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Greek CoffeeThe elderly inhabitants of the Greek island Ikaria boast some of the highest rates of longevity in the world, and now scientists believe that the secret may lie not just in their heart-healthy Mediterranean diet but in their daily caffeine fix.

In a new study in the journal Vascular Medicine, researchers from the University of Athens Medical School found a link between the good cardiovascular health of the island's elders and the boiled Greek coffee they drink daily.

Only 0.1% of Europeans live to be over 90, the researchers said, yet on Ikaria, the figure is 1%, with the islanders tending to live out their long lives in good health.

From a sample of 673 Ikarians aged over 65 who lived on the island permanently, the researchers randomly selected 71 men and 71 women to take part in the study. Medical staff checked for high blood pressure, diabetes, and other ailments, and subjects answered detailed questionnaires about their medical health, lifestyle, and coffee habits. In addition, the researchers tested their endothelial functioning -- the endothelium is a layer of cells that lines blood vessels, which is affected both by aging and by lifestyle habits, such as smoking.

Prior studies have suggested that moderate coffee consumption could not only reduce the risks of coronary heart disease but have a positive impact on several aspects of endothelial health, the researchers said.

The researchers investigated all types of coffee that the subjects imbibed -- but interestingly more than 87 percent of those in the study consumed boiled Greek coffee daily. Subjects who drank mainly boiled Greek coffee had better endothelial function than those who consumed other types of coffee. Even in those with high blood pressure, boiled Greek coffee consumption was linked with improved endothelial function.

"Boiled Greek type of coffee, which is rich in polyphenols and antioxidants and contains only a moderate amount of caffeine, seems to gather benefits compared to other coffee beverages," says lead researcher Dr. Gerasimos Siasos.

Source:  The New Age

Coffee  ChocolateWhatever you do, don't miss the SA Coffee Club's "Coffee & Chocolate Experience" on Saturday 20 April. The event is brought to you courtesy of Bosch and House of Coffees.

Kevin Miller, senior chocolatier at Lindt will demonstrate a couple of great coffee and chocolate inspired recipes. Chef Kevin will also present a chocolate tasting. As usual, there will also be some great prizes up for grabs.

This event is free of charge, but space is limited. Booking essential.

When: Saturday 20 April. 10:00 to 12:00.

Where: Delawood - Nicolway Shopping Centre Bryanston.

Bookings: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

One of the secrets to making a great cappuccino is getting the froth (or foam) right. Here are a few steaming tips to get you going:

For best results, use a stainless steel jug (pitcher). They are commonly available from good equipment suppliers (for example Koldserve). Also ensure that the pressure on your espresso machine is adequate for the effective frothing of milk.

1. Pour cold milk into the jug. Make sure that the milk is cold and fresh. It may be full cream or low fat milk. Remember, it is not so much the fat content as opposed to the appropriate protein levels in the milk which results in a good foam texture.

Frothing Milk 12. Insert the steam nozzle into the jug. The nozzle should be suspended a centimeter or so from the bottom of the jug. Open the steam valve fully and rotate the jug in a circular motion for a couple of seconds.

3. Now lower the jug until the nozzle is just under the surface level of the milk. Lower the jug slightly until a hissing or frothing sound is heard. Do not break the surface of the milk as this will result in big, uneven bubbles in the froth. Repeat this a few times.

4. Now submerge the nozzle again to the bottom of the jug while continuing with the circular motion as described in step 1.

5. Preferably use a thermometer to guide you to the correct temperature of between 60 and 70 degrees Celsius, depending on the individual’s preference. Be careful not to burn the milk, as this is a common mistake made by inexperienced baristas. Milk which has been heated up to boiling point will not only lose its natural sweetness, but ti will alo adversely affect the texture of the end result.

Latte art6. Close the valve and remove the jug only when the valve has been closed completely. Remember to always purge and wipe your steamwand before and after using it.

The desired texture of the froth should be smooth, creamy and silky with a gloss or a shine to it. It should not contain any big, visible bubbles. The froth should be able to “stick” to a teaspoon when the spoon is suspended upside down.

Pour your milk into your cup with the espresso in it. Now you can sit back, relax and enjoy your work of art!

Coffee farm 3The Urban Coffee Farm and Brew Bar designed by Hassell has 'popped up' in Melbourne's centre for the duration of The Melbourne Food and Wine Festival which concludes in March.

The design is built around the existing red stairs in Queensbridge Square and took seven days to construct.

The ‘Victorian-Grown Tropical Garden’ has been provided by Melbourne-based nursery, Warner’s Nurseries while the design was done by an informal division of HASSELL- the Young Designers Group, made up of junior designers.

Warner’s Nurseries has provided approximately 24 different species of plants which aim to engage the public to think about the logistics of where coffee comes from.

The Farm and Bar has incorporated sustainability by looking at the origins of the materials used and also where the materials will end up after the festival.

125 coffee trees from a disused coffee plantation in New South Wales are in use for the Farm and have been sold on to someone in Victoria who will replant them.

Coffee farm 1Over 2000 tropical plants were used to create the 'jungle effect' and will be given back to the nursery which donated them.

The pallets, of which there are 1500, were donated to the festival and will be returned to the owner at the end of the festival and the shipping containers which make the undercover areas, were 'at the end of their life so this is their final destination'.

Warner’s Nurseries has provided approximately 24 different species of plants for the Urban Coffee Farm and managing director, Michael Warner said he was delighted to be involved in the Urban Coffee Farm, which he believes takes the concept of ‘greening our city’ to new levels.

When we were originally approached by the Festival to see if we could help to create a tropical garden in Melbourne’s CBD, it was such a clever idea, so we thought why not take it one step further by showcasing species which could be easily replicated at home.

Coffee farm 2“So that’s where the idea for our ‘Victorian-Grown Tropical Garden’ came from - all of the plants we have used in the Urban Coffee Farm focus on lush green foliage which creates the tropical feel, but selected for the Victorian climate so they will perform in gardens at home,” he said.

Iphone Coffee AppOkay, this isn’t brand new but it’s still awesome and having seen it in the flesh, I had to share it.

Stopping by the excellent Founder's House co-working space in Copenhagen the other day, I was introduced to the team at app development agency Shape. They offered me a coffee using an iOS app which they built for Scanomat's TopBrewer coffee machine.

The app connects to the coffee machine via Bluetooth or WiFi and then makes your coffee. The machine will set you back several thousand dollars but hey, at least the app’s free. Check out the video here:


Courtesy:  thenextweb.com

Microwave Mocca Pot 1Moka pot. Microwave. Espresso pods. Three things I would never recommend for improving your coffee experience. However, two German brothers decided to combine all three and team up with San Francisco-based Lunar design to create the Piamo—an inverted, microwavable moka pot. Sigh. At least it’s not disposable.

Not sure if these pots will ever be available in SA, but I can certainly think of a number of coffee snobs who would like to add this to their collection.

Courtesy - Dear Coffee I Love You