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Coffee + Nap = Coffee Naps!

coffee nap
For many life is so busy it’s hard to avoid that early afternoon “drag” feeling when your morning coffee may be wearing off and/or your body is working overtime digesting that big lunch you ate. Chances are you have two thoughts in your head: “I want to take a nap” and “I need another cup of coffee”.  Which one is the best pick-me-up?  A new study shows both may be in the cards for you!

coffee nao

How It Works: There are a few keys to this technique in order to make it work. The first is that you must drink your caffeinated beverage quickly and fall asleep before it starts to kick in. {We say caffeinated beverage because any will do, such as tea, coffee, or espresso.}  You may want to try something like an espresso because it is typically a smaller drink, which makes it easier to consume quickly. The second key is to make sure your nap is no longer than 20 minutes. Less is certainly okay but more will make your body go into a deeper sleep which will make you feel more tired from waking up from.

coffee nap 2

Behind the Study: Researchers at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom found that these “coffee naps” rejuvenated their participants more than just naps or coffee alone and scored the fewest errors in their driving simulator. Scientifically, the process helps to remove a molecule in our brain called Adenosine. This molecule plugs into our brain receptors and makes us feel tired. These same receptors are what caffeine plugs into to make us feel alert. Therefore this technique helps to clear out the Adenosine and make room for the caffeine that we just drank. Crazy to think that these seemingly opposite things, coffee versus sleep, really provides the most alertness when mixed!

Are you able to fall asleep fast enough to take a coffee nap?

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More Than Just For Tea

Just as much as coffee drinkers are fanatic about the coffee they brew and how they brew it, we can’t forget out the tea lover’s out there.  Many tea enthusiasts swear by certain tea brands and how to brew them to get the best cup of tea.  My sister-in-law SWEARS she can tell the difference between kettle pot heated water on the stove and when it’s microwave heated…no joke. :)

With the boom of the single-serve coffee machines, such as the k-cup and freshpack machines, it’s easy to overlook the loyal tea drinkers and their manual process to creating their perfect slice of heaven.  Well, now it’s time for tea drinkers everywhere to know they’re not alone when it comes to machine brewing.  The bkon (pronounced beacon) is a craft brewer for all tea enthusiasts to marvel over.

bkon craft brewer

This machine is unlike any other beverage brewing machine. It has the speed of a Keurig, but the delicate touch of an artist. Through a series of vacuum and pressurized steps, the bkon is able to extract all of the desirable qualities out of the tea, without any bitter aftertaste. This process is called RAIN.

bkon rain process

RAIN stands for Reverse Atmospheric INfusion and it is as mesmerizing to watch as the science behind it. By creating a vacuum and using pressurized energy in the brewing cylinder, you can see it manipulating the tea leaves as they expand to full size for full extraction of all the best qualities in the tea.

tea leaves before and after

Although I do not fully understand the science behind this technology, I do know is that this complex machine puts on a nice 90’s lava lamp kind of show before it delivers a perfect slice of heaven into my cup and to boot, it self cleans itself!

bkon bubbles

The bkon is not limited to just tea however, it’s only the beginning. Your imagination may be the only thing that limits this genie lamp. Whether you want to insert loose tea leaves, coffee grounds, dried fruits, or spices, this machine extracts it all. Because of the wide range of ingredients you can use, it’s perfect for any time of the day. From the morning cup of tea, to an evening cocktail or even a glass of water in the middle of the day, the possibilities are endless. No time to be creative?  This technology is paired with a touch screen that keeps about 200 different recipes stored for you. The only recipe you can’t program into it is how to make a bad beverage. Just be careful of the current price tag…….cough…$13,000….cough.

So tea lovers weigh in…how do you brew your perfect cup of tea and what do you think about the bcon?

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Not Just For Coffee Anymore

With one innovative idea, Green Mountain changed the way people think about and brew coffee and tea with K-Cup single serve packs.  The convenience and speed of their Keurig single serve k-cup delivery system has become part of the daily routines of millions. Green Mountain quickly expanded the versatility of their Keurig to brew more than just coffee.  Tea, iced coffee, hot chocolate, cider and more recently VitaBurst and iced tea are enjoyed throughout the year.

I LOVE when someone has the creativity to think outside the box (or brewer in this instance) and come up with a totally different way to use an item.  It seems as though the Keurig brewing system is not just for coffee and tea any more…

Keurig noodles

We all remember those days in college where we resorted to a cheap package of ramen or cup of noodles to get us by. Instead of boiling or microwaving the water, now you can simply place them right under the Keurig! The same can apply for other foods that need to absorb boiling water, such as oatmeal. I even know some people who prefer to infuse their tea with whole leaves and fruit that place their cup under the empty Keurig and get the boiling water needed to steep their tea bags.

 

Campbells KeurigGreen Mountain recently announced their partnership with Campbell’s Soup Co. to provide an authorized K-Cup that freshly brews soup right from your brewer!  Not surprisingly, Chicken Broth & Noodles will be in the line-up among the varieties to be launched.

 

Life today seems to be more and more about how to squeeze just one more thing into an already packed schedule.  Instead, we challenge you to sit back, relax, brew your favorite cup and just enjoy your moment.  Who knows…maybe in your moment you’ll be the one coming up with the “next big thing” that makes everyone else say, “Duh…why didn’t I think of that?!” :-)

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App That May Help You Get More Sleep

One rainy night as I was browsing through new apps on my phone, I found one that has intrigued me for the past few weeks called UP Coffee. Now this is not a typical coffee recipe book, but instead a coffee bio of yourself. It has been a cool way to keep track of myself and how my coffee is affecting me throughout the day.

UP Coffee 1

Once the app was downloaded is was easy to get started by imputing some basic information about myself and my caffeine sensitivity. I set a goal time of when I wanted to go to bed and then plug in when I drink coffee throughout the day. Not only does the app give you options for coffee and tea, but it also lists some places (like Starbucks) that you may had purchased it from in order to give you a more accurate caffeine level. This handy app gives you visual aids to help you see what times you are typically drinking your coffee and what your energy level is. If you drink more than your used to, UP Coffee will even ask you if you want to have that cup of coffee because it may make you feel edgy.

UP Coffee 2

The more I play with this tool, the more surprised I am about my coffee habits that had otherwise gone unnoticed. To help you further understand yourself, UP Coffee even offers little news tidbits to help relate to why you should be more conscience of your coffee and tea consumption. After a period of time inputting your coffee and tea on a regular basis, it gives you a horoscope-like description on how you take your coffee and around what times. Mine says I am a Traditionalist. Download the app and tell us what yours says or if you have any other great apps related to coffee and tea. I am always up for a new app to try out!

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The Secrets of Tea

steeping a tea bag

Tea has been around for many years and to some, is even a form of art. This beverage has many varieties and that means that they need to be treated differently. Unlike coffee, each tea leaf cannot be brewed the same way. Some may need to steep longer while others need to be at different temperatures.

{A Tea Legend} So how did one come about with the idea of boiling leaves and then drinking it? One Chinese legend tells the tale like the apple contributing to the discovery of gravity. The story goes: one Emperor of China required his subjects to boil his water before he would drink it. One day, after his boiled water had been waiting for him, a few leaves had blown into his water from outside the window. It changed the color of his drink and through his curiosity, he tried it. He was so happy by the way it tasted and the restorative properties it held on accident he discovered brewed tea.

traditional tea

The process of boiling water and letting the tea sit in the water is called steeping. This process extracts the qualities of the tea leaves. Some need higher temperatures or need to steep longer to achieve this. Sounds similar to our recent post on roasting coffee!

Although every tea connoisseur finds their own perfect way to brew, below is a general guideline that will help you towards brewing a better cup of tea.

Tea brew and steep times

 

{Steeping Tip!} If the tea is left in for too long, then it releases a harsh bitter flavor that is often not what you are looking for out of your tea. If you are looking to make your tea stronger, then add more tea leaves, not more steeping time!

Have you found a perfect way to brew your tea?  We’d love to hear about it!

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May Your Cup Runneth Over

coffee romanceHappy Valentine’s Day!  Valentine’s Day has evolved over time from honoring your significant other to making time to honor those that you love.  Life is too short not to take life by the horns and make the most of every minute, including telling those around you just how much they mean to you…every day, not just today.

{Procrastinators Listen Up!}  So what can you do this Valentines Day? It can be something as simple as ordering a cup of coffee with heart latte art that pairs nicely with a box of chocolates. latte art heart

Perhaps it is a nice card to show your significant other how much they mean to you.coffee card

Or maybe you are just trying to brighten somebody’s day. {Pay It Forward}  Buy someone a coffee or pay for the person behind you in line. It is amazing what a simple act of kindness can do for a person’s day. Whatever your definition of a valentine is…from our home to yours we wish your cup overflow with love today and may your moments be plenty.  How will you spread the love today?

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National Wear Red Day

Help us at Coffee Rocket celebrate Heart Month by wearing red on February 7th, the National Wear Red Day, to help bring awareness to heart disease in women.

National Go Red Day (2)

 

Heart Disease is something that everyone wants to avoid so here are some simple ways that we can actively practice this month!

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so let’s start there. If you are like me, you immediately think of Cheerios as a great place to start. The better your cholesterol, the less stress on your heart! Plus Cheerios go great with a cup of coffee in the morning. And yes coffee (filtered is better than unfiltered) is also great for heart health! Coffee has been found to reduce your chances for an irregular heartbeat, heart disease, stroke, and improved blood flow in small blood vessels. You can even substitute your creamer, half and half, or whatever else you use in your coffee for soy milk (another heart healthy item).

Some other super heart healthy foods are:

  • Oatmeal
  • Nuts such as walnuts, almonds, and pistachios
  • Fish such as salmon and tuna
  • And just to reduce the amount of salt you use.

So what are you waiting for? Get up and get active! Get a good nights sleep! Eat fruits and veggies! And relax with a nice cup of tea before bed! You only get one heart, so lets put on some red and give our hearts something to beat about. Show us what you are doing for Heart Month on Facebook or Twitter and maybe you could be the customer of the month too!

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The Evolution of The Coffee-To-Go Lid

coffee cup to go

Ever noticed how many little pieces make a quality coffee-to-go cup? I was holding a coffee the other day and realized that it must have taken some quality time and many tries to make it just right. My cup was a firm paper cup that was not soggy at all. On top of that was a cuff that would prevent my hand from getting burned. Next the lid was securely snapped on with a little stick that doubles to cover the drinking hole to keep your drink hot as well as works as a stirrer.

Of course that got me thinking about the evolution of the hot coffee cup and with all my free time {ha!} my laptop came out and the research began.  Some of the early lids were the tear back plastic tabs that were not securely fastened and had the reputation of causing people to spill it on themselves. Some were an epic fail, including a large lawsuit with McDonald’s and an woman who burned herself, which soon sparked other inventors to create a better lid. Many ideas emerged from the tear back to punch top holes and small openings for the consumption of the hot coffee.

All of these designs are still around and used in many different places. For the biggest chain restaurant establishments you typically see the SOLO cup brand that fits snugly on the cup with the small opening, but I frequently see the tear away lids in places like the break room because they are less expensive and familiar to many. Such a simple idea that has turned some inventive few into very wealthy retirees. It is such a simple idea that I wish I thought of first! Below are some of the many designs that have evolved over time.

coffee lids

What have you come across that seemed like such a simple idea you wish you had thought of it first?