Finding the “Best of the Best” in Coffee

Tips for Finding Perfect Premium Coffee…

There is coffee and THERE IS COFFEE! You likely know about the generic quality coffees you find at the supermarket, using the inferior Robusta beans. And, in contrast, there is the alternative: the coffee regularly termed Gourmet Coffee you buy direct from roasters around the country. Popular large volume roasters, like Starbucks as well as most of the the smaller roasters dispersed about town, essentially utilize this far better grade, high altitude, shade grown Arabica bean.

That being said, and broadly known by all nowadays, how can you siphon out the crème de la crème of gourmet coffee beans to purchase?

To begin with, let’s hone in specifically on taste. Nowadays, coffee has become a “drink of experts”…
evolved into an art of reflection! We’ve begun to savor our coffee…flavor identify and define the subtle hints and nuances, as well as the qualities that identify the bean’s continent of origin. You as a coffee drinker, can begin to explore and experience the undertones of your coffee’s region, but better yet, begin to revel in the independently specific flavors of the bean defined by the specific hill and farm where it’s grown.

Coffee Cupping: Defining Coffee by its “Underlying Flavors”

There are, nowadays, a limited number of coffee roasters that independently test their coffee beans for taste observations and aromas. These beans are graded and assessed just like fine wine. This activity is called Coffee Cupping or Coffee Tasting. Professionals known as Master Tasters are the assessors. The procedure involves deeply sniffing a cup of brewed coffee, then loudly slurping the coffee so it draws in air, spreads to the back of the tongue, and maximizes flavor.

These Master Tasters, much akin to wine tasters, then attempt to measure in detail, every aspect of the coffee’s taste. This assessment includes measurement of the body (the texture or mouth-feel, such as oiliness), acidity (a sharp and tangy feeling, like when biting into an orange), and balance (the innuendo and the harmony of flavors working together). Since coffee beans embody telltale flavors from their region or continent of their origin, cuppers may also attempt to predict where the coffee was grown.

There is an infinite range of vocabulary that is used to describe the tastes found in coffee. Descriptors range from the familiar (chocolaty, sweet, fruity, woody) to the conceptual (clean, vibrant, sturdy) to the wildly esoteric (summery, racy, gentlemanly).

Following are a few key characteristics as defined by Coffee Geek. (http://coffeegeek.com/guides/beginnercupping/tastenotes)

Key Characteristics

Acidity:

The brightness or sharpness of coffee: It is through the acidity that many of the most intriguing fruit and floral flavors are delivered, and is usually the most scrutinized characteristic of the coffee. Acidity can be intense or mild, round or edgy, elegant or wild, and everything in between. Usually the acidity is best evaluated once the coffee has cooled slightly to a warm/lukewarm temperature. Tasting a coffee from Sumatra next to one from Kenya is a good way to begin to understand acidity.

Body:

This is sometimes referred to as “mouthfeel”. The body is the sense of weight or heaviness that the coffee exerts in the mouth, and can be very difficult for beginning cuppers to identify. It is useful to think about the viscosity or thickness of the coffee, and concentrate on degree to which the coffee has a physical presence. Cupping a Sulawesi versus a Mexican coffee can illustrate the range of body quite clearly.

Sweetness:

One of the most important elements in coffee, sweetness often separates the great from the good. Even the most intensely acidic coffees are lush and refreshing when there is enough sweetness to provide balance and ease the finish. Think of lemonade…starting with just water and lemon juice, one can add sugar until the level of sweetness achieves harmony with the tart citric flavor. It is the same with coffee, the sweetness is critical to allowing the other tastes to flourish and be appreciated.

Finish:

While first impressions are powerful, it is often the last impression that has the most impact. With coffee the finish (or aftertaste) is of great importance to the overall quality of the tasting experience, as it will linger long after the coffee has been swallowed. Like a great story, a great cup of coffee needs a purposeful resolution. The ideal finish to me is one that is clean (free of distraction), sweet, and refreshing with enough endurance to carry the flavor for 10-15 seconds after swallowing. A champion finish will affirm with great clarity the principal flavor of the coffee, holding it aloft with grace and confidence like a singer carries the final note of a song and then trailing off into a serene silence.

Coffee Buying Caveat

Buying coffee simply by name instead of by taste from your favorite roaster (in other words buying the same Columbian Supreme from the same “Joe’s Cuppa Joe Roaster”) definitely has its pitfall! According to Coffee Review, “Next year’s Clever-Name-Coffee Company’s house blend may be radically different from this year’s blend, despite bearing the same name and label. The particularly skillful coffee buyer or roaster who helped create the coffee you and I liked so much may have gotten hired elsewhere. Rain may have spoiled the crop of a key coffee in the blend. The exporter or importer of that key coffee may have gone out of business or gotten careless. And even if everyone (plus the weather) did exactly the same thing they (and it) did the year before, the retailer this time around may have spoiled everything by letting the coffee go stale before you got to it. Or you may have messed things up this year by keeping the coffee around too long, brewing it carelessly, or allowing a friend to pour hazelnut syrup into it.”

Your savvy coffee-buying alternative is to look for roasters who buy their beans in Micro-Lots- smaller (sometimes tiny) lots of subtly distinctive specialty coffees. According to Coffee Review, “These coffee buyers buy small quantities of coffee from a single crop and single place, often a single hillside, and are sold not on the basis of consistency or brand, but as an opportunity to experience the flavor associated with a unique moment in time and space and the dedication of a single farmer or group of farmers.”

Coffee Review: Coffee Ratings

And finally, look out for the very small community coffee roasters that will submit their coffees to be 3rd-party evaluated by Coffee Review and other competitions for independent analysis and rating. Coffee Review regularly conducts blind, expert cuppings of coffees and then reports the findings in the form of 100-point reviews to coffee buyers. These valuable Overall Ratings can provide you with a summary assessment of the reviewed coffees. They are based on a scale of 50 to 100.

Bottom line for a certain premium purchase: To find the coffee that will ascertain most flavor satisfaction, seek out beans that been independently reviewed and rated. This approach will, without a doubt offer you the advantage of being able to choose the flavor profile suits you best in a bean. What’s more, it gains you certainty in quality due to its superior rating. The higher the rating, the better the flavor. True premium coffees start from the upper 80’s. By finding a roaster that consistently rates within the 90’s will ultimately buy you the best java for your buck!

How to Make It As a Fitness Model

People that follow my stuff know I generally write about nutrition, supplements, training, and other topics that are more science based than subjective topics, such as what is covered in this article. I decided to shuck my science geek persona, and write on a topic I know will be helpful to thousands of would be and want to be fitness models. Continue reading

Introduction to Parker Tube Fittings

Parker Hannifin Corporation is the World’s Leading Tube Fitting Authority. Since 1924, Parker has served the marketplace with dependable fluid power technology. Tube Fittings were among the first products manufactured by the company, and Parker has deep roots and expertise in the design of Tube Fittings. The company manufactures Tube Fittings to a very high standard to conform to all major specification requirements. Continue reading

The Essentials of Foods – Breaking Down the Basics

Cupcakes – Awesome Treats For Any Occasion

When it comes to any type of event that you may attend, do not be shocked to find a cupcake instead of a regular cake. Nowadays, cupcakes have become such a huge hit among many people. Whether you are celebrating a get together event or even weddings, cupcakes are the newest desert trend you can see in the table. They are so easy to devour and it is so filled with exploding flavors that will amaze you. Everybody loves these great concoctions. These cupcakes are often underrated but now more people are finding that they truly are an amazing desert that should be praised and loved by many people, click this website now!

The history of which these cupcakes originated are a bit controversial. People would say that cupcakes are made because it cools down faster than a regular cake and that it is more convenient and faster to bake. Whatever origin it came from, the important part is that cupcakes are made and has become an incredible treat that everyone can enjoy. Not only are they very easy to make but they also taste delightful that you surely will love.

They can be used as deserts to any type of special occasion, whether its for a family dinner, birthday party or gathering for that matter. Truly cupcakes are for everyone, you can even serve them at masculine events like a sports gathering. And nothing can be sweeter than giving out these sweet treats to show your love and affection to your special someone on Valentine’s Day.

Not to mention the variety of flavors you can choose from when it comes to baking cupcakes. There are tons of choices you will surely love, you can have the usual white cupcake, or chocolate flavored ones, or the popular red velvet cupcake.

What’s even more exciting it the frosting that comes along with the cupcake that truly makes the cake underneath it taste even better, there also many flavors a frosting can have like strawberry, vanilla, orange-flavored and many more. You can design it with a topping to go with the concept of your special event like with some flowers, cute little animal faces or even with a face.

Nowadays, filled cupcakes are even becoming very popular. A chocolate cupcake filled with some sweet creamy vanilla tastes just as good as it sounds.

Cupcakes are easy to eat with your hands, and you don’t need a fork and spoon to enjoy it delightful taste. These reasons are what makes cupcakes the latest sweet treat that everyone enjoys eating, read more here.

Five Very Popular Coffee Drinks

Coffee is one of America’s favorite drinks and one of the more popular places to drink it is in the office. Keeping your staff supplied with coffee has become one of the more popular perks in offices. The country is crazy about their and some diehard fans of particular brand names, such as Starbucks for coffee, won’t even consider substituting a no name brand. Other people want a specific roast or blend, while still others may have objections to the way coffee is grown or purchased and want a special blend that’s socially or environmentally friendly.

If you provide coffee for your staff, about 65 percent of all workers will consume it, with the average intake approximately three cups a day. Alterra Coffee Roasters conducted a survey of office workers in 2011 and identified those statistics. They also noted that thirty-eight percent of the workers said they needed their coffee to make it through the day. Thirty percent of the workers felt it improved their productivity. It’s become an American office culture where workers now interact around the coffee pot. Whether drinking at the office, a coffee shop or just having a leisurely cup at home, there are some types of coffee that are far more popular than others are. Continue reading

Fitness Personal Training for Healthy and Fit Living

It’s never easy to avoid being a victim of food. Chocolates, ice cream, cake, etc., how can one resist? It’s really hard to avoid digging in to a plate of delicious goodness. But, if you want to stay healthy and fit, do you have to neglect eating?

The answer is no! There’s no need to watch out keenly over your diet. You can lose those extra ounces of fat in your body without having to starve to death. The secret to a healthy and fit life is fitness personal training. Continue reading

Choosing The Delicious Durian fruit

If the durian season arrives, durian lovers will certainly vying for the most delicious durian hunting. Many vendors hawking durian durian-duriannya whether in the streets or even in the supermarket.

In order for us as durian lovers are not disappointed with the taste of durian that we buy, we should consider the tips choose a good durian following.

See the fruit shape
When we are confused to choose the good and the bad durian, durian fruit tips on choosing the first we have seen in addition to considering the taste is by looking at the shape of fruit duriannya. Choose durian durian shaped bulat.Biasanya form that is not going to have a browse round a thick fruit, small grain, and sweet.

See skin
Choose a durian fruit whose skin is not defective. Durian skin defects due to rotten or eaten by caterpillars then most of the content in it is not too sweet and even sour. Then if thorn duriannya big, we will be easy to open.

Duri Durian
Durian thorn it can be used as an indicator of the right to see the quality of the content / duriannya fruit. Choose form a large durian and length as well as dull. Usually this type of durian flesh will show the contents of a thick, sweet, and the meat is dry.

The smell of durian
Tips on choosing the most familiar durian fruit and is often done by paar lovers are of the smell of durian fruit. If the durian fruit has a sweet aroma and is usually cooked and seared flesh will be nice and soft. Sebailknya, if odorless durian or durian less fragrant it is not perfect ripening.

Durian shake
Use your hands to shake the durian fruit you choose. If fruit vibrate when you shake, this means that you choose to have durian flesh is dry and overcooked.

This is because the durian flesh is dry and mature skin will be separated from the inner wall. And tips latter is the durian hit with the butt of the knife. If reads ‘buk buk buk’ it is overcooked and dry durian.

Health and Fitness Tips to Eliminate Stress

Our society is one that is under a lot of stress and this stress is literally making people sick. Stress can run down your immune system, cause sleep problems such as insomnia or over-sleeping, cause gastrointestinal issues such as ulcers and much more. It is extremely important to add a health and fitness routine to your daily life in order to feel better and to reduce stress levels. Stress can be caused by a number of factors such as an illness, a death of someone you love, job expectations, financial difficulties, relationship problems and many other reasons. It is important to understand where the stress is coming from and to learn how to eliminate it from your life.

When developing a health and fitness plan, it is very important to include an adequate amount of exercise. Exercise is not only good for the body, but it is also a great natural aid in reducing stress and tension. Activities such as walking, biking, aerobics and swimming can be great examples of good exercise habits. The average person would greatly benefit from working out for at least thirty minutes, three-five times per week. Exercise alone can greatly reduce stress and anxiety and many doctors highly recommend some form of exercise for their patients who are experiencing an unhealthy level of stress.

Another factor to consider when creating a health and fitness plan is a healthy diet. It is imperative to avoid sugary foods, caffeine, salty foods and foods that contain empty calories such as candy bars. These foods should be replaced with healthy alternatives such as fruits and vegetables, foods that are rich in protein such as nuts and cheese, and yogurt. A proper diet can help to build up an immune system that may be weakened by high stress levels. When the immune system is weakened, there is an increased chance of getting an illness or disease. One should also cut out red meats and eat lean meats such as chicken or fish. These changes can greatly improve the way that a person feels.

It is possible to reduce stress by utilizing a health and fitness plan. It is important to speak to a physician about the stress that a person is feeling and to gain assistance in creating a treatment plan. Stress can interfere with your health and happiness and the sooner that it is under control, the better.

Bill’s Candles

If you are looking to purchase beautiful looking homemade candles, but you aren’t interested in the candle making process yourself, turn to Bill’s Candles. They offer an array of quality candles that you will love. This company started in 1999 after beginning to reprocess candles bought on the market. The candles were reprocessed because the scent had already disappeared. By melting the leftover wax, adding a fragrance, and pouring into a container, new candles were had that held their scent for a very long time.

 

From there, experimenting with various types of candle waxes and molds lead to the invention of Bill’s Candles. The candles you purchase are the result of many labor intense hours. Some of the experiments worked well while others were complete disasters. Finally, recipes for the perfect candles were done and written down.

 

Customers are very happy with the candles they receive from Bill’s Candle. They love that the process is still one done by hand rather than in a factory. Bill also gives his personal guarantee that if you are not satisfied with any candle you can exchange it or get a full refund. The only requirement is that you return in before you have used 10% or more of the candle.

 

Bill’s Candles uses two types of wax. There is the vegetable candle blend and the soy wax. Please note soy wax is only available on the container candle line. Soy candles burn clean without producing smoke. They also burn for a great deal of time. The scent of a candle stays for an amazing length of time with soy candles. The vegetable candle blend is used for pillars and votives. It is American made and gives the candle a very lustrous color.

 

All of the candles offered from Bill’s Candles are hand poured. It is important that you allow at least two weeks for your order because there is no automated process here. What you get are top of the line candles that are 100% homemade. Customers can be assured there is no shortage of selection at Bill’s Candles.

 

This company offers container candles that come in an apothecary jar. Choose from a 10 ounce, 16 ounce, 22 ounce, or 26 ounce candle. You can also choose a classic mason jar container candle. The mason jars come in either a pint or half pint. The lids for the mason jars are gold with a flower design on top.

 

Pillar candles are a very popular type. Bill’s Candles offers a wide range of pillar candles to choose from. Traditional pillar candles can be purchased in most any size. They are available in round and square shapes. Dome top pillar candles add a bit of design to this classic candle. The arch motif has a ridge design in it as well as an arc shape at the top. The fluted spiral has ridges, giving this pillar a very unique design.

 

Round votives are available in the traditional size of 1 ½ x 1 ½. Once you have decided which types of candles you want to purchase, select the color and fragrance you want. There are 30 great colors and over 200 scents to choose from. You will find a full list of colors and scents posted online and in the Bill’s Candles catalog.

 

Bill’s candles offers a wonder variety of homemade candles for you to choose from. The quality is guaranteed. Bill takes great pride in his candle making techniques. Each candle is made with care and customer service in mind. If you are considering purchasing candles from Bill’s Candles as gifts, look at their online store. They offer unique gift baskets and gift sets to choose from. They will also work with the customer to make a customized gift set or basket to meet your needs. This is a small business that still enjoys the candle making process as opposed to manufacturing large quantities to make profits. The love Bill has for his candle making shows in his products and satisfaction guarantee.

The Raw Food Diet Philosophy

A raw food diet is simple. It consists of eating food in their natural state. The food is neither cooked nor adulterated in any way. By eating the bulk of your food in its natural state, you will enjoy a huge improvement in your health and vitality.

The Raw Food Philosophy

More than just a weight loss plan or a fitness diet, this diet is a philosophy based on a lifestyle choice. It demands awareness of the live nutritional value of unprocessed food and provides numerous health benefits. They are low in saturated fats and sodium and high in antioxidants and magnesium, and low in sodium. They are almost free of harmful trans-fats. A raw food diet will detoxify your system. It will lead to natural weight loss.

Raw Foodists

Switching to a raw food diet will be much easier if you are vegan, or at least vegetarian. Those who choose this diet are referred to as raw foodists. This diet is popular with those seeking to be disease-free and full of energy. There are no useless calories, hence no weight gain. The diet also optimizes the nutrition in your food because cooking often kills essential vitamins and minerals in food. By not eating animal flesh or animal byproducts, there are no steroids and hormones to absorb. In addition, the body will quickly begin to flush out toxins with this diet.

Since the diet consists of nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits, sometimes it is necessary to take dietary supplements like protein shakes. However, supplements are not necessary if the diet has been precisely calculated for the various macro and micronutrients the body needs to be healthy and strong.

Variety is added to the diet by making food combinations, using food dehydrators, processors, and blenders. For instance, you can make crackers by blending various raw foods into dehydrator. Chopping or blending it can alter the texture and taste of food.

The general idea is that the higher the amount of uncooked food, the better the health results. It is not the same as a vegan diet because although no animal flesh or byproducts are eaten with that diet, most of the food is still cooked. In addition, this type of diet may, depending on the philosophy of the dieter, include animal products that are eaten in their raw state. Besides seeds, nuts, vegetables, and fruits, the diet may also have eggs, sashimi fish, carpaccio, and unpasteurized milk, cheese, and yogurt.