Reviews and Articles about Coffee and Espresso Machines

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Frequently Asked Questions

How to store coffee beans?

Although there are many different ways that people go about storing their coffee, there are some basic rules that should be followed to keep it fresh as long as possible. The conditions under which coffee is stored can have a great impact on how it tastes so remember to store the coffee in an airtight container which is out of direct sunlight or away from any other heat source. A sealed container in your kitchen cupboards are an ideal place.

What is Bisphenol A (BPA)?

Bisphenol A, maybe better known as just BPA, is an organic compound used in some types of plastic and epoxy. BPA is commonly used as a chemical building block to make plastic (especially polycarbonate and epoxy) stronger and more durable.

Adverse health effects associated with BPA

What makes BPA harmful is that it can mimic some our hormones which again cause some cells to divide at an abnormal rate. The U.S. National Toxicology Program (NTP) has expressed “some concern for effects on brain, behavior and prostate gland in fetuses, infants and children at current exposure level to Bisphenol A”. Tests results with rodents have shown some medical conditions that can be associated with BPA exposure. Here are some conditions:

  • Early puberty.
  • Diabetes.
  • Hyperactivity.
  • Obesity.
  • Weakened immune system.
How to avoid BPA

Recycling type 7 OtherThe BPA exposure is widespread and we get exposed by BPA every day, but we can limit the exposure by taking some precautions. Try to avoid plastic equipment or products which contain BPA that comes in contact with your food and beverages. Plastic with BPA break down over time and releases more and more BPA. The rate that BPA released increases with high temperatures (as much as 55 times faster) so avoid coffeemakers and electric kettles with BPA.

All plastic products are labeled with seven recycling classes and you can use these to identify the plastic used in your product. You should try to avoid Polycarbonate and Epoxy which is categorized in the type 7 “Other” class. Polycarbonate should also be marked by a “PC” close or below the recycling symbol. Another type of plastic that contains BPA is type 3 (PVC).

It is hard to avoid equipment for food made of plastic, but type 1 (PET), type 2 (HDPE), type 4 (LDPE), type 5 (Polypropylene) and type 6 (Polystyrene) are completely BPA- free.

What is crema?

Crema is the thick layer of foam on top of an espresso shot. The flavorful and aromatic layer is made when the carbon dioxide, CO2, in the roasted beans are released by the pressurized hot water. There are a couple of reasons why an espresso shot is brewed under pressure (usually around 10 bar).

The first reason is to emulsifying the water and the otherwise insoluble oils in the coffee. The second reason is to allow the liquid to become supersaturated with CO2. Pressurized liquid can dissolve far more gas, in this case CO2, than under normal atmospheric pressure (a standard atmospheric pressure is approx. 1 bar). The CO2 creates thousands of small bubbles when the coffee leaves the pressurized basket and makes the thick layer of froth in your espresso cup. 

What is cup of joe?

A cup of joe is simply a cup of coffee. The origin is uncertain, but there are a few common beliefs about how the expression started.

Some believe it is a short version of “cup of jamoke”, which is a shortening of Java and Mocha. Others believe “joe”, which means either “fellow” or “guy”, is used to signify that coffee is being drunk by the common man.

There are more theories about the expression “cuppa joe” out there, but these two are the most plausible.