Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sensible Indulgences - Coffee

Coffee is certainly on my list of Sensible Indulgences because it's something that I can't ever see myself living without. And neither can millions of others it seems when you look at the success all the coffee chains are having. But those milky sugary drinks they specialize in really aren't the way to enjoy good coffee.

Coffee drinking, like wine drinking, is I believe, an art.  And nobody has got it down better than the Italians in my view.

 I invested in an expresso machine a couple of years ago and I have never regretted it.  A really good cup of coffee first thing in the morning is a terrific way to start the day, especially when you add just a smidgen of heavy cream to it.  Enough to make it creamy but not enough to ruin the taste.

My coffee machine is a Breville Cafe Roma and it's one of the few things I would never want to be without.  Without my perfect cup of coffee, my day just doesn't start as well as it could.  

If you want the luxury of a great espresso but don't want to pay the price I paid, there are many other options available.  


 I also own the Bialetti expresso maker which is very reasonably priced and makes great coffee as well.  In fact this is the original way most Italians I know make coffee.  It doesn't have all the bells and whistles ( no milk frother etc.) It's just a simple pot that makes great coffee. You use it on your stove top which makes it a great option for me when the electricity goes of - which happens often in the winter months. (I have a gas stove and that's one of the reasons.)  It comes in various sizes and now there are even some now shapes which I haven't yet tried.

Back to coffee .....

Coffee, like tea, has been around a long time. It seems there is a legend, originating in Ethiopia, about a goat herder named Kaldi who supposedly discovered coffee after noticing that his goats didn't want to sleep at night after eating the berries from a certain tree.

 He told the local abbot, who of course had to try it for himself. He found that it kept him alert for hours and soon the news spread, first to the Arabian peninsula and then around the world. (The next time you see coffee with the goat symbol on it you'll understand why.)

Today coffee is grown in just about every continent - Asia, Africa, Central and South America, and the islands of the Caribbean and the Pacific. And it's reputed to have health benefits as well. I really kind of wonder reading some of these articles and studies just how much of this is wishful thinking, but there are a few scientific studies that seem to collaborate at least some claims.

According to a study reported in the Journal of experimental Psychology, drinking coffee helps you to spot grammar errors, so that's good news for writers like me.  However it didn't seem to make a difference in identifying spelling mistakes, which is too bad.

Coffee has also been found to ward of Alzheimer's disease and to prevent skin and prostate cancer. It also lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes.  It could help lower your risk of developing Parkinson's disease.

And lastly, women who drink at least two cups of coffee are less depressed than those who don't drink any. I could have told them that!   ....  And I doubt that it's only women who are affected.

A lot of these studies are "may" "could" and "possibly", but overall there do seem to be more benefits to drinking coffee than there are down sides - for most people at least. There are those who cannot tolerate the caffeine and they obviously need to stay away from it, but for the rest of us doing Paleo it's probably a pretty safe indulgence as long as we keep it in check. In his 2010 post, Mark Sisson summarizes his position by saying

"My suggestion for upper limit: gauge your individual tolerance, but drink only what you need and keep it below 3 cups/300 mg of caffeine daily (generally when health benefits level out and negative symptoms increase)" http://www.marksdailyapple.com/how-much-is-too-much-round-2/#axzz1ppdVzFJG

As for what coffee to drink, there are lots of choices but if you can afford it I would suggest choosing a sustainably grown organic coffee.  That way you know the chemicals used in the refining process have been kept to a minimum.  My own personal preference these days is Kicking Horse coffee, especially Kick Ass, but I have also tried the others below and have found all of them very good.

So again, like with a lot of things, it ends up really being a personal choice. Mark starts his day with a cup of coffee and cream and has nothing else most days until lunch.  I have to admit to supplementing mine with a slice of almond bread now and then. But no doubt about it, there is in my opinion, no better way to start the day than with a really good cup of coffee.

 “Life isn't about finding yourself.  Life is about creating yourself.”   - George Bernard Shaw

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  1. The best coffee for Paleo comes from the pelo people at www.Bulletproofexec.com
    91% of all coffee has toxins from mold, and these guys grow their own and control the roasting process. I have used it for over a year and it is really good.

  2. Nice post with best brands coffee maker we are really thanks the author for his a fabulous post This is the best coffee maker list in over the world. Thanks for sharing with us. Angela W. Garrison

  3. This looks like a nice, compact and easy-to-use machine. Definitely worth looking into. Angela W. Garrison


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