Happy Monday! What’s been happening in coffee news? Starbucks launched a giveaway for 30 years of free coffee, coffee consumption has been linked to DNA, and some studies show that coffee can improve liver health, while other studies indicate it may decrease fertility. Also a new company comes up with an ingenious way to “eat your coffee”.
From December 2nd until Christmas, every time a customer pays with a Starbucks gift card or a mobile device they’ll become eligible to win “Starbucks For Life” – free Starbucks for 30 years! It’s part of Starbucks effort to increase in-store traffic and sales during the holiday season. Other new and exciting holiday innovations customers will be seeing are “the first new holiday handcrafted beverage in five years”, the delicious sounding Chestnut Praline Latte, and 100 uniquely designed Starbucks gift cards to choose from. – I ADORE Starbucks during the holidays, an Eggnog or Gingerbread Latte in a festive red cup always puts a little more pep in my step, and now I have even more reasons to go and throw my money at them this season.
A recently conducted study looked into the link between a person’s genetic makeup and their coffee consumption habits. But how can genes determine how much coffee a person drinks? The genes being looked at, six in total, are those responsible for caffeine metabolism, those that impact the rewarding effects of caffeine, and, interestingly enough, genes responsible for glucose and lipid metabolism (sugar and fat). Taking all these factors into account, the study suggests that a person will naturally adjust how much coffee they drink to get the ideal effects, something that will vary from person to person as determined by their genetics.
On the health front, there’s been some good news and some bad news for coffee drinkers.
The good news is that recent studies by researcher Dr. Qian Xiao from the National Cancer Institute and data from the U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey have shown that increased coffee drinking can be beneficial for liver health, with both decaf and regular coffee consumption resulting in lower levels of abnormal liver enzymes, thus demonstrating that it’s something in the coffee itself causing the results, not the caffeine.
The bad news is a study done by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston have concluded that, when it comes to clinical pregnancy or IVF, consumption of two cups of coffee a day can decrease male fertility by around 50%. Oddly enough, drinking alcohol increased chances of conceiving. Neither the caffeine nor the alcohol were shown to affect the shape, number, or mobility of sperm, leading to some speculation that caffeine may affect the sperm at a molecular level, but further study is needed.
Once upon a time, two guys decided they wanted a way to combine coffee and breakfast in something that they could take on the run with them to avoid being late to class – and the Coffeebar was born. The company the guys founded is called New Grounds Food and the Coffeebar is their flagship product, an all-natural, vegan and gluten-free to-go bar. They’re currently running a Kickstarter campaign to get things rolling and they’re up to 3X their goal with 16 days to go!