Cooking With Organic Coffee

Dark Moist Gingerbread

Delicious by the slice!  However, the dark roast organic coffee, blackstrap molasses, and the sharp taste of  fresh ginger, makes it wonderful with ice cream or any sweetened cream or fruit.  Complete the perfect meal with a slice served warm with whipped cream and sautéed sliced pears.

¼ cup of Keens Beans Vienna, or any other dark organic  coffee.  Strongly brewed.

½ cup (1 stick) of unsalted butter at room temperature

½ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

2 large eggs

2/3 cups black strap molasses or other dark, full flavored molasses

½ cup sour cream

2 tablespoons fresh grated ginger

2 cups all -purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon of cloves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease and flour a 9-inch spring form pan or 9-inch square baking pan.

Sift together the flour, baking powder,  baking soda, cinnamon and cloves onto a sheet of waxed paper; set aside.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well before adding the next.

Stir in the molasses and blend.  Add the sour cream, coffee, and ginger and blend well.  Add the dry ingredients and beat until the batter is smooth.

Pour the batter into the  prepared pan.  Bake it for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the edges of the gingerbread pull  away from the sides of the pan and the center springs back when lightly touched with a fingertip.  Let the gingerbread cool slightly on a wire rack before cutting in into wedges or into 2-1/4 inch squares.  Serve warm or at room temperature.  Don’t forget the fresh brewed cup of Keens Beans Organic Coffee to compliment this delicious recipe.

Makes 12 – 2-¼ inch squares.

Coffee, A Beneficial Beverage

Coffee, A Beneficial Beverage

Coffee, A Beneficial Beverage

 

Over the years coffee has been accused of causing more than a few different health problems. Now that we are doing dedicated testing of coffee we are finding the opposite to be true. Over 1800 studies have found that coffee actually provides many diverse health benefits. A recent study in Sweden strongly suggests that a daily dose of coffee may reduce a women’s risk of a stroke by as much as twenty-five percent.  Other studies have found a link between coffee drinking and a reduction in dementia and Alzheimer’s disease and even a reduction in certain forms of brain cancer. Scientific studies show the risk of type 2 diabetes is lowered by coffee consumption. It is suspected that coffee’s high level of antioxidants may boost cells’ sensitivity to insulin which regulates blood sugar. Yet other studies implicate these antioxidants in lessening the risk of strokes. It is speculated that the compounds in coffee widen the blood vessels which results in a lower blood pressure.  Recent research suggests that coffee drinking may even lower the incident of liver diseases including cirrhosis.

We, as growers of organic Arabica coffee beans, believe that if you want to optimize your daily coffee consumption, organic Arabica beans are certainly the best choice. Most of the negative side effects that coffee drinkers experience are caused by excessive caffeine. Excessive caffeine may even contribute to heart disease, as well as other problems. Pregnant women should limit their caffeine intake to around 200 milligrams daily and people who have trouble getting to sleep at night shouldn’t consume coffee in the afternoon hours. The most important thing to remember is that most major brands blend Arabica beans with the less costly Robusta coffee bean. Robusta is a lower grade bean with twice the caffeine. So, do yourself a favor and drink the best, organic Arabica coffee. Your health and your taste buds will appreciate the difference.

Coffee And Politics

Coffee And Politics

Coffee and Politics

Coffee is the ultimate beverage of American politics.  In the mother country during Queen Anne’s reign, poet Alexander Pope – who inhaled the still-novel brew to relieve his “me-grim” headaches, had praised “Coffee, which makes the politician wise/Who looks at all the world with half-shut eyes.”  He referred of course, to the gossips and parliamentary hangers-on  who naturally congregated in London coffeehouses to dish the latest dirt.    In America, the coffeehouse also became  haven for partisan prating and plotting,

In fact, Daniel Webster dubbed the Green Dragon coffeehouse a Boston hangout from 1697 to 1832, “the headquarters of the Revolution” because of all the Patriot activism simmering there.

The British tax on tea had brewed a revolution, sparking the Boston  , along with earlier, more violent protests in Maryland, South Carolina, and other colonies.  Tea plunged, and untaxed coffee bobbed up as the beverage of choice, dominating American hearts and palates ever since.  “Drank coffee at four,” tutor Philip Fithian noted in his diary of his stay at a Virginia plantation;  “they are now too patriotic to use tea.”

It was therefore apt that, on 23 April 1789, arriving in New York City for his inauguration as first President of the United States, George Washington was escorted to a reception at Merchants’ Coffee House.  Although Radicals attacked Martha Washington’s “monarchist” airs in her formal entertainments, she scotched the bad press by unpretentiously rising early every morning to brew her own coffee.

Coffee inevitably flowed into electioneering, Most commonly associated with hard cider, William Henry Harrison’s “Tippecanoe and Tyler, too!” presidential run of 1840-the first real mass-market campaign- also produced china coffee and tea sets adorned with the candidate’s picture.  Since then (although campaign crockery has degenerated into paper or styrofoam cups) creamers, sugar bowls, and tea spoons have all sought to stir voters.

Nineteenth-century coffee-and-tea firms gave out cards and other gimmicks picturing the candidates as sales promotions.  Customers purchased extra packs of beans, trying to complete sets of the national tickets or even of governors of all the states.  A century later, cheap coffee mugs had become a standard campaign souvenir. 

The election of 1988 saw the sale of identical Bush and Dukakis coffee blends by Rochester, New York’s Starlite Gourmet Coffee Company (now apparently out of business).

So when you go to the polls to vote, have a cup of coffee and think back on how long coffee and politics have been together.

Organic Coffee For Your Garden

Organic Coffee For Your Garden

Recycle those coffee grounds in your garden

It’s that time of year to get your garden ready.  Your organic coffee grounds are great for your garden.

Your coffee grounds make a great additive to a compost pile as they have a very high carbon to  nitrogen level.  The coffee will provide a good level of acidity and will add a great texture to your compost.  It will not make the compost more acidic over time.    Microbes in the composting process will turn the grinds from acidic to neutral ph levels.  To compliment the coffee grinds in a compost add egg shells.  Worms love coffee grounds and by adding coffee grounds to your compost piles this will promote their activity as they feed on them.  Coffee grinds are acidic with a ph level of about 4.0.  Plants that prefer more acidic soil , like azaleas, tomatoes, hydrangeas, blueberries and rhododendrons love it.  Be careful not to add to much to plants that are highly sensitive to acidic levels.  You can be safe by mixing your coffee grounds with garden soil for a topping layer in your garden.  This will allow a slow release of coffee into the soil and will keep the coffee from molding.  If you have slugs or snails, this will help deterr them.  It takes about 2-3% of caffeine to kill them, but putting your coffee grounds which are .05% will keep them away.

Enjoy your morning cup of organic coffee and then get gardening.

The Story Behind Decaffeinated Coffee

The Story Behind Decaffeinated Coffee

Do you know how they decaf coffee

As grower’s and seller’s of organic Arabica coffee beans from Costa Rica we can easily explain the positive aspects of organic beans, but it is a little more difficult to explain why we don’t market decaffeinated coffee beans. Do you know the real story behind decaf coffee?  We hope this helps explain the downside of decaffeinization.

Most importantly, any decaffeinating process will alter the taste of the final product.. There is absolutely no doubt about this fact. Most decaffeinating is accomplished by repeatedly soaking the green coffee beans in a solvent that bonds with the caffeine and then steaming the beans to remove the solvent/caffeine solution. The solvents used are generally either methylene chloride or ethyl acetate. It is assumed that these chemicals are removed by the steam. The second method, the Swiss Water Method, uses large amounts of water percolated through charcoal to wash the caffeine from the coffee beans. The only downside to this method is that the extensive washing alters that wonderful Arabica flavor. There is also a third method now being employed. It uses carbon dioxide to isolate and remove the caffeine. We don’t think there is enough history to understand how this method may interact with the rather delicate composition of the coffee bean. We shall see.

We firmly believe that Arabica coffee beans generally don’t have a high enough caffeine content to cause health issues. We believe that many of the problems are caused by excessive caffeine and excessive acidity in many of what we call “supermarket” brands. However, having said that, if a person is truly sensitive to any amount of caffeine, then in the near future they may have an alternative to drinking decaffeinated coffee. Brazilian scientists are working on developing a caffeine free Arabica bean discovered in Ethiopia, and Asia is offering an Arabica bean called “Excelsa”, that has such a low caffeine content that, when blended with caffeinated Arabica beans, yields a cup of pretty good Arabica coffee with about a third of the normal caffeine.

Make sure when you grab that cup of coffee in the morning that it is a healthly cup of coffee for you.  No chemicals is a great way to start.  An organic arabica bean coffee is the best way to finish.  Try the organic coffees vs the decaf’s and see what happens.  Enjoy your morning brew, without the worries.