Obey Your Food Rules

Every modern society has laws or rules that are meant to be followed and obeyed. Things like traffic laws, paying taxes or even rules that govern every sport you can imagine. We all know what happens if we have no rules, right? Yes, chaos ensues and our society begins to fall apart. Yikes! The same thing is true with your fat loss goals. I have always been a firm believer in having what I call “food rules” that govern the way I eat. Remembering that it’s impossible to out train a bad diet, if you obey your food rules it is easier to stay on track and make sure that you are only consuming foods that are taking you closer to your goals, not farther away from them. Continue reading

Know Which Medicines Will Best Help You with Genetic Testing

Until not long ago, when there was in fact a powerful outbreak involving a particular sickness between a population, it was actually taken care of (if this was regulated, which isn’t often) with isolation and separation and also later with volume precautionary treatment, including innoculations, antibiotics, as well as other approaches in which suppose the easiest way to utilize within such scenarios is usually to handle everybody feasible. The issue along with such a wide strategy is that all of us now recognize that there are significant portions of men and women which usually react solely to particular sorts of attempts. Every individual will not likely constantly react to therapy and medication in the very same way method as his friend or perhaps companion.

Actually, not enough people ever do act in response specifically the exact same to a treatment or remedy because those by themselves are different. Every person has authored inside his genetic material and code his / her propensity to become at risk from particular illnesses and situations along with his likelihood of responding effectively to one particular kind of prescription medication above one more. Presently there is usually no need for a person to procrastinate for our profession of medicine to climb up and get on board whenever for but a few hundred dollars, the guy can get a fabulous report customized from the laboratory like Pathway Genomics based on his / her very own DNA, helping him to understand his physique and mind’s particular capability to react to every variety of available medication.

Your Guide to Fitness

Fitness is something our culture knows about, but doesn’t activity participate in. Our lifestyles contain too much fast food and not enough exercise. Fitness is essential for your well being and overall health. It can make you age slower and live longer. Fitness keeps the blood pumping in your body and your heart healthy. Those who participate in fitness activities for at least 30 minutes each day significantly reduce their risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Continue reading

Dieting and Fitness

A lot of people these days are getting a bit more health and fitness conscious. But it does not just stop there. These health and fitness nuts have one common goal and desire to sculpt their bodies into shapes fit to be flashed on magazine covers. Because of that, fitness centers like health gyms and spas have been flourishing all over since these establishments provide what these health and fitness buffs want and need.

The domination of weight loss merchandises, exercise machines, and other fitness and health paraphernalia is getting pretty much evident as it gains control over communication waves and has made its way into our households. And yet, as you would most probably already know, exercise alone will not give you the beautiful body you have been wishing for. Being body beautiful requires a specific degree of responsibility and discipline, not just with training and exercise, but also with your diet. To be completely immersed on the road to health and fitness, you will need to pair up exercise with the proper diet. And proper diet means knowing what food to eat.

Having a proper diet is just as vital as getting adequate exercise. Dieting or choosing the right food to eat offers a person the important nutrients that he needs in order to repair muscles that have been damaged or worn out, and helps such muscles to develop and be restored in a healthy manner. In short, one should never take dieting for granted. The popularity of keeping fit has given rise to the creation of several health programs and strategies for dieting from many health and diet experts. The high-fat diet and the high-carb diet are among those popularized diet strategies that have invaded our suddenly health conscious society. And so the big question now is which of the two diets is better and more effective? To answer this, let us first dissect the basic differences between the two diets.

A high-carb diet is that which requires a person to concentrate on ingesting only foods that are rich in carbohydrates. While presumably so, a high-fat diet is that which sanctions foods that are rich or high in fat. Now, we all know that carbohydrates are high in glycogen, and this element gives a person a rather high level of energy. Fats, on the other hand, are the richest calorie source.

But the most important thing to keep in mind is that no matter what diet you follow, the one that will work best for you is the one that is right. Remember that our bodies react differently to stimuli. So to have a fit, healthy, and sexy body, stick to the diet that satisfies you best.

The Sweet Health Benefits Of Sour Foods

As a young man, I remember my grandmother trying to give me sauerkraut for dinner once and making the worst face possible in response to which my grandmother laughed and said, “Sauerkraut is not only good, it’s good for you!” When I tell my patients about sauerkraut as a health food, they make almost that same funny face! Recently, however, it turns out that grandma’s words were correct – sauerkraut has a surprising health benefit to it as do other fermented foods. In fact, a group of Polish women were recently studied for their rates of breast cancer. The group who ate a lot of sauerkraut had very low rates of breast cancer.

Health Benefits of Fermented Foods

Fermented foods, like sauerkraut, olives, pickles, sourdough bread have been around for a long time. They were created to help food keep longer using a natural fermentation process called lacto-fermentation. In this process, beneficial lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria (the kind that live in your gut and help digest your foods) convert the starch and sugar in foods to lactic acid. The lactic acid acted as a preservative so refrigeration was not necessary and food had a long shelf life.

A surprising, little known health benefit about these fermented foods was then discovered. It seems that the same fermentation process that both preserves and gives these foods their distinctive sour-tangy taste are also higher in vitamins and actually help your digestion, remove excess saturated fats and cholesterol, and keep your digestive tract healthy and happy.

In fact, these good bacteria present in naturally fermented food have recently started popping up all over television ads and health food articles as “probiotics” which restore and maintain your intestinal flora, i.e., the level of good bacteria in your gut. In case you didn’t know this, your large intestine, the place that houses all these beneficial bacteria, is the very seat of your immune system. When your beneficial bacteria levels are optimal, you have a healthy immune system strong enough to ward off infections and other diseases.

Many fermented foods, like olives, also contain good Omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial in reducing inflammation throughout your body.

Not All Sour Foods Are Naturally Fermented

When I tell my patients about naturally fermented superfoods, they say, great I’ll pick up some at the grocery store! However, most canned sauerkraut, pickles, greek olives on the shelves, and buttermilks, yogurts, and kefir in your dairy section of your grocery store may not have been created through a natural fermentation process and may not contain the live bacteria.

In fact, many of these grocery store varieties of sour-tasting dairy foods are pasteurized, and the canned-shelf varieties can get their sour taste through the addition of vinegar (a fermented food in itself) and/or certain preservative-grade minerals like potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate added to extend shelf life. Most have lactic acid added to them rather than it developing naturally in the fermentation process described above. However, even these grocery store varieties of “fast” fermented foods give some health benefits in addition to their vitamins, minerals, proteins, fiber, etc, just not as much as naturally fermented that contain the live culture.

Unless your local grocery store has a special section for refrigerated health foods, you likely will have to go to a health food or natural foods store to get real, naturally fermented, nonpasteurized sauerkraut, pickles, olives, kefir, buttermilk and yogurt. You can also make your own fermented foods very easily. Fermentation starter kits are available, along with directions how to ferment many foods, in health food stores and/or online.

Coffee For Your Health

Many of us rely on coffee to get us going in the mornings, wake us up in the afternoons, and prepare us for that special business meeting. Go ahead, have a cup of coffee. It’s much healthier than you may be thinking right now.

Coffee is the most consumed beverage in the world. No matter where you go, coffee is usually available. Yet, until recently there’s been very little research on the effects of coffee on our health. The researcher’s are waking up however. There have recently been studies completed on a variety of health benefits to drinking that simply delicious cup of coffee. Continue reading

An Insight Into Different Types of Coffee Makers

Here I will help you explore some of the most common coffee maker types, as well as some coffee makers that are truly for the coffee crazy. I have tried to cover some of the benefits of using different coffee brewers depending on your personal needs.

If you lead a busy life and your always on the go a single cup maker maybe just the answer to keep up to your active lifestyle. There are one cup makers available that deliver a mug of hot brew that you make and take with you. Most brew quickly through the lid into a thermal mug and shuts off automatically when done.

A single cup maker is an ideal gift for commuters, college students, professionals always on the go, newlyweds or the single java drinker household. Benefits from a single cup coffee maker include a perfect cup of freshly brewed hot coffee in a flash. Excellent for the office or dorm, you can also make hot water for tea, hot chocolate or instant soups. The k-cup coffee system made by Keurig has it’s own formula for brewing a fresh single serving . It consists of a single portion of ground beans in a container with a filter built-in.

Thermal coffee makers are another option as we all strive to have our brew remain hot and fresh, most of the companies that produce thermal makers claim that you will have up to 4 hours of hot fresh coffee. I have a thermal maker and while it is true that the brew is still warm after a fashion I prefer to start over as I prefer to have fresh java, but my wife loves it.

If you are not as picky as I am then perhaps a thermal coffee maker is right for you. There are a wide variety of options as far as color and size, one of the benefits is the ability to bring and place the crafe at the dinning room table while you entertain your guests.

Space saver coffee makers are a great way to make your small kitchen bigger. Most manufactures make an under counter maker that can give you more space on your counter tops and it offers a great alternative to smaller makers like the single cup makers that we discussed earlier or 4 cup makers. Most all of them have a removable water reservoir that makes filling more efficient and prevents spills and cleaning the reservoir is much easier. You can still get your 10 or 12 cups that you require while keeping your kitchen less cluttered. Excellent for galley kitchens or apartment size kitchens and RV owners.

The French press , also known as a press pot, coffee press, coffee plunger or cafetière, is a brewing device popularized by the French. Its operation is simple and can produce a stronger pot of coffee than some other types of java makers. The press pot consists of a narrow cylindrical container usually made of glass or clear plastic, equipped with a lid and a “plunger” also made of metal or plastic, which fits tightly in the cylinder and which has a fine wire or nylon mesh acting as a filter which can be cleaned and reused.

The java is brewed by placing the coffee and water together, leaving to brew for a few minutes, then depressing the plunger to trap the grounds at the bottom of the container. Because the grounds remain in direct contact with the brewing water and the grounds are filtered from the water via a mesh instead of a paper filter, java brewed with the French press captures more of the brews flavor and essential oils, most of these are generally trapped in the paper or wire filters we use in the drip method of brewing. Because the used grounds remain in the drink after brewing, French pressed coffee should be served immediately so as to not become bitter. A typical 8-cup French press is considered expired after 20 – 25 minutes as there is no warmer plate as in many makers.

Beans for use in a French press should be of a consistent, coarse grind. The use of a hand coffee grinder or manual coffee grinder gives a more consistent grind than the whirling blade variety of electric grinders. The ground should be more coarse than that used for a drip coffee filter, as a finer grind will seep through the press filter and into the coffee. A French press is also more portable and self contained than other makers. And make a great solution for a travel maker in such cases as back packing or camping. Despite the name, the French press is not noticeably more popular in France than in other countries. In most French households, coffee is usually prepared by drip brewing, using an electric coffee maker and paper filters.

A vacuum maker brews coffee using two chambers where vapor pressure and vacuum produce brew which is clean, rich and smooth compared to other brewing methods. This type of maker is also known as vac pot , siphon or syphon coffee maker and was invented by Loeff of Berlin in the 1830s. These types of makers have been used for more than a century in many parts of the world.

The chamber material can be pyrex, metal or plastic, and the filter can either be a glass rod, or a screen from cloth, paper or nylon. The Napier Vacuum Machine, presented in 1840, was an early example of this technique. While vacuum makers are generally to complex for everyday use, they were prized for producing a clear brew and were quite popular until the middle of the twentieth century.

The idea of a vacuum coffee maker is to heat water in the lower vessel of the brewer until the expansion forces the water through a narrow tube into an upper vessel that contains the coffee grounds. When the lower vessel has more or less emptied itself and enough time has elapsed, the heat is removed and the resulting vacuum will draw the brewed beverage through a strainer back into the lower chamber from which it can be stored. The device must usually be taken apart to pour into a mug.

Let’s Talk About Some of the Chemistry in Our Food

We may define a food to be any substance which will repair the functional waste of the body, increase its growth, or maintain the heat, muscular, and nervous energy. In its most comprehensive sense, the oxygen of the air is a food; as although it is admitted by the lungs, it passes into the blood, and there re-acts upon the other food which has passed through the stomach. It is usual, however, to restrict the term food to such nutriment as enters the body by the intestinal canal. Water is often spoken of as being distinct from food, but for this there is no sufficient reason.

Many popular writers have divided foods into flesh-formers, heat-givers, and bone-formers. Although attractive from its simplicity, this classification will not bear criticism.

Flesh-formers are also heat-givers. Only a portion of the mineral matter goes to form bone.

Water forms an essential part of all the tissues of the body. It is the solvent and carrier of other substances.

Mineral Matter or Salts, is left as an ash when food is thoroughly burnt. The most important salts are calcium phosphate, carbonate and fluoride, sodium chloride, potassium phosphate and chloride, and compounds of magnesium, iron and silicon.

Mineral matter is quite as necessary for plant as for animal life, and is therefore present in all food, except in the case of some highly-prepared ones, such as sugar, starch and oil. Children require a good proportion of calcium phosphate for the growth of their bones, whilst adults require less. The outer part of the grain of cereals is the richest in mineral constituents, white flour and rice are deficient. Wheatmeal and oatmeal are especially recommended for the quantity of phosphates and other salts contained in them. Mineral matter is necessary not only for the bones but for every tissue of the body.

Organic Compounds are formed by living organisms (a few can also be produced by chemical means). They are entirely decomposed by combustion.

The Non-Nitrogenous Organic Compounds are commonly called carbon compounds or heat-producers, but these terms are also descriptive of the nitrogenous compounds. These contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen only, and furnish by their oxidation or combustion in the body the necessary heat, muscular and nervous energy. The final product of their combustion is water and carbon dioxide (carbonic acid gas).

The Carbohydrates comprise starch, sugar, gum, mucilage, pectose, glycogen, &c.; cellulose and woody fibre are carbohydrates, but are little capable of digestion. They contain hydrogen and oxygen in the proportion to form water, the carbon alone being available to produce heat by combustion. Starch is the most widely distributed food. It is insoluble in water, but when cooked is readily digested and absorbed by the body. Starch is readily converted into sugar, whether in plants or animals, during digestion. There are many kinds of sugar, such as grape, cane and milk sugars.

The Oils and Fats consist of the same elements as the carbohydrates, but the hydrogen is in larger quantity than is necessary to form water, and this surplus is available for the production of energy. During their combustion in the body they produce nearly two-and-a-quarter times (4 : 8.9 = 2.225) as much heat as the carbohydrates; but if eaten in more than small quantities, they are not easily digested, a portion passing away by the intestines. The fat in the body is not solely dependent upon the quantity consumed as food, as an animal may become quite fat on food containing none. A moderate quantity favours digestion and the bodily health. In cold weather more should be taken. In the Arctic regions the Esquimaux consume enormous quantities. Nuts are generally rich in oil. Oatmeal contains more than any of the other cereals (27 analyses gave from 8 to 12.3 per cent.)

Vegetable Acids are composed of the same three elements and undergo combustion into the same compounds as the carbohydrates. They rouse the appetite, stimulate digestion, and finally form carbonates in combination with the alkalies, thus increasing the alkalinity of the blood. The chief vegetable acids are: malic acid, in the apple, pear, cherry, &c.; citric acid, in the lemon, lime, orange, gooseberry, cranberry, strawberry, raspberry, &c.; tartaric acid, in the grape, pineapple, &c.

Proteids or Albuminoids are frequently termed flesh-formers. They are composed of nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and a small quantity of sulphur, and are extremely complex bodies. Their chief function is to form flesh in the body; but without previously forming it, they may be transformed into fat or merely give rise to heat. They form the essential part of every living cell.

The Basic Essentials For Health and Fitness

Staying fit and living a healthy live may be a little difficult at times, but it’s certainly not impossible. To the contrary, it is possible to change your bad habits and unhealthy ways, providing you have some self discipline and providing you’re willing to commit yourself.

In this article we’ll take a brief look at some of the most important factors regarding a healthier, fitter you.

Commitment

Commitment is without a doubt essential if you want to make the necessary changes in order to live a healthier life, particularly if you also need to get rid of any bad habits. In other words, you really need to have a sense of urgency or else you’ll probably give up at some point along the way. You’d be surprised at just how many people start eating a healthy balanced diet and begin with an exercise program, only to revert back to their old ways after a month or two.

Whatever you do, you need to avoid falling into this trap where you start and stop continuously, because not only will you be wasting your own time and effort, but you’ll also become less motivated each time it happens. In fact, don’t even start until you’re absolutely sure that it’s something you desperately want, because at least then you’ll probably have enough will power to make it happen.

Get Support

Let’s face it; trying to kick a bad habit can be one of the most difficult things in the world, so you should essentially try and make it as easy as possible to give yourself the best chance of succeeding. For this reason, it helps if you have the support of your friends and family. In fact, that’s why most programs which are designed to help people give up drinking usually revolve around some kind of support system where people are able to discuss their experiences as well as any progress they’re making.

Saying No to Temptation

Being able to avoid temptations takes a considerable amount of will power, and if you don’t have enough will power you’ll be unable to remain in control of your circumstances. Contrary to what you may believe, it’s not always easy to avoid temptations, and you’ll probably come face to face with them every day of your life. The secret however, is for you to be strong enough to say no, because you can be rest assured that the minute you give in once you’ll probably continue doing so, and before you know it, you’ll be back to your old ways.

The best way for you to achieve this is for you to try and avoid temptations wherever possible. For example, if some of your friends tend to eat plenty of fast foods, or they drink and smoke, then you’d be better off spending as little time with them as possible, at least for the time being. You should even try to avoid going to certain places that you know will tempt you into doing something you no longer wish to do.

Regular Reminders

If you’re continuously being reminded about your goals and ambitions then you’ll have far more chance of being able to stay on the right path. Ideally, not only should you constantly the reminding yourself, but you should also try to choose someone that you can trust and depend on, and then ask them to point out to you whenever you start to stray. Even though you may be totally committed, it’s easy to start backsliding without even being aware of it, and that is why it helps to have someone else looking out for you as well.

Specialty Coffee – A Vibrant Industry, Or The Future Of Coffee At Crossroads Of Change?

Seattle; the home of Boeing, software giants, grunge music and…specialty coffee. Well, not quite. Contrary to popular belief, while Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Boeing and Oracle do indeed hail from the Pacific Northwest, modern specialty coffee has its roots much further south.

When Alfred Peet died in his sleep a few weeks ago he was a sprightly 87. He passed away peacefully hopefully dreaming of coffee trees laden with ripened cherries. While most people have never heard of him, Peet is widely recognised as being the father of modern “specialty coffee” in the industry. He was a Dutchman who became an American. He had traded tea for Lipton’s in Java, lived in Sumatra, worked in the business in New Zealand before, finally, settling down (somewhat) in the University suburb of Berkeley, California. It was at Berkeley where he founded his roastery in 1966 and Peet’s Coffee was born. Alfred Peet was passionate about coffee. His roasting exploits legendary and his ability to commentate, roast and put out fires simultaneously are famous. His experiences while living in Indonesia had given him an affinity with farmers who grew coffee, as well as a thorough understanding of the origin, the place where coffee was grown. This background, combined with his love of roasting, resulted in a place where coffee was not just a cup of Java, but something exotic, living and with a story.

From Alfred Peet’s inspirational example came many of the coffee cultures that now are household names today in America and around the world- Starbucks being the most famous of these of course. The original founders of Starbucks- Baldwin, Bowker and Ziv Seigel originally leant their roasting trade from Peet, in fact Peet roasted for them in their early years. Many others in the industry in America today also passed through the Peet’s Coffee experience. In fact when Howard Schulz purchased Starbucks, Bowker and Baldwin moved across and purchased Peets Coffee- Alfred Peet retiring to a role of Coffee Mentor for the Industry as a whole.

Today most coffee drinkers, from Surabaya to San Francisco, recognise Starbucks and its logo, but the name “Alfred Peet” often draws draws blank looks.

Specialty Coffee today is at a crossroad- an important junction in deciding which direction coffee will be heading over the next decade. In the last 10 years many new comers have entered the business. It is estimated that the global coffee sector today is valued at over US$80 billion. It is no wonder that with these revenue numbers, the industry attracts a mix of business people with mixed agendas- who often see the potential bottom line rather than education and passion as being the driving force in what they do. Traditionally the specialty coffee industry has been built on the strong foundation of sharing knowledge and experience- with the supposition that by helping each other the industry will be strongly quality focused. However a number of the more recent arrivals in the market are perhaps choosing coffee for the perceived easy profits, rather than for a real passion for coffee or its heritage. As a result many of the traditional methods of exchange are not as effective, or used as frequently as they have been in the past.

Globally Coffee is in a position where consumption is beginning to slow down and opportunities to grow coffee are becoming more difficult to find in the traditional coffee consuming markets- Europe, USA, South America and Oceania. The easy answer if to look at new emerging markets- China, India, Pakistan and Indonesia are prime targets. These countries either have low coffee consumption (Indonesian’s, for instance, consume 500gm per person per year vs. Norway’s 12kg per person per year), or have reasonable consumption, but historically are tea consumers (India). The new markets are also very suggestible to western branding- in many cases the strength of branding has been shown to be more important than the product itself. This presents a number of opportunities to strong western brands and of course new local brands to emerge. However it does not necessarily equate to long-term longevity of specialty coffee in these new frontiers.

In the more mature markets, the patterns of consumption have changed markedly over the last 15-20 years. The traditional, lower quality coffee products such as instants, are being replaced by roast and ground coffee (drips, plungers etc) and of course Espresso Based Drinks (cappuccino, latte, espresso etc). Fresh roasted coffee has many advantages over the instant coffee. It is more flavoursome and more importantly has a greater link back to where it originally came from. This means that customer awareness is also on the increase- bringing into the spotlight the actual paper trail of where the coffee comes from, who picked it, what price the grower get from it etc. To consumers in countries such as New Zealand this is very important- as generally there is a linkage between quality of coffee and the return the farmer or grower gets. The correlation is the better the return to a farmers, the better the coffee will be. Higher returns means more time can be spent in the origin country looking after the crop, pruning, selective harvesting, proper intensive drying and packing/storing the coffee once it is dried.

The role the specialty coffee industry plays in all this is very important. Retail shops that source and supply only the best coffee help to sustain the industry both upstream and downstream. This means the farmers and workers will be rewarded and the consumers will have access to quality coffee, hopefully growing the business further.

Unfortunately the reverse is gradually becoming more often the norm. Cafes, coffee shops and roasters entering the market all over the world tend to look for short-term cost advantages to try and fuel their business models. To achieve this they either buy poor quality coffee, as cheap as possible or average quality coffee…likewise as cheaply as possible. Cheap coffee equates to, at the best, very average finished product. This in turn means generally a poor perception of the place selling the coffee. This would perhaps be OK if there were not so many cafes now selling poor quality coffee. As it is it means that poor quality coffee is often accepted a being the norm- hence having the result of putting people off drinking coffee.

In many ways the industry can be seen as having come almost full circle back to where it was in the early 1970’s when instant coffee and coffee sitting on hotplates for 10 hours were seen and accepted as being normal coffee. This is what pioneers like Peet worked so hard to change. It is also why the crossroads the industry now stands at are so important.

The choices are really quite simple. For coffee to evolve and grow further there needs to be education of the retailer and the customer. The global industry is built around national organisations that play a varying role in providing advice and education to those in retail or wholesale. The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) and the SCAE (Specialty Coffee Association of Europe) are two such organisations. However to become members of these organisations is as simple as filling out a form and paying a fee. Often the motivation of the people joining is just to get a sticker to put on their shop door, knowledge is a secondary motivator. There is talk that membership should involve some form of basic enter test and then continuing education via the internet- which would at least help to provide tools to pass information on to those drinking the coffee.

Looking at those in the industry who do things well, is also a great way of building and planning the future for specialty coffee. In the USA quality roasters and café operators such as Allegro, Blackstump Coffee and Intelligensia have taken industry standards to a new level. Buying quality coffee, hiring quality staff and imparting quality knowledge to customers buying their morning coffee has proven very successful for these companies. So much so that it is an unquestionable part of their corporate culture. All of these companies also practice something unique- they regularly visit their growers in countries such as Indonesia, Guatemala, Kenya, Brazil and Colombia. To take this one step further, they do not just visit and spend a few nights- taking photos of a grower’s coffee trees, they maintain regular contact with those growing the coffee. This approach must be seen as the future for coffee in competitive, quality driven markets. It is true relationship coffee where the roaster becomes by default part of the farmers extended family.

Passing knowledge on to those who buy a coffee everyday, and arming them with information on what type of coffee they drink, how it is grown, who grows it, when it is picked, how it gets to them gives all power to the customer. It is a very important, yet lagging piece of the future of coffee globally. Being able to learn the differences in tastes/cupping qualities has some snob quality, but more importantly it helps the buyer to differentiate between good, average and poor coffee. Here lies the problem. A successful café founded on the principles of sustainability and true coffee culture has nothing to fear from education. A café selling poor quality coffee is unlikely, or perhaps unable, to want to educate clients about quality.

A failure to address quality, education and sustainability in the business sector (from the farmer to the retail customer) will ultimately result in consumption patterns falling further. Quality issues- especially over the counter and in the cup, need to be addressed. If not unfortunately those to suffer will be the grower or origin country, rather than the retailer. With current economics a grower in Indonesia receives only around 2-5% of the cost of the average cup sold in America or Europe. If demand drops off, the Arabica business ultimately will fall back into a cycle of commodity pricing rather than specialty pricing that many quality origins now enjoy. Competition from other beverages, and lifestyle choices, compete with the disposable income that coffee comes from.

If Alfred Peet was still alive, undoubtedly he would just carry on doing what he did well and loved, roasting coffee and sharing his knowledge and experience with anyone willing, and wanting to learn and listen- a model to all of us in the industry today.

© Alun H.G Evans, Merdeka Coffee, 2007. The writer reserves all moral rights to this article. May only be reproduced.