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Drink Coffee, Live Long(er) and prosper….

There is an article in Melbourne’s “The Age” Newspaper, sharing the wonderfully exciting news that scientists (probably the same ones that can’t seem to agree on the issue of Climate Change) have suggested that if you drink coffee you will live longer, although the article then goes onto say that “The study doesn’t prove coffee makes people live longer, only that the two seem related.”  So I think what they are saying is that you will live longer if you drink coffee, but drinking coffee will not necessarily make you live longer….confused?  Me too – perhaps I need another coffee.

The article goes further by saying that “Even a single cup a day seemed to lower risk [we assume the risk of death in general, not the death star, climate change or being hit by a bus – although that is not clear] a little: 6 per cent in men and 5 per cent in women. The strongest effect was in women who had four or five cups a day – a 16 per cent lower risk of death.” Which then raises the question – if you drank nothing but coffee, 24/7 – would live forever?  Read the article here.

Domestic Espresso Machines

This is not a phrase you hear that often among friends (unless you are a tradie, or a golfer, or a …) but let’s talk about your equipment.  What do you use to maintain the caffeine component to your blood stream when all the good coffee shops and cafes have closed (or you just can’t be bothered going out)?

My first coffee machine was purchased with a voucher that my wife and I received at our wedding.  After purchasing copious amounts of tupperware and knives, she graciously allowed me to get a ‘cheap’ machine from Target (I know, I know – I look back in shame) and so I came to have a semi-automatic DéLonghi with an inbuilt milk frother tub on top.  It served me very well for a few years while I learnt more about the wonders of coffee, but I knew that as I wondered from kitchen to kitchen, that my little old DéLonghi (a precursor to the current ECO310W) was only holding my coffee appreciation back.  So, when the milk frother packed it in – in the words of the Lion King’s Rafiki the monkey “It is time!” [As an aside, I sold my old espresso machine for $1 on the weekend at our Moving In Sale]

When not in a cafe, here I can be found

I consulted with Choice Magazine, and joined the forum over at and even consulted my  coffee guru for his sage advice and for the money that I had available (which wasn’t much) they all agreed that I couldn’t go past the Sunbeam Café Series® EM6910.  I did my research, and found the unit I wanted at nearly $100 less that the RRP that also came with a free  Café Series® Conical Burr Coffee Grinder EM0480. That was two years ago this month, and we couldn’t be happier.  What I like about my machine is that with the trademarked “TPTT™ System of twin pumps and twin thermoblocks” which ensures stable water temperature, it allows me to texture of milk and pour an espresso shot simultaneously – my only criticism of the machine is the lengthy amount of time it takes to texture the milk from fridge temperature into the lows 60s.  Read the rest of this entry

Coffee Apps for the dedicated addict

The more vigilant of you would have realised by now that it has been over a week since my last coffee review, and then it was week between the last one before that – so I feel I owe my avid reader(s) [let’s face it – the (s) is added in as a sign of hope for than anything else] an apology for leaving you in the lurch (you rang?) but the dearth has not been without reason.  I have been busy – with a seven week old baby at home, a busier than usual pastoral load, mentoring a bible college student and preparing a Spring Series called “The Exodus – Their Story/Our Story/THE STORY” – spare time to travel an hour to find a coffee shop and read has been hard to find – and if I am to be totally honest, I cannot see that changing any time in the foreseeable future.   That does not mean that MakeCoffeeNotWar will go into hiatus – oh – nosireebob!

Today I want to write about Coffee Apps for your phone (not iPads – because I really can’t see the point), with a particular focus upon Apps for the iPhone – because as an owner and user of the Apple iPhone for over seven days now, I feel that I can write with a certain amount of expertise on the subject [insert space for reader to laugh uncontrollably and then run off to the toilet….] Read the rest of this entry

Roasting your own beans?

James Vyver from ABC 666 in Canberra (never knew it was that obvious…) has written a short little article, based upon an interview for their drive program with Louise Maher and posted it on the local ABC website titled “Feast: the dark art (but of course – ABC 666) of coffee roasting” – while you will find more indepth and better information with a quick Google search – it is an informative little article with a 35 second clip showing Martin Smith’s (Wagonga Coffee) Roaster in action.  In the article, which is basically an quasi-interview come infomercial for Martin, James writes:

It’s one of the most traded and most consumed products in the world, but exactly how does coffee go from plant to cup?

Getting the bean from its raw state into your latte requires a skilful and precise process. There are many chapters in each stage of the coffee production story and indeed many endings – the adjustable variables along the production line can give a multitude of flavour profiles to the finished product.

“Hazelnuts, walnuts, carbonised, raisins, cinnamon, allspice, cardamom…these are the descriptors of the aroma you can get off of coffee” Martin Smith described, owner of Wagonga Coffee which is a local roaster.  It all starts with the coffee plant, where the ripe beans or fruit have a different appearance to what you might imagine.”There’s two main varieties; cafe Arabica and cafe Canephora…when they’re growing the fruit goes from green to yellow to a bright red and that’s when they’re picked”

To read more, click HERE

editorial note:

On the right is the cafe Arabica bean – from which we get most of our good quality coffee – and on the left is the cafe Canephora, or as it is commonly know Robusta – which is where lots of the mass produced coffee comes from because it is easier and cheaper to grow with a high yield.  Robusta, while coming from the home of coffee Ethiopia, is now grown in huge quantities in south east asia,  gave rise to the post world war 2 boom in instant coffee….

Café Marketing in the IT Age

Let me preface this by saying that I do not – in any, way, shape, or form consider myself to be an expert in anything that follows – however as a frequenter of café everywhere, there is very little written below that I do not endorse as the way to go.  I guess the only thing that goes unsaid in what follows is that (a-z) you need to have great staff who love coffee and in no way see a customer as an inconvenience.

I also do not kid myself that there are a plethora of café owners who log in to their email everyday just waiting to see what the latest news is from is – but in case there is one, or two who are regular readers here, but are not yet regular fivesenses readers – then what follows I think is worth its weight in bandwidth.

Ashley Brian has written a great article on “Using the Internet to Market Your Café” and not only is what she has to say worth a read, but some of it – for those of the younger Gen X brand – will be surprising – for example the idea of creating a website for your café is only the third most important thing your should do – not the first, when it comes to the Internet.  She writes:

Read the rest of this entry

What’s your coffee base?

Over on the Five Senses website, Jennifer Murray – winner of the 2008 Western Australian Barista Competition and now Five Senses’ beloved buyer of the world’s best green beans – writes about the genesis of every cup of coffee – no matter how you drink it (real coffee – none of this instant stuff that dissolves in water…)  She writes:
“Sure, perfectly steamed, silky milk enhances the coffee experience and yes, some milk brands taste better than others. However, let us not forget the real player here — the often neglected espresso base that has evolved for better or worse as the industry has grown. Here’s a look at some of the current trends and ‘faux pas’ that exist in cafés today, and what you can expect in the cup as a result…”

She then goes on to explore the three bases, with their pros and cons:

  1. Single Shot Espresso (25-30ml)
  2. Double Shot Espresso (50-60ml)
  3. Double Ristretto (25-30ml)
She concludes by saying “So, as you can see, these different methods definitely create three different results in the cup. None of which are incorrect, it all comes down to personal preference. Just keep the cup size in mind, and remember that a larger size doesn’t always mean a bigger coffee, it may just mean a milkier one.”
To read the details of each base, click HERE
What is your experience?  Have you had the large coffee which was over extracted, watery and milky?  I have – you’d be better off with a Macona (joke).  Tell me about your experiences – good and bad.

Do you want Coffee and a Job?

For a chance to Win 1KG of Axil Coffee simply sign up to Mail.

The lucky winner will be sent 1KG of freshly roasted coffee from Axil Coffee Roasters. The prize will contain 250g of their Sesonal Espresso Blend as well as 3 x 250g Single Origins which will be hand picked and roasted by 2011 Australian Barista Champion, Matt Perger.

To register, visit their site at the above link, or click HERE

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