Coffee

Heat-Sensitive Game Boy Mug ‘Turns On’ With Hot Coffee

If you grew up with a Game Boy in your pocket, the sight of this mug is probably filling you with a lot of warm, nostalgic feelings. Replace those feelings of longing by reuniting with your beloved handhold console in mug form. This charming kitchen staple looks just like the original grey Game Boy that graced many Christmas stockings in 1989. Unlike a regular Game Boy, this…

Time of Day and Age May Influence Coffee’s Impact on Memory

Many people knock back a cup of coffee every morning with the goal of doing better on a test or jumping into a backlog of work … or just to feel remotely human. Caffeine is the most widely used stimulant in North America—some 90 percent of the adult population consumes it for its mentally arousing effects. But a recent study published in Frontiers in Psychology has found that the time of day and your age may influence coffee’s influence on your memory.

Memory, of course, is a key component of learning, retention, and performance in a number of areas of our lives. Explicit memory, lead author Stephanie Sherman, a postdoctoral fellow in the psychology department at Boston College, tells mental_floss, “is just conscious recall of info.” Implicit memory, on the other hand, which researchers call “priming,” is the unconscious recall of previously learned information. More specifically, if something you’ve recently encountered happens to be in the forefront of your mind, “you’re more likely to recall it without being conscious you recalled it because you previously saw it,” she explains.

Sherman became intrigued by a study her professor Lee Ryan conducted that explored the relationship between caffeine and implicit and explicit memory in older adults. Ryan’s study showed that caffeine enhanced memory performance in older adults in their non-optimal time of day: the afternoon. But caffeine had no effect on their memory in the morning, Sherman says. She wanted to find out if this would hold true in young adults, whose circadian rhythms are different, making afternoon their optimal time of day for physiological arousal—essentially, in how awake they feel—and morning their non-optimal time.

To test this hypothesis, she and her colleagues designed a double-blind experiment with college students aged 18 to 21. The first group of students came into the lab between 6:00 and 7:00 a.m. Half of these participants received a cup of caffeinated coffee, and the others got decaffeinated; regardless of which cup they received, they were told their coffee was caffeinated. That procedure was repeated with a second group of 40 participants in the afternoon between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. Sherman’s team theorized that caffeine would have memory-boosting effects for young adults in their non-optimal time of day—early morning—but to determine the specificity of caffeine’s effects, they also investigated the effects on memory performance of two types of exercise in the early morning—vigorous aerobic exercise and gentle stretching.

“We thought another way of increasing physiological arousal would be exercise. If just being more awake increases your memory performance, than exercise would have the same effect [as caffeine],” Sherman reports.

On…

Drinking Coffee to Burn Fat and Lose Weight

Drinking coffee can do more for your health than just a stimulant to keep you awake. There are several compounds found in coffee that help you control your weight.

Caffeine:

Caffeine is in coffee and if you look at diet supplements, you will likely find it as part of the ingredients. Researchers have found that caffeine stimulates the nervous system and increases our metabolism. Our metabolism dictates how much calories we burn while we are at rest. Hence by increasing the metabolism, caffeine allows us to burn more fat without having…

How Used Coffee Grounds Could Save Refugee Lives

The secret ingredient for saving children’s lives may be sitting in your kitchen trash. Student inventors at the University of Toronto have created a recycled, coffee-based fuel log called Moto that could someday eliminate dangerous firewood-collecting trips for refugee women and children.

Wood-fired cookstoves are the heart of many refugee camps in Africa; the majority of refugees there rely on firewood to prepare their food. But this practice creates a dangerous vulnerability. Firewood disappears from the woods around the camps faster than it can grow back. Consequently, the women and children who collect the wood must venture farther and farther from camp, crossing into dangerous territories where they often…

It’s Time To Try Mushroom Coffee

From bracelets to peanut butter, there are plenty of creative ways to get your morning caffeine fix. Finland-based Four Sigmatic is one of the latest companies to offer up an unconventional option with a product that looks, smells, and tastes a lot like a regular coffee—but take a look at the ingredients list and you’ll see that mushrooms are a major component.

As Food Republic reports, mushroom coffee is made by combining Arabica coffee beans with mushrooms that have been dried, boiled, and liquefied. The coffee, which is already a good source…

Great Gifts for the Coffee (or Tea) Lover in Your Life

Most of us can appreciate a decent cup of joe. Then, there are those who obsess over bean sourcing, brew temperatures, and whether their paper filter is unbleached. For these friends and relatives, a gift card to the local franchise drive-thru probably won’t do. Check out 11 thoughtful gifts for the coffee and tea lovers in your life.

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For the uninitiated, Kombucha is a tea fermented with (good) bacteria that’s believed to be a rich source of probiotics and antioxidants. This brew kit allows enthusiasts to mix up their own exclusive 5-liter batch. It’s also dishwasher-safe and comes with a recipe booklet.

Find It: Uncommon Goods

Pour-over coffee aficionados have taken the time to learn the correct brewing methods using a filter and hot water kettle. Fellow makes the process a little more precise with this stainless steel kettle, which has a built-in thermometer (for monitoring ideal water temperature) and an easily-aimed gooseneck spout for spot-on pouring.

Find It: Amazon

MistoBox

Can’t find a quality coffee roaster near you? MistoBox lets users select flavor preferences and then matches them with a high-quality grind that’s shipped directly to their door every month. An extra $15 upgrades the first…