8 MEMORABLE STUDIES ON HAPPINESS


Memorable Happiness

Perform random acts of kindness.

Yep, the research agrees with the bumper sticker: Doing nice things for others really does cause a chain reaction of joy. Positive acts trigger positive emotions in both giver and receiver which boosts happiness, reduces stress and leads to better overall wellness. But the word “random” is key here: If your acts of kindness become routine (e.g., you do the same kinds of nice things for the same people), they can start to feel like a chore. Sporadic kindness is a lot more fulfilling, so mix it up.

Be money savvy, not money hungry.

Running the rat race isn’t fun if you’re constantly chasing higher wages or comparing yourself to high-earning friends. Researchers discovered in 2013 that fixating on an “aspirational” income, rather than a realistic one, will negatively affect your life satisfaction and jeopardize your happiness.

Balance work and life the Norwegian way.

When it comes to the list of the world’s happiest nations, the U.S. didn’t even make the top 10 in 2013. Turns out, Norwegians are the cheeriest people on the planet. While Norway is one of the richest nations on earth, the real secret to Norwegians’ joy is their ability to balance their work and home lives.

Be “curiouser and curiouser” at work.

According to the UN’s 2013 World Happiness Report, people who are more curious, creative and motivated than others are generally more successful at work, which dramatically improves their overall happiness. Being extra collaborative with colleagues is another proven mood booster. So make friends at the office, even your boss will thank you.

Get on top of your finances.

Studies show that households with greater disposable incomes tend to be generally happier overall. A good first step for the non-uber-wealthy is to work on balancing your family’s accounts. By reducing debt, you’ll free up more of your finances, so you can invest in things you enjoy, rather than things you need.

Don’t hit the Facebook wall.

Spending hours on Facebook “connecting” with friends? Turns out, the more time you spend on the addictive social network, the unhappier you might become. One study found that while Facebook can make people feel more connected, many users are constantly comparing their networks to others’, and that fosters loneliness, poor self-esteem and even depression.

Spend your money on experiences, not things.

Experiences are more fulfilling than objects and more deeply connected to our sense of self. If you invest in life-affirming activities, money really can buy happiness!

Try to be happier.

Weird but true: According to two 2013 studies, simply trying to get happy by listening to joyful music, for example can literally boost your happiness.

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BEAT THE MONDAY BLUES

Monday is here again. Does the day trigger overwhelming feelings of anxiety, sadness, or stress? Do you lack passion and motivation on Monday morning? Are you sluggish or tense? If you’re nodding affirmatively, you might have a case of the Monday Blues.

Monday Blue

“The ‘Monday Blues” describe a set of negative emotions that many people get at the beginning of the workweek if they’re not happy at work,” says Alexander Kjerulf, an international author and speaker on happiness at work. “It contains elements of depression, tiredness, hopelessness and a sense that work is unpleasant but unavoidable.”

The Monday Blues are so prevalent that they have become a cultural phenomenon, “and this makes it easy to laugh them off as ‘just the way things are,’” he says. “But they can be much more than just a passing tiredness; they are often a serious warning sign that something is not right at work. If you were happy, you’d be excited and energized on Mondays, not tired and depressed.”

Rita Friedman, a Philadelphia-based career coach, agrees. “If you love your job and are passionate about what you’re doing, going in to work Monday morning is another opportunity to do what you love,” she says. “But if you’re feeling under-appreciated or unsatisfied with your job, it can be especially difficult to start another seemingly endless workweek.”

As it turns out, your case of the Mondays can have a negative impact on your performance and productivity—as well as the people around you.

“We know from countless studies in psychology and neurology that your current emotional state has a huge effect on the quality of your work and when you’re feeling blue you are less productive, less motivated, more pessimistic, less creative, less engaged and learn more slowly–just to mention a few effects,” Kjerulf says.

Ryan Kahn, a career coach, founder of The Hired Group, star of MTV’s Hired, and author of Hired! The Guide for the Recent Grad, says the Monday Blues are contagious. “Your stress or bad mood can drastically change the overall work environment,” he says.

Friedman agrees with Kahn assessment. She says everyone’s productivity is affected by your Monday Blues. “When you’re unhappy at work, it makes it very difficult for those around you to be happy, and oftentimes just one worker with a case of the Mondays can spread the doldrums to the whole team.”

Here are 11 ways to beat (or avoid) the dreaded Monday Blues:

  • Identify the problem.

“The first thing to do is to ask yourself what’s wrong,” Kjerulf says. If you have the Monday Blues most weeks, then this is not something you should laugh off or just live with. It’s a significant sign that you are unhappy at work and you need to fix it or move on and find another job.

Sara Sutton Fell, CEO and founder of FlexJobs, suggests making a list of the things that are bringing you down in your job. “Maybe it’s a negative co-worker or a meeting with your boss first thing on Monday morning, or maybe it’s that you don’t feel challenged–or maybe it’s all of the above,” she says. “In either case, clarifying what is bothering you can help you try to be active in finding solutions. It’s a way of empowering you to take charge and try to improve the situation.”

Kjerulf says if you only suffer the occasional bout of mild Monday Blues, then you can do some things to successfully cheer yourself and others up on an otherwise dreary Monday.

  •  Prepare for Monday on Friday.

“Mondays can be extra stressful from work that has potentially piled up from the previous week and, for many, can be challenging to jump right back in,” Kahn says.

To help combat that Monday morning anxiety, be sure to leave yourself as few dreadful tasks as possible on Friday afternoon, Friedman says. “By taking care of the things you least want to handle at the end of one work week, you’re making the start of the next that much better.”

If you do have any unpleasant tasks awaiting your attention Monday morning, get them done as early as possible so that you don’t spend the rest of the day procrastinating or “feeling as if there’s a black cloud hanging over your head,” she says. “Make that uncomfortable phone call, resolve that outstanding issue, or clean up that mess that’s waiting for you. You’ll feel a lot better once it’s over.”

You’ll also want to make sure your calendar is up to date and synched, and you have a good view of and handle on your upcoming work week–especially Monday, says Deborah Shane, a career author, featured writer, speaker, and media and marketing consultant. “What do you need to prepare for and get organized with? Get it done Friday, or by Sunday, if possible.”

  • Make a list of the things you’re excited about.

“We often look at the week ahead of us and think of all the tough stuff we have to do and the difficult tasks ahead of us,” Kjerulf says. “Turn that around. Sunday evening, make a list of three things you look forward to at work that week. This might put you in a more positive mood. If you can’t think of three things you look forward to, that might be an indication that you need to make some changes.”

  •  Unplug for the weekend.

If possible, try to avoid checking work e-mail or voicemail over the weekend, especially if you’re not going to respond until Monday anyway, Friedman says. “It can be tempting to know what’s waiting for you, but drawing clearly defined boundaries between work and personal time can help keep things in check. When you leave the office on Friday, leave your office problems there and focus on enjoying your time off. Sometimes going back to work on Monday feels especially frustrating because you let it creeps into your off-time, and so it never even feels like you had a weekend at all.”

  • Get enough sleep and wake up early.

Go to bed a little early on Sunday night and be sure to get enough sleep so that you wake up feeling well-rested, Friedman says. “If you’re only running on a couple of hours of sleep, it’s unlikely that you’re going to feel good about going anywhere when the alarm goes off Monday morning.”

Although it might seem counter-intuitive, waking up an extra 15 to 30 minutes early on Monday morning can actually make going back to the office easier. “Having a little more ‘me time’ instead of feeling like you’re trapped in a time crunch can make that transition a little easier,” she says. “Taking the time to enjoy a healthy breakfast, do some exercises, or take the dog for a walk can help you feel more centered for the rest of the day, and can help you remember that you’re not a robot who just sleeps and works.”

  • Dress for success.

“Dress up, perk up and show up ready to be positive and help others be positive,” Shane says. “Be the light and energy that makes others have a better day. Show and share your spirit, charisma and vibe and make yourself magnetic.”

Kahn agrees. He suggests you use Monday as the day to wear your favorite new outfit. This can help build your confidence around the office and might get you a few complements from co-workers, he says.

Sutton Fell says when you look good, you feel good. “Feeling good about yourself is half of the battle on Monday mornings, because rather than being deflated by work you want to face it with confidence.”

  • Be positive.

Start the week out with an “attitude of gratitude,” Kahn says. “Take time to recognize and appreciate the things that you enjoy about work.”

This starts before you even get to work. To pump yourself up on your way in to work, try listening to your favorite songs, Friedman says. “Think about the type of playlist you would create for a workout, and incorporate that same upbeat, high-energy music into your morning preparation or commute.”

When you get to the office, do your best not to be a complainer–and keep your Monday morning grumpiness to yourself, Friedman adds. “In the same vein, don’t listen to other people’s Monday gripes. Creating or contributing to a culture of complaining is no way to improve your attitude.”

Shane says you must make a decision to turn negative reluctance and dread into a “positive, productive and excited welcome to Monday energy.” Start with Friday and make sure your desk is organized, and your work to-do list is ready to go for the following week. “Take Sunday to rest, review and reward, but plan for and get ready to leap into Monday.”

If you’re able to be a source of positivity in the workplace, not only will you make your day more enjoyable, but you’ll also make the work environment better for those around you, Kahn concludes.

  • Make someone else happy.

Make a vow to do something nice for someone else as soon as you get to work on Monday, Sutton Fell suggests. “Doing nice things for other people definitely can lift the spirits, and in this case, it could actually help shift the overall mood in your office,” she says. “Paying it forward can yield great results all around.”

Kjerulf concurs. He says we know from research in positive psychology that one of the best ways to cheer yourself up is to make someone else happy. “You might compliment a co-worker, do something nice for a customer, help out a stranger on the street or find some other way to make someone else’s day a little better.”

  • Keep your Monday schedule light.

Knowing that Mondays are traditionally busy days at the office, a good strategy is keep you Monday schedule as clear as possible, Kahn says. “When you’re planning meetings ahead, try to schedule them for Tuesdays and Wednesdays. This will help you to come into Monday with more ease from the weekend.”

Instead of tackling the biggest and most complicated tasks early on Monday, take some time for easier, more routine stuff, Kjerulf says. “This might get you up and running and give you the energy for the hairier tasks.”

But beware: If you have too much free time—you’ll sit around “feeling blue,” Shane says.

  • Have fun at work.

Take it upon yourself to do things that you enjoy in the office on Monday, Kahn says. “Maybe bring donuts for your colleagues or take a quick break to catch up with friend in the office. Sharing stories about the weekend with co-workers can be fun and also is a great way to strengthen your interoffice network.”

Sutton Fell says to schedule a weekly Monday coffee break or lunch with a friend. “Create an event that you will look forward to on Mondays as a way to break up the day with some known positivity.  At the very least, it gives you a chance to take a deep breath, talk with a friend, and regroup for the rest of the day.”

  •  Have a post-work plan.

Your day shouldn’t just be about trudging through Monday to get it over with, but about looking forward to something. “By making Monday a special day where you get to go out with friends, make your favorite dinner, or eat a bowl of popcorn and catch up on a TV show you recorded, the day doesn’t have to be all about getting up to go into the office,” Friedman says.

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Source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2013/02/25/11-ways-to-beat-the-monday-blues/

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5 COMMON DISEASES PEOPLE MIGHT NOT REALIZE THEY HAVE

By: Sean Williams

– Williams specializes in the health care sector, but also interested in mining, retail, technology, and small-cap stocks.

According to the World Health Organization, there are 12,420 disorders, diseases, and health-related ailments that could potentially strike us each and every day. Yet somehow we not only survive, we’re managing to thrive, as life expectancy rates around the world continue to rise. The Global Burden of Disease Study conducted in 2010 showed that the number of deaths over age 70 had risen to 43% worldwide, from 33% just 20 years prior.

Doctor-CheckUp-Disease

This increase in life expectancy can be attributed to increasing awareness of serious diseases, improved pharmacological vaccination rates, and lower worldwide poverty rates that have resulted in better eating habits.

What’s worrisome, though, is that there are a number of disorders and diseases, some very serious, and some not as immediately serious that are carried, unknowingly, by people for weeks, months, and in some cases years. Getting these diseases under control and improving awareness of the unknowing carriers of these diseases could help improve a quality of life, and has the potential, over time, to make a meaningful impact on worldwide life expectancy. Let’s have a look at five common diseases care sector that often go undetected by people.

Diabetes

Although diabetes is a global problem, it’s particularly prevalent in the United States, due to the fact that nearly 34% of the U.S. population is considered obese, and diabetes often links with obesity.

According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are currently 25.6 million people in the U.S. with diabetes, 7 million of whom are currently undiagnosed. To add insult to injury, the CDC also notes that there are an additional 79 million adults in this country showing signs of pre-diabetes, a condition that could lead to full-blown diabetes later on in life.

Diabetes is certainly a manageable disease if caught early and treated regularly, which is why it is crucial to get people to see their physician for preventative visits.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis, one of the most common infectious diseases — and one that is both curable and preventable is found in its latent form in about 2 billion people worldwide based on statistics from the World Health Organization. Only 5% to 10% of those latent virus carriers will have the potential to develop the active form of the disease at some point in their lives. However, next to AIDS, tuberculosis is the next-greatest single-agent killer in the world. It’s an especially virulent disease in lower-to-middle-income countries where 95% of all tuberculosis deaths occur.

Hepatitis C

Based on data from the CDC, there about 3.2 million people infected with hepatitis C, a liver disease, in the United States and as many as 75% of those people have no clue they carry the disease. Over time, hepatitis C can lead to liver cirrhosis and even liver cancer. WHO statistics peg the number of worldwide cases at approximately 180 million, meaning, if the CDC’s estimates are extrapolated, some 135 million people around the world are clueless that they have this disease.

This could be a shining moment for a medical device maker like OraSure Technologies, which makes a point-of-care test for hepatitis C – the OraQuick HCV Rapid Antibody Test. In New York, for example, a law was recently passed requiring health-care service providers to supply one free test for hepatitis C to baby boomers born between 1945 and 1965. With improved testing and awareness, improved treatment results should follow.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD, is responsible for about 120,000 deaths in the U.S. every year, and is characterized by blockage and inflammation of the tubes of the lungs, making it difficult for a patient to breathe. Smoking is, without question, the predominant factor that often leads to COPD.

According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a subsidiary of the National Institutes of Health, there are more than 12 million people in this country diagnosed with COPD and an additional 12 million who are undiagnosed and likely to have this disease.

Obviously, preventative care and increased awareness are the first steps to catching COPD early, but unfortunately there is no cure. However, over the past year we have witnessed the FDA approval of two new long-term COPD treatments from the likes of GlaxoSmithKline and Theravance Breo Ellipta was approved in May to reduce COPD exacerbations and reduce airflow obstruction, while Anoro Ellipta was approved just last month as a once-daily treatment for airflow obstruction. Together, each therapy is expected to generate in excess of $1 billion in peak sales.

Heart failure

Not to be confused with a sudden heart attack, heart failure is a progressive condition that comes about as a result of a heart attack, chronic high blood pressure, or even diabetes, which affects the ability of the heart to pump blood throughout the body.

Based on statistics from the Heart Failure Society of America, heart failure affects nearly 5 million people in the United States, is the only cardiovascular disease that’s still on the rise, and is widely unnoticed by a number of patients. Part of this has to do with minimal research funding and an incomplete understanding of what occurs in heart muscles that cause them to weaken over time. In fact, the HFSA notes that the number of annual diagnoses has more than doubled since 1979.

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JOYAMAZE CLEMENTINE TIRAMISU

2014 is here. We, at JoyAmaze rang the New Year with easy yet decadent dessert – tiramisu. Since clementines are still abundant, we decided to whip up the dessert using the lovely citrus. To complement the fruit’s sweet, tangy flavor, we use our dark roast Energy coffee; amazing blend of gourmet beans, perfectly roasted to bring out the intoxicating taste and aroma. The chili infused chocolate is use to add a bit of heat and piquant pleasure.

JoyAmaze Recipe Tiramisu

JoyAmaze Recipe – Tiramisu (Serves 8 person)

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup mascarpone cheese

  • ¼ cup icing sugar, sifted

  • 2/3 cup JoyAmaze dark roast Energy coffee, chilled

  • 1¼ cup double cream

  • 4 clementines

  • 3 tablespoon clementine juice

  • 120 gram ladies fingers biscuits

  • Dark chocolate chili bar, shaved

  • Unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting

Steps

  1. In a large bowl, put in mascarpone and icing sugar. Beat them for 1 minute. Stir in 2 tablespoon of the coffee. Mix well.
  2. Whip the cream with 1 tablespoon of orange juice until it form soft peaks. Add a tablespoon of mascarpone mixture, stir well. Then fold in the remaining into the cream mixture.
  3. Spoon a bit of the cream mixture in to a bowl, smooth the top.
  4. Pour remaining coffee and orange juice in a shallow dish, slightly wider than the ladies fingers biscuits.
  5. Dip the one side of each biscuit into the coffee mixture and arrange them onto the cream mixture in a single layer. Add shaved chocolate.
  6. Spoon another layer of cream onto the chocolate layer. Repeat step 5.
  7. Cover the dish with cling warp and refrigerate it about 3 hours.
  8. Scoop the tiramisu on a dessert plate and enjoy.

 

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Nestle launches supersize coffee brewing system to take on Keurig

Fox News, 4 March 2014

Americans sure love their large cup of coffee.

That’s something that Nestle, with its supersizing Nespresso brewing system VertuoLine, is hoping to capitalize on.

The new single-serve coffee system uses different capsules than those that fit into the popular Keurig machines.  It produces eight types of 8-ounce servings along with four espresso blends, including its first-ever half-caffeinated Grand Cru, vanilla and hazelnut flavors.

The pods also come equipped with barcodes on the rim which automatically recognize what kind of brew you’re making so you don’t have to manually adjust the settings each time. How’s that for blindly making your morning coffee.

The U.S. is brewing a taste for single-serve coffees.  According to Euromonitor, North America is the second-largest in the $8 billion single-serve market, behind only Europe.  While Nestle blows away the European market with its 70 percent share, it has just a 3 percent share in the U.S.  That’s compared with Green Mountain’s Keurig machines that dominate with a 72 percent share.

Several other companies have their own single-serving machines, including Cuisinart, Mr. Coffee AND even Starbucks.

“The North American portioned coffee category has seen tremendous growth, with sales tripling in just three years,” said Frederic Levy, president of Nespresso USA in a release. “Despite a number of in-home offerings in this market, there is no system that delivers the quality and taste in a large-cup offering for which Nespresso is known.”

It’s unclear whether Nestle will be able to win people over with their idea of a big cup of java as opposed to a dainty shot of espresso.

To get more people drinking their coffee, Nespresso is been opening a string of boutiques across the U.S., with the latest location in Dallas. Last year it opened its largest in Beverly Hills, Calif.

This month, Nespresso will take VertuoLine for a 17-city tour, where people can get free coffee and a demonstration of how the system works.  Go grab yourself a big cup while you can.

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MATH BY HAND: KEEP YOUR BRAIN STIMULATED

In the early years of school we learn the basics of math. Those skills definitely are used in many aspects of our lives. However, as adults we tend to rely on other methods for calculating things. As a result our skills aren’t nearly as sharp as they used to be. Have you ever been out with friends for lunch and then struggled to divide the total bill three ways? Simple math can become a struggle if you don’t work on it.

Math

One of the main reasons why this part of your brain isn’t as sharp as it used to be is that we have too many handy resources. We tend to use calculators for everything including balancing our check book and setting up our budget for the month. Most software programs have built in calculators too so that you don’t have to check the math as you create spreadsheets or other materials either.

The retailers do this for us as well. For example when there is a big sale on clothing many of the items have a percentage off on them. The sign on the rack may say 30% off the retail price. Instead of having to figure out that savings on your own though the will have a chart attached to the rack. This tells you the full price and then the sales price with that 30% reduction.

So how do we get that ability to do math very well back? The answer lies in taking the time to practice it. Do your math by hand and you will be able to strengthen that part of your brain. Put the calculator aside and do your math by hand. Many people are able to do it quickly when they can visually see the numbers they are working with.

As your math skills significantly improve you need to challenge yourself to do more of the math in your head. This is more difficult but as you work at it you will find that you are able to do it in no time at all. This is going to come in time as you work at math skills. You will be able to quickly determine how much of the bill is yours as well as how much of a tip you should leave based upon your balance that is owed.

Some say and evidence supports the left brain theory that if dominant left brain you’ll have no problem when it comes to symbols such as words, letters, and math notations. The left-brain person is at home with linguistic and math or logic problems.

When you go back to doing math by hand and in your mind it is going to take you more time than before. This can be frustrating if you deal with numbers often throughout the day. However, keep in mind that such exercises for the brain really do have a significant purpose. You will be pleasantly surprised too as you notice your skills improving over the course of time.

If you aren’t confident in your ability to calculate things in such a way you can keep a calculator handy or math. However, make a rule that you only use it after you have made a very good attempt to get the answer on your own. You can use the calculator as a way to verify that your answers are correct.

The more your challenge yourself to do your math by hand or in your mind the more your mind is going to benefit. When we stop using a part of our brain functions we will lose them. Don’t allow that to happen and if it already has then you have the ability to change it now.

Don’t stop here… Word games, brain teasers, logic puzzles, and math puzzles can give your brain a real memory workout too.

The game of chess has always had a reputation for being tailor made for super-intelligent people. Chess is an excellent game to improve the mind, but there are other games that would do much the same thing, man logic and math puzzles or games too. A lot depends on the individual who is playing the game. If a certain game is a challenge for you, and you can tell it makes you think a bit harder than you normally do, then that game will be just right for you to use in order to exercise your mind and memory.

 

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Kona Coffee: A Gold Standard, From Under the Volcano

When Pele, the mythical Hawaiian volcano goddess, spewed forth fiery molten lava from the Hualalai volcano, did she know she was laying ground for one of the finest coffees in the world?

High on the hillside, the Pacific Ocean shining below and the volcano rising above, lies the home of Kona coffee. Flourishing in the cloud forest (one level below the rain forest in elevation), a vine-clad jungle of giant ferns and tropical flowers surrounds the orchards of some very special coffee trees.

Like appellations of French wine, coffee can only be called Kona if it’s from the Kona region, a swath of land that stretches in a 30-mile band above the southwest coast of the big island of Hawaii.

What’s so special about Kona coffee? Like many Central American coffees, it’s made from Guatemalan Typica, a strain of Arabica, the granddaddy of coffee beans of ancient origin. Just as early man first stood on two feet in East Africa, the first coffee plant rose off the ground in Ethiopia.

Missionaries first brought coffee to Hawaii in 1810, fortuitously following Hualalai’s most recent major eruption of 1800-1801. Wiping out every living thing in its path including several villages, the eruption covered the slopes with a flow of lava that poured from crater to coast.

And as life on this planet is wont to do, destruction was followed by creation. It just happens that volcanic rock is remarkably rich in nutrients. As one islander told me, “You want something to grow in a lava field? Just add water.”

But this is true for all the Hawaiian Islands, so why is Kona coffee especially good? The answer lies in the unique terroir of this band of land. At a latitude between eight and nine degrees north of the equator, the mild tropical climate gets just the right amount of rain on a well-drained soil. Sunny mornings are tempered by afternoon cloud cover that protects the plants from scorching in the sun. These propitious elements combine in a magical alchemy to produce a cup of joe that’s aromatic, full-bodied and smooth, a java drinker’s delight.

At 3,200 feet, these prime conditions are enhanced at the Mountain Thunder coffee plantation, the highest and largest organic coffee plantation in the Kona region. On rocky inclines, owner Trent Bateman grows 80 acres of Arabica beans organically- no herbicides, no pesticides, no GMOs. His coffee plants are nurtured with TLC.

Twenty-five years ago when Trent bought his property, a transplant from Long Beach, California, the land was not considered particularly desirable. Neighbors told him it was too high and too steep to grow coffee plants. But when Trent’s construction job dried up after a few years and he stood at the kitchen window one day mulling over what to do, he noticed that a single coffee tree outside his kitchen window had not only grown, but was full of red berries- the fruit that contains the coffee bean. So he cleared some land and planted more.

The steep grade of the property doesn’t encourage running farm machinery, and this restraint dovetails nicely with Trent’s organic operation, as the care and tending of his plants is done by hand, from planting to tilling to fertilizing to picking. Trent’s wife and grown children make the plantation a family affair, along with a friendly staff and an assortment of useful if noisy barnyard animals.

Fertilizer is farm-made, a compost of seaweed, cherry skins, coffee husks, pruning clippings, and pretty much any rich organic material available. Free-roaming donkeys and sheep contribute random manure droppings, and geese, hens and some handsome roosters do weeding and pest control.

When the coffee tree fruits, its red berries — called cherries although they look to me more like cranberries — are handpicked and then subjected to a multi-step production process. The wet mill strips the cherries of their skin, leaving a mucousy film around the seed that aids in the fermentation, an 18-hour soak in water. (Why is so much good food and drink fermented? Beer, wine, cheese, bread, pickles… it’s comforting to know there can be an advantage to rot.)

The fermented beans are raked across drying decks under a low translucent roof where the temperature rises to between 110 and 120 F. The beans are stripped of their outside skin (like that of an almond, but thinner) and then sorted. Like the sorting hat in Harry Potter, these machines determine the classification assignment for the beans.

First they are sorted for size in a machine with sieve-like filters of varying diameters. Then they’re sorted by density on an air-pressured, vibrating canvas that performs the ultimate shakedown, separating the whole, heavy beans from the broken beans, the runts and any remaining twigs. Finally they are sorted by color in the photo-sensing machine, a kind of mechanized segregation.

Now the beans are with their own kind, divided into an assortment of grades, from the Brahmin beans of Cloud Forest Reserve to the less-is-more Peaberry. This runt-of-the-litter bean is the darling of experienced cuppers (coffee tasters), who makes a virtue of its small size, claiming it delivers an intensified flavor.

Mountain Thunder’s prize-winning coffee (awarded 1st place at the 2013 Kona Coffee Cupping Competition as well as the Certified Gold Bean Award from SIAL’s coffee competition in Montreal in 2012, among others), the best of which sells out at fifty-eight dollars a pound, is testament to the promise of finding new life where least expected — for the Bateman family, for the Arabica coffee bean, for the land under the volatile volcano. The lesson? Drink up. With the right elixir, rebirth can happen anywhere.

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