Posted on

How is the coffee grown??

Hi Everyone!!

 

So sorry for the delay. I have been seriously researching how is Coffee grown. The more I dig deeper, the more I start to see that I have been so wrong. I had thought that it we can grow it ourselves with the plants, which you can buy in our local Nursery store. How was I wrong. You would need several hundred thousand just to make a bag of coffee beans. I had learned that the coffee bean is the seed or the pits, of the coffee “cherry” and it is not grown in the ground, like how I had been thinking. Can you imaging that the Bean itself was growing like a carrot or something like that??

The Coffee Cherry can grow on a shrub or an actual tree, depending on the variety and where it is grown. These cherries resemble a grape. As mention before, that the beans are grown on the inside of the cherries. Usually there will be 2 of these “pits” growing and some of the time, there will be 1 “pit” and it is known as a “peaberry”. It takes approximately 5 to 9 months for the coffee cherry, to mature and then it can to be picked. The cherry starts off from bright green color to pink, red, dark red, purple and finally to black. Typically, most farmers knows that the best time to pick is when the cherries turn to dark red. If you wait until they black, the cherries are usually rotten by this stage of the game.

coffee-bean-pic An example of how the beans look like.

 

It does take about 5 years before the plants to begin producing the coffee cherries and that is if the right conditions are being met such as climate, rain, sunshine and shade. These trees can grow up to 16 feet if they are not trimmed back yearly. Most farmers will keep them about 5 to 7 feet. By doing this, the farmers get a lot more yield, year after year.  Also it is much easier to harvest the cherries, at a lower height. The life span of the trees are about 25 to 30 years and it can produce roughly 1 to 1/2 pounds of roasted coffee per year.  Arabica coffee is a self pollinating tree. Which is why we have more of this kind of coffee on the market. This much easier for the farmers. The tree does all the work, and they farmers do not have to worry if there are any bees or other pollinators near their farms.

 

coffee-how-it-grown  The picture on the left is shows how coffee is grown in the sun and then right shows how it is grown in the shade, under the canopy of the other trees. (photo from The Nature Conservancy)

 

The coffee beans are still hidden, the thick pulp. The pulp is a sugary, jelly like flesh. Under the pulp, there is another protective layer of called the parchment and then there is another cover layer called a silver skin. These layers have to been removed if you want to get to the bean. Wow, all that work just to get the bean out. Reminds me of Christmas and all the gifts that you have to take off the wrap.

 

coffee-cherries-shell This is how the coffee cherry looks like when it is  open. The beans are still under the cream colored flesh. (Image from The Great Fruit Hunt)

 

So you see, there is a long enough process that takes, for us to have coffee in our mugs. I couldn’t believe that it takes 5 years just for the shrub/tree to produce some fruit. Let us raise a mug and drink our coffee!!

 

Until next time,

 

Tina

 

Posted on

Can the Kcups be Recycled??

Hi Ya’all!!

 

I know that many people, are concerned about the recycle-ability of these Kcups. I too, had this concerned when we purchase one, several years back. We live in a age of recycling and the mere thought that, here is a product that can not be placed in the Blue bin, was just horrific, for me. In the beginning when they first arrived on the market, no one had thought that they would have exploded in popularity, as they have and it only seems to be growing stronger in sales as our population grows older. There is a convenience factor. No longer are you required to make a full pot of coffee. If you have guests over, can make a different one to suit each guests tastes.  For example, if you like Folgers and 6 of the 10 guests do not like this brand. 2 of the guests like Marley coffee, another 2 like Tim Hortons and the last 2 love Skinny Girl Half Caf. With the Single serve systems, now you can brew, the brand that the guest prefers to enjoy. No matter what kind or flavor it is. That is the great part of it.

However, because of society’s need for convenience, it has been estimated that 20 Billion Kcups will be consumed in the USA alone, and most will end up in the landfills because consumers do not take that extra few steps, to be able to recycle the cups. That is enough Kcups to circle the globe, 12 times. Now that is shocking, if I do say so my self. You are right in thinking that the Kcup as we see it, is not recyclable. That is how we put into the the Brewer itself. Now if you are able to or maybe I should say willing too, you can separate all the components, the lid, coffee grounds, filter and the plastic cups and it is completely recyclable. The only thing is you would have to check to see what number is the plastic cup is. If I am not mistaken, a number 5 or 7 can not be placed into the Blue bin.

There are so many products on the market to use for the Brewers. You have a reusable filter, which resembles a Kcup, but you are able to use your own brand of coffee. Even if you buy the whole bean and grind it your self, you can use the filter like you would a regular Kcup, and brew it in the same way. There is products to separate your foil lid, from the plastic cup. All you would have to do is dump out the coffee grinds, into the compost or to your garden. Your plants will enjoy it.

If you are into “upcycling”, there are so many project that you can do. Just search the net. You can use the, for placing paperclips, thumbtacks, beads, paints for the kids to use, coins, Halloween crafts, Christmas crafts, seed starters, hanging plant holder, and the list can go on and on. All you need is your imagination really.

You should also know that many of the companies are starting to produce, Kcups in which they are biodegradable. So there is no plastic cup, surrounding the filter. My husband tried these when they first came out, and he found that it was good coffee but the coffee grounds would come out during the brewing process. Maybe now the newer generation is better filters. We should try them again just to see what happens.

upcycling-of-kcups this an example of what can be done

 

k-cup-money-sorting-activity a good way for kids to learn about sorting coins

 

 

k-cups-hold-craft-supplies or for sorting beads, paper clips, bread bags tags

 

 

upcycling-pin-cushion a pin cushion

 

upcycled-k-cup-pumpkins seasonal crafts.

 

 

So yes these Kcups are able to be recycle if you take them apart. Just take the time to do so and you can potentially divert many from going to the landfill.

 

Many thanks,

 

Tina

Brew A Cup Coffee CO

Posted on

Summertime Recipes

Hi Everyone,

 

I came across this article in one of our local magazines which are delivered to our home. This article is about a few recipes which use K-cups as one of their main ingredients and I thought that I would share it with you. So here it goes.

 

ICED CAFFE LATTE

  1. Pour a generous amounts of Chocolate syrup along the walls of a 16 oz clear glass. Just make sure that it looks like a honey comb.
  2. Squirt the Chocolate syrup to the bottom of the glass.
  3. You can add a sugar or your choice of sweetener, to taste but this is optional.
  4. Pack the glass with Ice.
  5.  Add about 1 oz of Half & Half.
  6. Brew your favorite Kcup, to fill 8 oz of the glass

Add Whip cream and drizzle more Chocolate syrup to the top and if you like you can add Chocolate sprinkles. then you can enjoy your beverage.

 

ICED CARAMEL LATTE

  1. Pour a generous amount of Caramel Syrup, along the walls of a 16 oz clear glass.
  2. Squirt Caramel syrup into the bottom of your glass.
  3. You can add a bit of sugar or a packet of sweetener, to taste but this is optional.
  4. Pack your glass with Ice.
  5. Brew your favorite Kcup, to fill 8 oz of your glass.
  6. Now add Whip cream to the top and drizzle with more Caramel syrup and enjoy your Beverage.

 

MOCHA CHOCOLATE SHAKE

  1. Brew your favorite Hot Chocolate Kcup, and set it to the side.
  2. Brew a Espresso Kcup coffee and pour slowly into the Hot Chocolate.
  3.  You can add sugar or sweetener, to your taste or you don’t have to at all.
  4. Then you refrigerate until cold.
  5. Grab a 12 oz glass and pour Chocolate Syrup around the walls of the glass.
  6. Grab some Ice cubes and put into blender.
  7. Add your Hot Chocolate and Espresso to the Blender and Blend until the ice have been turned into slush.
  8. Pour into your 12 oz glass and top with Whip cream.
  9. You can drizzle with Chocolate Syrup or if you have Chocolate Shavings, you can use those too.

 

 

All of these recipes are easy to do and do not take too much extra time. So try them out and enjoy this weather, that we are having now.

All the best!!

 

Brew A Cup Coffee CO

 

 

Posted on

Maintaining your Single serve Brewer

Hi Everyone!!!

 

It has been a while since I have written another post, but I am back and with a very good topic, on maintaining & cleaning your brewers. I do know many people and not many are doing this. And this is the number one reason why your home brewers stop working &  sometimes the taste seems to disappear, and this is some thing that you do not want to happen to you since the some of the home brewers are a little bit expensive.

 

You do not need anything fancy to clean you machine with, just a mild soap and warm water. That’s it!! You can add some white vinegar, for it anti-bacterial properties. Now the vinegar does have a bit of an strong scent however it will go away, the longer it is expose to the air and you will need to wash thoroughly with water. Here are the steps to do a good cleaning:

 

  1. Clean all removable pieces — like the reservoir, tray, and K-cup holder — by hand in warm soapy water.
  2. Use a sponge or cloth to manually clean any grinds out of the K-cup holder.
  3. Next, you can clean the needle.
  4. Finally, you need to de-scale your Keurig.

 

De-scaling should be done once every 4 to 6 months. The reason why you need to descale is to get rid of the bacteria, lime and any build up which can occur. Most often, it is difficult to tell when, it needs to be done however, you can always mark it down in your calendar, and track it that way. When you are ready to De-scale, you would want to pour the vinegar into the water reservoir, until you reach the max fill line. When the Brewer is ready to brew, you will place a mug under the spout, select a size to brew and then you lift up the handle and close it back down. Do not place a coffee pod in, because the whole point of de-scaling is clean your machine and of course then you would be wasting a pod. When your machine indicates, then go ahead and proceed to do a brewing process.  Keep on “brewing”, until there is no more vinegar left. If there is, then just add some water and keep on repeating until finished, or you can just dump out the left overs, into the sink. No big deal right. The last step is to fill the reservoir with water, and repeat the “brew” process till the water is used up. As your final step then, just make sure that you give a good rinse of your reservoir, before you use it again.

 

You see, there is really nothing to it. This tiny maintenance, will provide you with many years of use and great tasting coffee, tea or even hot chocolate, for your enjoyment. Or the other option that is if you can afford it, is to go ahead and buy new machines, every year.

 

Happy Brewing Everyone!!

Until the next post.

 

 

Posted on

Something Interesting!!

Hello Ya’all!!

 

I came across, some interesting facts about sunflowers. Yes, I know that it has nothing directly related to coffee, but as soon as I read it, I knew that I had to share this info with everyone who I knew. However, this also relates to the bee population as well. So here it comes.

 

I subscribe to a online/catalog (so old school, I know but it is fun seeing which items I can grow in my own backyard) plant & seed company, from the Canadian West coast. On the back cover, it is mentioned that I could have save the Planet, by planting more sunflowers. Now I have to tell you, that planting sunflowers, is one of the most easiest plants to have because you can not kill this plant. And depending on the variety, they can potential last all season long, and you will get to see all the different critters, in your neighborhood, flock just to eat the tasty seeds. You will see all kinds of Birds, from these tiny one going up the the woodpecker, cardinals & even blue jays. You will even get to see squirrels fighting over which one is going to be theirs. I have only planted it once, and that was over 10 years ago. Ever since then, when the critters eat, some fall to the ground and get in bedded and will grow the following season. Such a great way to save money.

This is what was on the back cover, of the catalog:

  • Sunflowers attract pollinators from a great distance.
  • They feed domestic and wild bees.
  • Sunflowers are guaranteed to improve pollination in your garden.
  • Beneficial insects like Ladybird Beetles are attracted to sunflowers.
  • Sunflowers are drought resistant, and extremely easy to grow.
  • Many Varieties make excellent cut flowers.
  • Sunflowers produce nutritious snacking seeds, cooking oil, sustainable biofuel, animal feed, and latex.
  • Sunflowers exhibit phytoremediation -they can be used to extract toxins like lead and arsenic from soil.
  • Sunflowers were planted at Chernobyl and Fukushima to extract radioactive caesium and strontium from the ground water.
  • Wild songbirds love sunflowers, and use the oil-rich seeds to build up fat reserves for winter.

When I read these facts, I was so blown away. I just could not believe that sunflowers would be able to remove toxins, from the soil, I just wanted to plant a million of these so that I could rid of toxins. This is from West Coast Seeds. There is also a challenge that has been written on the catalog. If you go to www.millionpollinatorgardens.org and register your garden, it will help the bee population. So check it out and send me some of your pictures of your garden.

 

All the best,

 

Tina

Posted on

Hello world!

Hello World,

I would like to offer you a chance to buy single serve cups, for various brewers, that are often not found in your local store. When I went in to search for any product to buy, I was very disappointed with the limited selection in which I could fine. All of the local stores, only carried 3 to 4 major brands and in my search, I found hundreds and was so in shock , as to why the major stores didn’t carry the same if not, more than just 3 to 4 major brands. Currently, I do have approximately 10 different brands, and I am in the works to be getting more brands, as the time goes by. I will be doing reviews about the products that I am selling, how to clean your machines, and other interesting news in the world of single serve cups. Also I will add interesting recipes, for the drinks and meals/food items, which will enhance your experience.

I will add a post once every 4 weeks, and if you every have any thoughts, concerns, ideas, or even if you want to talk, just drop a note and I will answer back in a reasonable amount of time. So feel free to explore the site and happy shopping!!

 

Many thanks,

 

Tina

Brew A Cup Coffee Co