Category Archives: Food

Foods To Eat During Ivf

Foods To Eat During Ivf

A poor diet can wreak havoc with your fertility and what you consume is so important that it can make the difference between a successful pregnancy or not, whether via the medium of IVF or conventional methods. If you are about to undergo IVF treatment then you will want to do everything possible to maximize your chances of success and one of the many ways you can do this is by looking carefully at the foods to eat during IVF.

In many respects, it is wrong to only consider your diet during the procedure itself. It is vital that you take steps beforehand to eat the right kinds of foods to promote fertility and prepare your body to receive the embryo.

Eating a diet for optimal health is a good starting point. This will mean eating plenty of organic fresh fruits and vegetables, organic dairy produce, wholegrains, lean meats, beans, nuts and seeds and drinking plenty of water. Of course what you don’t eat is vitally important too. You should avoid foods which contain additives and preservatives and those which contains saturated and trans-fats. We can group other bad choices in here such as drinking alcohol, smoking and the use of drugs. (This sometimes includes prescription drugs-you should check with your doctor).

Before we consider the must-have foods to eat during IVF, the principles of a fertility diet are as follows:-

* Eat 4-6 moderately sized meals a day
* Snacking is fine in moderation and as long as the foods are healthy
* Warm foods are better than cold
* Drink plenty of filtered water between meals, rather than with meals themselves
* Chew food well
* Lightly steam or bake vegetables

During IVF, certain foods are thought to help with implantation and these include pineapple, nuts and leafy green vegetables.

* Pineapple-The compound Bromelin, found in pineapple is believed by many to increase the chances of success. Bromelin can dissolve the proteins which may inhibit implantation and many women have attributed their success, at least in part, to eating pineapple. Take an average sized pineapple and divide it into 5 portions. Eat a portion a day beginning with embryo transfer day.

* Nuts-Certain nuts contain Omega3 fatty acids which are a contributory factor in the manufacture of prostraglandin which is essential for conception. Although oily fish is a good source, there is some concern about the levels of contaminents in certain fish. Walnuts are a good alternative source.

* Dark Green Leafy Vegetables-Certainly on the list of foods to eat during IVF, leafy vegetables are a good source of Folic Acid which, in turn, is essential for the formation of new cells and helping them survive. In addition, women who include folic acid rich foods before conception tend to produce healthier eggs.

Some Tips for Preventing Food Poisoning

Some Tips for Preventing Food Poisoning

Food poisoning is one thing that people often worry about when eating food at a restaurant, especially if they have not eaten there before. While food poisoning is widely regarded as something that comes from food in a restaurant, or somewhere else outside of the home, keep in mind that food prepared within your own home can cause this problem as well. One benefit, though, is the greater degree of control you can have over the food prepared in your kitchen.

To reduce the risk of food poisoning, one must understand how the food poisoning process works. Coming down with a food-borne illness is a direct result of digesting food that has viruses, bacteria, and even parasites, which have developed on the food over time. While harmful bacteria and other “germs” are common in virtually any environment, a healthy immune system usually protects the body from becoming ill. When you introduce tainted food directly into the body, however, it becomes harder to combat.

Coming down with a food-borne illness typically leads to symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, and even vomiting. Food poisoning symptoms can appear either within a few hours or can take up to a few days to manifest; any timeline will greatly depend on the food that was digested, as well as how your body handles it. With that said, here are a few safety precautions that one must take in order to avoid this type of poisoning:

Know the Risky Foods

If you cannot control the foods that are handed to you such as dishes at a restaurant, you must know which kinds of foods that can cause this sort of poisoning. Food such as undercooked meats, raw produce, and even seafood are notorious for carrying viruses and parasites. Avoiding these dishes altogether can reduce your risk of food poisoning a great deal, but may be considered an unreasonable precaution for meat eaters. It is important to consider both your appetite for risk along with your literal appetite when making choices. However, if you ever feel your food is undercooked, never be afraid to send it back.

Always Wash your Hands and Food Contact Surfaces

Before serving any type of food at home, always make sure that you wash your hands properly and with antibacterial hand soap. You should wash both before and during preparation, especially after handling raw meat, fish, and poultry. Not washing your hands between handing raw meat and lettuce used in a salad, for example, can easily cross contaminate the salad. You also need to sanitize cutting boards, countertops, pans, utensils, and other surfaces that encounter food.

Use a Thermometer

When preparing and cooking items such as meats, use a meat thermometer to ensure that the inside of the meat is at an appropriate temperature. When cooking foods such as fish and chicken, the temperature should always be higher than 140 to 160 degrees Fahrenheit. By reaching these temperatures, you will kill the vast majority of live bacteria or parasites.

Always Chill Food

The longest that raw meats should stay out of a refrigerator is two hours. It is best to either thaw your meats in the microwave, or let them sit in the refrigerator until they are ready to be cooked. When thawing food at room temperatures, be sure to set it down on a plate away from any other types of food and make sure that it does not touch the countertop.

Check the Expiration Date

Although this may sound obvious, it is crucial that you check the expiration date on the meats that are going to be prepped. All grocery stores and butchers will place a date to use by on all labels. Be sure to glance at these labels before cooking. If the meat has expired, do not gamble and try to cook it – play it safe and toss it out.

By taking basic precautions and using your head, food poisoning can be prevented, especially in your own home. When eating outside of the home, try to avoid raw foods and inspect your meats before consumption. By being more aware of the food you consume, you can decrease your own risk of becoming ill from food poisoning.

Discovering Organic Coffee

Discovering Organic Coffee

Many people have turned to organic fruits and vegetables (and even meats) in recent years, striving to live healthier, longer lives. You may be one of these people. But did you know that organic coffee is now available, too? If you can’t find it at your local health food store, then you can definitely find it online.

How Organic Coffee Differs From Traditional Coffee

The coffee plant has traditionally been grown in the company of shade trees and other food and cash crops. This approach made for healthier soil and prevented water contamination. Unfortunately, many coffee growers have abandoned this approach in favor of larger crops and hence larger profits. However, synthetic pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers have become necessary to maintain these crops, and along with them the taste of the coffee has suffered, the soil has suffered, and no one knows the potential impact they may have on the future health of the coffee consumer.

In addition, the loss of the shade trees has had a direct impact on migratory song birds. While an obvious connection may not immediately come to mind, the relationship has actually been symbiotic. These birds used the shade trees as their habitat as they migrated, and as a result they provided a natural defense against many of the bugs and pests that can ruin a coffee crop. Without them, pesticides must be used to do the job.

Unlike the large, commercial coffee plantations, organic coffees are generally grown on small farms with plenty of shade cover. There are plenty of migratory birds to control insects, and pesticides are unnecessary. In fact, the United States requires that organic coffees be grown on shaded land and be completely chemical free for three consecutive years.

Tips For A Great Cup of Organic Coffee

Whole beans should be used within a week of purchase in order to enjoy the full flavor of the coffee.

Avoid vacuum-packed coffee, even organic vacuum-packed coffee. The process of vacuum packing cannot be done immediately after roasting. The coffee must sit for nearly a week before it can be vacuum-packed. This degrades much of the flavor.

Coffee beans should be stored in an airtight container, not on the shelf in the paper bag you brought them home with from the store. And in order to enjoy the full flavor of the coffee, you should grind only the amount you intend to use just before brewing.

Whole coffee beans that will be stored longer than a week should be placed in an airtight glass container that’s kept in the freezer.

As with any coffee blend, organic or not, grind the beans according to the brewing method you intend to use. Keep in mind that if you grind your beans too fine your coffee may end up bitter and muddy; if you don’t grind them enough, your coffee may end up flavorless.

Often overlooked, many people consider the most important step toward a good cup of coffee to be the proportion of water to coffee. Experts recommend 2 tablespoons for every 6 ounces of water.

Coffee Facts – The Different Types of Coffee Beans

Coffee Facts – The Different Types of Coffee Beans

All over the world, people drink coffee from basically one of two types of coffee beans: Arabica beans (“Coffea Arabica”) and Robusta beans (“Coffea Robusta”)

Arabica beans are aromatic, flavorful coffee beans used for gourmet, specialty coffees. The term refers to Coffea Arabica, the taxonomic species named for the genus responsible for about 75% of the world’s commercial coffee crop. Coffea Arabica is a woody perennial evergreen that belongs to same family as Gardenias.

Robusta beans contain twice the caffeine as Arabicas. Robusta beans are somewhat bitter and lack the flavor and aroma of Arabica beans. Robusta beans are used to produce blends, instant and freeze dried coffees.

There are other types of coffee species but they are very rare or non-existent in the export market. As a result, the fact is that we all drink either Arabica or Robusta coffee. Sounds simple, right? Not quite.

There are many “varietals” within Arabica coffee trees which yield coffee beans with distinct flavors and characteristics. This is where the fun begins. To name a few,

ETHIOPIAN COFFEE: Ethiopian Harrar, Sidamo and Yirgacheffe. Each is named after their region of origin and they have very distinct flavor characteristics. For example, Ethiopian Harrar is known for its medium body, earthy flavor, almost no acidity and a very smooth mouth feel. This is a complex coffee with light spicy tones and a fruity flavor that some people compare to the taste of dry red wine. As the ‘birthplace of coffee,” Ethiopia has a unique place in the coffee world.

KENYAN COFFEE: Kenyan AA. This coffee comes from the area surrounding Mount Kenya, a region with fertile red volcanic soil. The coffee is known for its very acidic taste you taste right away in the mouth, and then followed by a medium body with an aftertaste of earthy flavor.

TANZANIAN COFFEE: Tanzanian Peaberry focuses on pea berry instead of traditional coffee beans. Coffee is the dried seed from the fruit of a flowering tree. Each fruit has two seeds facing each other. On the coffee tree, there is a percentage of the fruit that has a single seed or peaberry and the rest will have two flat beans for the usual two (2) seeds per fruit. The single bean peaberry occurs in less than 5% of any crop and is generally considered to produce a more concentrated flavor.

COLOMBIAN COFFEE: major cultivars of Arabica beans include Bourbon, Caturra, Maragogype and Typica. Colombian coffees also include the name of the growing regions such as Cauca, Nariño, Amazonas, Bucaramanga, etc. Colombia accounts for more than a tenth of the world’s entire coffee supply. Colombian Arabica coffee is perhaps the most well-known, partly due to its “living” and successful coffee advertising iconic symbols recognized worldwide, Juan Valdez and Conchita, the mule. The more generic Colombian coffees are rated as Excelso and Supremo. These terms simply refer to the size of the coffee beans, not necessarily to better coffee grades.

COSTA RICAN COFFEE: Costa Rican Tarrazu is a prized Arabica coffee. It is named after the San Marcos de Tarrazu valley, one of the four premium coffee growing districts surrounding the capital city of San Jose. The other varietals include Tres Rios, Heredia and Alajuela. Costa Rican coffees are balanced, clean, with bright acidity featuring citrus or berry-like flavors and hints of chocolate and spice in the finish.

BRAZILIAN COFFEE: Brazil Santos Bourbon comes from the hills of Sào Paulo state in the south-central portion of the country near the port of Santos. Historically, these Arabica coffee plants were brought to the island of Bourbon now known as the Island of Reunion. Brazil Santos Bourbon is a light bodied coffee, with low acidity, a pleasing aroma and a mild, smooth flavor.

INDONESIAN COFFEE: Java is the most famous Arabica varietal from the island of Java. The top grade of Java coffee is cultivated on former Dutch plantations and is called Java Estate. This is a clean, thick, full body coffee with less of the earthy characteristics that other Indonesia coffees feature, such as Sumatra or Sulawesi. The Java coffees provide a smooth complement to the Yemen Mocha which is very intense. The traditional Mocha Java blend is the combination of Java and Yemen Mocha.

SUMATRAN COFFEE: Sumatra Mandheling and Sumatra Lintong. Sumatra Lintong originates in the Lintong district of Sumatra near Lake Toba. This coffee has a medium, bodied coffee, low acid, sweet with a complex and earthy aroma. Sumatra Mandheling has a rich, heavy body, subdued acidity and unique complex flavor. This coffee actually does not originate in the Mandheling region but is named after the Mandailing people in the north of Sumatra.

HAWAIIAN COFFEE: closer to home, in Hawaii, the best known Arabica varietal is Hawaiian Kona coffee. This Arabica bean grows on the slopes of Mount Hualalai and Mauna Loa which makes it not only exclusive to Hawaii but also to the Kona District specifically.

JAMAICAN COFFEE: the Arabica varietal that grows predominantly in the Blue Mountain region of this island is called Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. The Blue Mountains stretch between Kingston and Port Maria in Jamaica. This region enjoys a cool and misty climate. Due to its limited production quantity, Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is expensive.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA COFFEE: located just north of Australia, Papua New Guinea coffee cultivation was started in 1937 using imported seeds from Jamaica’s famous Blue Mountain region. As a result, Papua New Guinea has noticeable similarities to Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. The rich volcanic soil and excellent climate produce a mild and mellow, full-bodied coffee with moderate acidity, broad flavor and very interesting aromatics.

Is this all? No, there are many more varietals, brands, and special flavors of Arabica coffee to try and discover.

For now, what about a cup of Ethiopian Harrar or Papua New Guinea coffee?

Becoming a Personal Trainer

Becoming a Personal Trainer

I talk to a lot of people who are interested in becoming personal trainers. In this article, I will briefly share some thoughts on motives, attitudes and resources if you are thinking of becoming a personal trainer. I would recommend that you start by getting a legitimate certification. You can research the internet or talk to personal trainers at health clubs or private studios. As a suggestion, you could check out the International Association of Resistance Trainers, ISSA or ACE. These three certification organizations can be found on the internet and have several areas for you to consider. When considering a legitimate certification program, check out personal training / liability insurance.

Be sure that the certificate you earn will have clear guidelines on how to purchase insurance once you actually start to train clients. There are many fitness certifications that are not recognized by any insurance companies, stay away from these. If you choose to train without insurance, you are taking a big risk. Depending on the physical location of where you will train your clients (club, private training studio, corporate fitness center) you will need to check with their individual requirements regarding acceptable certifications and insurance policies.

After you have done your research on the above issues, if you are still interested, get started today! Whether you remain interested (out of the people who go into fitness training, many more drop out than stick with it) you can always use the information to further your own personal fitness programming. I believe that your initial training / certification will never be a waste. You will want to check out other certification programs later (may be required based on place of employment) in order to get plenty of exposure to all the different training methodologies.

Try to stay grounded – many programs are not that reality based. With any training information, ask yourself the question: How will I use this for my own, as well as my clients, fitness program? I have many doctors, other trainers and people with sports / human performance degrees who hire me to help with training issues. The rubber hits the road when you have a client who is depending on you to give them a cardio, strength training, eating, supplementation, injury recovery and / or flexibility program complete with personalized scheduling. You do not need to have all the answers but try to establish your own process for giving them the answers or effective referrals for what they need.

Not knowing what your previous experience is regarding working with people in general, I would suggest that you assess what your tolerance is for complainers and whiners as there are so many issues for so many people that you will need to address at some level (as a fitness professional). If you want to be a good trainer, you need to commit to the total client. I think too many trainers end up wanting to legitimize their own training priorities and believe that by becoming a personal trainer / fitness professional, they can focus all their time on themselves (not an acceptable mindset). They should stay out of personal training if they are not ready to commit to their clients. Do not fall prey to canned programs or using a cookie cutter approach for everyone you will train.

I come from a human service background (double major in Social Work / Criminal Justice) and worked my way up to manager in a juvenile diversion program over a period of 10 years before getting into personal training. BUT, in the first three years of being a personal trainer, I placed in three international personal trainer contests. These were great experiences but in all three instances, success was based on the commitment to the client more than caring about winning any contests.

The Myriad Varieties Of Food In India

The Myriad Varieties Of Food In India

Food in India is an incommensurable collection of cuisines of scores of ethnic and cultural groups in India. India is a large country divided in different regions with each region having its own exclusive cuisine. Food in India is truly unique and losing yourself in its exotic flavors is itself an unforgettable gastronomic experience.

South Indian food is conceivably deemed one of the finest of all Indian cuisines. The food items are pretty hot and highly spiced. The most popular South Indian food items include idlis, dosas, vadas, sambhar, uttapams, rasam, payasam, etc. Besides South Indian food, there are also South Indian food snacks like banana chips, jackfruit chips, etc. which are equally appreciated.

Though food in India is believed to be spicy, it has a wide range of food snacks and sweet food that defy the norm. Food snacks have always been popular food items that are substantially served as a light meal. Beside food snacks, a variety of delicious sweet food builds up the menu card. India has a bountiful of sweet food delights that never fails to satisfy your desire for sugary chow. Indian sweet food stores offers a diverse luscious sweets you will ever find such as sandesh, gulab jamun, rasgulla, burfis, laddoos, rasbari, peda, malpua, jalebi, etc.

Although business franchises and franchising opportunities are escalating, some have more lasting potential than others and food franchise is beyond shadow of a doubt, one of them. Food franchise tends to facilitate a sound and healthy business and the best profit model. So, if you have nurtured a dream of opening a food outlet with vegetarian snacks, sweet food, South Indian food, and various other snacks food India, buy a food franchise of a reputed brand and see your business grow in no time.

Treat Yourself Today With Gourmet Flavored Coffee

Treat Yourself Today With Gourmet Flavored Coffee

I love all types of coffee, but one of my favorite types is gourmet flavored coffee. To tell you the truth, I like everything about coffee, from coffee candy to coffee mugs to all kinds of coffee gifts. Most of all though, I love gourmet coffee. Let me tell you why.

The Wide Varieties

There is absolutely no shortage of different flavors of gourmet coffee. The online store where I buy most of my coffee has these flavors: amaretto, almond, butterscotch cream, butter rum, cherry cobbler, cherry bomb, chocolate cherry, chocolate almond, chocolate marshmallow, chocolate Irish Cream, chocolate raspberry, chocolate mint, orange, cinnamon hazelnut, pumpkin spice, orange, vanilla nut, vanilla almond, etc., etc., etc. I have only tried a fraction of all these go types of gourmet coffee.

How It is Made

Obviously, coffee beans can’t be grown with all these different flavors. Gourmet flavored coffee begins with a base like Colombia Supremo, to which pure flavors are added. There are no sugars or chemical additives in this flavored coffee. The end result of this process is a wonderfully delicious coffee, so delicious that flavored coffee can become addictive. With so many flavors to choose from, you will never become bored when drinking coffee of gourmet favor.

The Best Way to Brew

Like all types of coffee, coffee of gourmet favor will taste better when it’s brewed correctly. Start by keeping all your coffee brewing equipment as clean as possible. Coffee residue, especially flavored coffee residue, can leave later pots of coffee tasting funny. I make a practice of cleaning all of my coffee brewing equipment each time I make coffee.

Water is another important factor in brewing a great cup of coffee. Be sure to use filtered cold water so that the gourmet flavor is not masked. For really fresh flavor, start with coffee beans and grind them yourself. The coffee will stay fresh longer. Each time you make a pot of coffee, measure and grind just the amount you need. I think you’ll agree that freshly ground gourmet flavored coffee can’t be beat.

Free Fat Burning Foods List

Free Fat Burning Foods List

This free fat burning foods list will help you accelerate your weight loss. You’re free to choose among these foods which ones you want to add to your diet.

It’s basically a personal preference as to which of these foods you’ll naturally gravitate towards. It doesn’t matter, just try to make foods on this list the basis of your diet.

Free Fat Burning Foods List

apples
blueberries
black beans
blackberries
broccoli
brussel sprouts
cabbage
carrots
cauliflower
celery
cherries
cucumbers
eggs
garlic
grapefruit
grapes
green beans
kale
lemons
lentils
lettuce
mango
mushrooms
onions
oranges
papaya
peaches
pears
peas
pineapples
pumpkin
raspberries
strawberries
string beans
tomatoes
watermelon
yogurt
The best way to go about using these fat burning foods is to start adding a few each week to your diet so that you get use to them. Once you’re familiar with them and have a routine with a few of these foods, add a few more. Keep adding these foods until they make up a majority of your diet.

I personally eat a lot of black beans, lentils, eggs, yogurt, apples, broccoli, cauliflower, and grapes. I came up with a routine to eat these often and now they make up a big part of my diet day in and day out. I guess I chose them because they’re easy to cook or are readily available without much time spent on them. Like everyone else, I like convenience.

A lot of the foods on this list are either high in protein, high in fiber, high in water content, and or low in calories.

So there you have it. Accelerate your weight loss progress by using foods on this free fat burning foods list.

Food Flavorings Bringing Out Good Taste

Food Flavorings Bringing Out Good Taste

In order to get food to taste good most people think that you have to result to unhealthy food flavorings. Most people wonder if it is possible to eat healthy while maintaining the great taste. Artificial sugars are an alternative to table sugar (sucrose) as they tend to be more intensively sweeter and have zero calories. Artificial sugars have become the main functional ingredients in many diet drinks and other healthy food products. Many artificial foods have been made to cater for those of us who watch what we eat. You can add texture to your food which is good for your digestive system via food texturizers. Here is how to add taste to your food:

Spices: Its definition tends to be a grey area for many culinary aficionados, as one definition is inclusive of herbs. The American Spice Trade Association has it that, flavoring is “any dried product used primarily for seasoning purposes.” The other widely and most accepted definition is whether fresh or dried or derived from the bark, stem, root, seed or fruit of a plant. They tend to be grown in tropical climes. They are highly regarded for their medicinal value and in preparation of cosmetic products. Examples include garlic, ginger, cloves, pepper, cinnamon even wasabi.

Herbs: Herbs are different in that they are derived from leaves. They may be whole, grinded a little to be flaky, or well grinded to be powder. When consumed whole they tend to give texture to food and hence are a great natural food texturizer. Herbs do not favor tropical climes and are commonly found in more temperate areas. Herbs are similar when it comes to their medicinal values and also cosmetic properties. Examples of herbs are parsley, basil, oregano, thyme and rosemary.

Condiments: They tend to be simple sauces; good examples include mustard, ketchup and barbecue sauce.

Others: Salt is a mineral, but it would be unfair to ignore it when talking of seasonings. Salt has preserving qualities, commonly used to preserve fish before refrigerators, hence the term salted fish. There are many different types of salt, from rock salt to sea salt. Iodized salt is usually recommended so as to limit the salts’ dehydrating properties. Some like to confuse sugar as a seasoning, but it is considered as part of functional ingredients as food can be made out of it. To be fair sugar changes the taste of whatever it is mixed in, but it is more commonly referred to as a sweetener.

We are what we eat and whenever we want to eat healthy there is always the drawback of sacrificing taste. Good food has to have the right functional ingredients and complementing food flavorings to bring out great tasting food. Food that tastes good is not enough; addition of good food texturizers will ensure that your food also feels good in your mouth. We usually rush at what tastes good to us every meal time, and probably our best meal is usually what we remember tasting best. With the proper application of food seasonings you will always have a feast of even the smallest meals.

The Spirit of Coffee – Coffees of the World

The Spirit of Coffee – Coffees of the World

Ever wonder where the coffee beans in your morning coffee come from? You probably know words like Arabica and Robusta in terms of taste, but did you know that these words can also tell us where those coffees were grown? Here is a look at three of the world’s best specialty coffees and the regions in which they originated. Read on to discover the rich history of these coffees.

Yemen Arabian Mocca

Grown in the mountainous region of Sanani in south Yemen at an altitude in excess of 4,500 ft, Arabian Mocca is the world’s oldest cultivated coffee, distinguished by its richness and full body with chocolate undertones. Yemen is on Asia’s Arabian peninsula, a stone’s throw from Africa. Since there are no other Arabian coffees, it is classified as part of the family tastes of North African coffees.

It is here that the term “mocca” was coined. Its correct spelling is Mokha, for the port city that Yemen coffees ship from. Yemen’s arid climate contributes to the production of one of the best-loved specialty coffees that led Europeans to fall in love with coffee many centuries ago.

Yemeni coffee is one of the most distinct and prized coffees in the world. It’s been called a “wild” or natural cup, earthy, complex, pungent — to some it may be strange and bitter. This coffee can also be characterized as dry, winey, and acidic with chocolate and fruit undertones, rustic flavors, and intense aromas.

(Source: http://www.sweetmarias.com/coffee.arabia.yemen.html)

Mexico “Spirit of the Aztec”

The state of Veracruz produces many average coffees in its low-lying regions, but atop the tall mountains near the city of Coatepec an excellent Arabica bean coffee called Altura Coatepec reigns. The word Altura itself means “high grown”. Altura Pluma indicates the finest coffee of Mexico. Coetepec, a coffee district of Veracruz, provides particularly outstanding coffee beans. Mexican Altura beans have a full medium body, fine acidity, a wonderful bouquet and a satisfying flavor that is mild and sweet. This fine Mexican coffee is noted for delivering a consistently smooth taste and fragrant flavor with good body, depth, and overall balance. It is likely one of the most underappreciated coffees around.

Mexican coffee botanists celebrate Mexico’s highest altitudes (with their approximately one hundred species of Arabica coffee plants) as the finest region of all the world’s gourmet coffees. An inferior grade of coffee bean known Robusta grows at lower altitudes. Mexico itself produces huge quantities of these unremarkable coffee beans, often utilized as dark roasts, supermarket coffees and beans for blending.

Arabica coffee arrived in Mexico at the start of the nineteenth century from the West Indies. Today, Mexico ranks among the world’s top coffee exporters. Most Mexican coffee is processed by the wet method to ensure better acidity and body. Mexican coffee is graded based on the altitude where it is grown. The plantations of Veracruz account for 60 to 70 percent of the Mexican coffee crop. Approximately 5 million bags of coffee a year originate in Mexico. Most of the better beans are grown on large plantations in the states of Oaxaca, Chiapas, and Guerrero. These are producers of “high-grown” Altura Coatepec coffees, among the finest coffees grown in the Americas.

Their flavor is light and nutty with medium acidity and a mild, well-balanced body. With a fine chocolate tang and a hint of sweet undertone beneath the finish, these coffees make an ideal beverage for those of us who enjoy a smooth, mellow-tasting brew that is not overpowering. Altura’s smoothness produces many loyalists of the coffee drinkers who sample it. Mexican Altura Coatepec is an incredible morning coffee, as it could be used in a blend to tone down accompanying fuller-bodied coffees, or better yet, alone for the pure regional flavor.

(Source: http://www.coffeeuniverse.com/world_coffee_latin.html)

Java “Dutch Estate”

As a synonym of coffee, “java” introduced itself in the seventeenth century when the Dutch began cultivating coffee trees on the island of Java (part of the islands of Indonesia) and successfully exported it globally. Often the standard by which all other coffees are measured, Java’s finest golden beans are roasted to yield a piquant aroma, displaying an exquisite acid balance, a heavy body with chocolate undertones, and a lighter finish than Sumatran.

At one time the island of Java was ruled by sultans and dominated by mysticism. The early Dutch settlers who came in the late 17th century found Java to be a wonderfully diverse place with high mountains, thick tropical rain forests and a sultry climate that revolved around the monsoon rains. The Dutch and the Javanese settled the coastal volcanic plains, while much of the interior of the island was left to the jungle and a few tribal groups. The Dutch found that coffee grew very well in this climate, and began to set up plantations around their initial foothold in Batavia (modern day Jakarta). Initially Arabica coffees were planted, but many of these were killed by the coffee rust plague that devastated the region in the 1800’s. Robusta was the logical replacement — a tough plant resistant to many diseases.

Eventually the Dutch plantation owners conquered Java and took on the elements. Large plantations were established in the east of the island, as well as in Central Java and the west. After the Japanese occupied Java in the 1940’s many of these plantations were destroyed or absorbed back into the jungle with their owners imprisoned by the Japanese. After the war and the ensuing independence struggle, many of the larger plantations ended up under the control of the government. Today the big Java plantations (such as Nusantara XII) are still government-owned. However there are many medium and smaller growers who produce excellent quality Arabica beans. These coffees are known as “Government Estate” Java. They are primarily produced at 4 old farms (Kayumas, Blawan, Djampit, Pancoer). The Government body grows about 85% of the coffee in East Java, close to Bali on the Ijen area. The range of altitudes suitable for coffee production is 3,000 to 6,000 feet, with most growing in the plateau region at 4,500 feet.