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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, January 14, 2006

Can Great Coffee Save the Jungle?

Persuaded that guilt alone won't get Americans to pay more for environmentally friendly coffee, importers are trying a market approach by giving farmers the tools to grow better beans

The goals of a better cup of joe, social justice and a healthier environment are nowhere more tightly entwined these days than in the small Central American nation of Nicaragua, with its turbulent history of hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, revolution and U.S. intervention. Coffee buyers say Nicaragua has recently become the "hot origin" for gourmet coffee, with its beans winning taste awards and its decent wages for many small farmers a hopeful beacon for a global coffee market under siege. "Nicaragua is where you see the future of socially responsible coffee," says California-based importer Paul Katzeff.

Katzeff believes that good coffee, sweetened with social justice, has the power to change the world, offering dignity to the downtrodden and protecting the forests that provide their income. He has invested much of the past 17 years in caffeinated nation-building in these rolling northern hills. The work of Katzeff and others are a last-ditch attempt to avert the effects of a coffee crisis that has pushed prices in some parts of the world below production costs. Between 1999 and 2002, the price of coffee was halved in a race to the bottom that has trampled many of the world's 25 million small coffee farmers, throwing millions out of work and off their land and leaving families impoverished and malnourished. And as farmers have despaired, the quality of coffee has suffered.

But what does gourmet coffee have to do with rescuing the forest, or the families who tend it? It's all about shade: today's crisis stems mostly from an overflow of cheap, sun-loving, easy-to-grow robusta beans from chemically fertilized plantations in Brazil and Vietnam. The best-quality coffee, most traders agree, comes from delicate, sun-intolerant arabica plants, which tend to be grown on small farms. In Nicaragua, arabica is grown in rain forests more than 3,000 feet above sea level, sheltered by orange, mango, mahogany, rosewood and inga trees. The rich soil nurtures the coffee plants, while the forest canopy shelters both the berries and a host of bats and birds

Sunday, January 08, 2006

High Breast-Cancer Risk Women Get Coffee Help

MONTREAL, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Some women at high risk for breast cancer may be helped by drinking six or more cups of coffee a day, Canadian researchers found.

Study co-author Parviz Ghadirian of the University of Montreal says women who drink six or more cups of coffee a day could slash their risk of developing breast cancer by 75 percent -- but only if they have a genetic mutation that places them at extremely high risk of developing cancer.

The study shows that women with the BRCA1 mutation -- who have about an 80 percent risk of developing breast cancer before age 70 -- saw their risk fall to about 20 percent if they were heavy coffee drinkers, reported the Toronto Globe and Mail Friday.

The researchers say caffeine has a demonstrated effect on hormones -- and the hormone estrogen in particular. Excessive estrogen is known to cause breast cancer.

Ghadirian says caffeine helps the body break down estrogen and coffee is an important source of phytoestrogens, which may have protective effect against cancer.

However, Ghadirian warns caffeine can rob the bones of important minerals and hasten osteoporosis.

The findings are published at International Journal of Cancer.

© Copyright 2006 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved
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