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Are you ready for the holidays?

The holiday season is here and you still don’t know what to get your friends, family, or significant other? Here are some simple {coffee related of course :) } ideas to get you started:

bean mugA cool coffee mug…help your coffee lover enjoy their cup o’ joe in a unique way. Who wouldn’t want to get up in the morning if their coffee is in a wicked cool mug?!

 

Reusable coffee filterReusable filter….go green! A reusable filter is not only great to save them money, but is also very environmentally friendly.  Reusable cones (seen left) or k-cups are available.

 

 

coffee printerCoffee machine…single-serve brewers are definitely in this year!  Some coffee machines even brew your coffee and then “print” a picture on the top!


k-cupsA gift certificate is always a winner.  It’s a great way to let them expand their taste buds and try new coffees without having to worry about cost.

 

Whatever you decide to gift this holiday season, remember to find your moments to relax somewhere in the midst of the holiday season and enjoy every minute of it!

 

 

 

 

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Team Ground or Team Bean?

Coffee beans closeupMore than half of all people in the United States drink coffee and on average they drink one to two cups a day. Modern technology has drastically enhanced the way a cup of coffee can be prepared and brewed.  But one thing that remains constant is the age-old debate surrounding what makes the best cup of coffee: ground vs. whole bean. Many swear they can taste the difference and they may actually be right.  Let’s take a look at why you might be able to tell the difference.

Ground coffee is the most widely used form of coffee as it is fast, convenient, and evenly ground. You often see coffee grounds in brick-like vacuum sealed bags and also more recently in the growing popularity of K-Cups , Fresh Packs and Pods. But why are coffee grounds always in vacuum sealed or air tight packages (also known as bricks)? This is to prevent the scientific process of oxidation. The same process that causes iron to rust also causes ground coffee to quickly turn stale. Next time you open up your ground coffee make sure to seal it as best you can or if you are using K-Cups, you don’t need to worry as each cup is individually sealed for freshness.

Coffee Beans hands down are the freshest way to prepare your coffee. While it may take more time, it is well worth it if ground and brewed correctly. Some coffee shops offer the freshest coffee by grinding it just before brewing in order to eliminate any oxidation of the coffee. In many grocery stores you’ll find a grinder right in the coffee isle so you can purchase freshly ground coffee.

If you are going to try to grind your own coffee beans there are a few things to keep in mind to get the best flavor out of your beans. Evenly ground coffee beans are extremely important to extract the flavor. If the grounds are uneven, the smaller grounds could be too small to contribute any flavor while the large ones might not release the flavors. Secondly you need to take into consideration is what you are using to grind the coffee. If you have a blade grinder, be careful that all the grounds may not be even and the blade could creates some heat or friction that starts breaking down the coffee and releasing the flavors before the coffee has even been brewed.

I myself, stock both in my home and which one I use depends on the situation.  When I am short on time I whip up one of my favorite ground coffee flavors like hazelnut {YUM!}.  When I have more time on my hands to properly prepare a whole bean coffee, I am never disappointed by it. Do you think that you could tell the difference between a cup o’joe that was made from pre-packaged coffee grounds or from freshly ground beans? Are you #TeamGround or #TeamBean? :-)