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      ‘We would not survive without coffee’: how rules made in Europe put Ethiopian farmers at risk

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · 7 days ago - 04:00

    Coffee is the country’s biggest export, but millions of smallholders are being asked to provide paperwork to prove their land is not deforested

    The first white flowers are starting to appear on the branches of Habtamu Wolde’s coffee bushes in the Kafa region of southwest Ethiopia. They will bloom several more times before turning into round red cherries ready for harvesting in October. Then they will be prepared for export and shipped to the capital.

    “Our coffee is iconic, you cannot find a higher grade,” boasts Habtamu. Coffee is more than a drink in Kafa. This region claims to be the birthplace of Arabica coffee, which grows naturally in its temperate cloud forests. The plant is at the centre of daily life and the people’s main source of income.

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      A ‘heathenish liquor’? A cure for cancer? The history of coffee is full of surprises | Jonathan Morris

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Tuesday, 2 April - 15:00

    A new study suggests coffee could prevent bowel cancer reoccurring – but claims for its healing properties have abounded since the 15th century

    Last week a study was published showing that people with bowel cancer who drink coffee – quite a lot of coffee, two to four cups a day – were less likely to suffer a return of the disease. Experts have said that if the results hold in further studies, coffee could be prescribed to cancer patients on the NHS. That coffee does have an effect on human function is beyond dispute – but whether that impact is beneficial or detrimental has been the subject of contention since Sufi mystics began consuming the beverage some time in the mid-15th century.

    The Indigenous peoples of the forests of Kaffa in south-west Ethiopia foraged berries from wild coffee plants that were shipped across the Red Sea to prepare the decoction known as qahwa, which Yemeni Sufis incorporated into their night-time religious ceremonies to reduce their desire for sleep. Once mainstream Islamic courts ruled coffee was not intoxicating, consumption became widespread among the Muslim populations in the Middle East and the Ottoman empire.

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      Coffee drinkers have much lower risk of bowel cancer recurrence, study finds

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Saturday, 23 March - 06:00

    Exclusive: Scientists say people with disease who drink two to four cups a day are less likely to see it return

    People with bowel cancer who drink two to four cups of coffee a day are much less likely to see their disease come back, research has found.

    People with the illness who consume that amount are also much less likely to die from any cause, the study shows, which suggests coffee helps those diagnosed with the UK’s second biggest cancer killer.

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      The tyranny of the algorithm: why every coffee shop looks the same – podcast

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Monday, 18 March - 05:00

    From the generic hipster cafe to the ‘Instagram wall’, the internet has pushed us towards a kind of global ubiquity – and this phenomenon is only going to intensify. By Kyle Chayka

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      Ravneet Gill’s recipe for coffee madeleines | The sweet spot

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Friday, 1 March - 12:00

    Devour these caffeine-laced morsels warm, especially if they’re dipped in chocolate spread or jersey cream

    Freshly baked madeleines are magic. Always a crowdpleaser, they take minutes to bake once the batter is made. I used to think that the only way to enjoy a madeleine was warm, but have since grown to appreciate how soft and buttery they remain once cool. They can easily be embellished, too. I’ve had citrussy madeleines served with lemon icing for dipping, while at Maison François in London they feature on the dessert trolley, piped with a pistachio ganache centre and dipped in a delicate white-chocolate shell. Here, I’ve put coffee grounds in the batter and recommend serving them with bowls of chocolate spread and jersey cream.

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      Hippy, capitalist, guru, grocer: the forgotten genius who changed British food – podcast

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Monday, 12 February - 05:00

    Nicholas Saunders was a counterculture pioneer with an endless stream of quixotic schemes and a yearning to spread knowledge – but his true legacy is a total remaking of the way Britain eats. By Jonathan Nunn

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      Consumer group wants to end $255M “gift card loophole” for Starbucks and others

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Friday, 5 January - 19:04

    Starbucks app showing on an iPhone

    Enlarge / Starbucks' Rewards programs are a key part of their revenue. How the company deals with unspent amounts in that app could change under new Washington state proposals. (credit: Getty Images)

    When you get a Starbucks gift card, or keep reloading one on your phone, you often end up with awkward amounts that can be difficult to spend.

    For most people, the remainders are a few bucks of wasted potential caffeine and sugar. For Starbucks, they are worth hundreds of millions of dollars each year, according to a consumer advocacy group in Washington state that wants to end the "Gift Card Loophole." Changes in the coffee giant's home state could affect gift and loyalty cards nationwide.

    The Washington Consumer Protection Coalition is pushing state legislators to remove a provision dating back to 2004. While that 2004 legislation was relatively consumer-friendly for its time by barring gift cards from fully expiring and eliminating maintenance fees, it allowed funds left on cards, or now on mobile apps, to be claimed as revenue by companies.

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      Study: Why a spritz of water before grinding coffee yields less waste, tastier espresso

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 6 December - 20:40 · 1 minute

    Researchers demonstrate how adding a splash of water reduces static electricity when grinding coffee. Credit: University of Oregon

    Scientific inspiration can strike at any time. For Christopher Hendon, a computational materials chemist at the University of Oregon, inspiration struck at a local coffee bar where his lab holds regular coffee hours for the Eugene campus community—a fitting venue, since Hendon's research specialties include investigating the scientific principles behind really good coffee. The regulars included two volcanologists, Josef Dufek and Joshua Méndez Harper, who noted striking similarities between the science of coffee and plumes of volcanic ash, magma, and water. Thus an unusual collaboration was born.

    “It’s sort of like the start of a joke—a volcanologist and a coffee expert walk into a bar and then come out with a paper,” said Méndez Harper , a volcanologist at Portland State University. “But I think there are a lot more opportunities for this sort of collaboration, and there’s a lot more to know about how coffee breaks, how it flows as particles, and how it interacts with water. These investigations may help resolve parallel issues in geophysics—whether it’s landslides, volcanic eruptions, or how water percolates through soil.”

    The result is a new paper published in the journal Matter demonstrating how adding a single squirt of water to coffee beans before grinding can significantly reduce the static electric charge on the resulting grounds. This in turn reduces clumping during brewing, yielding less waste and the strong, consistent flow needed to produce a tasty cup of espresso. Good baristas already employ the water trick; it's known as the Ross droplet technique , per Hendon. But this is the first time scientists have rigorously tested that well-known hack and measured the actual charge on different types of coffee.

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      Scientists claim to have discovered secret to perfect espresso

      news.movim.eu / TheGuardian · Wednesday, 6 December - 16:03

    Researchers say dash of water added to beans before they are ground creates more consistent, tastier coffee

    The key to making a perfect espresso has been argued over by generations of coffee snobs. Now a group of scientists say they have the answer and have singled out the secret ingredient – and it comes before the grind even begins.

    Researchers have discovered that a dash of water added to coffee beans before the grinding process creates a more consistent and tastier espresso, which they say will help baristas and industrial coffee brewers overcome a major hurdle.

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