Tagged With coffee

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Making outstanding coffee is pure alchemy - as much art as science is involved. There are countless variables: the barista, her technique, the machine, the grinder, the humidity, the air temperature, the grind-setting. The temperature and pressure of the water. The beans, of course - how recently they've been roasted, the wash method, their country of origin and how they're blended together to meet milk.

But so much of that is invisible to you, the consumer. You see your friendly inked and bearded barista and need to know: can I trust the coffee he's making?

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This isn't so much a "tiny hack" - a tag we at Lifehacker use for simple tricks - so much as a "tiny pleasure." It's something that I do every day that makes me happy. It doesn't improve anything except the flavour of my mornings, and everyone should give it a shot. (That's an espresso pun right there.)

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Mornings can sometimes be too busy to make — or even grab — a coffee, or perhaps the weather doesn't suit drinking a piping hot cup of java. This is where cold brew comes in.

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During my university years, I used to measure out small amounts of caffeine powder on a milligram scale, put it in a gel cap, pop, and repeat throughout the day. A two-inch tall mountain of the dusty substance sat Scarface-like on a piece of paper atop my then-boyfriend’s desk next to the scale and alongside a baggie of caps.

I was dosing on average 30 or so milligrams a piece, three to four times daily, whenever I began to feel sleepy. Periodically, the caps would open before I swallowed and my mouth would be filled with the harsh, bitter taste of powdered caffeine.

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Most of us go through life with only a vague idea of how much caffeine is in what we eat and drink. That coffee should wake us up; this chocolate milk is probably caffeine-free. But if you want to use caffeine effectively, you really need to know the amount in your favourite sources. You can’t properly time your caffeine consumption to maximise alertness if you don’t know exactly how much you’re consuming.

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As any insufferably smug Melbournite will tell you, there's a lot more to coffee than espressos, lates and flat whites. There are literally hundreds of beverages under the coffee umbrella, all of which are prepared and presented in a variety of ways.

This handy infographic breaks down the ingredients and correct ratios for 38 popular coffee drinks (and a chai late for good measure). Get your barista on!

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Last summer I spent a few weeks in Italy, where the time difference is nine hours from my home in San Francisco. That aggressive time change meant that the first week of my trip was spent pretty exhausted. I survived those first few days on naps and coffee. Then one of the people I was travelling with suggested something interesting: combining the naps and coffee.

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Unless you're flying first or business class, airplane coffee is generally not the best quality cup you'll ever have - but it's still a nice little comfort in what can be an exhausting way to travel. Some airlines serve better coffee than others - but do you know what brands your favourite airlines serve? Here's a list of 44 airlines across the world, and what kind of coffee they're pouring into your little paper cup.

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When Starbucks set up shop in Australia, it was expecting big things. After all, we have similar metropolitan makeup to the USA and are among the most prodigious consumers of coffee in the world.

Alas, the company went the same way as Taco Bell, Chilli's, Burger King and various other US franchises that failed to make the transition Down Under. This fascinating video explains precisely what went wrong.

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Caffeine is the most commonly used psychoactive drug in the world - for good reason. It wakes us up, helps us stay on task, and provides an extra energy boost. According to a range of scientific studies, drinking coffee in moderation can also improve your health and prolong your life.

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For years, scientists have traced a link between coffee drinking and heart health, but they weren't sure exactly why coffee was associated with so many health benefits. A group of German scientists thinks it has found a possible answer, and it has to do with how the cells in our blood vessels react to caffeine. Their research suggests four shots' worth of espresso a day may be required for optimal heart health.

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How can some people drink five cups of coffee a day without ascending to another plane while others just need a whiff of espresso to send their bodies into a buzz? Genetics play a huge role, according to a new report by Dr. JW Langer, which breaks caffeine imbibers into three sensitivity groups.

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Have you ever found yourself chugging coffee to stay up late studying, but then when it's time for the exam, your mind is foggy with fatigue? Researchers from the US Army have developed an algorithm that can predict the energy peaks and valleys that come from drinking caffeine, and in turn, created a web-based tool that helps you predict how alert you can expect to be based on your own sleep schedule and coffee habits.

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As a former barista and insufferable coffee snob, I long believed coffee pod machines were beneath me. My kitchen cupboards are like a museum dedicated to the pursuit of extracting caffeine from a bean, from cold drip to Moka Pots, Aeropress to Vario. No method was too time consuming or pretentious for me to try.

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Nothing livens up a hot afternoon quite like a cup of iced coffee. Trouble is, a lot of the iced coffee out there is just stale, leftover hot brewed coffee that's been chilled, or cold brewed coffee with a much different taste. Enter Japanese iced coffee - the best of both worlds.

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When you're drinking a hot beverage, you want that beverage to remain hot. Of course you do! You're a human being with needs. Sadly, it won't - you can't fight the second law of thermodynamics; even if you prime your cup first, eventually entropy will have its way. Eventually, you'll take a swig of your coffee or your tea and get a mouthful of lukewarm disappointment. If your 9am cup tastes like a brand new day, full of promise, then your 10:15 dregs remind you that it's seven hours until you can start drinking.