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Should you be worried about the amount of coffee or tea you drink?

<p>Before you reach for that cup of coffee or tea, have you ever thought about whether that caffeinated beverage is <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/body-and-mind/debunks-vices-coffee-caffeine/">good or bad for you</a>?</p> <p><iframe title="Vices: Is coffee good or bad for you?" src="https://omny.fm/shows/debunks/vices-is-coffee-good-or-bad-for-you/embed?style=Cover" width="100%" height="180" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>Most of us will drink coffee or tea each day.</p> <p>It helps keep us alert, especially in a world of the nine-to-five grind. Some workers rely on caffeine to get them through shift work and night shifts.</p> <p>Many, like me, would just collapse in a heap if it weren’t for that liquid black gold to keep us peppy in the morning.</p> <h2 class="wp-block-heading">What is caffeine?</h2> <p>To get a better picture of how coffee or tea affects us, let’s examine the active ingredient: <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/podcast/huh-science-explained-stirring-the-science-of-caffeine/">caffeine</a>.</p> <p>Caffeine is a <a href="https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/caffeine" target="_blank" rel="noopener">drug</a>. It’s a white, odourless substance known to chemists as 1,3,7-trimethylxanthine and is made up of 8 carbon, 10 hydrogen, 4 nitrogen and 2 oxygen atoms.</p> <p>Caffeine occurs naturally in coffee beans, cocoa beans, kola nuts, and tea leaves.</p> <p>It is an adenosine antagonist, blocking the A1, A2A, and A2B receptors in the brain and body to promote wakefulness. Normally, adenosine (a chemical compound with a similar 3D structure to caffeine) binds to its receptors, slowing neural activity and making you sleepy.</p> <p>When caffeine, instead, binds to the receptors, adenosine is blocked and brain activity speeds up, making you feel more alert.</p> <h2 class="wp-block-heading">History lesson</h2> <p>Tea and coffee are the most common way for humans to get their caffeine fix.</p> <p>Drinks made using coffee beans date back more than a thousand years to the coffee forests of the horn of Africa.</p> <p>Legend says that, around 800 CE, an Ethiopian goat herder named Kaldi noticed his goats were energetic and didn’t sleep when they ate the coffee beans. Coffee then spread eastward to the Arabian Peninsula, reaching Yemen in the 15th century, and Egypt, Syria, Persia and Turkey in the 1500s. From their it made it to Europe and eventually the whole world.</p> <p>But caffeine is also present in other beverages like tea, cola and even some foods like chocolate.</p> <h2 class="wp-block-heading">Is it bad for you?</h2> <p>Given how prevalent the drug is, are there negative side effects we should be worried about?</p> <p>For one thing, it is an addictive substance. And the more you drink, the more you need.</p> <p>“Our body tends to adjust to a new level of consumption,” Kitty Pham, a PhD candidate at the University of South Australia and expert in nutritional and genetic epidemiology, tells <em>Cosmos</em>. “Your body does develop a tolerance to the caffeine. So, you start to need to drink more and more to feel the same effect as before.”</p> <p>Caffeine can also act as an anxiogenic – a substance that can trigger heightened levels of anxiety.</p> <p>Pham notes some risks associated with too much caffeine consumption over a long period of time.</p> <p>“Greater than 6 cups per day, we did see an increase in dementia risk,” she notes. “There’s also some research on how it might increase your cholesterol. There’s a substance in coffee called cafestol that can regulate your blood cholesterol. If you’re drinking too much coffee, it might be increasing your cholesterol. So, there are risks, but often they are at really high consumption.”</p> <h2 class="wp-block-heading">What’s the limit?</h2> <p>So, how much caffeine is too much according to science?</p> <p>“That’s, the million-dollar question, isn’t it?” Pham laughs. “There’s a lot of varying research on it. It’s hard to tell a definite limit. But generally, most studies really agree that one to two cups of coffee, or an equivalent of 100 to 200 milligrams of caffeine is safe and okay.”</p> <p>The average cup of coffee has about 100 mg of caffeine. On average, instant coffee with one teaspoon of powder contains about 70 mg of caffeine, while a coffee pod has 60–90 mg.</p> <p>Other drinks containing might have even more caffeine, making it important to monitor your consumption more carefully.</p> <p>A 355 mL can of Red Bull energy drink has more than 110 mg of caffeine. Meanwhile, an average bar of dark chocolate has about 70 mg of caffeine.</p> <p>Many people are moving away from coffee to drinks like tea and matcha which may have <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/flavonoids-black-tea/">additional</a> <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/tea-drinkers-may-well-live-longer/">health</a> <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/black-tea-mortality-risk/">benefits</a>. A 100-gram cup of black tea has only about 20 mg of caffeine, while matcha can have 140–170 mg of caffeine!</p> <p>“Looking at the US, they usually recommend less than 400 milligrams. So overall, moderation and keeping your consumption to one to two cups – that’s what I’d recommend.”</p> <p>Now that I’ve written about caffeine, I think I need another cuppa. It’s only my second of the day, I swear. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <div> <h3><em><a href="https://link.cosmosmagazine.com/JQ4R"><noscript data-spai="1"><img decoding="async" class="alignleft size-full wp-image-198773" src="https://cdn.shortpixel.ai/spai/ret_img/cosmosmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/Apple-Podcasts.svg" data-spai-egr="1" alt="Subscribe to our podcasts" width="300" height="54" title="should you be worried about the amount of coffee or tea you drink? 2"></noscript></a><a href="https://link.cosmosmagazine.com/JQ4U"><noscript data-spai="1"><img decoding="async" class="alignleft size-full wp-image-198773" src="https://cdn.shortpixel.ai/spai/ret_img/cosmosmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/Spotify.svg" data-spai-egr="1" alt="Subscribe to our podcasts" width="300" height="54" title="should you be worried about the amount of coffee or tea you drink? 3"></noscript></a></em></h3> </div> <p><em><!-- Start of tracking content syndication. Please do not remove this section as it allows us to keep track of republished articles --></em></p> <p><em><a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/health/body-and-mind/coffee-tea-caffeine-debunks/">This article</a> was originally published on <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com">Cosmos Magazine</a> and was written by <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/contributor/evrim-yazgin/">Evrim Yazgin</a>.</em></p>

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How is decaf coffee made? And is it really caffeine-free?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lauren-ball-14718">Lauren Ball</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/emily-burch-438717">Emily Burch</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/southern-cross-university-1160">Southern Cross University</a></em></p> <p>Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world, and its high levels of caffeine are among the main reasons why. It’s a natural stimulant that provides an energy buzz, and we just can’t get enough.</p> <p>However, some people prefer to limit their caffeine intake <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12684194/">for health</a> or other reasons. Decaffeinated or “decaf” coffee is widely available, and its consumption is reported to be <a href="https://www.coffeebeanshop.com.au/coffee-blog/decaf-coffee-market-worth-2145-billion-by-2025-at-69">on the rise</a>.</p> <p>Here’s what you need to know about decaf coffee: how it’s made, the flavour, the benefits – and whether it’s actually caffeine-free.</p> <h2>How is decaf made?</h2> <p>Removing caffeine while keeping a coffee bean’s aroma and flavour intact isn’t a simple task. Decaf coffee is made by stripping green, unroasted coffee beans of their caffeine content and relies on the fact that <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6318762/#:%7E:text=Caffeine%20(Figure%201a)%20being,(15%20g%2FL).">caffeine dissolves</a> in water.</p> <p>Three main methods are used for removing caffeine: chemical solvents, liquid carbon dioxide (CO₂), or plain water with special filters.</p> <p>The additional steps required in all of these processing methods are why decaf coffee is often more expensive.</p> <h2>Solvent-based methods</h2> <p>Most decaf coffee is made using <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/epdf/10.1080/10408699991279231?needAccess=true">solvent-based</a> methods as it’s the cheapest process. This method breaks down into two further types: <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/B9780123849472001835">direct and indirect</a>.</p> <p>The <strong>direct method</strong> involves steaming the coffee beans and then repeatedly soaking them in a chemical solvent (usually methylene chloride or ethyl acetate) which binds to the caffeine and extracts it from the beans.</p> <p>After a pre-determined time, the caffeine has been extracted and the coffee beans are steamed once more to remove any residual chemical solvent.</p> <p>The <strong>indirect method</strong> still uses a chemical solvent, but it doesn’t come into direct contact with the coffee beans. Instead, the beans are soaked in hot water, then the water is separated from the beans and treated with the chemical solvent.</p> <p>The caffeine bonds to the solvent in the water and is evaporated. The caffeine-free water is then returned to the beans to reabsorb the coffee flavours and aromas.</p> <p>The solvent chemicals (particularly methylene chloride) used in these processes are a source of controversy around decaf coffee. This is because <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/biochemistry-genetics-and-molecular-biology/dichloromethane">methylene chloride</a> is suggested to be mildly carcinogenic in high doses. Methylene chloride and ethyl acetate are commonly used in paint stripper, nail polish removers and degreaser.</p> <p>However, both the <a href="https://www.foodstandards.gov.au/code/pages/default.aspx">Australian New Zealand Food Standards Code</a> and <a href="https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm?fr=173.255">the United States Food and Drug Administration</a> permit the use of these solvents to process decaf. They also have strict limits on the amount of the chemicals that can still be present on the beans, and in reality <a href="https://www.chemicals.co.uk/blog/how-dangerous-is-methylene-chloride">practically no solvent</a> is left behind.</p> <h2>Non-solvent-based methods</h2> <p>Non-solvent-based methods that use liquid carbon dioxide or water are becoming increasingly popular as they don’t involve chemical solvents.</p> <p>In the <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/10408699991279231"><strong>CO₂ method</strong></a>, liquid carbon dioxide is pumped into a high-pressure chamber with the beans, where it binds to the caffeine and is then removed through high pressure, leaving behind decaffeinated beans.</p> <p>The <strong>water method</strong> (also known as the Swiss water process) is exactly what it sounds like – it <a href="http://publication.eiar.gov.et:8080/xmlui/bitstream/handle/123456789/3234/ECSS%20Proceeding%20Final.pdf?sequence=1#page=294">involves extracting caffeine</a> from coffee beans using water. There are variations on this method, but the basic steps are as follows.</p> <p>For an initial batch, green coffee beans are soaked in hot water, creating an extract rich in caffeine and flavour compounds (the flavourless beans are then discarded). This green coffee extract is passed through activated charcoal filters, which trap the caffeine molecules while allowing the flavours to pass through.</p> <p>Once created in this way, the caffeine-free extract can be used to soak a new batch of green coffee beans – since the flavours are already saturating the extract, the only thing that will be dissolved from the beans is the caffeine.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/8531vyP7Z5U?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <h2>Is caffeine fully removed from decaf?</h2> <p>Switching to decaf may not be as caffeine free as you think.</p> <p>It is unlikely that 100% of the caffeine will be successfully <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8603790/">stripped from the coffee beans</a>. Just like the caffeine content of coffee can vary, some <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17132260/">small amounts</a> of caffeine are still present in decaf.</p> <p>However, the amount is quite modest. You would need to drink more than ten cups of decaf to reach the caffeine level typically present in <a href="https://academic.oup.com/jat/article/30/8/611/714415">one cup of caffeinated coffee</a>.</p> <p>Australia <a href="https://www.foodstandards.gov.au/code/Documents/1.1.2%20Definitions%20v157.pdf">does not require</a> coffee roasters or producers to detail the process used to create their decaf coffee. However, you might find this information on some producers’ websites if they have chosen to advertise it.</p> <h2>Does decaf coffee taste different?</h2> <p>Some people say decaf tastes different. Depending on how the beans are decaffeinated, some aromatic elements may be co-extracted with the caffeine <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23745606/">during the process</a>.</p> <p>Caffeine also contributes to the bitterness of coffee, so when the caffeine is removed, so is <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8948847/">some of the bitterness</a>.</p> <h2>Do caffeinated and decaf coffee have the same health benefits?</h2> <p>The health benefits found for drinking decaf coffee are similar to that of caffeinated coffee, including a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, some cancers and overall <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5696634/">mortality</a>. More recently, coffee has been linked with improved weight management over time.</p> <p>Most of the health benefits have been shown by drinking <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5696634/">three cups</a> of decaf per day.</p> <p>Moderation is key, and remember that the greatest health benefits will come from having a <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-is-a-balanced-diet-anyway-72432">balanced diet</a>.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/215546/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lauren-ball-14718"><em>Lauren Ball</em></a><em>, Professor of Community Health and Wellbeing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/emily-burch-438717">Emily Burch</a>, Dietitian, Researcher &amp; Lecturer, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/southern-cross-university-1160">Southern Cross University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-is-decaf-coffee-made-and-is-it-really-caffeine-free-215546">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Can coffee help you avoid weight gain? Here’s what the science says

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lauren-ball-14718">Lauren Ball</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/emily-burch-438717">Emily Burch</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/southern-cross-university-1160">Southern Cross University</a></em></p> <p>Coffee is well recognised as having a positive impact on long-term health. Drinking the equivalent of three to four cups of instant coffee a day <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5696634/">reduces the risk</a> of many health conditions including heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.</p> <p>Most people gain <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4984841/">small amounts of weight</a> each year as they age. But can coffee help prevent this gradual weight gain?</p> <p>A group of researchers examined whether drinking an extra cup of coffee a day – or adding sugar, cream or a non-dairy alternative – resulted in more or less weight gain than those who didn’t adjust their intake.</p> <p>Their <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0002916523661702">research</a> (currently a pre-proof, which means it has been peer reviewed but is yet to undergo the final formatting and copyediting) found a modest link between coffee and gaining less weight than expected.</p> <p>People who drank an extra cup of coffee a day gained 0.12 kg less weight than expected over four years. Adding sugar resulted in a fraction more (0.09 kg) weight gain than expected over four years.</p> <h2>How was the study conducted? What did it find?</h2> <p>Researchers combined data from three large studies from the United States: two <a href="https://nurseshealthstudy.org">Nurses’ Health Studies</a> from 1986 to 2010, and from 1991 to 2015, and a <a href="https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/hpfs/about-the-study/">Health Professional Follow-up study</a> from 1991 to 2014.</p> <p>The Nurses’ Health Studies are two of the largest cohort studies, with more 230,000 participants, and investigates chronic disease risks for women. The Health Professional Follow-up study involves more than 50,000 male health professionals and investigates the relationship between diet and health outcomes.</p> <p>Participants in all three studies completed a baseline questionnaire, and another questionnaire every four years to assess their food and drink intake. Using the combined datasets, researchers analysed changes in coffee intake and changes in the participants’ self-reported weight at four-year intervals.</p> <p>The average four year weight-gains for the nurses’ studies were 1.2kg and 1.7kg, while participants in the health professionals study gained an average of 0.8kg.</p> <p>The researchers found that increasing unsweetened caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee intake by one cup a day was associated with a weight gain that was 0.12 kg less than expected over four years.</p> <p>Adding creamer (milk) or a non-dairy alternative did not significantly affect this weight change.</p> <p>However, adding sugar (one teaspoon) to coffee was associated with a weight gain that was 0.09 kg more than expected over four years.</p> <p>These associations were stronger in participants who were younger and had a higher body mass index at the beginning of the studies.</p> <h2>What are the pros and cons of the study?</h2> <p>This study is unique in two ways. It had a very large sample size and followed participants for many years. This adds confidence that the associations were real and can likely be applied to other populations.</p> <p>However, there are three reasons to be cautious.</p> <p>First, the findings represent an <em>association</em>, not <em>causation</em>. This means the study does not prove that coffee intake is the true reason for the weight change. Rather, it shows the two changes were observed together over time.</p> <p>Second, the findings around weight were very modest. The average four-year weight gain averted, based on one cup of coffee, was 0.12 kilograms, which is about 30 grams per year. This amount may not be a meaningful change for most people looking to manage weight.</p> <p>Finally, this analysis did not consider the variability in the amount of caffeine in coffee (which we <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17412475/">know can be high</a>), it just assumed a standard amount of caffeine per cup.</p> <h2>How could coffee help with weight management?</h2> <p>Caffeine is a natural stimulant which has been <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0149763416300690">shown to</a> temporarily reduce appetite and increase alertness. This may help to feel less hungry for a short period, potentially leading to reduced energy intake.</p> <p>Some people consume coffee before exercise as a stimulant to <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7777221/">improve their workout performance</a> – if a workout is more effective, more energy may be expended. However, the benefit is largely thought to be short-lived, rather than long-term.</p> <p>Caffeine has also been <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0271531720304449">shown to</a> speed up our metabolism, causing more energy to be burned while resting. However, this effect is relatively small and is not a suitable substitute for regular physical activity and a healthy diet.</p> <p>Finally, coffee has a <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4725310/">mild diuretic effect</a>, which can lead to temporary water weight loss. This is water loss, not fat loss, and the weight is quickly regained when you re-hydrate.</p> <h2>Is it worth trying coffee for weight loss?</h2> <p>Losing weight can be influenced by various factors, so don’t get too enthusiastic about the coffee-weight link highlighted in this new study, or increase your coffee intake to unreasonable levels.</p> <p>Most adults can safely consume around <a href="https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/caffeine">400mg</a> of caffeine a day. That’s the equivalent of two espressos or four cups of instant coffee or eight cups of tea.</p> <p>If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is important to talk to your doctor before increasing your caffeine intake, because caffeine can be passed through to your growing baby.</p> <p>If you need individualised weight guidance, talk to your GP or visit an <a href="https://member.dietitiansaustralia.org.au/Portal/Portal/Search-Directories/Find-a-Dietitian.aspx">accredited practising dietitian</a>. <!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/214954/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lauren-ball-14718">Lauren Ball</a>, Professor of Community Health and Wellbeing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/emily-burch-438717">Emily Burch</a>, Dietitian, Researcher &amp; Lecturer, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/southern-cross-university-1160">Southern Cross University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/can-coffee-help-you-avoid-weight-gain-heres-what-the-science-says-214954">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Here’s what would happen to your body if you didn’t have your morning coffee

<p><strong>What happens when you skip coffee entirely?</strong></p> <p>Coffee is a morning constant for many, as reliable as the sunrise or the tides. Miss it, and you can feel dazed, confused and even risk a pounding headache. There’s a good reason for that: Caffeine produces some reliable physical changes in your body upon which you can easily become dependent.</p> <p>With that first sip of coffee, caffeine enters your bloodstream and begins making its way to your brain where it blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter called adenosine, according to the <em>National Academy of Sciences</em>. That, in turn, sets off the release of feel-good hormones like dopamine and serotonin, causing a stimulant effect. Coffee’s so-called half-life – meaning the amount of time it takes for the amount of caffeine in the body to be reduced by 50 per cent – is about five hours on average.</p> <p>That explains why the average energy drink or coffee buzz lasts about that long. But how quickly caffeine leaves your system depends on a number of things, including age, medical conditions, drug interactions and lifestyle habits (like smoking).</p> <p><strong>A shock to the system</strong></p> <p>So, no surprise, when you’re deprived of your morning coffee, you don’t just suffer due to routine alteration. You suffer chemically, too. As anybody who’s kicked their coffee habit will tell you: The side effects can be pretty noticeable and jarring. Some of the more common symptoms of caffeine withdrawal stem from the inherent perks of those multi cups of Joe.</p> <p>Minus the kickstart to your metabolism, you’ll feel tired, sluggish, foggy-headed, and physically delayed, according to a review of studies published in 2020 in <em>StatPearls</em>. Researchers found that the more caffeine you consume, the more severe the withdrawal; but abstinence from even small amounts – we’re talking one cup of coffee per day – also produced symptoms of caffeine withdrawal. They kick in 12 to 24 hours after your last caffeine fix and may last up to nine days, says Dr Sherry A Ross, women’s health expert, author of <em>She-ology: The She-quel. </em></p> <p>“Caffeine is a stimulating drug that some people can easily become addicted to,” she explains. “Depending on the quantity and type of caffeine you are consuming daily, your body type and frequency of consumption can set you up for a caffeine addiction.”</p> <p><strong>Coffee's not all bad</strong></p> <p>Just because you can develop a dependence on your morning jolt doesn’t mean that cup of java belongs on the do-not-consume list. Just the opposite, in fact. A large review of studies published in 2017 in the journal BMJ found that coffee consumption is not only safe for most people (except pregnant women and women who are at an increased risk of fracture), it also provides a number of health benefits, especially for people with chronic liver disease.</p> <p>The review also showed that participants who consistently drank at least three cups of coffee per day had a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, kidney disease, gallstone disease, cancer (including melanoma, leukaemia and prostate, endometrial, oral, and liver cancer), as well as cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease and stroke as compared with coffee abstainers.</p> <p>The trick, of course, is practicing portion control. The researchers found that the health benefits of coffee top out at three to four cups a day (as compared to none). That echoes the larger caffeine recommendation from the US Food and Drug Administration, which suggests no more than 400 mg of caffeine per day; that’s the amount in about four cups of coffee, 10 cans of cola, or two energy drinks.</p> <p>Image credits: Getty Images</p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/heres-what-would-happen-to-your-body-if-you-didnt-have-your-morning-coffee" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

Food & Wine

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Maccas hit the road with a coffee lovers dream giveaway

<p dir="ltr">McDonald’s are celebrating the 30 year anniversary of the world’s first McCafé - right at home in Melbourne - in style, offering up a special treat for caffeine lovers all along the east coast of Australia. </p> <p dir="ltr">With the McCafé van tour, the party hit the road, and the second stop of the trip gives Sydneysiders a chance to get in on the fun, and to enjoy the benefits of their very own free coffee - all they have to do is swing by Mrs Macquarie’s Chair in the Royal Botanic Garden on Tuesday 30 May between the hours of 5:30am to 2:00pm. </p> <p dir="ltr">And for those who don’t fancy the early start - or simply crave something a little sweeter - have no fear, because McCafé’s all over are introducing the<a href="https://mcdonalds.com.au/menu/birthday-cake-flavoured-latte"> limited-time Birthday Cake flavoured latte</a>. </p> <p dir="ltr">The delicious new treat can be enjoyed both hot and cold to delight all taste buds, and boasts McCafé’s “signature smooth and rich blend combined with delicious cake flavours”. </p> <p dir="ltr">And if there’s one thing McCafé knows, it’s how to make a good coffee, with 1,026 establishments across Australia, and a further 4,000 in 60 other countries. All of which work together to serve more than 230 million cups of coffee - barista made, of course - and other hot drinks each year, with a staggering one in every four coffees sold in Australia coming from none other than a McCafé.</p> <p dir="ltr">“One of the innovations we’re most proud of at McDonald’s Australia is McCafé,” Lancy Huynh - Group Brand Manager for McDonald’s Australia - explained, “a homegrown idea that has turned into a global success.</p> <p dir="ltr">“McCafé changed McDonald’s approach to coffee across the world – inventing a new way of serving our customers and defining what it means to offer great-quality, barista-made coffee in our restaurants.</p> <p dir="ltr">“With over 1,000 locations in Australia, McCafé is now one of the largest coffee retailers in the country, representing an impressive one in every four coffees sold in Australia.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It’s a brand that was created by coffee lovers for coffee lovers, so we are extremely proud to celebrate this milestone with the experts that helped shape it – our customers right here in Australia.”</p> <p dir="ltr">And Sydney isn’t the only city blessed with the opportunity to snag one of those impressive blends during this milestone celebration, with <a href="https://mcdonalds.com.au/sites/mcdonalds.com.au/files/230522_McCafe%CC%81%20celebrates%2030%20years_FINAL%20%281%29.pdf">the van tour set to swing by Brisbane and Townsville in the coming weeks</a>, having already completed its Melbourne run. </p> <p dir="ltr">“We are excited to hit the road and celebrate McCafé’s 30th anniversary with the coffee lovers that helped shape it – our customers right here in Australia,” Lancy Huynh explained.  </p> <p dir="ltr">“Over the next few weeks, the McCafé coffee van will give away free coffee … to thank our customers for their loyalty and support over the last 30 years. </p> <p dir="ltr">“We look forward to meeting our customers across the east coast and fuelling them up with our great quality, barista-made coffee.” </p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: McDonald’s [supplied]</em></p>

Food & Wine

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“Coffee that makes people cry”: Sydney cafe charges $1500 for a single brew

<p>For most people, forking out $5 for a cup of coffee is to be expected, even threatening a daily budget in the midst of Australia’s cost of living crisis. </p> <p>But for one Western Sydney cafe and its wealthier clientele, that $5 has shot to $1500. </p> <p>Penrith’s Brew Lab Cafe is the place to be for coffee lovers seeking Australia’s “rarest coffee” in a unique after-hours experience that’s available by appointment only. </p> <p>As for why the beans set customers back so much, they’re apparently found growing at the base of a Panamanian volcano that’s 1700 metres above sea level, rating well above a 90 - which apparently signifies that they’re some of the best when it comes to coffee beans.</p> <p>And to top it all off, they fly first class. </p> <p>There’s a precise formula behind brewing the coffee, too, with pre-dampened filter paper, water boiled to 94 degrees, and carefully timed “pour over” sessions. It’s intended to be served black, with no additional sweeteners or flavours. </p> <p>“We order it once the customer has,” the cafe’s owner and barista Mitch Johnson told <em>9News</em>. “We then get in contact with the guys in Panama, they’ll roast the order individually, and then they’ll send it over on their private jet.”</p> <p>However, for those hoping for a hit of coffee flavour from their brew, they may find themselves a little disappointed. </p> <p>As Johnson explained, “most people when they drink it, say their first impression is that it's more like a tea than a coffee.”</p> <p>Unsurprisingly, they don’t see an awful lot of people flocking in to hand over $1500, but apparently do get “quite a few coming in once a week to try our $100 or $200 coffees.</p> <p>"It's not rare for us at all. There is an underground coffee scene in Sydney that is actively pursuing exotic brews such as this.”</p> <p>When speaking to <em>The Daily Telegraph</em> about their offering, Johnson added that it wasn’t just about the coffee itself, noting that “this is an after-hours experience, only served one-on-one where we close the doors and talk the person through the process.</p> <p>“This particular coffee, you drink it as it cools down and the flavours change and evolve, giving way to tastes of peach, strawberry, lemonade, rose and juniper.</p> <p>“It’s an exceptional coffee, the kind of coffee that makes people cry, I know that sounds crazy but it’s happened, it’s brought them to tears.”</p> <p><em>Images: 9News / Nine</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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13 unusual uses for coffee filters

<p>If you enjoy a cup of the caffeinated stuff of a morning, chances are good you probably have a packet or two of coffee filters knocking around in the pantry. While essential for creating the perfect brew, the simple shape and lint-free design of this beverage essential makes them useful in plenty of other places around the house.</p> <ol> <li>Use them to protect your dishes – Protect your favourite plates or good china from chipping and scratches by slipping a single filter in between each when stacking.</li> <li>Savvy snacking – If you’re serving up something greasy or even a finger food snack, a coffee filter makes the perfect snack bowl. Added bonus? No washing up!</li> <li>Sparkling windows and mirrors – The lint-free design of coffee filters make them perfect for cleaning fragile surfaces.</li> <li>In the garden – When filling up pots with soil, place a filter in the bottom, over the water hole. This allows water to filter through but stops soil seeping out.</li> <li>Smart storage – Lots of loose odds and ends floating around? Corral them all together by using a filter to group similar objects.</li> <li>Clean your screens – Dusty TV or computer screen? A coffee filter is great for grabbing dust and grime from smooth surfaces.</li> <li>The key to micro-sieving – If you’re baking and need a super fine sieve, line your standard utensil with a filter to catch even the smallest particles of food.</li> <li>Ice block savior- Stop sticky fingers in the grandkids by snipping a hole in the centre of a filter and pushing the stick through to create a little “drip dish”.</li> <li>Grease your baking utensils – Ensure a lint free, well-greased surface by using a filter to grease your baking tins or trays.</li> <li>Create spotless glassware – Prevent unsightly streaks by using a filter to dry your glassware.</li> <li>Keep your microwave clean – Use a filter when heating leftovers in the microwave to prevent splatter.</li> <li>Absorb oil – Cooking bacon? Pop the finished product onto a filter to drain away excess oil.</li> <li>Streak free stainless steel – Filters work like magic on stainless steel appliances like your toaster as well as taps and fixtures.</li> </ol> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Home & Garden

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“It tastes like rich”: Hotel sells $32 coffee with gold sprinkles

<p dir="ltr">At the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, you can treat yourself to a cappuccino for a whopping $32AUD, although you’re not <em>really</em> paying for the coffee alone. </p> <p dir="ltr">The cappuccino, which is found at the hotel’s Le Cafe by the Fountain comes with 23-karat gold sprinkled on top and it has been named the Emirates Palace Golden Cappuccino. </p> <p dir="ltr">The pricey cap is not the only item on the menu that is embellished with gold, with the hotel advertising a camel milk vanilla or chocolate ice cream with a 23-karat gold leaf for $29.</p> <p dir="ltr">In the mood for a cold drink? The Emirates Palace has got you covered with their Hawaiian Candy Colada, a mocktail topped with 23-karat gold flakes for $26. </p> <p dir="ltr">Tourists have shared videos on social media, with one showing a barista shaking a can of gold flakes over a row of cappuccinos, much like one would with the average cocoa powder topping. </p> <p dir="ltr">Another video posted by a worker shows her adding gold flakes with a spoon.</p> <p dir="ltr">One TikToker who got to try the luxurious coffee wrote, “The gold cappuccino was 8/10 but the vibes were 100/10.” </p> <p dir="ltr">One user wrote, “It tastes like rich.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Another agreed, writing “It tastes expensive.” </p> <p dir="ltr">A Canadian coffee content creator, Brodie Vissers, better known as The Nomad Barista online reviewed the hotel’s cappuccino on YouTube. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Our drinks have arrived, I’m a little bit nervous. It used to be 24-karat, now they’ve reduced it to 23-karat but it is still gold sprinkled on this coffee,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I don’t even know what to expect from this drink,” he said before trying the luxurious drink. </p> <p dir="ltr">“It’s actually not bad. Of course the foam on the latte is not like a perfect flat white or anything. It’s actually not as sweet as I expected. It’s got a nice balance to it. It’s an interesting drink.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We cannot forget about the dates. Having dates with coffee is a very traditional thing here in the Middle East.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Let’s see how that pairs with the latte. Wow, that is so good. I recommend it if you’re around. It’s a kind of unique opportunity here in (Emirates) Palace. What better place to drink coffee with gold on top.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credit: Instagram </em></p>

Food & Wine

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Nespresso launches limited-edition festive collection

<p>Nespresso and world-renowned pastry chef and chocolatier Pierre Hermé are thrilled to join forces and announce a limited-edition capsule collection to kick off the festive season. The exclusive coffees and accessories are a celebration of refined tastes and indulgence, representing the best when it comes to tasting pleasures.</p> <p>The limited-edition collaboration builds upon Pierre Hermé’s extensive background as an expert of flavour, bringing to life a collection that focuses on shared moments with friends and family over the festive period.</p> <p>Of all the festive scenes in the world, Parisian design and culinary science is the pinnacle - the lights, the Christmas markets, the extravagant art, the city’s infectious energy - all these make Paris during Christmas a dream. Australians have long looked to Europe for inspiration when it comes to Christmas and with this new collection, Aussies will have the chance to experience Parisian finesse without leaving the country.</p> <p>From the creator of the Haute Pâtisserie, Pierre Hermé’s pastries are at the apex of avant-garde design, skilled technique and refined flavours. Decades of experience beginning with an apprenticeship at age 14 for Gaston Lenôtre, widely considered the father of modern pastry, led to Pierre Hermé being crowned the prestigious title of World’s Best Pastry Chef in 2016.</p> <p>With namesake boutiques and cafés all over the globe, Pierre Hermé’s creativity and sophistication in gastronomy is unparalleled. His unmistakably modern imagination pairs with technique to craft the ultimate coffee for the most discerning of palates – foodies will delight in the complex flavours while rejoicing in the ease of use, all from the comfort of home.</p> <p>If you're a devote Nespresso fan make sure you pick up the limited edition advent calendar. Containing 24 coffees and a surprise gift for the last day. The coffees are a mix of favourites from Nespresso’s permanent range and Pierre Hermé’s co-created limited edition collection. All presented in an exquisite box designed to be reused afterwards.</p> <p>In addition to the limited edition coffee pods, Nespresso have come out with three limited edition coffee machines including: </p> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2022/11/Coffee-machines-new.jpg" alt="" width="835" height="414" /></p> <p>The Nespresso | The Pierre Hermé collection is available now in Nespresso boutiques worldwide and online. As with all shared moments, the collection is available for a limited time only and while supplies last.</p> <p>You can check out the beautiful new collection here: </p> <p><em>Images: Supplied</em></p> <p> </p>

Food & Wine

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7 signs you’re drinking too much coffee

<h2>You feel anxious</h2> <p>Ruminating about an upcoming event or deadline can fuel your desire to grab a comforting mug of coffee. Yet, the National Institute of Mental Health in the US recommends that people who suffer from anxiety avoid caffeine. Why? Drinking too much coffee can actually worsen the effects of anxiety, either by robbing you of proper sleep or triggering your flight or fight response. In a 1990 study published in Psychosomatic Medicine, 25 men were given a moderate dose of caffeine or a placebo before a stressful task. The men, who were all regular coffee drinkers, had higher blood pressure, stress hormones, and about double the reported stress level with the caffeine compared with the placebo.</p> <h2>Your stomach hurts</h2> <p>You may associate stomach pains with spoiled food or PMS cramps. You should add your morning cuppa to that list as well. In 2017, European scientists found that certain compounds in coffee stimulate the secretion of stomach acid by your stomach cells. Taking an over-counter medication like Tums can neutralise the acid short-term, but if you suspect drinking too much coffee is making your stomach hurt, think about changing your coffee consumption habits.</p> <h2>Your heart is racing</h2> <p>The feeling that your heart is beating too fast can be frightening. It may feel like your heart is trying to escape from your ribcage. These heart palpitations can be caused by the consumption of too much coffee and caffeine, nicotine, and even alcohol. In some cases, a racing heart can lead to dizziness and even fainting spells. According to a 2017 study in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry, 94 per cent of doctors recommend patients experiencing the fluttering heart beats stop consuming caffeine.</p> <h2>You have diarrhoea</h2> <p>Most people know that coffee can help keep you regular, thanks to its laxative properties. Drink more than two or three cups a day, though, and you might get diarrhoea, according to the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders. If you find your bathroom issues become unmanageable, the IFFGD recommends gradual withdrawal from caffeine.</p> <h2>You can’t sleep</h2> <p>Insomnia can be a telltale sign of too much coffee. Even if you swear coffee doesn’t have any effect on you, this tasty drink can still wreak havoc on your sleep cycle. Coffee’s half-life is five hours, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. That means it can take several more hours for the stimulant to completely leave your system. This can increase the number of times you wake up during the night, and decrease overall time asleep. To solve this problem, try to drink that last cup of coffee no later than noon.</p> <h2>You’ve got the jitters</h2> <p>Coffee makes you feel more alert, but sometimes that feeling turns into too much of a good thing. This is where the jitters come in. Caffeine speeds up your central nervous system, causing you to feel jumpy. Skip that fourth cup and stop the shakes.</p> <h2>You get headaches</h2> <p>A moderate amount of caffeine helps relieve a headache, by helping pain-relief medications work better, according to a study in The Journal of Headache and Pain. That’s why you’ll find caffeine as an ingredient in many over-the-counter headache drugs. However, if you drink too much coffee for a sustained amount of time (getting a daily excess of 500 mg of caffeine, or the equivalent of five cups of coffee), you can go through caffeine withdrawal. The symptoms include headaches and fatigue, found Johns Hopkins researchers. Slowly decrease your caffeine intake – and look at all the possible sources in your diet, including coffee, headache drugs, tea, soft drink, and energy drinks.</p> <p><strong>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/7-signs-youre-drinking-too-much-coffee" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </strong></p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Body

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Mixed messages: Is coffee good or bad for us?

<p>Coffee is good for you. Or it’s not. Maybe it is, then it isn’t, then it is again. If you drink coffee, and follow the news, then perhaps you’ve noticed this pattern.</p> <p>A recent study showed that coffee, even sweetened, <a href="https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/article-beck-coffee-delivers-health-perks-even-with-some-sugar-new-study/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">was associated with health benefits</a>. But other studies <a href="https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/is-coffee-good-or-bad-for-your-health/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">have come to more mixed conclusions</a>.</p> <p>What’s driving these pendulum swings in the health status of coffee? Like a good cup of coffee, the answer is complex, but seems to boil down to human nature and scientific practice.</p> <h2>Wishful optimism</h2> <p>Globally, we consume about <a href="https://britishcoffeeassociation.org/coffee-consumption/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">two billion cups of coffee each day</a>. That’s a lot of coffee, and many of those who imbibe want to know what that coffee is doing to us, in addition to waking us up.</p> <p>As a species, we are often <a href="https://grist.org/article/80-percent-of-humans-are-delusionally-optimistic-says-science/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">delusionally optimistic</a>. We want the world to be better, maybe simpler, than it is. We squint at our morning cup through those same rosy glasses: We really want coffee to bring us health, not just a sunny disposition.</p> <p>But is that likely? In drinking coffee, we’re ingesting a complex brew that includes literally thousands of chemicals, including one that evolved to dissuade herbivores from munching on the coffee plant: caffeine.</p> <h2>Coffee for the caffeine</h2> <p>Our morning kickstart comes from a plant toxin. The possible health benefits of coffee are generally attributed to other molecules in the brew, often antioxidants including polyphenols, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1007/s00217-019-03388-9" target="_blank" rel="noopener">a group that are found in substantial concentrations in coffee</a>. But they, and other antioxidants, are also found <a href="https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/antioxidants/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">in many plants like broccoli or blueberries, and in higher concentrations</a>.</p> <p>We drink coffee for the caffeine, not the antioxidants. The best we can realistically hope for is that we aren’t harming ourselves by drinking coffee. With any luck, coffee isn’t killing us nearly as quickly as other things that we’re doing to our bodies. I’m looking at you <a href="https://health.clevelandclinic.org/sluggish-start-the-5-worst-breakfast-foods/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">doughnuts</a>, <a href="https://www.verywellhealth.com/microwave-popcorn-and-cancer-5085309" target="_blank" rel="noopener">microwave popcorn</a> and <a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/quit-smoking/expert-answers/cigar-smoking/faq-20057787" target="_blank" rel="noopener">celebratory cigars</a>.</p> <p>The dynamic nature of science also drives our on-again, off-again medical love affair with coffee. Scientists like to study coffee almost as much as we like to drink it; there are almost three and a half million scientific articles focused on coffee (thanks Google Scholar). Even the number of cups we consume is surprisingly contentious, with many aspects <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjnph-2018-000013" target="_blank" rel="noopener">being subject to scrutiny, study and debate</a>.</p> <h2>Changing research findings</h2> <p>The dizzying swings in coffee’s health status highlight a fundamental challenge in modern science. Research is an ongoing process, and our understanding of the world around us changes as we explore and learn. We question, examine and make decisions based on the best information we have. Those decisions can, and should, change as we get new information.</p> <p>In 1981, a high profile New York Times opinion piece loudly proclaimed that <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/1981/03/14/opinion/coffee-and-cancer.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">our morning cup was driving us to an early grave</a>. The writers wrung their hands as they swore off coffee and faced the grey reality of their post-coffee world. Their passionate convictions were driven by a then-recent study in which researchers clearly linked even moderate coffee consumption with a substantial rise in premature death.</p> <p>Three years later the study was refuted by some of <a href="https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJM198608283150918" target="_blank" rel="noopener">the same scientists</a>, and the editors were, presumably, back in their coffee cups – if they had ever actually stepped away.</p> <p>The initial study was well done, included more than 1,000 patients from almost a dozen hospitals and five reputable scientists. The results were clear and the conclusions seemed justified. But a follow-up study failed to replicate the, admittedly shocking, conclusions: the authors found no link between drinking coffee and premature death.</p> <p>What went wrong? One thing may have been the researchers’ reliance on a common measure of statistical significance, the p value. The value was developed as a way to explore data, but is often treated as a magic bullet that identifies significant results.</p> <p>But there simply isn’t a foolproof, objective or irrefutable way to identify or quantify the significance of a result. We can reach reasonable conclusions in which we have some kind of confidence, but that is about as good as it is going to get.</p> <p>We need to question conclusions that seem to be too good to be true, like the idea that consuming a plant toxin could make us live longer, that <a href="https://theconversation.com/hoping-to-get-in-shape-for-summer-ditch-the-fads-in-favour-of-a-diet-more-likely-to-stick-122648" target="_blank" rel="noopener">only eating a fictional caveman diet will make us healthier</a>, <a href="https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-covid-19-pandemic-not-over/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">acting as though the COVID-19 pandemic is over</a>, even in the face of daily evidence that it isn’t, will make it go away, or that <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/nilsrokke/2022/04/07/why-we-cant-ignore-the-latest-un-climate-change-report/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">simply ignoring massive fluctuations in weather will make global climate change disappear</a>. Common sense can go a long way.</p> <h2>Health benefits</h2> <p>Is coffee good for you? Yes, in the sense that it will wake you up, brighten your mood, maybe even give you an excuse to get out of the house and chat with friends at a local coffee house.</p> <p>Will drinking coffee make you healthier or help you live longer? Probably not. Sure, the antioxidants in our morning cup could actually be helping our bodies, but there are far better ways to boost your antioxidant intake.</p> <p>So, wake up with a strong cup of coffee, <a href="https://theconversation.com/food-variety-is-important-for-our-health-but-the-definition-of-a-balanced-diet-is-often-murky-149126" target="_blank" rel="noopener">but stay healthy with a complex and varied diet</a>.</p> <p><strong>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/mixed-messages-is-coffee-good-or-bad-for-us-it-might-help-but-it-doesnt-enhance-health-187343" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>.</strong></p> <p><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

Body

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Your morning cup of coffee could help you live longer

<p>While coffee helps us function, it could also potentially be an elixir to a longer life. Drinking 1.5 to 3.5 cups of coffee per day, even with sugar, could help you live longer.</p> <p>An international team of scientists (and fellow coffee lovers) spent seven years looking at the caffeinated drinking habits of 171,000 participants from the UK, all of whom had no known heart disease or cancer.</p> <p>The authors found that participants who drank any amount of unsweetened coffee were 16% to 21% less likely to die within that seven-year period, compared to those who did not drink coffee. They also found that participants who liked their coffee sweet, drinking it with one teaspoon of sugar, had a 29% to 31% lower chance of passing away.</p> <p>Results were inconclusive for those who drank coffee with artificial sweetener.</p> <p>The researchers caution that for maximum benefits, coffee drinkers should consume no more than 3.5 cups per day, and limit the amount of sugar with each coffee. Based on this data, there is no need for most coffee drinkers to eliminate that cup of joe from their diet, but they should be cautious about ordering calorie-laden frappacinos!</p> <p>The study was published in Annals of Internal Medicine.</p> <p><strong><em><span id="docs-internal-guid-2fa54359-7fff-a1ff-3069-f890b2d456f4">This article originally appeared on <a href="https://cosmosmagazine.com/science/biology/coffee-help-live-longer/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">cosmosmagazine.com</a> and was written by </span>Qamariya Nasrullah.</em></strong></p>

Body

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Maccas to launch a new menu item for Aussies only

<p dir="ltr">McDonald’s have announced the launch of a new menu item exclusively for Australians – and some of us will be able to try it for free.</p> <p dir="ltr">The fast-food giant has tapped into our love of coffee, creating a new beverage dubbed the “Australiano” that adds a flavour combination of native wattleseed and chai to McCafe’s locally-roasted coffee beans.</p> <p dir="ltr">It has been deliberately designed to rival the classic Americano, with McDonald’s Australia saying the drink had been more than a year in the making.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The goal here for us is to create a coffee flavour that Aussies can call their own,” Lancy Huynh, McDonald’s Australia’s group brand manager said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We look forward to hearing what our customers think of this unique mix of flavours.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Available for a limited time from May the 25th at McCafés around the country, the Australiano has been described by Macca’s as a “treat for coffee aficionados” that can be served hot or iced.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Australia is a nation of coffee aficionados. What better way to celebrate them than to create a coffee they can call their own?” Lancey added.</p> <p dir="ltr">“As a champion for Aussie coffee culture, McCafé wanted to right this wrong and craft a blend that Aussies can proudly put their name to.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-dfc7467a-7fff-ac88-ed47-1dcdb2745207"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">Lancy went on to claim the new brew, which costs $4.75 but pricing can vary, was a coffee Australians “can proudly put their name to”.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: McDonald's Australia</em></p>

Food & Wine

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Coles’ new game-changing coffee pods

<p dir="ltr">Over the last two years our coffee habits have certainly changed. There’s been a surge in sales for at-home coffee options, spurred along by pandemic restrictions and lockdowns. </p> <p dir="ltr">Supermarket giant Coles saw a 30% spike in coffee pod sales and a 20% rise in sachet coffee as the nation battled Covid-19.</p> <p dir="ltr">In light of this, Coles have decided to release their very own brand of compostable coffee pod – of course, making it the first major Aussie retailer to do so.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We know how much Australians love drinking quality coffee and the pandemic really has changed the way we drink our coffee,” Coles general manager of grocery Leanne White shared.</p> <p dir="ltr">“More people are reaching for convenient, cafe-style coffee at home as flexible working becomes the norm. With coffee pods becoming so much more popular, we wanted to develop an option for eco-conscious customers to dispose of their pods at home, instead of in their landfill bin.”</p> <p dir="ltr">The new Coles Urban Coffee Culture Organic home compostable pods are made with bio-sourced cellulose and vegetable oils. These break down in about the same amount of time as an orange peel.</p> <p dir="ltr">“We are always looking for ways to reduce problematic and unnecessary single-use plastic from Coles Own Brand products, and offering a home compostable coffee pods option is one way of doing it,” Ms White continued.</p> <p dir="ltr">She described it as a “game-changer” for at-home coffee experiences and for those worried about whether taste would be compromised, Ms White said it still had the “same great taste ... but now with the added bonus of being compostable at home”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Meanwhile, Melbourne-based coffee company Grinders also recently introduced compostable coffee capsules to its popular range.</p> <p dir="ltr">Each of the coffee capsules is made from bio-based, compostable resin and is compatible with all ‘original’ Nespresso coffee capsule machines.</p> <p dir="ltr">Coles has a goal to have all its Own Brand product packaging 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-ee1b869e-7fff-9d5e-23c6-c7efb0c9bbf0"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">The pods, which can be used in machines designed for Nespresso-style coffee pods, have been certified by the Australasian Bioplastics Association and will be available in Coles supermarkets from today, for $4.50 for a pack of 10.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Food & Wine

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Melbourne woman left shocked over Sydney coffee prices

<p dir="ltr">Australians are known for our quality coffee (albeit a bit expensive at times). </p> <p dir="ltr">But, how much are we willing to spend?</p> <p dir="ltr">A Melbourne woman was left in disbelief when she was charged $8.90 for a latte in Sydney’s inner-city precinct of Barangaroo.</p> <p dir="ltr">The woman, who goes by the name of Traci on <a href="https://www.news.com.au/topics/tiktok">TikTok</a>, was in the CBD for the weekend when she made the purchase at a cafe inside Crown Towers.</p> <p dir="ltr">“OMG I just got charged $8.90 for a cup of coffee,” she said in a now viral video.</p> <p dir="ltr">Traci, who is a migration lawyer, said she was charged $1 extra for soy milk, another $1 for upgrading to large, an 80 cent Sunday service fee and another 10 cents for “other”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Traci has described the coffee as being “average”, telling 7news she “didn’t mind too much” about the price but she knew the coffee cost “more than usual”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Her video has already surpassed more than 140,000 views since it was uploaded only two days ago with hundreds of people weighing in on her experience.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Just another day in Australia,” one person wrote.</p> <p dir="ltr">One user asked why she bothered to pay that much, to which Traci responded: “It’s not like the price is displayed anywhere.”</p> <p dir="ltr">She also said she usually makes her own coffee at home, but considering she was on holiday, she wanted to treat herself.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Yep I feel this even in Melb,” a fellow Melburnian commented.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-9d936ad0-7fff-ed16-2716-8e30aae16dc3"></span></p> <p dir="ltr">Others pointed out it’s due to “inflation” and for coffee lovers to expect an increase in price.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: TikTok</em></p>

Food & Wine

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Man rejected from interview through accidental email to management

<p dir="ltr">Alexander Wood was refused an opportunity to be interviewed for a position he applied for thanks to an accidental HR email.</p> <p dir="ltr">This was the third time Alexander applied for a barista position at Utica Coffee Roasting Company in New York. </p> <p dir="ltr">He was interviewed by the company in April 2021 and was offered the role but was unable to accept due to his living circumstances. </p> <p dir="ltr">In December 2021, after reapplying, HR got in touch with Alexander saying they will set up a time for an interview…but no one got back to him.</p> <p dir="ltr">After applying again recently in March 2022, Alexander was rejected from any interview after he was CC’d in an email from HR saying he never showed up last time. </p> <p dir="ltr">“Well, today is the first time I got CC'ed on an email I should not have been,” he wrote on Facebook on March 15. </p> <p dir="ltr">“It was an email an HR employee meant to send to management about how I never showed up for an interview and I was CC'd into their responses.”</p> <p dir="ltr">He explained that he was at an “all-time low in my life, I had just left downstate after being rendered homeless for over a week, I had left my toxic relationship, and I was legally tied to an apartment that I did not feel safe living in.” </p> <p dir="ltr">After sorting out his life, Alexander applied once again, only to randomly check his phone and saw the “triggering email” from the company. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I got hopeful and checked when I could only to find out it was an email meant for the other managers talking about how I never showed up for an interview,” he continued.</p> <p dir="ltr">Sharing a screenshot of the email thread, HR had informed management that Alexander had allegedly not shown up for a previous interview.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Well that’s interesting ok so lets reject him…” management responded. </p> <p dir="ltr">Alexander said he would “never no-call, no-show an interview, especially at that point in my life.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Shocked at their unprofessionalism, Alexander responded with proof of their emails showing that someone from HR would get in contact with him but didn’t. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I am absolutely astonished at the carelessness in this situation. Needless to say, I will not get a job there and will most likely never step foot in the establishment again. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I'm confident in my skills and I hold enough pride not to put up with this kind of absolute garbage. These are the things you don’t do with your business.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Facebook</em></p>

Money & Banking

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Cafe offering $92,000 to pour coffees

<p dir="ltr">A cafe is offering baristas an impressive $92,000 salary to pour coffee.</p> <p dir="ltr">The Good Cartel in the Kimberley region of Western Australia is offering higher than industry rates for six positions at their cafe.</p> <p dir="ltr">The barista package offers a $92,030 salary and superannuation where the successful applicant must work 47 hours over five days, including the weekend.</p> <p dir="ltr">Those looking to keep their weekends free can apply for the barista position offering a $83,000 salary.</p> <p dir="ltr">Kitchen staff are offered almost $20,000 more at $112,464 annually to work 55 hours over the week, including weekends.</p> <p dir="ltr">For $102,000 kitchen staff can work and keep their weekends free, while drive-thru attendants are being offered $80,000 a year.</p> <p dir="ltr">Jack Kain, the owner of Good Cartel, said he was already paying higher industry rates but said it had become necessary in recent times to work with the rising cost of living.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It’s a better than usual strategy now with the labour shortage, which has now fallen well and truly off the cliff,” he told <a href="https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/wa/staff-shortages-force-kimberley-businesses-to-offer-baristas-90000-a-year--c-6064180" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Perth Now</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr">“When you combine this with the rental shortage and all of the various COVID restrictions incoming it’s going to be challenging.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image: Shutterstock</em></p>

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