A mysterious nonprofit made millions suing companies to put California cancer warnings on coffee

The Council for Education and Research on Toxics (CERT) is a nonprofit that kicked off its mysterious existence by filing a string of lawsuits against restaurant chains and coffee roasters for not posting California Proposition 65 notices (the notices are mandatory warnings about the presence of "chemicals known to the state of California to cause cancer and reproductive toxicity") despite the disputed science behind their demands. Read the rest

Unique coffee drink features melting ball of cotton candy dripping into cup

Shanghai-based cafe chain Mellower Coffee offers a unique drink called Sweet Little Rain in which cotton candy positioned over an Americano is melted by the steam and drips sugar into the cup.

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Swiss government declares that coffee is not essential for survival

At their own peril, the Swiss government has decided that coffee is "not essential" for human survival. After World War I, Switzerland built an emergency reserve of human necessities for use in the event of war, disease, or other catastrophic events. They've now declared that the emergency food supply doesn't need to include coffee. From BBC News:

It currently has 15,300 tonnes saved up - that's enough to last the country three months.

"Coffee contains almost no calories and therefore does not contribute, from the physiological perspective, to safeguarding nutrition," the Federal Office for National Economic Supply said (in German).

image: Julius Schorzman/CC BY-SA 2.0 Read the rest

Power outage coffee: using Stanley's camping French Press at home

During a recent power outage, deprived of espresso, I was lucky to have a Stanley French Press on hand. Read the rest

Willie Nelson's new hemp coffee

Following on Willie Nelson's "Willie's Reserve" cannabis brand, the music icon and weed enthusiast has launched the new Willie’s Remedy line of CBD-infused health and wellness products, starting with coffee. From Rolling Stone:

According to a release, Nelson’s coffee is a medium-dark whole-bean blend with “flavor notes of cherry and cocoa.” Each 8 oz. cup contains 7 mg. of hemp-derived CDB.

Nelson’s wife Annie is overseeing the Willie’s Remedy brand and has plans to release other products in the coming year, including topicals and confections. “The Willie’s Remedy line is a purposeful departure from Willie’s Reserve,” said Annie Nelson. “It’s not about getting high, but it’s still all about Willie and the benefits we believe cannabis has to offer.”

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New study discovers why coffee can protect the brain, and it has to do with the kind of roast you drink

Although scientists already believed that drinking coffee could possibly reduce the risk of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, a new study by Krembil Brain Institute in Toronto, Canada suggests that the kind of roast you drink might determine how much protection your cup of joe might actually give you. Read the rest

Good conical burr grinder for coffee

I've owned this Capresso Infinity Conical Burr for 10 years or more, and it still runs like a champ. If you're at all serious about grinding coffee at home, a burr grinder is the way to go, especially when making espresso. Blade grinders lacerate the beans, and the size of the grounds vary wildly. Burr grinders do a better job of crushing the beans evenly. This model is on sale on Amazon today for quite a bit less than what I paid for it. Read the rest

Korn launches their own coffee brand: Korn Koffee

Many bands have gone the branded booze route, but not Korn. They've gone ahead and launched their own branded coffee (sorry, Koffee).

Lambgoat:

Korn has announced today's launch of their new coffee brand, Korn Koffee. Created in partnership with J. Gursey Coffee Roasters, Korn Koffee is available now.

Made entirely with Certified Fair Trade whole beans, Korn Koffee is a distinctive blend of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, Guatemalan Huehuetenago, and Organic Peru beans mixed with J. Gursey Coffee's popular Vintage Black Diamond blend. Korn personally curated the creation of Korn Koffee, a process that saw the band members tasting multiple variations before ultimately selecting the perfect roast and blend.

Indeed, each bag of Korn Koffee will feature a special message from Korn: "After almost 25 years of touring, making records and playing in front of all of our amazing fans (you), one thing has remained a constant in our daily routine: coffee. The ritual, the brew, the aroma and most importantly, that very first cup every morning that sets the tone, is something we look forward to every day. Because of our passion, we've gotten together with a roaster and handcrafted our very own blend of Koffee. We hope you enjoy, share, and join us in savoring many cups of Koffee for years to come."

A bag of their dark roast is available for pre-order at the online Korn store for $14.99.

Thanks, Andy! Read the rest

Tea swilling British love coffee so much it contaminated their ground water

A 2016 study shows the UK drinks so much coffee it has invaded their water systems. Read the rest

One espresso tamper to rule them all

This is my 58mm espresso tamper of choice! Read the rest

Review: Blendy Black Lemon Coffee from Japan

In Japan when I see the name Blendy, I imagine coffee. Usually I think instant coffee, or some kind of stick thats contents can be stirred into hot water to make a cup of joe in various flavors. Normal flavors like latte, espresso, or farm latte (there really is a farm latte.)

Farm latte aside, when I think Blendy, I usually don’t think about anything too outside the box.

That changed when the other day a new product caught my eye. Black Lemon Coffee. The catch copy reads: “Ice coffee with a new sensation”. Indeed. Before trying it, I read around the hashtags on Twitter, and it looks like the new bottled beverage has a lot of converts, with some fans saying it’s a cross between coffee and herbal tea, others exclaiming it’s their new summer obsession.

Then I tried it. Me? I’m afraid I’m a nope. The taste of Blendy’s Black Limone coffee was exactly how I’d imagined a cup of cold sweet coffee would taste if someone snuck up and squirted lemon in it. Give me coffee or give me tea. Please, don’t give me lemon in my coffee.

Photo: Rich Pav Read the rest

Coffee lids: new book on the elegant design of a modern scourge

Coffee Lids: Peel, Pinch, Pucker, Puncture is a beautifully-shot new book showcasing the world's largest collection of plastic coffee lids. Read the rest

Coffee expert asked to guess difference between cheap and expensive coffee

From Epicurious: "Epicurious challenges coffee expert Dillon Edwards to guess which coffee is more expensive. Edwards breaks down roasts (dark roast vs light roast), processing, freshness, varietals, and source. For each element, the connoisseur looks at and tests each coffee before guessing which coffee costs more. Once the prices are revealed, Edwards explains why a specific coffee costs more and dives into specifics on how each coffee is made."

Image: YouTube screenshot/Epicurious Read the rest

Making an espresso machine from a (thoroughly scrubbed) motorbike piston

Rulof Maker used a salvaged motorcycle piston and cylinder, mounted in an Ikea lamp, to create a homebrew espresso machine, using a lever to pressurize water at temperature through a puck of coffee grounds. Read the rest

How the appearance of the Aeropress coffee maker has changed over time

Aeropress has an article that shows the evolution of its coffee maker over time.

Even though no BPA was leaching from the polycarbonate, we switched to copolyester in August 2009 so that we could assure people that the AeroPress was BPA free. Initially the copolyester was crystal clear. In September 2010 we added a smoky grey tint because our market research indicated that consumers liked the appearance.

It's a lot of fun to make coffee with the Aeropress -- you pour a little water in the piston and put it in the microwave for about 40 seconds. Then you put a microfilter in the cylinder (you get a "years supply" with the Aeropress) and a scoop of ground coffee. The you put the cylinder on top of a cup (the company recommends using a clear mug to make the process even more fun), pour the heated (not boiling -- it'll make the coffee bitter and sour, they say) water, stir for 10 seconds, and press the piston down. A few seconds later, you have a wonderful cup of silky smooth coffee.

Here's a video I shot in 2006 that shows how to use an Aeropress:

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Power tool company Makita sells a coffee machine

Once again, the future has been unevenly distributed: Makita's coffee machine was available in Japan years ago. I can't wait to have one of these in my kitchen. Asahi Shimbun writes:

Makita's first coffee maker went on sale in 2015. It gained in popularity because the same types of batteries as its power tools also work in the coffee machine.

The new model can make a maximum of 5.3 cups of coffee on one charge, from a dedicated coffee pack as well as instant coffee. It weighs 1.5 kilograms.

The new coffee maker is sold at home center and other locations, costing 11,900 yen ($111.40) excluding tax. The battery charger and battery are sold separately.

MAKITA Rechargeable Coffee Maker CM501DZ [Amazon] Read the rest

A LaTeX mod to draw coffee cup rings on your technical papers

LaTeX is the venerable, gold-standard layout package favored for scholarly papers, especially technical papers; back in 2009, Hanno Rein released LaTeX Coffee Stains, an extension to draw a variety of coffee-cup rings on your paper; the code has been improved by community contributions over the years and is very robust and full-featured! (via Evil Mad Scientist Labs) Read the rest

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