Tips on Choosing and Storing Avocados

Avocado, fruit is sometimes avoided because of the fat content. Though the fat in avocados is unsaturated fat that is actually healthy for the body. By also taking notes is not excessive, so that the levels are maintained.

Well, this avocado as well as olive oil, which can increase levels of HDL or the good cholesterol called. HDL can help protect the body from free radical attack, so it can regulate triglyceride levels and prevent diabetes.

In addition, there are many other benefits of avocados, including: karotenoidnya protein content and are also good for the body. While, vitamin C and E in avocados can help keep the skin moist. Wow a lot of it also benefits avocado. Now, we will help you select and store fresh avocado to keep it when they want to consume. Consider the following tips yes.

Tip 1:

The ripe avocado tree is the best quality, but usually the most frequently encountered in the store or market is not yet ripe. Well, if you have this you should choose avocados that are heavy, dark green skin color and no blemishes on the fruit skin.

Tip 2:

In order to quickly cook avocado, does not need to be washed after purchase. Wrap in use newspaper and keep it away from sunlight. Within 2-3 days, avocados will ripen, the skin is more tender and soft.

Tip 3:

Sometimes, it’s not a large alupkat eaten alone. As a result after the split, part of which half should be stored. But the color will turn black and it seems to be less fresh.

Overcome this, you can use lemon juice. Squeeze the lemon juice over the avocado meat, avocado enter into the plastic and wrap tightly. With avocado this way will stay fresh at least up to 2 days. Tips can also be used for avocado chopped or blended, add a little lemon juice so that the color does not change blackish.

Fruitarian

You’ve probably been hearing a lot about the value of a raw foods diet. A raw food diet consists primarily of uncooked, unprocessed fruits, vegetables, sprouts, seaweed, nuts and juices. It’s a vegetarian diet, but one that rejects any animal products. Its central tenet is that cooking and processing take out the majority of essential vitamins, enzymes and nutrients that our bodies evolved to thrive on.
Fruitarians, as the word implies, eat primarily fruits, with nuts and grains as well. A fruitarian diet also includes foods like tomatoes or avocadoes, which are fruits.
Fruit is nourishing and refreshing for your health. It doesn’t clog the body’s vital arteries; better still, it actually flushes and cleanses. A fruit diet also lightens our bodies and spirits, in line with the general lightening of our planetary vibration rate which many higher sources tell us is taking place at this time.

You need to eat carefully if you choose a fruitarian diet, because it can be more of a challenge to get enough essential protein in your diet. A fruitarian eats nothing which has been killed or stolen. That supplants meat, dairy, and plants with the thousands of fruit and nut combinations on the planet. E.g., a fruitarian can eat an avocado sandwich, a coconut milk shake or the purest coconut ice cream made from the milk and meat of the fruit, veggie burgers made of lentil or bean paste or tofu, a succotash of corn, limas, peas, and tomatoes, sweets made with pure maple syrup or date sugar, pecan pies made with fruit sugars, fruit shakes made of a mixture of orange and banana, pear and peach, pomegranate, papaya, and plum. A pizza of tofu, tomato, and pepper (not pepperoni), salads of tomato, cucumber, green and red peppers (but not lettuce, cabbage, or celery), nut butters such as almond butter or tahini, hummus {chickpea paste}. In other words, fruitarian may eat fruits 99.9% of the time, but occasionally do indulge in the delicacies of other food groups.

Some Tips for Preventing Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is one thing that people often worry about when eating food at a restaurant, especially if they have not eaten there before. While food poisoning is widely regarded as something that comes from food in a restaurant, or somewhere else outside of the home, keep in mind that food prepared within your own home can cause this problem as well. One benefit, though, is the greater degree of control you can have over the food prepared in your kitchen.

To reduce the risk of food poisoning, one must understand how the food poisoning process works. Coming down with a food-borne illness is a direct result of digesting food that has viruses, bacteria, and even parasites, which have developed on the food over time. While harmful bacteria and other “germs” are common in virtually any environment, a healthy immune system usually protects the body from becoming ill. When you introduce tainted food directly into the body, however, it becomes harder to combat.

Coming down with a food-borne illness typically leads to symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, and even vomiting. Food poisoning symptoms can appear either within a few hours or can take up to a few days to manifest; any timeline will greatly depend on the food that was digested, as well as how your body handles it. With that said, here are a few safety precautions that one must take in order to avoid this type of poisoning:

Know the Risky Foods

If you cannot control the foods that are handed to you such as dishes at a restaurant, you must know which kinds of foods that can cause this sort of poisoning. Food such as undercooked meats, raw produce, and even seafood are notorious for carrying viruses and parasites. Avoiding these dishes altogether can reduce your risk of food poisoning a great deal, but may be considered an unreasonable precaution for meat eaters. It is important to consider both your appetite for risk along with your literal appetite when making choices. However, if you ever feel your food is undercooked, never be afraid to send it back.

Always Wash your Hands and Food Contact Surfaces

Before serving any type of food at home, always make sure that you wash your hands properly and with antibacterial hand soap. You should wash both before and during preparation, especially after handling raw meat, fish, and poultry. Not washing your hands between handing raw meat and lettuce used in a salad, for example, can easily cross contaminate the salad. You also need to sanitize cutting boards, countertops, pans, utensils, and other surfaces that encounter food.

Use a Thermometer

When preparing and cooking items such as meats, use a meat thermometer to ensure that the inside of the meat is at an appropriate temperature. When cooking foods such as fish and chicken, the temperature should always be higher than 140 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. By reaching these temperatures, you will kill the vast majority of live bacteria or parasites.

Always Chill Food

The longest that raw meats should stay out of a refrigerator is two hours. It is best to either thaw your meats in the microwave, or let them sit in the refrigerator until they are ready to be cooked. When thawing food at room temperatures, be sure to set it down on a plate away from any other types of food and make sure that it does not touch the countertop.

Check the Expiration Date

Although this may sound obvious, it is crucial that you check the expiration date on the meats that are going to be prepped. All grocery stores and butchers will place a date to use by on all labels. Be sure to glance at these labels before cooking. If the meat has expired, do not gamble and try to cook it – play it safe and toss it out.

By taking basic precautions and using your head, food poisoning can be prevented, especially in your own home. When eating outside of the home, try to avoid raw foods and inspect your meats before consumption. By being more aware of the food you consume, you can decrease your own risk of becoming ill from food poisoning.

Eleven Steps to a Better Cup of Coffee

If you are like most coffee drinkers, you probably think you are already getting an awesome cup of coffee. However odds are that you can probably still improve the quality by following these eleven steps:

1. Use Quality Coffee Beans

Stay out of the grocery stores! OK that is a serious statement, but seriously do not buy coffee beans at the grocery store. No one knows when it was roasted and that is a critical, key point in coffee freshness. These beans are known for being stale, whether they are in the gravity bins (especially stale!) or bagged (usually stale!). No one really knows how long the beans have been in the bins or bags. Buy your coffee from an area independent coffee shop or artisan coffee roaster that can verify the roasting date. This is the only way to know you are buying freshly roasted coffee beans of gourmet quality. Their reputation is on the line so they strive for the best quality coffee freshly roasted.

2. Store Properly Remove your beans from the original bag and put in an airtight container like Tupperware or Glad Ware. The more opaque the container, the better to keep harmful light out. Extreme light like keeping coffee in a glass jar on the sink can cause deterioration of your beans, allowing your final cup of coffee to taste flat or stale.

Do not store in the freezer or refrigerator. Keep them in an airtight container in a cool, dry and dark place like a cupboard or pantry. Refrigerators harbor many odors and coffee is very porous. It will act like a sponge to odors whether it’s ground or whole bean. Freezers can cause freezer burn, and the flavor oils to crack and lose flavor. These oils are where the flavor is. Storing in the freezer freezes the surface condensation each time the coffee is taken out of the freezer.

Excess moisture will cause your beans to stale faster and shorten the life span of your coffee so a cool, dry and dark place it recommended for storage.

3. Proper Grind and Grind Just Before Using

The grind of the coffee matters. Your coffee should be ground for the type of brewing method you are using. Coarse for French press and single serve, fine for espresso. The in between matter but for most auto-drip makers your grind should be just finer than coarse meaning that when you rub it between your fingers the grinds should feel similar to typical bread crumbs. Espresso grinds should feel like somewhere between sugar and powdered sugar. Also, by using a burr grinder your coffee will receive less friction than a typical blade grinder giving your grinds less chance to get scorched during grinding.

Coffee is very porous and will absorb odors and air (oxygen) very fast. Oxygen will make your coffee taste really bad! So, the longer your coffee is ground and not used the longer it has to stale and make a bad cup.

4. Measure Properly

Weigh your coffee before you grind it. To make a good, well-rounded cup of coffee you should use approximately.75oz (22g) of coffee beans to every 8oz of cold water. You can +/- to taste but this is a good starting point.

5. Purified Water at Precise Temperature

Fresh, clean tap water (purified is best) or quality spring water is recommended. Do not use mineral water, distilled water or tap water with any type of odor. It will make your coffee taste bad. The water should be between 195-205 degrees when ready to brew. At this temperature, the coffee will get proper extraction to optimize the flavor oils and caramelized sugars inside the coffee bean. This is hard to accomplish with most home brewers as the heating elements are not heat adjustable nor are they reliable to heat to the proper temperature at all. Good home coffee brewers will cost about $200 but are well worth it and last a lot longer. If you can, try the single cup pour over methods available or other brewing methods such as French press or siphon. The taste difference is remarkable. Google search each method for more information.

6. Brew Just Enough to Drink

Letting your brewed coffee sit waiting is not a good idea. And more so please do not let it sit on the hot plate! This is a good way to cook your coffee. Constant ‘keep warm’ mode like this will make it taste bitter. If you have to brew more than one cup and are not going to finish is right away, get an airpot of air tight hot container to keep it in. Still drink it within an hour or so but it will buy your more time.

7. Let it Cool

By letting your coffee cool to about 170 degrees (for black coffee) you will not only avoid burning your mouth, you will also get a more enjoyable coffee experience because you will taste the true essence of what coffee is all about: the brightness, the chocolaty notes, the citrus notes, the spices. It’s all there, get a little geeky! If you insist on pouring cream and sugar in your coffee, forget #7 and for #8 respectively!

8. Drink it Black

This is the coffee geek purist in me coming out! I used to drink my coffee with cream and sugar all the time until I got into the coffee business years ago. Society decided cream and sugar was the norm because of bad tasting coffee, not because coffee tastes bad. Coffee used to be bitter as a rule, but that was your father’s cup! Most likely the canned stuff from the grocery store. Ick! That is the old-school coffee made from Robusta beans, a low-grade coffee. Today the high quality coffee beans are called Arabica and you get them from coffee houses and artisan coffee roasters. When beans are blended and roasted properly black coffee is not bitter. It may take some getting used to but I assure you that you are missing a lot of great tasting coffee by adding cream and sugar!

9. Throw Out Any Leftover Brewed Coffee

This is part of #6 above, but deserves its own number. If you have brewed coffee left over past an hour in an airpot or air-tight container, throw it out. Brewed coffee has a life span as well and letting it cook itself in a container is not part of it.

10. Throw Out Any Leftover Coffee Beans

OK let me clarify! By this I mean the coffee that is left over after 21 days. Coffee beans have a life span of approximately 21 days from the day it is roasted. I prefer to drink mine within 10 days but that is just the coffee geek again. If you can span your coffee for use within 21 days of the day it’s roasted you will get a better tasting and far more superior cup. I know, you are asking “how do I know when my Seattle’s Best or Newman’s Own coffee beans were actually roasted?” Well, see #1 above for your answer.

11. Rinse and Repeat

That says it all! If you follow these steps I promise you will notice a more flavorful and tasty cup of brew!

Choosing a Great Coffee Cup

Looking for the best cup of coffee? Do your homework first! Coffee is coffee, right? Wrong! Quality coffee is the RIGHT coffee. Ignorance is bliss, yes? Wrong again! An informed consumer is always ahead of the game. Choosing your coffee is not any different from picking out a holiday ham. You are fussy about the bread you buy or how much sugar is hiding in your kids cereal. Be discriminating about your coffee. Be informed. The informed coffee consumer is always ahead of the game. From the freshly roasted coffee beans, all the way to the cup you use, choose your coffee wisely. Don’t stick your head in the consumer sand bucket and settle for less than the best. Being willing to accept the coffee commercials and hype they feed us as gospel can cause you to settle for second-rate, low quality coffee beans from a year ago. Vacuum sealed cans were designed to make you think your coffee is fresh and bursting with flavor, when you hear the seal pop. Don’t buy it!

If you start with fresh you get fresh. Quality gourmet coffee is roasted hours prior to shipping and is at your door step within…at the most a week of roasting. It should arrive in a vacuum sealed bag with a breathing seal. Starting with fresh high quality beans means being willing to settle for nothing less than the best high quality coffee beans you can find. Most sites that sell coffee offer fresh ground coffee beans as an option. If you don’t own a coffee grinder, this may work for you until you can purchase one. Purchasing coffee from one of the coffee sites offering this option will at least ensure that your coffee is reasonably fresh, however, it needs to be used up right away, or stored properly. If you buy coffee already ground, you as the consumer want to bear in mind that already ground coffee loses the original quality quickly. Storing coffee in a mason jar with a tight lid on a cool shelf in the pantry is a wonderful way to keep it palatable for up to a month.

Ever purchase ground coffee in the store, open the can, take a whiff, and it smells wonderful? Inside of 24 hours that same can of coffee will not only lose potency, but will smell like it’s been sitting there on the counter for months (a trained nose detects this after a little bit of practice). There are two basic reasons for this phenomenon:

1. The coffee in the can is gleaned from poor quality beans to maximize the profit margins of the mass producing retail market industry. These coffee beans are either low quality arabica beans or they are robusta beans, which are like a weed in the coffee world.

2. The coffee was roasted months ago, vacuum sealed and the quality in the fresh roasted coffee beans is broken down significantly. This is done to meet mass demand in a hurry.

3. (I know I said there were only two, but this one is nagging at me) When you lose flavor you destroy the antioxidants! Antioxidants are our justification for drinking coffee in the first place! Justify your case!

Are you convinced by now that there is no substitute for good quality coffee? Buying quality freshly roasted beans is the best option. Although it does require an initial investment of a good quality grinder, it is well worth the investment. A decent quality grinder can be purchased at your favorite online coffee retailer for between thirty to fifty dollars. Put it on your Christmas wish list to Santa! Hang on, I need a second cup of coffee. There, that’s much better. By the way, I had to make a second pot. Fresh ground and freshly brewed coffee doesn’t last at our house more than 5 minutes, and our pot holds 10 cups. We like it fresh to the last drop! A dyed-in-the-wool coffee lover craves the freshly ground bean.

To complete your investigation and make an informed decision regarding the purchase of freshly roasted coffee beans, you will discover an interesting difference in the spent coffee grounds when comparing store run-of-the-mill name brand coffee to freshly ground. After brewing, grocery store coffee grounds are dead and fall in a heap when they are discarded. They stick together, plop out of the basket, and are not fluffy as they should be. Freshly ground, high quality spent coffee beans are fluffy and moist. You can run your fingers through the fluffy spent grounds and they almost float and feel alive. Once you’ve handled fresh ground gourmet coffee beans in your hand, after brewing, you will agree there is no contest. Freshly ground coffee beans are superior to any other. It is no small wonder that your plants love the spent grounds from fresh ground coffee. They thrive on it as much as we do our first delectable cup…second…and third. Even plants prefer the freshly ground coffee beans and seem to thrive on the hidden nutrients still looming in the recyclable beans. Another justification for our love of good coffee. Not that we need any.

Still not convinced? Does your coffee taste old or burnt an hour after brewing? Coffee made from freshly ground beans stays fresh in the carafe as much as 4 times longer, if it lasts that long at your house. The acid build up is at a minimum and the quality is mouth-watering. There is nothing like it on the planet known to man, beast, and plant life. Once you switch to freshly ground coffee beans, you will never want another cup of stored grocery store coffee again! You think you are addicted to coffee now? Just try freshly ground quality coffee beans. You will be hooked for life! Choose freshly ground coffee, grind it fresh, brew it fresh, drink it fresh. Find a quiet spot, sit back, savor the taste, and simply enjoy the drink of a lifetime. The best cup of Joe begins with freshly roasted high quality coffee beans.

Lose Weight By Excluding Poor Quality Foods

Several people do not comprehend just how they must begin whenever needing to drop pounds. Somebody possibly will suggest doing exercises a lot more. Someone else may say eat additional vegetables and fruits. Getting all this guidance, commencing a nutritious fat loss program might be challenging. Nonetheless, an individual ought to understand if trying to lose weight many basic adjustments can assist with losing unwanted pounds.

For starters, a person must realize a little exercise in addition to consuming nutritionally sound food items are crucial in eliminating extra weight. Try seeing physical activity as freedom, instead of duty. Attempt to see food as fuel and not food calories. Dieters ought to try seeing removing extra weight like a reward to them as well as family members.

A terrific way to get more exercise each day is taking a walk during lunch break. A number of individuals use this time to socialize and eat their lunch. As an alternative, a person ought to devote one-half their lunch break walking. Taking an afternoon walk will improve stamina plus decrease tension. Best yet, whenever individuals can persuade another person to join them, then an individual is more apt to walk daily. An additional benefit of going for walks during lunch is individuals have even more free time after work to spend with family members.

One error a lot of dieters do regarding exercise is only doing a preferred exercise. As the human body becomes acquainted with that workout, a person uses smaller amounts of food calories. Nevertheless, a dieter should not discontinue their favorite activity, just mix it together with others. When fitness gets better, enhance intensity amounts to challenge a body and burn off additional calories. Thus, an individual ought to not forget to mix up workouts in order to remove unwanted pounds.

An individual should understand when trying to lose weight consuming healthy food products is important also. A human body requires foods to create fuel. What foods people eat determines the amount of energy a body will make. An individual ought to remember the body will only make energy dependent upon whatever is taken in. If junk foods are consumed an individual feels less energetic. Whenever nutritionally sound foods are ingested an individual feels full of life. Therefore, eating healthy food items will be crucial for dropping body weight. Additionally, a body must have healthy food items abundant with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals in order to work effectively.

Crockpot Cooking Safety Tips

Although I have never had a bad experience with my crockpot (and I’m sure you won’t either), there are a few safety measures you need to follow to ensure food safety. Some of them are pretty basic and common sense and you are probably doing them already. But it never hurts to go over them and to just continue to be aware of the importance proper food handling and preparation techniques.

Always start clean, a clean cooker, clean utensils, a clean work area. And wash your hands before and during food preparation.

Be sure to handle ingredients carefully. Since slow cookers can take a while to get to temperatures hot enough to kill off bacteria, it is imperative to keep the ingredients constantly refrigerated prior to food preparation. Remember that bacteria multiply on food quickly at room temperature. Therefore perishable foods should remain refrigerated until you need them.

Defrost your meats and poultry prior to putting them in your slow cooker. This helps the crockpot achieve proper cooking temperature faster, eliminating the possibility of bacteria growth on your food.

Cutting food into smaller chunks helps to ensure that the food is cooked thoroughly. For example, don’t cook large pieces of meat such as a whole chicken in the slow cooker. Doing this increases the opportunity for bacterial growth because it takes a longer time to get to proper cooking temperature. Meats and vegetables can be cut up in advance but make sure you store them separately in covered containers.

Keep the lid on. Experts say that removing the lid can add 20 minutes to the cooking time! This is because it takes that long to re-generate the lost heat and steam. Remove it only to stir the food or check for doneness.

Since vegetables cook slower than meat, place the vegetables on the bottom. Then add the meat and cover the food with your broth, sauce, or water.

If possible, set the slow cooker setting on high for the first hour of cooking to get the food warmed up quickly. Then switch it to low for the rest of the day. If it is not possible, the Food Safety and Inspection Service says it is still safe to cook foods on low for the entire time, since the temperatures stay hot enough for long enough to prevent any bacterial growth on the food.

If you are away during the entire slow-cooking process and you know that there has been a power outage, don’t take any chances. Throw the food out. Although it may look done, it could also be unsafe for consumption. You can know if there was a power outage by the time flashing on your other appliances such as microwave or VCR.

The Facts About Food Intolerance

Probably one of the most annoying things in this world is food intolerance. Unlike food allergies, which can be identified with testing, food intolerance is a hit and miss proposition that can drive the sufferer crazy. We’re going to give you the facts and the truth about food intolerance and tell you how it can be handled.

The first myth that needs to be dispelled is that people who are intolerant to certain foods are allergic to those foods. Food allergies are not the same as having an intolerance to certain foods. The symptoms may be very similar, which is why food intolerance is so difficult to pin point, but the causes are quite different.

With a food allergy, your body is actually allergic to the food in question and the reaction is that of your immune system itself fighting back, very similar to if you were allergic to pollen. The sneezing is your body fighting back against the pollen in the air. With a food intolerance, the immune system does not come into play. Your body does not believe that it is being invaded by a foreign body. However, your organs, usually your stomach and intestine which is where food is digested and eliminated, will react to certain ingredients in the food in question simply because it is intolerant to that particular food.

Food intolerance usually occurs because your body stops producing certain chemicals or enzymes that aid in the digestion of that particular food. This happens to quite a number of us as we get older. This is why so many people are lactose intolerant, as the enzyme created to properly digest lactose actually decreases in production as of the age of 2. It isn’t until we are much older, however, that we start to develop symptoms, which are sometimes quite severe.

The only way to tell if you are allergic or intolerant to certain foods is to take a food allergy test. This can be given by a regular allergist. If the test comes up negative on the foods tested, and they test quite a number of different foods, then what you are suffering from is an intolerance and not an allergy.

If it is determined that you are intolerant, how do you find what foods you are intolerant of? This, unfortunately, is the hard part. The only way to do this, since there are no clinical tests, is to systematically eliminate foods from your diet and see what the effects are. Personally, I found that I was intolerant to anything with high fructose corn syrup. This was easy for me to spot. I started drinking a fruit punch that I had never drank before. I got terrible indigestion from it. I stopped drinking it and the indigestion stopped. I then looked at the ingredients, where I discovered the only thing I didn’t normally have in any of my other foods. Since that time, simply eliminating foods with high fructose corn syrup, I have not had any indigestion.

Is it easy to find what foods you are intolerant of? No, it’s not. It’s especially hard if you eat a lot of different foods. However, most reactions occur after about 30 minutes to an hour after eating. So if you eat breakfast and you’re fine but then an hour after lunch you’re not feeling so well, it is most likely something you ate at lunch that is the culprit. Simply eat the same lunch the next day, except eliminate one of the items. Eventually you will find what is bothering you. The most common forms of intolerance are lactose and wheat. This should give you something to work with.

The Convenience of One-Cup Coffee Makers

The one-cup coffee maker has many benefits. Perhaps you are the only coffee drinker in your house, and you are tired of pouring good coffee down the drain because you made too much. Maybe you enjoy gourmet coffee, but do not have the time or inclination to grind beans for a full pot. Or perhaps you want a convenient, mess-free way to enjoy a fresh cup of Joe at your desk.

If any of these are true, then a single serving brewer may just be for you.

Most of these individual coffee brewers have a built in filter. You just drop in a sealed cup or pod of your favorite coffee, hit a button, and in less than a minute, you have a fresh, steaming mug of java.

You can use your favorite cup with most of these, and some come with a thermal travel mug. There are compact machines that will even let you choose between coffee and tea.

If you do opt to go with a smaller version of the coffeepot, make sure you drink your coffee within 20 minutes, or it could turn bitter.

The one-cup coffee maker is perfect for your office at work, or for your desktop at home. You can have everything you need for a freshly-brewed cup sitting right in your desk drawer, never needing to interrupt yourself to get a quick coffee fix. The best part is that they are not messy, and cleanup is a snap. Any removable parts can be rinsed or thrown into the dishwasher.

Here are some favorites based on customer reviews.

o Melitta Single Cup – This sleek, modern-looking machine has earned the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. A metered tank allows you to brew up to five cups before having to refill, and it comes in three color choices. Use your own mug and have a hot cup of coffee in less than 60 seconds, or a cup of tea in about 35 seconds.

o Keurig – One of the most popular brands of single-serve coffee maker today, the Keurig offers an adjustable brew size – up to 11.25 ounces. The programmable functions and removable water reservoir add to the ease of use, and its quiet brew and auto shut-off functions add to its appeal. Beginning at around $99, this is one of the more expensive single-cup brewers.

o Senseo – Another of the nation’s favorites, Senseo’s compact design allows you to use your favorite mug, and removable parts can go right in the dishwasher. Brew either four-ounce or eight-ounce cups with an auto-shut off feature. Priced at around $70, this one-cup roaster is a great bargain.

o Black & Decker – The little Brew-n-Go percolates fresh coffee right into a handy travel mug. The auto shut-off feature will give you peace of mind. This little bargain model is another customer favorite.

o Bialetti – This java maker lets you make the perfect cup of espresso at home. Just put your water and coffee into the specially designed pot and heat up over your stove. Starting at around $47, this little coffee pot gives you the choice of brewing two cups or four.

o Bunn – The fast brew option on the My Café not only gets your coffee ready in a hurry, but allows you to brew between four and twelve ounce increments.

If you choose to use your one-cup coffee brewer to make tea instead, there are two ways you can enjoy a steaming cup. One is to put the teabag into the filter, where the coffee pod would normally go. Fill with water, hit the start button, and let it brew. In just a few seconds, you will have a steaming cup of tea.

The other method is to run hot water through the machine and place your teabag inside your cup. Heated water fills the cup, allowing the tea bag to steep like it usually would.

Either way, you will have an enjoyable hot treat.

The only potential disadvantage to the one-cup coffee maker is the lack of variety in coffee choices. If you prefer to experiment with various flavors and roasts, you may find yourself wanting more choices with the one-cup option. With these little coffee brewers, you are required to use the appropriate cup or pod designed for your machine.

On the other hand, many of the coffee pods available on the market are of the gourmet variety, allowing you to taste some exotics blends and roasts without spending a fortune. The convenience of the packets makes them so easy to use. Simply toss into the trash when you are finished, with no loose, messy grounds to concern yourself with.

The one-cup coffee brewer may also be a perfect addition to your kitchen for those times when you are in a hurry, but really need that pick-me-up you get from a fresh cup of coffee. You only need to delay yourself for one minute, and then you will be ready to fly out the door, coffee in hand.

The units are small enough they hardly take up any room, making them easy to stow in a cabinet, desk, or cubby. Add one to your list of “must haves” for your office, or put it on your birthday list. When you discover the convenience of the one-cup coffee maker, you will be glad you did.