Your Coworkers Really Are More Likable After Coffee, Science Confirms

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Coffee can make meetings tolerable more productive – and positive

Coffee Brews Better Group Performance, UC Davis Study Finds

First Research on the Effects of Caffeine on Group Work

The following post was originally published by UC Davis News

By Brad Hooker and Julia Ann Easley 

 

Planning a meeting? Serving coffee can focus group discussion, boost involvement and leave members feeling better about their own and others’ participation.

Those are the findings of new research on the effects of caffeine on group performance from the Graduate School of Management at the University of California, Davis.

Decades of coffee research have explored its effects on the individual, but this study is the first on the effects on performance in group tasks.

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Cold Brew & Food Safety

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The NCA Cold Brew Toolkit draft will be open for coffee industry comment through the end of May

An edited version of the following article was originally published in the May 2018 issue of Tea & Coffee Trade Journal

 

Cold brew has taken off – and it’s changing the way we drink coffee.

Total retail sales of refrigerated cold brew grew by about 460 percent from 2015 to 2017, reaching an estimated $38.1 million in sales this year, according to research from Mintel.

And, unlike avocado lattes, cold brew is more than a passing trend. About 10% of coffee drinkers reported having cold brew daily in 2017, according to the NCA National Coffee Drinking Trends report – up from only 1% in 2015. Experts predict that this category will continue to drive coffee market growth.

But despite of – or perhaps due to – this sudden popularity, there are still a lot of questions and misconceptions around cold brew.  This is especially true for coffee companies that are considering making, serving, or selling cold brew.

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The Science Behind Better Coffee

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Photo credit: UC Davis Newsroom

Basket Shapes & Water Quality: Filter Coffee in the UC Davis Lab

By Angie Molina

Article & photos from our friends at Perfect Daily Grind

Lee este artículo en español Filtros Y Calidad Del Agua: Café Filtrado en El Laboratorio

What do you need to do to brew better filter coffee? That’s one of the many questions UC Davis Coffee Center is setting out to answer, through a variety of research projects. After all, there’s nothing like hard science for an answer you can trust.

Professor William Ristenpart, the center’s Director, agreed to talk me through his current work and what we can expect to see in the future, from the impact of coffee filter baskets to water quality and temperature.

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Can Olympic Athletes Have Caffeine?

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It’s more complicated than you may think.

Caffeine has been consistently shown to improve athletic performance, and its consumption has been subjected to ongoing scrutiny for elite athletes.

Today, Olympic athletes are permitted to enjoy a cup of coffee before competing. But between 1984-2004, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) banned high concentrations of caffeine from all Olympic events.

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Coffee Energizing Biofuels Research

January 23, 2018 - NREL scientist Phil Pienkos' research at NREL

Photo illustration by Dennis Schroeder, NREL

By Phil Pienkos, NREL

When it comes to sustainability in the coffee supply chain, industry members have been finding creative ways to conserve on every level, from the farm to the coffee shop. But what happens to the grounds after the coffee’s brewed?

Many coffee shops already have composting programs, but what if there were a way, not only to divert used grounds from the landfill, but to use those grounds to produce energy? Research at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is exploring this question — and is starting to see some exciting developments with help from the coffee industry.

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Coffee and Gluten: Start With the Research

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By William (Bill) M. Murray, NCA, CEO

One of today’s challenges isn’t finding enough information on a particular subject, but rather deciding how to evaluate all the information that’s available. Is that information unbiased, expert, and useful?

This is true not only for coffee drinkers, but also for consumers seeking information about the impact of coffee on their health. Sorting through the headlines, opinions, blog posts, and advice columns isn’t easy, which is why it is always best to seek out any underlying research on a topic. (For insight into evaluating coffee-and-health research, see “Behind the Headlines: Coffee, Health, and Research.”)

We were reminded of this after an NCA member recently asked, “Does coffee contain gluten?”

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Is Cold Brew Good For You?

The following post is adapted from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health News 

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Science shows coffee can have major health perks at any temperature.

Summer’s hottest drink is also a healthy way to beat the heat.

Cold brew coffee — made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water overnight or longer — is just as healthy as regular coffee, according to Frank Hu, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, in a recent Health.com article.

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Even Daily Coffee Drinkers Can Boost Athletic Performance With Caffeine

“Caffeine improves athletic performance. This is a truth almost universally acknowledged in exercise science.” — Gretchen Reynolds, The New York Times

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Drinking caffeinated coffee has been scientifically linked to improved physical performance. And for years, many scientists, coaches, and athletes believed that an athlete had to abstain for days or weeks before an event to gain a boost.

But a new study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology suggests that these ideas about caffeine and athletic performance are outdated.

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Seeding Coffee’s Future: A Conversation About Conservation and Verification

By Hanna Neuschwander, World Coffee Research

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An unidentified Coffea species found in Madagascar, which is preserved in a coffee genebank. Ensuring these genebanks have adequate funding to continue operations should be a major priority of the coffee industry. Source: Sarada Krishnan

Sometimes facts are so obvious they become invisible.

In the case of coffee, one of those facts is this: Coffee comes from a plant. The entire $225 billion dollar coffee industry in the U.S. is built up from the roots of billions of living, breathing coffee plants that spend their days turning sunlight into fruit. Once you stop and think about it, it’s kind of profound. Nearly 1.7 million jobs — including, if you are reading this, probably yours — depend on those plants doing their thing, photosynthesizing, outsmarting diseases and pests, being rained on at the right time in the right amounts.

It’s also profound to think about just how fragile the entire arrangement is. The vast majority of coffee plants in the field today are really, really (really) genetically similar. Most varieties are not resistant to major diseases. Most are way too old (World Coffee Research guesses that about 50% of coffee trees are more than 50 years old). That leaves coffee especially vulnerable — to disease epidemics like the one that devastated Central American production after 2012, to extremes in weather like excessive rain or drought or frost.

When crops are facing challenges like these, it helps to go back to basics: Coffee is a plant. So — what is needed to help the plant thrive? And, thereby, to help the humans who depend on it?

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