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Today, Nestlé announced that it has bought a 68 percent stake in third-wave café and roaster Blue Bottle. The purchase, reported by the Financial Times to be $500 million, values the company in excess of $700 million. Blue Bottle has followed fellow gourmet-coffee makers Stumptown and Intelligentsia, which are owned by JAB Holding Company, and La Colombe, in which Chobani’s founder is a major investor, respectively.
It’s a surprising development for the independent company. Founder James Freeman has stressed slow growth, and cares so much about quality that he stopped selling Blue Bottle coffee beans wholesale to other businesses. Nestlé, on the other hand, is an international food conglomerate and this country’s top seller of instant coffee.
Read more: http://www.grubstreet.com/2017/09/nestle-buys-stake-in-blue-bottle.html
At Locol, a fast-food chain in California, a cup of premium coffee costs just $1, or $1.50 with milk and sugar.
LOS ANGELES — The $1 cup of coffee is divisive, as drinks go.
For some, it’s a staple of the American morning: a comforting routine, a good deal. Anything that costs more than $1 is needlessly expensive, a waste of money — the coffee from a deli, diner or doughnut cart is all you need to start the day. For others, the $1 cup is suspiciously cheap. Maybe it tastes bad, or its production does harm to the land and is unfair to laborers. If you have to pay more, then that is probably a reflection of a drink’s true cost.
Can the two viewpoints be reconciled? Is it possible for high-quality coffee to be inexpensive? At Locol, the self-described “revolutionary fast food” chain opened last year by the chefs Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson, the answer is yes.
Locol’s stated mission is to bring wholesome, affordable food to underserved neighborhoods. The coffee delivers. Obtained and roasted according to the same lofty standards found at Intelligentsia Coffee, Stumptown Coffee Roasters or any of the small, innovative companies that have transformed the high end of the industry in the past decade, Locol’s coffee is clean and flavorful.
But unlike those shops, where a cup can cost $3 or more, Locol charges just $1 for a 12-ounce coffee, or $1.50 if you want milk and sugar. Rather than offer free condiments and pass on the cost to all customers, those who want milky, sweet coffee pay for their pleasures, while drinkers of black coffee get a break. As for getting it chilled, that’s on the house: Iced coffee costs the same as hot.
“There’s an extreme democratization that I really want to make happen in coffee,” said Tony Konecny, the head of Locol’s coffee operation, who goes by Tonx. Good coffee, he said, should be brought to a broad audience, not just a “self-selecting group” of epicures.
“Coffee still thinks that mass appeal is a sign of selling out and inauthenticity, but everybody wears Levi’s,” he said of the culture. “I think contemporary coffee has failed to find the consumers it should be finding.”
A few of those consumers were lingering at the Locol in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles on a recent bright day. Some were nursing aguas frescas, others were holding court while R&B played at block-party volume from an array of speakers embedded in the ceiling. One person was sorting through a small tower of paperwork.
Locol’s stated mission is to bring wholesome, affordable food to underserved neighborhoods.
This Thursday, September 29, is National Coffee Day in the United States. In honor of everyone’s favorite morning beverage and the farmers who make its consumption possible, Starbucks has announced it will donate one coffee tree to a farmer in need for every cup of Mexico Chiapas coffee sold Thursday.
The Coffee Day initiative is part of Starbucks’s broader commitment to help wipe out coffee rust—a fungus threatening coffee trees in Latin America. For the last year, Starbucks has donated a coffee tree for every bag of coffee purchased in participating stores in America and Mexico. Already, the company has raised enough money to plant 18 million rust-resistant coffee trees, 10 million of which have already been delivered to farmers. They hope that by extending their “One Tree for Every Bag” commitment to cups of coffee for National Coffee Day, they will be able to meet their goal of donating 20 million trees by the end of 2016.
“I have seen firsthand the devastation coffee rust has had on farmers. The initial distribution of these coffee trees has already had a positive impact with potential to help farmers and their families for years to come,” said Starbucks Global Coffee executive vice president Craig Russell in a statement. “This is the perfect way to have our customers and the coffee community become part of the solution on National Coffee Day.”
(CNN)How many cups of coffee does it take to get you going in the morning?
If the answer is many, the invention of a turbo-powered superbrew that is so strong it comes with a health warning might put your habit into perspective.
A cafe in Adelaide, Australia, is serving the "Asskicker," a concoction of four espresso shots, two different strengths of cold drip and milk that its inventor says contains 80 times the amount of caffeine of a standard shot.
The drink, designed to be sipped slowly over three to four hours, promises to keep coffee lovers buzzing for up to 18 hours.
While a normal espresso, as defined by the US Department of Agriculture, packs around 63 milligrams of caffeine, this drink has 5 grams, according to its creator. The US Food and Drug Administration and USDA note that 400 milligrams is the limit not generally associated with dangerous, negative effects.
Viscous Coffee, Adelaide
Steve Benington, owner of Viscous Coffee, developed the drink for a local emergency room nurse who needed something to keep her going during unexpected night shifts.
"We had to tone it down a bit because it kept her up for a total of three days," said Benington, adding that the nurse sipped it over two days.
The barista, who opened his cafe a year and a half ago after a career in the Australian Navy, said the turbo coffee has become very popular in recent weeks.
However, he actively discourages customers interested only in a gimmick, and advertises it with a warning for those with high blood pressure or heart conditions.
"I have a quite detailed talk with people before they actually purchase one. If I can talk someone out of it, they're not ready for the drink," said Benington.
Warning signs of coffee overdose include shakes and sweats, dilated pupils, stammering over your words, vertigo and nausea.
"If you keep going, those symptoms will get worse," said the coffee-loving business owner. "If you stay within the guidelines, you're fine."
The Asskicker experience will set you back around $12 ($16 AUD) for a 16 ounce cup.
There’s several factors involved.
Your morning cup of Joe may be about to get even pricier, a Reuters poll of 11 traders and analysts showed on Thursday.
By the end of this year, both arabica and robusta coffee are expected to hit their highest price since early 2015, driven by the global market’s first supply deficit in six years, along with firming currencies in top growing nations and strong demand for coffee.
For robusta, usually blended with higher quality arabica beans or used in instant coffees, the survey was particularly dramatic as El Nino-related dryness in southeast Asia and drought in Brazil damaged crops and drained supplies, traders said.
Robusta coffee futures were forecast to rise to as high as $1,900 per tonne by the end of September and $1,985 by the end of 2016, with year-end forecasts ranging from $1,575 to $2,300.
That would be up 10 percent from Wednesday, and a whopping 30 percent jump from 2015, its biggest annual gain since 2010.
Prices of arabica coffee, used in espressos and brewed blends, will rally to $1.45 per lb by the end of the third quarter and to $1.60 by the end of the year, the median of estimates showed, with expectations ranging from $1.20 to $2.20.
That would be up 13 percent from Wednesday and a 26 percent increase from 2015.
While bean inventories in producing countries have already dwindled, the threat of frost in Brazil next year and rains in Vietnam due to the La Nina weather pattern could spur greater price gains, said Shawn Hackett, president of Hackett Financial Advisors in Boynton Beach, Florida.
“Any kind of major weather threat could send … coffee prices back up to retest the 2011 highs near $3 per pound,” he said.
Respondents said the Brazilian real, which rose to an 11-month high in June, was also likely to drive the market. A strong Brazilian real against the greenback discourages producer selling of the dollar-traded commodity.
The price forecasts mark a major about-turn from the outlook at the start of the year.
Vietnam and Brazil
Respondents still expected demand to outpace supply in 2015/16, which would be the first time in six years according to U.S. Department of Agriculture data. They reined in their deficit forecasts from six months ago amid a bumper Brazilian harvest.
The median forecast for 2015/16 was for a 250,000-bag deficit, with estimates ranging from a 7 million bag deficit to a 5 million bag surplus.
For 2016/17, a balance was forecast though estimates ranged from an 8 million bag deficit to a 10 million bag surplus.
Brazil is to harvest 55 million bags in 2016/17, as its arabica regions recover from a second year of drought. That compares with 43.2 million bags this year, according to the International Coffee Organization (ICO).
That would be a record, exceeding the previous all-time high of 50.8 million grown in 2012/13.
Arabica output was pegged at around 45 million bags and robusta at 12 million bags.
Coffee production in Vietnam, the world’s biggest robusta grower, was forecast at 26.5 million 60-kg bags in 2016/17, with estimates ranging widely from 22.7 million bags to 30 million bags. This compares with 27.5 million bags in 2015/16, ICO data show.
June 27, 2016
Institute of Food Technologists (IFT)
Coffee is enjoyed by millions of people every day and the 'coffee experience' has become a staple of our modern life and culture. While the current body of research related to the effects of coffee consumption on human health has been contradictory, a new study found that the potential benefits of moderate coffee drinking outweigh the risks in adult consumers for the majority of major health outcomes considered.
Coffee is enjoyed by millions of people every day and the 'coffee experience' has become a staple of our modern life and culture. While the current body of research related to the effects of coffee consumption on human health has been contradictory, a study in the June issue of Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety, which is published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), found that the potential benefits of moderate coffee drinking outweigh the risks in adult consumers for the majority of major health outcomes considered.
Researchers at Ulster University systematically reviewed 1,277 studies from 1970 to-date on coffee's effect on human health and found the general scientific consensus is that regular, moderate coffee drinking (defined as 3-4 cups per day) essentially has a neutral effect on health, or can be mildly beneficial.
The review was used to create an exhaustive list of the potential health benefits and risks of coffee consumption on the following health outcomes:
- Total Mortality
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Metabolic Health
- Neurological Disorders
- Gastrointestinal Conditions
- Other Miscellaneous Health Outcomes
The authors noted causality of risks and benefits cannot be established for either with the research currently available as they are largely based on observational data. Further research is needed to quantify the risk-benefit balance for coffee consumption, as well as identify which of coffee's many active ingredients, or indeed the combination of such, that could be inducing these health benefits.
Note: Some financial support of this study was provided by illycafe s.p.a., however the authors declare no conflict of interest regarding the objective search and summary of the literature.
Starbucks SBUX 0.27% is reportedly planning to invest big in sustainability.
The company is selling $500 million worth of bonds with the express purpose of funding eco-friendly practices, according toSecurities and Exchange Commission filings. The 10-year senior notes have an interest rate of 2.45%, which is 0.74% higher than government bonds. The Huffington Post reports that this is the first time Starbucks is specifically asking investors to fund sustainability efforts.
Proceeds from the sale of these bonds are estimated to be about $495.6 million. That money will allow Starbucks to buy coffee from farmers who adhere to Coffee and Farmer Equity Practices, which are principles established by Starbucks and Conservation International ensuring that coffee is grown and sourced responsibly. The standards apply to both working conditions and treatment of workers as well as environmental conservation.
The half-a-billion dollars will also help Starbucks develop and operate farmer support centers and agronomy research and development centers. Additionally, the money will help subsidize the coffee chain’s Global Farmer Fund program, which provides farmers with loans to help them manage risk and strengthen their businesses.
Starbucks spokesperson Linda Mills told Fortune that the company will have more to share about this initiative after the market closes on Monday.
Study examines how food and medications affect makeup of bacteria in people's tummies
THURSDAY, April 28, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The food you eat and the medicines you take can alter your gut bacteria in ways that either help or harm your health, two new studies suggest.
Foods like fruits, vegetables, coffee, tea, wine, yogurt and buttermilk can increase the diversity of bacteria in a person's intestines. And that diversity can help ward off illness, said Dr. Jingyuan Fu, senior author of one of the studies.
"It is believed that higher diversity and richness [in gut bacteria] is beneficial," explained Fu. She is an associate professor of genetics at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands.
On the other hand, foods containing loads of simple carbohydrates appear to reduce bacterial diversity in the gut, Fu and colleagues found. These include high-fat whole milk and sugar-sweetened soda.
In addition, medications can also play a part in the makeup of your gut bacteria. Antibiotics, the diabetes drug metformin and antacids can cut down on gut bacterial diversity, the researchers found. Smoking and heart attacks also can have a negative effect, the team said.
Each person's intestines contain trillions of microorganisms, which doctors refer to as the "gut microbiome," said Dr. David Johnson. He is chief of gastroenterology at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Va., and a past president of the American College of Gastroenterology.
The gut microbiome plays an essential but little-understood role in human health, said Johnson, who was not involved with the new studies.
"It's the largest immune system in the body," Johnson explained. "These bacteria have a very dramatic and prominent role in determining health and disease."
To study the effect of lifestyle on the gut microbiome, Fu and her colleagues collected stool samples from more than 1,100 people living in the northern Netherlands.
The samples were used to analyze the DNA of the bacteria and other organisms that live in the gut. In addition to stools, the study collected information on the participants' diets, medicine use and health.
In the second study, researchers with the Flemish Gut Flora Project performed a similar analysis on stool samples taken from 5,000 volunteers in Belgium.
Both studies concluded that diet has a profound effect on the diversity of gut bacteria, although, Fu said, the "underlying theories of these dietary factors remain largely unknown."
Johnson added that medicines can have the same effect, and antibiotics actually can kill off some important strains of gut bacteria. "One dose of an antibiotic may disrupt your gut bacteria for a year," he said.
Both sets of researchers emphasized that their studies only help explain a fraction of gut bacteria variation -- roughly 18 percent for the Netherlands study, and about 7 percent for the Flemish study.
However, the findings from the two groups overlapped about 80 percent of the time, indicating that they are on the right track, the researchers said.
The Belgian researchers estimated that over 40,000 human samples will be needed to capture a complete picture of gut bacteria diversity.
Johnson noted that other research has shown that poor sleep, obesity, diabetes and the use of artificial sweeteners also can interfere with gut bacteria.
"The general rule is a balanced diet with high fiber and low carbs tends to drive a better gut health overall," he said.
According to Fu, once researchers have a clearer understanding of the gut microbiome and its effects on health, doctors could be able to help prevent or heal illness by reading or influencing the bacteria within people's bodies.
"The personalized microbiome may assist in personalized nutrition, personalized medicine, disease risk stratification and treatment decision-making," she said.
Both studies were published in the April 29 issue of the journal Science.
Visit the European Society for Neurogastroenterology and Motility for more on diet and gut bacteria.
SOURCES: Jingyuan Fu, Ph.D., associate professor, genetics, University of Groningen, the Netherlands; David Johnson, M.D., chief, gastroenterology, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, Va., and past president, American College of Gastroenterology; April 29, 2016,Science
Last Updated: Apr 28, 2016
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