There will be some people who see your beautiful and shiny espresso machine in your kitchen and scoff over the prospect that you get to enjoy as much espresso as you want, whenever you want, saying that your habit is unhealthy and overly expensive. These people might try to tell you that you spent too much on your machine or that you’re wasting your money on the coffee you drink as well as the equipment to brew it. Learn how to arm yourself with an arsenal of facts and information in order to defend your beloved coffee over those who tell you that soda is the better caffeinated option or that it’s cheaper.
Purchasing soda or “pop” might seem simple but there are several different varieties, including diet, flavors, and all natural or hand crafted versions. On the other side, there are even more varieties of coffee beans, espresso beans, coffee pods if you choose to use a pod machine, whole bean varieties, flavors, and fair trade organic coffee as well as machines in addition to the pod machine like an espresso machine, fully automatic versions, or a cappuccino machine. Choosing the type of home machine you’d like to purchase, learning to use it, and deciding on the coffee beans you love most might seem like a much steeper cost than simply purchasing a few bottles of soda for your caffeine intake every week. However, there is more to consider besides money and flavor variety when it comes to what decision you make about which is better for you.
Each type of beverage has its own specifications on caffeine content, sugar content, and other ingredients that contribute to your health and happiness. While you might be looking for simplicity, the idea of purchasing and drinking soda on a regular basis might be more complicated than you realize after you consider these factors.
Depending on the type of coffee beans you purchase and the way you brew them, coffee tends to have a lot more caffeine than soda and many people view this as a negative characteristic of the beverage. If you look at it in terms of simplicity, though, the fact is that you’ll have to drink less coffee than soda to get your jolt throughout the day and the effect on your health can be positive. If you plan to have a beverage you can sip all day, a home machine is still a good idea as you can purchase decaffeinated coffee to use in your machine that has barely any caffeine and, unless you add it to your beverage, no sugar content, carbonation, or artificial ingredients. Clearly, that is better than the artificial sugar in diet sodas!
Sugar and Flavors
In nearly every variety of soda, there exists a very high sugar content or some sort of artificial flavoring that makes it taste so good. Granted, there are fruity flavors in addition to the vanillas, chocolates, and cola flavors but all of them have this one flaw: excess sugar content. Even the varieties of soda with labels that indicate zero sugar include artificial sweeteners that may be damaging to your health, especially when consumed in high contents. Many people who have the habit of drinking soda consume at least a couple bottles a week and, unless you’re adding a lot of sugar or artificial sweetener to your coffee several times a day, will amount to much more than the recommended amount of sugar you should be having on a daily basis. There are many studies that show that excess sugar intake is damaging to the immune system, kidney function, and pancreas function, which can lead to the development of type two diabetes. Some of these studies also indicate that soda is the cause of these issues in many cases.
Another factor in choosing between owning an espresso machine or other home machine and purchasing soda on a regular basis for caffeine intake is learning to operate the machine you decide to install. When it comes to a professional or commercial grade espresso machine, there might be a lot to learn before you can use it in your home with any efficiency. However, there are other varieties of home machine including fully automatic varieties, or a pod machine that works simply by dropping a pod in a reservoir and pressing a button to get a delicious cup of gourmet hot coffee. With all the different flavors to choose from, there are all kinds of options to provide ease and variety in your day-to-day consumption. The big difference is that the flavors don’t have to be achieved by excess sugar, syrups, or artificial chemicals.
The Organic Option
Some kinds of soda are hand crafted and use no artificial ingredients and swap out syrups and artificial sugars for all natural cane sugar and organic ingredients. While these varieties are still better than the commercially produced soda you’d usually find on grocery store shelves, it still has a lot more sugar content than is considered healthy and in many cases these hand crafted organic options have no caffeine content at all.
On the contrary, coffee has its own organic option and any home machine can handle these varieties. Organic coffee often includes “fair trade” labels. This means that the coffee beans were farmed on a plantation that pays its workers a fair wage and trades with companies that adhere to specific regulations.
In the end, the matter of using an espresso machine or other home machine vs. buying soda on a regular basis comes down to personal preference. Judging by the facts, coffee is the better option but if you can’t stand the taste or you’re still averse to learning to use even the simplest machines, the home machine option may not be for you. Weigh all the options and do your research before you make a decision. After you find out more about the different kinds of coffee and soda, choose wisely and remember the positives when defending your choice to those who still believe that soda is better.
The coffee you drink every day is comfortable. Your home machine delivers a brew that makes you feel like you can accomplish anything during the rest of your day and it’s not just the taste that does it. There’s an aroma to your familiar blend, and you know exactly how you like it prepared without even thinking about it. There are other varieties of coffee out there, though, and you might be missing out on something even better than what you’re used to drinking. Explore new types of coffee and find out the nuances in each blend that make you want to try every one.
Whole Beans Vs. Pre-Ground
A lot of people purchase pre-ground coffee for use in a home machine. It’s easy and faster than using a grinder to prepare whole beans fresh every time you want some coffee. Pre-ground coffee now comes in several varieties, especially with the advent of the pod machine that brews coffee one cup at a time and caters to households that have diverse tastes and people who entertain a lot. Whole bean coffee is still vaster in the choices you’ll have available and it’s a good idea to purchase a grinder to explore these options.
Preparing and Storing Your Whole Bean Coffee
Trying several varieties of new coffee is likely to give you a surplus and you’ll have to store it properly in order to continue to use it. When you first purchase a whole bean coffee, you’ll have to use a grinder to prepare it for use in your home machine but you won’t be grinding it all at once. Grind whole bean coffee by the batch right before you brew it. The rest should be kept in an airtight container and stored in a cool, dry place like the refrigerator or freezer. Be sure to store your coffee beans away from any place that’s humid or where something can leak on the container. If you have extra coffee grounds after preparing your machine and brewing your coffee, store it in a separate airtight container and use as soon as possible.
Find New Varieties
When attempting to discover new varieties of coffee beans, you will be faced with a lot of choices that you might not understand. For this reason, you’ll want a good buying guide in order to help you decide which varieties you want to try and which ones you may not like. A little research goes a long way and you’ll be happy that you put in the time to learn a little about each different type of coffee. The coffee you love is where you should begin. Find out where those beans come from and what their flavor profile is and from there you can find similar varieties that you know you’ll enjoy.
The Power of Social Media
Social media can be an excellent tool for discovering new things if you know what to look for. A few search terms are really all you need to find groups and other enthusiasts that can teach you about finding new coffee bean varieties. Hash tags have gotten a little out of hand in some cases but what you may not realize is that the hash tag is a tool for searching more easily for what you want. Try terms like “exotic coffee,” “whole coffee beans,” or “flavored coffee beans.” Talk to your coffee loving friends, tag them in posts about coffee, pictures of drinks you like, and ask them what they like and where they buy their coffee to find new places and varieties to try.
Know Your Machine
Your home machine may have limitations but it may also be able to do things you never realized it could. Take some time to learn a little more about your machine so you can find out what it can really do and utilize all the features with any new coffee bean varieties you decide to try. Discover new drinks to make with your machine and methods of brewing that you’ve never tried in the past. Revisit your owners’ manual in detail to see all the functions your machine can perform.
If you’re unsure about how to use any of the functions on your machine, contact the manufacturer with your questions. It’s better to spend some extra time than to damage your machine and not be able to use it again. Talk to friends who have the same machine if you know anyone or consult the internet. Remember, though that the internet has an overabundance of information so research well and be aware of the websites from which you get your information.
The Espresso Brewing Method
It is a common misconception that espresso is a type of coffee but really it’s the espresso machine that makes the variety so special. Espresso is a brewing method, not a type of coffee. It delivers espresso shots that have a signature texture and taste but it is the method that makes espresso special.
On an espresso machine, there is a portafilter that holds the tightly packed coffee grounds and puts them into place for brewing. A mechanism within the machine pressurizes the hot water that is pushed through the grounds and gives you a shot of espresso that is bold, dark, and delicious.
Enjoy Beautiful Coffee
Discovering new varieties of coffee beans is an experience that will open you up to all kinds of flavors and coffee beverages for you to love. As you find more, don’t forget the coffee that you originally enjoyed. You don’t have to give up the comfort of your favorite brew in order to discover something new. Store the grounds you already have according to the guidelines above and you’ll be able to keep it fresh for when you want it again. Enjoy beautiful coffee in all of its wonderful varieties, including the one you like most.