It’s not about the caffeine!

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I truly enjoy bringing our coffee out to public venues and sharing it with people. Interacting with folks from all walks of life. It is definitely one of the perks for me. I confess that one thing that irks me are people who only want to drink coffee for the “caffeine kick”. Sometimes I want to shout “It is not about the caffeine. It’s about the taste! If caffeine is all you desire, just pop a pill!”  Alas, my wife holds me back from reacting like that.

There are highly caffeinated coffee beans available on the market that contain up to 50% more caffeine. They are not specialty grade and they honestly taste terrible. In fact, in my original business plan we were going to offer a “geek blend” for programmers and gamers to offer a highly caffeinated coffee. However, when we adopted the tag line “The world’s finest coffee roasted fresh for you” we made the commitment to only buy, roast and sell specialty grade coffee.

What Tap Dancers Specialty Coffee is all about is a lifestyle that appreciates and enjoys life to the fullest. We feel that life is too short to drink bad tasting coffee. While getting up is not always a pleasant experience, drinking that first cup of coffee does bring a simple but wonderful joy into our lives that helps us start our day. When coffee tastes this good, it is also something that can be enjoyed at various times of the day and in great drink and food recipes.

So let’s focus on the taste, not the caffeine.  When you are at an age where you have more years behind you than ahead of you, you will never regret the choices in life when you decided to simply experience the best.

 

Rwandan Coffee Farmers Turn Premium Beans Into Harvest Gold

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I found this article on www.npr.org/blog and I wanted to share this with you.by MICHAELEEN DOUCLEFF

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Photos: Courtesy of Jonathan Kalan

Yesterday on All Things Considered, Allison Aubrey explained how coffee is the new wine — or, at least, how our morning brew is catching up with the evening Chardonnay in terms of our appreciation for its flavor and textures. And that’s piquing our interest in learning where our coffee comes from.

So, we wondered, how does this new trend impact coffee farmers around the world? On Twitter, we stumbled on Jonathan Kalan, a freelance photographer and journalist in Africa, who just happens to have returned from visiting coffee farms in Rwanda.

Coffee from Rwanda, you say? Believe it. About 10 years ago, Rwandan farmers started selling premium coffee instead of plain-old joe. Now its coffee fetches some of the world’s highest prices and is sought after by coffee giants and gurus around the world, including Starbucks. We caught up with Kalan, and asked him a few questions about his recent work, featured above.

Q: What’s it like on a coffee farm in Rwanda?

A: Aptly named the “Land of a Thousand Hills,” Rwanda has endless rolling, green hills dotted with banana trees, tin-roofed houses and small farms. In Western Rwanda, where it’s ideal for growing coffee, the altitude is around 5,600 feet, and steep hills plunge into the crystal blue banks of Lake Kivu.

There are about 400,000 families who farm coffee in Rwanda, and most of them live in small mud and brick houses, or a concrete house, when they are better off. The average family owns around 450 coffee trees, but they also harvest sorghum, beans, sweet potatoes and vegetables.

Q: Why did Rwandan farmers switch from growing regular coffee to growing premium coffee?

A: Rwandan farmers didn’t switch beans to start producing specialty coffee; they simply switched their methods. Unlike regular coffee, premium beans must be fully washed, and they must score at least 80 points on a quality scale. Many factors influence the score, from climate and soil quality to the time between when the ripe coffee cherries are picked and dropped off for processing.

Coffee has been a major source of revenue for Rwanda since it was introduced by German missionaries a century ago. For most of this time, the state controlled nearly all stages of production. Beans were exported as regular, unwashed coffee, and farmers were given a set price by the government. Farmers clearly had little incentive to produce specialty coffee, or invest in better production, harvesting and washing methods.

But then, after the genocide, the coffee industry was privatized. This opened up new markets and avenues for selling coffee.

Q: How did the farmers learn to grow and produce top-grade coffees?

A: Many people credit a project called PEARL for kickstarting the specialty coffee industry in Rwanda. PEARL is a collaboration among Texas A&M, the U.S. Agency for International Development and Rwanda’s Ministry of Education.

Since 2000, PEARL has trained young Rwandan students in agronomy (because most people with expertise in this field either fled the country or were killed during the 1994 genocide), cupping and quality-control management. They also built new washing stations and formed farmer cooperatives, which was key because cooperatives give farmers more control of their product and a further economic stake in the quality of their coffee.

Q: Premium coffee beans can cost five times more than regular ones. Do the farmers actually reap the benefits of these high prices?

A: Definitely. In 2000, farmers from Rwanda’s first coffee cooperative earned around $0.20 for one kilogram of ordinary coffee. In 2011, these same farmers got roughly $3.50 per kilogram. That’s a pretty monumental difference.

Take the case of Uwimana Immaculee, a farmer in southern Rwanda. For years, she and her family had been struggling to produce beans, sorghum and other small crops, with little financial success. Seeing her neighbors benefit from specialty coffee, she decided to take a risk and invest her family savings in 100 coffee trees.

She has never looked back.

Uwimana’s farm has tripled in size now. This season she sold 700 kilograms of freshly picked coffee cherries to a local specialty coffee washing station, earning over $350, which is no small change in rural Rwanda.

The extra money from coffee has helped her put two children through school, build a new house and even invest in new land to expand her plantation.

Q: What was your favorite memory of visiting a Rwandan coffee farm?

A: When I was touring the coffee washing stations with an eclectic group of international buyers, one of the U.S. buyers had tattoos of coffee cherries up his arm. When one of the local women in a tiny village saw it, the whole village erupted in laughter. Tattoos are quite taboo in Rwanda, but here is some self-proclaimed coffee geek who has cherries — the economic lifeblood of her and her family — inked on his arms.

Coffee Brewing Tips

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Lately, I have been asked a lot of questions about how to brew a better cup of coffee. I’ve heard a few people who tasted our coffee at an event say, “It somehow doesn’t taste the same when I make it at home.” Since I am a passionate coffee geek, I use all the steps listed below. However, if you just incorporate just one of these things to your brewing methods you will find a nice improvement to your coffee enjoyment.

Let’s start with the obvious to get it out of the way. Start with fresh roasted Tap Dancers Specialty Coffee. Fresh roasted coffee is only fresh for 2-3 weeks. After that it is stale coffee. Store the coffee in the air tight bag that the coffee comes in and squeeze the air out through the one way degassing valve. I will refrain from discussing the cost of these bags or the many different features they have at this time but know that we have bought the best.

Use filtered water. Besides not having a pleasant taste, water from the tap has minerals that will create mineral build up in your brewer. This build up will weaken the brewer’s heating ability to get the water to the proper temperature. I personally prefer distilled water but again I tend to go to extremes.

There are a plethora of brewing methods. The most important feature of all of them is to get the water to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Too cold and the coffee becomes bitter, too hot and the coffee becomes sour. Because one can control the temperature with all the pour over methods, that is the main reason they work so well. I feel our Clever Dripper is the best of all the pour over systems. If you bought the $30.00 coffee brewer you can be assured that it is not getting the water hot enough.  At home we use a Technivorm-Moccamaster. There are no bells or whistles on this brewer…..it simple gets the water to 200 degrees.

Water to coffee ratio is probably the hardest concept to conquer. The best way I have found to get a consistent ratio is to use a kitchen scale and a calculator. The ratio I prefer to use is 17:1. Weigh the water you use in your pot an divide that number by 17 and that will tell you how much whole bean coffee to use. A lower ratio will give you a sweeter coffee and a higher ratio will bring out the bitter parts of the coffee.

Why the ‘slow coffee’ movement is gaining ground?

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Here is an article from http://www.abs-cbnnews.com. It talks about where the trend in coffee is headed. The use of espresso based drinks is dying and specialty grade brewed coffee is gaining momentum. While I know there are plans for a couple of these type coffee houses in the works for Omaha. You can enjoy this fabulous coffee in your home now.

By Lisa Baertlein, Marcy Nicholson and Martinne Geller, Reuters

Posted at 06/03/2013 9:40 AM | Updated as of 06/03/2013 6:08 PM

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A barista prepares a coffee drink at Sightglass, a coffee bar and roastery, in San Francisco, California May 8, 2013. Photo by Robert Galbraith, Reuters

For exotic coffee connoisseurs like Geoff Watts, the search for the perfect bean isn’t the solitary quest it once was.

On a recent visit to Ethiopia’s southern Yirgacheffe region eight hours from Addis Ababa, the buyer for Intelligentsia Coffee bumped into a familiar face.

“I saw a random white guy walking around in a field, and it turned out he was a friend and competitor,” said Watts.

U.S. craft coffee purveyors are getting less lonely. The segment is a small but growing slice of the $27.9 billion U.S. coffee market, which has increased in recent years at an annual average rate of 5.6 percent and is expected to reach $33.7 billion by 2018, according to research firm IBISWorld, though it does not yet separate revenues for high-end purveyors.

Small bi-coastal chains Intelligentsia, Blue Bottle Coffee and Stumptown Coffee Roasters lead the so-called “third wave” or “slow coffee” movement, while industry behemoth Starbucks Corp shows off its craft roots selling limited-supply “reserve” coffees for up to $50 for a half-pound bag.

The new generation of upscale coffee shops and roasters includes dozens of operators around the country. They are in a race to find rare and distinctive beans and hope to elevate one of the world’s oldest and most popular drinks in the same way that craft beer brewers, boutique wineries and olive oil makers won fans by focusing on high-quality ingredients and production.

During the last two years, private equity firms, venture capitalists and wealthy individuals such as former professional skateboarder Tony Hawk, and tech luminaries Instagram Chief Executive Kevin Systrom and Jack Dorsey, a co-founder of Twitter and Square, have poured in well over $55 million – including a large cash jolt for San Francisco-based Philz Coffee in May.

Not your typical retirement investors, they are often coffee connoisseurs themselves and are eager to capitalize on the new breed of enthusiasts who were raised on espressos and lattes popularized by Starbucks.

Customers are willing to pay dearly for their java habit – $80 for a half-pound of rare, roasted beans and $3 and up for a cup of individually prepared “pour over,” high-tech “siphon” coffee, or old school espresso. Those prices are as much as triple the cost for an average cup of coffee and bean prices are at least 10 times more.

Sales are expected to climb as the U.S. job market improves and more Americans treat coffee as an experience rather than a utilitarian pick-me-up, said IBISWorld analyst Andrew Krabeepetcharat.

But experts also wonder if there will be enough demand beyond wealthy, urban enclaves to support meaningful growth and whether getting bigger would hurt the mystique that fueled the craft operators in the first place.

“I don’t think the (exotic) market is that big,” said Bonnie Riggs, restaurant analyst for the NPD Group’s foodservice unit. While many people may try such coffees as a treat, winning the loyal, frequent users needed to support significant growth will be a challenge, she said.

Blue Bottle founder James Freeman and his peers say they do not aspire to Wall Street-style expansions, nor the pricey exclusivity of high-end wine.

For around $5, “you can have an incredible experience at a high-end coffee bar and get something impeccably sourced and roasted and made,” said Freeman. “It’s the democratization of luxury.”

EXOTIC, EXCLUSIVE

The new movement is built on the success of Starbucks, whose founder and CEO Howard Schultz often speaks of the “romance” and “theater” of coffee and is credited with pioneering coffee’s “second wave” by shifting the masses from cheap, hours-old brew to fresh-made drinks from premium beans.

With some 12,900 cafes in its U.S.-dominated Americas region, Starbucks holds the biggest share of the country’s coffee market with 18.7 percent of revenue, according to IBISWorld. That figure shows how competitive and fragmented the business is in the United States, where local cafes, fast-food chains and even gas stations peddle coffee and lattes.

“We are all focused on that highest quality cup of coffee and there is room for everyone to grow,” said Craig Russell, senior vice president of Global Coffee for Starbucks.

Seattle-based Starbucks is a major buyer of artisan beans, going up against rivals like Chicago-based Intelligentsia, which sells half-pound (8-ounce) bags of its Santuario Geisha roast from Colombia for $80.50 and expects to grow to 12 stores this year from nine.

“The third wave of coffee really is about understanding the craft and the lifestyle of coffee,” said Instagram CEO Systrom, a self-described coffee addict and one of a group of investors led by True Ventures and Index Ventures that poured $20 million into San Francisco-based Blue Bottle late last year.

He and fellow investor Hawk, who said he kicked in $100,000, also advise Blue Bottle on its growth plans.

Investment opportunities appear limited to the very wealthy – but it is not for a lack of effort from fans of the cafes.

“We get all sorts of weird inquiries all the time,” said Sightglass co-founder Jerad Morrison, who did accept startup capital from Dorsey, a personal friend.

Baristas at the new coffee shops often sport handlebar mustaches, bow ties or suspenders. They spend long moments lovingly tamping espresso, coaxing clever designs from frothy cappuccino milk, or coaching customers as they select beans.

It is a time-consuming process that bears little resemblance to the button-operated speed and efficiency of Starbucks’ current generation of espresso machines.

The third wave caters to fanatics like Northern California author Bill Tancer, 47, who said a “coffee concierge” opened his eyes to a new world of coffee during a visit to Philz, which received an “eight figure” investment from Summit Partners, a private equity firm. TechCrunch reported that the infusion was in the $15 million to $25 million range.

Summit and Philz declined to comment.

“We had this back and forth about what I was looking for in a cup of coffee – did I want rich, light, more acid, flowery?” said Tancer, who since has become a home roaster.

“There are so many coffees out there to discover. It’s a bit of an adventure,” he said.

HAND UP OR SELL-OUT?

In 2011, Portland, Oregon-based Stumptown, which has nine coffee bars, took a large investment from TSG Consumer Partners, a private equity firm. The parties declined to quantify it, but two sources familiar with the deal said it was in the area of $20 million to $25 million and constituted a controlling stake.

The sources declined to be identified because the information is not public.

Some die-hard fans fretted that the craft coffee trend-setter had sold out, considering that TSG has a strong track record of investing in small brands, helping them grow, and selling them to large corporations. Indeed, one of its most notable investments was a stake in vitaminwater maker Glaceau, which was ultimately sold to Coca-Cola Co for $4 billion.

TSG declined to comment, but Stumptown’s new president, Joth Ricci, said maintaining the brand’s identity would be a major factor in any future deal.

“You figure out the right fit for a brand. Some work really well and some don’t,” Ricci said.

Customers said Stumptown’s quality remains high, even if it now seems a little more corporate.

“I’ve definitely seen them go from their scrappy roots to almost acting like a franchise. … It feels a little less genuine but, I don’t think the quality has gone down at all,” said videogame maker Lindsay Gupton, 47, who lives in Seattle.

While he is still loyal to Stumptown, Gupton is on the lookout for coffee’s “fourth wave.”

“I’m such a coffee purist. I’m always going to seek out the latest, greatest,” said Gupton.

 

Let’s talk about crack!

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I have been toying with removing the roast type from the labels on our coffee. You know …..the part that indicates if the coffee is a dark roast or a medium roast. Too many people relate the roast type to strength. Understandably so since in Coffee shops and grocery stores the dark roasts are often bitter and strong.

In the specialty grade roastmaster world, the roast type is referring to “crack”. Before you head off into a different tangent, “crack” is referring to the noise the coffee bean makes during the roast. The first crack is made when the center membrane of the bean breaks. If you listen to the beans it will sound a lot like popcorn popping. First a few will crack and then a bunch will crack and then it slows down until the remaining beans crack. The second crack happens when the walls of the cells break. This is a much quieter crack. In fact it is so quiet I make sure to not have any music in the background or I might miss it.

A light roast or a “blond roast” as Starbucks calls it describes when the beans are “dropped” (brought out of the roaster) just after the first crack is finished. A light roast truly does produce a light taste. I spoke with a roaster in Louisiana and because people there grew up with chicory added coffee and sweet tea, he sells a lot of light roasts. I offered a wonderful light roast last year and it just didn’t sale here in Omaha so I discontinued it.

A medium roast is when the beans are dropped just before or just at the second crack. Some coffee purist think that this is the only way coffee should be roasted. Typically, a medium roast is going to be bright where the floral and fruity notes are predominate. On a personal note, while I like fruity notes in coffee I do not like coffees with flowery aromas so I doubt if we’ll ever offer a flowery coffee.

A dark roast is when the second crack is fully developed. As a coffee is roasted darker the brightness (citric acid)  is roasted out and the lower notes (chocolate and nuts) are brought out.

Our extra dark roast is 30 seconds after the second crack has fully developed. This is the darkest I will go with a roast since any longer will produce a burnt taste. It will take out most of the acidity and leave you with a silky smooth and the flavor hits the back of the tongue coffee.

I hope this helps clear up some confusion about the different type of roasts. It was hard for me not to get into more detail about the artisanship of a true roast master because it is a whole lot more that dumping the beans in and dropping them out when they hit a certain color.

 

We support the small business owner.

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{In my email last week I had a little blurb about not being able to be at the farmers markets because we were not compliant with new state statutes. After talking with some of you, it turns out that I was too cryptic and I need to clear things up. Below is the full story.}

“We support the small business owner.”  That was a phrase I have heard several times in the past couple of weeks from county commissioners, bureaucrats, supervisors and inspectors. In fact, I started hearing that phrase 2 days after I just invested all our cash on hand into purchasing raw coffee beans. Again I heard the phrase just after I was told I could not roast coffee until I have a $6,000.00 commercial kitchen installed in our warehouse.
Before I started Tap Dancers Specialty Coffee last year, I checked out all the rules and regulations to make sure I was compliant with all the laws in the State of Nebraska. Importing coffee and roasting coffee falls under USDA regulations. There were absolutely no regulations from the state, county, or city for roasting coffee. So with the help of my specialty coffee consultant, I established industry best standards for storing, roasting and packaging coffee so we could offer the best product possible.

On Monday April 29th I got a call from the Omaha farmers market stating I did not have a health permit from Douglas County. I explained that I did not need a permit because serving coffee at a farmers market does not require one. My wife even forwarded the Farmer’s Market rules from the Douglas County Health Department’s own website where it specifically states it in the 2nd paragraph http://douglascountyhealth.com/images/stories/food/FARMERS%20MARKET%20GUIDELINES%20032013.pdf

After making several calls to the Douglas county health department, I was told on Thursday, May 2nd that I needed to install a commercial kitchen at my warehouse and until it was done I could not roast any coffee for the Farmer’s Market. I called my lawyer to see if I had any options. It turns out that the state of Nebraska made sweeping changes to the laws in the middle of 2012 which now requires me and every other roasters and beverage companies in Nebraska to have a commercial kitchen. It really would have been nice for them to let us know.  We called around to find that other business are still operating in the old system and are also oblivious to the new laws so we are definitely not alone.

I had to make a decision. I could try and get permission to continue operating, which would involve paying my lawyer to write a letter requesting a “temporary variance” and wait for an answer and then still have to pay the expense to install a commercial kitchen? Or, believe the plumbing contractor who looked me in the eye and told me he could have it done in 2 days.

I needed to make sure that it was possible to add a commercial kitchen to our warehouse. So, I spoke with the health department inspector and made an appointment for him to come out Monday the 6th to give me a list of everything I needed to qualify for a permit. Well, he could not make it on Monday and I had to wait till Tuesday afternoon. I finally got the list, called the contractor and got to work on Wednesday thinking it would all be done and approved on Thursday the 9th and I could roast into late that night and be making money. Let’s just say that on Friday the 10th the plumbers left and nothing was connected.  We are now hoping for them to finish by the morning of May 14th!

My wife loves to look at the bright side, “Well, at least we will be the first roaster in full compliance to the new laws.”, she said.  We have tried to figure out what we will do with all of our new sinks (3 stainless dish sinks, a new hand sink to add to the 2 we already had and a mopping station sink) since roasting requires no water and the water we use for brewing and rinsing airpots are all bottled water.  I guess we should start keeping fresh flowers in our warehouse so we have a reason to turn on the faucet every once in a while.

We have currently lost 2 weeks of anticipated Farmer’s Market income, with a chance to lose a third week. People have asked me “what can we do to help?” One answer is….buy a bag of coffee on line to help us pay for all of this.  For those of you who believe in prayer, we would greatly appreciate that first and foremost.  We do trust that God will work it all out and we will be the better for it.  As our pastor once said, “It is true that when God closes one door, He will open another BUT it sure is hell in the hallway.”

 

Coffee as a Means to Cleanse Your Body.

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Coffee Cleanse

The Ultimate Guide For Coffee as Way to Cleanse Your Body.

Updated March 10, 2017.

Often you will hear about people choosing to take part in a detox program to cleanse their body.

This might be used periodically by the particularly health conscious to maximize their efforts, though is frequently used by people to give their body a fresh start.

You often find people do so prior to a weight loss regime or if they know their body has suffered insults from the likes of smoking, alcohol or drugs, which they are now trying to avoid.

While coffee and other beverages containing caffeine are often recommended to be removed from your diet during a detox, removing coffee could actually be a mistake.

Here’s why.

Coffee Helps Liver Function

Coffee Increase Antioxidants Activity

Coffee Flushes the System

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Is a Coffee Cleanse Right For Me?

There is barely any scientific evidence for the use of the diets that you read about that are meant to rid your body of damaging substances and these can, in fact, be dangerous due to their potential to cause nutritional deficiencies.

However, there is mounting evidence that besides its numerous other benefits…regular coffee consumption can work to cleanse the body.

Avoid coffee and you could be missing out on a range of detox-friendly components that it contains. Even choosing decaffeinated coffee might be unwise, as like in other areas relating to our health, caffeine itself appears to play a role.

So if you’re looking to start anew, whether that’s through the help of the United States’ many rehabilitation facilities for those wishing to give up alcohol or drugs, such as those offered by California or Georgia detox centers, or on your own for another reason, your morning cup of coffee could make all the difference.

If you are interested in using coffee as a way to help cleanse your body, it’s vital that you use absolute top quality coffee.

That’s why we offer specialty grade coffee. It’s 100% organic and on the top beans are considered specialty grade, and they must pass a series of strict criteria to be considered specialty grade coffee.

You can look at our Coffee Options HERE.  

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Coffee Helps Liver Function

The liver is the body’s detoxification system, processing chemicals that are either produced during normal metabolism or ingested; it also helps us to break down drugs, legal or otherwise.

Coffee appears to have a protective role on the liver, helping to preserve its function. Those who drink it have been shown to have lower levels of certain enzymes and inflammation, which would otherwise be signs of liver damage.By protecting against injury to the liver, coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk of liver cancer and cirrhosis.

For example, an Italian study from 2007, which reviewed 10 previous pieces of research on the link between coffee drinking and cancer of the liver, concluded that across all studies a beneficial effect was seen. Meanwhile, a review of the available evidence for whether coffee is protective against alcoholic liver disease, which was conducted by researchers in Germany in 2009, did indeed demonstrate that coffee is able to slow the progression of cirrhosis.

Ultimately, preventing diseases of the liver through coffee consumption ensures that the liver can continue to protect us from harmful substances for years to come.

By protecting against injury to the liver, coffee consumption is associated with a lower risk of liver cancer and cirrhosis.

For example, an Italian study from 2007, which reviewed 10 previous pieces of research on the link between coffee drinking and cancer of the liver, concluded that across all studies a beneficial effect was seen.

Meanwhile, a review of the available evidence for whether coffee is protective against alcoholic liver disease, which was conducted by researchers in Germany in 2009, did indeed demonstrate that coffee is able to slow the progression of cirrhosis.

Caffeine has been identified as at least in part being helpful for maintaining liver function.

Three research papers have highlighted that one of the breakdown products of caffeine inhibits the production of a substance that stimulates the growth of a type of liver tissue associated with disease.

However, tea, which also contains caffeine – albeit in smaller amounts – has not been shown to offer the same benefit, suggesting that there must also be other mechanisms at work.

A team of Mexican researchers published a paper in 2009 that analyzed previous studies on the link between coffee and liver health, identifying kahweol and cafestol as potentially beneficial substances in the beans, as these have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.

Chlorogenic acid and caffeic acid, two antioxidants found in coffee, may provide additional benefits towards the health of the liver, by way of protecting its cells from damage. Further research is needed to determine exactly which components of coffee are beneficial, but certainly, the initial evidence suggests that whether you drink standard or decaffeinated coffee you are likely set to benefit.

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Coffee Increase Antioxidants Activity

The reason why we often do not feel our best when we expose our body to the likes of alcohol, cigarette smoke, drugs or simply the chemicals in the environment that we are subjected to day in day out, is the negative impact that these can have on the cells in our body.

All of these substances can either cause direct damage to them or alternatively cause the release of what are known as free radicals.

These are harmful chemicals that are highly likely to induce damage to any cells that they come in contact with. However, the effect of these can be counteracted by antioxidants. Coffee is rich in polyphenols, one of the groups of antioxidants of antioxidants found within our diet.

Polyphenols, including those found in coffee, have been demonstrated through scientific research as having a beneficial effect with regards to this. A Japanese study from 2011 indicated the antioxidant properties of two polyphenols in coffee, both on cells in culture and a model that allowed them to demonstrate the positive effects in the body.

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Coffee Flushes the system

Caffeine has a mild diuretic effect and additionally has been demonstrated to stimulate the colon, helping to clear waste from the body that contains potentially harmful substances.

There is certainly evidence linking faster movement through the intestine and reduced inflammation, which doesn’t just benefit the health of the intestines, but all parts of the body, as the blood carries inflammatory substances elsewhere.

While there is growing evidence for coffee’s role in detoxifying our body, it’s important to remember that the other components of our diet are also important.

Besides enjoying a number of cups of Tap Dancers’ Specialty Coffee each day, be sure you also include plenty of fruit, vegetables, whole grains and fish each week as part of a balanced diet, whilst limiting processed items that tend to be lacking in nutrients yet loaded with fat, sugar, salt and artificial preservatives. You can increase these a number of ways. Try juicing, eating more vegetables in each meal and drinking more water each day.

Want to try a coffee cleanse? Try drinking some Tap Dancers’ Specialty Coffee each day!

Coffee is Linked to Reduced Risk of Dementia.

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Here is the next installment on our series on health benefits of coffee. I have asked Eve Pearce to continue to be our guest blogger writing these well researched articles. 

Quality Coffee Rich in Nutrients Linked to Reduced Risk of Dementia

There are many reasons why coffee is enjoyed by millions of people across the United States every day, but there is increasing evidence that coffee consumption is good for our health. Not only has it been demonstrated to cut our risk of heart disease and diabetes, but there is a growing amount of research that indicates it can help to preserve our mental function, reducing the chance of dementia.  This is of particular interest as the number of cases of dementia in America continues to rise, with estimates placing the current rate at almost 14% of those over the age of 70. While this is in part due to more of us living longer – around 37% of the over 90s are thought to be affected – environmental factors such as diet are thought to play an important role. Caffeine itself – which has previously received a bad name – is in part thought to protect our brain cells, but specialty coffee is higher in nutrients than many people realize. While much can be read about the link between coffee and the prevention of cognitive decline,  either through the use of reputable scientific and medical websites or the rental of up to date nutrition textbooks from the likes of Valore Books, here we review current evidence and thinking on the topic.

Caffeine

Caffeine has long been known to act as a stimulant on the nervous system in the short term, but a number of studies have indicated that in the longer term caffeine is beneficial with regards to preventing the onset and progression of dementia.

A study published by researchers at the University of South Florida’s College of Pharmacy last year, found that in 124 subjects with mild cognitive impairment, those with the greatest rate of progression of cognitive decline over a four year period had significantly lower levels of caffeine in their blood. For those whose state of dementia was more stable, coffee appeared to be the main source of their caffeine intake.

A piece of research conducted in mice, reported in the journal Food Chemistry in 2012, showed that administering caffeine for a two month duration to mice with the equivalent of Alzheimer’s disease, led to a reduction in cognitive decline. The same piece of research indicated that levels of the plaques in the brain that are characteristic of this form of dementia, were reduced; these plaques are believed to cause oxidative stress, which triggers the death of nerve cells in the brain. In a previous study by researchers in Florida, who also used a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease, it had been suggested that an equivalent caffeine consumption in humans equal to 500mg daily – around five cups of coffee – could potentially help to prevent or delay the advance of this form of dementia.

Nutrients to improve blood flow

However, as consumption of decaffeinated coffee also appears to offer benefits with regards to dementia, other components of coffee appear to be protective against cognitive decline. A number of nutrients found within coffee have been linked to improved circulation within the brain. Vascular dementia, which is the second most prevalent type of dementia following Alzheimer’s disease, is caused by disturbed blood flow to the brain. This form of dementia is very common after a stroke and it is thought that similar risk factors such as raised blood pressure and high cholesterol are at play.

Coffee provides a source of both potassium and magnesium, which numerous studies have shown are linked to a reduction in blood pressure. Just one cup of coffee provides over 10% of your daily requirement for the B vitamin, riboflavin; this helps to keep levels of homocysteine in check, which if allowed to rise lead to blood vessel damage and is linked to the onset of dementia. All coffee is also rich in antioxidants and research has suggested for some Americans it is their main source of these protective nutrients; fruit, vegetables and wholegrains are rich in these, but are not consumed in large enough quantities by many people. Coffee contains polyphenols, a large group of antioxidants, which have been linked to reduced inflammatory processes, which are another risk factor for dementia, as cell damage within the blood vessels can hasten their narrowing, therefore compromising blood flow to the brain. One study, which considered the antioxidant chlorogenic acid found in coffee, showed that its application led to significantly less cell damage of nerve cells in culture when exposed to oxidative substances.

While the taste and quality of Tap Dancers’ Specialty Coffee is second to none, if you did need another excuse to have an extra cup each day, its potential to stave off dementia is one very good reason. Whatever your current age, taking steps towards a nutrient rich diet, including consumption of our coffee, will help to maintain your cognitive function well into your seventies and beyond, ensuring you get the most out of your senior years.

 

Coffee a luxury that is good for you.

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We would like to thank our guest blogger Eve Pearce. She took the time to do the research on the health benefits of coffee and write this blog just for Tap Dancers. I really like the last line.

There is nothing like a piping hot cup of coffee in the morning to see you through the day. It provides you with the boost that is required to take on life’s obstacles and tastes delicious. As if that wasn’t good enough, a study published in Time magazine indicates that it can also help to reduce your risk of suffering from heart failure. This is apparently even more the case with specialty grade coffees such as those sold by Tap Dancers’ Specialty Coffee as opposed to lower  grade ones.  As we have said before on our blog:

“There are several reasons specialty grade coffee is better for you than the lower grades. The one reason is that only the ripe cherries are handed picked.  In a typical situation with NON-specialty grade coffee, the harvester will simply strip the entire branch of the coffee cherries. Un-ripened and over ripened coffee beans are all processed together which causes upset stomachs and coffee jitters. Also, foreign matter is allowed to be processed with the beans.”

How Coffee Can Reduce the Risk of Heart Failure

Heart failure affects an estimated five million US citizens and is the only one of the major cardiovascular disorders that is on the rise. Between four hundred thousand and seven hundred thousand new cases are diagnosed every year and the number of fatalities that occurs as a result of this condition in the United States has doubled since the end of the seventies, averaging two hundred and fifty thousand annually. Therefore any foodstuff that can help to prevent you from suffering at its hands is well worth consuming. This will come as good news to coffee fans everywhere, as it provides them with an excuse to have a lovely, warm cup of their favorite drink.

Moderation is the Key to Good Heart Health

Heart complications should not be taken lightly, as less than half of patients survive for five years after being diagnosed with heart failure and less than a quarter survive for a decade. Fortunately the findings published in Time indicate that two eight-ounce portions of coffee can reduce heart risk by over a tenth. Researchers at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center pooled the results of five studies of heart failure risk and coffee consumption that were carried out between 2001 and 2010 and concluded that participants who drank the equivalent of two cups of the drink per day had an eleven percent lower chance of heart failure than participants who drank no coffee. Participants who consumed smaller amounts of the drink were observed to only have a four-percent decrease in risk. Based upon the results of this study, the American Heart Association recommends that heart patients should drink moderate amounts of coffee.

Other Factors?

Dr Elizabeth Mostofsky of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center issued a statement after the study went public saying that there are numerous different factors that can increase the chance of an individual’s heart failing but moderate coffee consumption isn’t one of them. The researchers at the Center didn’t state why coffee has such a positive effect upon the health of people’s hearts but Bridgette McNeill of the American Heart Association has suggested that the fact that the drink has been proven to reduce the risk of developing type two diabetes might be a contributing factor. Diabetes is one of the biggest risk factors when it comes to heart failure so it is logical to assume that decreasing the likelihood of somebody developing it will also lower the chance of his or her heart failing.

Coffee Reduces Risk of Suffering from Hypertension

McNeill also points out that coffee is believed to help to stave off hypertension. This is another condition that can lead to heart failure. It appears that by protecting against other health problems, this wonder-drink can in turn protect your heart. Perhaps the saying should be ‘a cup of coffee a day keeps the doctor away’.

Earning a Place in your Heart

There are few things that taste nice and have health benefits but coffee fulfills both of these criteria. In addition to fighting off both hypertension and diabetes, the research conducted by the Israel Deaconess Medical Center indicates that it could also keep your heart beating away healthily in your chest without fear of it packing in on you. This could enable you to live for longer and enjoy a better quality of life. Having Tap Dancers Specialty coffee delivered to your house has many benefits. The delicious coffee that we offer could be doing your body good whilst you drink it. The most important benefit of consuming it is simply that it tastes nice though. It possesses a rich, irresistible flavor that will almost certainly earn it a place in your heart as it works its magic to protect it.

11 Simple Concepts to become a Better Leader.

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Here is a blog written by Dave Kerpen. In this short article Dave is able to express my thoughts on being a leader and being successful in all areas of your life.

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Being likeable will help you in your job, business, relationships, and life. I interviewed dozens of successful business leaders for my last book, to determine what made them so likeable and their companies so successful. All of the concepts are simple, and yet, perhaps in the name of revenues or the bottom line, we often lose sight of the simple things – things that not only make us human, but can actually help us become more successful. Below are the eleven most important principles to integrate to become a better leader:

  1. Listening

“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” – Ernest Hemingway

Listening is the foundation of any good relationship. Great leaders listen to what their customers and prospects want and need, and they listen to the challenges those customers face. They listen to colleagues and are open to new ideas. They listen to shareholders, investors, and competitors. Here’s why the best CEO’s listen more.

  1. Storytelling

“Storytelling is the most powerful way to put ideas into the world today.” -Robert McAfee Brown

After listening, leaders need to tell great stories in order to sell their products, but more important, in order to sell their ideas. Storytelling is what captivates people and drives them to take action. Whether you’re telling a story to one prospect over lunch, a boardroom full of people, or thousands of people through an online video – storytelling wins customers.

  1. Authenticity

“I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I’ve become. If I had, I’d have done it a lot earlier.” -Oprah Winfrey

Great leaders are who they say they are, and they have integrity beyond compare. Vulnerability and humility are hallmarks of the authentic leader and create a positive, attractive energy. Customers, employees, and media all want to help an authentic person to succeed. There used to be a divide between one’s public self and private self, but the social internet has blurred that line. Tomorrow’s leaders are transparent about who they are online, merging their personal and professional lives together.

  1. Transparency

“As a small businessperson, you have no greater leverage than the truth.” -John Whittier

There is nowhere to hide anymore, and businesspeople who attempt to keep secrets will eventually be exposed. Openness and honesty lead to happier staff and customers and colleagues. More important, transparency makes it a lot easier to sleep at night – unworried about what you said to whom, a happier leader is a more productive one.

  1. Team Playing

“Individuals play the game, but teams beat the odds.” -SEAL Team Saying

No matter how small your organization, you interact with others every day. Letting others shine, encouraging innovative ideas, practicing humility, and following other rules for working in teams will help you become a more likeable leader. You’ll need a culture of success within your organization, one that includes out-of-the-box thinking.

  1. Responsiveness

“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.” -Charles Swindoll

The best leaders are responsive to their customers, staff, investors, and prospects. Every stakeholder today is a potential viral sparkplug, for better or for worse, and the winning leader is one who recognizes this and insists upon a culture of responsiveness. Whether the communication is email, voice mail, a note or a a tweet, responding shows you care and gives your customers and colleagues a say, allowing them to make a positive impact on the organization.

  1. Adaptability

“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.” -Ben Franklin

There has never been a faster-changing marketplace than the one we live in today. Leaders must be flexible in managing changing opportunities and challenges and nimble enough to pivot at the right moment. Stubbornness is no longer desirable to most organizations. Instead, humility and the willingness to adapt mark a great leader.

  1. Passion

“The only way to do great work is to love the work you do.” -Steve Jobs

Those who love what they do don’t have to work a day in their lives. People who are able to bring passion to their business have a remarkable advantage, as that passion is contagious to customers and colleagues alike. Finding and increasing your passion will absolutely affect your bottom line.

  1. Surprise and Delight

“A true leader always keeps an element of surprise up his sleeve, which others cannot grasp but which keeps his public excited and breathless.” -Charles de Gaulle

Most people like surprises in their day-to-day lives. Likeable leaders underpromise and overdeliver, assuring that customers and staff are surprised in a positive way. There are a plethora of ways to surprise without spending extra money – a smile, We all like to be delighted — surprise and delight create incredible word-of-mouth marketing opportunities.

  1. Simplicity

“Less isn’t more; just enough is more.” -Milton Glaser

The world is more complex than ever before, and yet what customers often respond to best is simplicity — in design, form, and function. Taking complex projects, challenges, and ideas and distilling them to their simplest components allows customers, staff, and other stakeholders to better understand and buy into your vision. We humans all crave simplicity, and so today’s leader must be focused and deliver simplicity.

  1. Gratefulness

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” -Gilbert Chesterton

Likeable leaders are ever grateful for the people who contribute to their opportunities and success. Being appreciative and saying thank you to mentors, customers, colleagues, and other stakeholders keeps leaders humble, appreciated, and well received. It also makes you feel great! Donor’s Choose studied the value of a hand-written thank-you note, and actually found donors were 38% more likely to give a 2nd time if they got a hand-written note!

 

The Golden Rule: Above all else, treat others as you’d like to be treated

By showing others the same courtesy you expect from them, you will gain more respect from coworkers, customers, and business partners. Holding others in high regard demonstrates your company’s likeability and motivates others to work with you. This seems so simple, as do so many of these principles — and yet many people, too concerned with making money or getting by, fail to truly adopt these key concepts.

Which of these principles are most important to you — what makes you likeable?

 

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Dave Kerpen is the New York Times bestselling author of two books, Likeable Social Media and Likeable Business.