Before You Brew

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

Iโ€™m the owner of Carrots โ€˜Nโ€™ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.

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Remember last week when I attended a coffee tasting and Webinar hosted by Green Mountain Coffee and met Lindsay Bolger, the โ€œnoseโ€ย of the company? Well, now I am going to tell you what I learned! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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As part of the Webinar, I did my best to engage in conversation, ask questions, and not be completely awkward.ย One of the questions that I asked Lindsay was how to store coffee. I’ve heard lots of different things about the “proper” way to store it, so I figured she could offer her advice for the best method.

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The first thing that Lindsay suggested was buying whole bean coffee and grinding it as needed. This way, the beans are as fresh as possible each time you brew it. Additionally, she recommended buying only enough coffee for what you’d use in one week.

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To prevent your beans from staling, Lindsay suggested storing your coffee in a dry place, such a foil-lined bag (like the ones Green Mountain Coffee comes in) on your kitchen counter or an air-tight container (like the one below) for up to a week. Of course, you can store it longer, but for the freshest coffee, she recommended about a week.

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I’m lazy so I grind my entire bag of coffee at once, and then keep the tightly sealed bag inside my coffee canister. I figured the double storage would help keep the coffee fresh for longer! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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When I asked Lindsay about storing coffee in the freezer, she suggested only doing this when you have an unopened bag of coffee. For instance, if your favorite coffee goes on sale and you buy a bunch of bags, it’s a smart idea to store them in the freezer until you’re ready to use them. But, removing and refreezing an opened bag of coffee speeds up the staling process since the coffee is exposed to oxygen and water (condensation) each time.

FYI: You know that little “valve” on the front of foil-lined coffee bags? Well, its purpose is to prevent oxygen from getting into the bag, but it allows carbon-monoxide to escape. Interesting, right? I had no idea.

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As I previously mentioned, I don’t grind my coffee beans at home. I don’t own a grinder, so I buy ground coffee or grind a full bag of beans at the grocery store as needed. However, Lindsay made a strong case for freshly ground beans, so now I’m thinking about buying a grinder! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Lindsay said you don’t need to own a fancy, expensive grinder to have fresh coffee. In fact, she bought her coffee grinder at Target for about $12. At the GMC tasting, I definitely noticed an enhanced flavor when I tried the coffee from the freshly ground beans and brewed coffee. It tasted incredibly fresh.

When grinding coffee, Lindsay suggested pulsing, shaking, and tipping the grinder upside-down to evenly distribute all of the coffee particles.

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The grinds should have a similar texture to coarsely ground corn meal.

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After learning all of this, I’m definitely inspired to give my usual coffee-brewing method a facelift. I might just need to buy a coffee grinder– maybe I’ll even give my French Press a whirl! ๐Ÿ˜‰

FREE coffee alert!! Today at 4:00 PM EST, Green Mountain Coffee is giving away free full-sized samples of their coffee (or a sleeve of K-Cups) on theirย Facebook page. (Just click on ‘Events’ and you’ll see the “Green Mountain Coffee Fair Trade-Out Tasting” event.) I already set a reminder on my Google calendar. I want free coffee!! :mrgreen:

Breakfast

This morning’s breakfast included a delicious glass of iced coffee with soy milk.

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And a bowl of apple crisp oatmeal, which is just leftover apple crisp cooked with old-fashioned oats on the stovetop. I also threw in about a teaspoon of brown sugar for some added sweetness.

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Question of the Day

Are you a regular coffee drinker? At what age did you start drinking it?

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95 Comments

  1. I started drinking coffee in high school! Hey, it was the grunge era; flannel and coffee shops, man! I drink about 2-3 cups daily now. Yum!

    A few years ago, I started fresh grinding at home each pot and I’ve never looked back. It seriously only takes another 30 seconds in the morning; and it makes a HUGE difference; plus you can use it as a spice grinder. My grinder is “fancy” and I think it cost $20. Get one!

  2. At least think about purchasing a burr grinder.They’re more expensive than a regular grinder, but still affordable. You’ll get a much better grind out of them, and a better cup of a coffee. I would hope that’s what she reccomended to you…

  3. I am a semi regular coffee drinks. Lots of times I have a cup at home and them supplement with an ice tea from the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf (can you tell I’m particular about my caffeine regimen?). I had my first coffee at 11. When my parents had dinner parties I was allowed one cup of decaf with a little bit of ice cream in it. I had my first espresso at 14 and was bouncing off the walls for hours! So not the same as decaf!

  4. I’m a regular coffee drinker… love it more than wine! I used to grind the beans every morning but it was an extra step and I didn’t notice a difference. I buy my beans ground each week from Starbucks – yum!

  5. Wow, there’s so much to learn about coffee!

    I started drinking coffee with my first “real” job out of college and I don’t regret it for a second! I love coffee.

    Although, I don’t have enough counter space for a coffee machine, so I just end up using those VIA packs from Starbucks. They are surprisingly delicious, but they cost a ton.

    Maybe I’ll just put the coffee machine on my nightstand or something haha

  6. I just bought a coffee grinder at Target for ~$15 and a french press (Bodum) there for ~$20 last week. Totally worth it!

    The combination of freshly ground beans + french press makes the best cup of coffee I’ve every had!

    Even my Mom (coffee drinker since she was 17 – she’s 45 now) says it’s the best cup of coffee she’s ever had.

  7. I love coffee! I drink it every day with half-n-half and sugar (gotta have the real thing). I probably started drinking regularly my freshman year in college…it’s such a simple pleasure. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Tina, love your blog…you have an amazing work ethic! Keep it up! ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. i am DEFINITELY a regular coffee drinker. i started drinking it occasionally in high school, and then in college i got a job as a barista…so, needless to say, my consumption has risen considerably since then. i try to keep it to 2 (3 at the most!) mugs per day.

  9. Coffee’s my favorite beverage (after red wine …) – I’ve been drinking it since high school. And yes – freshly ground beans are worth it! I’ve been using the same grinder for at least 5 or 6 years. It really makes a difference.

    If you want to have REALLY good coffee, though, you need a French press. Yum.

  10. I’ll never forget the first day I started drinking coffee… it was my freshman year of college and I was at a winter retreat with a campus ministry that I was a part of. I was up ridiculously late the first night we got there, apparently not remembering that we had to be up and at breakfast by 7:00am. I “woke up” grabbed the coffee bag and the hotel coffee maker and drank it… straight up. Haven’t looked back. I heart coffee.

  11. Yes, I love drinking coffee! I drank it in college in a fancy form because that was the trendy thing to do.

    My first year of work out of college I drank it every once in awhile, but took a break from it until my husband decided to start drinking it recently . Now it is like our little morning ritual. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Going back to yesterdays post about the training and growing thighs ~ i thought I would see if any body could help me out. I am not training for anything but workout usually 6 days a week taking classes from boot camp, spinning, strength, and I run once a week. I still have this problem every so often with my jeans being tight in the thighs. Can you over do it? Is that what causes the tightness some days and some days they are completely fine. Can someone help with my question.

    Thank you!

  13. I drink coffee almost daily, except when I feel I’m going a little caffeine overboard, in which case I try and detox for a few days. Like most people, I was repulsed by coffee growing up, but as soon as I got to college I started drinking it every day, and sometimes twice or three times a day!

  14. How cool (…hot?)! I just love Green Mountain coffee – so happy their Pumpkin Spice is back. I’ve been drinking coffee for a couple of years (worked at a coffee shop for ages, ironically, BEFORE I ever became a drinker), but I generally stick with tea these days. Yummy fall flavors are the exception!

  15. I love love love coffee and could not make it through the day without it. I think I started drinking it in high school.

    My mom has a grind and brew from Cuisinart. It is amazing and takes the hassle out of the extra step.

  16. I can blame my coffee addiction on college anatomy class. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I hated coffee before college but quickly became an huge fan. I love my [Target] coffee grinder and my french press!! I also love my Keurig single cup coffee for days when I’m running late…..about 7 days a week! ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’ve been trying to talk myself out of coffee all afternoon, but I’m pretty sure I need some now…..

  17. I can’t live without my coffee!! My husband jokes with me about sending me to Coffee Anonymous..lol! I started drinking coffee as a little tot. I know not healthy but Grandpa will give you anything!!

  18. THANK YOU for these fun tips! I drink coffee… sometimes too much. I started drinking it regularly either late in high school or early in college… can’t remember. I started having sips of my dad’s coffee probably in middle school. I idolized him and tried whatever he was having… (same goes for his scotch and beer…which were not appealing at the time;))

  19. Hi My name is Ashley and I’m a coffee-aholic!!!

    I started drinking the gas station lattes when I was in high school and actual coffee not till I was twenty. I had my first Starbucks latte at age 20- PSL!!! Then I was hooked. Now I have to have at least 1 cup of coffee or 1 latte per day. I go back and forth between the two as I have my own espresso maker. I do however need milk in coffee and only a little bit of sugar. Making that at home is easy but I’m sure I annoy most baristas when I buy lattes….LOL!

  20. 10 years old, I had coffee at Christmas brunch. I never looked back…
    OK, I actually started again in college, but I would have a cup every now and then growing up as a treat. I’ve always loved the taste of it.

  21. This is all really interesting! I didn’t know that about the freezer after opening it. I LOVE coffee so much.. my husband and I are a bit obsessed. We got some wedding photos taken next to a huge wall painted with the word “COFFEE”–I also have that “I love coffee & blogs” print that you showed way back when. Great post, Tina!

  22. I hated the smell of coffee when I was growing up. The summer after my sophmore year I had a job that started at 7:00 a.m. The first thing I did when I hit the building was go to the lunchroom for coffee. Now I drink about 1-1/2 cups per day. If I could mainline it I would. I go straight from bed to the coffeemaker. But after that first cup, little interest although during the hot FL summer I might have some iced midday. It does keep me up at night if I drink it much after 1:00 or 2:00. And, I’m far too cheap to buy it at Starbucks or anywhere else. DH carries his own into work.

  23. I love coffee and definitely need my fix every morning!
    I started drinking it my junior year of high school. Late night Calculus study sessions wouldn’t have been possible without!

  24. After staying away from coffee for years, and only drinking decaf occassionally, I’m firmly back on the bandwagon. It just tastes so good with chilli chocolate! ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. I actually got my free sample from them in the mail last week (the promotion has been all month long). They send such a generous amount of a full bag PLUS a free travel mug. I was excited. Sounds like a fun time learning about the coffee!

  26. Thanks for the coffee info. I’ve been “addicted” to espresso more than regular coffee and it’s been since I moved to the Pacific Northwest from California in 1992…birthplace of Starbucks..no wonder…(geesh..almost 20 years)..

  27. Awww, you went and did it. Now I want coffee! (and I just had a cup less than an hour ago)

    I, too, took the coffee plunge in college, but moreso because no one in my family drank coffee, so I wasn’t used to it. Bought a whole lot of instant plus sugar because I was taking so many hard science classes, and it was really a placebo (I don’t think it did anything). I eventually weaned myself to dark, black French or Italian roast–why would I ever sugar such a thing?

    ‘Scuse me, gotta get more. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  28. I started drinking coffee in my early 20’s when I began needing that morning “pick me up”. My favorite is original 8 O’clock coffee that I grind at the store. I do own a coffee grinder but cleaning it is a pain in the butt!

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