Coffee Questions

COFFEE QUESTIONS
BREWING THE PERFECT CUP OF COFFEE

STORAGE

The first step in brewing the perfect cup of 53X11 Coffee actually comes before you even grind your beans or implement your favorite brewing technique. Storage plays an intricate role in obtaining the freshest cup of coffee. Coffee is the frequent victim of poor storage practices, if you are looking for the freshest cup of coffee storage is where it all begins! Coffee starts losing its freshness soon after it is done roasting and reaches its flavor peak in the first few days after a short aging process were gasses are released from the roasted coffee bean. One of the biggest misconceptions about coffee storage is that the cool air of fridges and freezers will keep coffee fresher for a longer period of time but this could not be further from the truth. Fridges and freezers, because of their high moisture content, will actually cause the flavorful coffee oils to breakdown even faster than if stored dry at room temperature. Once these savory oils breakdown your expensive coffee will start to absorb outside moisture and will soon taste like the inside of your fridge or freezer! An ideal storage location for an unopened bag is a cool, dark, dry place, such as a pantry. For opened bags we recommend the same storage technique but encourage that you transfer your opened bags into an airtight ceramic, glass, or non-reactive metal container if you are planning storing coffee for longer than one week.

GRINDING METHODS

Do not underestimate the importance of the grind, this will affect your coffee's taste as much if not more so than your brewing technique. You will want to experiment on your own with your preferred grinding technique but a good rule of thumb is if your coffee tastes bitter, it may be overextracted, or ground too fine but if your coffee tastes flat, it may be underextracted, meaning that your grind is too coarse. The best way to automatically get a precision grind is to us a Burr Grinder, this will give you the best possible grind from coarse to a powdered Turkish grind every time. BUT for the typical coffee drinkers you can get a satisfactory grind from a simple blade grinder. When operating a blade grinder only use quick bursts, just holding the button down will cause the coffee grounds to overheat and burn. Once you have decided if you are going to use a Burr Grinder or a simple blade grinder you will want to implement the following chart outlining the best grind for your brewing application. For the best coffee we recommend measuring 2 rounded tablespoons of ground coffee per 6 ounces of water. If you prefer a stronger coffee as we do at 53X11, feel free to fine-tune this ratio!

WATER

The quality of water you use for brewing is also very important to the quality of your final product; if your tap water gives off an odor or has a distinct flavor such as chlorine this will influence the flavor of your morning cup of coffee - basically bad tasting water will make bad tasting coffee. Also avoid Distilled or Softened water since it lacks the minerals needed to bring out the natural flavors of the coffee and can leave you with a bitter brew.

PREPARATION

The first thing you want to do when brewing coffee, with any technique, is to make sure your equipment has been thoroughly cleaned. Any leftover residue or leftover brewed grounds will leave a bitter taste and even a rancid flavor if not cleaned for extended periods. Baking soda is great for cleaning any plastic components and vinegar or standard dish soap should remove any mineral deposits from your equipment.

BREWING

There are countless techniques for brewing coffee; drip coffee, Turkish coffee, Vacuum brewing, percolating, French press, etc. But in general guidelines for all brewing techniques is the brewing temperature should be between 194 - 204 Fahrenheit and depending on the coffee grind varying steep times are necessary. For most coffee drinkers the knowledge that your drip coffee machine, when filled to capacity, should automatically brew coffee to these specifications is reassurance enough, but many coinsures that prefer specialized grinding & brewing methods these temperatures should be closely monitored for creating the best cup of coffee!

ENJOY YOUR PERFECT CUP OF 53X11 COFFEE!

Take a moment to enjoy your perfectly brewed cup of coffee, smell the aroma, taste your coffee and notice how your brewing technique has affected the body, acidity and balance of your coffee. If it is your first cup of 53X11 Coffee you should notice that the degree of freshness and some simple changes in your preparation influence the perfect cup of coffee.

COFFEE AND HEALTH

Drinking coffee may lower the risk of developing the deadliest form of prostate cancer, according to a Harvard Medical School study.

In research involving 50,000 men over 20 years, scientists led by Kathryn Wilson at Harvard's Channing Laboratory found that the 5 percent of men who drank 6 or more cups a day had a 60 percent lower risk of developing the advanced form of the disease than those who didn't consume any. The risk was about 20 percent lower for the men who drank 1 to 3 cups a day, and 25 percent lower for those consuming 4 or 5 cups.

The study is the first to associate coffee with prostate cancer, contradicting previous research that's found no link. The difference may be because Wilson and colleagues looked for the first time at the link between coffee and different stages of the disease, instead of grouping them all together. More research is needed to confirm the findings, she said.

"People shouldn't start changing their coffee consumption based on one study," Wilson said in a phone interview on Dec. 5. "It could be chance, and we really need to see whether it pans out in other studies."

Prostate cancer struck almost 200,000 men in the U.S. this year and killed more than 27,000, making it the second-deadliest malignancy among American men after lung cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. About 54 percent of U.S. adults drink coffee, according to the New York-based National Coffee Association.

MULTIPLE COMPONENTS

The researchers aren't sure which of the many components of coffee is responsible for the effect, though it probably isn't caffeine because the same association was seen for decaffeinated coffee, Wilson said. The link wasn't seen in patients with an earlier stage of prostate cancer, she said.

Coffee lowers the risk of Type 2 diabetes by increasing the body's ability to use insulin to convert blood sugar to energy, previous research has shown.

Higher insulin levels have also been associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer, suggesting the hormone may be the link between coffee and the disease, Wilson said. The data were presented at an American Association for Cancer Research conference in Houston.

BENNETT, SIMEON (sbennett9@bloomberg.net). "Coffee May Reduce Risk of Deadly Prostate Cancer (Update1)." ISCA. International Strategic Cancer Alliance, 08 Dec. 2011. Web. 16 Feb. 2012.

COFFEE IN THE NEWS

Coffee lovers may be raising their cups and perhaps eyebrows at the recent news (in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry) that the drink contains soluble fiber, the type that can help lower cholesterol. With about 1 gram per cup, coffee's fiber impact is modest. But the report is the latest in a growing stream of positive news about coffee.

Some of the most promising findings come from studies of diabetes. When Harvard researchers combined data from nine studies involving more than 193,000 people, they found that regular coffee drinkers had a significantly lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those who abstained. The more they drank, the lower their risk.

And, despite coffee's reputation for being bad for the heart, recent epidemiologic studies haven't found a connection; some even suggest coffee can be protective. A study in February's American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that healthy people 65 and over who drank four or more cups of caffeinated beverages daily (primarily coffee) had a 53 percent lower risk of heart disease than non-coffee-drinkers.

It's even more beguiling when you consider that the immediate effects of drinking coffee tend to go in the opposite direction, raising heart rate and blood pressure and temporarily making cells more resistant to insulin. "But those effects are probably short-lived, as people develop a tolerance," explains Frank Hu, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health, who has studied coffee extensively. "In the long term, beneficial components in coffee may have stronger, more lasting effects."

How coffee might work isn't clear; the studies weren't designed to identify cause-and-effect relationships. Antioxidants, such as chlorogenic acid (related to polyphenols in grapes), are likely players: coffee has more of them per serving than blueberries do, making it the top source of antioxidants in our diets. Antioxidants help quell inflammation, which might explain coffee's effect in inflammation-related diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Magnesium in coffee might help make cells more sensitive to insulin. And caffeine seems to have its own beneficial effects; the diabetes studies found that those who drank regular coffee had lower risks of the disease than decaf drinkers. Caffeinated-coffee drinking has also been linked with reduced risk of Parkinson's disease, gallstones, cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Bottom Line: For healthy adults, having two or three cups of joe daily generally isn't harmful and it may have health perks.

"I wouldn't recommend drinking coffee to prevent disease," says Hu. Exceeding one's caffeine tolerance can cause irritability, headache and insomnia. (Signs you might be overconsuming: Yelling at co-workers. Watching infomercials at 2 a.m.) The temporary rise in heart rate and blood pressure could cause problems for people with heart disease, and new moms should be aware that caffeine passes into breast milk. Hu has no plans to change his own two-cup-a-day habit. "For most people who enjoy coffee, there's no reason to cut back."

HENDLEY, JOYCE. "Good News About Coffee." Www.eatingwell.com. Web. 23 Feb. 2012.

FAIR TRADE, DIRECT TRADE & CERTIFIED ORGANIC

53x11 Coffee is proud to support the farmers and their families that grow the coffee we enjoy. We buy certified Fair Trade, Direct trade, organic coffees. By dealing direct with the farmers our purchasing dollars don't get lost with the middle man. Read below to learn more.

WHY FAIR TRADE

The Fair Trade certification indicates that the coffee farmers receive a minimum price for their crop (they are also paid a premium for certified organic goods.) The coffee importer sources directly from the coffee farms and farmer groups, which shortens the supply chain and ensures the "fair price." The greater return on coffee allows for the farmers to reinvest in the quality of their farms and the surrounding communities. Beyond price, Fair Trade means that the farms are safe for their workers (no child labor, living wages, etc.) It encourages sustainable farming and prohibits the use of chemicals and pesticides that hurt the environment and the crop. By buying Fair Trade coffee and produce, we can support these initiatives.
(Source- TransFair USA)

WHY DIRECT TRADE? DIRECT TRADE VS. FAIR TRADE

Fair Trade was created at a time the coffee market was well below $1.00 per pound and coffee farmers were going broke and starving. It currently applies not only to coffee but also cocoa, sugar, bananas, and other commonly traded agricultural products. It is a certification designed to ensure that every product bearing its label is purchased at a base price that is above the cost of production for the farmer. For coffee, the Fair Trade export price is $1.26 per pound for unroasted beans and $1.41 for unroasted organic certified beans regardless of quality. Certified Fair Trade is a certification owned by FLO International and licensed in the US by Transfair USA. It is specific to democratically run cooperatives, and does not apply to private farms. This is where our Direct Trade helps.

Our Direct Trade Coffee is designed to meet the needs of private and family coffee farms and co-ops in todays market. We pay a base price that must exceed the higher of the C Market price and or Fair Trade price by at least 25% with a minimum paid to the farmer of $1.85 at time of harvest. We do not believe in coffee subsidies, but believe those farmers who do the best work, are committed to healthy environmental and social practices should get the best price. That's why we work with, and offer our support to, these skilled producers/artisans for the sole purpose of presenting our customers only the highest-quality coffee.

COFFEE STORAGE

The first step in brewing the perfect cup of 53X11 Coffee actually comes before you even grind your beans or implement your favorite brewing technique. Storage plays an intricate role in obtaining the freshest cup of coffee. Coffee is the frequent victim of poor storage practices, if you are looking for the freshest cup of coffee storage is where it all begins! Coffee starts losing its freshness soon after it is done roasting and reaches its flavor peak in the first few days after a short aging process were gasses are released from the roasted coffee bean.

One of the biggest misconceptions about coffee storage is that the cool air of fridges and freezers will keep coffee fresher for a longer period of time but this could not be further from the truth. Fridges and freezers, because of their high moisture content, will actually cause the flavorful coffee oils to breakdown even faster than if stored dry at room temperature. Once these savory oils breakdown your expensive coffee will start to absorb outside moisture and will soon taste like the inside of your fridge or freezer! An ideal storage location for an unopened bag is a cool, dark, dry place, such as a pantry. For opened bags we recommend the same storage technique but encourage that you transfer your opened bags into an airtight ceramic, glass, or non-reactive metal container if you are planning storing coffee for longer than one week.

GRINDING YOUR 53X11 COFFEE

Do not underestimate the importance of the grind, this will affect your coffee's taste as much if not more so than your brewing technique. You will want to experiment on your own with your preferred grinding technique but a good rule of thumb is if your coffee tastes bitter, it may be overextracted, or ground too fine but if your coffee tastes flat, it may be underextracted, meaning that your grind is too coarse. The best way to automatically get a precision grind is to us a Burr Grinder, this will give you the best possible grind from coarse to a powdered Turkish grind every time. BUT for the typical coffee drinkers you can get a satisfactory grind from a simple blade grinder. When operating a blade grinder only use quick bursts, just holding the button down will cause the coffee grounds to overheat and burn. Once you have decided if you are going to use a Burr Grinder or a simple blade grinder you will want to implement the following chart outlining the best grind for your brewing application. For the best coffee we recommend measuring 2 rounded tablespoons of ground coffee per 6 ounces of water. If you prefer a stronger coffee as we do at 53X11, feel free to fine-tune this ratio!

WATER QUALITY

The quality of water you use for brewing is also very important to the quality of your final product; if your tap water gives off an odor or has a distinct flavor such as chlorine this will influence the flavor of your morning cup of coffee - basically bad tasting water will make bad tasting coffee. Also avoid Distilled or Softened water since it lacks the minerals needed to bring out the natural flavors of the coffee and can leave you with a bitter brew.

ALL GREAT COFFEE IS ORGANIC!

Friends don't let friends drink non-organic coffee!

Virtually everyone starts the day off with a cup of coffee at home or at their favorite coffee shop, but many consumers are unaware that they may be poisoning themselves, one toxic sip at a time! Mindful shoppers often spend a wealth of time selecting high-quality, certified organic, raw, sprouted, and/or gluten-free products while being completely unaware that the non-organic coffee beans they are drinking each morning are one of the most chemically treated agricultural product on the planet.

Although most fertilizers, pesticides, and chemicals are heavily regulated or banned in the United States, harmful petroleum-based products are legal and widely used in almost every coffee-producing country! These heavily sprayed pesticides and chemicals are designed to kill agricultural pests and bacteria; if the process is extremely harmful to these living organisms, how can it not be harmful to humans? Non-organic coffee not only affects you and the quality of your morning cup, it also harms the workers that tend to these polluted crops, slowly destroys the soil's natural fertility and sustainability, distresses native animals, and leeches damaging chemicals into local water supplies.

In today's marketplace we are left to make countless decisions on each item that we come across in the grocery store, do we select higher priced organic products, or pesticide- and chemical-treated products? These decisions might seem difficult, but doing your small part can make a huge difference. At 53x11 Coffee we recommend eating healthy, living happily, practicing a sustainable lifestyle, being your best both on and off your bike, and drinking only 100% organic coffees!

BREWING

The first thing you want to do when brewing coffee, with any technique, is to make sure your equipment has been thoroughly cleaned. Any leftover residue or leftover brewed grounds will leave a bitter taste and even a rancid flavor if not cleaned for extended periods. Baking soda is great for cleaning any plastic components and vinegar or standard dish soap should remove any mineral deposits from your equipment. There are countless techniques for brewing coffee; drip coffee, Turkish coffee, Vacuum brewing, percolating, French press, etc. But in general guidelines for all brewing techniques is the brewing temperature should be between 194 - 204 Fahrenheit and depending on the coffee grind varying steep times are necessary. For most coffee drinkers the knowledge that your drip coffee machine, when filled to capacity, should automatically brew coffee to these specifications is reassurance enough, but many coinsures that prefer specialized grinding & brewing methods these temperatures should be closely monitored for creating the best cup of coffee! Take a moment to enjoy your perfectly brewed cup of coffee, smell the aroma, taste your coffee and notice how your brewing technique has affected the body, acidity and balance of your coffee. If it is your first cup of 53X11 Coffee you should notice that the degree of freshness and some simple changes in your preparation influence the perfect cup of coffee.

USING A SINGLE CUP BREWER

THE CUP TOP BREW METHOD

The appropriate ratio for this brewing technique is 1 tablespoon of whole been coffee for every 4 oz. of water. (For our 15 oz. stoneware coffee mugs, this ratio should be approximately 4 level tablespoons of beans and 2 cups (16 oz.) of water.)

  1. Fill your preferred kettle with desired amount of fresh, clean, cold water and bring to a boil.
  2. Next, open your paper filter and place it in your brew top. Rinse both the open filter and brew top with hot water to ensure that no papery taste resides in the brew. It also heats the brewer and filter in preparation for the pour over. Place brew top with filter on cup.
  3. Grind your beans at a medium/fine grind setting (the size of salt or sugar). Note that coffee begins to lose most of its flavors and aromas in the first minute after grinding, so make sure to time your grind just prior to the pour over!
  4. Just after the grind you will want to "bloom" the coffee by pouring a small amount of the boiling water over the grounds; an even saturation is important, so pour slowly in a clockwise pattern. (Don't worry if a few drops come through the brewer during this process.) This degas process is vital to a perfect cup of coffee, and should never be rushed. Allow the bloom 45-60 seconds for full maturation; this allows the coffee to yield its full flavor potential. Next, pour water over the bloomed grounds in a slow, steady flow in a circular motion; continue to pour slowly until desired amount of coffee has brewed. This process should take about 1 - 1 1/2 minutes.

Total brew time including degas should take less than 2 1/2 minutes. Enjoy!

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