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Your Coffee Might Soon Come With A Warning Label

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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)

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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!

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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?

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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)

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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)

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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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