Traditional recipes

Coffee May Limit Creativity

Coffee May Limit Creativity

Your morning coffee may be giving you a 'brain-freeze'

Photo Modified: Flickr/Jen

Think you're groggy before your coffee? Your creative brain is after you drink it.

Steve Jobs, Andy Warhol, and John Lennon were all creative people, known to have enjoyed a morning cup of coffee. New studies, however, have shown that coffee may be limiting your creativity.

Numerous studies have come out over the years as to the benefits of coffee on the liver, exercise performance, alertness, and particularly focus. Focus is one of the main reasons we drink that cup of coffee in the morning. It keeps us awake and able to maintain clarity in what we are doing at work. Unfortunately, imagination and creativity depend on a wandering mind.

Sleep is another key element for creative thinking, and sleep and caffeine tend to be opposites. Subjects in a 2009 study who got a deeper, REM-reached sleep, were able to perform better on a creative test than those who simply rested. Lack of sleep can also make you feel groggy the next day, leaving you with a lack of clarity and complex idea formation.

A caffeinated body may be more efficient and productive, but take a few days off of coffee and let your mind wander a little – or a latte.

My Experience with Smart Coffee for Weight Loss

Smart Coffee Elevate Brew is a delicious dark Colombian roasted coffee infused with espresso. The Nootropics in Elevate Brew are all-natural amino acids typically found in protein-rich foods but not always easy to get from diet alone.

All the ingredients in the coffee combine to help you control cravings and appetite without a feeling of being deprived. Then the thermogenic components and appetite suppressants work to help with fat burning. Nootropics are also powerful cognitive enhancers that improve some aspects of mental function.

So basically, it’s a smart coffee that helps you control cravings, curb your appetite and gives you energy. It’s a winning combination and perfect for those trying to lose weight.

Safety First!

You shouldn’t be scared of using lye to make handmade soap after all, people have been using it for years. You should, however, take a number of precautions when using it, to ensure that the process is as safe as possible.

  • Store all hazardous substances in a safe place, out of reach of children.
  • Always ensure that you have a bottle of vinegar close to hand during the soap making process. If there’s any spillage of the lye, pour the vinegar over it straight away to neutralize it.
  • Label all of your equipment ‘For Soap Making Use Only’ so it does not cause contamination.
  • Make sure that you wear the appropriate protective clothing including rubber gloves, goggles, and thick outer clothing.
  • Because lye is an extremely caustic chemical, it is important that you do not let it touch you in any way.

Simple handmade soap for beginners

Easy Handmade soap for beginners

First off, here’s a super simple soap recipe that will ease you into soap making and get you familiar with how to make homemade soap.

  • 2 ½ Cups Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ½ Cup Coconut Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Lavender Essential Oil
  • 20 Ounces Lye
  • 47 Ounces Water
  1. Firstly, mix the lye into the water in a glass bowl or other heatproof container. It’s important that you mix the lye into the water and not the other way around!
  1. Once the lye is fully dissolved, leave the solution to cool in a safe area away from children and pets.
  1. Whilst you’re waiting for the mixture to cool, weigh out the olive and coconut oils and mix them together in a large glass bowl. Ensure that your bowl is big enough to accommodate the rest of your ingredients.
  1. When the lye mixture has cooled, pour it into the oil mix (you can bring it back inside to do this) and gently mix them together.
  1. Once your mixture has thickened to the consistency of mayonnaise, it has reached the stage called ‘trace’. At this point, add your essential oils into the mixture.
  1. Pour the mixture into soap molds – if you’re using plastic containers, it’s advisable to oil them beforehand to prevent sticking.
  1. Cover the moulds and set them aside for at least 24 hours.
  1. Once 24 hours has passed, uncover the soap and see if you can easily remove it from the molds. If it’s too soft, simply re-cover and leave it for a few more hours before trying it again.
  1. When you’re able to remove the soap from the molds, cut it into bars. Because it’s homemade soap, you’re free to cut it into any shape or size you like – the only limit is your creativity (and cutting skills!).
  1. Once you have cut your soaps into the desired shape, leave the bars to set for approximately one month. Turn them every day at first, and then reduce this to every week.

Zesty Lemon Handmade Soap Recipe

Once you’ve mastered the basic soap recipe, you can then move on to colourful and fragrant varieties. This homemade zesty lemon soap smells amazing and has a great texture too.

  • 1 ½ Cups Goats Milk Soap Base or Shea Butter Soap Base, cut into cubes
  • 4-6 drops Lemon Essential Oil
  • The dried zest of 3 – 4 lemons
  1. Cut the soap base into small cubes, place it in a large Pyrex measuring cup and microwave it for 30-second intervals for about one minute.
  1. Once the soap cubes have turned to liquid, add a few drops of the lemon essential oil and the lemon zest. Stir the mixture well.
  1. Pour the soap into molds and allow it to harden for at least an hour.
  1. Once the soap is fully hardened, press the mold to release it.

Homemade oatmeal soap

Oatmeal, Milk, and Honey Handmade Soap Recipe

This soft and soothing soap is perfect for young, elderly, or dry skin, as well as those suffering from sunburned or chapped skin – it also smells delicious!

  • 2/3 Cup Olive Oil
  • 2/3 Cup Coconut Oil
  • 2/3 Cup Combination of Sweet Almond Oil and Grape Seed Oil
  • ¾ Cup Distilled Water
  • ¼ Cup Lye
  • 2 Teaspoons Ground, Old Fashioned Dry Oats
  • 2 Teaspoons Honey
  • 2 Tablespoons Dry Milk
  1. Firstly, prepare the lye and water – adding the lye to the water (never the other way round), and mixing until dissolved. Once fully mixed, set aside, and leave to cool until it reaches around 100 Degrees Fahrenheit.
  1. Next, combine all of the oils together and heat until the coconut oil begins to melt.
  1. Slowly mix the lye/water solution into the oils, and stir gently for around five minutes.
  1. After the initial five minutes, you can either continue stirring by hand or mix with a hand blender until it thickens to the trace stage.
  1. 5. Once your mixture has reached the optimum thickness, add the dry oats and the honey. It’s a good idea to heat the honey first so that it mixes better.
  1. Once the oats and honey are well mixed in, add the dry milk and a little more oil if needed. Now mix well and don’t be alarmed if the mixture turns yellow or orange, this is just because of the milk and will lighten up later in the process!
  1. Once everything is thoroughly combined, pour the mixture into molds of your choice and leave it to set for around 24 hours.
  1. After 24 hours, remove the soaps from the molds and cut them into your desired shapes and sizes.
  1. Leave your perfectly cut, handmade soaps to cure for 3-4 weeks, turning daily at first and then weekly as they begin to dry out.

Chamomile herbs for yellow chamomile handmade soap recipe

Yellow Chamomile Handmade Soap Recipe

This handmade soap recipe is bight, cheerful and, thanks to its chamomile content, it smells amazing!

  • 4” Silicone Loaf Mold
  • 8 Ounces Coconut Oil
  • 8 Ounces Palm Oil
  • 1 Ounces Rice Bran Oil
  • 1 Ounces Sweet Almond Oil
  • 4 Ounces Cocoa Butter
  • 9 Ounces Sodium Hydroxide Lye
  • 6 Ounces. Distilled Water
  • Yellow Oxide
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • 1 Ounce Chamomile Bergamot Fragrance Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Chamomile Extract
  • Chamomile Herbs
  1. Slowly and carefully, add the lye to the water, gently stirring until it fully dissolves and the resulting mixture is clear.
  1. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  1. Mix together the cocoa butter, coconut oil, olive oil, rice bran oil, sweet almond oil, and the palm oil.
  1. Set aside to cool to room temperature (below 130 degrees)
  1. Once both mixtures have cooled to the correct temperatures, add the lye water into the oils and blend carefully until it reaches the trace stage.
  1. When you’re at trace stage, add 1 tablespoon of chamomile extract into the mixture and stir in using a whisk.
  1. Split the batch into approximately half (it doesn’t need to be exact). Add 2 tsp. of dispersed yellow oxide into one of the halves, and stir in using a whisk.
  1. Add 1 teaspoon of dispersed titanium dioxide into the other half of the mixture and whisk this in too.
  1. Add 5 Oz. of Chamomile Bergamot Fragrance Oil into each container and mix thoroughly using a whisk.
  1. Now, hold one color of mixture in each hand and pour into opposite sides of the mold. (By this point, it should be a medium trace, if it’s still a little on the thin side, mix with a handheld blender to thicken).
  1. Insert a dowel (or chopstick) down to the bottom of the mold, and move it horizontally through the soap about four or five times. Then move it vertically through the soap, repeating the process twice.
  1. Tap the soap mold firmly down onto the counter to release any bubbles, before sprinkling the chamomile herbs on the top of the mixture and gently pressing them down to secure them in place.
  1. Spray the soap with 99% rubbing alcohol and leave it to rest for between 48 and 72 hours.
  1. Remove the soap from the mold and cut it into slices. Remember to cut from the side as cutting from the top may result in drag marks from the herbs.

Kitchen Coffee Spice Bar Soap Recipe

This aromatic soap not only smells divine, but it also works to deodorize the hands whilst exfoliating and gently scrubbing all the dirt away. It also makes the perfect gift for those who love coffee!

This soap is made using the hot process method.

  • 12 Ounces Olive Oil
  • 10 Ounces Coconut Oil
  • 6 Ounces Sustainable Palm Oil
  • 2 Ounces Castor Oil
  • ½ Ounce Jojoba oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • 1 Teaspoon Ground Cloves
  • 2 Ounces Essential Oils of your choice
  1. Start by preparing the triple strength coffee, using distilled water and a coffee press.
  1. Place the coffee in the refrigerator and allow to cool over night. This is a really important step – under no circumstances should you use hot coffee in this recipe!
  1. Once the coffee has cooled, use a kitchen scale to measure the lye and the coffee in separate bowls.
  1. Gently combine the lye and the coffee, pouring the lye into the coffee (never the other way round), and stir the mixture until the lye has completely dissolved. Once combined, set the mixture to one side and allow to cool.
  1. Whilst the lye mixture is cooling, measure out each of the oils excluding the Jojoba oil, and melt on a low heat.
  1. Once the oils have melted, add the lye and coffee mixture and stir gently to combine. Then use a hand blender to blend until they reach the trace stage.
  1. After 1-2 minutes of blending, add the coffee grounds, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.
  1. Continue blending for around 2-3 minutes more, until the mixture reaches a thick, pudding like consistency. Then cover the pot and heat the soap over a low heat, for approximately one hour.
  1. Remove the soap from the heat and quickly add the essential oils and the Jojoba oil, stirring well until the mixture is fully combined.
  1. Spoon the mixture out into the molds and allow it to cool and harden for at least 24 hours.
  1. Next, remove the mixture from the mold, place it on a cutting board, and cut into bars (the size of the bars is completely up to you).
  1. Place the bars on a tray with good airflow so that they can harden.

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Homemade Coffee Liqueur (Copycat Kahlua)

I first posted about Homemade Coffee Liqueur (Kahlua) almost ten years ago…and it showed. My youngest daughter worked at Nordstrom’s in their Visual Merchandising department she was one of the elves that worked behind the scenes for weeks in preparation for the big reveal of all things Christmas which happens the day after Thanksgiving.

She was my helper bee and when I did this post she was not around and I had sort of counted on her. Heck I need a Santa type elf for all of the cocktail photos I wanted to publish I need to get on that! Nonetheless, I made it again recently, I got some new snaps and I decided to publish again…it’s been a decade and it was lost in the archives!

Lauren has moved on from that job and even moved on from Denver and is living in San Jose, CA and loving it. I will say that for this single mom though that having one girl on the east coast and another on the west coast was not what I expected during all those years of raising them! I’m so grateful for my wonderful young neighbors and the family units we’ve built…I even have a part time dog!

So I decided that I best get this brew going stat I want to give a couple of those families a bottle for Valentine’s Day something really from the heart. If you’ve never made your own liqueurs before, they are so easy for the most part it’s a blend of sugar, vodka, and flavoring.

I’ve made Limoncello and it’s the most time consuming because it consists of lemon rinds for the flavor fun to make but not nearly as easy as my other favorites, including this coffee liqueur. The hardest part of this recipe is the wait!

There are a variety of methods I’ve seen for making home brewed Kahlua coffee liqueur. The primary difference in methods is using either coffee grounds in the brew or instant coffee. I’ve done both and personally prefer going the instant coffee route.

The one year I tried using coffee grounds there was no way to remove every bit of them even pouring it through cheesecloth didn’t completely work and I hated to see the loss of the heavenly elixir that was soaked up by the fabric.

One thing I do that is not in most recipes it to cook down the sugars and water to get a bit of a syrupy consistency before adding the vodka. Is it totally necessary? Not really just my personal preference and makes it more reminiscent of the real deal.

I’ve found that my favorite concoction includes some of my own revisions. For this Homemade Coffee Liqueur (Copycat Kahlua) I used dried espresso instead of instant coffee I just think it’s a bit richer as a result. And beyond the standard water, sugars and vodka I add just a touch of chocolate liqueur to the mix.

It’s optional and not something you should run out and buy though, I have the luxury of making my own chocolate liqueur too so I always have some on hand.

I often use espresso in a chocolate recipe because they are so compatible with each other so I’ve just done ‘opposite day’ and added a bit of chocolate to this espresso based liqueur. There is some vanilla bean too but those suckers are SO pricey I’ll forgive you if you decide to forego that ingredient too.

My additions are subtle but I think it makes for a richer, more delicious product and I simply love this Homemade Coffee Liqueur!

By the way I don’t recommend that you use either Everclear or your best vodka for this I don’t care what the ‘experts’ say. Everclear is often recommended but it’s grain alcohol that has such a high proof that many liquor stores won’t even carry it just look for a bottle of 100 proof vodka I typically use Smirnoff 100 Proof.

Using great sipping vodka is also not required save that for your favorite cocktails. Once you mix the vodka with sugars and coffee and let it age a bit the vodka will mellow out. I usually ask a liquor store for a recommendation if they don’t have the Smirnoff 100 Proof available and spend around $15 for a 750 ML bottle.

I do love making liqueurs and have several more favorites we love hope you enjoy them too.

Editor’s Picks on Coffee and Your Health

What Is Caffeine? The Proven Health Benefits and How Much Is Too Much

9 Healthy Reasons to Indulge Your Coffee Cravings

10 Essential Facts About Caffeine

Coffee and Your Heart: Stimulant or Stressor?

The Gin Joint, Charleston

Photo: Courtesy of The Gin Joint

This 1920s-era craft cocktail haunt in the Holy City spotlights seasonal flavors and its namesake spirit. &ldquoDespite Georgia&rsquos association with peaches, South Carolina produces almost twice as much of the stone fruit annually. So as peach season approaches, I wanted to create an incredibly refreshing sipper that lets them shine,&rdquo says Christian Favier, bar manager of The Gin Joint. &ldquoWhile the P&T is very simple, the star is fresh, local peaches&mdashflash frozen and shaved over the top (a technique Favier borrows from acclaimed Japanese bartender, Hiroyasu Kayama). The result is essentially the best shaved ice you&rsquove ever tasted, followed by a deliciously refreshing Gin & Tonic.&rdquo

Peach & Tonic

  • 1.75 oz. Plymouth Gin
  • 0.5 oz. peach liqueur (such as Massenez Crème de Pêche)
  • 0.25 oz. clarified lime acid or fresh lime juice
  • 3 oz. tonic (such as Fever-Tree Indian Tonic)
  • Grated frozen peach

In a Collins glass, combine gin, peach liqueur and lime acid or juice add ice (or a Collins spear, if you have it!). Top with tonic water. Take a whole frozen peach and shave a generous amount over the top of the glass with a microplane or zester.

The Definitive Guide to Coffee

Coffee is serious business. We Americans drink about 400 million cups of it per day and spend several billion dollars on it each year. It’s the most popular drug on earth, and certainly the most socially acceptable. In many ways, coffee’s the closest thing we’ve got to a universal, daily ritual, as just about every morning, billions of people across the planet prostrate themselves before the holy, energy-giving legume. It also hails from the same place the earliest members of our species do: East Africa (Ethiopia, to be exact). That the most industrious animal ever to walk the planet and the psychoactive legume that fuels said industry both hail from the same place on earth is pure poetry.

Coffee’s also delicious. I’d say you’d have to pry my coffee from my cold, dead fingers, only the ensuing struggle would slosh it all onto the floor, and that would be such a waste.

Yet it’s also considered to be a vice, one of those substances that “everyone knows” is bad for you.

Before I get into the evidence, let’s give the ending away early: it’s (probably) good for (most of) you. And yeah, I’m biased as hell. So what? It’s based on considerable evidence, and you likely share the same pro-coffee bias.

The majority of the evidence in favor of coffee consists of epidemiological studies—making observations of and gathering data from large populations. These cannot establish causation, but the trend is clear: it seems to be good for us.

Breast cancer: Consumption of caffeinated coffee, but not decaf, has a protective effect on postmenopausal breast cancer risk.

Cancer: Coffee consumption is associated with a modest reduction in cancer “at any site.”

Cognitive decline: Coffee consumption is consistently associated with lower rates of age-related cognitive decline.

Colorectal cancer: Most research shows an inverse relationship between coffee drinking and colorectal cancer. Some research suggests a positive link, but the results are muddied by the fact that coffee drinkers were more likely to be smokers.

Diabetes: Increasing your coffee intake results in a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, even if it’s decaf.

Endothelial function: Coffee polyphenols improve endothelial function after glucose loading in men, ameliorate the endothelial dysfunction that normally follows a meal, and prevent the hyperglycemia associated with endothelial dysfunction and oxidative stress.

Gallstones: Among American men, coffee intake protects against symptomatic gallstone disease.

Inflammation: After abstaining from coffee for a month, habitual coffee drinkers were given 4 cups a day for the second month and 8 cups a day for the third. Markers of subclinical inflammation all dropped and HDL cholesterol increased with coffee consumption.

Liver cancer: Coffee has a protective relationship with liver cancer mediated by markers of liver damage and inflammation.

Mortality: Coffee consumption has an inverse relationship to all-cause mortality. Early mortality, that is it doesn’t make you immortal. Though nurses who drink the most coffee do have longer telomeres.

Oxidative stress: Women with higher caffeine intakes (via coffee and tea) show evidence of lower oxidative stress, less DNA damage, and a greater capacity for DNA repair.

Parkinson’s disease: Higher coffee intakes predict slightly lower rates of Parkinson’s disease.

Prostate cancer: Coffee consumption reduces risk of prostate cancer.

Stroke: Moderate coffee consumption is associated with a reduced risk of stroke. Even high coffee consumption (8 cups a day) appears slightly protective.

Sun damage: Coffee and its polyphenols are associated with protection against photoaging.

It becomes even more convincing when you realize that coffee isn’t a conventionally “healthy” beverage. There’s very little room to make the “healthy user bias” argument.

Potential disease and death avoidance is an important feature of coffee, to be sure, but what about the shorter-term benefits? Most people don’t drink coffee to “improve their postprandial hyperglycemic response.” They drink it because it makes them feel good and improves their performance.

Coffee improves cognitive function

It boosts executive functioning and working memory (so long as the task isn’t highly dependent on working memory). Coffee also improves your mood and makes you think you’re drawing from a bottomless well of mental energy, an effect that may be even more important than the actual physiological effects on cognition. I call it productive optimism, and I rely on it for quick bursts of creation and idea generation in the morning. Even decaf works, as the chlorogenic acid present in both decaf and caffeinated coffee have been shown to improve mood.

Coffee is great for workouts

Whether it’s endurance, HIIT, sprint, badminton, resistance training, or almost any athletic pursuit you can name, a cup or two of coffee before your workout can improve performance.

And contrary to popular belief, coffee does not dehydrate you. Studies show no difference in hydration status between people drinking coffee, water, or other beverages. One measured fluid, electrolyte, and renal indices of hydration over eleven days of caffeine consumption in human subjects, finding that doses of up to 6 mg caffeine per kilogram of body weight had no effect on body mass, urine osmolality (urine concentration), urine specific gravity (concentration of excreted materials in urine), urine color, urine volume, sodium excretion, potassium secretion, creatinine content, blood urea nitrogen (forms when protein breaks down), and serum levels of sodium and potassium.

Coffee is the biggest dietary source of polyphenols

Maybe if goji berry tea shops were on every corner, every man, woman, and child ate acai bowls for breakfast, coffee wouldn’t be the biggest source of phytonutrients. Gram for gram, coffee ranks behind most berries. But in the real world, where most people drink several large cups of coffee each day, coffee is the the primary way we get our antioxidants. That’s true for Japan, Spain, Poland, and many other countries.

You Primal folks reading this over your Big Ass Salads full of colorful veggies and typing away with your turmeric-dusted fingers get the best of both worlds: the big load of coffee polyphenols plus the antioxidants found in all the other colorful produce the world has to offer.

True, there are some negative studies. Animal studies in particular are more likely to show negative results. But it’s important to realize that animals are not habitual coffee drinkers. Giving a group of lab mice a bunch of caffeinated coffee isn’t the same as giving it to humans who’ve been drinking it for years. Caffeine, like so many other plant compounds we hold in high regard, is a natural plant pesticide that certain plants (like coffee and tea) employ to ward off and even kill small predators. The bulk of the evidence suggests that humans have co-opted this “toxin” and made it healthy, hormetic input that, in the right doses, improves our health and well-being.

That said, not everyone should start a pot-a-day habit. Depending on several variables, coffee consumption has its downsides.

Coffee and sleep

Coffee has an obvious relationship with sleep: it counters it. The most common use of coffee is to stay awake. It can’t replace sleep over the long term, but in the short term it can mitigate the cognitive deficits. And studies indicate it can have a bad effect on sleep if consumed at the wrong time:

    impairs melatonin secretion and reduces sleep quality and quantity. maintains alertness and cognitive performance, but detracts from sleep quality and quantity. phase-delays your circadian rhythm by 40 minutes, effectively pushing back the regular bed time.

No surprises here: don’t drink caffeinated coffee at night and hope to sleep normally.

Coffee and pregnancy

Caffeine crosses the placenta, and numerous studies indicate it has a deleterious effect on the unborn. Some possible effects:

Coffee and cortisol

Studies show that coffee induces a modest but noticeable spike in cortisol that levels off as you become habituated to coffee. However, it may inhibit your ability to modulate existing cortisol levels. If you’re already stressed out, turning to the bean may make things worse and keep cortisol elevated.

Folks who drink coffee regularly probably don’t need to worry about cortisol, since their bodies have acclimated to it and no longer register coffee as a “stressor.”

Slow versus fast caffeine metabolizers

Caffeine is metabolized by a liver enzyme encoded by the CYP1A2 gene. If you have the CC variant of CYP1A2, you are a slow caffeine metabolizer. If you have the AC variant, you are a moderate metabolizer. And if you have the AA variant, you are a fast metabolizer of caffeine.

In slow and medium metabolizers, caffeine lasts longer in the blood and has a stronger effect. They’re the ones who get cracked out after a half cup of coffee, or can’t have caffeine after noon if they want to sleep that night. Fast metabolizers are the opposite. They process caffeine very efficiently, and it affects them less. These are the types who can have a quad espresso before bed and sleep like babies.

Is stronger, longer caffeine a good thing?

Caffeine isn’t an upper in the classical sense. Instead, caffeine acts by mimicking a compound called adenosine and binding to its receptors before the real thing can. Adenosine is a byproduct of neuronal activity. The more active your brain is, the more adenosine it produces. When adenosine levels get high enough, they bind to adenosine receptors and trigger sleepiness. By blocking adenosine, caffeine counters sleepiness and increases cognitive function, but it also inhibits another, more helpful effect of adenosine: vasodilation, or widening of blood vessels.

Consequently, slow caffeine metabolizers who drink a lot of coffee appear to have higher rates of diseases linked to poor vasodilation:

These aren’t good. Research shows that slow metabolizers can get away with about a cup or two of coffee a day, but not 3+.

Women taking hormonal contraceptives also have reduced caffeine metabolism.

Nicotine increases caffeine metabolism, so smokers, snuff-users, and nootropic fans exploring the cognitive effects of isolated nicotine can handle more coffee.

Try different brewing methods until you find one you love and don’t mind doing

I won’t debate the various brewing techniques. No one way is best, and everyone has their favorite method. But a new method that’s been taking the world by storm is cold brew. Try 12 ounces of coarsely-ground light roast beans (one of the “third wave” single origin fancy types featuring “laced with toasted cacao nibs” and “ribbons of nougat and hints of boysenberry” on the label) to 60 ounces of filtered water with a few splashes of Trace Mineral Drops. Sit at room temperature for at least 12 hours and filter through a French press. The result is an intense coffee concentrate, sort of a “cold espresso.” You can drink it straight up in small amounts with a dash of cream. But personally, if it’s colder out, I’m still a sucker for my dark roast brewed in a French press with a bit of pastured heavy cream and a teaspoon of sugar.

Don’t drink it first thing in the morning

Cortisol follows a circadian pattern. Right before you wake up, cortisol spikes to prepare you for the day. Right after you wake up, it spikes again, pushing you to the highest levels of the day. Drinking coffee when cortisol is high is somewhat redundant. Since you’re getting less of an effect from the coffee, you’re more likely to double up the dosage and therefore spike your tolerance. A better way is to wait about an hour after you wake up to have your first cup.

Drink coffee when you don’t need it

This seems counterintuitive, but bear with me.

Coffee works much better when you’re well-rested and those adenosine receptors are clean as a whistle. That’s when coffee truly shines. Rather than waking you up, it propels you forward to productivity, optimism, and greatness.

Coffee does help counter fatigue and sleep deprivation in a pinch, but it’s more of an equalizer than a booster. And it’s not a good long-term solution for lack of sleep. Nothing is, really, except more sleep.

Don’t worry too much about organic

Studies show that coffee processing destroys the vast majority of coffee pesticides. In one extremely reassuring study, washing the green coffee beans eliminated 15-58% of pesticides and roasting eliminated up to 99.8%. By the time they got around to brewing, none of the 12 studied pesticides were detectable.

Some people under certain contexts, or with certain genetic variants, shouldn’t drink as much coffee as the rest of us. And you probably shouldn’t drink coffee at night, or count on it to replace sleep. But all in all, coffee has some very cool effects.

It’s good for productivity and mood.

It contains a whopping dose of antioxidants.

It’s consistently associated with protection against a host of diseases and conditions.

What do you think, folks? Do you drink coffee? Is it nectar from the gods or bile from the underworld? Maybe both, depending on the day?

Prefer listening to reading? Get an audio recording of this blog post, and subscribe to the Primal Blueprint Podcast on iTunes for instant access to all past, present and future episodes here.

Here are our favourite coffee recipes to get you started -

1. Cappuccino

Why do you want to go out and buy yourself some coffee? Make your own cup of coffee at home to kickstart your morning.

2. Cold Coffee

A classic cold coffee is chilled, refreshing and has that perfect kick of coffee. All you need is a few ingredients, and a blender to whip up this gorgeous drink.

3. Filter Coffee

This recipe hails from South India. A very famous coffee which is filtered through a perforated container, mixed with some milk and served foamy.

4. Irish Coffee

Irish coffee is a bewitching combination of sweet, whisky-laced coffee through softly-whipped cream. Very simple, very indulgent, very delicious.

5. Iced Coffee

A layer of flavours with rum/liqueur, nutmeg, coffee and ice cream, topped off with coffee ice cubes!

A pinch of rum adds the flavour to this chilled coffee beverage.

6. Spiced Coffee

Whip up a cup of coffee made with a desi, ginger and aromatic cardamom. This one is a healthy and healing one that is packed with fresh flavours.

7. Mocha Cooler

For all coffee lovers, this is a scrumptious cooler made with the flavours of strong black coffee, cream and chocolate ice cream. Heavenly!

8. Instant Coffee

A refreshing cup of coffee made in a jiffy. This coffee can be your morning fix that can be prepared in just five minutes and in mere four ingredients.

Go on, get your dose of caffeine and kick start your day on a high note. The best part is that you can keep experimenting with different flavours to create a refreshing drink every single day if you wish.

What are the top health benefits of drinking coffee?

Your brew gives you benefits beyond an energy boost. Here are the top ways coffee can positively impact your health:

You could live longer.

Recent studies found that coffee drinkers are less likely to die from some of the leading causes of death in women: coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease.

Your body may process glucose (or sugar) better.

That&rsquos the theory behind studies that found that people who drink more coffee are less likely to get type 2 diabetes.

You're less likely to develop heart failure.

Drinking one to two cups of coffee a day may help ward off heart failure, when a weakened heart has difficulty pumping enough blood to the body.

You are less likely to develop Parkinson's disease.

Caffeine is not only linked to a lower chance of developing Parkinson&rsquos disease, but it may also help those with the condition better control their movements.

Your liver will thank you.

Both regular and decaf coffee seem to have a protective effect on your liver. Research shows that coffee drinkers are more likely to have liver enzyme levels within a healthy range than people who don&rsquot drink coffee.

Your DNA will be stronger.

Dark roast coffee decreases breakage in DNA strands, which occur naturally but can lead to cancer or tumors if not repaired by your cells.

Your odds of getting colon cancer will go way down.

One in 23 women develop colon cancer. But researchers found that coffee drinkers &mdash decaf or regular &mdash were 26 percent less likely to develop colorectal cancer.

You may decrease your risk of getting Alzheimer's disease.

Almost two-thirds of Americans living with Alzheimer&rsquos disease are women. But the caffeine in two cups of coffee may provide significant protection against developing the condition. In fact, researchers found that women age 65 and older who drank two to three cups of coffee a day were less likely to develop dementia in general.

You're not as likely to suffer a stroke.

For women, drinking at least one cup of coffee a day is associated with lowered stroke risk, which is the fourth leading cause of female deaths.

5 Heart-Healthy Food Swaps

When it comes to your heart health, it's the little, everyday choices you make that can have the biggest impact on your future well-being. Isatu Isuk, a dietitian at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, suggests five simple adjustments you can make to help boost your heart health.

How to Create a Coffee Station in Your Kitchen

Setting up a coffee station in your home is not only a super easy DIY project, but it will improve your mornings immeasurably. Here’s how to create a kitchen coffee bar in four easy steps. If you need another reason, National Coffee Day is coming up on Sept. 29—this way, you can celebrate in style.

If you’re anything like me, you absolutely must start the day with coffee. Before I can walk the dog, check my emails, or do anything productive, I need to have a cup of coffee in hand. Two creams and one sugar, please.

Because of this essential morning ritual, one of the best home decor decisions I ever made was to create a coffee bar in my kitchen. This caffeine-fueling station is home to a coffee pot, espresso machine, and mug rack, as well as other essentials like coffee, filters, sugar, and so on. It’s a one-stop-shop for any and all things java.

Ready to try the trend for yourself? Follow these steps to build the perfect coffee station to streamline your morning routine.

1. Choose the Perfect Spot

The first step in designing your coffee station is to find space for it, and not just any spare corner will do. It’s important to pick a spot that has adequate room for all your essentials—otherwise, you’re just asking for a broken mug—and it’s also helpful to choose a location with easy access to the sink and trash can so you can quickly fill up the water tank and throw away used filters without carrying them across the room. Naturally, you’ll also want an electrical outlet nearby to plug in your appliance.

Popular locations for coffee stations include a corner of the kitchen counter, a freestanding cart, or a stylish sideboard placed against an empty wall. If possible, you’ll also want to choose an area with empty wall space above it, as this will be helpful for storage and decorating.

2. Place Your Coffee Pot and Other Must-Have Appliances

Because your coffee maker is the main attraction in this special corner of the kitchen, it should be one of the first things you place on your new coffee station. When situating your coffee pot, make sure there’s adequate clearance to access all of its features.

Extra, Extra 12 Coffee Products You Never Knew You Needed If you’re in the market for a new drip coffee pot, hands-down one of the best models you can buy is the Technivorm Moccamaster, which not only makes an unbelievable cup of java but also comes in every color imaginable—perfect for matching your decor. If you use it daily, we think this pricey appliance is worth the investment, but more casual users may want to opt for a more affordable model, such as the popular Hamilton Beach 2-Way Brewer Coffee Maker.

Depending on how you like to make your coffee and the other beverages you drink, you may want to incorporate other appliances into your coffee station, as well. An espresso machine is a good option for those who like lattes and cappuccinos, and of course, you’re also going to need a milk frother to go with it. Those who prefer freshly-ground beans may also want a coffee grinder, and if you’re known to reach for a cup of Earl Gray after dinner, you should definitely incorporate a tea maker or electric kettle, too.

Fellow Stagg EKG Electric Kettle, $149.95-$169.95 from Williams Sonoma

Perfect for pour-over or tea.

When you’re arranging your appliances, don’t be afraid to get creative. Try placing them on an oversized decorative tray or propping them up on an elevated serving surface. Just make sure it’s sturdy.

3. Display Your Mugs and Supplies

Once you have the key pieces of your coffee station laid out, it’s time to add supporting items. In particular, many people choose to store mugs on their coffee bar, as this saves you from making an extra trip to the cupboard every time you want a cup of joe.

There are several options for storing your mugs. If your coffee station is situated on a sidebar or under a cabinet, you can simply tuck the cups into a drawer or cupboard. However, many coffee mugs are decor pieces in their own right and deserve to be displayed. In this case, you might prefer a mug rack—there are freestanding models, as well as wall-mounted units to choose from. We particularly like mug racks with shelves, as they let you hang favorite cups on the hooks and arrange other items up top.

Floating Wall Shelf with Hooks, $22.99 from Amazon

Get extra storage space with this shelf.

Next is the matter of storing your precious coffee beans. If you use a Keurig, there are many styles of K-cup holders available, including drawers, spinning towers, and baskets. For those who go the drip coffee route, the Coffee Gator is one of the most popular coffee bean storage containers out there, as its airtight seal keeps contents fresh for longer. If you want a more stylish jar, just be sure it has a sufficient seal.

As for other supplies—such as sugar bowls, bottles of flavoring, coffee stirrers, and so on—you can arrange them on shelves above your coffee station, make them accessible via lazy Susan, or set them apart on a stylish tray.

4. Finish Off with Fun Decorations

The finishing touch on any coffee station is a few decorative accents. Personally, I have a plant displayed in a cute coffee mug, or you could get a simple coffee sign (or a sassy one). Many people also like to use a chalkboard to create their very own menu! Really, the sky’s the limit when it comes to decorating your coffee station.

Garden Tile Mugs, $14 each from Anthropolgie

Don't forget pretty mugs you'll be happy to see.

Once everything is all set up, you’ll have a coffee station that completes your kitchen, and you’ll soon realize what a game-changer it is to keep everything you need to make the perfect cup of coffee in one spot.

Related Video: How to Make a Healthier Pumpkin Spice Latte at Home