Food The more you know

6 things no one tells you about coffee

Although many of us drink it every day, there is still some basic information that not everyone knows

1) Health benefits are not just about the heart and brain. You have already heard of possible cardiovascular and neurological benefits. But one (or two) coffees can also contribute to the prevention of type 2 diabetes, according to an analysis conducted on 28 dedicated studies on Diabetes Care. Both regular and decaffeinated coffee has been associated with a reduction in risk, and this suggests that hundreds of other components of the drink such as antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals, guarantee these benefits, says Rob Van Dam, (PhD, co – director of analysis), professor at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine in Singapore and associate professor of nutritional epidemiology at Harvard’s TH Chan School of Public Health. “It is a very complex drink, so much so that we do not know exactly how it can reduce the risk of diabetes, but according to the research conducted on animals, it would increase insulin sensitivity and would help keep blood sugar levels under control “explains van Dam.

2) Remember two things when you grind your mixture: cornmeal and “mince, stir, mince, stir”. If you use a coffee grinder with a blade, make sure your blend reaches a consistency and size similar to that of coarsely ground cornmeal, explains Lindsey Borger, senior vice president of Coffee Sourcing and Excellence at Keurig Green Mountain, Vermont. If the dimensions are smaller, the coffee will have an unpleasant and astringent taste. If, on the other hand, they are larger, it will have a little decisive flavor. To obtain homogeneous grains with a blade grinder, the trick is to mix the contents regularly during the operation.

3) The measurement method used determines the amount of caffeine in the cup. If you measure your beans by quantity (for example using a spoon) and produce the same amount of light and dark roasted coffee, the light roasting beans will contain much more caffeine. Here is the scientific explanation: the darker beans are roasted longer, so they expand due to the heat, becoming larger and less rich than light ones. Therefore, even a few dark roasted beans will result in less caffeine in the cup, says Emma Sage, Coffee Science Manager for the Specialty Coffee Association of America. If you measure the beans by weight, you will have almost the same amount of caffeine in cups, the same size, of light and dark roasted coffee.

4) The “charge” obtained by smelling the coffee is not only the fruit of your imagination. Excellent news if you fall into the category of people who are always sleepy but very sensitive to caffeine: sniffing the aroma of coffee beans can reduce the effects of sleep deficiency by altering the activity of genes in the brain, according to research carried out on sleep-deprived rats. For an olfactory experience with flakes, we recommend that you smell the beans containing caffeine – not the decaffeinated ones: in fact, the process by which caffeine is eliminated tends to damage the fats and oils contained in the bean, which give the coffee its aromatic notes and the scent so intense (that’s why decaffeinated does not have the same good smell), explains Hanna Neuschwander, author of Left Coast Roast and head of communication for World Coffee Research, a non-profit research organization from College Station, a subsidiary of Texas A&M University,

5) Avoid keeping the packages open in the fridge or freezer. Whenever you want to make yourself a coffee, a small layer of condensation will form on the beans or the mixture and the coffee will lose its aroma faster, Bolger explains. (It would be better to put the package still closed in a sealable bag – to avoid contamination of odors – and keep it in the freezer for up to eight months). Once opened, store it in an airtight container at room temperature, away from sources of excessive light and heat, Bolger says, and consume it within two weeks – ground coffee becomes stale faster, so try to consume it earlier).

6) It will be better to plan your coffee expenses more carefully. In 2015, Americans paid, on average, $ 3.28 for a cup of coffee, paying up to $ 5.07 if prepared by a coffee shop bartender, according to a survey conducted by Zagat. But climate change could push these prices up, as Neuschwander explains. Almost all the coffee we buy in specialized stores is of Arabica quality, more valuable than Robusta (the other more cultivated variety), but much more sensitive to climate change. Furthermore, it must be grown at higher and colder altitudes and, with increasing average temperatures, the soils still suitable for the cultivation of Arabica decrease. Production may also decrease, but not our desire for quality coffee … so better prepare to pay a little more.

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