As the world becomes increasingly aware of environmental impact, individuals and communities have sought to reduce waste. From reusable water bottles and bags to brewing coffee at home, finding environmentally-friendly alternatives to standard one-time-use items is easier now than ever before. In fact, reusable coffee cup popularity has exploded in the past month; the English government plants to impose a 25p “latte tax” on disposable cups, and a number of major coffee chains have begun to offer special discounts for those who bring in their own travel mugs. These reusable coffee alternatives, however, may pose a separate risk—this time, to the individual’s health.
Public Health England has released a statement explaining that reusable travel cups must be cleaned after every use; failure to do so may result in the growth of potential harmful bacteria. The warning is directed at the rising number of office workers using reusable cups continuously throughout the day, often without washing them. Nick Phin, the deputy director for national infection service at PHE, said in the statement: “As with regular cups and glasses, wash and clean reusable cups thoroughly after every use.”
PHE explains that bacteria can grow when food or liquid builds up in the cup or around the mouthpiece—a particularly tricky section to clean. To hinder this buildup, the deputy director recommends filling the cup with soapy water, attaching the lid, and shaking for several seconds. This is especially important for coffee products containing dairy and sugar, as these add to the likelihood of growing potentially dangerous bacteria.
Read the complete, original article at The Telegraph.
Eighty-three percent of American adults start their day with a cup of coffee. From Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks to Caribou and Pete’s Coffee, everyone has a preferred shop and a personal order. But these shops require us to leave the comfort of our homes—why not just brew a great cup at home? With the proper equipment and an experienced hand, you can brew a cup of coffee that rivals those of your favorite boutique shops. Here are a few products to help you out.
Ember Temperature Control Ceramic Mug—This gadget will keep your coffee warm for hours on end. Dubbed the “World’s Most Advanced Mug,” users can adjust the temperature of the drink, letting you choose whether you want it to stay piping hot, cool to a specific temperature, or roll right down to room temp.
Aeropress Coffee Maker—This lightweight and portable machine is the best way to enjoy a great cup on the go. If you spend a lot of time hiking, backpacking, on vacation, or just removed from any source of freshly-brewed coffee, this is the tool for you.
Nourish Glass Top Scale—Everyone knows the perfect cup of coffee requires precise measurements. Whether you’re making instant coffee or grinding your own beans, you’ll never mess up the coffee-to-water ratio again with this simple device.
Hario Skerton Hand Grinder—Brewing the coffee, when done correctly, requires the accumulation of several home-use tools. Sometimes, those prices can add up. This affordable coffee grinder will turn your beans into a pulp in just a few seconds. It’s not too bad to look at, either.
Read the complete, original article at Digital Trends.
On January 30th, Keurig Green Mountain, a giant in the coffee industry, acquired Dr. Pepper Snapple—the maker of 7 UP, Hawaiian Punch, and several other popular soft drinks. This buy-out signals a shift in coffee and caffeine culture at large; companies are seeking to turn coffee into an all-day drink rather than just a staple of a morning routine.
This particular acquisition is one of many in the quest to rebrand and reinvent coffee in America. In the past two years, several of the country’s largest coffee chains and beverage-makers have aggressively pushed into new product lines aiming for afternoon and evening consumption. This includes, but is not limited to, Panera, Stumptown, and JAB Holdings, Keurig’s corporate parent.
Though Dr. Pepper seems incongruous in the lineup of trendy and boutique coffee roasters, analysts say that it fits the mold; transforming a morning cup of coffee into a worthy soda alternative is an increasingly popular trend, as it seeks to expand market reach while, seemingly, improving public health. According to James Watson, a Rabobank senior beverage analyst, there are two reasons for this shift.
The first concerns the habits of young people. They are less likely to make their own coffee at home, thus shifting back the hour of the average coffee break. To illustrate, the National Coffee Association found that only 1 in 10 coffee drinkers had a cup at lunch in 2010. The figure rose to 1 in 4 by 2016. Moreover, individuals have begun to turn away from soft drinks for their high sugar content. Watson explained, “We’re seeing these coffee drinks now that actually resemble soda. It’s a way to get into the segment because coffee is natural and healthy and tracks with consumer trends.”
Read the complete, original article at The Chicago Tribune.
California maintains a list of chemicals considered to be possible causes of cancer. Unfortunately, new data shows that acrylamide, a chemical created during the coffee bean roasting process, is on that list. In 2010, the nonprofit Council for Education and Research on Toxics filed a lawsuit in the Los Angeles County Superior Court to address the potential risk. The suit targets several nationwide and international companies that make or sell coffee—this includes Starbucks, 7-Eleven, and BP. The organization alleges that the defendants: “failed to provide clear and reasonable warning” that drinking coffee may expose individuals to acrylamide.
Under the California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986 (known colloquially as Proposition 65), businesses must provide customers with a “clear and reasonable warning” if potentially harmful agents are included in a specific product. The lawsuit claims these particular stores have failed to provide adequate warning, and the organization is demanding that informative signs be posted for convenient reading within the coffee shops.
This lawsuit, however, is only one step toward a larger goal. The attorney representing the nonprofit, Raphael Metzger, explained that the organization wants to reduce the amount of this particular chemical to the point where it poses no significant cancer risk. At the time of this posting, at least 13 of the defendants have settled and agreed to provide a warning.
Read the full, original article at CNN.