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.

Coffee vs Sodas

Is Coffee Healthier Than Soda?

 Many people depend on caffeine to jump start their day, but the source of the caffeine and the amount of caffeine is important to your health.

 Caffeine is considered safe if you stay within the recommended limits.  Too much caffeine can rob your body of calcium and cause a significant increase in your blood pressure.  Your daily intake should no more than 400mg.  The amount of caffeine in beverages varies greatly. For example, the amount of caffeine in coffee is greater from one variety to another and soft drinks vary from one manufacturer to another.

An eight ounce cup of brewed robusta coffee typically has 95-150 mg of caffeine.  Some soft drinks can have up to 55 mg of caffeine.  The leading source of caffeine for US adults is coffee consumption. The leading source for children is soft drinks.  That means 80 to 90 percent of adults and children consume caffeine habitually.  Studies show that staying within recommended caffeine limits can promote a person’s ability to pay attention.  30 mg or less of caffeine can alter mood and affect a person’s behavior, while 100 mg daily can cause physical dependence along with withdrawal symptoms upon abstinence.  Of course all of this depends on the person’s physical condition, weight and sensitivity to caffeine.  If a person consumes more than his tolerance, his thinking abilities and concentration worsen and the health risks increase.  Too much caffeine includes sweating, anxiety, tenseness and inability to concentrate.

Now here is the other side of the story. Coffee gives you that little extra kick and has been proven to improve your health in other ways. Soft drinks on the other hand have that little kick but can cause health problems in children and adults.  One soft drink contains approximately 18 packets of sugar. Over consumption of sugar is a major cause of obesity and diseases such as diabities  Just drinking one 12 ounce can per day can add an extra 16 pounds to your weight annually. Not only is the sugar bad for you but you need to consider the other ingredients as well.  Sugar substitutes, flavoring, preservatives and artificial colors.  None of which have any health benefits. 

 If you are looking for a caffeine fix that is healthier for you, try a good cup of organic coffee without all the fixings.

 

Why Do Some Roasted Coffee Beans Have A Bitter Taste?

Why Do Some Roasted Coffee Beans Have A Bitter Taste?

All coffee drinkers at one time or another complain about having a bitter cup of coffee. Most coffee drinkers will relate the bitterness to one of the darker roasts. If asked what they associate bitterness with; they would tell you that it is the acidity of the coffee.

However, there is a problem with that conclusion. The acidity of a dark roast is less than half of what the acidity is in a medium roast.(From around 1.5% for a medium roast and as little as .70% for a dark roast. Yes, excess acidity is a factor, and some volcanic mountain soils, such as the soil on our farm in Costa Rica, needs a slight pH adjustment from time to time. Because we grow organic coffee beans,we add calcium to the soil. Costa Rican coffee beans are renowned for having just the perfect acidity. There are many different acid compounds in coffee beans, and a perfect balance in these compounds result in an excellent cup of coffee.

A Greater source of bitterness

Bitterness in roasted coffee beans can also be the result of excess caffeine. Many, if not all, large coffee companies (you are familiar with their names), blend in a certain percentage of a different coffee bean. It is called Robusta and is a very inexpensive way to expand production. Robusta has roughly twice the caffeine of the coffee bean grown in Costa Rica, which is called an Arabica bean. Arabica beans have a reputation for being the very best variety and coffee growers in Costa Rica are not allowed to cultivate Robusta beans.

So, what is the best way to eliminate the bitterness in your roasted coffee beans?

The very best way to eliminate bitterness in your cup is to purchase a very high quality organic coffee bean. Keens Beans offers one of the best Costa Rican organic coffees on the market.