The Truth About Coffee and Your Health

I have always been a coffee lover and regularly enjoy at least 3 cups a day when I am working and a couple at weekends. I can live without it, but then again, I enjoy drinking it so why should I have to? There are always stories in the media about whether coffee is good or bad for you with an abundance of conflicting stories clearly contradicting each other. So, I thought I would do my own research and look into whether there is any truth in either argument. Here is my definitive conclusion on the effects of coffee.

Coffee gives you more brain power

It has long been recognized that coffee keeps you awake because of the high levels of caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that not only stops you from dropping off at awkward times, but it actually blocks some of the negative neurotransmitters to the brain. This in turn will make you more alert and improve your overall effectiveness. This I believe to be true but it can affect sleep and make you feel drowsy the next day if you drink too late at night.

Coffee helps you exercise – but make sure you drink water too!

I have found this to be true myself. After I’ve had a couple of coffees and then been in the gym around 2 hours later, I’ve definitely found it easier to do a big run or lift weights. This is again due to the amount of caffeine. Caffeine raises metabolism and makes you feel ready for a complete workout. What you shouldn’t do is neglect the need for water. It is important you drink plenty of water during a workout and before to negate the other effects on your body of caffeine. What you have to remember is the coffee will make you urinate a lot more so make sure you are replacing essential vitamins, minerals and fluids.

Coffee and the Liver – good or bad?

When it comes to coffee’s effects on the liver there are so many conflicting reports it is really hard to decipher the exact truth. One argument is that coffee is extremely good for the Liver as it can lower cirrhosis by up to 80% and there have even been studies linking coffee and the reduction of liver cancer. On the counter side of the argument studies have suggested coffee will interfere with the absorption of some drugs and antibiotics. Therefore, if you already have liver problems and are taking medication for it, coffee could make symptoms worse rather than better!

What is contained in Coffee?

Well apart from caffeine which is all anyone talks about, there are a number of nutrients and antioxidants in a regular cup of coffee. Some research have suggested that coffee has more nutrients in it than fruits and vegetables but there are also traces of vitamins such as B5, B2, Potassium and Manganese. That’s the good side. On the bad side coffee is very acidic in nature which is not good for digestion and heart burn. What you also have to be aware of are the stress hormones that are contained in coffee. This can lead to hypertension and has been linked to high blood pressure.


From all of the research I found, most accept that drinking coffee in moderation is perfectly fine and can have very beneficial effects. Drinking large quantities (more than 4 cups a day) can have some damaging effects on the body. Drinking at certain times of day, like late afternoon and evening can also affect your sleep patterns which lead to other health complications. Proving cause and effect with any of these studies is complicated but there is no doubt coffee is a contributing factor in good and bad effects on the body.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

15 Coffee Shops in San Francisco You Need to Visit Before You Die

Coffee shops are a dime-a-dozen in San Francisco.

Seriously, there are over 300 coffee shops throughout the City – that’s about 6 per square mile!

Why are there so many? SF is a global leader in the progressive, third-wave coffee movement – a movement that aims to produce high-quality coffee as an artisanal product, like craft beer or wine.

This is great news for us, as San Franciscans love their coffee. We narrowed down our list to the best, and then the best of the best to bring you this list of coffee shops you have to visit before you die.

Réveille Coffee/Cafe Réveille
Réveille Coffee began in 2010 when brothers Thomas and Christopher Newbury began selling coffee out of a repurposed delivery truck. Six years and four locations later, Réveille serving up some of San Francisco’s tastiest coffee and espresso drinks. After moving into Mission Bay just six weeks ago, Cafe Réveille is already generating tons of buzz on Yelp and social media. With bright colors combined with modest, artsy decor, Cafe Réveille is a great spot to grab coffee, breakfast/lunch or spend a little bit of time telecommuting. (Note: Cafe Réveille is also open for dinner and drinks every night.) All beans are roasted in-house, and their mocha is one of the most popular items on the menu. Réveille Coffee has other locations in Jackson Square, The Castro and North Beach.
Cafe Réveille (Mission Bay) – 610 Long Bridge Street, San Francisco, CA

Golden Bear Trading Company
Right down the street from UCSF’s Parnassus Medical Center is Golden Bear Trading Company. This unassuming coffee shop sells breakfast food, spirits and coffee-snob approved beverages. This small cafe is a must-go for coffee lovers in the City, and was featured on Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat. Sam, the passionate owner of Golden Bear, has been known to say that if you don’t think his coffee is the best, he’ll give you another cup for free. Challenge accepted, Sam!
Golden Bear Trading Company – 1401 6th Avenue, San Francisco, CA

Andytown Coffee Roasters
On quiet Lawton Street in the Outer Sunset lies Andytown Coffee Roasters, known for their Snowy Plover iced expresso drink. It’s a concoction of iced espresso, sparkling water and brown sugar syrup, topped off with delicious house-made whipped cream that gives Cool Whip a run for their money. This drink is just one of the reasons for the long lines that often file out the door. (That, and the fact that Andytown packs in a coffee shop, roastery and bakery all within its 600 square foot shop!) Don’t skip on the Northern Irish soda bread and scones. Added bonus: it’s just a few blocks from Ocean Beach.
Andytown Coffee Roasters – 3655 Lawton Street, San Francisco, CA

Graffeo Coffee Roasting Company
Founded in 1935, Graffeo Coffee Roasting Company is one of North America’s oldest artisan coffee roasters. You’ll find Graffeo just up the street from Washington Square Park in the heart of North Beach, San Francisco’s famed Italian grotto. Graffeo isn’t actually a cafe; it’s a roaster. You can only buy their deliciously roasted beans or grounds. Totally worth it.
Graffeo Coffee Roasting Company – 735 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, CA

Papa November
Papa November is a coffee truck permanently at the corner of 15th Street and Kansas in San Francisco’s Design District, across the street from the Design Center and Design Within Reach. While there’s no seating, the coffee makes up for it. Serving Stumptown coffee, the truck rotates a selection of beans each week. They also sell homemade baked goods which change daily. What should you order at Papa November? The Claris – cold milk cream with espresso. Obviously, there’s no seating at Papa November’s coffee truck, so grab a cup to go on your way to the office or to get you ready for a day of furniture shopping.
Papa November – 215 15th Street, San Francisco, CA

Ritual Coffee Roasters
Ritual Coffee Roasters sparked a coffee renaissance in San Francisco after opening in 2005. Based out of The Mission, Ritual has expanded to include four locations including Bayview’s Flora Grubb Gardens and Napa’s Oxbow Public Market. Our favorite is the outpost at Hayes Valley’s PROXY – a modified shipping container that’s positively hipsteriffic. Get caffeinated with their delicious Gibraltar Coffee, San Francisco’s version of a Cortado, and head over to Chantal Guillon to pick up a sweet pairing.
Ritual Coffee at PROXY – 432b Octavia Street, San Francisco, CA

Philz Coffee
No listicle of San Francisco coffee shops would be complete without Philz Coffee. Scratch that. San Francisco wouldn’t be complete without Philz! Phil Jaber was the owner of a mini supermarket in The Mission District and wanted to leave behind a greater legacy for his son, Jacob. In his quest to create the perfect coffee, it took seven years to get his first coffee blend, Tesoro, just right. Philz is a San Francisco staple with 14 locations in the City and 15 others throughout the Bay Area. (Philz has also expanded to Los Angeles, and he has his eyes set on Washington, DC – we’d say he’s going to leave behind a great legacy.) The Mint Mojito Iced Coffee is one of the most popular items, along with the Mocha Tesora – but you really cannot go wrong with anything here.
Philz Coffee – 3101 24th Street, San Francisco, CA

This trendy, modern coffee shop located just off of 19th Avenue & Noriega is known for its communal tables, comfortable environment and eclectic espresso creations. Popular with students and a hipster crown, the menu is written on giant pieces of paper on the wall. What should you order at Home? No doubt: the lavender latte. If lavender’s not your thing (or you’re afraid your coffee will taste like soap – a valid concern, even though it’s capital-D Delicious), try the sea salt caramel and coconut vanilla coffee.
Home – 1222 Noriega Street, San Francisco, CA

The Mill
The Mill is the love child of Four Barrel Coffee and Josey Baker Bread on the buzzing Divisadero Street corridor between NoPa and Alamo Square. The Mill serves up delicious, velvety espresso drinks, coffees, artisanal toasts and granola (change seasonally and feature weekly specials) baked by Josey Baker Bread, pastries from Neighbor Bakehouse, cookies from Anthony’s and donuts from Dynamo Donuts. If your taste buds haven’t already exploded while dreaming about the goodness that is The Mill, prepare for it: The Mill has Pizza Night every Monday from 6:00-9:00PM and a Grilled Cheese & Soup Night on Wednesdays, 6:00-9:00PM. Seriously, is this place heaven-in-SF? Yes, yes it is. We recommend ordering an espresso drink with a Pistachio Blackberry Croissant.
The Mill – 736 Divisadero Street, San Francisco, CA

Blue Bottle Coffee
Another Bay Area original (Oakland, to be precise), you can never go wrong at Blue Bottle Coffee. With unique locations around the world (Blue Bottle recently opened shop in Tokyo), coffee lovers everywhere flock to Blue Bottle for delicious, handcrafted beverages – especially their famous iced coffee drinks: the chicory-flavored New Orleans Iced Coffee and creamy Vietnamese Iced Coffee. Our favorite Blue Bottle outpost is without a doubt the semi-hidden Linden Alley shop in Hayes Valley which operates out of a garage, and surrounded by graffiti art. A perfect pit stop before or after a day of shopping Hayes Valley’s many boutiques.
Blue Bottle Coffee – 315 Linden Street, San Francisco, CA

Fog Lifter Cafe
Fog Lifter Cafe is a small, quaint coffee shop located in the heart of Ingleside. This unpretentious hangout – popular with neighborhood residents and SFSU and CCSF students – serves delicious coffee roasted by Blue Bottle and Sightglass, as well as smoothies, pastries, breakfast scrambles, panini sandwiches and more. This shop specializes in pour-over coffee.
Fog Lifter Cafe – 1901 Ocean Avenue, San Francisco, CA

Trouble Coffee Company
Trouble Coffee Co. is the little coffee shop that could. With its original location based out of a tiny shop in the far reaches of the Outer Sunset, Trouble Coffee sparked San Francisco’s artisanal toast craze with $4.00 cinnamon-sugar toast on thick bread. (Hey, the name just started to make sense to us – because you’ll be in trouble with their bread – calorie-wise, and possibly financially, too.) Founded by Giulietta Carrelli, Trouble has expanded its little coffeehouse’s (and coconut club) reach with two new locations in Bayview and Oakland – along with its toast offerings.
Trouble Coffee Co. & Coconut Club – 4033 Judah Street, San Francisco, CA

Saint Frank Coffee
This hipster-chic cafe is located on upper Polk Street in Russian Hill. With soaring ceilings, abundant natural lighting, clean lines and minimalistic, white and oak interior, Saint Frank will make you feel like you’ve been transported to Copenhagen. As you might have guessed, Saint Frank is named after our beloved City. The menu is small, and the coffee is on the lighter side (in true Scandinavian form). Our favorite creation at Saint Frank is the Almond Macadamia Latte.
Saint Frank Coffee – 2340 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA

Piccino Coffee Bar
Piccino is a modern Italian trattoria with an adorable connecting coffee bar. This tiny coffee bar serves Sightless coffee, oven-hot stick buns and other homemade pastries that are certain to delight. Open until 10:00PM, it’s the perfect stop after dinner in the Dogpatch for a cappuccino. While the coffee bar does not have seating, you can find a bench in the pleasant Woods Yard Park across the street.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Four Easy Tips For Making Iced Coffee Drinks At Home

There is good news for coffee lovers around the world. Fact is, it is easy to make iced coffee at home without the fancy machines found at your local java shop. By following the four easy tips below, you can enjoy your iced coffee drinks in the comfort of home.

Cappuccinos and mocha lattes continue to maintain their posture as popular coffee choices; however, consumers are discovering that their favorite beverage is just as tasty and certainly as refreshing when served cold.

According to the National Coffee Association and Mintel Research, the percentage of Americans who drink iced coffee beverages increased from 20 percent in 2003 to as much as slightly more than 30 percent today.

While enjoying a chilled coffee drink is a natural at your local shop, iced coffee can be as easy to prepare as iced tea at home. Your creativity and a variety of options will allow you to create personalized coffee concoctions that are just as delicious as those served in your favorite cafe. Those creations depend on how you use flavoring syrups, cold milk, chocolate and spices.

Some of the more popular beverages such as iced vanilla mocha, iced rum coffee and iced latte are easy to make at home. Below are four tips for creating those refreshing iced coffee drinks.

Pour your flavoring syrup of choice into the cup first. To complete the drink, pour in espresso or your coffee of choice, then the ice and top it off with cold milk.

Do not allow your beverage to become watered down. Cool your favorite coffee beverage with ice cubes made from fresh-brewed coffee instead of water.

Your at-home coffee machine should be capable of producing a high quality coffee or espresso. Many of the best machines will allow you to grind your coffee beans right before brewing. This feature gives you better control of the strength of your coffee.

It’s your creation. Be creative. Experiment with how you personalize your drink. Finishing touches like the addition of whipped cream, chocolate shavings, nutmeg or cinnamon will place your signature on your iced coffee concoction.

As the trend and the numbers continue to grow, more and more coffee lovers will want to duplicate their coffee shop favorites at home. And while it may not be necessary to purchase high-end coffee machines, good old-fashioned know how is a starting place to create the perfect at-home coffee making experience.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off