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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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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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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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Hot or Iced…How do you like your coffee?

We are now in the midst of summer and the days are beginning to get hot. Getting tired of a hot beverage on a summer day? It just might be time, if you haven’t already, to give iced coffee a shot. With your single serve machine (like a k-cup or pod machine), it is as easy as filling your cup with ice before brewing and you have a cool treat. Just make sure you use a tumbler instead of a glass cup, so that the change in temperature doesn’t break the cup! That morning cup of coffee will always be hot for me as that has always been my routine, but on a hot afternoon a nice cup of iced coffee could not be more refreshing.

There are so many flavors to offer from the k-cups, such as french vanilla, hazelnut, and vanilla cream if you are interested in stepping outside of the box. Worried about ice cubes watering down the drink? Not a problem!  Ahead of time, make ice cubes with coffee and use those instead! Even a little half and half can make a huge difference. You’ll find that brewing your own iced coffee at home will save you a ton of $$ vs. going through the expensive drive-through at your local coffee shop.  We all know about hot coffee and the amenities it has to offer but are we really exploring the ice coffee alternative?

I know that is just one opinion of many. What do you think? Do you prefer your coffee hot or iced brewed?