Can a robot brew the perfect cup of coffee?

Coffee shops are a great place for friends to hang out and even get some work from the office done. They also make up a $30 billion industry and a company in Texas is trying to capitalize on that with a unique spin on the typical coffee spot.

Students at the University of Texas, in Austin, are some of the first to experience The Coffee Haus. These automated kiosks from the startup Briggo take up just 50-square-feet of space and claim to brew the best cup of coffee.

 

“We are a coffee company. We’re not a machine company, so we’re absolutely dedicated as a company to create great coffee for customers,” said Briggo’s president and chief executive officer Kevin Nater. “We’re actually just giving it to you in the ultimate coffee experience relative to the way coffee’s been done up to this point.”

The prototype allows customers to customize their coffees, lattes, espressos, Americanos, and cappuccinos. Experts source and roast their signature beans and the kiosk is stocked with fresh dairy, gourmet syrups and sweeteners.  A robot makes what the company says is the perfect cup.

“The one thing missing in this system is the barista,” said Nater. “The one thing that is here is consistency around automation.”

Briggo is hoping to take a bite out of the $80 billion worldwide coffee industry that includes heavyweights like Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, The Coffee Bean and Peet’s.  Recently the largest growth has come from machine made single serve pods.

For example, in just five years, sales of Green Mountain’s K-Cups have exploded from $50 million to $5 billion and Nestle’s Nespresso brings in $3.5 billion.

Peter Crippen owns REX, just across Tenth Avenue from the CBS Broadcast Center in New York City.  Crippen’s baristas are trained professionals and at the shop, a market priced pour over coffee, or a latte is considered a work of art.

He told “CBS This Morning” contributor Lee Woodruff that the coffee is better when a barista’s human hand touches it.

“The barista is constantly changing how they’re making the coffee, because temperature changes, that affects your grind,” he said. “So they’re constantly changing what they’re doing to make it perfect.”

However, at Briggo, it’s even more scientific. Computers analyze moisture and temperature as well as allow you to order your cup right from your phone.

Nater told Woodruff that they are not asking people to stop frequenting coffee shops, but are planning to use their kiosk to fill a void.

“The coffee shop is a beautiful experience. We’re not asking people to stop going to coffee shops. We’re basically planning to put this in locations that aren’t necessarily suitable for a coffee shop,” he said. “Customers want access to barista quality coffee, but 24 hours a day.”

Briggo plans to open a second kiosk at Austin-Bergstrom international, and is looking to brew up business in more cities

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COCONUT MILK, A COMPLETE FUNCTIONAL FOOD?

It’s not surprising to see some poor reactions in some people when coconut milk is mentioned. Many associate this particular milk with fat and worried their waistline would expand because of the fat content of coconut milk (Cocos nucifera). But is their fear really well-founded? What are the benefits of this natural plant-based milk?

It is true that coconut milk is high in fat, but it is not the unhealthy kind. Coconut milk is high in saturated fat especially lauric acid, the same type of fat that is also available in breast milk.  When synthesize by the body, it produces high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, or the good cholesterol as we call it, and help lower our risk of developing heart diseases and even stroke. Lauric acid also a medium-chain fatty acids, thus easily turn into energy, and quite potent in helping the body getting rid of viruses, bacteria and fungi. Apart from lauric acid, this refreshing plant-based milk is also rich in bioavailable omega-3, omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids. Our body is able to absorb and utilize more of these fatty acids from coconut milk than from other sources.

Coconut milk contains both phosphorus and calcium. We all know how important calcium is needed by the body to build strong and healthy bone. However, calcium alone is not enough, it is co-dependent with phosphorus for bone cells growth and development and to maintain the overall skeletal system health. There is a chance that coconut milk might help to prevent osteoporosis from happening.

High potassium level is also present in coconut milk.  Vital in stabilizing blood pressure and internal fluid balance, potassium is needed to maintain healthy heart, kidneys and nervous system. Together with manganese that also exists in the milk, blood sugar level is maintained. The mineral also acts as electrolyte to transmit electrical charges for cell communication from central nervous system to throughout the body.

Drinking this natural vegetarian milk might help prevent anemia as it contains iron, assisting the body to build enough hemoglobin and act as oxygen carrier, supplying oxygen to all cells. Iron is present in muscle tissues too, providing them with oxygen for contraction and to ensure elasticity. It also provides adequate oxygen to the brain and helps prevent neurodegenerative diseases.

Interestingly, despite being rich in minerals, coconut milk does not contain too many vitamins, only vitamin C and E and B complex are present with quite high level of vitamin B3. Both vitamin C and E are antioxidants that protect the cells and tissues from oxidative stress. Vitamin C is essential in synthesizing collagen to strengthen and give flexibility to organs. Meanwhile, vitamin E helps protect the blood vessels and eyes from macular degeneration and other eye problems. Vitamin B3 lowers LDL cholesterol and increases HDL cholesterol, improve joint mobility especially those who suffer from osteoarthritis.

In many ways coconut milk is beneficial to our health. But like all good things, it needs to be consumed in moderation to get the most of its benefit.

Source:Joy Amaze

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California coffee shop opens with beach theme so all the baristas wear bikinis

WATSONVILLE, California (KSBW) — There’s a coffee house in California that’s getting a lot of attention these days.

It’s not the java that’s got attention, but the baristas who serve up the hot drink.

You see, at Bikini Coffee in Watsonville, the baristas wear bikinis instead of the traditional coffee house dress.

Some residents and nearby business owners say the coffee house owner has gone to far, but he says there’s nothing dirty about the dress code since the coffee house is near the beach and is based on a beach theme.

He says his baristas are only allowed to wear beach appropriate attire, in other words nothing to skimpy.

The female employees say they’re comfortable serving up hot drinks in nothing more than a bikini.

They say they are simply wearing the same thing they would wear on a public beach with young kids around.

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How we should export Philippine coffee

In 2003, when I was still the CEO of a major coffee chain in the Philippines, I set my sights on the international market both for Philippine coffee and our coffee shop franchise by joining each and every show where we could meet potential buyers.

We joined Gulf Food Fair in Dubai in February; Foodex Japan  in March; Asean Japan Center in June; Scandinavian roadshow in June; Anuga in October 2003 and Seoul Food as well.

In 2004 onwards, we did shows in Shanghai, China and also displayed our coffee in Ifex Philippines. We brought  roasted Barako coffee,  and we also started sampling Organic Coffee after having participated in the First Organic Coffee Conference in Uganda, East Africa and opening our eyes to the Organic markets in Europe.

In 2005, we started an Organic certification program which would run for two years. Finally, in 2007 we successfully gained an organic certification for Benguet State University’s Farms as certified by IMO of Switzerland. It cost us a lot of money but still there were no orders to fill a container. There was no market for roasted coffee. Everyone wanted to buy raw or green coffee.

I left the coffee shop chain in 2008 and concentrated on visiting coffee farms to get high-quality coffee. I knew we could do it if we got the specs right.

In 2011, the Philippine Coffee Board Inc. visited Laos to visit coffee farms and to sign up with the Asean Coffee Federaton (ACF). We became a member of ACF which brought us to farms in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

In the same year, I went to Chongqing, China to look into the Women Vendor  and Exhibition Forum(WVEF) Program of the International Trade Center (ITC) and We Connect International.  I met Accenture Global and they placed an order for delivery to Accenture Philippines under the WVEF program. In April 2012 we started our deliveries to Accenture of roasted coffee. We delivered in the Philippine offices, not abroad.  This finally convinced me that roasted coffee can only be sold here while importers will definitely need Green coffee.

In 2012, we chose the farmers we worked with, saw to it that beans were processed properly as our international buyers had very high standards. We brought in an international coffee farming expert who surveyed our coffee areas and gave us the assurance that our soil and terrain were perfect for coffee.

2013 saw the completion of our plan. We now pick the best coffee origins, make sure they are processed properly and sell them as roasted coffee and also as Micro Lots to micro roasters as choosy as we are.

Now, we know that we can export small batches or micro lots of the best Philippine coffee by variety, by elevation, by distinct taste and flavor profile.

It has been a good ten years. But now, we can compete with specialty coffees of the world. We will bring in professional cuppers  as we have brought in other international experts in farming, to verify our claims.

Philippine coffee is as good, if not better, than other coffees.

We will sell them as high quality specialty coffee. And that’s not a secret.

If there is Jamaican Blue Mountain, and Hawaiian Kona, there is Benguet and Sulu as well.

In the recent Biofach Japan 2013 show at Tokyo’s Big Sight our plans for Philippine coffee were confirmed. The Japanese really buy only raw beans and roast it themselves. I found a café that has two small roasters in its tiny shop in the center of Ginza. And the master roaster, now 99, has started this business back in 1948.

At the show, we found our audience for green beans. A gentleman from Fukuoka, Japan who buys and roasts coffee from Mexico and East Timor was excited about Philippine coffee. After all, we are also nearer to him than Mexico, saving him a lot on freight for as long as quality is comparable or even better than other coffees he has tasted.

We are grateful that the Dept. of Agriculture has started joining Organic and Natural Expositions where the buyers are more specific and pointed towards Philippine products that are super foods and are organically-grown and sustainably-sourced.

Even the Ifoam representative Omkar Gopalakrishnan and Nurenberg Messe official Petra Wolf understood what we meant by “green coffee” that was natural and traceable. Our very own DA Undersecretary Berna Romulo-Puyat helped us bring the VIPs around the Philippine pavilion at the expo.

This is a better way to export specialty coffee. And a new business opportunity for coffee growers who take extra care during harvest and processing of coffee.
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Caffeinated coffee linked to lower risk of oral cancer

ISLAMABAD: A new American Cancer Society study has found a strong inverse association between caffeinated coffee intake and oral/pharyngeal cancer mortality.

The researchers revealed that people who drank more than four cups of caffeinated coffee per day were at about half the risk of death of these often fatal cancers compared to those who only occasionally or who never drank coffee.

But they said that more research is needed to elucidate the biologic mechanisms that could be at work.

Previous epidemiologic studies have suggested that coffee intake is associated with reduced risk of oral/pharyngeal cancer. To explore the finding further, researchers examined associations of caffeinated coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and tea intake with fatal oral/pharyngeal cancer in the Cancer Prevention Study II, a prospective U.S. cohort study begun in 1982 by the American Cancer Society.

Among 968,432 men and women who were cancer-free at enrollment, 868 deaths due to oral/pharyngeal cancer occurred during 26 years of follow-up. The researchers found consuming more than four cups of caffeinated coffee per day was associated with a 49 percent lower risk of oral/pharyngeal cancer death relative to no/occasional coffee intake (RR 0.51, 95 percent confidence interval.

A dose-related decline in relative risk was observed with each single cup per day consumed. The association was independent of sex, smoking status, or alcohol use. There was a suggestion of a similar link among those who drank more than two cups per day of decaffeinated coffee, although that finding was only marginally significant. No association was found for tea drinking.

The findings are novel in that they are based specifically upon fatal cases of oral/pharyngeal cancer occurring over a 26-year period in a population of prospectively-followed individuals who were cancer-free at enrollment in Cancer Prevention Study II.

“Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world, and contains a variety of antioxidants, polyphenols, and other biologically active compounds that may help to protect against development or progression of cancers,” said lead author Janet Hildebrand, MPH.

“Although it is less common in the United States, oral/pharyngeal cancer is among the ten most common cancers in the world. Our finding strengthens the evidence of a possible protective effect of caffeinated coffee in the etiology and/or progression of cancers of the mouth and pharynx. It may be of considerable interest to investigate whether coffee consumption can lead to a better prognosis after oral/pharyngeal cancer diagnosis,” she added.

The study is published online in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

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