9, but I opted to make one from a bamboo cutting board. You can get 3 replacement rubber seals and an aluminum filter for $10 (I've replaced the seals twice).

It's harder to find a replacement safety valve. I have one, scavenged from another Moka, if I need it. But they rarely wear out. When I find it acting up, it's because it's dirty and needs cleaning. Here's a good troubleshooting guide.

If you want a coffee maker that outlives you, it's hard to beat this one.

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Bodum pour-over coffee maker with permanent filter $17

The Bodum coffee maker I posted about a couple of weeks ago is on sale at Amazon for $17.

"With the Chemex, even a moron can make good coffee.” Those were the memorable words of inventor and bon vivant Peter Schlumbohm, praising his creation. A Chemex costs $40 on Amazon, but you can buy what appears to be a functionally identical semiknockoff from Bodum for half the price. Unlike the Chemex, which requires a paper filter, the Bodum has a permanent stainless steel mesh filter. It's made from borosilicate glass, and is "mouth-blown" as opposed to being blown with another orifice capable of producing pressurized gas. Read the rest

Man enjoys coffee in a flooded Starbucks

Yes, Starbucks coffee IS that good(story in comments)(x-WTF)

Come hell or high water, this gentleman is going to have his Starbucks. Read the rest

Bodum pour-over coffee maker with permanent filter

"With the Chemex, even a moron can make good coffee.” Those were the memorable words of inventor and bon vivant Peter Schlumbohm, praising his creation. A Chemex costs $40 on Amazon, but you can buy what appears to be a functionally identical semiknockoff from Bodum for half the price. Unlike the Chemex, which requires a paper filter, the Bodum has a permanent stainless steel mesh filter. It's made from borosilicate glass, and is "mouth-blown" as opposed to being blown with another orifice capable of producing pressurized gas. Read the rest

Twin Peaks tarot cards

Last year, Benjamin Mackey designed an inspired collection of digital Twin Peaks Tarot cards. Now, Mackey is making the deck real through an Indiegogo campaign! From the project description:

The Magician Longs to See Tarot is a complete 78-card deck with 22 Major Arcana and 56 Minor Arcana in full color. The deck combines the mystical world of Twin Peaks with visual evocations of Pamela Colman Smith's iconic tarot illustrations. The Major Arcana have manifested as some of the primary movers and shakers in Twin Peaks, while the Minor Arcana tend towards depicting infamous scenes and moments in the series. My goal is to strike a delicate balance between accurately representing the respective characters while still maintaining readability as a deck.

"The Magician Longs to See Tarot" (via Daily Grail)

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R2-D2 French press pot

Thinkgeek's $40 R2D2 French press coffee-pot starts shipping in early November, in time for Xmas delivery. Holds 32oz, BPA-free, and the carafe is dishwasher safe. Read the rest

See you at Burning Man!

I'm about to switch off my email until September 5 and drive to Black Rock City for 10 days of incinerating the dude. Read the rest

See a coffee maker rebuilt into a "bionic" hand

Maker Evan Booth transformed a Keurig K350 coffeemaker into a "bionic" hand. As William Gibson once wrote, "the street finds its own uses for things."

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A horn-shaped Viking mug for your coffee

Goat Story's 16 oz horn mug is designed to bring a little Viking to your morning cup, with a spillproof lid and a cross-body carry-strap that converts to a stand to allow you to balance your horn of plenty on your desk between swigs. Read the rest

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