Jan

30

The Instant Coffee Overthrow

instant

Time to ditch the instant …

This great little infographic comes courtesy of the great folks at Make Decent Coffee. Not only do we share in its spritely sentiment, we believe that this is something offices across the land, and especially in Birmingham, can get behind in 2014.

Why not share it yourselves, or better still, where instant is being served, why not print it out and display it in your office kitchen. Tell your bosses that enough is enough and you no longer want to put with the supposed Barista-style Nescafe. Instead you want proper filters in your office!

Just be sure, when you get to step number 5, you know what you’re dropping it on! 🙂

The Instant Overthrow – An infographic by the team at Make Decent Coffee

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Jan

21

Feature Blog: Should You Drink Coffee While Pregnant?

Pregnant (Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/jay_erickson)Most of you reading know and love all things coffee. Indeed, not a week goes by where new medical research is released or articles are published espousing the ‘dos’ and ‘donts’ of coffee and/or caffeine intake.

For example, I have just recently tweeted about research from the University of Birmingham, which suggests that coffee hydrates as well as water (click here).

In this guest blog by Peter from CoffeeBuyerUK, the issue of how much to drink when pregnant is one of those important topic areas which is discussed.

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Should You Drink Coffee While Pregnant?

Pregnant (Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/blmurch)During pregnancy, you have to be mindful that whatever you are putting into your body you are also putting into your unborn child. One of the concerns many have with coffee, is that it contains a large amount of caffeine and therefore there is a question of what this does to the child.

Effectively, this  means that your body’s nervous and physiological activity is raised; so processes such as your metabolism are sped up, this improves your energy levels and alertness. This may help you feel better on tired spells that your pregnancy is causing you however it may not be overly beneficial for your child.

NHS guidelines suggest that the limit for caffeine intake during pregnancy is 200mg. This is to ensure that your child doesn’t have an overload of caffeine and therefore to prevent any harm in the child’s development. Research has shown that regularly surpassing the daily recommended limit of caffeine intake, can result in underweight babies.

Caffeine content

In terms of caffeine content there is much more in a freshly ground cup of coffee than instant coffee, with instant thought to have 100mg per cup whereas a filter coffee has roughly 140mg per cup.

Equally, in terms of taste and quality, freshly ground coffee is by far the better option. It is healthier too.

If you go for an organic coffee bean then it is free of the additives that are used in the process of freeze drying the instant coffee. Alongside this, the antioxidant properties of coffee are greatly reduced when it comes instant coffee, as when the bean is split, oxygen gets to it which has a derogatory effect on the antioxidant parts of the coffee and also this has an effect on the taste and there is a clear difference between fresh and instant.

Caffeine (Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/kellysue)Best Options For Coffee While Pregnant

Although guidelines suggest that a limited amount of caffeine is not a problem during pregnancy, should you wish to be ultra safe then there is the decaf option to allow you the opportunity to still enjoy a cup of coffee with all the taste but without the risk factor.

Yet if you still want to keep the full joys of a cup of coffee then you can, however you need to know what the recommended limits are, in order to not to potentially risk your child. Having either one cup of freshly ground coffee at the very most per day will keep you within the 200mg limit, and therefore should not cause any risk to your child.

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What do you think about coffee drinking whilst pregnant or any other important caffeine related health areas? Let us know your thoughts at @coffeebrum.

Peter works for CoffeeBuyerUK (www.coffeebuyer.co.uk), a UK wide Wholesale Coffee retailers with often stock branded coffees and equipment available to buy online. Follow them on twitter (@coffeebuyeruk), facebook (/coffeebuyeruk) and Google Plus.

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Jan

16

Paul Best: Batting for Birmingham’s coffee shops

Our first guest blog for 2014 and we are delighted to welcome to professional cricketer Paul Best to Coffee Birmingham to account for his glowing experiences of Urban Coffee Company’s Church Street emporium.

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After a busy week and a tough day of training, I was in much need of a bite to eat, a relaxing space and a flat white to take the edge off. I ventured to Church Street to the Urban Coffee Company, where I had often driven past, and been impressed from the outside by the seemingly trendy vibe within.

Urban Coffee Company Birmingham

I was immediately struck by the smart and well-furnished interior. Had I come in a few hours earlier I could have indulged in the porridge that would have been on offer with many different toppings available. However, as it was almost two o’clock and I had not yet had lunch, I decided to go for a festive looking ‘Roast Chicken and Chestnut Stuffing’ sandwich, which I decided to have toasted. It went down a treat especially when accompanied by an excellent Flat White. The Urban Coffee Company advertised their use of a combination of Brazilian and Guatemalan beans and my friend Tom said he picked up on the nutty, almost fruity aspect of the blend as a coffee connoisseur (get him – the big showoff).

Birmingham

Some pretty cool artwork and a large mural on the wall nicely supported the stripped-back and down-to-earth décor. A great feature of the establishment was a number of large beanbags, one of which had the honour of support my frame for a few minutes as I digested my sandwich and coffee (it let me reflect on life’s mysteries in a most comfortable fashion).
Birmingham

I was reading recently that this type of relaxation and idleness was experienced in many of the coffee houses of Europe in the 17th century. However, people were sitting back and watching the world go by one afternoon too many it seems because in England in 1676 Charles II, the king of the day, issued ‘a proclamation for the Suppression of Coffee-Houses’. In it, he banned coffee houses since they had become places of idleness and neglect.

Birmingham

In Constantinople, at a similar time in history, coffee houses were also banned as it was thought they would create a laidback atmosphere during a time of war. Anyone who was seen drinking coffee was sewn into a leather bag and thrown into the Bosphorus! How glad I was that Tom or myself weren’t thrown into the Birmingham Canal for enjoying our coffees this afternoon? Very. That’s how glad.

It’s important to have spaces in the community where you can switch off from the fast-paced world outside. This is certainly such a space. It was refreshing to see only one laptop out and not one person on their phone as the open planned upstairs seemed to create a great environment for discussion and debate whilst surrounded by the eccentric pieces of art (including a large wooden slab with a picture of Pharrel Williams).

I would definitely recommend the Urban Coffee Company for anyone who wants to experience some great quality coffee and food while doing so in a relaxed and quirky space. The next time I come I might have to treat myself to one of their muffins, which looked particularly tempting!

What do you think?
Let us know @coffeebrum or on facebook www.facebook.com/coffeebrum
About Paul
Paul lives in Coventry and is a professional cricketer for Warwickshire County Cricket Club. In the past he has represented and captained England Under 19s. He recently graduated from Cambridge University and studied Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic Studies. He is a keen foodie and a lover of good coffee. Follow Paul at @MerwoodBest
Want to blog for Coffee Birmingham?
Got a great story, issue, debate or idea – get in touch @coffeebrum or email tim@coffeebirmingham.co.uk.
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