Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Golf Balls & Coffee

Some great words of advice that we all should try to remember...

When things in your life seem almost too much

When 24 hours in a day is not enough

Just remember the mayonnaise jar.

A professor stood before his philosophy class with some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large, empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.
He asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

Then the professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous yes.

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided. "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things-family, children, health, friends, and favorite passions. Things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full."

"The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, house, and car. The sand is everything else -- the small stuff."

If you put the sand into the jar first, he continued, there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life.

"If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you."

"So. . . pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner."

"There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first -- the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Art of Painting with Coffee

Coffee painting is not a new art form by any means, but has recently been increasing in popularity. Not only is it appealing to the eye and smells great, it is a great medium for any artist who is looking to try new things.

The art of painting with coffee is known as arfé, which is a combination of the words "art" and "café". Coffee artist from all around are being featured in galleries and on TV, making appearances on shows like Martha stewart, and even sponsored by big names like Nescafe.

Paintings by these artists go for hundreds of dollars and are the focus of a lot of international attention. Though there are many people who encounter coffee painting and think that it is nice but dismiss it as a passing fad, painting with coffee is more than just a novelty, to many people it is a genuine art form.

So if you are intrigued by this branch of coffee culture and are aching to give it a try, it is simple and easy to do at home. Coffee paint is created simply by adding coffee (usually instant) to water and varying the strength to get different tones. Some even boil the coffee to get the darkest colors possible. From that point all you need is a bit of talent and some watercolor paper to create your own aromatic works of art.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Blossoming Tea

This is a great gift for any tea lover as well as someone who just appreciates a unique gift.

As you add hot water, watch the delicate teaposy slowly unfurl, revealing a flower that blossoms from within the tea leaves creating flavorful tea. Each teaposy is made from premium Silver Needle White Tea leaves and whole dried flowers that are hand-crafted with natural cotton thread. Flavors include jasmine, magnolia, amaranth, lily, camellia and rose.

The delicate and complex tea is a treat for your taste buds as well.

Visit www.gifts.com to find one of these extraordinary gift ideas.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Benefits of Green Tea

Green tea is an herb that comes from Japan, China, and other Asian countries, known officially as “Camellia sinesis”. The leaves of the plant are harvested and then steamed. When consumed as a beverage or through powder made from dried leaves, green tea has shown to provide tremendous health benefits. An active ingredient found in green tea is called epigallocatechin Gallate, more commonly referred to as EGCG.

How green tea is used varies slightly from one part of Asia to another, as well as within other countries. For examples, green tea is usually consumed as a hot tea in Japan and China, often enjoyed in formal settings of a teahouse. However, when asked, “How is green tea used” referring to the United States, you will find that the powder is used for baking, to make fruit smoothies, as a cold beverage, and more.

How green tea is used is not as important as making sure it is used. Whether steaming, boiling, or using the powder form of green tea will provide antioxidants that have been proven through many studies to boost health. For instance, is has been shown that green tea helps fight cancer, lowers LDL or bad cholesterol, prevents tooth decay, and even serves as a dietary supplement for people wanting to lose weight.

As Americans continue to eat worse and exercise less, many of us are walking around with excessive weight. As a result, we see a significant increase in heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, boosted blood pressure, joint pain, and more. By using green tea, appetite is often suppressed, which means less food consumption.

Green tea can also be used to benefit children. When taken in the right quantity, green tea is harmless to adults and to children. You can provide food rich in nutrients by introducing green tea into your child’s diet. For example, instead of sending your child to school with chocolate chip cookies, why not make carob and green tea cookies. The flavor is delicious and your child will be thrilled.

How green tea is used is multifaceted. With so many proven benefits, we see dentists recommending it to patients to help prevent and fight bacteria in the mouth that causes plaque. We see stressed out businesspeople using green tea as a soothing drink to relax. Finally, we see green tea used in the battle against cancer.

Green tea in many ways is helping to improve our overall health.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Coffee From Around the World - Tanzania Peaberry

Tanzania Peaberry coffee renders a flavor that is concentrated and offers a more lively cup, full body and distiguished aroma.

Harvested on the slopes of Mount Kilamanjaro near the Kenyan border, this gourmet African coffee displays many of the characteristics of Kenyan coffee, though much lighter in acidity.

Click here for more information about Tanzania Peaberry Coffee.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Coffee From Around the World

Looking for coffee from around the world?

Explorer’s Bounty, marketer and manufacturer of premium certified organic food products offers coffees Africa, South America or Asia. Explorer’s Bounty single-origin varietals include:

  • Expedition El Dorado from Colombia

  • Expedition Blue Nile from Ethiopia

  • Expedition Inca from Peru

  • Expedition Silk Road and Expedition Adventure from Sumatra

  • Expedition Grano de Oro from Costa Rica

Ground and whole bean varieties are available and are USDA certified organic.

Explorer’s Bounty also employs fair trade practices by partnering with non-profit organizations throughout the world in an effort to promote a higher quality of life and sustain the earth’s resources.

Visit Explorer’s Bounty to go shopping or to learn more about coffee from around the world.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Another Great Reason to Visit Hawaii

37th Annual Kona Coffeee Cultural Festival

Coffee has been cultivated in the rich Kona volcanic soil of Hawaii’s Big Island since the first half of the 19th century. So it’s only fitting that the state’s oldest food festival is the Kona Coffee Cultural Festival. The 37 Annual Festival will be held November 2-11, at various sites on the island.

The mission of the Festival is to promote Kona coffee and the multi-cultural heritage of the Kona coffee pioneers. Festival visitors can enjoy nearly 50 Festival events, such as contests, coffee tastings, seminars, ethnic foods, two parades, the Miss Kona Scholarship Pageant, Living History Farm Tours, art exhibits and an outdoor concert.

This year’s festival has added a barista training workshop in which participants will learn how to taste and prepare espresso and other specialty drinks using Kona coffee. Instructors will work individually with participants from entry level to experienced professionals.

Also new this year is a free Japanese edition of the Kona Coffee Driving Tour Brochure. The brochures, both English and Japanese, provide a map of Kona Coffee Country and locates nearly 60 Kona coffee farms that offer tours, tastings and retail outlets. The brochure also provides background information on Kona coffee heritage.

For more information visit http://www.konacoffeefest.com/.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Add a Little Spice to Your Coffee

There are lots of ways to improve on basic cup of coffee. A few cloves, a pinch of cinnamon or even some whole fennel seeds can really create a whole new cup of coffee. Adding whole spices before you brew is a good way to do this.

Here are a few recipes for spiced coffee. These are all for coffee served hot... mmmmm!

Fragrant Spiced Coffee

3 cups brewed coffee
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp cinnamon

Blend together brown sugar, cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon (use ground spices, not whole). Mix coffee and cream together with the spice mixture. Serve hot. Serves 4.

Mediterranean Coffee

3 tbs ground coffee (coarse)
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 tsp anise seed (whole)
Pinch of dried orange peel pieces

Combine all the ingredients, and brew by your favorite method. Using a french press or a plunger pot is the traditional brewing style for this particular coffee recipe. Makes 1-2 cups of coffee.

Sweet Fennel Coffee

3 tbs ground coffee
2 cinnamon sticks, broken
6 whole fennel seeds, crushed
1 tbs brown sugar

Mix coffee and spices, and brew by your preferred method. Add the sugar to your finished cup for that sweet touch. Also makes 1-2 cups.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Fun Facts About Coffee

Botanically speaking coffee beans are not really beans at all, but berries.

It takes between 4000-5000 coffee cherries to produce a single kilogram of freshly roasted coffee.

Coffee is grown in over 50 countries of the world but is not grown anywhere on the mainland United States.

Coffee is one of the most heavily traded products in the world, second only to oil.

A coffee tree has a life expectancy of 70 years and it takes five years for a coffee tree to reach maturity.

Contrary to popular belief, darkly roasted coffees contain less caffeine than lightly roasted blends. Caffeine is burnt off during the roasting process, so consequently the longer roasted dark blends have less caffeine.

When serving coffee to guests, it is the custom that the oldest person sitting around a table is served first in Turkey and Greece.

Rather unusually, the terms ‘supremo’ and ‘excelso’ are used to indicate the large physical size of the coffee bean and not its quality as one might expect.

The human body will only be affected by caffeine up to a certain level when coffee is drunk. This level depends upon the individual. After a certain number of cups of coffee have been drunk (typically 4 in quick succession), consuming further cups will provide no further stimulation as the rest is not absorbed.

Coffee is the most popular beverage in the world apart from water and has been consumed for over a thousand years.

Soluble instant coffee was invented in 1906 by an Englishman, living in Guatemala who later moved to the USA. Interestingly his name was George Washington.

People from different parts of the world traditionally add different ingredients to enjoy their favorite drink. The Ethiopians add a pinch of salt, Moroccans’ add peppercorns, while the Mexicans add cinnamon. Drinkers in the Middle East enjoy the addition of cardamom and spices, whilst Austrians add whipped cream. Egyptian coffee drinkers like it strong and dark and rarely add cream or sugar.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Something Special for Tea Lovers

Most coffee and tea drinkers enjoy a little indulgence! How about treating yourself...

Check out this line of bath and beauty products with the crisp scent of green tea. Take your pick of soaps, body wash, lotions, and a fragrance mist.

Green Tea Cologne
Green Tea Body Lotion
Green Tea Liquid Foaming Bath
Green Tea Body Wash
Green Tea Soap
Green Tea Hand Wash
Green Tea Hand Lotion
Green Tea Home Fragrance Mist
Green Tea Aromatic Candle