Do Not Let Business Travel Disrupt Your Fitness

You have your ticket, you are packed, and the airport van is picking you up for your next business trip. Leaving Sunday afternoon and returning Friday evening has become routine over the last couple of years. You ran your errands and spent time with the family. You managed a brief workout early Saturday morning so you could attend the kid’s soccer games and birthday parties. Business travel is difficult. Lately you are feeling your clothes tightening around your waste. It has not gotten to the point of buying new clothes, yet. Ask yourself if this sounds familiar. There are more and more business professionals challenged with stressful jobs compounded by stressful travel. Surely, this takes a toll on the family and personal life[1], but even more important it could be destroying your health. When your health is gone, your family and job is in jeopardy.

Health and fitness for traveling business professionals is a serious concern, “But it is also a source of a variety of stresses, often overlooked or denied by both organizations and travelers themselves. The World Bank, studying its own travelers, discovered that both their physical and mental health-care claims were significantly greater than those of nontravelers.“[2] The typical executive travels 3-5 days per week. They eat ninety-five percent of their meals in airports, restaurants, or fast food establishments. They eat late while entertaining clients. Most of them do not exercise on the road even though gyms are available in hotels. In addition, most traveling business professionals do not get the deep sleep they need. Any medical professional, or fitness expert, will tell you this lifestyle is a recipe for disaster.

There are several resources offering ways to eat right and workout while traveling.[3] Videos abound on exercises you can use while traveling.[4] Still with all this information available, the vast majority of business travelers fail to eat right and workout on the road. Why is this? The problem is more behavior than access to good food and workout facilities. The solution is more education about fitness, not more facilities, workouts, and supplements. People who understand “why” about anything tend to accept and change more than those who do not take the time to understand a subject. Think about this principal. Continuing education is designed to make you more proficient at your job. The more you know and experience the more valuable you become to your employer. Your self-worth and self-esteem increases. This is true when it comes to fitness. The difference is you are your own boss. Here lies the root cause of the problem. If fitness is not a priority in your life, you have too many irons in the fire, you are stretched thin, and now your travel time takes up twenty percent of your waking hours, then you will put fitness on the back burner. The next thing you know you are twenty-five pounds heavier, your body fat percent is nearing obesity, and you have little energy at the end of the workday. At this point, your doctor informs you that your blood pressure is elevating and recommends blood pressure medicine.

A CEO who has all the distractions mentioned earlier recognizes the problem, does not drop everything, and still attacks the specific problem. They would contract a professional, e.g. lawyer, CPA, or consultant to help them filter through all the information and establish a good plan to attack the problem. These professionals allow the CEO to attack the problem while dealing with all the distractions, and still achieve his/her goals. The traveling businessperson should have the same approach to solving their fitness problem. Their professional is a private personal trainer, or fitness consultant.

Private personal trainers have the ability to provide you the right amount of information you need at the time you need it without you spending large amounts of time researching nutrition or exercise routines. They have the ability to assess your current fitness level then design a nutritional and exercise program that works for you. In addition, they can continually assess you, and make changes that will allow you to progress. Good private personal trainers have the ability to council behavior as well as design programs. They hold their clients accountable the same way a CEO uses a consultant to help them maintain accountability for a strategy. In most cases, a private personal trainer is more expensive than a gym personal trainer, but offer services that are more customized and personal. They are normally much less expensive than business consultants. You should consider a private personal trainer as an investment not an expense, the same way a CEO considers a consultant as an investment. So if you are traveling how can a private personal trainer help? You sure are not going to pay them to travel with you. The good news is technology helps to solve this problem.

Moderate Exercises to Fitness!

Have you ever felt tired and stressed out from work and by the time you get home you see your three children running towards you asking you to play basketball with them? You refused and promised them that you will after you take you rest.
Instead of disappointing your children, why not say, “yes” after all? You will be surprised by the amount of energy you will have after that 30-minute activity.

Did you know that by exercising at a moderate pace for only 30 minutes, you would feel a lot better, mentally? It has been proven that this improves the appetite and sharpens your style in problem solving. Not only that. You will also feel that it is easier to sleep at night if you do moderate exercises even for only 30 minutes every day.

What are the benefits of regular exercise? It promotes self-discipline and has a positive impact how you perceive life. Exercise helps in lifting your spirits and getting you out of any depression. For first timers, it can be done for 15 minutes for 2 to 3 days a week. You can increase the time you spend once your body gets tuned up for it.

DON’T you ever force your body! If you get hurt, then stop. You can take a break from exercising for a few days and then you can start again but you need to start from day 1.

Here are some moderate exercises you can do and enjoy:

1. Do the Walking. Make use of your surroundings. You can walk your dog, with your partner or child. Encourage your family to do the walking exercise daily and you will find yourself burning calories while enjoying the surroundings and getting enough sunlight that is also good for your body.

2. Discover the wonders of Yoga. Yoga is one effective exercise that energizes not only your body but also your soul. You may want to learn even the basic yoga positions that are not too complicated but proven effective. A five-minute yoga exercise can perk you up and recharge your body with the energy you lost for the whole day. You relax and at the same time you stretch!

3. Engage yourself into sports. Play basketball, football, baseball, tennis or badminton. Many doctors have recommended sports as an effective way to stay fit and healthy. Sports can also be done in moderation. Do not take it seriously. Shooting basketball with a friend is one moderate exercise that is also considered a sport.

4. Join exercise programs at work. If you still do not have exercises programs at work, then why not start it? You can talk to your boss about it and start with your colleagues. You do not only lose calories but it is also one good way to bond with them. This can be done 30 minutes, 3 times a week.

5. Exercise while doing household chores. Gardening, raking leaves, lawn mowing, doing the laundry, vacuuming and car washing are effective moderate exercises at home. Make use of these chores to sweat and burn calories. Instead of using machines and gadgets to perform these chores, why not do it with your hands and lose some fats?

Making exercises as part of your daily routines will surprise you of how much calories you will lose. Doing these moderate exercises of the same amount every day can burn 150 calories up to 1,000 calories a day!

The Sweet Health Benefits Of Sour Foods

As a young man, I remember my grandmother trying to give me sauerkraut for dinner once and making the worst face possible in response to which my grandmother laughed and said, “Sauerkraut is not only good, it’s good for you!” When I tell my patients about sauerkraut as a health food, they make almost that same funny face! Recently, however, it turns out that grandma’s words were correct – sauerkraut has a surprising health benefit to it as do other fermented foods. In fact, a group of Polish women were recently studied for their rates of breast cancer. The group who ate a lot of sauerkraut had very low rates of breast cancer.

Health Benefits of Fermented Foods

Fermented foods, like sauerkraut, olives, pickles, sourdough bread have been around for a long time. They were created to help food keep longer using a natural fermentation process called lacto-fermentation. In this process, beneficial lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria (the kind that live in your gut and help digest your foods) convert the starch and sugar in foods to lactic acid. The lactic acid acted as a preservative so refrigeration was not necessary and food had a long shelf life.

A surprising, little known health benefit about these fermented foods was then discovered. It seems that the same fermentation process that both preserves and gives these foods their distinctive sour-tangy taste are also higher in vitamins and actually help your digestion, remove excess saturated fats and cholesterol, and keep your digestive tract healthy and happy.

In fact, these good bacteria present in naturally fermented food have recently started popping up all over television ads and health food articles as “probiotics” which restore and maintain your intestinal flora, i.e., the level of good bacteria in your gut. In case you didn’t know this, your large intestine, the place that houses all these beneficial bacteria, is the very seat of your immune system. When your beneficial bacteria levels are optimal, you have a healthy immune system strong enough to ward off infections and other diseases.

Many fermented foods, like olives, also contain good Omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial in reducing inflammation throughout your body.

Not All Sour Foods Are Naturally Fermented

When I tell my patients about naturally fermented superfoods, they say, great I’ll pick up some at the grocery store! However, most canned sauerkraut, pickles, greek olives on the shelves, and buttermilks, yogurts, and kefir in your dairy section of your grocery store may not have been created through a natural fermentation process and may not contain the live bacteria.

In fact, many of these grocery store varieties of sour-tasting dairy foods are pasteurized, and the canned-shelf varieties can get their sour taste through the addition of vinegar (a fermented food in itself) and/or certain preservative-grade minerals like potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate added to extend shelf life. Most have lactic acid added to them rather than it developing naturally in the fermentation process described above. However, even these grocery store varieties of “fast” fermented foods give some health benefits in addition to their vitamins, minerals, proteins, fiber, etc, just not as much as naturally fermented that contain the live culture.

Unless your local grocery store has a special section for refrigerated health foods, you likely will have to go to a health food or natural foods store to get real, naturally fermented, nonpasteurized sauerkraut, pickles, olives, kefir, buttermilk and yogurt. You can also make your own fermented foods very easily. Fermentation starter kits are available, along with directions how to ferment many foods, in health food stores and/or online.

Let’s Talk About Some of the Chemistry in Our Food

We may define a food to be any substance which will repair the functional waste of the body, increase its growth, or maintain the heat, muscular, and nervous energy. In its most comprehensive sense, the oxygen of the air is a food; as although it is admitted by the lungs, it passes into the blood, and there re-acts upon the other food which has passed through the stomach. It is usual, however, to restrict the term food to such nutriment as enters the body by the intestinal canal. Water is often spoken of as being distinct from food, but for this there is no sufficient reason.

Many popular writers have divided foods into flesh-formers, heat-givers, and bone-formers. Although attractive from its simplicity, this classification will not bear criticism.

Flesh-formers are also heat-givers. Only a portion of the mineral matter goes to form bone.

Water forms an essential part of all the tissues of the body. It is the solvent and carrier of other substances.

Mineral Matter or Salts, is left as an ash when food is thoroughly burnt. The most important salts are calcium phosphate, carbonate and fluoride, sodium chloride, potassium phosphate and chloride, and compounds of magnesium, iron and silicon.

Mineral matter is quite as necessary for plant as for animal life, and is therefore present in all food, except in the case of some highly-prepared ones, such as sugar, starch and oil. Children require a good proportion of calcium phosphate for the growth of their bones, whilst adults require less. The outer part of the grain of cereals is the richest in mineral constituents, white flour and rice are deficient. Wheatmeal and oatmeal are especially recommended for the quantity of phosphates and other salts contained in them. Mineral matter is necessary not only for the bones but for every tissue of the body.

Organic Compounds are formed by living organisms (a few can also be produced by chemical means). They are entirely decomposed by combustion.

The Non-Nitrogenous Organic Compounds are commonly called carbon compounds or heat-producers, but these terms are also descriptive of the nitrogenous compounds. These contain carbon, hydrogen and oxygen only, and furnish by their oxidation or combustion in the body the necessary heat, muscular and nervous energy. The final product of their combustion is water and carbon dioxide (carbonic acid gas).

The Carbohydrates comprise starch, sugar, gum, mucilage, pectose, glycogen, &c.; cellulose and woody fibre are carbohydrates, but are little capable of digestion. They contain hydrogen and oxygen in the proportion to form water, the carbon alone being available to produce heat by combustion. Starch is the most widely distributed food. It is insoluble in water, but when cooked is readily digested and absorbed by the body. Starch is readily converted into sugar, whether in plants or animals, during digestion. There are many kinds of sugar, such as grape, cane and milk sugars.

The Oils and Fats consist of the same elements as the carbohydrates, but the hydrogen is in larger quantity than is necessary to form water, and this surplus is available for the production of energy. During their combustion in the body they produce nearly two-and-a-quarter times (4 : 8.9 = 2.225) as much heat as the carbohydrates; but if eaten in more than small quantities, they are not easily digested, a portion passing away by the intestines. The fat in the body is not solely dependent upon the quantity consumed as food, as an animal may become quite fat on food containing none. A moderate quantity favours digestion and the bodily health. In cold weather more should be taken. In the Arctic regions the Esquimaux consume enormous quantities. Nuts are generally rich in oil. Oatmeal contains more than any of the other cereals (27 analyses gave from 8 to 12.3 per cent.)

Vegetable Acids are composed of the same three elements and undergo combustion into the same compounds as the carbohydrates. They rouse the appetite, stimulate digestion, and finally form carbonates in combination with the alkalies, thus increasing the alkalinity of the blood. The chief vegetable acids are: malic acid, in the apple, pear, cherry, &c.; citric acid, in the lemon, lime, orange, gooseberry, cranberry, strawberry, raspberry, &c.; tartaric acid, in the grape, pineapple, &c.

Proteids or Albuminoids are frequently termed flesh-formers. They are composed of nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and a small quantity of sulphur, and are extremely complex bodies. Their chief function is to form flesh in the body; but without previously forming it, they may be transformed into fat or merely give rise to heat. They form the essential part of every living cell.

Your Culinary Herb Garden

The romance of caring for a culinary herb garden is appealing to all kinds of people. City dwellers often plant edible herbs in window boxes and flower pots while people surrounded by land may plant and maintain several dozen different culinary and fragrance herbs. Cooking with herbs has always been popular. Herbs enhance the flavor of food and can add new life to old favorites.

All herbs are wonderfully easy to grow, which has long made them a favorite of gardeners everywhere; culinary herb gardens have the added benefit of making a valuable contribution to the kitchen. Instead of paying high prices at the grocery store or farmer’s market, people who grow culinary herbs only have to snip a few leaves from a plant to get the fresh flavors they need for cooking.

Choosing Culinary Herbs

To get the most out of your culinary herb garden, it is important that you choose your plants wisely. While the idea of growing spearmint may sound appealing at first, if you don’t care for the taste of mint then you probably won’t get very much out of growing it. To choose what culinary herbs to grow, think about the kinds of foods you like to prepare. If you like Italian cooking, then you will frequently use oregano, basil, and thyme. Mediterranean cooking makes frequent use of parsley and mint, and meat-based dishes can benefit richly from the addition of rosemary.

Growing Your Herbs

Just about every garden center and nursery has a selection of live herbs available for purchase in the late spring. Spring is also the time to get a good price on seeds; it’s possible to get many seed packets for the price of a single live plant, so people wishing to grow several herbs can save money by purchasing seeds. Herbs are hardy plants that are easy to grow from seed. Simply sow the seeds according the guidelines provided on the package and wait a few weeks.

After purchase, live herbs should be promptly repotted into larger containers. A roomy flower pot gives your herbs space to spread out and grow, so choose a container that will promote a thriving plant. To get the most out of your culinary herbs, consider buying a book of herb growing or borrow one from the library. Learn about the different needs of each herb; you’ll have a much better chance at gardening success if you provide the right kind of soil, light conditions, and amount of water.

Enjoying Your Herbs

Before you know it, your culinary herbs will be ready to use. To harvest, clip leaves or stems from the plant while taking care not to disturb the roots or take too much of the growing plant. This bit of pruning gives you the herbs you need and can stimulate further plant growth.

When using your herbs in recipes, read the instructions carefully. Many recipes were written with the assumption that the cook is using dried herbs; if you use the same amount of fresh herb, you may find that you’ve used too much. It only takes a small amount of fresh herb to deliver a large amount of flavor.

Once you start cooking with herbs, you’re sure to discover many more ways to use them. Your cooking will be more flavorful and enjoyable than ever with the addition of fresh culinary herbs.

Pork and chicken dumplings

Pork and chicken dumplingsIngredients

150g pork mince
150g chicken mince
1 Tbsp light soy sauce
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
½ tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp finely chopped ginger
½ cup water chestnuts, chopped
6 shiitake mushrooms (300g), finely sliced
2 spring onions, finely sliced
25 fresh white round wonton wrappers
2 Tbsp vegetable oil

Sauce

¹⁄³ cup light soy sauce
1 chilli, finely sliced
2cm-piece ginger,
cut into fine strips
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp sesame oil

Method

1 Combine pork and chicken mince, soy, oyster sauce, sesame oil, ginger, chestnut, mushroom and onion in a bowl. Mix until well combined.
2 Lay 5 wrappers on a clean bench. Using your fingertip, wet the outside edges with a little water. Put about 3 teaspoons of mince filling in the centre of each wrapper. Fold over to encase filling. Overlap edges in little pleats. Gently flatten base slightly so dumplings stand up. Repeat 4 times with remaining wrappers and filling.
3 Heat a non-stick frypan. Add a little oil. Fry dumplings in batches for about 1 minute or until base is crisp. Add 1 cup hot water, cover and cook for 5-6 minutes or until water has evaporated and dumplings are tender. Remove and keep warm.
4 To make sauce: Combine ingredients. Serve in dipping bowl or over the dumplings.

Asparagus with Clean Water is Not Enough, Need Ice Cubes!

ASPARAGUS relatively new in Indonesia. No doubt, the European vegetable processing must be known, including the cleaning.

“Clean the asparagus is different from other types of vegetables, where the asparagus must be given ice chips,” said Wawan Setiawan Barito, Chef de Cuisine Plaza Hotel Jakarta, the Okezone in Jakarta, recently.

Use ice cubes made after asparagus washed under running water. This function gives coolness in asparagus that maturation process stops. This process is judged very reasonable because the asparagus come from mainland Europe subtropical climates.

“If there were ice cubes, then after cleaning asparagus will easily wilt, its texture when cooked too much changed,” he added.

Process indwelling asparagus in ice cube does not have to be long. Most importantly, the extent of making asparagus so comfortable.

When it cleared, then the asparagus to go through the boiling process before it will be processed into meal, well made soup and pan-fried. In perebusannya, give lemon.

“If given the other food items during boiling, the flavor will be lost and the fitting removed it will change, because asparagus has properties to absorb odors. Happens to be enough just to pull lemon asparagus bitter levels. Enough lemon juice to give a third to half the size of the asparagus pounds, “he concluded.

Specialty Coffee – A Vibrant Industry, Or The Future Of Coffee At Crossroads Of Change?

Seattle; the home of Boeing, software giants, grunge music and…specialty coffee. Well, not quite. Contrary to popular belief, while Pearl Jam, Nirvana and Boeing and Oracle do indeed hail from the Pacific Northwest, modern specialty coffee has its roots much further south.

When Alfred Peet died in his sleep a few weeks ago he was a sprightly 87. He passed away peacefully hopefully dreaming of coffee trees laden with ripened cherries. While most people have never heard of him, Peet is widely recognised as being the father of modern “specialty coffee” in the industry. He was a Dutchman who became an American. He had traded tea for Lipton’s in Java, lived in Sumatra, worked in the business in New Zealand before, finally, settling down (somewhat) in the University suburb of Berkeley, California. It was at Berkeley where he founded his roastery in 1966 and Peet’s Coffee was born. Alfred Peet was passionate about coffee. His roasting exploits legendary and his ability to commentate, roast and put out fires simultaneously are famous. His experiences while living in Indonesia had given him an affinity with farmers who grew coffee, as well as a thorough understanding of the origin, the place where coffee was grown. This background, combined with his love of roasting, resulted in a place where coffee was not just a cup of Java, but something exotic, living and with a story.

From Alfred Peet’s inspirational example came many of the coffee cultures that now are household names today in America and around the world- Starbucks being the most famous of these of course. The original founders of Starbucks- Baldwin, Bowker and Ziv Seigel originally leant their roasting trade from Peet, in fact Peet roasted for them in their early years. Many others in the industry in America today also passed through the Peet’s Coffee experience. In fact when Howard Schulz purchased Starbucks, Bowker and Baldwin moved across and purchased Peets Coffee- Alfred Peet retiring to a role of Coffee Mentor for the Industry as a whole.

Today most coffee drinkers, from Surabaya to San Francisco, recognise Starbucks and its logo, but the name “Alfred Peet” often draws draws blank looks.

Specialty Coffee today is at a crossroad- an important junction in deciding which direction coffee will be heading over the next decade. In the last 10 years many new comers have entered the business. It is estimated that the global coffee sector today is valued at over US$80 billion. It is no wonder that with these revenue numbers, the industry attracts a mix of business people with mixed agendas- who often see the potential bottom line rather than education and passion as being the driving force in what they do. Traditionally the specialty coffee industry has been built on the strong foundation of sharing knowledge and experience- with the supposition that by helping each other the industry will be strongly quality focused. However a number of the more recent arrivals in the market are perhaps choosing coffee for the perceived easy profits, rather than for a real passion for coffee or its heritage. As a result many of the traditional methods of exchange are not as effective, or used as frequently as they have been in the past.

Globally Coffee is in a position where consumption is beginning to slow down and opportunities to grow coffee are becoming more difficult to find in the traditional coffee consuming markets- Europe, USA, South America and Oceania. The easy answer if to look at new emerging markets- China, India, Pakistan and Indonesia are prime targets. These countries either have low coffee consumption (Indonesian’s, for instance, consume 500gm per person per year vs. Norway’s 12kg per person per year), or have reasonable consumption, but historically are tea consumers (India). The new markets are also very suggestible to western branding- in many cases the strength of branding has been shown to be more important than the product itself. This presents a number of opportunities to strong western brands and of course new local brands to emerge. However it does not necessarily equate to long-term longevity of specialty coffee in these new frontiers.

In the more mature markets, the patterns of consumption have changed markedly over the last 15-20 years. The traditional, lower quality coffee products such as instants, are being replaced by roast and ground coffee (drips, plungers etc) and of course Espresso Based Drinks (cappuccino, latte, espresso etc). Fresh roasted coffee has many advantages over the instant coffee. It is more flavoursome and more importantly has a greater link back to where it originally came from. This means that customer awareness is also on the increase- bringing into the spotlight the actual paper trail of where the coffee comes from, who picked it, what price the grower get from it etc. To consumers in countries such as New Zealand this is very important- as generally there is a linkage between quality of coffee and the return the farmer or grower gets. The correlation is the better the return to a farmers, the better the coffee will be. Higher returns means more time can be spent in the origin country looking after the crop, pruning, selective harvesting, proper intensive drying and packing/storing the coffee once it is dried.

The role the specialty coffee industry plays in all this is very important. Retail shops that source and supply only the best coffee help to sustain the industry both upstream and downstream. This means the farmers and workers will be rewarded and the consumers will have access to quality coffee, hopefully growing the business further.

Unfortunately the reverse is gradually becoming more often the norm. Cafes, coffee shops and roasters entering the market all over the world tend to look for short-term cost advantages to try and fuel their business models. To achieve this they either buy poor quality coffee, as cheap as possible or average quality coffee…likewise as cheaply as possible. Cheap coffee equates to, at the best, very average finished product. This in turn means generally a poor perception of the place selling the coffee. This would perhaps be OK if there were not so many cafes now selling poor quality coffee. As it is it means that poor quality coffee is often accepted a being the norm- hence having the result of putting people off drinking coffee.

In many ways the industry can be seen as having come almost full circle back to where it was in the early 1970’s when instant coffee and coffee sitting on hotplates for 10 hours were seen and accepted as being normal coffee. This is what pioneers like Peet worked so hard to change. It is also why the crossroads the industry now stands at are so important.

The choices are really quite simple. For coffee to evolve and grow further there needs to be education of the retailer and the customer. The global industry is built around national organisations that play a varying role in providing advice and education to those in retail or wholesale. The Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCAA) and the SCAE (Specialty Coffee Association of Europe) are two such organisations. However to become members of these organisations is as simple as filling out a form and paying a fee. Often the motivation of the people joining is just to get a sticker to put on their shop door, knowledge is a secondary motivator. There is talk that membership should involve some form of basic enter test and then continuing education via the internet- which would at least help to provide tools to pass information on to those drinking the coffee.

Looking at those in the industry who do things well, is also a great way of building and planning the future for specialty coffee. In the USA quality roasters and café operators such as Allegro, Blackstump Coffee and Intelligensia have taken industry standards to a new level. Buying quality coffee, hiring quality staff and imparting quality knowledge to customers buying their morning coffee has proven very successful for these companies. So much so that it is an unquestionable part of their corporate culture. All of these companies also practice something unique- they regularly visit their growers in countries such as Indonesia, Guatemala, Kenya, Brazil and Colombia. To take this one step further, they do not just visit and spend a few nights- taking photos of a grower’s coffee trees, they maintain regular contact with those growing the coffee. This approach must be seen as the future for coffee in competitive, quality driven markets. It is true relationship coffee where the roaster becomes by default part of the farmers extended family.

Passing knowledge on to those who buy a coffee everyday, and arming them with information on what type of coffee they drink, how it is grown, who grows it, when it is picked, how it gets to them gives all power to the customer. It is a very important, yet lagging piece of the future of coffee globally. Being able to learn the differences in tastes/cupping qualities has some snob quality, but more importantly it helps the buyer to differentiate between good, average and poor coffee. Here lies the problem. A successful café founded on the principles of sustainability and true coffee culture has nothing to fear from education. A café selling poor quality coffee is unlikely, or perhaps unable, to want to educate clients about quality.

A failure to address quality, education and sustainability in the business sector (from the farmer to the retail customer) will ultimately result in consumption patterns falling further. Quality issues- especially over the counter and in the cup, need to be addressed. If not unfortunately those to suffer will be the grower or origin country, rather than the retailer. With current economics a grower in Indonesia receives only around 2-5% of the cost of the average cup sold in America or Europe. If demand drops off, the Arabica business ultimately will fall back into a cycle of commodity pricing rather than specialty pricing that many quality origins now enjoy. Competition from other beverages, and lifestyle choices, compete with the disposable income that coffee comes from.

If Alfred Peet was still alive, undoubtedly he would just carry on doing what he did well and loved, roasting coffee and sharing his knowledge and experience with anyone willing, and wanting to learn and listen- a model to all of us in the industry today.

© Alun H.G Evans, Merdeka Coffee, 2007. The writer reserves all moral rights to this article. May only be reproduced.

Low-fat milk is also good for making bread

Bread is a variation of the cake that was not too difficult to make, and the ingredients were easily obtainable. Herman Ahmad, Baker PT ASA Food (manufacturer of bakery Pane del Giorno) reveals the main ingredient of bread making are only four types, namely wheat flour, water, salt, and yeast (yeast).

“This is the main ingredient. Yet in its development, there are other additives that are used to make it more tender and delicious. Example eggs, butter, and others-others,” said Herman, currently cooking demonstrations in Sentul, Bogor.

Other additives are also used to make bread to be more savory, tender, and delicious is milk. Basically milk with any formula, both liquid and powdered milk, can be used. But really notice when making dose milk. In addition, the milk of any kind either skim milk or full cream milk can also be used as you see fit.

Perhaps you think that milk is full cream milk the most appropriate to make bread, because it is more savory. The savory flavor of creamy milk is due to the high fat content in it. Then if skim milk is not good to make bread?

“It is often mistaken. Was true fat milk will make it more enjoyable. However use any kind of milk will have no effect because both are equally milk contains fat,” he added.

Skim milk that is lower in fat than full cream milk. However, this does not mean that skim milk does not make the bread so much more enjoyable.

“Do not forget that you also add the butter or margarine into the dough. Dough is formed between skim milk and butter will be the fat that makes it more delicious. So might as well use the full cream milk,” he said.

Besides as good with full cream milk, skim milk adding the batter can also make your own bread is healthier and safer for you who are on a diet.

Growing Coffee – Explaining All About The Rearing Of Coffee

Growing Coffee- Explaining All About the Rearing Of Coffee Coffee is a favorite drink of millions of people around the globe. Many of us wake up to the invigorating taste of espresso at morning. Indeed, this is a great way to start the day. The ardent coffee lovers simply can’t miss their coffee drink at various times of the day- during breaks in between work. A cup of piping hot coffee not only awakens us but also helps keep us energetic throughout the day.

Coffee drinks of all types, be it plain coffee or espresso or latte or cappuccino or some other specialty coffee beverage, are prepared from the beans of the coffee plant. The coffee plants, the seeds (beans) of which yield coffee, are grown on a large scale in various parts of the world. Over seventy countries from Indonesia to Brazil cultivate coffee. Usually, the regions of the world that lie between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer are the suitable coffee growing areas. The coffee growing belt includes the region around the Equator- Central America, Northern South America, Africa, India, Indonesia, the Middle East and the Hawaii.

Cultivation of varieties of the coffee plant The coffee plant is a small and evergreen tree. Cultivation of coffee takes place in plantations. This involves a labor intensive process that depends more on farming. That is why the cultivation of coffee is more suited for the developing nations lying in and around the equatorial regions.

Important commercially grown varieties of coffee are the Arabica and the Robusta. The Arabica coffee beans approximately make up seventy percent of the total coffee produced while the Robusta coffee beans make up the rest. The Arabica is usually looked upon as the best coffee. However, there can be a range (from excellent to poor) with regards to the quality of the Arabica coffees. That is the reason why Robusta beans may be preferred over Arabica beans in some cases. Finally, of course, it is expert opinion that is needed to decide what would be the right beans that would go into your coffee makers and espresso machines to produce the perfect espresso, latte and cappuccino coffee beverages.

Some coffee growing facts

  • The equatorial climate best suits coffee cultivation. Temperature range of 15-24 degrees Celsius without severe fluctuations is ideal for coffee.
  • It is the well drained, well aerated and deep soils that are the right field soils for coffee growing. The coffee plants need a large supply of oxygen for their root systems. This is why aerated soils are especially suitable for coffee growing purpose.
  • Rainfall required is in the range of 1500mm to 2000 mm annually. If the annual rainfall of the coffee growing region lies below this then the deficit has to be taken care of by providing for irrigation means.
  • The superior coffee varieties are better cultivated at higher altitudes (over 3000 ft) where there is an abundance of mist and cloud. With oxygen content in the air at the higher altitudes being less the coffee plants take longer to mature thus helping in development of better flavor in the beans (seeds) lying within its fruits (cherries or berries). The diffuse light produced by mists and moderate winds blowing at the altitudes prove to be advantageous in promoting the desirable developments in the coffee.
  • The Robusta or Coffee Canephora that produces the majority of coffee grown at lower altitudes is also considered to be more resistant to diseases of the coffee crop. However, it is the Coffee Arabica growing at higher elevations that are valued for preparing a befitting gourmet coffee drink.

The coffee growing process It might be difficult to imagine that the espresso, latte, cappuccino or other special coffee drink that may be dispensed piping hot from coffee makers [http://www.finest-coffee-makers.com] or espresso machines have been sourced from the coffee plant that has gone throwing a number of stages of the coffee growing process. Indeed, the process of coffee growing involves an intensive farming process.

Propagation of the coffee plant is by using of seeds or cuttings. These are planted in special nursery beds. When the seedlings become between 8 and 12 months old they are transplanted to fields. Here, in the fields, the cuttings or seedlings are planted in wet, fertilized holes.

The coffee trees require constant special care especially the younger ones. The exact right amount of shaded sunlight (or diffuse light) needs to be ensured as also regular watering and fertilizing. Protection from pests and weeds also need to be provided.

Upon planting the coffee tree takes around five years to mature and produce the first crop. The trees with broad, dark green leaves bear flowers that resemble the jasmine. These coffee flowers blossom over a six to eight week period and the blossom to harvest period may extend to some nine months or so depending on a number of environmental and other factors. Ripening of the red coffee fruits (or cherries or berries, as they are also called) takes place within 6 to 8 months after the tree begins to bear fruit. Regular harvesting needs to be carried out since the coffee fruits become over ripe after some 10 to 14 days. Hand plucking is usually resorted to as it is convenient and best suited for plucking in the mountainous regions as opposed to mechanical harvesters.

Though it might seem astonishing yet it is true that a single tree upon cropping can produce sufficient beans only for about two pounds or a kilogram of coffee. This has been estimated to be produced making use of around 2000 coffee beans. These beans are hand picked by manual laborers. The harvesting of the coffee beans may also require quite a bit of skill as the picker needs to learn up to opt for only the best beans and discard the bad beans while picking. Attention needs to be provided to every individual bean in the bean by bean picking harvesting process.

Immediately after harvesting the processing of the selected coffee seeds or beans needs to be commenced. This is to ensure that the pulp does not get deteriorated. The coffee beans processing process involving drying and roasting finally makes ready the coffee that is to be freshly ground to be entered into your home coffee makers [http://www.finest-coffee-makers.com/index.html] or espresso maker. Thus is finally delivered for you the cupfuls of perfectly flavored, delectable espresso, latte, cappuccino or other favorite coffee drinks.