• Partnership Expands Education Options

    by John Knotz | Dec 16, 2016

    The coffee-growing communities of Unión Buenavista and Tierra y Libertad in the Mexican state of Chiapas are located on unpaved, mountainous roads far from the nearest town. Generations of farmers have grown their products and made the arduous journey to town to sell their goods.

    Hildardo Matias Velasquez, a coffee farmer, recalls the difficulty of such trips before an actual road existed. He says he would pack mules at 5 a.m. to take products to town and sell them, then arrive at 3 p.m., buy supplies such as sugar, salt and soap, repack the mules and make the return journey. The road has helped shorten the trip, but it’s still a rough, dangerous trek, he says.

    The communities’ isolation also makes it difficult for teachers to reach the area or for students to get to schools, particularly when heavy rains make the road impassable. In response to this problem, Community Coffee Company, in partnership with Southwest Airlines and the ECOM Foundation, created a project to build two classrooms with satellite internet and access to online curriculum. The project provides grade-school education, as well as access to agricultural, technological and academic training for anyone interested. Additionally, residents — who traditionally have had little hope for a higher education — can now access a university education remotely. 

    Mexico_WithinArticle_315x472

    Coffee farming is the livelihood for many of these residents, so training in agriculture and better coffee-growing practices is being offered to sustain future generations of coffee growers. 

    Mark Howell, general manager of the Green Coffee and Tea Department with Community Coffee Company, attended the ribbon-cutting ceremonies at the two schools. The kids were excited and curious about the visitors since they rarely get visitors in their area, he says.


     




    Mexico_WithinArticle_400x267“After theribbon cutting we stepped into the school and turned on the lights to look around. The school has windows along either side of the building, and there were over a hundred kids’ faces peering in trying to see inside the school,” he says. “They let a group of students in, and they all sat down and immediately wanted everyone to take pictures of them looking busy and professional.”

    In an area where education usually stops after elementary school, and kids go on to live as farmers and laborers, the schools will make a huge difference to their futures, opening new doors for them, Howell says. Some of the students understand that, and some don’t yet, but their parents understand what the access to computers and higher education will mean for their children, he says.

    “I think the turnout for these ceremonies spoke volumes,” Howell says. “A large percent of the community showed up each day to hear what was said and enjoy a picnic.”

    Matias Velasquez says he’s optimistic that education for the area will continue to improve, and the community's children will be better prepared for the future. He also wants to continue learning despite his age — even if it’s just learning more about agriculture, it would be a good thing for everyone, he says.

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  • Super-Simple, Decadent Dessert Perfect for Busy Holidays

    by John Knotz | Dec 01, 2016

    Though I vow every year not to let this special season turn into a crazy-busy time, the holidays often have more packed into the daily schedule than what comfortably fits. So, if you’re anything like me, dessert definitely should be stress-free, right?!

    Consider a change-up or addition to your usual Christmas and holiday fare with this country-French dessert called clafouti (kla-foo-TEE). Originating in the Limousin region of France, clafouti is made by topping fruit – traditionally cherries – with a crepe- or pancake-like batter. After baking, it’s served warm, cut into wedges or spooned out of the pan, often with whipped cream. Clafouti is as special as serving pie, minus the challenge of tackling a crust.

    Filled with fresh cranberries and apples, this version of traditional clafouti is decidedly fit for the holidays. It’s delightfully simple and quick to make, especially attractive for a season of meals featuring often-lengthy menus. Simply place fruit in buttered pan. Whisk together batter. Pour over fruit. Bake. That’s it … really!

    Plan to bake the clafouti so it will be warm when serving to guests. Also, expect that this custard-like dessert will perfectly puff up during baking. Then, it will fall soon after removing from the oven. No worries! That’s exactly what it’s supposed to do … similar to an oven-baked pancake. A touch of fresh whipped cream is the perfect topping. It’s a thing of real beauty when a simple-to-make, casual dessert delivers an amazing grand finale of flavor. 

     

    Cranberry Apple Clafouti (Kla-foo-TEE)

     

    • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
    • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
    • 2 cups fresh or frozen, thawed and patted dry cranberries
    • 1 small apple, peeled, cored and finely diced
    • ¾ cup granulated sugar
    • ½ cup all-purpose flour
    • 4 large eggs
    • 1 cup whole milk
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • Powdered sugar for dusting top (optional)
    • Whipped cream (optional)

     

    Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter a 10-inch, deep-dish pie pan or similar-sized baking pan. Add 1 tablespoon granulated sugar and tilt pan to coat. Add cranberries and apple to bottom of pan.

    In large bowl, combine ¾ cup granulated sugar and flour. Whisk in eggs until completely combined. Add milk, vanilla and salt; whisk until smooth. Pour batter over the fruit. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350°F; bake an additional 35-45 minutes, or until center is puffed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

    Let cool about 20 minutes. Top with powdered sugar, if desired. Serve warm with whipped cream, if desired.

    Makes about 6 servings

    Notes:

    • Plan to bake this during your meal and serve warm. For easy prep: place fruit in prepared pan; whisk together batter; just before sitting down to the table, pour batter over fruit and pop in the oven.
    • Instead of whisking by hand, use a blender or food processor to mix together the batter mixture.
    • Remember, the clafouti will deflate almost immediately after removing from the oven. It is supposed to do this.
    • Homemade whipped cream is simple: mix cold heavy cream and powdered or granulated sugar (to taste) by hand with a whisk or in a mixer until desired consistency.
    • Whipped cream may be flavored with vanilla, brewed or instant coffee, favorite liquor or cocoa powder. Vanilla is a nice addition for this dessert since it’s also called for in the recipe.
    • Pair this dessert with our Café Special® coffee for a rich, smooth flavor or try our Private Reserve® Founder’s Blend for a unique twist on your typical coffee.

     

    Beth Witherspoon, MPH, RDN, has a passion for communicating culinary and nutrition information. She is a registered dietitian/nutritionist who consults with Community Coffee Company to help communicate the flavor and health benefits of coffee.

     


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  • Start a Mouth-Watering Thanksgiving Morning Tradition

    by John Knotz | Nov 17, 2016
    Fresh Cranberry Pecan Streusel Muffins Recipe

    Over the years, I’ve celebrated Thanksgiving in many regions of this great country, each holding a special place in my heart because of the family and friends with whom I was blessed to share time. While growing up on a farm in Nebraska, I always looked forward to my Aunt’s moist, sweet cranberry bread appearing on my parents’ long dining table, which comfortably seats eighteen.

    That recipe – now made countless times over the years for my own family – hailed from Ohio and is the inspiration for these perfectly sweet-tart fresh cranberry muffins. They’re just right for breakfast or brunch over the holiday weekend and easily can be made ahead and frozen, adding the drizzle before serving. Or stir them together, scoop into muffin tins and refrigerate overnight; top and bake fresh the next morning.

    White whole wheat flour adds a rich, nutty flavor to the muffins and yields a texture similar to all-purpose flour in many baked goods, especially those leavened with baking powder. The orange juice adds sweetness to the batter surrounding the tart cranberries without imparting an “orange” flavor. Also, the streusel topping and drizzle may be left off but definitely add visual and textural interest, as well as a sweet touch.

    Just guessing … these might become a requested family tradition at your house, too!     

    Fresh Cranberry Pecan Streusel Muffins

    Muffins:

    • 2 ¼ cups white whole wheat or all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • 2/3 cup orange juice
    • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
    • 1 ½ cups fresh or frozen cranberries
    • ½ cup toasted, chopped pecans

    Topping (optional):

    • 4 teaspoons old-fashioned rolled oats
    • 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
    • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

    Drizzle (optional):

    • 2/3 cup powdered sugar
    • 1 tablespoon orange juice or milk

     

    Preheat oven to 400°F. Line 12 regular-size muffin cups; spray cups with vegetable cooking spray.

    Muffins

    In medium bowl, combine flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in 2/3 cup orange juice, oil and egg until completely combined. Add cranberries and pecans, stirring until combined; batter will be thick. Evenly scoop batter into muffin cups. (If desired, cover with plastic wrap sprayed with vegetable cooking spray and refrigerate overnight to top and bake in the morning.)

    Topping

    If desired, in small bowl, stir together oats, 4 teaspoons sugar and cinnamon. Evenly sprinkle over muffin batter.

    Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown and toothpick in center comes out nearly clean. Do not overbake. Cool about 2 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack.

    Drizzle

    If desired, whisk together powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon orange juice; drizzle over muffins.

    Makes 12 muffins

     

    Notes:

    • To toast pecans, place in heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until fragrant and lightly browned, about 2-4 minutes. Cool.
    • Toasting nuts adds an additional dimension of flavor which will not develop in baking since the nuts are stirred into the batter. If you have a nut allergy or aren’t a fan, simply leave them out.
    • Regular-size muffin cup liners – sprayed with vegetable cooking spray before filling – make for easy release of muffins when serving.
    • To make-ahead and freeze, bake and completely cool muffins. Double wrap in freezer bags. Thaw and top with drizzle before serving.
    • To make-ahead and bake the next morning, prepare batter and fill muffin cups. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Remove from refrigerator and add topping; bake, cool and drizzle according to directions.

     

    Beth Witherspoon, MPH, RDN, has a passion for communicating culinary and nutrition information. She is a registered dietitian/nutritionist who consults with Community Coffee Company to help communicate the flavor and health benefits of coffee.

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  • Bake-Ahead Thanksgiving Dessert Sweet Potato Triple Layer Cake

    by John Knotz | Nov 09, 2016

    Sweet potatoes predictably may be served as a side dish – or even in rolls – around the country this Thanksgiving. But try dressing them up for a show-stopping, not-even-close-to-resembling-pie dessert? Absolutely!

    This cake is inspired by the carrot Bundt cake recipe my husband’s Southern Aunt Bea lovingly gifted to us in a box full of hand-written recipes when we were married. Shredded sweet potato replaces carrots and dates upstage somewhat-polarizing raisins. Autumn’s best spices, walnuts and sweet pineapple make each layer’s flavor and texture special.

    Between each layer and crowning the top is an amazing coffee cream cheese frosting. Ever since my friend told me that her mom always adds a touch of brewed coffee to her homemade frostings, I’ve wanted to try it. And instead of screaming coffee flavor, it covertly manages to enhance the other frosting ingredients.  

    Because there usually are several other menu items to prepare at Thanksgiving, make the cake layers anytime in November and freeze. Be sure to wrap each individually and place in a freezer bag. Simply pull these out to thaw before frosting, which can be done the day before serving. And this sweet treat will taste just as fresh at the end of the Thanksgiving weekend as it did on the holiday. That makes everyone happy!


    Sweet Potato Layer Cake with Coffee Cream Cheese Frosting

    Cake:

    • 2 cups white whole wheat or all-purpose flour
    • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • 1½ teaspoons cinnamon
    • ½ teaspoon baking soda
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
    • ½ teaspoon allspice
    • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • ¾ cup vegetable oil
    • 3 large eggs
    • 2 cups peeled, grated sweet potato (about 1 medium)
    • 1 cup toasted, finely chopped walnuts or pecans, divided
    • ½ cup chopped dates
    • ½ cup finely chopped fresh or canned pineapple

     

    Frosting:

    • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
    • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
    • 2 tablespoons brewed Community® coffee, cooled
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 3 ½ - 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line three 8-inch round baking pans with parchment paper and spray sides with vegetable cooking spray.

     

    Cake

    In large bowl, whisk together flour, 1 ½ cups granulated sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, cloves, allspice and nutmeg. Stir in or mix on low speed vegetable oil and eggs; completely combine. Add sweet potato, ¾ cup walnuts, dates and pineapple, stirring until combined. Evenly divide batter into pans. Bake about 30 minutes, or until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.

    Let cool in pans 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of cake pans; turn over onto cooling rack. Remove parchment and cool completely.

     

    Frosting

    In large mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese and butter until well combined. Add coffee and vanilla; mix until smooth, scraping bowl often. Gradually add 3 ½ cups powdered sugar, adding extra coffee or powdered sugar to achieve spreading consistency; mix until completely combined.

    Place first layer of cake on serving plate; evenly spread with 1/3 of frosting. Repeat with remaining layers. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup walnuts to garnish.

    Makes 1 large layer cake (at least 16 slices)

     

    Notes:

    • White whole wheat flour has all of the nutrition of whole wheat flour but with a less assertive flavor and texture. In this cake, it enhances the nutty, rich flavors and performs quite similarly to all-purpose flour.
    • To easily toast nuts, place in heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until fragrant and lightly browned, about 2-4 minutes. Cool.
    • Toasting nuts develops an additional layer of flavor which won’t occur from baking since the nuts are mixed into the cake batter.
    • For evenly-sized layers, use a kitchen scale to equally portion batter into each pan.
    • Omit nuts if there’s an allergy concern or if they’re not a favorite. Consider adding coconut instead.
    • The frosting will not noticeably taste of coffee. Instead, the rich cream cheese and butter flavors are enhanced.
    • This semisweet cake dessert will pair well with Community® Café Special® coffee. This medium roasted coffee provides a light balance between the creamy, richness of the dessert and the subtle flavor of the coffee.

     


    Beth Witherspoon, MPH, RDN, has a passion for communicating culinary and nutrition information. She is a registered dietitian/nutritionist who consults with Community Coffee Company to help communicate the flavor and health benefits of coffee.


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  • Daylight Savings Time

    by John Knotz | Nov 04, 2016

    Let’s face it. Most of us out there are not huge fans of “falling back” from Daylight Saving Time to standard time on first Sunday of November. We say goodbye to that extra hour of daylight in the evening, enjoying sunsets on the patio and kids playing in the yard until well past seven. We begrudgingly accept headlights for the homebound commute, the end of evening walks around the neighborhood and our offspring cooped up in the house from 5:00 till bedtime.

    To make matters a little worse, moving the clock resets our 24-hour natural cycle, or circadian rhythm. Sure, we may fall asleep a little easier given that our bodies think it’s an hour ahead, but that sometimes leads to making it a little harder to “get up and go” in the mornings considering our bodies think it’s an hour earlier. In fact, during early November and beyond, many people get up earlier, have more trouble falling asleep, and are more likely to wake up during the night.

     While we here at Community Coffee Company certainly encourage maintaining your morning coffee along with another coffee or tea after lunch to keep you sharp, we have additional suggestions to help make it through the time shift. (As an added bonus, most of these actually apply when you “spring forward” next April. They’ll still be on our blog then, too.)

    Wake Up at a Normal Time the Sunday Morning of the Time Change
    In fall, many people see the extra hour as an excuse to stay up later and sleep in longer. But sleeping through the Sunday morning sunlight can leave you feeling out of sorts for the start of the week. Instead, try to get up at the same time. Use the extra hour to go for a morning walk or make a hearty breakfast.

    Eat Right and Exercise
    Really, eating right and exercising is advice that applies to the entire year, but it’s especially important to help your body adjust to its new sleeping pattern. An active lifestyle and a healthy diet can work wonders for your sleep. So, during the first week of the time change, exercise for at least 30 minutes during the day and make sure you eat balanced meals.

    Get a Good, Normal Night's Sleep Sunday Night
    Make sure your room is cool, quiet and dark. Turn off the laptop, tablet and phone. Hit the hay at your usual bedtime, even though it will be dark one hour earlier.

    Know That Your Body Will Adjust 
    Some people have a harder time adjusting and it might take a few days to feel 100 percent normal, but don’t worry: Your body will become accustomed to the new light-dark cycle.

    However you choose to take on the time change, employ some of these tips and you’ll adjust easier. And get some rest. The holidays are just around the corner!



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  • Trick-or- Treat: How Much Do You Know About Halloween?

    by John Knotz | Oct 26, 2016
    Break out those cobwebs and pour the cider, Halloween is back again to frightfully delight people everywhere. This hauntingly fun night consists of costumes, candy, pumpkins and ghosts, but do you know how it all started? Here is a game of Trick-or- Treat (similar to true or false) to get you in the Halloween spirit and see how much you know about this spell-binding holiday!

    The celebration of Halloween was brought to the U.S. by immigrants from Russia.
    Trick! Halloween came to the U.S. with the first large wave of immigrants from Ireland, England, and Scotland. In these countries it was common for kids to dress up on All Hallow’s Eve and beg for food, money, or other items. When people refused to give them any treats, the kids would play tricks such as drawing with chalk on their doors.

    Halloween became what it is today in the 50s and 60s.
    Treat! Halloween became the ritual that it is today in the 50s and 60s because families started living in newly-built suburban neighborhoods—perfect for trick-or- treating! This is when it became an annual family activity to have a neighborhood-wide celebration complete with candy, costumes, and Halloween parties!

    The first bags of Community® coffee were orange and black.
    Treat! Some of Community Coffee’s first coffee bags donned Halloween’s most iconic colors. The vibrant red that people know today was not made the primary package color until much later!

    The ancient festivals of Halloween involved leaving out nuts and other treats which attracted spiders and bats—popular creatures depicted in Halloween decorations today!
    Trick! Ancient Halloween festivals focused on protecting and stockpiling crops rather than on treats and candy. They believed that October 31 was the day the boundaries between the living and the dead overlapped, causing sickness or damaged crops. Festival-goers would light a bonfire, which is what attracted bats, spiders, and various insects.

    A cup of coffee has the same amount of calories as a candy bar.

    Trick! Thankfully we can indulge in coffee all we want knowing a plain cup of joe only has about 2 calories along with a list of other health benefits. The average name brand candy bar can have between 200 and 500 calories. Moderation is definitely key when it comes to candy…but Halloween is always an exception!

    Jack-o- lanterns are named after folklore about Stingy Jack.
    Treat! Jack-o- lantern literally means “man with a lantern.” The story is about a boy named Jack who was forced to roam the earth forever after playing tricks on an evil spirit. The evil spirit sent Jack off into the woods with only a burning coal in a carved-out turnip to light his way. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as “Jack of the Lantern.” Now, pumpkins are carved with a candle inside to create the lantern effect and placed in front of people’s house for decoration.


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  • Fall Into A New DIY Project

    by John Knotz | Oct 20, 2016

    Ahhh the colors of Fall. The rustic browns, burnt oranges and crisp reds all come together to show off nature’s beauty. What better way to showcase some of Fall’s most vibrant colors than in your home décor? With family coming in for the holidays, its easy to get caught up in everything from the menu to the sleeping arrangements. But these simple Fall DIY projects are sure to impress your guests…and maybe even yourself!

    Nothing brings people together like a warm homemade meal. Of course, it is always a bit more inviting when the table is adorned with festive Fall decorations and a glowing centerpiece. Try placing these easy pumpkin candle holders in the center of your table and let the compliments pour in!



     
    Need to add some flair to your front door? This monogram pumpkin door hanger will have all the neighbors knocking on your door…and wondering where you got this DIY treasure, of course! This idea is perfect when you need something quick and easy!



    Striving to be the hostess with the mostest? Try these maple leaf mason jars for serving drinks to your guests! Just swap out the candle for some Community® Raspberry Tea and enjoy on a crisp Autumn afternoon.



     
    Here is a great last minute décor idea! This fun project requires basic materials and only 30 minutes of your time. Hang or place this spray paint leaf art around your living room or entryway for an effortless Fall touch!


    Want to spruce up your coffee table or fireplace mantle? These cinnamon stick candles will leave your home smelling like a delicious bakery! Plus, the leftover cinnamon sticks can be used in other ways! Just place a couple sticks in a mug of freshly brewed Community® Pumpkin Praline coffee and enjoy the Fall sensory overload!



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  • Pumpkin Seeds: Nature’s (Healthy) Candy

    by John Knotz | Sep 29, 2016

    The holidays are coming and your willpower to eat healthy is quickly going. With all the sweet holiday staples it can be hard to stay on track and get in those healthy meals between all the freshly-baked goods calling your name. While a little indulging in the good stuff is always acceptable, here is a complete menu using one of fall’s greatest gifts (pumpkin seeds!) to help you eat better without sacrificing the delicious taste!

    Pumpkin seeds are not only delicious, they’re also pretty nutritious! These high-fiber seeds contain loads of protein and antioxidants that give almost every part of your body a little boost. The heart, immune system, bones and even your hair can all benefit from pumpkin seeds. As if their amazing taste (raw or toasted) weren’t enough, this just adds to the reason why pumpkin seeds are one of fall’s best and healthiest little treasures to enjoy.

    Here’s a few options to enjoy this unique treat.

    Breakfast: Blueberry and Pumpkin Breakfast Bowl

    blueberrypumpkinbreakfast

    The pumpkins are carved and those seeds cannot go to waste. Just a few basic ingredients make this breakfast bowl the perfect start to your busy day this fall. Power up with all the benefits of tangy Greek yogurt, sweet blueberries, and nutty pumpkin seeds!

    Lunch: Kale Superfood Salad

    kalesalad

    Ready to enjoy a salad for lunch? This quick little salad is anything but simple. Packed with flavors from kale, avocado, toasted pumpkin seeds, and a homemade dressing, this salad is sure to be your new favorite lunchtime craving!

    Snack: Roasted Pumpkin Seed Hummus

    roastedpumpkin

    Are those mid-afternoon tummy rumblings hitting you hard today? No worries, because here is the perfect afternoon snack! This hummus has all the flavors of fall: pumpkin seeds, chili powder, garlic, and beans combine to make a delicious dip! Grab some chips or pita bread and enjoy outside on a crisp autumn day.

    Dinner: Kale and Pumpkin Seed Pesto

    kaleseed

    Just say “presto!” and you’re ready to go with this pesto! Pesto is easy to make and is easily customizable with your favorite flavors like cilantro or chili. Stir into a bowl of cooked pasta or create a pesto crusted baked chicken the whole family will love!

    Dessert: Salted Dark Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Bark

    salteddark

    Mix all the benefits of rich dark chocolate and protein-packed pumpkin seeds to create this mouth-watering dessert. Enjoy a piece, or three, after dinner to satisfy your sweet tooth guilt-free!

    STILL need more pumpkin in your life? It’s okay, we all go a little overboard on pumpkin in the fall. Overindulge on this classic fall flavor by pairing any of these snacks with a cup of Community® Pumpkin Praline coffee. This flavor brings out all the rich smells and tastes of fall with hints of nuts from the pumpkin and a little sweetness from the pralines. Enjoy our coffee, it’s good enough to eat!


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  • How Sunset Acres Elementary School Became a Top Earner in the 2016 Cash for Schools Program

    by John Knotz | Sep 27, 2016

    Sunset Acres Elementary School in Shreveport was among the top 10 earners in the 2016 Community Cash for Schools® program, earning $2,735.

    This is more than double what they’ve earned in previous years — thanks to a partnership with Springs of Grace Baptist Church, says Stacey Jamison, who was Sunset Acres’ principal. The church collected and donated most of the Community Coffee brand proofs of purchase to the school.

    “We have a great partnership,” Jamison says of the school’s relationship with the church. “The church organized with us, and all the members of the church, the congregation and their families support us in whatever the endeavor is. They actively participate.”

    The church put up signs, made announcements in the church bulletin and kept interest alive in collecting proofs of purchase for the school, Jamison says. “They don’t want any recognition, and they’re always there to help,” she says.

    Sunset Acres Elementary serves high-risk, low-income neighborhoods, with about 400 students in grades 4 through 6. The money earned from these types of programs is used for supplies and equipment that many students wouldn’t otherwise have access to, Jamison says.

    The money was allocated in May, so it will be spent during the coming academic year.

    Jamison says she appreciated the way Community Coffee presented the news of the school’s earnings, with a reception held at Community Coffee’s headquarters in May.

    sunsetacresimg_editThree to four students from each grade, along with the school’s king and queen, were chosen to take the four-hour trip to Baton Rouge, where they met the owners of Community Coffee and representatives from other participating schools.

    “Many of the students have never left the city, so going to Baton Rouge was huge opportunity,” Jamison says. “We made it an all-around learning experience.”

    They visited the state Capitol and the governor’s mansion, and had meals at IHOP and Golden Corral, offering the kids experiences they would not otherwise have had, she says. The students were then able to share their experiences with the entire school at an assembly when they returned.

    “The kids were really excited,” Jamison says. “It showed them that if you work for it, you can achieve great things.”

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  • Coffee ‘n’ Black Bean Soup – in 30 Minutes!

    by John Knotz | Sep 15, 2016

    One of my favorite memories from living in New Orleans is learning to make traditional red beans and rice from a local who had been serving up this favorite dish – to throngs of people – her entire life. We soaked, drained, combined, stirred, seasoned, mashed, and tasted … what a learning opportunity for a Midwestern native!

    And though I often still make beans the way she taught me, time – or lack thereof – can be an issue. So, canned beans are a wonderful option. Their texture is spot on. And just like starting with dried beans, they are a nutrition powerhouse, providing protein, fiber, potassium, folate, iron and zinc.

    This hearty soup is designed to be a satiating meatless meal option with layers of flavor developed from sweet, smoky and hot peppers, cumin, chili powder, tomatoes, broth and coffee. You won’t necessarily taste the brewed coffee, but its roasted, earthy notes heighten and complement the other flavors. (Check out Don’t Just Sip … Eat Your Coffee! for more on cooking and baking with coffee.)

    Feel free to add a ham bone, ham or chicken if you want. Or, serve with steamed rice to turn the beans into a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids. And definitely consider topping your bowl with a squeeze of fresh lime juice, avocado, cilantro or one of the other options listed. This soup has a mild-to-medium heat level which can be adjusted by adding more or less of the chipotle, serrano or jalapeno peppers.       

    Oh, and I almost forgot what some will consider most important. If you have all of your ingredients gathered, (and depending on how fast you are with a knife, maybe have chopped the vegetables ahead) this soup comes together in just 30 minutes. Gotta love that!

     

    Easy Coffee ‘n’ Black Bean Soup

     

    Soup:

    1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil
    1 large onion, diced
    1 red bell pepper, diced
    1 yellow bell pepper, diced
    3 cloves garlic, finely minced
    2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, diced
    1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, finely minced (optional)
    1 teaspoon chili powder
    1 teaspoon cumin
    3 (15-ounce) cans black beans, undrained
    1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes
    1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
    2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
    1 cup brewed Community Coffee
    Salt to taste

     

    Optional (but great!)Toppings:

    Avocado, sliced or diced
    Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
    Pickled jalapenos
    Fresh cilantro, chopped
    Fresh lime juice
    Steamed rice

    In large pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and red and yellow peppers. Sauté, stirring frequently, until soft, 5-8 minutes. Add garlic, chipotle peppers, serrano pepper (if using), chili powder and cumin; cook and stir about 1 minute. Mix in beans, tomatoes, tomato sauce, broth and coffee. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, partly covered, about 15 minutes.

    Using an immersion or hand blender, puree half of the beans. Season with salt to taste. Serve with desired toppings. 

    Makes about 8 (1 ½-cup) servings

     

    Notes:

    • Dice and mince vegetables in advance to speed preparation.
    • The beans are undrained in this recipe. Why? The starchy liquid adds creamy body to the soup.
    • It’s well documented that most Americans consume more sodium than recommended each day. To reduce sodium in the soup from canned beans and tomatoes, choose lower sodium or no added salt options and season accordingly.
    • Make this soup vegetarian by using vegetable instead of chicken broth.
    • Using a blender to puree a portion of the soup creates a creamy consistency (along with some whole bean texture) and beautifully combines flavors. If you don’t have a hand or immersion blender, remove a cup or more of beans, completely mash, then add back to the soup and cook an additional 5 to 10 minutes until thickened.   

     

    Beth Witherspoon, MPH, RDN, has a passion for communicating culinary and nutrition information. She is a registered dietitian/nutritionist who consults with Community Coffee Company to help communicate the flavor and health benefits of coffee.


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  • Honoring the Past: How Acadians Came to Louisiana and Made a Lasting Impact

    by John Knotz | Sep 02, 2016

    Family, perseverance, hard work. Many aspects of Louisiana’s celebrated culture can be traced back to the Acadians, a group of immigrants who settled in our region more than 230 years ago. Their influence is felt in everything from the food we eat to the names of our towns and parishes. Community Coffee Company wouldn’t be the company it is today without the support of the Acadian community; our Private Reserve® Evangeline Blend™ coffee is a tribute to its rich history.

    Acadians Arrive in North America

    The group of people who eventually became known as “Cajuns” immigrated from rural areas of western France. In the early 1600s they sailed to coastal Canada and established a French colony called Acadia, where they prospered as farmers and fishermen in the salty marshlands.

    Over the next 100 years, control of the land bounced between Great Britain and France several times. The settlers avoided the conflict for a while, refusing to take sides in favor of a peaceful existence. But when the British seized permanent control of the region, Acadians refused to swear allegiance to the crown and church. Eventually they were deported from Acadia during the Expulsion of 1755. A century later, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s fictional account of the brutal takeover immortalized a woman named Evangeline and the search for her lost love, Gabriel.

    The Trek to Louisiana

    The displaced Acadians were sent to locations including Europe, New England, Central America and the Caribbean, but many were unhappy in their new homes and eventually made their way to Louisiana. By the early 1800s thousands of Acadians had settled in the territory, which was then controlled by Spain. The Mississippi River Delta had many similarities to their previous home in Nova Scotia, and the settlers once again thrived as farmers, trappers and ranchers in Louisiana’s swamps, bayous and prairies.

    Honoring the Acadian Culture

    When Community Coffee Company first began, the Acadian community strongly supported our company, mission, and growth. One of our very first blends was the Evangeline Blend™, which we created to honor the Acadian culture. We blend 100% specialty-grade Arabica beans and dark roast them to create a deep, semisweet flavor.

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  • Build A Game Plan For Your School

    by John Knotz | Aug 25, 2016

    It’s that time of year again and two things are about to kick off. That’s right, football season and our Community Cash for Schools® program. Entering its 28th year, local schools have earned over $6.7 million by clipping and returning proofs of purchase back to Community Coffee Company. The program supports and cultivates future generations by allowing educators to direct funds to programs and projects that best serve our youth. So how can your team score big this year and earn funds to support your school?

    Get in the Game.
    Playing is easy. Individuals at your school collect proof of purchase—the label that appears on all Community® brand packages including coffee and tea. Your school receives 10 cents for each one you return. The program is open to public and private schools from Pre-K to 12th grade, and runs from August 18, 2016 through January 31, 2017. Last year, 820 schools participated earning approximately $368,000 with 94 schools earning $1,000 or more.

    Develop a Game Plan.
    Strategy is a must, so decide what your school needs funded and set your goals. Most schools seek funds to support technology improvements such as computers or white boards, while others upgrade textbooks or playground equipment. Some schools have really thought outside the box supporting music programs, and even a chicken coop to help teach kids about biology and the poultry business. Most schools are more successful when they determine what it needs and set a specific monetary goal to reach.

    Execute Your Playbook
    Next, it’s time to put your plan into action. Make sure you communicate your participation in the Community Cash for Schools® program to your team—including teachers, staff, students and parents. Invite them to reach out to friends, neighbors and family members to collect proofs of purchase. Use in-school communication to remind students and families to keep up with their clippings at home in a special drawer, zip lock bag or folder. Community Coffee Company even has sample artwork and communication ideas on our website.

    Call an Audible.
    Want to boost your ability to score more points? Visit local offices, churches and other businesses to ask if they would donate their Community® proofs of purchase to your school. Commercial customer coffee proofs of purchase (for restaurants, hotels, offices, etc.) are located on the corrugate case for our Community® commercial products.

    Everybody Wins!
    One of the best things about the Community Cash for Schools® program is that everybody wins. You turn in proofs of purchase and earn money to fund much-needed projects and equipment at your school, and Community Coffee Company gets to support education and self-betterment right here where we live and work.

    For more information on the Community Cash for Schools® program, go to CommunityCoffee.com/CashforSchools and enroll online or call 800-884-5282. Here’s to a great season!

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  • Capturing the Distinct Flavor of Louisiana

    by John Knotz | Aug 09, 2016

    What makes Louisiana unique? As people who come here from elsewhere can attest, there’s an unmistakable feeling that sets the state apart — something in the air. People born and raised here feel it too when they return home from traveling. There’s something familiar about the way we do things in Louisiana, something comfortable.

    They say “time changes all things,” but when it comes to the heart and soul of our home state, three constants remain.

    Food is a Way of Life

    Bold, rich flavors and recipes steeped in Cajun and Creole culture are a staple here; seafood gumbo, red beans and rice, cochon de lait, boudin sausage and beignets are just a few of our favorites. Hours of work go into creating the complex flavors that Louisiana families enjoy together. We captured the distinctive flavors of our region in the Louisiana Blend® of our Private Reserve® coffees. The coffee’s dark, rich profile develops a bold flavor with a mild, fruity aroma.

    Local Community is Important

    We don’t mean only the Community® coffee you drink out of a mug. People here are friendly, and they treat strangers like family. When our founder, Cap Saurage, opened his first country store in Baton Rouge, he named his secret blend of rich, bold and smooth coffee “Community Coffee” to honor the friends, family members and neighbors who supported his business. There’s an entrepreneurial spirit here and a strong sense of duty to help others and make our neighborhoods, towns and cities better. That love and commitment is why we created the Louisiana Blend®, as a way to thank the region for its support and to honor its heritage.

    Traditions Run Deep

    Louisiana’s history is steeped in traditions, some as old as the Mississippi River is long. Jazz music was born here; masked krewe members have been throwing trinkets from fanciful Mardi Gras floats for nearly 150 years; many football fans have been tailgating in the same spot on LSU’s campus for as long as they can remember. Four generations of the Saurage family have overseen the expansion of the Community® brand since the company began nearly 100 years ago. And while we continue to grow, our heart remains in Louisiana. So sit down with a cup of our Louisiana Blend® and drink up the distinctive flavor of the place we call home.

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  • Smooth and Mellow with Royal Ancestry: Brazil Santos Bourbon Private Reserve

    by John Knotz | Aug 04, 2016

    The history of the beans from which our Brazil Santos Bourbon coffee is derived is complex. Its path to South America involved a key role for King Louis XIV, the Sun King of France’s House of Bourbon.

    The Sun King Makes His Mark on Coffee

    Louis was crowned as a young boy in 1643, and he reigned for 72 years as France bloomed in a golden age. In the early 18th century he received a gift of coffee plants, and the French eventually established coffee seedlings on Bourbon Island in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Madagascar. These mutated to what became known as the Bourbon variety of coffee plant and eventually entered South America.

    Bourbon’s Migration to the Americas

    Bourbon coffee plants apparently made their way to Brazil around 1720, possibly thanks to French colonists joining the Minas Gerais region’s gold and diamond rush. Gold production continued for decades but eventually collapsed. Coffee, however, proved more sustainable.

    By the 1840s, Brazil was the world’s largest supplier of coffee, accounting for 40% of production worldwide. That doubled by the 1920s, when the country nearly monopolized the international market; however, the market share subsequently dropped as other countries increased production.

    Royal Lineage

    Much of the coffee today can be traced back to King Louis XIV’s original plants. Today, there are Red Bourbon, Yellow Bourbon and Orange Bourbon varieties; Yellow and Orange Bourbon get their names from spontaneous natural mutations that cause their cherries to ripen to their respective colors.

    Community® Brazil Santos Bourbon is a single-origin coffee grown on select farms in the southern part of Minas Gerais, and it is known for its smooth, mellow flavor. While Bourbon’s sweet notes and gentle brightness make it popular among coffee growers and coffee drinkers, production of Yellow Bourbon is becoming increasingly rare in the Minas Gerais region. It represents just 30% of production, so savor each cup of this Private Reserve® coffee.

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  • Making great coffee and making a difference

    by John Knotz | Jul 28, 2016

    At Community Coffee Company, taking care of people is a cornerstone of our philosophy. And it’s our belief that no matter what we do, we can do more. Our historical social responsibility programs have supported the local communities where our high-quality Arabica coffee is grown for generations.

    The objective of our latest project is to create a program that partners to directly support the coffee growers and their families. ECOM Foundation, a 501c3 organization, provided that platform. Creating spaces and opportunities for education and the dissemination of knowledge are key factors to reduce poverty and improve livelihoods at origin. In partnership with our customer Southwest Airlines and through the ECOM Foundation, we were able to support the construction of two new school buildings, outfitted with electrical generators, computer equipment and classroom furnishings. The building project improved availability and quality of education resources and services to the isolated coffee farming communities of Union Buenavista and Tierra y Libertad located in Chiapas, Mexico.

    The problem

    The towns of Union Beunavista and Tierra y Libertad are situated on unpaved mountainous roads 2-3 hours from the closest town, creating obstacles for teachers and students to reach educational programs, especially during the rainfall season when mudslides and damaged roadways are prevalent. Additionally, the local communities had limited and low-quality educational resources, with infrequent teacher interaction, no adult education or training resources for community members and no opportunity for university education.

    The solution

    To support these communities whose economy is based on coffee farming, Community Coffee Company in partnership with Southwest worked with the ECOM Foundation, to fund the construction and maintenance of two satellite schools. These schools provide a space for grade school education plus further learning for coffee farmers and the entire local communities through health, practical skills training and much more. Further, the program established an alliance with Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) for the curriculum to be delivered online via satellite Internet.

    A member of the community is employed as School Director to act as liaison between ITESM and students and manage the center operations. Further, a committee of local community members are responsible for maintenance and school activities to generate greater community buy-in and involvement.

    ChiapasBlogImageBenefiting more than 2,400 people

    An integral part of the program involves the specialized curriculum. Coffee farmers are provided advanced agricultural training to improve their productivity and reinforce the long-term stability of their communities’ livelihood. The local youth are provided access to a world-class education. Youth ages 12-18 will have the opportunity to gain technological and academic skills, inventive-thinking behaviors, and values and discipline to better prepare them for success in the global marketplace. Other community members may receive on-going training on the use of computers, email and Internet. Finally, the entire community will have the opportunity to access university education without relocating. 

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  • Cancer Experts Give Coffee Positive Rating

    by John Knotz | Jul 21, 2016

    If it seems like good news for coffee lovers keeps appearing in the headlines, you’re right! And the latest comes from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the cancer agency of the World Health Organization. They just finished evaluating the carcinogenicity of drinking coffee and a few other beverages; here’s what they said …

    The Good News!
    Based on an extensive review of more than 1,000 human and animal studies, there is no conclusive evidence that drinking coffee causes cancer according to the IARC. Coffee was given a “3” on a 1 to 4 scale of classifications, where “1” indicates substances that are carcinogenic to humans and “3” states that substances are not classifiable as carcinogenic. This is an improved score from when it was evaluated in 1991 as possibly carcinogenic, and it’s a rare occurrence when IACR positively reclassifies the food, chemicals and occupational exposures it evaluates. Tea and caffeine also have a “3” classification. And it’s interesting that only one substance (of the 900 studied) in nylon called caprolactam has received a “4” – probably not carcinogenic to humans – rating.

    There’s More …
    Additionally, IARC stated that their research review found coffee drinkers had reduced risk of liver and uterine lining cancers, along with no increased risk of pancreas, female breast and prostate cancers. And although IACR does not look at the benefits of the substances it studies, this evaluation adds to the abundance of already-existing research producing positive health messages associated with moderate coffee consumption, including:

    • Lower risk of death from all causes (cardiovascular disease, diabetes, neurologic diseases, suicide)
    • Decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, liver and other cancers, neurologic diseases and cardiovascular disease
    • Improved memory, alertness and concentration

    Read more here for the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s positive coffee and health news.

    Mate and Very Hot Beverage Warning
    In the same report, scientists called out a warning about beverages served at very hot temperatures (>149F), classifying them as probably carcinogenic (2A rating). Mate, an infusion made from dried leaves of the ilex paraguariensis tree, is traditionally served in South America and in other parts of the world at a very hot temperature, often with a metal straw. It is associated with increased risk of esophageal cancer in studies. According to the National Coffee Association, coffee in America typically is safely served at a temperature averaging about 140F. Some flavor experts recommend serving coffee between 120F and 140F for optimal taste.

    The Bottom Line
    There has been criticism of IARC’s classification system of studied substances because it does not address the likelihood of actually developing cancer (cancer risk) from the substances in each category. At any rate, the IACR gave a positive nod to coffee and health by calling out its association to reduced risk of several cancers and by upgrading its classification based on findings from an extensive body of research. All of this supports drinking moderate amounts of coffee as part of a healthy lifestyle. Cheers to that next cuppa joe!






    www.thelancet.com/oncology  Published online June15, 2016  http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S1470-2045(16)30239-X

    International Agency for Research on Cancer. Volume 116: coffee, mate and very hot beverages. IARC Working Group. Lyon, France; 24-31 May, 2016. IARC Monogr Eval Carcinog Risks Hum (in press).

    http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2016/pdfs/pr244_E.pdf

    Beth Witherspoon, MPH, RDN, has a passion for communicating culinary and nutrition information. She is a registered dietitian/nutritionist who consults with Community Coffee Company to help communicate the flavor and health benefits of coffee.


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  • The Origin of Espresso

    by John Knotz | Jul 11, 2016

    Espresso was born out of the need for speed. In the late 1800s, coffee was wildly popular among Europeans. As café culture spread across the continent, baristas sought a faster way to brew individual cups for customers, and inventors began toying with the idea of using steam to speed up the process.

    Under Pressure

    An Italian named Angelo Moriondo is generally credited with developing the machine that would lead to modern espresso-makers. In the 1880s, he submitted a patent for a device that used steam and boiling water to brew large batches of coffee, but the machine was never produced commercially and no physical examples of it survived.

    Two other Italians later built upon Moriondo’s idea to develop a machine that brewed a single cup of coffee in seconds. In 1906, Luigi Bezzera and Desiderio Pavoni introduced their invention at a World’s Fair in Milan, calling the resulting beverage “caffe espresso.” It was the first time single cups of coffee were made expressly for individuals. Pavoni named their machine “Ideal”; it saw some success regionally after the fair but was never widely received.

    It wasn’t until after World War II that a lever-driven machine was developed. This iteration of the espresso machine eliminated the need for massive boilers and standardized the size of the drink. The spring lever also increased the pressure used during the brewing process to create a foam on top that eventually became known as “coffee cream.” Later, in the 1960s, a motorized-pump machine was introduced by Carlo Ernesto Valente; it provided nine bars of atmospheric pressure to brew espresso.


    The French Press Method

    You don’t need a big, expensive machine to enjoy the rich, caramelized flavor of our Private Reserve® Espresso roast. It’s perfect as an everyday coffee, brewed in a standard drip coffee maker. Or, for a special preparation, try using the pour-over method or brew with a French press.

    Here’s how to capture the robust flavor of this roast using a French press:

    1. Gather your supplies. You will need a French press, coarse ground coffee, fresh water, a tea kettle and a timer. 
    2. Heat enough water for the amount of coffee you want to make to between 195°F and 205°F.
    3. Add two level tablespoons of coffee for each six ounces of water. After this, pour the hot water to the band (fill line) of the French press.
    4. Place the plunger on top of the French press to keep the heat in, but do not press it down yet.
    5. Set the timer for four minutes; when the time is up, push the plunger down slowly. It is a good idea to hold the handle and the lid as you push down to stabilize the French press.
    6. Pour the coffee while holding the lid on the French press, and enjoy!

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  • Helping the Whole Person: Supporting Military Members and Veterans

    by John Knotz | Jun 30, 2016

    Did you know that North Carolina has 10 military bases, and that 775,000 veterans call the state home? Serving that large military population is a big job. Community Coffee Company has a long history of supporting military personnel, and we’re proud to partner with the USO of North Carolina, an organization that steps up with important programs and services to help military families.

    Life in the military isn’t easy. Deploying to active war zones for months at a time, spending long stretches away from family and witnessing traumatic events takes a toll on even the toughest person.

    image1

    Stan Williams knows how hard the road is for veterans. He served for more than 18 years as a jet engine mechanic in the Air Force, and deployed six times, including to Iraq and Afghanistan. During his Air Force career, the work started to weigh on him and bring up difficult psychological issues from his past, Williams says.

    He describes a day that changed everything for him: In June 2010, he was a first-responder to a military plane crash. “Three of my brothers burned to death that day, while I stood by helplessly and watched,” he said. “I did everything I could to save them, but failed.”



    After that day, Williams struggled with dark moments. He was depressed and desperate for someone to understand what he was going through and to reach out to help, he says.

    Finally, he says, “my faith, resilience and therapy got me on my road to recovery, and the USO of North Carolina played a part in that.”

    Now Williams is dedicated to helping others through the USO. As a resilience trainer, he teaches mental, social, physical and spiritual life skills to airmen, soldiers, sailors, Marines, Defense Department civilians, veterans and their families.

    What does resilience mean in this context? Williams puts it this way: “Resilience is a form of applied positive psychology — coping skills that help ease the ill effects of everything from post-traumatic stress disorder to normal everyday stressors.”

    Williams shares his story with others who are struggling. “I tell people about my experience and my recovery, and they say, ‘Wow, I’m going through that too,’” he says. “A lot of people with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) don’t get help because they’re worried they’ll ruin their career. I ask them, ‘What’s more important, you or your career? You’re not going to wear your uniform forever.’”

    Through USO of NC programs like Warrior Reset, Williams and other resilience trainers let veterans and their families know that someone understands and cares. While the military offers mandatory resilience training and education, Williams says the USO is an invaluable addition. “We’re losing 22 veterans a day to suicide,” he says. “We need organizations like the USO stepping up and bringing people together, reaching out and saying, ‘We do care about you; we are your community.’ The USO helps with the whole person. That work saves lives.”

    The USO of NC has become an extension of Williams’ family, he says. “I consider them family because they help me so much,” he says. “They have been such a blessing for me and a vehicle for me to follow my passion around raising awareness about PTSD and helping veterans.”

    We are proud to support Williams’ work, as well as that of his colleagues at the USO of North Carolina.


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  • Fight Boredom – Take Action!

    by John Knotz | Jun 30, 2016
    If you’ve ever felt stuck in a rut or bored, relax. You’re not alone! In fact, someone even went so far as to have an entire month – July – dedicated to anti-boredom.

    What’s the Cause?
    Psychologists have studied what fuels feelings of boredom and found that awareness and attention are important factors. They say that at the heart of boredom is the desire to engage in a satisfying activity, which requires attention. And when a person is unable to do this, frustration and “boredom” set in. This feeling is not only unpleasant but has been correlated with overeating, drug abuse, gambling and low productivity and performance errors at work.


    Boosting Attention
    Though there’s not a great deal of research on coping with boredom, caffeine has been widely studied for its role in enhancing attention – an important element in preventing boredom. As little as one, 8-ounce cup of black coffee with about 100 mg of caffeine has been linked with increased alertness and concentration. The stimulating effects of caffeine begin 15-45 minutes after drinking caffeinated coffee and last about 4 hours. And caffeine’s positive effect on mood and memory has been documented, too.

    Keep in mind that more caffeine isn’t necessarily better. Individuals metabolize caffeine at different rates, and consuming caffeine too close to bedtime may affect sleep. Also, caffeinated energy drinks – often targeted at youth – may have high caffeine concentrations, along with other additives.


    Change It Up
    Realistically, boredom can’t always be avoided. And some experts even argue that it can encourage creative thinking. But if you feel inclined to make a few switches in your daily routine, check out these thought-starters …

    Exercise – If you’ve been doing the same thing – or not very much – for quite some time, your muscles and mind may be ready for a change. Grab a friend and try a new class, park or part of town to explore while skating, jogging, biking or walking. And just for fun, read Caffeinated Workouts…the Truth in the Buzz before you go to learn about how caffeine works during exercise and its potential benefits.

    Menu – Adding a few new foods to your current routine can add health and interest to your diet. Ask friends who like to cook if they would like to do a simple recipe exchange of their family favorites. And set an attainable goal. Just including 1 or 2 new dishes or foods from the grocery store each week will add variety. Here’s an easy way to enjoy a new, refreshing beverage when it’s hot outside: make cold-brew coffee at home

    Sleep – Most experts recommend 7 to 8 hours nightly for adults. If you’re not getting enough, try to get more. It could mean fewer colds, symptoms of depression and even consuming fewer calories.

    Free time – Add a new hobby, sport, reading genre, etc., to your repertoire. Or pursue something on your bucket list that’s been there for a long time. July is as good of a time as any to plan and make it happen!




    Einother S.J.L. & Giesbrecht T. (2013) Caffeine as an attention enhancer: reviewing existing assumptions. Psychopharmacology, 225(2):251-274.

    EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) (2011) Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to caffeine and increased fat oxidation leading to a reduction in body fat mass (ID 735, 1484), increased energy expenditure leading to a reduction in body weight (ID 1487), increased alertness (ID 736, 1101, 1187, 1485, 1491, 2063, 2103) and increased attention (ID 736, 1485, 1491, 2375) pursuant to Article 13(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1924/20061. EFSA Journal; 9(4):2054.

    Beth Witherspoon, MPH, RDN, has a passion for communicating culinary and nutrition information. She is a registered dietitian/nutritionist who consults with Community Coffee Company to help communicate the flavor and health benefits of coffee.

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  • Dessert-Inspired Coffee Takes the Cake

    by John Knotz | Jun 23, 2016
    Dinner is great and breakfast is fine, but we all know the best meal of the day is dessert! The smells, the sight and the sugar all pull you in (even when you know you
    shouldn’t) to somehow always leaving room for dessert.

    So what happens when you combine cake, pie, cookies, custard and coffee? Probably
    a weirdly delicious mess, but in this case you get a mouth-watering list of new
    recipes to try. Now, desserts aren’t just for eating…you can drink them, too! This list
    is quite the treat as we take classic desserts and turn them into delicious coffee
    treats. Try them all for yourself!


    Red Velvet Cake Latte

    Who doesn’t love a classic red velvet cake? Now you can have this sweet dessert in
    latte form! Enjoy the smoothness of red velvet with the extra boost of the latte as
    you sip, slurp and savor this delicious treat from PopSugar.com!


    Ingredients

    2 cups whole milk
    1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
    1/2 teaspoon red food coloring
    1/2 cup cold-brewed coffee
    Whipped cream, for garnish
    Red sugar sprinkles, for garnish

    Directions

    In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the milk to a simmer. Remove from heat and
    mix in the chocolate chips and red food coloring until the chocolate is completely
    melted.

    Add 2 tablespoons of coffee to each mug. Divide warmed chocolate milk over coffee.
    Finish with whipped cream and red sprinkles.


    Oreo Cookie Frappuccino

    What is it about Oreos that make them milk’s favorite cookie? Is it the chocolatey
    goodness? The creamy and addictive center? One thing is for sure…Oreo is now
    coffee’s favorite cookie, too! Combine this classic cookie snack with a cool and
    creamy frap to make one of this summer’s most irresistible drinks by Thrifty DIY
    Diva
    !

    Ingredients

    1/2 cup cold brewed coffee
    1/2 cup milk
    1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
    4 Oreo cookies
    Whipped cream

    Directions

    In a blender, add the coffee, milk, vanilla and Oreo cookies and blend for 1 minute.

    Poor into a coffee mug or a Mason jar, and top with whipped cream and a crushed Oreo if you wish.
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