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Coffee Connoisseur's Secrets

Coffee is far more than simply the brew that wakes people up in the morning. Coffee shops dot the city streets around the world with specialty coffee drinks drawing lines of customers. We will share the nuances of coffee from how to select the roast that suits your palate, to secret recipes of your favorite specialty drinks. We even have some marvelous recipes using coffee as a flavoring or spice to add a very special touch. If you love coffee, you will love these secrets. affiliate

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The Coffee Connoisseur's Secrets

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Coffee lovers savor freebies from Starbucks Coffee Company

Customers like store's location, atmosphere



TIGHT - Judy Berry, Marion, tries to move through the crowd waiting for coffee. "Right now, there's a lot of confusion in there," she said. "It was so crowded you couldn't get to the dessert." Related news from the web

When Marsha Anderson told a friend from Virginia that she planned to attend the grand opening of a Starbucks store Thursday night, the response was laughter.

"She thought it was so funny," said Anderson, Marion, "because it's so common there."

Before today Grant County residents had to travel at least 20 miles to satisfy a jones for coffee drinks or baked goods from the Seattle-based company. To mark the opening of its Marion store, Starbucks had a Friends and Family night Thursday, offering a free products before today's grand opening.

"It's a great atmosphere, a convenient location. It should do well, I hope," Anderson said, while sharing a table with neighbor Sara Brown, 78.

Lines of customers snaked around the store and unclaimed beverages crowded the counter, echoing Wednesday's practice sessions offering free drinks throughout the day. Employees with trays piled with sample-size bites of brownies, breads and cookies weaved through the crowd.

Standing just inside the front door was Debra Ballard, director of development at the Grant County Rescue Mission. Ballard drank a pumpkin-spice latte and manned a display board with information about her organization.

Ballard said Starbucks doesn't keep food or ground coffee for more than 36 hours and will donate extra baked goods and coffee to her organization, which serves about 150 meals each day.

A cup of house blend coffee at Friends and Family night likely marks one of the few times Fairmount resident Eric Aschendorf, 49, will visit Starbucks instead of a locally owned store.

"I don't think (a Starbucks) is necessary," he said. "We already have Tree of Life, we have Hidden Treasures, we have Beatniks. But it will probably do a good business."

While sipping a caramel frappuccino, Brett Blum, 25, Marion, said he thinks all of the businesses can coexist.

"You come here looking for coffee," Blum said. "Tree of Life, that's a small part of what they do. You go there for Christian music or books, for leadership activities or for food."

At Anderson and Brown's table, the women laughed when asked what they were drinking.

"We're not sure," Anderson said, but then admitted she was having a caramel latte.

"Is that what you're drinking?" she asked Brown.

"I don't know," Brown said. "I just said, 'I'll have that.'"

Originally published September 30, 2005

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Pumpkin Pie Cappuccino

MMMMMMMMM, I love this season for just this reason!
And a Few More as well!

Pumpkin Pie Cappuccino

1/2 oz Da Vinci Gourmet Pumpkin Pie Classic Syrup
1 shot espresso
foamed milk

Combine ingredients in a 6 oz cup. Mix well.

Yield one 6-ounce serving

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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

New Orleans Coffee Industry Grinding Back After Storms

By Jeff Coelho

NEW YORK, Sept 27 (Reuters) - The coffee market in New Orleans is grinding its way back to life, but it could take weeks before inspectors and insurers determine the extent of the damage to the beans stored in this hurricane-ravaged city, market sources say.

Katrina and Rita -- two powerful hurricanes -- slammed into the U.S. Gulf Coast less than a month apart, leaving death and destruction in their wakes. Katrina struck on Aug. 29 and the smaller Rita plowed into the region on Sept. 24.

Procter & Gamble Co.'s Folgers coffee facility, believed to be the largest in the world, was twice evacuated. Production had been halted ahead of both storms.

Employees are now back at the plant and production has restarted, said a P&G spokeswoman. "The plant restarted operations Saturday evening," Susanne Dusing told Reuters.

Fortunately, the bulk of P&G's unroasted coffee for its Folgers and Millstone brands is stored in giant silos which were unharmed by the storms.

Dusing could not say exactly when the plant would return to full production capacity. The Folgers plant generally churns out more than half of P&G's coffee and garners almost a third of the U.S. coffee market.

But the normal flow of coffee shipments to roasters -- large or small -- can take time as the once bustling port in the Crescent City struggles to get back to normal.

Before the storms hit, warehouses in the port of New Orleans held about 1.6 million 60-kg bags of unroasted beans, or about 26 percent of supply for the United States, which is the world's biggest coffee consumer.

Coffee traders reckon damage from the storms amounted to anywhere from 100,000 to 300,000 bags of coffee -- based on preliminary reports from warehouse operators.

"Maybe the damage could be 200,000 bags or 300,000 bags," said one Florida-based coffee buyer. "But nobody knows exactly," he said, adding "it's going to take a while" to find out.

Coffee inspectors must first get into the warehouses before they can inspect and sample the quality of the beans. The longer the coffee sits, the more vulnerable the beans are to moisture, humidity and odor, Judy Ganes of J Ganes Consulting told Reuters.

"Humidity and moisture is probably the worst thing that could happen for coffee," she said, pointing out that the beans have a tendency to swell as they absorb moisture.

The New York Board of Trade has about 734,000 bags of certified coffee in warehouses in New Orleans which are deliverable against the exchange's futures contracts.

Right after Hurricane Katrina flooded New Orleans, NYBOT declared force majeure for its coffee there. It also prohibited the certification of new stocks at the port until further notice. Officials have yet to release any statement about the state of the coffee.

"People are looking for answers that aren't easy to come by," said Ganes. "The exchange does not want to do anything rash."

At least one coffee company in devastated New Orleans is determined to show its thanks, despite the prospect of a short-term supply squeeze.

Community Coffee Co. of southern Louisiana, has been pouring free cups of coffee for police officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and utility workers involved in the hurricane relief effort.

"There are thousands of men and women working tirelessly to bring relief to hurricane victims," Matthew Saurage, president of Community Coffee, said in a statement.

"Providing a hot cup of coffee is one of the many ways we are saying thank you to those who are helping rebuild our communities affected by the storm," he said.

The fourth-generation family-owned business has vowed to provide more than 5 million cups of coffee to the relief workers.

AlertNet news is provided by Reuters

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Monday, September 26, 2005

Coffee Found Rich in Antioxidants

Coffee probably contributes many more healthy antioxidants to your diet than fruit and vegetables, according to US scientists.

They measured the antioxidant content of more than 100 different foods including vegetables, fruits, nuts, spices, oils and beverages.

The findings were then combined with data from the US Department of Agriculture on each item's contribution to the average American's diet.

Coffee was the biggest source of antioxidants per serving and level of consumption.
It was followed by black tea, bananas, dry beans and corn.

"Americans get more of their antioxidants from coffee than any other dietary source - nothing else comes close," said the head researcher Professor Joe Vinson, of Scranton University in Pennsylvania.

Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee appeared to provide similar antioxidant levels.

Antioxidants help rid the body of harmful free radicals, destructive molecules that damage cells and DNA.

They have been linked to a number of health benefits including protection against heart disease and cancer.

Studies have associated coffee drinking with a reduced risk of liver and colon cancer, type two diabetes and Parkinson's disease.

But Vinson urged moderation and said people should drink only one or two cups of coffee per day.

It was important not to ignore the benefits of fresh fruit and vegetables.
"Unfortunately, consumers are still not eating enough fruits and vegetables, which are better for you from an overall nutritional point of view due to their higher content of vitamins, minerals and fibre," said Vinson when presenting the findings at the American Chemical Society's annual meeting in Washington.
Research showed that compared with other foods, dates were the richest source of antioxidants.

But as Americans eat few dates, they only contributed a small amount of antioxidants to the average person's diet.

Cranberries and red grapes also had high levels of antioxidants.
A spokesman for the British Coffee Association said: "This study reconfirms the fact that moderate coffee consumption of four to five cups a day not only is perfectly safe but may confer health benefits."

Source: Reuters

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Sunday, September 25, 2005

Mocha-Fudge Cheesecake

If you can't decide whether you like chocolate or coffee more, this pie-shaped cheesecake is for you!

Prep: 15 min - Cook: 5 min - Bake: 35 min - Chill: 3 hr

1 tablespoon instant coffee (dry)
3 tablespoons coffee liqueur
2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup Original Bisquick®
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs
3 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, melted and cooled
Chocolate Topping (below)

1. Heat oven to 350?F. Grease pie plate, 9x1 1/2 inches. Mix coffee and liqueur until coffee is dissolved.

2. Beat coffee mixture and remaining ingredients except Chocolate Topping in large bowl on high speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl frequently. Pour into pie plate.

3. Bake about 35 minutes or until center is firm and puffed. Cool 5 minutes (cheesecake top will be cracked). Carefully spread Chocolate Topping over cheesecake. Refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving. Cover and refrigerate any remaining cheesecake.

Makes 8 servings

Chocolate Topping

1 ounce semisweet baking chocolate, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1 tablespoon coffee liqueur, if desired
1 container (8 ounces) sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix chocolate, powdered sugar and liqueur in small bowl. Stir in sour cream and vanilla.

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