After 3 Mondays in a row of some serious bad luck (laptop chargers melting (not even kidding), internet going out, and food poisoning – respectively), I’m hoping to break the cycle by getting this post out come hell or high water!
Here’s some of the more interesting coffee-related news from the last few weeks: Starbucks added Flat White espresso to their menu and announced the extended leave of their chief operating officer, GE debuted a fridge with its own built-in Keurig, A study came out linking drinking coffee to lower chances of skin cancer, the internet’s been buzzing about a coffee that helps you fall asleep, and Bulletproof Coffee is opening up a shop in LA.
Starting January 6th, Starbucks has begun offering a new espresso beverage in the US and Canada (it’s been available in their UK and Australian stores for years). Called the Flat White, the drink is similar to a latte, but with less milk, and made from 2 ristretto shots (an espresso shot with the same amount of coffee, but half the water, resulting in a bolder and more flavorful shot), a layer of steamed milk, and a little white dot on top. According to Christine Barone, vice president, Espresso and Brewed Coffee, “The growing sophistication of coffee drinkers around the world and in the United States makes the Flat White a perfect beverage for coffee lovers” – This newest addition to the Starbucks menu has been all over the internet, but I’m not really seeing the draw. I’m not really a “sophisticated” coffee consumer though – I like coffee in all its form and I ain’t picky, but all the hype has got me curious though, so I may have to try it and report back. Any one try it yet?
In other Starbucks news, their chief operating officer Troy Alstead, who’s been with the company for 23 years, has announced his plan for an extended, unpaid leave from the company. The announcement was made on a Thursday; on Friday Starbucks shares fell by 3% prompting some damage control in the form of e-mails in which Alstead stated “The next year is for my wife and children, to give them my dedicated time and attention. The Starbucks Coffee Break (sabbatical) is a wonderful benefit for long-term partners, and I am excited to be able to take advantage of it now”.
The GE Café Series French Door Refrigerator with Keurig K-Cup Brewing System is coming this fall from GE Appliances and will cost consumers around $3300. Not only can you use it to brew your K-cups favorites, but you never have to refill the water reservoir. Check out the video below to see it in action.
A study published in the JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute used data collected from 447,357 subjects (white, non-Hispanic individuals ranging in age from 50-71 years of age) and found high coffee intake to be inversely associated with a risk of malignant melanoma. Melanoma is a kind of skin cancer that arises from the pigment producing cells in the skin and cutaneous melanoma, melanoma that occurs on the skin, is apparently the fifth most common cancer. The data presented in the study indicated there was a 20% lower risk for those who consumed 4 cups per day or more. The study determined that this was the case only for caffeinated coffee and only with malignant melanoma and not melanoma in-situ (early stages of melanoma, contained within the outermost layers of skin).
The internet has been abuzz with talk about Counting Sheep Coffee, a decaffeinated coffee made with a natural sedative (Valerian root) designed to help you relax and fall asleep. – I like the idea of a nice, relaxing cup of coffee before bed, but I’m a little wary. According to WebMD Valerian can have the following side effects: headache, excitability, uneasiness, and even insomnia – kind of the opposite of what you want.
Dave Asprey, creator and guru behind Bulletproof Coffee, toxin-free coffee with unsalted grass-fed butter and MCT Oil (“Brain Octane”) blended in, is opening up Bulletproof Coffee’s first brick and mortar location in Santa Monica (Los Angeles, CA). The cafe will offer other items and technologies as well to help customers “bio-hack” their way to a “Bulletproof” lifestyle (Like whole body vibration platforms and “earthing” areas). The shop is the first of several planned Bulletproof locations. – While the idea of a using a coffee product to loose weight and feel great sounds wonderful, the more I read into it, it starts to feel more and more… trendy, fad food item to me. This article in Gizmodo is pretty enlightening about the whole thing: Bulletproof Coffee: Debunking the Hot Buttered Hype. Still, some people swear by it, and while the needed products to get the true Bulletproof Coffee experience cost an arm and a leg on the website, the cafe is supposed to offer a cup of the stuff at the same price as an upscale latte, so it may be worth is to give it a shot if you live in the area. Has anybody here tried this stuff? What did you get out of the experience? More energy? A new lease on life? Greasy lips and a queasy stomach?