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Your Coffee Might Soon Come With A Warning Label


By Cooking Panda

While experts often debate whether or not coffee is healthy, one nonprofit group wants you to think twice before you sip the stuff due to an ingredient that they claim may give you cancer.

The Council for Education and Research on Toxics originally filed the lawsuit in 2010 in California, though the long delayed legal process resumed on Oct. 2, notes The Associated Press. It all centers around the carcinogen acrylamide, which occurs naturally during coffee roasting and is also present in other cooked foods like french fries.

The organization says in the lawsuit that retailers and coffee shop corporations are not following a state law that requires them to post hazardous chemical warnings on the drink and are hoping to get California coffee sellers to change their ways.

“I’m addicted — like two-thirds of the population,” said Raphael Metzger, the council’s attorney, who drinks around three cups a day, according to AP. “I would like the industry to get acrylamide out of the coffee so my addiction doesn’t force me to ingest it.”

Coffee companies maintain that the levels of acrylamide are low enough not to cause any hazards and that coffee’s health benefits counteract any possible risky chemicals.

“Coffee is loaded with antioxidants,” said Joe DeRupo, a spokesman for the National Coffee Association, according to CNN. “Many are naturally occurring antioxidants found in the coffee bean, while others are created during the roasting process. It’s these compounds that science links with positive effects in reducing the risk of several diseases.”

Indeed, some studies have shown that coffee helps lower the risk of contracting diseases like skin cancer, Alzheimer’s, type 2 diabetes, liver disease and colorectal cancer.

Still, a cup of joe might not be safe for everyone. Pregnant women and those with heart problems should limit their coffee consumption to be safe, for reasons unrelated to acrylamide.

If found guilty of failing to post the warnings, the 90-some defendants could be forced to pay massive sums up to $2,500 per each person exposed per day, notes AP.

In order to show that coffee doesn’t need such a disclaimer, the defense must prove that the fewer than one out of every 100,000 coffee drinkers will face elevated cancer risks from the drink.

Sources: Associated Press via CNBC, CNN / Featured Image: Pexels

Tags: acrylamide, coffee, coffee carcinogen, coffee lawsuit, coffee toxin
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Starbucks Topped Its New Frappuccino With Chocolate Cake (Photos)


By Cooking Panda

In another case of Asian Starbucks stores being far superior in the realm of Frappuccinos, cake-topped Fraps have hit select Starbucks Japan locations for a limited time, according to Brand Eating.

They’re cold, they’re creamy, they’re topped with discs of fudgy chocolate cake; they’re the Chocolate Cake Top Frappuccinos — available in both coffee and matcha flavors.

Both varieties begin with a base of Creme Frappuccino, blended with almonds for a nutty boost of thickness. Then they’re topped with a round piece of chocolate cake and a generous dollop of whipped cream. 

The Cake Top Frap seems to draw inspiration from its pie-topped predecessor: the American Cherry Pie Frappuccino from Japan. The beverage also combines drink with dessert with its cherry and vanilla base and pie-crust dome. 

You can enjoy the cake drink however you want. The cake looks so appetizing on its own, some might be tempted to put it on a separate plate and enjoy alternating bites of chocolaty dessert with sips of sweet Frappuccino, like a Starbucks version of high tea. The intention, though, is for beverage lovers to break up the cake with an accompanying oversize straw, stirring the pieces into the drink until they’re softened and drinkable, resulting in a cakey, shake-like experience.

The embellished libation caters to two different cravings: one for coffee and one for matcha. The Coffee Shot version comes with a coffee sauce, which contrasts beautifully in color with the dark chocolate cake, and a sprinkling of dark mocha powder. The Matcha Shot variety is drizzled with a striking matcha green tea sauce and dusted with matcha powder. 

If you feel like you’ve seen matcha popping up all over the place, you’re not imagining it. The trendy ingredient has made its way into other Starbucks products, like their mini matcha pudding cups and the secret menu’s Matcha Pink Drink. The finely ground green tea powder has gained buzz for its possession of antioxidants, caffeine and, of course, photo-worthy bright color.

If you’re worried about being too indulgent, rest a little easier knowing that the drink is only available in a tall size. Plus, you can always share it with a friend. 

Source: Brand Eating / Photo credit: Pixabay, Starbucks Japan via Brand Eating

Tags: chocolate cake, coffee, frappuccino, Matcha, Starbucks, starbucks japan
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Luke From ‘Gilmore Girls’ Is Making A Line Of Coffee!


By Cooking Panda

“Gilmore Girls” fans, it seems that your TV-show dreams are finally coming true.

Although the popular heartwarming series aired its final episode over 10 years ago — in May 2007, to be exact — the “Gilmore Girls” stars are alive and well.

One of them, in fact, is doing so well that he’s bringing a bit of his TV character to his real life. I’m talking about Scott Patterson, who plays Luke, the owner of Luke’s diner and Lorelai’s flannel-wearing love interest.

Yep, the backwards-cap-sporting guy your mom always had a crush on and the reason why she watched the re-runs with you.

Patterson will be making coffee once again, but this time, he won’t be serving it at a diner in Stars Hollow, the fictional town in the show.

In an interview with Wealth Management, Patterson revealed that he will be developing his own coffee brand, which is almost ready to launch.

“Quality coffee is something that I am obsessed with,” Patterson told Wealth Management. “It’s the thing I look forward to every morning and throughout the day and throughout the evening and now throughout the middle of the night.”

Indeed, a good cup of quality coffee can be almost as comforting as a good friend.

Not sure what that “middle of the night” part means, but I think most people can relate to looking forward to a nice cup of coffee in the morning. Especially when quality beans are involved.

Patterson isn’t really spilling the beans on the details of his new brand, but he has told us the name of it.

Sorry to disappoint, but it’s not going to be Luke’s Coffee (though there have been Luke’s Diner pop-ups in L.A!).

No, Patterson seems to be doing his own thing, and the name he came up with is pretty creative.

Patterson’s brand will be called Scotty P’s Big Mug Coffee.

Because, who wouldn’t want a big mug of Scotty P’s coffee, right?

In other “Gilmore Girls”-related news, there is still a lot of speculation about whether Netflix will renew the second revival season of the show.

A cup of Scotty P’s Big Mug Coffee and new episodes of “Gilmore Girls”? Sounds like a deal.

Source: Wealth Management   / Photo credit: Pexels

Tags: coffee, gilmore girls
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Is There Fecal Bacteria In Your Iced Coffee?


By Cooking Panda

Oh, poo. 

That’s probably what managers of these coffee shops said when fecal bacteria was found in their iced drinks. 

Ice from three of the U.K.’s largest coffee chains, Costa Coffee, Starbucks and Caffe Nero, was found to contain fecal bacteria, according to a BBC investigation. 

And yep, fecal bacteria as in bacteria that can be found in poop.

BBC’s Watchdog found that samples of iced drinks from those three major coffee chains contain varying levels of the bacteria known as fecal coliforms. 

I’m no expert on fecal coliforms, but it definitely doesn’t sound like an add-in I would want in my iced coffee. I’m more of an extra-espresso-shot girl.  

Seven out of the 10 samples tested at Costa were found to be contaminated with the bacteria. At both Starbucks and Caffe Nero, three out of 10 tested samples contained the bacteria. 

“These should not be present at any level – never mind the significant numbers found,” said Tony Lewis, head of policy at the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health.

Lewis said that the levels found were “concerning,” BBC reports. According to Lewis, the kind of bacteria found were “opportunistic pathogens – the source of human disease.” Yikes.

However, a LiveScience article reassuringly titled, “No, There Isn’t Poop In Your Iced Coffee,” reports that fecal coliform is a large group of bacteria that can be found in many other things, such as fruits and vegetables, and isn’t always harmful.

“Many types of bacteria that fall into the fecal coliform group aren’t necessarily found in feces,” though the presence of these bacteria could indicate that there is something present that could make a person sick.

Factors such as whether the bacteria is alive or dead are important in determining if it will be harmful to humans.

The three coffee chains are responding seriously to this issue.

Costa said it has updated its ice-handling procedure guidelines and is in the process of bringing in new ice equipment storage, according to BBC.

Starbucks and Caffe Nero have stated that they are conducting investigations into the claims.

A Starbucks spokesman said the chain takes hygiene “extremely seriously,” while a Caffe Nero spokesman said the chain will take “appropriate action.”

Live fecal coliforms or dead fecal coliforms, that’s probably a wise course of action. 

Sources: BBC, LiveScience / Photo credit: Pixabay

Tags: bbc, coffee, fecal bacteria
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This Shop Gives You Super Cheap Coffee For Being Polite (Photo)


By Cooking Panda

Put yourself in the shoes of a hurried barista, met with impolite demands for skinny cappuccinos and piping-hot lattes without so much as a “hi.” If one kind (or reasonably well mannered) soul greeted you and asked for a drink with a smile and a “thank you,” you’d probably want to give them their frappuccino for free — with a little extra whipped cream.

In a way, a Virginia coffee shop is doing just that.

Roanoke-based Cups Coffee & Tea put up a sign offering cheaper coffee to polite customers — and wildly expensive brew to less gracious customers, Foodbeast reports (photo below).

Customers who can’t be bothered to courteously greet their coffee-providing barista — or to at least ask for their beverage nicely — may purchase a small coffee for the steep price of $5. Those who extend their kindness so far as to say “please,” just like Mother taught them, will pay $2 less. 

But the real treat comes to those who preface their order with a “Hello,” and finish it with a “please,” as if their barista were some sort of fellow human being worthy of basic respect. The audacity! Those customers will pay just $1.75.

It’s amazing how far not being a rude oaf can get you.

Cups’ sly whiteboard work isn’t just a clever way to remind people to get off their high horses and treat each other nicely; it’s a signal that people forget their manners around service professionals far too often. If they didn’t, why did Cups feel the need to put up the sign?

In a “Dear Amy” column for the Chicago Tribune, a disgruntled barista asked readers to think about how they treat employees at their favorite caffeine-centric hangouts. 

“We work hard to dispense whatever luxury item they are paying us for,” the barista wrote. “All we ask is in return is for a little common courtesy and respect.”

Next time you find yourself going on a coffee run on a tough day, think of Cups and their lovely reminder to exercise a little common courtesy. After all, they could just choose to spit in your macchiato.

Source: Foodbeast / Photo credit: Pixabay

Tags: coffee, coffee shop, manners, polite
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We Need Krispy Kreme’s Coffee Hazelnut Spread Now! (Photo)


By Cooking Panda

If you’re a fan of Nutella, coffee and Krispy Kreme, this is basically your dream come true. It would be hard to find someone who doesn’t love at least two of those three things, so I’d say most people will be pretty pumped to know about the new Krispy Kreme coffee and hazelnut spread.

Metro reports that that Krispy Kreme has launched a Caramel Macchiato spread. It’s similar to Nutella, but has so much more to offer.

According to Tasting Table, the new spread is caffeinated. It’s made with real, premium Arabica coffee beans and hazelnuts. Basically, you can use it to spread your coffee onto your morning toast rather than drinking it from a mug. Personally, I’ll take my coffee hazelnut spread on toast along with a nice hot cup of coffee. Who doesn’t need a little extra jolt in the mornings? Especially on Mondays …

Unfortunately, if we want to believe that Instagram post by Junk Banter, the spread won’t be available until it hits Walmart shelves later this year. How late is later? I need to try it now!

If you’re like me and dying to try a caffeinated sweet spread with your breakfast (or any time, for that matter), Tasting Table has a pretty decent answer. It’s a homemade coffee butter recipe that is sure to hold you over. Who knows, maybe you can combine it with a jar of Nutella and make do?

Just use some finely ground coffee, 2 cups of heavy cream, 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar, a half teaspoon of kosher salt, cheesecloth and flaked salt if you want to get fancy and have a garnish.

Take the heavy cream and mix it with ground coffee and steep that overnight in the refrigerator. Strain your coffee mixture the next morning, pushing out as much milk fat is possible, and discard the ground coffee. Take your newly strained liquid and put it into a food processor with the sugar and kosher salt and spin it into a butter! The liquid will separate and you can transfer the mixture to cheesecloth and squeeze out the excess liquid. That’s that! Use your new butter (garnished if you’d like) right away or put it in the fridge for later.

The recipe makes a half cup of the yummy spread, so double up if you want to make extra for later. This should be enough to keep you satisfied until the new Krispy Kreme stuff hits the shelf. Get creative and add hazelnuts or Nutella and see what you can do in the meantime!

Sources: Metro, Tasting Table (2) / Photo Credit: A. Kniesel/Wikimedia Commons

Tags: caramel macchiato, coffee, Hazelnut Spread, krispy kreme
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Coffee Meets Bagel At Einsteins Bros. Bakery


By Cooking Panda

Finally, coffee meets bagel … and I’m not talking about the dating app.

When it comes to breakfast, many people find what they like and what works, and then stick to it. And the reason bagels and coffee are so often consumed in the morning is because they cater to a wide variety of needs and palates.

Coffee provides that much needed caffeine boost to kick-start your morning, and snap you from zombie-mode into a functional human in just a few sips. You can take it black, you can cut it with milk, you can flavor it, sweeten it — it’s even pretty good decaffeinated. And these days, bagels can come gluten-free, dairy-free, toasted, seeded, soft, hard and flavored.

Coffee flavored, that is.

Yup! According to Fox, after nine months of perfecting its recipe, Einstein Bros. Bagels has decided that what people really need is to cut their breakfast steps in half, and is uniting coffee and bagel to make the world’s very first caffeinated bagel called the “Espresso Buzz.”

The bagel comes with 32 milligrams of caffeine; for context, that’s only about a third of what an average 8-ounce cup of coffee would contain, but still — caffeine’s caffeine!

“We have watched the coffee category expand and adapt as Millennials converted to coffee drinkers, attracted by the smoother flavor and artisanal characteristics and third- and fourth-wave coffee,” Kerry Coyne, the senior vice president and head of marketing and research and development for Einstein’s told Fox via e-mail.

“We knew our culinary team could deliver that same premium, hand-crafted sensory experience with the beloved category hero of espresso in our best-in-class, fresh-baked bagel.”

The bagel’s nutritional value breaks down as follows: It rings up at 230 calories (which is actually pretty low for a bakery bagel), 3 grams of sugar and 2.5 grams of fat. So, depending on how indulgent your typical Starbucks order is, you might actually be saving yourself some calories if you take your caffeine via bagel instead.

Source: Fox / Photo Credit: Einstein Bros. Bagels

Tags: bagel, caffeinated bagel, coffee, einstein bros. bagels, Espresso Buzz
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The World’s Tiniest Coffee Is So Stinking Cute (Video)


By Cooking Panda

When the Finnish coffee and cocoa company, Paulig, approached artist and designer Lucas Zanotto and asked him to make a cup of coffee out of one, measly little coffee bean, he did what any caffeine fan would do; found a teensy tiny little coffee mug and got to work (video below).

First, Zanotto grinds the miniature bean up using an emery board.

Then, he sets fire to a tealight candle, and allows the small amount of heat to boil just a smidge of water.

Finally, he just pours the water over the coffee filter, and voila — the tiniest cup of coffee (and probably the most adorable cup of coffee I’ve ever seen) comes together.

Something about watching this video is ridiculously soothing; I don’t know if its the monochromatic theme Zanotto employs (primarily calming shades of white), or the cute and tinkling music, but I almost want to start every day off just watching him make this cup of coffee rather than drinking my usual cup, which seems gigantic in comparison.

Of course, some YouTubers couldn’t help but joke around.

“Can you make it decaf?” one commenter wrote. “I’m worried i can’t sleep tonight after this.”

Added another:

“Thank you for making this video; now I know how to write down how fairies make their coffee in a story.”

And lastly, one commenter had an idea for what to do with the tiny cup of coffee.

“Serve it for Trump,” a YouTuber wrote, “Just to make his hands look big.”

What do you think of the video, and how would you enjoy this one-bean cup of coffee?

Source: Lucas Zanotto/YouTube / Photo Credit: Pexels

Tags: caffeine, coffee, lucas zanotto, paulig, video
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Turns Out, You Can Actually Drink A Lot Of Coffee


By Cooking Panda

Good news! Your body can handle more caffeine than you thought. If the only thing holding you back from having another cup of delicious coffee is the caffeine content, this study is for you.

According to a new study from the Food and Chemical Toxicology journal shows that adults can safely consume 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. The study reviewed 15 years of data on adverse effects of caffeine on cardiovascular and bone health, and behavior and development. The study conducted the review on healthy adults, pregnant women, adolescents and children.

The finding for the pregnant group showed that pregnant women can consume less than or equal to 300 milligrams of caffeine per day. Children and adolescents can have less than or equal to 2.5 milligrams per kilograms of body weight per day. This information is news to many in the pregnant community, who are usually told that they should stay away from caffeine almost completely.

If you’re among the healthy adult population who just loves your coffee, you probably want to know how much coffee 400 milligrams is. If we’re talking about regular drip coffee, we’re talking about four 8-ounce cups of coffee per day, according to Delish.

A 2012 study by the FDA, however, had different findings. That study recommended that adults keep their caffeine consumption at or under 300 milligrams (or about three cups of coffee) per day. Either way, coffee is believed to have certain health benefits for those of us who do want to drink it. Some of those benefits include reversing liver damage from alcohol consumption, lowering depression, preventing breast cancer and even helping to protect against type 2 diabetes.

So, whether you like to enjoy three cups of coffee each day or four, you are likely safe in your consumption, and also picking up on some of these important health perks. If you’re reading this and thinking “wow, I can only handle one or two cups per day,” I’m with you. Four cups of coffee means about 48 straight hours of jitters for me, but to each his own. At least now you know your scientific limit!

Sources: Delish, Food and Chemical Toxicology / Photo Credit: Pixabay

Tags: caffeine, coffee
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Chicago Is Getting Its Own Epic Starbucks Roastery


By Cooking Panda

Attention, Starbucks fans in Chicago: You’re in for a real treat come 2019.

I know it sounds like a long time away, but preparations are already underfoot for the new, interactive four-story, 43,000-square-foot Starbucks Reserve Roastery that is set to open up in Chicago, located on North Michigan Avenue and Erie Street on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, which sounds pretty magical.

Basically, the Chicago Roastery is going to bring customers a totally immersive and sensorial coffee experience; there will be multiple brewing methods offered, as well as specialty Reserve beverages and mixology. 

This Chicago Roastery will mark the third Roastery location that Starbucks has in the U.S.; one is in Seattle as of 2014, and one will open up in New York City in 2018.

“Having opened our first Starbucks store in Chicago nearly 30 years ago, our first outside of Seattle, this is a very special city for me. At the time, it was a true test for Starbucks because the Chicago customer is so savvy and discerning about their coffee,” Howard Schultz, Starbucks executive chairman, said in the company’s press release.

“Chicago is a city of neighborhoods, so we took our time to find an incredible space to match the unprecedented coffee experience our premium Roastery will offer. To be located on one of the best-known retail streets in the world is a proud moment for all of us and we can’t wait to bring Chicago and the world a coffee experience worthy of their most premier real estate.”

Starbucks is also hoping to eventually expand its Roastery locations, and plans on offering customers in international markets Roasterys, like the one in Shanghai, which will open in late 2017, and the ones in Milan and Tokyo, which are slated to open in 2018.

“Howard and I share the same passion for the companies we created, each centered around the customer experience and a relentless attention to detail. This building has a unique way of becoming a beacon for a brand, and I can’t think of a better retailer than Starbucks to offer Chicago something new and exciting with its Reserve Roastery,” Gordon Segal, the founder of Crate and Barrel said in the press release.

Source: Starbucks / Photo Credit: Jeff Wilcox/Flickr

Tags: Chicago, coffee, roastery, Starbucks, starbucks reserve roastery
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The New Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino Is Total Magic (Photo)


By Cooking Panda

It’s here, ya’ll. It’s really, truly, finally here!

If you’ve been keeping up with online foodie news at all (or just happen to know a tween or two), you’ve probably heard that “unicorn”-themed foods and drinks have stolen the “rainbow”-themed crown and are now all the rage — which is probably why the mega-popular coffee chain Starbucks decided to cash in on the trend and debut its very own Unicorn Frappuccino.

Take a look at this beauty:

The blended beverage is only a limited time offering, and can be purchased at participating Starbucks stores in the U.S., Canada and Mexico from April 19 through April 23 (and that’s just while supplies last, folks). So if you don’t scamper down to your local Starbucks as soon as the doors open, you might not get to taste the splendor that is this magical drink.

So what does it taste like?

According to the press release, the Unicorn Frapp features a mixture of sweet pink powder blended into a creme Frappuccino with mango syrup as the base, which is then layered with a sour blue drizzle. The entire concoction is finished with vanilla whipped cream (yum!) and a sprinkle of sweet pink and sour blue powder topping.

The whole thing sounds like a legitimate fairytale for the taste buds, and wouldn’t look so bad on an Instagram feed, either.

What’s more, the Frappuccino comes with a spectacular feature sure to delight consumers: It actually changes colors!

“Like its mythical namesake, the Unicorn Frappuccino blended creme comes with a bit of magic, starting as a purple beverage with swirls of blue and a first taste that is sweet and fruity. But give it a stir and its color changes to pink, and the flavor evolves to tangy and tart. The more swirl, the more the beverage’s color and flavors transform.”

Personally, I can’t wait to see this thing in action. What do you think about the new drink?

Source: Starbucks / Photo Credit: Starbucks

Tags: coffee, food trend, Starbucks, unicorn, unicorn frappuccino
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Don’t Like Bitter Coffee? Just Add A Pinch Of Salt!


By Cooking Panda

If you’re anything like my dad, you take your milk and sugar with coffee; not the other way around.

Coffee for me tastes good on its own, but most people don’t especially appreciate a bitter brew; even my best friend, who is a black coffee devotee, doesn’t like it when her coffee has that extra-acidic bite.

However, there is apparently a solution — one that doesn’t require heaping spoonfuls of sweetener.


No, really. According to a study from the scientific journal Nature, sodium ions actually suppress bitterness and enhance flavor, which basically means that if you add just a dash of salt to your too-bitter morning cup, the coffee will mellow itself out and you may even appreciate the taste of your coffee beans more, without the need for sugar and milk or cream.

That’s not to say you should go overboard on the salt, however; while a cup of coffee can be adjusted if you add in too much sugar, the same rule doesn’t apply here. Too much salt is almost sure to ruin the taste, so just add in a tiny pinch when you try it out the first time and adjust accordingly. 

Also, I get the feeling this tip doesn’t apply to anything but black coffee. For instance, if you go to Starbucks and try adding a pinch of salt to, like, a Caramel Frappuccino to really enhance the caramel flavor, you’re seriously just wasting your time.

Metro also reports that if you, like me, want to feel fancy but still can only really afford cheap bottles of wine, a little bit of salt in your inexpensive wine also enhances the wine’s flavor, which could be a total party trick.

Are you going to try out this method of cutting the bitterness out of your drinks?

Source: Metro / Photo Credit: Reese Witherspoon/Instagram

Tags: coffee, Food hack, nature, salt, wine
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