Milk Tolerance Gene Found

Related entries in Interesting News, Other Drinks

The BBC reports that prior to a few thousand years ago, no European adults could digest milk. Scientists from the University College London says that a gene spread through the population allowing more than 90% of Europeans to digest milk.

Since milk intolerance is still common, the scientists believe it to be related to this "milk gene." This gene produces the lactase enzyme which breaks down the lactose in milk.

Dr Mark Thomas, from UCL, said: "The ability to drink milk is the most advantageous trait that’s evolved in Europeans in the recent past.

"Although the benefits of milk tolerance are not fully understood, they probably include the advantage of a continuous supply compared with the ‘boom and bust’ of seasonal crops, its nourishing qualities, and the fact that, unlike stream water, it’s uncontaminated with parasites, making it safer.

In Europe, this gene is not present in 5% of the Caucasian population, but in other parts of the world and for other ethnicities, this gene may not be present for the majority of the population.

It’s an interesting study into our history of animal husbandry and evolution. Will be interesting to see how it plays out in our future of gene therapy. 

Via boing boing ; Tags: , , , , , , ,

Second Cup giving away magazines

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Second Cup is revamping their branding and marketing with a new website, a whole bunch of expensive media buys, and some incentive programs, like contests and this magazine giveaway.

You can get a free Elle Canada or Canadian Home & Country with the purchase of a Second Cup chocolate chai, dark chocolate raspberry latte, or chocolate cherry chiller. All sound incredibly sweet, too much so for my taste, but the ads are pretty ;)

So, not so much "coffee" in the cup, but perhaps they have changed their marketing approach in this competitive landscape. 

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Meth Coffee Super-Caffeinated Beans

Related entries in Coffee news, Other Drinks

Meth Coffee, a San Francisco based coffee company, launched today an energy-based coffee roast for "energy addicts and caffeine freaks."

Meth takes "super-caffeinated" beans and adds in yerba mate (a stimulant and very yummy drink).

 Boasting an intense buzz and cocoa-tobacco finish, Meth Coffee is fresh-roasted within 48 hours of shipment to jumpstart workaholics, thrill seekers, artists, and subversives seeking an exciting new fuel for their endeavors.

The flavor of Meth Coffee’s Arabian and South American beans with yerba mate starts as a smooth, herbaceous attack that runs to a soft tobacco-cocoa finish. Yerba mate’s presence produces a gradual buzz arc for periods of intense play and creativity that some drinkers find more cerebral than coffee alone. Research has shown that yerba mate contains mateine, an alkaloid stimulant similar to those found in coffee and chocolate, as well as significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds.

I think I’d definitely get a buzz from this coffee. It might be a weird buzz since a coffee buzz and mate energy feel different.

Via Boing Boing & Yahoo ; Tags: , , , , ,

Java Juice

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Java Juice - liquid coffee extract. Just add water.

Well, I think I’d probably go for this over coffee-in-a-can concepts, but indeed it’s a crazy caffeine concept. It’s a pure coffee extract that you add to water to make coffee - like instant coffee, but not quite as crappy.

From the Java Juice FAQ:

Java Juice® is a single-serving pouch of liquid coffee concentrate. A pure coffee extract, Java Juice is made from 100% premium, organic coffee beans and triple-filtered water, nothing else. No additives or preservatives. Java Juice® is a pioneering coffee product designed for hundreds of different uses. Use Java Juice® for making superior organic coffee on the go, at home, for cooking, camping and much more. Rip it, drip it, and sip it.

How do you extract juice from a coffee bean?

We start with the finest organic, premium grade 100% Arabica coffee beans. We fresh roast the coffee beans and immediately extract the pure coffee liquor. Java Juice is then individually packaged in special barrier film that seals in the full flavor and aroma of the coffee for up to six months. We source the beans from only the finest harvests; then roast them to perfection at our certified organic coffee roastery. Then, a patented process extracts a concentrated liquid from the roasted beans, retaining all of the aroma and body of fresh brewed coffee.

There’s a contest going on right now for recipes using Java Juice. I think I’d be tempted to use this for cooking over instant coffee any time, but I am not sure about drinking it.

Anyone tried it?

Via Josh Spear ; Tags: , , ,

Apple Cider

Related entries in Other Drinks

I have a thing for apple cider. Some days I don’t feel like coffee or tea or steamed milk, or I’ve already had my share in these products. When that’s the case, and I still want something warm and yummy, I turn to apple cider.

Now, not many places actually serve apple cider year-round. It’s a pity. And, even worse, most make it from what tastes like the powdered sugary mix. Not the good stuff. I personally make a rocking apple cider, and a great mulled version, so I am picky.

Couple days ago I decided to try an apple cider from Take 5, ant it’s the best I’ve had from a cafe in a very long time. Tasted warm (in terms of spices) and based more on apple than on sugar. Good stuff!

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Noix de Coco

Related entries in Accessories, Other Drinks

Noix de Coco - art by Silvia Vassileva, makes me want to run off and make a hot chocolate. Mmm.

Via morning coffee & afternoon tea ; Tags: , ,

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Time for peppermint

Related entries in Other Drinks, Recipes with Coffee

Christmas is a time for many yummy things. But, to me, it’s a time for peppermint. For peppermint Americano. Peppermint mocha. Peppermint hot chocolate. And peppermint steamed milk.

I keep some peppermint in the cupboard for just those occasions. I am topping off my latest steamed milk a la peppermint.

You’d truly be surprised how well peppermint goes with so many things!

Mulling Spices Recipe & Mulled Apple Cider/Wine

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To kick of Christmas and the decoration of our tree last week, we made some mulled cider. Here is how:

Mulling Spices

1 mandarin orange, or other orange

6 cardamom pods

1 tbsp cloves, whole

1 tbsp allspice, whole

12 cinnamon sticks of a small-average size

1. Eat orange but keep skin

2. Bake orange skin in toaster oven on 400degrees until golden and hard, but not brittle and burned

3. In a mortar, open cardamom pods and remove seeds. Crush some, but not all, to release flavour but not make into dust

4. Add remaining spices along with 1 tsp of orange peel, broken into little bits (reserve remaining skin for your next batch)

5. Tie into cheesecloth or like bag so it can be used in mulling. You can also use a few tea strainers in the same way. Cinnamon sticks can go free.

Mulled Cider or Mulled Wine

4L of apple cider or wine*

1. Dump the cider/wine into a large pot

2. Add mulling spices (in bag or tea balls) and cinnamon sticks. Heat to boil and simmer 25 minutes or more.

3. Serve warm.

*Note, you can use all of this at once, or do 4 smaller batches of 1L each.

Coca Cola Blak bottle

Related entries in Other Drinks

Here is what the Coca Cola Blak bottle looks like:

Kind of unusual for coke to make the bottle fully opaque, but it is fairly attractive. Almost feels Sci-Fi.

Via wikipedia

Pepsi Cappuccino

Related entries in Other Drinks

In the footsteps of Coca-Cola Blak, Pepsi has released a new product: Pepsi Cappuccino.

Not sure which came first, but in terms of markets, Pepsi is only launched in certain test countries such as Russia and Romania right now. I think Pepsi used to have a coffee-type product a long time ago, but it didn’t work out for them.

Via Strange New Products

Coca Cola Blak - Coke with Coffee

Related entries in Coffee news, Other Drinks

Coca-Cola announced a new product that combines Coca-Cola with coffee. This new product, termed “Coca-Cola Blak” seems a little crazy. We don’t really need any more caffeine in Coke.

Oh well, I guess it would taste better than Red Bull, if that’s what they’re aiming for.

The new drink, a combination of Coca-Cola Classic and coffee extracts, will be first launched in France in January before being rolled out in the United States and other markets during 2006.

A Coke spokesperson said Coca-Cola Blak will be a mid-calorie drink, similar to Coca-Cola C2, which was launched in April 2004 and contains half the sugar, calories and carbohydrates of regular colas. The formula for the new beverage is expected to vary based on local tastes.

Analysts have said one of the keys to the company’s future is capturing more consumers who have moved away from sugary soft drinks to diet versions, or to healthier low- or no-calorie beverages.

Via Strange New Products & ABC News

Coffee Jelly Frappucino

Related entries in Coffee around the world, Fun with coffee, Other Drinks

Starbucks in the Philippines has developed a new Frappucino product featuring coffee jelly (little cubes of coffee gelatin). Kind of like a bubble tea concept.

Check out more here.

Via slashfood

Salt Spring Coffee and kids…gotta have the hot chocolate

Related entries in Coffee Experiences, Fun with coffee, Other Drinks

Here on Salt Spring we love our kids.  Not just our own kids, but everybody’s kids.   If a child falls in the park, several grownups will come to his/her aid…not just the parents.  So is it any wonder that our stores and business have, in general, a very kid-friendly atmosphere?
Salt Spring Coffee (aka Roasters which is how I refer to it) is absolutely no different.  I’ve lived on Salt Spring for almost 5 and a half years now, and Roasters has always had a little kids table with books and toys-thus letting the parents enjoy their coffee and sweets in, relative, peace.  Then there are the kid drinks.  All the kid drinks are $2.  That’s it, $2.  The best one by far is the hot chocolate.  This isn’t like the powdered stuff from the can, or even Hershey’s syrup, it’s really good, creamy, chocolatety hot chocolate.  The picture at the left says a lot, but doesn’t tell the whole story by far.
First, there is a high stool where the baristas are so the kids can watch their cocoa being made.  Then it’s topped with chocolate whipped cream,-real whipped cream-rainbow sprinkles, and best of all a gummi worm.
My son was offered the chance to put his gummi worm on his cocoa himself, but he ate it.  So the barista put another on top.  That’s cool.  This still isn’t the best part.  The best part is that the cocoa is served at kid drinkable temperature.  My kids-ages 3 and 7 and a half-could start sipping right away.  No burned tongues, lips, or mouths.  I mentioned this to Mickey McLeod this morning while getting the second tour of the roasting facility.  He said, “Well, we have a daughter…”  Exactly.  Parents neither want to see their kids getting scalded, nor is it fun having to say, no wait you can’t drink that yet.
So the next time you’re visiting Salt Spring Island, swing down McPhillips Ave and stop into Roasters for a cup-I’m now getting addicted to the Canadiano myself-and yes, grownups can get the cocoa too even with the gummi worm.
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Tris Hussey is a professional blogger, the Chief Blogging Officer for Qumana Software, and Managing Director of Qumana Services.  He can be reached at tris AT qumana DOT com or tris AT trishussey DOT com.
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Mexican drink: Atole

Related entries in Other Drinks

Once in a while we’ll post stuff not related to Coffee, but about other types of drinks. This is one of those posts.

One drink that Arieanna and I like to enjoy once in a while is Atole, a cornstarch-based Mexican hot drink. The last one we had was Chocolate Atole, also known as Champurrado.

I don’t know how to make it from scratch, but it is very easy to make if you buy a package of Atole of the flavour of your choice.
Making Atole
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