brewing tips

Fresh Cup of Inspiration

Tips for Brewing Great Coffee at Home

Delicious AND taking care of others — now that's a good cup of coffee.

Tip #1: -

Always start with a high quality Arabica coffee bean. There are two main species of coffee plant grown around the world – the robusta and the Arabica. The robusta is a robust plant that grows quickly and is easy to mass produce. The Arabica plant matures more slowly, in higher altitudes, and develops better flavours. The Arabica bean also contains less caffeine and is less harsh on the body. People who have stomach upset and other problems when drinking cheaper, robustus bean coffees usually find they can drink Arabica bean coffees with no problems.

Tip #2: -

Always match the grind of your coffee to the type of coffee maker you have. Why is this important? Because the shape and style of the coffee maker determines how long the coffee and the water spend together, and therefore what flavours are extracted. If, for example, you have a cone shaped basket, the water will feed through quickly and your grind has to be fine for the water to pick up all the flavours as it passes through. If you have a flat basket, the water spends more time with the coffee, so your grind needs to be a little coarser, or the water will have time to pick up bitter flavours. Cone filters should use a fine grind, flat baskets should use a ‘drip’ grind, percolators use a coarser ‘perc’ grind, and French presses uses the ‘coarse’ grind.

Do you want to brew coffee for home that is better for your health, the planet, and the people who produce coffee? This tip and the next will tell you what you need to know about Fair Trade & Organic Coffees.

Canadians consume more than 40 million cups of coffee a day, and almost two-thirds of the coffee Canadians drink is consumed at home. So if home is where you're drinking most of your coffee then home is where you can have the most positive impact on the planet, and on your own health and pleasure.

Tip #3: - Ask: Who Does Your Coffee Comes From?

And are those people treated with dignity? 100% of the coffees served at my Cafe are Fair Trade Certified, so that the people who grow our coffees are paid fairly — up to 2.5 times what they would otherwise receive for their labour, helping them rise out of poverty. This is true of the coffees served in the Café, and of the coffee you can buy for home. The new Fair Trade French Roasted Bolivian is a big hit, as is the Guatemalan Swiss Water Process Decaffeinated.

In this tip we'll discuss Fair Trade – what does this mean? As defined by a recent CBC In Depth report, it is a way of making sure that producers in developing countries are paid a fair price for the goods we consume - a strategy for poverty alleviation and sustainable development, as opposed to exploiting desperately poor people.

The vast majority of the coffee we buy comes from producers who are paid about 11 cents for every dollar spent by the coffee-consuming public.

Under fair trade arrangements, less money goes to "middlemen" and more goes to the coffee grower. They receive about 28 cents for every dollar spent by the coffee-consuming public. There are also mechanisms in place that divert some of the money earmarked for producers to the wider community. So some of the money goes to building schools and improving infrastructure. Some other benefits of Fair Trade Coffee include that children are not to be exploited as cheap labourers; women's work is properly valued and rewarded; and better environmental practices and responsible methods of production are encouraged.

Tip #4 - Ask: How is My Coffee Grown?

Avoiding chemical pesticides and fertilizers not only helps the ecosystems and workers where the coffees are grown, it also helps protect your health.

To be certified “organic”, a coffee must have been grown on land without synthetic pesticides or other prohibited substances for three years; there must have been a sufficient buffer between the organic coffee and the nearest conventional crop so pesticides sprayed elsewhere don’t drift; and the farmer must have a sustainable crop rotation plan to prevent erosion and the depletion of soil nutrients, and to control pests.

According to the Canadian Cancer Society, “reducing exposure to pesticides decreases the amount of pesticides that build up in our bodies.” And according to Joseph Keon, PhD, in an article in Positive Health, “If you are truly motivated to protect your health and sharply reduce your risk of breast cancer as well as other cancers, you will want to make the effort to purchase organically.”

It is worth paying the extra few cents per cup to protect yourself, the environment and the people farming your coffee.

Now—how do you find GOOD organic coffee? Not all organic coffees are created equal! If the farmer is growing an inferior bean or has a bad year for weather, even an organic coffee won’t taste great. CJ’s buys only from Mountain View Estates and they buy only from the best coffee growers in the world. So - a fair-trade, organic coffee from CJ’s is among the best coffee in the entire world –as well as the best for you!

Buy Your ORGANIC Coffee for Home from CJ

When you join our FREE coffee club, for every 10 pounds of coffee you buy, you get the next pound FREE. Refer a friend to our coffee club and you also get a credit towards your FREE pound.

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Tip #5 Ask: Are Women Treated Fairly in the Production of My Coffee?

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Café Femenino Coffee Project

I am proud to also now have coffee produced by the Café Femenino Coffee Project, which is a social program for women coffee producers in rural communities around the world, where women have typically been treated inequitably. The Cafe Femenino Coffee Project is run entirely by women, who oversee all aspects of the coffee farming as well as marketing and sales, in an area of the world where there are few leadership roles for women and where oppression and abuse are shockingly high. The project empowers women, and they also receive an additional two cents per pound over the Fair Trade price for their beans.

Buying this coffee enhance the lives of women & their families in coffee growing communities.

Coffee can help you LIVE LONGER, study finds

A cup of coffee with some coffee beans on the side

Jaime Pulfer and Rogers radio news staff May 17, 2012 06:24:16 AM

Whether you are having it double-double, espresso, iced or decaf, a massive study out of Harvard University has found coffee drinkers are more likely to live longer.

Some people say they can't function without coffee in the morning. It's that jolt of energy that helps to get you moving.

And now, Harvard researchers have found that drinking two to three cups of coffee a day cuts the overall risk of death by 10 per cent, especially from heart disease, respiratory problems, stroke, diabetes and infections.

The helpful antioxidants in coffee get most of the credit, along with around 1,000 other compounds besides the caffeine.

The study involved more than 400,000 people monitored over a 13-year period.

The entire study can be found in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Delicious AND taking care of others — now that’s a good cup of coffee.