Four cups of coffee is the perfect amount

A new study, which appeared recently in PLOS Biology, shows that a physiologically-relevant dose of caffeine protects cardiovascular cells from damage. That dosage amount? Approximately four cups.


Caffeine has long been associated with a reduced risk of Type 2 Diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. However, the link to these diseases was yet to be discovered. According to researchers Judith Haendeler and Joachim Altschmied, a mitochondrial protein, p27, may be the culprit. The protein is known to protect heart muscles from cell death, helping to repair the muscles after a heart attack. This research overturns the assumption that the elderly should avoid caffeine. This and over 100 studies have shown the beneficial aspects of coffee consumption in decreasing the risk of breast, colorectal, colon, endometrial, and prostate cancers.


Another recent study, this time conducted by NIH, showed that coffee consumption is related to a lower risk of all-cause mortality. The sample group included over 400,000 Americans aged 50 to 71. Another multinational study of over 500,000 Europeans confirmed the finding.


Coffee, however, should not be seen as a cure-all. Drinking four cups of coffee every day—the magical number—is not enough to give an individual’s sedentary lifestyle a pass. Regular exercise and a good diet still matter and may indeed be intervening variables in some of these studies. However, the shown statistical significance proves coffee’s ability to improve overall health. If you find yourself needing that fourth cup of coffee to make it to the end of your work day, go ahead and reach for it.


Read the original article at BigThink.

Smart coffee maker allows users to control every aspect of brewing

A new brewing system is taking the “Smart Coffee Maker” market by storm. The Behmor Connected Brewing System, which retails for around $170, allows users to pre-program and control multiple aspects of the brewing process. The controls are accessible via smartphone and, yes, your Amazon Echo.


This new brewing system can be preprogrammed to start brewing at any time. You can set the machine to pre-saturate your grounds for as long as you prefer, allowing for optimal flavor and caffeine extraction. You can control the temperature (anywhere between 190 and 210 degrees Fahrenheit), and you can share control with various users—family, coworkers, or housemates. That is, if you want to.


The Behmore Connected Brewing System is also durable and made to withstand pretty much anything. The double-walled steel carafe can keep your coffee hot for several hours, and the machine itself looks pretty great on a kitchen counter. The smart functions are optional, which means users can also brew their coffee by manually inputting relevant information on the machine itself.


Additionally, this device can’t complete a few operations. It can’t, for example, grind your coffee beans. It can’t fill its own reservoir with water, and it can’t clean itself after you brew a pot. However, when it comes to convenience, unmatched control, and automatic timing, we don’t really mind grinding our own beans.


Read the original article at Business Insider.

The future of soda might be coffee

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.