Saturday, August 27, 2011

Coffee + All Nighters

For those of us who are still students, using coffee to study, to pay attention in class, and to get things accomplished becomes a way of life.

For others who have the fond memories of school days behind them, coffee is one habit hard not to love and not take into the future.

Summer is coming to a close and for students it's time to hit the books and for the working class vacation time is over.

We know you have it all under control now... But as the year progresses, when you've got a giant report due tomorrow or a business proposal to finish, you're going to work into the wee hours of the morning.

So how can you be the most productive? Optimize your time? Stay up late and be healthy? How do you treat you late-night coffee? It's time we answer those questions.

Here's how to pull off and all-nigher and live safely.

1. If you have a test or speaking engagement in the morning you should not stay up all night. Remember that you need your sleep to preform your best. Stay up for a good chunk of time but then you should get some rest - or all of your effort put in the night before will not pay off.

2. Get down to business. no getting side tracked - you need to prioritiee your time 50 minutes of work and 10 minutes of break. This will keep your mind busy and keep you on track.

3. On your 10 minute break - MOVE! Stretch, dance, do jumping jacks. This keeps your blood flowing, mind sharp, and above all keeps you awake.

4.When you make your evening coffee don't drink it quickly. Experts recommend taking one small sip every 20-30 minutes. This keep you awake without a crash.

5. Between coffee sips drink ice cold water - not only will the temperature keep you awake and focused you will have to urinate often. Going to the restroom will force you to be up and moving.

6. Always work in a desk and a chair. Never work in bed, a couch, or the floor because the temptation to fall asleep is greater.

7. Sit straight. If you find yourself slumping over your work - straighten up and you body will respond by becoming more alert.

8. Eat apples. Their sugars keep your blood levels steady and some say they are even better than caffeine.

9. Be positive! Think, "this is not that bad!" "i'm going to make a good grade!" "This presentation will blow everyone away!"

10. Keep the lights on.

11. Finish it all. lay out your clothes the next day, set your alarm for the latest possible time, and have your coffee maker preset to start so your ready to go in the morning.


- realize when you can't do anymore. It's better to get some sleep and finish in the morning than be daydreaming throughout the night and next day.

- Save pulling all-nighters for desperate situations. Planning ahead is, by far, best.

I hope you find this information at least, entertaining. If not mildly useful.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fall, Pumpkins, Spices, & Coffee

Fall is just around the corner. And my all time favorite drink on a nice cool autumn morning is none other than Pumpkin Spice Coffee. If you have never tried this type of coffee before, it is delicious. But you must like the flavor of pumpkin pie and coffee together.

Curious? Here's a recipe to try out:

Pumpkin Spice Coffee
  • 1/4 c. ground coffee
  • 1 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 4 c. water
  • 2 tsp. half-and-half cream, or to taste
  • 1 tsp. white sugar, or to taste

Mix the ground coffee, allspice, and cinnamon in a small bowl, and place into the filter of a drip coffee maker. Pour 4 cups of water into the coffee maker's water reservoir, and turn on the machine. When coffee has finished dripping, pour into 2 cups. Stir in cream and sugar to taste.

*I sometimes top mine with whipped cream. Yumm!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

How to Choose a Coffee Grinder

Many people love the smell and taste of freshly ground coffee. They feel that it is richer and has a better flavor than the pre-ground, store-bought coffees. So, what do you need to know if you decide that you want to grind your own coffee? First you need to know about the different types of coffee grinders:

Burr Coffee Grinder:
In a burr grinder the coffee beans are ground between two burred plates. These plates can be either conical or flat depending on the model coffee grinder you have. One benefit of having a burr grinder is that it grinds the coffee beans to a uniform size of particle. This gives you a lot of flexibility in what size grounds you need. 

Blade Coffee Grinder:
Blade coffee grinders have a blade similar to that of a propeller that chops up the coffee beans. How fine you want your coffee grounds depends on how long the grinder operates (usually going by a built in timer). The longer this coffee grinder works the finer the coffee.

Manual Coffee Grinder:
Also on the market there are some manual coffee grinders, this type of coffee grinder is usually very aesthetically pleasing and looks like a gorgeous antique. But its exterior isn't the only benefit of a manual coffee grinder, the manual grinder allows you to monitor the grinding process so that you will wind up with evenly ground coffee beans every time.

Now that you know a little more about each type of grinder, you need to decide how much you can spend on a coffee grinder, how much time you can dedicate to using a grinder, and how often you will be using the grinder. Once you have all these things figured out, you will be ready to go shopping for your new coffee grinder!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Cleaning your Coffee Pot

If you are like me, you have high ambitions for coffee in the summer, but with the warm days, you end up drinking only 1 cup while the rest sits in the coffee pot waiting to be poured down the drain later. And while it sits there, do you know what that resentful un-drunken coffee is doing? It is staining. Yup, that beautiful glass pot is slowly becoming a  little grungier with each pot of coffee you make.

Ha, This pot will be STAINED!
So how do you clean off those stains? There are a few different tips around the various corners of the web, here are a few that I found:
  • Soak in a 1/2 Vinegar, 1/2 water solution. Let it sit for quite awhile, then rinse and wipe out with papertowels.
  • At restaurants they use salt and ice in the coffee pot after each shift to make it shine like new. To do this you need about two tablespoons of regular or chunky salt swirled around with ice in the coffee pot.
  • Using a foaming mix of Baking Soda and Vinegar to scrub off the stains (using a soft sponge don't want to get all the stains off just to scratch the pot in the process...)

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