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Coffee Research

I’m not sure how coffee got such a bad reputation, but I love when more and more research surfaces that supports the benefits of a balanced coffee intake. Black coffee that is. The information I’m referring to comes from an article that was recently posted by Aaron E. Carroll, who is the Professor of Pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine. Studies have shown that a moderate consumption of coffee is linked with a lower risk of pretty much all cardiovascular disease, including heart failure and stroke. It is associated with reduced overall cancer incidence. When talking about neurological disorders, coffee intake is associated with lower risks of Parkinson’s disease, lower cognitive decline and serves as a potential protective effect against Alzheimer’s disease. Drinking coffee is even associated with better laboratory values in those at risk for liver disease and has been linked with a significantly reduced risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Check out the article for all the in-depth stats and details. The article is really well written and I personally appreciate how Carroll stresses the importance of balance. Fact is, there are pros and cons to basically everything in our lives. As far as coffee is concerned, it’s time to even out the playing field a bit and acknowledge the pros and overall benefits. Take a nice deep breath and really savor that next cup of coffee. coffee research image

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Season of Sacrifice

So Mardi Gras with all its feasting and festivities has come and gone, and now we are officially in a season of sacrifice. So have you  decided to give up anything specific for Lent this year? Though I wouldn’t describe my upbringing as completely Catholic, I was certainly surrounded by many practicing family and friends. At this time of year, I find myself pondering what I would like to tweak and do different to better my life. I enjoy the practice and thoughtfulness that Lent brings my way, and think it is a great practice, whether you claim to be Catholic or not.

So, as I sat here wondering what the majority of people decide to give up for Lent, I decided to pop the question in my search box, and of course, the Internet did not let me down. According to tracking done through Twitter and posted by The Washington Post, here are the top 10 things that people decided to give up this year.

1. Chocolate
2. School
3. Twitter
4. Social Networking
5. Alcohol
6. Swearing
7. Soda
8. Sweets
9. College
10. Fast Food

And all I can say is, thank goodness coffee didn’t make the list! Remember, Lent can also be about bringing more positive into your life, which to me, certainly equates with even more coffee. Drink up!

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New Year Reflection

new years
Can’t quite believe that the new year has arrived!
               2015. 
Honestly, where did the past year go?
The holiday season started rolling in November, and we haven’t stopped to catch our breath until now! In reflecting on 2014, a year gone by, SmokeEaters Coffee Catering had the opportunity to meet and work with a great number of people and celebrate some wonderfully orchestrated events. Us New Orleanians sure do know how to enjoy life and throw a great party! What a blessing we had to share in the joy around us, including weddings, baby showers, debutante events, and grand re-openings of New Orleans’ staples. 

We look forward to this new year with excitement, with the thought of who all we will meet, what endeavors it will hold, and to whom we will hand delicious cups of made-to-order coffee! Hope to see you soon : )

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Coffee Carnivore

Coffee Carnivore

Carnivore: a meat-eater

What does being a meat-eater have to do with coffee?  Well if you consider yourself a carnivore, AND you love your coffee as well, then this blog post is for you. Coffee and meat are actually a great combination. Let’s consider two ways to best execute this combo.

The Rub:
The next time that you grill or broil up some steaks, add some coffee grounds to your rub. Let it sit for several hours before cooking so the flavors can really sink in. Below is a recipe for a basic coffee rub.

  • 3 tablespoons finely ground espresso or dark roast coffee
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


The Marinade:

Coffee can also be used to create a hearty marinade. Brewed coffee imparts a ton of flavor in a short amount of time! The recipe below is a basic recipe for a java marinade.

  • 3/4 cup brewed coffee
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
 

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Sweeten The Pot

       I had just opened the cabinet and had a mini heart attack. My coffee was freshly brewed. Its aroma was  proclaiming its presence throughout my house and taunting my taste buds. My to-go coffee cup waited expectantly on the counter. I rushed around the house, trying to get everything together as I pushed my time limit to the max, only to realize that I had completely forgotten to get more sugar! How did this happen? I had even written it on the back of my hand last night when I went to make groceries. (In case you don’t know, that’s a serious move. Things that get written on the hand ALWAYS get done. Though…I guess I can’t say that anymore.) Now here I was, completely out, with a 9 o’clock meeting that was sure to challenge the motivation of my eye-lids.
I don’t know about you, but I like a little sweetness in my brew. Some might say that makes me less of a coffee connoisseur, but I disagree. I’m not talking about anything ridiculous here. Just a touch.

      My shoulders drooped as I scanned the cabinet contents. I ended up reaching for the honey.  Not bad at all! Got me through a crisis that’s for sure. 
      Maybe you too are out of sugar. Maybe you’re deciding to get healthier or even cut out sugar all together?! Here are 8 ideas on how to sweeten the pot. You might even want to try them out just for fun. That way you’ll be prepared, should a national sugar shortage ever occur, or in case you forget to pick it up at the store. : )

1. Maple syrup
2. Honey
3. Cocoa
4. Salt (sounds counter-productive, but when used sparingly, is known to enhance sweetness)
5. Molasses
6. Protein Powder
7. Cinnamon
8. Agave Nectar

It’s a beautiful thing when life hands you an unexpected event that offers you the opportunity to think outside of the box! It almost always leads to good things. 

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Did You Say Buttered Toffee?

Nope. I definitely said Buttered Coffee. All the rage. Have you heard of it?

buttered coffee

Well, according to enthusiasts, leaving out the cream and sugar, and putting butter in your coffee is both nutricious AND delicious. They suggest grass-fed butter and MCT oil or coconut oil as key ingredients to ensure that the fat content you are adding is “good fat”. Starting your day by consuming healthy fats is good for your immune function, balancing hormones, and improving your cognitive function. Many drinkers also hail butter coffee as filling and helpful in appetite suppression.

While this concept may be new to the States, it is not a new concept in other countries such as Tibet, where it is common to be served a butter tea.

Still, butter coffee hasn’t made the transition from an at-home drink to a take-away staple yet, so if you want to give it a try, you’ll probably have to make it at home.
Skeptical? Curious? Below is a traditional recipe. Why not? Give it a try.

Butter Coffee
1 cup black coffee
1 to 2 tbsp of unsalted grass fed butter
1 to 2 tbsp of MCT oil or coconut oil
Blend or mix until frothy (about 20-30 seconds)

 

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Shoes, Sight, and Water

Our love for coffee can lead to a world of good.

If you’ve had any sort of excursions to Whole Foods, I’m sure you’ve seen a pair or two of TOMS shoes hanging around. Perhaps you even own a pair. Personally, I was given a pair for Christmas in 2012 by my sister-in-law. This was the first I had heard of the company.

For those of you who may not know, TOMS is a business that was founded by Blake Mycoskie in 2006. His business is based on a ‘one-for-one’ model. For every pair of shoes that is sold, a pair of shoes is given to a child in need. After success with shoes, the business was expanded to include eyewear. For every piece of eyewear purchased, TOMS will give sight to a person in need. Since its start, TOMS has given 10 million pairs of shoes to children in need, and 200,000 people have received restored vision.

TOMS is now expanding their business to include coffee. According to information from The New York Times, for every bag of coffee sold, TOMS will donate one week of clean water to a person in need.
ofo_hero_mobileTOMS Roasting Company: Coffee for you. Water for all.
Love it.

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Truly Smokin’ Coffee

marijuana

Now, I know our coffee is smokin’ hot awesome, but this takes it to a whole new level. As you have most likely heard, Washington and Colorado have legalized recreational marijuana use. How, you ask, is this related to coffee? Well Mirth Provisions, a company in Washington, is debuting their marijuana coffee this summer! The product contains 20 milligrams of THC in an 11.5 ounce bottle, which is said to have the same effect as an IPA or glass or wine. Mirth claims that the drinks will give “more of a head high, more energizing” effect on the drinker. Mirth Provisions plans to sell this new product for $9 – $11 per bottle.

If this information sparks a personal interest, and you don’t live in Washington OR Colorado, AND you’re up for some illegal activity, The Weed Blog provides a recipe so you can make your own pot of pot coffee in the comfort of your own home. Who knew.

Twenty-two states and Washington D.C. have enacted laws to legalize medical marijuana use, and two states have legalized marijuana for recreational use. I don’t know about you, but as for me and coffee, I consider it both a recreational AND medical necessity. No one knows what the future holds, but as for now, SmokeEaters Coffee will continue to serve smokin’ hot, high-quality, specialty coffee drinks… without the marijuana. Cheers!

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Trashing Those Coffee Grinds?

So we coffee lovers have a sticky situation. What to do with all those left over coffee grinds? Just dump them in the trash? While this is certainly tempting, especially when energy is low before that first cup of morning coffee, there are plenty of really awesome uses for coffee grinds out there! Some of them may be new to you. Check them out.

First: Coffee Grounds can be used as a dye. Now I know we have all accidentally gotten a coffee stain on one of our favorite shirts at one time or another. But now we’re talking ON PURPOSE! Think of all the possibilities. First off, if you’re a brunette at heart, your world has just gotten a bit more exciting. Coffee can be used as hair dye. It is also quite effective in creating an antique or ‘aged’ look to fabric, paper, or even feathers. I had a friend that used coffee grinds to stain her journal cover. It looked fabulous.

Second: Coffee grounds can be used as a de-oderizer. If you like to spend time in the kitchen, then this will come in handy.  To begin cooking, I often find myself chopping up the holy trinity, and end up smelling onion on my hands for hours afterwards. Scrubbling your hands with coffee grinds will rid you of that scent! Just take a handful of grinds, rub them between your hands as if they were soap, and rinse with warm water. If you need to keep your refridgerator smelling fresh, place a bowl of dried coffee grinds in there. Same effect as an open box of baking soda, but more economical for us coffee drinkers! Even place a bag of coffee grinds in your old sneakers, let them sit overnight, and smell the difference in the morning. Basically, coffee grinds will absorb odors – in all shapes and forms!

Third: Coffee Grinds can be used as a natural fertilizer and bug repellent. Spread coffee grinds in your flower beds and gardens to make your vegetation more fertile. Mix coffee grinds with water and place them in a spray bottle. Spray flowers and plants. The coffee scent will also deter many unwanted bugs. I know several people that spread their coffee grinds around the perimeter of their house to ward off unwanted insects. Depending on your coffee intake, and of course the size of your house, this endeavor might not take you too long!

These are just three ways to get creative with coffee grinds, which is truly just the beginning. Check out the internet for more cost effective and practical uses for coffee grinds!

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Twas The Night Before Christmas…

beautiful, bokeh, chocolate, christmas, coffee

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house,

not a coffee was stirred, no not one by a spouse.

The mugs were placed on the counter with care

Hoping that SmokeEaters Coffee Caterers soon would be there.

The parents were nestled all snug in their beds

While visions of lattes danced in their heads.

When out at the front door there arose such a clatter,

The parents sprang from their bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the windows they flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

When, what to their wondering eyes should appear,

But a sleek coffee cart.  Ash and Erica with great cheer!

With an odd little shiver, they opened the door,

Reminding themselves they were not dreaming anymore.

More rapid than eagles the drinks they came,

Ash whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

“Here’s a Peppermint mocha, a bold cup of coffee,

Here’s an Eggnog Latte, an Au Lait with Toffee!”

Ash’s eyes-how they twinkled! His smile how merry!

Erica’s cheeks were like roses, her nose like a cherry!

Smells of coffee encircled the house like a wreath,

each mug warming hands held gently underneath.

A wink of their eyes, and a nod of their heads,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

Call or email, and again they would come,

bringing their espresso to take away all of the glum.

I heard them exclaim, ‘ere they drove out of sight,

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

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