Category Archives: Cafe

Have You Decided to Give Up Coffee? Try These Alternatives

67Have you finally decided to give up coffee because you are worried about your blood pressure, disrupted sleep patterns, or other health concerns?

If you, like up to 20% of the population in the Western world, have IBS, you have probably learned that coffee is a trigger. Surprisingly, decaffeinated coffee is also a trigger. It is not just the caffeine that stimulates your gut. Coffee contains an enzyme that irritates the digestive tract.

You love the flavor and the entire coffee experience – but you know that coffee is not agreeing with you.

The decision has been made… but you miss that early morning experience… the warm, rich flavor, texture, and aroma… the way it feels as it caresses your tongue and glides down your throat.

Coffee substitutes might be the answer for you.

Grains, nuts, vegetables, and fruits form the basis for many coffee-like beverages. They may be roasted, steeped, or boiled to extract the substances that are used to produce a final dried product that you mix with hot water or prepare like regular ground coffee.

Here are a few substitutes that might be worth trying.

Caf-Lib Original Blend Caffeine-Free Grain Beverage

Caf-Lib is an instant coffee alternative extracted from roasted malt barley, roasted barley, and roasted chicory. It is 100% all natural with no caffeine, sugar, chemicals, or preservatives. It looks and tastes much like coffee without some of coffee’s disagreeable side effects.

Pero Caffeine-Free Instant Natural Beverage

Pero, a product of Switzerland, is made from malted barley, barley, chicory, and rye, with no added ingredients. It is very low in acidity and has a coffee-like taste.

Teeccino Caffeine-Free Herbal Coffee

Teeccino coffee substitutes are rich in inulin, a soluble fiber from chicory root that helps to improve digestion/elimination and increase the absorption of calcium and minerals. It is nonacidic and high in heart-healthy potassium. Teeccino is available in several flavors.

Dandy Blend Instant Grain Caffeine-Free Coffee Beverage

Dandy Blend is macrobiotic, vegan, and gluten-free with no acidity or bitterness. It features the health benefits of dandelion and the rich, full-bodied flavor, smoothness, and texture of real coffee.

Cafix All Natural Caffeine-Free Instant Beverage

Cafix coffee substitute gets its rich flavor from a healthful blend of all natural ingredients… nothing artificial. Ingredients include malted barley, barley, chicory, figs, and beet roots.

Cafe Orzo Organic Italian Caffeine-Free Alternative

Cafe Orzo is made from organic roasted barley. Brew it the way you would coffee – in your drip coffee machine, a drip filter, or in a French press. It is a smooth, nutty drink with a rich flavor.

Crio Bru Vega Real

Vega Real is premium roasted cocoa with natural hints of red berries and dark spice. The earthy-toned beans are harvested at the peak of freshness and then crafted to reveal a luxurious, complex flavor that hints of red berries and dark spice with a cocoa aroma. Making Crio Bru is easy, whether in a coffee maker or French press. The brew is reported as delicious, especially when you add a little sweetener or creamer.

Note: cocoa beans contain small amounts of caffeine. If you are caffeine- or chocolate- sensitive, this may not be the beverage for you.

Natural Touch Kaffree Roma Caffeine-Free Coffee Substitute

Kaffree Roma Roasted Grain Beverage is delicious and satisfying. It is made from roasted malt barley with a touch of chicory. Enjoy the robust, full-bodied taste of coffee without the caffeine, tannic acids, or coffee beans.


The material provided in this article is for informational purposes only. It is not meant to replace proper medical diagnosis, treatment, or advice. Always consult your physician and other appropriate health-care providers before taking any medications, natural remedies, or supplements; or before changing your diet. Discuss all plans, symptoms, and medical conditions with your doctor.

Any use of the ideas contained herein is at your own discretion, risk, and responsibility. The author assumes no liability for any of the information presented. There are no representations or warranties, either express or implied.

Why Not Go On An Ethical And Organic Holiday

70Are you of the opinion that the last thing you want to hear about when planning your holiday is ethics? Nearly everyone wants sun, sea and sand guilt free. If only it were that easy! Tourism, as the worlds leading industry, has increasingly detrimental effects on the environment.

With 1 billion people set to travel, every year, by 2010 this situation can only get worse, unless we begin to think further than our sun screen factor. The author looks at a few local and international holidays and day trips that can minimise your effect on the environment and contribute to positive change.

International Trips and Community Tourism
Look for small companies who use locally managed tours and where conservation measures are already in place and where time is given over to gaining insights into the local environment and the lives of local people.

Community tourism aims to benefit and include the local communities, particularly indigenous people. Always check holidays are run with the involvement of local people and a fair share of profits goes back to local projects. Its like Fairtrade, but not for coffee….for holidays!

Environmental Working Holidays

Willing Workers on Organic Farms and the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV) have projects in the UK and overseas. BTCV are offering a unique experience, the chance to do something practical for the country you visit and make a contribution to conservation on a global scale.

Day Trips

Why not visit an Organic Farm and:

 Walk a farm trail and enjoy the countryside and its wildlife.

 Organise an inspiring school visit.

 Stock up with the freshest food at the farm shop.

 Taste the farm produce at farm cafes.

 Enjoy special open days or even stay on a farm.

Riverford Organic Vegetables want people to share our enjoyment of growing and eating good, seasonal, organic food. A farm visit followed by a meal in the Field Kitchen gives you the chance to experience the link between the field and plate, and to sample some outstanding cooking in a beautiful environment.

Why not stay at an Organic Hotel?

Penrhos Court Country Hotel has been a Herefordshire farm for 700 years, a country restaurant for over 25 years with hotel rooms for ten years. It has always been in the food business and the food business is its reason for being. Its future is to help protect our natural environment and the food it provides.

What is the Green Tourism Business Scheme?

Welcome to the Green Tourism Business Scheme. We are the largest and most successful environmental accreditation body of tourism related businesses in Europe and have over 500 members in the UK, including amongst others, accommodation providers, visitor attractions, tour operators and conference facilities.

While on Holiday why not eat at an Organic Pizza Place?

We were concerned about the extensive use of chemicals and fertilisers in virtually all food products and wanted to offer the ever-demanding customer a more wholesome menu. The menus from the food to the wine, and the branch decor are all full of natural flavours, textures and tones.

Find these companies and more ethical travel ideas in the authors website.

Coffee Titans Clash Over Espresso Centric Market

66Two loosely allied US coffee giants, Starbucks and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, started taunting each other over who can project dominance in the espresso home market emerging in North America. In dueling press releases, CEO’s of both giants leveled their espresso centric ambitions publicly on March 9, 2012.

On that date, Seattle, WA based Starbucks revealed its plans for a new home café’ brewing system called Verismo scheduled to debut this fall. This new machine focuses on production of espresso, rather than a traditional American brew made popular by the Keurig k cup system. Green Mountain owns Keurig, and Starbucks has its own stake in k cups sold with the Keurig system. Patents on k cup technology expire later this year leading to a reshuffling by market players.

While there is still a sense of collaboration on the k cup platform, the relationship between the two allies may have been strained by the recent market launch of the new Keurig Vue brewing system that is incompatible with k-type capsules. This shift by Green Mountain has opened a window for Starbucks to make the first move into a new espresso turf. Some potential vulnerabilities of the new Keurig Vue system include a machine price increase to $250, up from around $150 for previous models, and Vue capsule unit cost to $0.75 versus around $0.40 for a k cup.

For many years, US consumers have eyed espresso-based brewers for home café. One of the main buyer obstacles in choosing espresso machines was its price listing well beyond $300. Recent price drops, however, have brought the cost of home espresso machine close to the level of the Vue system. Starbucks sees the same price point for Verismo and is now vying to lead into the nascent espresso market in US.

Eager to defend its dominant position in the coffee single cup business on the very day of the Verismo pronouncement, the Waterbury, VT headquartered Green Mountain, immediately, fueled speculations of coming out with its own semblance of an espresso machine that uses Lavazza espresso capsules. Its public statement did not convey the time for roll out and product details.

Neither openly sparring party has offered specifics of its respective espresso machine design. These open-ended assertions suggest that both products are still in the development phase. Naturally, either camp also wants to keep design and commercial secrets close to the vest.

In the meantime, world food giant Nestle, displayed its Nespresso Zenius, which uses a proprietary espresso disk, in a recent New York trade show. Its market focus is, oddly, on the hospitality industry where their machines are placed in luxurious hotel suites for in-room service.

Posturing over the evolving home espresso market in US may be vital to each coffee behemoth. Consumer views published recently by Mintel, a global supplier of market intelligence, show the growing preference for single servings available in espresso pods by a margin of 55%. Another 35% of those surveyed noted that pod-style machines produce consistent taste each time.

The case can be made that single cup consumers will embrace the espresso brewing process over the regular coffee made from k and Vue type portions. Europeans, especially Italians, know that it requires a high-pressure pump and optimum temperature control to extract the best oils from coffee. This culture is resolute on seeing a top layer of golden crema, or creamy foam, which renders proof of a good extraction of coffee nectar. Keurig devices typically use low-pressure means, which can result in a less complete oil pull out.

While US coffee goliaths duel in speculative terms over who can cross over to the home espresso sector first, HealthCafe, whose relative stature is that of a “david” in home espresso solutions based Northern New Jersey, has a head start. Its sales representatives are calling on retailers across the nation to market the miniBarista S-1600 espresso/cappuccino pod system poised for prompt distribution.

HealthCafe has chosen the pod format in single cup brewing for numerous reasons. One is its inherent ability to filter out an LDL cholesterol inducer called cafestol from the beverage. Another is coffee freshness is preserved longer with nitrogen displacement. Most importantly for consumers, the pod follows the ESE industry standard adhered to by a multitude of pod machine and coffee pod manufactures. Capsules, on the other hand, have little cross-compatibility, none is known to have nitrogen-displaced packaging and none in this class is known to be effective in blocking cafestol.

Coffee Tips – The Shelf Life of Coffee Beans

65Cool, dark, dry storage? Refrigerator? Or Freezer? What is the best place to store and maximize the shelf life of coffee beans? Following are some tips to help improve your coffee experience and extend the shelf life of your beans.

Commercial shelf life after harvest,

  • Green coffee beans are generally stored in a dry environment and can last up to ten years or longer.
  • Stored green beans are known as “aged coffees.”
  • Aged green beans lose their acidity and gain body.

Consumer shelf life after purchase,

  • Coffee beans that have been roasted have a shelf life of two to four weeks if properly stored.
  • After two weeks, the coffee can begin to lose flavor so it is always a good idea to buy fresh coffee frequently.
  • Ideally speaking, coffee should be ground just before drinking it.
  • The best way to store the unused coffee is in the bag in which it is packaged.
  • Bags for roasted coffee are made in such a way as to keep the roasted coffee fresh without having a negative effect on the coffee’s taste.
  • Place the coffee bag inside an airtight container away from light and moisture at room temperature or cooler if possible.
  • Coffee beans are porous and absorb moisture and odors. They are also perishable and will lose aroma and flavor over time.
  • Yes, you can extend the “freshness” life of unopened bags of specialty coffee. Place them inside a freezer bag and close securely. Doing this step seems to reduce the roasted coffee beans further “out-gassing” through the one-way valve in the side of the bag. We tried it and it noticeably retains the coffee’s fresh taste and aroma.

Membership in a coffee club is an excellent way to have freshly roasted coffee beans on hand for regular consumption but not so many that shelf life becomes an issue. Buy what you will use in the next two to four weeks.

So, are you now ready to enjoy a cup of rich, bold, spicy and earthy Sumatra Mandheling specialty coffee?

Timothy (“Tim”) S. Collins, the author, is called by those who know him “The Gourmet Coffee Guy.”
He is an expert in article writing who has done extensive research online and offline in his area of expertise, coffee marketing, as well as in other areas of personal and professional interest.

Matcha Green Tea Latte Recipe

64Matcha green tea lattes have become a popular twist on the cafe favorite of the standard latte. They yield a unique smooth flavor and a beautiful deep green color. It is important though to use high quality matcha when making matcha lattes otherwise your latte will have a very bitter or very strong grassy flavor, typically associated with low quality or fake matcha.

Another benefit aside from its great flavor to the matcha latte, is its added health benefits. Matcha is made from extremely finely ground Japanese gyokuro green tea. So the actual powder is the entire green tea leaf, which has been shown many times to have a wide array of vitamins (including C and E), minerals and is very high in antioxidants. Studies suggest that 3 cups or more of green tea daily can provide protection against cancer. However for those with difficulty consuming caffeine, matcha lattes are probably not for you. The typical matcha latte contains half as much caffeine as its espresso counterpart but is still fairly high, at about 35mg.

Here is a simple recipe for a delicious matcha latte. Easy to enjoy every morning.

-1 Cup Milk (Soy or Almond also work)
-1/2 – 1 tsp Latte Matcha

Prep Time: 2 min
Cooking Time: 1 min

Heat milk. This can be done fairly quickly in a microwave in a heat proof container for one or two minutes. This can also be done on the stove in a pot, or by using a milk steamer.

In a blender, add hot milk and then your matcha. Blend for 30 seconds on medium speed. It is important to add your matcha after the milk, if matcha is added first, it will have a tendency to stick to the container.

Pour and enjoy.

*If you do not wish to use a blender or do not have one, a milk frother also works, so does a whisk in a bowl, a frothing wand or a milk steamer.

Foam tips:
-Skim milk or soy milk produce the most foam with a finer texture. Whole milk produces larger bubbles, and almond milks foam tends to not last as long.
-When using a milk steamer, starting with cold milk will give you a finer texture.
-When using a blender, do not go to high of speed and let it sit for 30 seconds after blended so the larger bubbles will pop and the foam will settle.