Drinking Coffee Could Mean Lower Uterine Cancer Risk

Enjoy coffee and lower your risk of uterine cancer

If you are a woman who drinks at least two and a half cups of coffee a day there is good news for you from the Mayo Clinic.  You could be decreasing your risk of getting uterine cancer.

Their study involved 20,000 women and compared those who drank two and a half cups of coffee a day versus those who drank none.  What is amazing is that those who drank the coffee were on the wining side of decreasing their cancer risk while those who did not drink coffee were not.

Caffeine was a factor in the tests, and scientists concluded that tea and chocolate did not have the same effect as the coffee.  Instead they found that the women’s insulin and estrogen levels were affected by their intake from the caffeine in just coffee.

Doctors warn that women who are age 35 and up and are over weight, have a family history of colon cancer, or have started their menopause late may be at a higher risk for uterine cancer due to the higher level of estrogen.  It is recommended that if you think you are at risk to discuss this with your gynecologist.

Female coffee connoisseurs who are at a lower risk for uterine cancer and who drink coffee every day can enjoy the health benefits. But beware that consuming too much caffeine can also be a negative.  Doctors suggest women stick to the maximum two and a half cups per day.

Arabica Coffee – Thanks Kaldi

Arabica Coffee Plant

Arabica coffee gets its name from Arabia.  Legend has it that around 500-600 A.D. a goat herder on the Arabian peninsula named Kaldi observed his goats eating a berry and their behavior became very lively.  He decided to try the berry as well and felt the same energy as his goats.

Scientific evidence proves otherwise.   Kaffa, now known as Ethiopia, is where coffee beans were first grown and then transported to Yemen.  It could be that the word coffee came from the word Kaffa.  Believing the coffee came from Arabia it became known as Arabica.

With more than forty species of plants in the Coffea genus only two are viable to make coffee, Coffea Arabica and Coffea canephora the later known as Robusta.  Arabica is the better quality of the two.

Kaldi and the Dancing Goat

Robusta tends to be bitter, has less body and a musty flavor.  It is higher in caffeine.  In France the coffee blend is 55 percent Arabica and 45 percent Robusta.  Italians add in 10 percent Robusta to get a better crema head on espresso.

Eighty percent of all coffee produced in the world is Arabica.   It prefers a higher elevation and drier climate than Robusta to grow.  South America has ideal conditions for growing Arabica coffee beans at 3,000 to 6,500 feet.  The higher elevation causes a slower plant maturity giving it time to develop the oils that give it the distinct aromatic flavor people love.

Within the C. Arabica species there are three varieties; Typica, Bourbon and Caturra.  The sub-species have been bred to adapt to specific growing regions and to be resistant to disease and insects of those areas.  There are subtle differences in taste, acidity and body.

C. Arabica is self-pollinating unlike C. Robusta and perhaps why it is more a prolific producer throughout the world.  Theoretically it does better at high elevations where bees are scarce and not active where as C. Robusta prefers a hotter climate where the bees are abundant.

History of the Chemex Coffee Maker


Peter J. Schlumbohm, Ph.D

As you might have guessed, the Chemex was invented by a chemist.  In 1941 Peter J. Schlumbohm, Ph.D was inspired to create the Chemex coffee maker.

Born in 1896 in Germany, a graduate of the University of Berlin, he moved to New York City in 1936.  A prolific inventor he holds over 3,000 patents.  Fusing a glass funnel and an Erlenmeyer flask he modified them to include an air channel and a pouring spout. This displaced air from the dripping water bypassing the filter paper.

The famous “bellybutton” bubble mark shows the halfway mark of the bottom of the coffee pot.  Made of borosilicate glass the Chemex is laboratory grade and heat proof.

Simple and elegant, the Chemex only requires a filter, coffee and hot water.  You can accessorize with a wire grid for electric stovetops, a glass cover to keep the coffee warm, a long handled brush to clean, and a wooden collar to safely grip.

In 1956 the Chemex was selected by the Illinois Institute of Technology as one of the best-designed items in modern times.  It is in permanent collections in MOMA, New York City, the Smithsonian, the Philadelphia Museum and the Corning Museum, NY.  It has been recognized as an outstanding example of American Design.

Simple, elegant and a great cup of coffee can be enjoyed with the Chemex.

Yes, Virginia There Really Was A Melitta



German housewife Melitta Bentz from Dresden thought there was a better way.  And in 1908 it occurred to her one day, “Why not use paper to filter out what I don’t want in my coffee?” 

Inspired, she took a brass coffee pot and poked a few holes in the bottom and lined it with blotting paper from her son’s notebook and voila the Melitta coffee filter was born.

The result was a filtered cup of coffee minus the grounds and the bitterness.  She knew her invention was brilliant and applied for a patent in Berlin which was granted on July 8, 1908.   It was called “Filter Top Device lined with Filter Paper”.  Not too catchy but the 35-year old created the Melitta Bentz Company knowing she was on to something.

Consequent improvements came onto the market.   The cone-shape developed in the 1930’s which had a larger filtration area and ribbed lining.  With environmental issues at hand the natural brown filter was born in 1989.  The white filter remained popular and in 1992 a new bleaching method was developed using an oxygen-cleansed filter paper. 

In 1997 Flavor Pores™ was developed with microfine pores offering a tastier cup of coffee and released in 1999 to North America. The Safety Crimp was added for extra durability in 2002 insuring easy disposal and no breakage during brewing.

Bamboo filters were released in 2007 for the Natural Food client base made of 60 percent bamboo fiber.  This same year the patented Flavor Enhancing Micro Perforations improved upon Flavor Pores with a more efficient extraction technique.

Just goes to show how a woman brewing a cup of coffee in 1908 could become the leader in coffee filters today with a little imagination and a desire to make a better cup of coffee.

Freeze-Dried Coffee



One of the best ways of preserving the taste of coffee is the Freeze-Dried Coffee method.  More of the volatile oils remain in the product giving it that “real” cup of brewed coffee flavor.

Invented in 1901 by a Japanese scientist by the name of Satori Kato it was later marketed around 1920 by George C.L. Washington.  Nescafe was developed 18 years later in 1938, the first name brand on the market.

Post WWII America saw the advent of instant coffee and since then freeze-drying has grown in popularity as it is a higher-quality product and more expensive.

The method of making freeze-dried coffee involves brewing large vats of coffee and placing them through evaporators making highly concentrated liquid. 

To preserve the aroma and flavor “foaming” gases are infused through the coffee removing oxygen.  The wet coffee granules are then rapidly frozen and placed in a drying chamber on metal trays. 

The frozen coffee is ground into particles and the ice crystals are then removed by sublimation meaning transference from a solid state to a gaseous state without the liquification phase.  A vacuum is created in the chamber is warmed, usually by radiation. 

The frozen water in the coffee granules expands to ten times its size and is removed as vapor from the chamber.  Volatile aromas are sprayed on the coffee granules.

The product is then packaged in a low-humidity, low-oxygen environment to maintain its integrity.  The process is environmentally friendly.

The advantage of freeze-dried coffee is that it is portable and can be taken anywhere and mixed with hot water gives you a nice fresh tasting cup of coffee.

The Percolator Coffee Pot



The first documented percolator coffee pot was invented in the 18th century, not in one place but in different parts of the world.  Coffee had become a popular drink and people wanted to find a way to make it easier to brew a good cup.

The first known inventor of the percolator was by none other than a New Englander by the name of Benjamin Thompson (1753-1814).  A physicist and inventor he served in the Loyalist forces as a Colonel during the American Revolution.  In 1784 he was knighted by King George III.  He later relocated to Bavaria becoming a government servant where he was appointed Bavarian Army Minister and was thereafter known as Count Rumford of the Holy Roman Empire.  There is no exact date of his percolator invention.

A bit later in France there is record of a percolator being created in 1818 by a metal smith by the name of Laurens.

In England a few years later in 1840 James Napier created the vacuum pot which was comprised of two glass globes. The bottom one boiled the water and the vapor would rise into the upper globe brewing the coffee.  When removed from the heat, the lower globe cooled and the vacuum created pulled the brewed coffee down into it.

In America cowboys would make coffee by boiling water and the grounds together and letting the grounds settle to the bottom.  Later people began to put the coffee in a cloth bag to keep the grounds from mixing in the water.

James H. Mason patented the first percolator in the United States in 1865.  His device incorporated a basket on top of a hollow stem where the grounds were placed inside of a pot of water.  Boiling water would travel up through the hollow tube and drip down over the grounds, “percolating” them back into the pot.

This method of coffee brewing gave way to the “drip” coffeemaker and in 1972 Mr. Coffee hit the market.  Designed by Vince Marotta and endorsed by Joe DiMaggio it became a best seller. 

But if you are out camping there is no beating the good old percolator; its portable, needs no electricity and produces a great cup of coffee over the camp stove on those brisk chilly mornings outdoors – the old-fashioned way.

Italian Roast – What is the Difference?


According to Dr. Ernesto Illy of Illy Coffee it is all in the technique of roasting the beans that makes an Italian Roast.  Illy is the most common type of Italian Roast found in the United States.

For the true connoisseur purchasing the whole bean and grinding at home is the preferable method to brew providing a fresher tasting coffee and customization for the pot you will use be it espresso or drip.  Beans can be found in specialty coffee shops and sometimes at grocery stores.

If you are concerned about serving this strong roast in the evening and staying awake no worries, it is also available in decaffeinated.

First made in the 1500’s in Italy, it exhibits the coffees found in Turkey at the time.  It is a less acidic and sweeter tasting coffee than other dark roasts such as French Roast.

The longer roasting time depletes the natural caffeine sources in the beans resulting in a coffee that contains less caffeine.  Italian Roast is a rich brown color with little or no oil.

Italian coffee uses Arabica coffee beans known for their full flavor and low caffeine content, Southern Italians tend to mix Robusta content in their coffee for a stronger flavor.

The method of grinding is different as well; a grinding wheel is preferred to allow a more thorough grind.

The rules of drinking Italian Coffee like the Italians do are as follows:  the locals drink it standing at the bar, “caffe” is an espresso and drunk in two to three sips and coffee should not have milk in it after 11:00 a.m.  Any other behavior will flag you as a tourist.

However you prefer your coffee know that Italian Roast will deliver a smooth full-bodied dark cup of sweet coffee with low acidity and lower caffeine content.

Coffee Cup – Can Yours be Affecting the Flavor of Your Coffee?


Coffee Cup

How one drinks their cup of Joe is a matter of taste, choice, or habit. Does it really matter what kind of cup you choose to drink your coffee from?  The coffee cup comes in many shapes and sizes, we all have our favorites.

Most of us have a travel mug for the commute, for the hike.   And who doesn’t need a shot of Java in the morning to get going?   But what is that cup made of?  Stainless steel is best as it isn’t porous and retains heat well.  The flavor stays intact and it doesn’t need to be rinsed before use.

Avoid plastic, paper or Styrofoam as they may transfer their own flavor into your coffee as well as the flavor of your coffee can erode as it sits.  Worse yet, there is some debate as to whether these materials release toxic elements into your coffee due to the high temperature it is served at.

Consider the good old porcelain coffee cup.   They are not porous and they maintain the temperature of your coffee longer preserving the flavor.  Since they are reusable they are environmentally friendly and easy to find in any store in a variety of shapes, sizes and decorated with many designs to suit your fancy.

Wash your cup daily with warm soapy water, you wouldn’t want to have a ring around your cup and as bad as that can look worse yet it can alter the taste of your coffee.  Oils in the coffee slowly leach out and stick to the inside of your cup altering the taste of your fresh new brew.  A little vinegar can remove stubborn stains when soaked for an hour or so.  Rinse well and you’re ready for a fresh cup ‘o Joe.

Illy – Coffee As A Science


Illy Cup

Born to a Hungarian-Italian chocolate maker Francesco Illy, Ernesto was destined to perfect the cup of coffee.  Francesco, an officer in WWI, came to Italy and created the famous Illy brand in 1933.

Ernesto majored in Chemistry at the University of Bologna and spent his entire life creating the perfect cup of coffee for the average coffee drinker.  He took over the company in 1956 and created a high-tech manufacturing process for espresso coffee.

Referred to as the Bell Labs of coffee in Trieste, Ernesto Illy built a laboratory equipped with sophisticated instrumentation like infrared emission pyrometers, flame ionization detectors and gas chromatographs.

In 1999 the Universita del Caffe was established in Naples and then moved to Trieste to promote and disseminate the culture of quality coffee.  Using a wide array of courses people from managers to restaurant owners, bartenders, hotel managers, and coffee growers to consumers learn all about coffee.

The Universita del Caffee has branches in Brazil, India, China, South Korea, Egypt, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Croatia, Great Britain, the U.S., Greece, Turkey, the Czech Republic and Malaysia, with over 10,000 people attending courses each year.

The rules for a perfect espresso using Illy coffee

* Water temperature should be 90°-95°C

* Coffee in cup temperature should be 80°-85°C

* Dosage should be 6-7 grams per espresso cup

* Volume in cup should be 30 ml

* Time extraction should be 25-30 seconds.

“Fine espresso paints the tongue”, he was quoted to have said of his favorite beverage of which he indeed made perfect.  Ernesto Illy passed away on February 3, 2008, his dream fulfilled.

Lavazza The King Of Coffee Dies At 78



February 18, 2010 – Lavazza is synonymous with great Italian coffee; Emilio Lavazza entered the family business founded by his grandfather in 1955.  In 1971 Mr. Lavazza became CEO of Luigi Lavazza SpA. 

Starting out delivering coffee door-to-door to restaurants around Turin where his grandfather ran a grocery store in 1895, he took over as chairman in 1979 until 2008.  

After WWII Lavazza became a national brand.  An innovator, in 1970 Mr. Lavazza had the idea of vacuum-sealing packages for export, something nearly all coffee companies do today.  

In Turin at a coffee laboratory Lavazza developed coffee capsules for single cup brewing, another idea he pioneered.  He also developed technical innovations in roasting and vending. 

Signor Emilio as he was affectionately referred to by his employees was a believer in advertising and television and invested heavily bringing the Turin-based firm into new markets in other countries.  

In the 1960’s he developed the characters Carmencita and Caballero in a popular Italian television ad campaign.  He later went on to feature Luciano Pavarotti and movie star Nino Manfredi in award-winning ads.  Always on the cutting edge, the company produces an annual calendar with shots by Annie Leibovitz and Helmut Newton. 

Because of this belief in advertising Lavazza has 48 percent of the Italian retail coffee market and operations in countries like India and Brazil.  Brewed in more than 90 countries, it is the sixth largest coffee roaster of green coffee.   Sales are forecast at more than 1.1 billion euros or USD $1.5 billion in 2009. 

In 1991 Mr Lavazza was knighted and since has been known as the “King of Coffee” in Italy.  He lived all of his life in Turin, home of such famous families as Fiat’s Agnelli and Nutella’s Ferrero.  The company is still privately held and the fourth generation is in place to take the helm. 

A very private man, Mr. Lavazza was quoted in a rare interview in 2003 to say his passions were fishing, jazz and collecting toy soldiers.  He also loved murder mysteries and authored two of them himself.