6 articles Tag coffee

Seven Changes To Your Coffee Habit To Be More Sustainable

Coffee is a very popular drink, but one with a high environmental and ethical impact. How your coffee is grown, the carbon footprint of flying it to you and the waste generated by coffee pods and takeaway cups all cause a problem. With these small changes to your caffeine habit, you can make your coffee drinking more sustainable. 

Seven Changes To Your Coffee Habit To Be More Sustainable

Image

  1. Don’t use takeaway cups. One of the biggest problems with coffee is the volume of non-recycled waste that is produced by takeaway coffee. Paper cups, cardboard sleeves, plastic lids and plastic straws often end up in landfills, even when they can be recycled. Instead of using these, take your own reusable cup. You can even buy ones that collapse flat to take up less room in your bag. Buy a fun cup and get in the habit of carrying it with you.  
  2. At home, don’t use single serve coffee pods. These pods are incredibly popular, but most can’t be recycled. Even the ones that can be usually aren’t, as they usually need to be sent back to the supplier and can’t just be put out with the rest of your recycling. Instead of using pods, treat yourself to beautiful fresh coffee, like Third Wave Coffee, and make a habit of drinking fantastic coffee at home.  
  3. Swap single use filters for reusable ones. Paper filters are often bleached with chlorine, so as well as creating more waste, they’ll also leak chemicals when they reach landfills. Instead, use a reusable filter, like a metal one. Less waste, and your coffee will taste better. 
  4. Treat yourself to a manually brewed coffee. Auto-drip coffee machines are cheap for a reason. They use a lot of plastic, and break often, meaning all that plastic gets thrown away. A manual option makes your coffee more of a routine, and is kinder on the environment. 
  5. Read the packaging carefully. Look for information on whether you can recycle the packaging. Check for symbols to confirm the coffee is organic or fair trade. Do some research into your preferred coffee brands to make sure they’re paying growers fairly, and doing what they can to reduce their carbon footprint.   
  6. Don’t waste leftover coffee grounds. You can add coffee grounds to your compost heap or straight onto your plants. The nitrogen in the coffee grounds acts as a great fertilizer for your plants. If you add the grounds around the flower beds, the nitrogen also acts as a natural bug repellent, keeping ants and other creatures away from your plants. The smell of coffee can also work well to discourage neighbourhood cats from using your garden as a litter box. 
  7. Don’t use a coffee pot with a warming plate. The plate is left on for long periods, which uses up a lot of energy, wasting electricity. Consistently warming your coffee also over-brews it and can end up burning it, making it taste worse too. For better tasting coffee that doesn’t waste energy, buy a thermal coffee pot instead to keep your coffee warm for longer. 

Jayne’s Addiction…to the Coffee Machine!

Back when I started trying to get my weight in check and live a healthier life, I realised a few things. Firstly I realised that I had a fairly serious addiction to food, which might sound like a cheesy way of saying ‘greedy’ but it was more than that. Buying and eating food gave me a buzz like nothing else, so kicking the habit was going to be hard. However, giving up carbs seemed simple compared with the prospect of giving up my other love – COFFEE!

Coffee is something that I would seriously struggle to give up. I usually get at least one latte per day from the coffee machines at my local Waitrose, as well as using our drip coffee maker at home all day. I’ve recently also looked into buying a milk steamer so that I can have my own lattes at home, but the market is huge and I’ve struggled to work out which one would be best for me. The beauty of my diet, however, is that coffee is positively encouraged, so I’m okay!

As I’ve got older, I’ve got more of a taste for strong, properly brewed coffee from a machine; in the past, instant was okay, but I blame that on working in a lot of offices where freeze-dried coffee was the only thing that got us through the day! Now that I work at home, I’m able to be a lot fussier about it all.

The funny thing is, even though Burrito Baby is only 3 and a half, she already loves coffee! Just the other day, her lunch request was “plain toast and a cup of coffee” – I joked in Facebook that it was like having another 33 year old in the house! Obviously, we make her decaffeinated coffee because, you know, we do like sleep sometimes, but having coffee from a young age is pretty normal in other parts of the world. Husband’s family is German on one side and they think nothing of letting their little ones have a milky cup of coffee each day.

Coffee is proven to be beneficial in many ways. As well as being packed with antioxidant, which fight off disease and the ageing process, it’s also shown to be good for digestion and studies show that coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of several serious diseases. All of this seems like a perfect reason to continue my coffee consumption with gusto – I almost wonder if my lack of broodiness is because I never want to go nine months without caffeine again!

Are you a coffee lover? Do you use a proper coffee machine or is instant good enough for you? I’d love to hear from any fellow coffee addicts out there, so do leave me a comment below!

My Dream Hobby Room

My Dream Hobby RoomI have to admit, I spend more time looking at Rightmove than is really necesary for someone who has no intention of moving. I’ve always loved looking at other people’s houses and can often be found binge-watching episodes of Grand Designs or Location, Location, Location just to get my interiors fix! I love dreaming about what I’d do if space and money were no object and at the moment, a hobby room is at the top of my list. Read on for an insight into what I’d have in my ultimate hobby room:

A Sewing Station

I absolutely love to sew and make clothes but I often lack the space to do it, so a dedicated space with a dressmakers dummy and lots of fabric storage would be a great way to enable me to get sewing. Valentino’s Displays has an amazing range of clothes rails, mannequins, hangers and storage bins and I reckon I could get everything I needed for my sewing area on their site.

A Reading Nook

I’ve always been able to read just about anywhere, probably from years of reading on buses and trains, but these days I do require a little bit of quiet to enable me to get lost in a book. A comfy armchair in the corner of the room with a little table for a lamp and my latte is definitely a bit part of my fantasy room.

A Writing Area

Writing is both a hobby and my profession and although I tend to work on a laptop literally on my lap, Burrito Baby is off to nursery in September which means I don’t have to only work in the room she’s in! A proper working area where my laptop could sit and I could use a decent ergonomic chair would not only be a novelty, but it would probably also be a lot better for my back!

A Proper Coffee Machine

These days, my vices are well and truly confined to the virtuous, never more so than now, given the fact that I even eat clean and don’t drink alcohol (well…hardly ever!). However, one thing that I absolutely refuse to give up is decent coffee! I tend to use my Waitrose card to get a free cup every day and I think I’d be considerably poorer if I didn’t get my coffee fix from there! Having a coffee machine in my hobby room with a proper milk steamer would be the ultimate indulgence for me.

A Yoga Corner

Since I started going to yoga classes at my gym a few months ago, I’ve found a really deep love of it. It’s one of my favourite hours of my whole week and I look forward to it every Saturday. I’d love to be able to do it more often but we really don’t have much space at home for yoga because our house is pretty cluttered. A dedicated space to find my zen and get my stretch on would be a dream!

What would you have in your dream hobby room?

Top 5 Gifts for Coffee Lovers

Top 5 Gifts for Coffee LoversAnyone who knows me, knows that I love coffee. It’s my main drink of choice, in fact I probably drink coffee more than anything else, and I really enjoy using our coffee maker to it’s fullest potential. Being a coffee lover myself, I thought I’d put together a list of gifts that most coffee lovers would appreciate, which will hopefully give you some inspiration ahead of your festive shopping. Here’s what I’d love to see in my stocking:

Coffee Beans

Obviously, I have a particular brand of coffee that I always buy, but I do really enjoy trying out new beans. Different coffee beans have different flavours and strengths and can compliment different foods, just like wine, and we often have a few different varieties in the cupboard at any time so I’m always keen to try something new. Little hampers containing a variety of beans would make a superb gift.

Grinder

If you’re serious about coffee then grinding your own beans is a great idea. Grinders can range from budget to seriously high-end and the more you spend, the better quality the grind, but it’s possible to buy something for a reasonable price that even the most discerning coffee lover would love.

Syrups

A great way to add flavour to your coffee, if that’s something you like, is by using flavoured syrups. They’re available in a whole range of flavours and even come in sugar-free varieties for the sugar conscious amongst us, plus Monin also often offer some really sweet little gift sets for Christmas containing festive flavours.

Milk Steamer

If your coffee lover likes a latte or a cappuccino, buying them a milk steamer so that they can make their own cafe-quality drinks would be hugely appreciated. Steaming your milk takes good coffee to the next level and they’re a great little gadget for the kitchen.

Biscotti

I’ll be honest, there’s nothing nicer on the side of a coffee than a slab of biscotti and they make a brilliant gift when given with some beans in a hamper. Choose a good Italian variety for an authentic experience…just don’t expect your gift recipient to share them with you!

Are you a coffee lover? Is there something you’d like to receive for Christmas that I haven’t listed here? Leave me a comment below!

Beanies Coffee – A Review

A while back, we were sent a selection of items by Beanies Coffee to taste-test and review. For those of you who haven’t heard of Beanies, the company makes flavoured coffee, both roast ground and instant, in a wide selection of flavours. I opted for Cherry flavour and Maple Syrup flavour in the roast ground, and Amaretto Almond in the instant.

I would definitely class myself as a coffee drinker; I drink instant at home at least twice a day, and usually have a latte somewhere if I leave the house, plus Husband and I stick the pot on for a “proper” cup of coffee a few times a week, too. I also have a personal filter coffee machine which makes a thermally insulated flask of coffee for one person which I often take with me when I’m out and about. See – definitely coffee people!

I was worried at first that the sweet flavours of Beanies coffee meant that they had added sugar; being a diabetic means I have to avoid excess sugar, but I needn’t have worried. Beanies sweetness is explained on the website’s FAQ:

Your sensory cells for taste and aroma respond to the sweetness of the flavours and although they contain no derivatives such as dextrose, fructose, lactose or syrups the receptors tell the brain that the product must surely contain sugar. Therefore when you taste our coffee you in fact smell the familiar flavour notes and your brain is automatically tricked into thinking the drink is sweet. Clever eh!

Each of the three flavours I tried were very authentic – the cherry really tasted of cherries, while the maple syrup and amaretto versions definitely tasted of maple syrup and amaretto! All three flavours smelled amazing, too. It was almost worth brewing a pot just for the amazing aroma that permeated around the house! 

I have to admit, none were sweet enough for me, despite the Beanies claim that you shouldn’t need to add sugar or sweetener, but then I do have my coffee pretty sweet on a day-to-day basis, adding two sweeteners to a normal mug, so it may well be sufficient for someone who doesn’t like their coffee as sweet as me.

All in all, I was really impressed. I’m not sure that flavoured coffee could replace every mug for me, across the day, but it definitely makes a lovely mid-morning treat and I could happily see myself tempting a guest to try something flavoured rather than our usual brew!

If you want more info on Beanies, head to their website, or take a look at their Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages.

Useful Ways to Reuse Coffee Grounds

Coffee GroundsMany parents rely on coffee to give them that jolt of energy to see them through the day; but most just chuck the used coffee beans and coffee grounds away and think nothing off it. However there are a few surprising ways you can reuse coffee beans, recycling and benefits, it’s a win win.

Use Coffee Grounds In your Garden

Keep Cats Out of Your Garden

Does your neighbours cat like to hang out in your garden? Have a break with a cup of coffee and an orange and then sprinkle a mix of orange peel and coffee grounds around your plants. The smell will keep cat away – unless of course you want them there.

Turn Coffee Grounds into Compost

Not many people are aware but used coffee grounds make a great addition to your fertiliser. Flowers love the acid, especially roses and evergreens.

Repel Snails

You may have wonderful soil but if you have snails and slugs in it your vegetables just aren’t going to grow. Pour some old coffee grounds around the area to poison.. ummm miraculously remove snails from your soil.

Deter Ants

Are you concerned about your kids playing in the garden or local park due to ant mounds? Coffee grounds don’t just deter cats, ants hate it too. Sprinkle some around ant mounds to discourage them from hanging about.

Grow Perfect Carrots

Do you and your kids enjoy growing your own vegetables? Mix carrot seeds with used coffee grounds before you sow to give them a boost of energy. It will also keep pesky slugs away.

Use Coffee Grounds in The House

Cover Any Fridge Odours

When you have finished a butter pot but a used filter filled with used coffee ground inside and place at the back of your fridge.The coffee aroma will deodorise your fridge.

Create Treasure Maps

In time for the Easter Hunt you can get creative with coffee grounds. Soak coffee grounds in hot water to make sepia dye, then use it to dye fabrics or paper to make your Easter Treasure map look the part!

Car Air freshener

School girls make holes in their tights all the time! Cut the leg off an old pair of nylon tights, add some coffee grounds and two drops of vanilla extract then make a knot in the leg. Your car will smell like a latte heaven.

Do you have any tips for reusing coffee grounds? Please share below.