Health benefits of coffee

If you're a caffeine addict, you'll be happy to know that there is a healthy amount of evidence to suggest that your daily brew is good for you so you can fire up your espresso machine with confidence.

Coffee can make you smarter

We know caffeine is a stimulant, but did you know that it also acts as a blocker for a neurotransmitter called Adenosine? That sharper focus and extra ability to function just after your morning coffee could have a lot to do with this chemical reaction in motion.

It can help burn fat

What's the common ingredient in almost every fat loss supplement on the market? Caffeine! Studies show that caffeine boosts the body's metabolism, which may help you to burn fat faster. A word of warning for the coffee obsessed however, these benefits can diminish over time and over consumption, so drink in moderation!

It’s packed with beneficial nutrients and antioxidants

That mysteriously dark brew has a lot going on aside from smelling amazing in the morning. A single cup of coffee contains essential nutrients and antioxidants such as Potassium, Magnesium and Niacin, which are believed to protect the body from free radical damage and keeping us healthy.

Drinking coffee before exercise may help you burn more fat

According to some studies, drinking coffee (and we're talking an espresso here, not a cream and sugar-laden mocha latte frappucino), can help the body burn fat instead of glycogen when working out.

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International Coffee Recipes

No matter where you come from, it's clear that everyone loves (and let's face it, NEEDS) coffee. This International Coffee Day, we're celebrating coffee styles from around the world by sharing recipes of some of our favourites with you. From sweet, iced Vietnamese ca phe sua da to dark and handsome Turkish kahvesi, we've got a recipe to suit every sipping style!

Vietnamese Ca phe sua da

In a tall glass, spoon 1-2 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk down the walls of the glass to coat. Brew a double shot espresso, pour it into the glass and then top the glass with ice. Serve with a straw and a long spoon.

Turkish Kahvesi

Bring 1 cup of water to the boil in a traditional Turkish ibrik (or a saucepan if you don't have an ibrik lying around). Once the water is boiling, add 1 tablespoon of finely ground coffee and a cardamom pod that has been lightly bruised with the back of a knife. When the coffee starts to foam, remove from the heat and pour into two demitasse cups. Sweeten to taste, allow the sediment to settle, then drink.

Italian Marocchino

In a small glass, pour a shot of espresso and top it with frothed milk. Mix in 1 teaspoon of cocoa powder and stir until combined. Top with milk froth and a little more cocoa powder to garnish.

Argentinian Cortado

Combine equal parts espresso and lightly steamed (not frothed) milk into a coffee cup. That's it! The difference between a cortado and a flat white is that the milk is more textured (aka. foamy) in a flat white. Cortado basically just means ‘to cut' an espresso with milk.

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Father's Day Gifts For Coffee Lovers

Uh-oh, Father's Day is fast approaching, and all over the nation families are wondering what on earth to get the man who seemingly has everything. Well, if the big man in your life loves coffee, you're in luck – our Father's Day Gift Guide is brimming with suggestions that are guaranteed to put a smile on his dial and a spring in his step.

A coffee roasting course

Australians are a bit obsessed with coffee nothing new there. What's new, is our interest in where our coffee came from and the craft that goes into preparing it. Real enthusiasts are even roasting their own beans at home – and what dad doesn't love a bit of DIY? With these courses, dad can learn how to take green beans and turn them into his very own boutique roast.

WA – Barista School Perth
QLD – Wolff
VIC  – Market Lane
NSW – Peaberrys
SA – Australian Coffee Academy

Coffee Roasting Course, from $99

Three Thousand Thieves Coffee Subscription

Imagine giving dad access to boutique, artisan roasts that his mates can't get their hands on. Three Thousand Thieves is on a mission to uncover Melbourne's most passionate, talented coffee roasters and let you sample them all. When you buy dad a gift subscription, he'll get regular packages, containing whichever new and different beans the clever coffee boffins at Three Thousand Thieves have discovered that month. You choose the size of the package and the length of the subscription.

Three Thousand Thieves coffee subscription, from $75  

Bean Body Man Scrub

Why limit his love of coffee to the kitchen? With Bean Body Man Scrub, dad can enjoy his coffee in the shower – well, sort of. This exfoliant scrubs away rough skin using real coffee grounds, then leaves your skin baby soft, with the deep moisturising power of coconut oil. Dad will feel like a new man.

Bean Body Man Scrub, RRP $17.95

Keep Cup

Did you know that disposable coffee cups have a plastic lining that doesn't biodegrade? This adds up to an estimated additional 60,000 kilograms of plastic waste in Australia every year. Ouch! Be part of the solution – buy dad a stylish Keep Cup. They come in a variety of sizes and designs there's even a Star Wars range (we're just sayin').

 Keep Cup, from $11 RRP

The Specialty Coffee Book

This beautifully-designed book takes the reader on a journey from farm to cup, provides tips on what makes a great coffee, and uncovers tucked-away coffee haunts and brilliant baristas. Currently available in a New South Wales edition and a Victoria edition – if you don't happen to live in either region, might we suggest a weekend away as the perfect companion gift?

The Specialty Coffee Book, $38.50 from Booktopia

De'Longhi Dedica Pump Espresso Machine

If he's been thinking of getting a coffee machine for a while, now's the time to treat him. Our Dedica Pump Espresso Machine is ideal for the home barista, with a heating system that makes sure every coffee is the perfect temperature in double-quick time. It's self-priming system means it's always ready for use, and it comes in a range of beautiful colours that will look great on your benchtop.

De'Longhi Dedica Pump Espresso, RRP $429

De'Longhi Dedica Grinder

Every coffee aficionado knows that a great coffee has a lot to do with the grind of the beans. Too fine, and your coffee will be bitter and over-extracted; too coarse and your coffee will be weak and under-extracted. Get it just right and you're in coffee heaven. The Dedica Grinder helps you achieve the perfect grind, and it makes the ideal companion to the Dedica Pump Espresso Machine.  When you buy both together you'll spend just $629, saving $99.

De'Longhi Dedica Grinder, RRP $299 (save $99 when purchased together with the Dedica Pump Espresso Machine)

We hope our little guide helps you find the perfect gift for your coffee-loving dad. What are your suggestions for perfect Father's Day gifts? Hop onto our Facebook page to let us know.

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Dry July Survival Guide: Part One – How to stay motivated

Welcome to the first part of our two-part Dry July Survival Guide. To kick off, we’re exploring ways to stay motivated during your alcohol-free month. Next time, we’ll look at ways to boost the health effects of your detox. So, without further ado, here’s the low-down on beating the boredom and staying on track.

Don't be a hermit

Giving up alcohol doesn’t mean you have to give up on your social life. It can feel tempting when everyone around you is drinking, but these simple tricks make it easier:

1. Team up with an alcohol-free buddy. There’s sure to be someone in your circle who’s already committed to Dry July, or is thinking about it. Enlisting support is a great way to stay on track; you can encourage each other when you start to waiver.

2. Know your mocktails. Nowadays, you don’t need to stick to lemon, lime and bitters. From lychee martinis to virgin negronis, there’s a myriad of alcohol-free tipples to tantalise your taste buds. The only ingredient missing is the hangover.

3. Bow out before it gets boring. You know that stage of the evening when everyone’s had a little too much and the conversation goes from entertaining to silly? Well, now you have the perfect excuse to disappear quietly.

Treat yourself

Instead of seeing Dry July as a month of deprivation, try thinking of it as a time to focus on your wellbeing. Here are some great ways to pamper yourself – after all, you deserve it:

1. Get a massage. Funnel some of that cash you’re not spending on alcohol, into a relaxing treatment at your local spa. You’ll walk out on cloud nine, giving yourself a big pat on the back for being so virtuous!

2. Make the most of your mornings. Linger over your morning coffee, read the newspaper, take a long walk. Being hangover-free has its advantages.

3. Alcohol is high in calories. So, when you’re alcohol-free you can flex a bit on your food. Visit a dessert bar, indulge in a creamy hot chocolate, or try chocolate tasting in lieu of wine tasting (you can find chocolate tasting tours in most capital cities).

Become a coffee connoisseur

Wine buffs, take heart. We know of another drink that’s rich, complex and worth exploring. And as an added bonus, it’s also rich in antioxidants. We’re talking about coffee of course. Here are our ideas to have some fun with coffee during Dry July:

1. Take part in a coffee tasting. Australia has an amazing coffee culture, and you can find excellent coffee experiences in every region. Our top picks are Wolff College of Coffee in Brisbane; and The Coffee Academy at The Grounds in Sydney.

2. Experiment with your coffee machine. It can be easy to fall into a coffee rut, so why not try something different? With the wealth of coffee recipes on our website, you’re sure to find something to tickle your taste buds. You could even try making an espresso martini – the mocktail variety, of course.

3. Roast your own beans. This may sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Simply source your green beans and get roasting! OK, there might be a bit more to it than that, but there’s plenty of information online, including a great guide here.

Remember to check out our upcoming article on ways to maximise the health benefits of your detox!

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Dry July Survival Guide: Part Two – Boost your detox

Five tips to getting the most out of Dry July

Welcome to part two of the Dry July Survival Guide. In part one, we explored ways to stay motivated. Part two is all about getting the most out of your alcohol-free month, with additional health and detox tips.

Most people take part in Dry July with the expectation that they’ll see some health improvements; so, whether you’re aiming for weight loss, improved sleeping patterns or better concentration, we’ve got five tips that could help you boost your results even further.

1. Drink plenty of water

Our bodies are 70 per cent water, and drinking an adequate amount of fluids each day helps to keep our kidneys functioning well. The best way to stay hydrated is to sip water gradually as you go about your day. If you replace juice or fizzy drinks with water, you’ll be reducing your calorie intake too.

2. Get some exercise

Hopefully, cutting out alcohol will improve your energy levels. So why not take advantage and get into the habit of doing some daily exercise? If you’re not feeling fit, start off gently. You could take the stairs at work, get off the bus early and walk, or swim a few laps at your local pool. If you are already exercising regularly, why not change things up and do something like a dance class. Now’s the time to step it up and make a daily commitment.

3. Increase your nutrient intake

If you’re already feeling a little deprived, the last thing you’ll want to do is count calories. Instead, concentrate on filling your plate with nutrient-dense foods including a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Nutrition Australia has released an updated food pyramid as a visual guide to getting the balance right.

4. Tea’s the key

Tea is thought to help the body detoxify. Many teas are high in antioxidants, which can protect the body from harmful free radicals. For example, T2’s Detox tea contains fennel and liquorice, with high concentrations of flavonoids, alkaloids, and phenols.

5. Meditate

Meditation involves entering a deeply restful state, giving the brain and body time to recharge. Taking ten minutes each day to meditate is also a great way to reconnect with your motivation to continue with Dry July. Check out this handy guide to get you started.

We hope our Dry July Survival Guide helps you to ace your alcohol-free month with flying colours. Are you trying any of these tips? Head over to our Facebook page and let us know.

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