It’s the first thing we reach for in the morning. It fuels our day and supplies our sanity when sleep is futile and kids are relentless. It’s our dear friend and confidant, the one that is always waiting for us in the early morning hours and as a pick me up in the afternoon- Coffee.
Moms everywhere have a running joke about how coffee is their life-blood but those with bags under our eyes will tell you in between yawns that it’s true. Coffee is the one thing that many of us look forward to each morning to get us through our day and help us to start our day on the right foot. But not all coffee is created equal. There are different brew types, different levels of caffeine, and different sourcing processes that will affect what brand of coffee you decided to choose for your next cup. Luckily, here at Mothering we are coffee experts (as in, we have collectively drunk thousands of cups of coffee over our years of motherhood) so we can help you find the right cup of joe for you.
The Health Benefits of Coffee
Coffee has long been touted as having several different health benefits, but in recent years fitness experts have recommended getting rid of coffee as part of a healthy diet. However, coffee in its purest form is actually beneficial in short- and long-term health as long as additional sugary and high fat creamers aren’t added to it. Two to three cups of coffee per day is recommended to reap all the health benefits of coffee, including the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants naturally found in the beans. Organic coffee has the highest concentration of these essential nutrients as organic coffee beans are grown under the shade of fruit trees rather than in full direct sun. Direct sunlight kills off the immune system of the coffee bean plant, thereby depleting its natural vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Coffee is high in antioxidants and even contains more antioxidants than blueberries, raspberries, oranges, and other fruits. It also contains vital vitamins and minerals such as vitamins B2, B3, and B5 as well as magnesium and potassium. Here are some of the best health benefits of drinking coffee every day besides waking you up after pulling an all-nighter with your baby:
- Lowered risk of Alzheimers disease
- Reduces colorectal cancer risk
- Reduced liver cancer risk
- Can help with your physical performance
- Decreased risk of heart disease and heart attacks
- Reduces inflammation
- Helps to burn fat
- Lowers the risk of Type 2 diabetes
- Reduces depression and makes you happier
- It helps you not want to go nuts on your kids. For at least a little while.
5 Different Brews of Coffee
You might not be as lucrative as Starbucks, but you can make your own strong, fancy coffee at home with these different types of brews. Depending on your personal taste, your preference, your equipment, and your time, you can make all different types of coffee brews from home. Here are some of the typical favorites that are easy to make without a crazy expensive machine or having to go to barista school (yes, it’s a thing):
- Pour-over coffee method- The old school method of pouring hot water over coffee grounds into a glass pitcher.
- French press- A slower brewing method that creates strong, bold flavors
- Machine brew- The traditional way many make their coffee at home
- Espresso brew- Espresso can be brewed in many different ways, and is often more potent than regular coffee
- Cold-brew- A modern take on brewing coffee. It typically takes a minimum of 24 hours to brew at home, but there are several ready-to-buy blends sold in stores and online. Cold brewing is a simpler process, yielding a coffee that’s smooth and not bitter, twice the caffeine, and significantly less acid than a traditionally brewed cup of joe.
Most of us are familiar with many of these methods, and we all have our favorites. Some of us opt for a splash of coffee with our creamer, and others drink it black. Some make frothy lattes at home and others just need some cream and sugar. But is there a best machine to help you brew your favorite blend?
5 Coffee Machines You Might Want to Invest In
Not sure how you should be brewing your coffee? Here are five machines that you might want to consider depending on your time and your preference:
Airtight Cold Brew Coffee Maker
This cold-brew coffee maker creates deliciously strong coffee in 24 hours. It is easy to use and easy to clean, and it doesn’t require any filters. If you love iced coffee, a cold brew coffee maker like this one is a must.
Traditional Coffee Maker
Ninja Programmable Coffee Maker
The Ninja Programmable Coffee Maker will have your coffee hot and ready for you in the morning. The reusable filter means you won’t be adding to the landfill either.
Short on Time
Keurig Single Cup Coffee Maker
Keurig’s are known for being quick and easy. Simply pop in a pod of your favorite flavor and a single cup of coffee is brewed in seconds. But traditional pods are not reusable or recyclable. Get a reusable pod like this one and fill it with your favorite coffee instead.
Breville Espresso Machine
Need a little kick in your morning step? The Breville Espresso machine is a top of the line espresso machine that not only creates the perfectly brewed shot of espresso (or two) but also has a milk frother to make those fancy lattes. You might need some practice to make those cute dog faces in your cup though!
Bodum Chambord French Press
French press fans say there is no other way to enjoy a cup of coffee. The Bodum Chambord French Press is one of the top-rated French press machines on Amazon, and will help to create that perfect cup of coffee.
No matter how you take your coffee and what method you use to brew it, the brand of coffee and how it is sourced is important. Organic coffee is one of the most sustainably sourced crops, and choosing to spend your money on organic coffee over non-organic brands helps to promote a safer and more eco-friendly environment for years to come. Put your money where your mouth is when it comes to choosing your next favorite coffee blend.
Why Organic Coffee is Important
When deciding on which brand of coffee to purchase, your taste preference is important- but so is how the coffee is sourced. We buy all organic products for the rest of our family and our coffee, which basically has now taken over our veins, should be, too. Organic coffee is not just recommended because it is better for your body, but also because it’s better for the environment.
Most of the world’s coffee is supplied from Latin America where pesticides are still widely used and many farm workers are not aware of the dangers of these chemicals to themselves, their families, or the environment. And although experts agree that many of the chemicals used to grow coffee beans are often burned off during the roasting process leaving little to no traces of the chemicals by the time we consume it, the fact remains that the use of pesticides damages the world around us and compromises the health and safety of those farming.
One of the most common pesticides used for crops like coffee is Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane or DDT. DDT can cause respiratory failure, cancer, birth defects and many other disabling and life-threatening illnesses. The risks are increased when the chemicals are used improperly, which is common in places like Latin America where warning labels are not translated into their native tongue and they are not educated on the dangers of these chemicals. Additionally, these chemicals can be traced into the water supply of the surrounding towns, villages, and cities which is dangerous to families and to other resources. Many non-organic farmers clear wide stretches of land to plant their crops, often in the rain forest, which increases the risk of pests (and therefore, chemicals to get rid of the pests) and depletes the Earth’s natural resources found in those areas.
RELATED: Tasty Cold Brew at Home! Here’s How
Organic coffee farming, on the other hand, offers a sustainable and environmentally friendly way to source the magical beans we call coffee. Organic matter is used to fertilize their farms, not chemicals, which is better for the soil and the environment and doesn’t kill off any of the natural resources in the ground. Many organic coffee farmers grow their beans under the canopy of fruit trees, conserving water and decreasing the need for irrigation. These fruit trees create organic mulch as well as food for the community around them. It also adds to the flavor of the coffee as coffee beans are naturally aromatic and often take on the flavor of the trees and fruits around them.
Things to Know Before You Shop for Organic Coffee
It is important to know what you’re looking at when shopping for a new blend of organic coffee to try at home. Many people believe that a “strong” coffee is often the bold or dark roast, but the truth is that the strength of the coffee comes in the actual brewing process and not in the type of roast. Here are some little known facts about coffee labels that you might not know that will help you make the best choice when it comes to your coffee:
- Lighter roast coffees contain the most caffeine- The longer a coffee bean is roasted the less caffeine it contains. So lighter roasts actually contain the most caffeine because they are roasted for the shortest amount of time.
- Lighter roast coffee is also more flavorful- Since it is roasted for the shortest amount of time, it keeps in the most of the flavor in the beans rather than letting them escape during a long roasting time.
- A “bold” cup of coffee depends on the brewing process, not on the bean itself- If you need a strong cup of coffee, you will want to use more coffee grounds compared to water. Here is a good starting point of coffee to water ratio until you find your perfect medium:
- Weaker coffee: 3 Tablespoons per 10oz of water
- Medium strength coffee: 4 Tablespoons per 10oz of water
- Strong coffee: 5 Tablespoons per 10oz of water
You’re basically an expert at coffee now, but if you’re still searching for the perfect organic coffee blend to brew at home, we have you covered.
Our Top Five Favorite Organic Coffee to Brew at Home
These ten organic coffees are traditional ground coffee beans that can be pressed, poured over, or made in a traditional machine. We have included different types and different flavors so you can find the right one for you.
This coffee blend is created with 100% Arabica beans with flavors of almond, malt, and dark chocolate.
Known for being one of the strongest coffee blends out there, Death Wish Coffee is organically sourced with a bright, robust flavor that will leave you feeling awake and refreshed in an instance. Perfect for exhausted moms everywhere.
This whole bean coffee requires you to grind it yourself, but it’s flavor notes are quite different than the ones we suggested above. This coffee from Real Good Coffee Company brings together flavors of bell pepper, cedar, and lemon giving it quite a bit of a bite.
Our Top Five Favorite Organic Cold Brew Coffee
Cold-brew coffee can be made at home with any of the above coffee ground options. But if you just can’t wait 24 to 48 hours to create the perfect cold brew these five options are ready to drink straight from the fridge:
This simple and straightforward cold brew is bold and refreshing. The grab and go cans make it easy to take on the go (like early morning school runs).
This large container has up to 16 cups in one bottle, so you can take as much as you’d like at one time. Add a splash of your favorite healthy creamer to give it a sweet taste.
We adore this boxy container for the Wandering Bear Organic Cold Brew, but with flavors like vanilla and hazelnut, you don’t even need any creamer or milk. Cold, delicious, and ready to pour with the spout right from the fridge.
If you want to brew your own cold brew at home, it is simple and easy with Tiny Footprint Cold Brew Coffee. This blend is specifically formulated to be brewed under cold environments adding extra flavor and less acidity to your coffee for a smooth and delicious flavor.
The Best Coffee Creamers to Add Some Flavor
Many health experts agree that there are many health benefits to drinking coffee, but adding sugary creamers can take all those health benefits and flush them right down the toilet. However, you can add a bit of flavor with some of these creamer and creamer-type options so you can have a tasty cup of joe without destroying all the health benefits. Avoid using any coffee creamers that are “sugar-free” as they often contain aspartame, a chemical-based sweetener used in many “sugar-free” products.
- Coconut milk or coconut milk creamer
- Flavored almond milk or almond milk creamer
- Coconut oil (this also adds the very beneficial MCT’s!)
- Homemade coffee creamers- If you’re feeling brave (or you can’t wait for your Amazon order) you can make your own homemade coffee creamers that are simple and healthy. Here are a few delicious recipes:
Trying to find your perfect cup of coffee (because everyone is different in their tastes and preferences) can be hard to do. It might take some experimenting with different techniques, different roasts, and different brewing styles but one thing is for sure: you will be feeling very awake and alive with all of your taste testing!
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