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Plant in coffee cupA huge amount of coffee is consumed daily in almost every country in the world. This results in a huge amount of spent coffee grounds tossed in the garbage or washed down the sink.

Why not use it as fertilizer? Lab tests show that coffee grounds contain useful amounts of phosphorus and potassium, are a low-level source of nitrogen and also contain minor amounts of calcium, magnesium, copper, and other trace minerals, carbohydrates, sugars, some vitamins, and some caffeine. Perfect for your garden!

Coffee grounds are particularly good for acid-loving plants, like tomatoes, roses, azaleas, blueberries, evergreens, camellias, avocados, and some fruit trees.

But you can use coffee grounds for most plants as the acid level is not as high as you would think as a substantial amount of the ‘acid’ is cooked out of the coffee during the brewing process. Just reduce the amount of grounds used for other plants.

Mix about 250g of damp grounds in a 20lt drum of water; let it sit outdoors to get to air temperature and you have a liquid fertilizer.

Dry the liquid in the oven (on a big oven tray) and apart from getting that great coffee smell around the house you get a fertilizer you can sprinkle around the base of your plants.

You can also just dig the damp coffee grounds into heavy alkali soil to break it down and encourage earthworms into your garden. Avoid dumping the grounds in clumps as it can get a bit moldy sitting in lumps on top of the soil.

The coffee grounds can also be mixed into your compost heap with crushed eggshells to deter snails.

Like any type of fertilizer, just don’t overdo it and use in moderation. As a home experiment, sprinkle some around some of your tomato plants, and taste the difference between the tomatoes from the treated and those from the untreated plants.

Courtesy:  greenplanet.com

CouplePHUKET: Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts today revealed the results of a newly commissioned survey on global coffee and travel habits as the Paris-born brand begins to roll out Master Baristas at its hotels and resorts worldwide by end of year.

The Le Meridien survey, conducted in advance of International Coffee Day on September 29, found that coffee surpasses sex as the ideal wake-up call according to more than half (53%) of the global respondents.

The study also established that coffee drinkers are addicted to this morning ritual as 54% of respondents make their morning brew right at home and an overwhelming 78% would rather give up alcohol, social media or sex with their spouse for a year rather than forfeit coffee - proving that a bean buzz remains the ultimate high.

The new global study of coffee drinkers and frequent travelers in six countries - from India to the US, China to UAE, among other key

markets - uncovers how today's 'mega-travelers' get their caffeine fix.

While travel usually provides a break from the daily routine, the survey shows that coffee remains an on-the-go necessity as, on average, people drink more coffee when they are away from home.

Coffee traditions and flavors from around the world are so distinct that a majority of seasoned jetsetters (53%) claim to have experienced nostalgia for a destination due to the cup of coffee they enjoyed while traveling.

Spilling the Beans: Coffee Habits Fuel the Day

A ubiquitous necessity and source of energy, the coffee one consumes - and how much - can say a lot.

Surprisingly, the Le Meridien brand's study found that most people (58%) prefer to drink coffee to relax, while 55% also drink it primarily for the taste.

A majority of respondents (51%) feel they could go longer without sex than without coffee.

Of all the effects felt from lack of coffee, approximately one-fourth (28%) feel less creative, 22% cannot get out of bed, and 16% say that they are not able to talk to other people without it.

The vast majority of people need a coffee caffeinated kick during long meetings (81%), while only 56% would request water.

Big cup of coffeeSomething's Brewing among Global Travelers

When traveling the world, coffee drinkers may experiment with local flavors, but their addiction never wavers.

Key findings include:

..73% of respondents would give up television and internet in a hotel for the perfect cup of coffee.

..The majority of respondents (63%) would give up alcohol over coffee while staying at a hotel.

..Travelers also experience an emotional response to coffee, given that 58% of respondents say they generally miss the coffee experience they had while traveling.

Coffee Talk: Cups of Joe Create Conversation

With speed of information, convenience and connectivity leading the charge in today's society, it is no wonder that coffee and social media are closely intertwined.

The global study found that a majority of respondents (64%) access social media while having coffee and traveling, all at the same time.

While drinking coffee on the road, people like to stay connected through various channels as most respondents (72%) will either check their social media accounts or read a newspaper/magazine.

More than half (53%) said that if they were going to post a beverage on their social media accounts while traveling, it would be coffee.

''Coffee continues to be an increasingly important part of the travel experience, and to develop high impact programming for our Le Meridien guests, it was important that we had an understanding of global coffee trends,'' said Brian Povinelli, Global Brand Leader, Le Meridien and Westin Hotels.

Courtesy:  phuketwan.com

Lady drinking coffeeThe type of coffee you order may reveal more about your personality than you think.

Clinical psychologist Dr. Ramani Durvasula recently conducted an observational study of 1,000 coffee drinkers. The survey assessed numerous common personality styles and psychological traits including introversion and extraversion; patience; perfectionism; warmth; vigilance; sensitivity; and social boldness, among others.

What did the survey reveal about different coffee drinkers’ personalities?

Take a look at this coffee summary that was compiled from his book, and see where you might fall: At the same time, while the results are interesting and perhaps spot on to some degree, don’t take the results to heart, as some people may fall in between, and certain personality types might not jive with how one drinks their coffee on a daily basis.

Research found that the black coffee drinkers were straight up, straightforward and no-nonsense individuals. The double decaf, soy, extra-foamy folks tended to be more obsessive, controlling, and detail-oriented. The latte drinkers tended more toward neurotic and people-pleasing, while the instant coffee drinkers had a greater likelihood of being procrastinators. Finally, those individuals who order sweet drinks were the overgrown kids who retained the taste buds and sensibilities of children, while being young at heart. See the chart below:

Drink Personality Traits The Light Side The Dark Side
Black coffee
  •  Old school
  •  Purist
  • Keep things simple
  •  Patient
  • Efficient
  •  Can be quiet and moody
  • Abrupt and dismissive
  • Sort of set in their ways
  •  Resistant to making changes

Latte drinkers (folks who add milk/cream and sugar)

  •  Comfort seekers
  •  People pleasers
  • Open book
  • Like to soften the bitterness of life (like they soften the bitterness of coffee)
  •  Generous with time
  • Will go out of their way to help others
  •  Can get over-extended
  • Don’t always take great care of themselves

Frozen/ blended coffee drinks

  • Try lots of new things
  • Socially bold
  • Trendsetters
  • Childlike
  • Spontaneous
  • Imaginative
  • Fall for quick fixes
  • Don’t always make healthy choices
  • Can be reckless

Decaf/ soy milk/ Very specifically ordered coffee

  • Like being in control
  • May be labeled selfish
  • Obsessive
  • Perfectionist
  • Very aware of their health and bodies
  • Monitor their health
  • Tend to make healthy choices
  • Overfocus on rules, control and order
  • Overly sensitive
  • Tend to be worriers

Instant coffee

  • Traditional in some ways
  • Laid back
  • Procrastinate
  • Take life as it comes
  • Don’t get too lost in details
  • Too laid back
  • Put things off and may neglect basic health issues
  • Poor planners

Courtesy: www.psychcentral.com

Yellow BarberThe yellow warbler may not pull a perfect latte, but it turns out it's a friend to coffee drinkers all the same. Research in Costa Rica shows that hungry warblers and other birds significantly reduce damage by a devastating coffee pest, the coffee berry borer beetle.

A study found that insectivorous birds cut infestations by the beetle Hypothenemus hampei by about half, saving a medium-sized coffee farm up to US$9,400 over a year’s harvest — roughly equal to Costa Rica’s average per-capita income. The results, published in Ecology Lettershttp://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ele.12173 (2013)." href="http://www.nature.com/news/birds-protect-costa-rica-s-coffee-crop-1.13689#b1">1, not only offer hope to farmers battling the beetle, but also provide an incentive to protect wildlife habitat: the more forest grew on and near a coffee farm, the more birds the farm had, and the lower its infestation rates were.

“Based on this study, we know that native wildlife can provide you with a pretty significant benefit,”

Beetle busters

The borer beetle is originally from Africa, but has spread to nearly every coffee-producing region. The insect is invulnerable to most pesticides, and can cost farmers up to 75% of their crop. To learn whether birds can mitigate the problem, Karp and his colleagues covered coffee bushes on two Costa Rican plantations with mesh fine enough to keep out birds.

They found that avian predators did indeed pick off a lot of beetles: in the rainy season — peak time for beetle activity — borer infestation almost doubled when birds were excluded from foraging on coffee shrubs, rising from 4.6% to 8.5%. By analysing bird faeces for beetle DNA, the team identified the yellow warbler (Setophaga petechia) and four other species as beetle eaters.

Next, the researchers combined data about bird abundance, forest cover and beetle populations from six coffee plantations. They found that beetle-eating birds were most common at sites with lots of stretches of forest nearby, and that beetle infestations were slightly more severe at sites that were not surrounded by abundant forest. Furthermore, many of the avian exterminators were living in small scraps of unprotected woodland, rather than in big nature reserves.

Feathered friends

The finding “is definitely good news for Costa Rican farmers”, says Matthew Johnson, a conservation ecologist at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California. He and his colleagues have previously found that birds help to protect the famous Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee crop from the borer beetle2, and he is happy to see that Jamaican birds are not alone in their taste for the pest. But Johnson is sceptical about the impact of forest cover.

Costa RicaThe link between infestation and forest coverage “is obviously not rock-solid”, he says. Karp and colleagues' results show only a very modest drop in borers as forest coverage grows, he points out, and Johnson would like to see stronger evidence that the effect is real.

Karp responds that the relationship between forest coverage and beetle infestation is statistically significant and that another team working in Costa Rica reported a similar effect last year3. And his own team's core finding still stands: birds reduce the beetles’ dirty work. On one farm, hungry birds warded off beetles from coffee beans worth around 4% of the total value of the annual crop.

That may not sound like much, says Karp, but “in farming, every little bit helps, especially because often you’re barely scraping by”.

Courtesy: nature.com

Starbucks Swarovski CupThe guys from Starbucks recently released their limited edition Swarovski tumbler on their online store. This cup will set you back about $150 (roughly R1500). This is what they have to say about it:

"Celebrate 10 years of a beloved coffee beverage—our Pumpkin Spice Latte—with this dazzling, limited edition double-wall Starbucks® mug made with Swarovski® crystals. Offered exclusively online, the 12-fl oz ceramic mug is dressed in autumn colors and adorned with the finest Swarovski® crystal elements. With only 600 made, this special coffee mug is perfect for Starbucks collectors and comes in a beautifully designed, numbered, wood box commemorating the 10th Anniversary. Hand wash only. Do not microwave."