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Friday, July 11, 2008

Barista Expresso Coffee Machines

Barista Expresso Coffee Machines
by: Lorna Mclaren

are very easy to control. They have excellent easy-to-press buttons and a colored power indicator that’s easy to read. You can tell the machine is on because this indicator button will light up. This is just the beginning when it comes to the fantastic features of Barista Expresso Coffee Machines.

The portafilter on Barista Expresso Coffee Machines works well. It is a pressurized type of portafilter, so you get a 23-25 second brew time for a double shot of fantastic expresso, compared to an inadequate 10-11 second brew time on other lesser models. The portafilter is also easy to load and use. It does offer plenty of loading room for fulfilling espresso coffee shots, and it also holds heat well. This means you’ll have the proper temperature for extracting espresso beans. This can make the difference from a good start in the morning to a great start!

For steaming and foaming milk, Barista Expresso Coffee Machines offer the ordinary wand. It is made from stainless steel, which is much better than plastic, but it only has single hole on the tip. The wand can make foam easily for your lattes, but some users have found it easy to use the wand in a swirling motion to create the really fine foam. This may be a picky feature that only espresso coffee aficionados look for, but if you are one of these aficionados, you will appreciate the difference this feature will make.

One thing all users of Barista Expresso Coffee Machines will appreciate is just how easy it is to move the steaming wand around. The wand is the perfect height and length, unlike other machines with their wands that are too short and low. These inadequate wands then force you to move your machine to the edge of your counter just to get your pitcher of milk in the right position. This can be awkward and dangerous. With the Barista, there is no such issue. You can leave the machine where it is and still fit the pitcher underneath.

Inexperienced users of Barista Expresso Coffee Machines, on the other hand, may have trouble at first using the wand. You might find the wand creating giant bubbles in your milk. This will happen if you put the tip in the wrong position. Of course, with practice, patience and time, you will be able to create those sought after tiny top bubbles for your latte. Then your local coffee house will be out of luck. You won’t need to go there anymore.

About the author:
Lorna Mclaren has an information and resources website at where you can find out everything you need to know about.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Atkins Diet Plan - What’s The Catch

Atkins Diet Plan - What’s The Catch
by: Martin Smith

The Atkins diet Plan breakfast can usually composed of eggs strips of bacon and coffee. A snack might include coffee with cream, and chunks of cheese. A huge steak fried in butter could be dinner. Doesn't this sound really good? It seems very tempting but there is a catch.

In the beginning you will have to give up most carbs, such as breads, potatoes, pasta, rice and other things like chocolate, cake, some fruits. In theory, when carbs are eliminated from the diet, the body burns stored fat. Weight loss is quicker because fat burns more calories than carbs.

Stable blood sugar levels help you to feel fuller thereby damping your appetite. The Induction is the first phase of the Atkins diet, which you follow for at least two weeks. Only 20 grams of carbs a day, but you can eat lots of red meat, chicken, fish, eggs cream and butter. That you want.

During this phase, your body learns to burn fat and not carbs. The ongoing weight loss phase is the second stage. Add 5 grams of carbs a day until you get to your critical carbohydrate level for losing weight. How many carbs can YOU eat and still lose between 1 and 3 pounds a week? Bread, pasta rice and potatoes are still taboo.

The pre-maintenance or third phase is started when you have only 5-10 pounds left to lose in order to reach your goal weight. Yes! Now you get to add 10 grams a day for one week, to your carb intake, to help your body adjust to the addition of carbs to your diet, and to the final phase of the diet.

Lifetime maintenance, phase 4, teaches you ways to stay motivated. Your carb intake is limited to 90 grams in a day. You will be eating low carbs for the rest of your life. Some doctors have expressed concern about the long tern effects of the Atkins and other low carb plans.

High saturated fat consumption may cause an increased risk of heart disease. The lack of certain nutrients in this diet could cause future health problems. The limited intake of calcium could possibly put you at risk for Osteoporosis. The low antioxidant nutrients could lead to cancer, heart disease and premature aging.

The Atkins diet is boring in the Induction phase. Vegetarians have a hard time with Atkins, particularly in the early stages, due to the limited amount of vegetables, nuts seeds and beans. The Atkins diet presents an image of good health from a proper diet. Some are concerned that once you go off the diet the weight comes back quickly.

The very low carbs in this diet could cause ketosis which can be dangerous for diabetics. The high cholesterol of this diet may cause constipation and heart disease because of the high fat content. This diet, low in fruits and veggies is consequently low in antioxidants that fight cancer. The Atkins plan is that it's not intended for long term use and has serious side effects.

The Atkins Plan works, it is that simple. Weight loss is rapid and you can eat as much protein and fat, as you would like. The carbs eliminated by the Atkins diet can cause a loss of antioxidants which are known to prevent some cancers.

This high fat, high protein diet can increase the risk of elevated cholesterol and heart disease. This Diet really works, although some believe you can't stay on it long term. If you go off the diet or cheat , you will begin to re-gain the weight. Once you start eating a more normal diet the initial weight loss will return.

As with any diet check with a physician-to make sure you are healthy to begin with. The Atkins diet, some believe, is not for long term use and that it poses some serous health risks. If you are overweight, you are already at risk for heart disease and other health problems, and Atkins could increase those risks.

About the author:
About the Author
Martin Smith is a successful freelance writer providing advice on a variety of subjects. For more information on
Atkins diet plan or
Low carb diet plans, drop by the website. His numerous articles provide a wonderfully researched resource of interesting and relevant information.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Coffee - Understand What Caffeine Does

Coffee - Understand What Caffeine Does

I’m no different from any other American; I love a good coffee after I wake up. In fact, I adore coffee bubbling in my coffee maker through out the day and sometimes I also crave the flavour even after having had dinner. Unfortunately, dependent on your body, your reaction to the caffeine will vary. This can mean the difference between a cup of coffee at night or a sleepless night of tossing and turning. I personally cannot drink coffee before bedtime because I am sensitive to the affects of caffeine. I can’t even drink pop before bedtime or I will pay for it at night. This one of the main reasons why I keep a supply of decaf in my kitchen. If I do need that quick taste, I can brew some coffee without suffering the intolerable insomnia associated with caffeine.

My other backup for those times when I have run out of decaf and I crave a quick coffee at night is Dunkin Donuts. They brew a decaf that has all the flavour of the regular brew, but without the concentrated caffeine levels that will wire up my nerves. I’ve even wandered out to get the iced variety when it has been too hot for my normal drink, and because I just have to have that delicious flavour running over my tongue.

Coffee beans have the natural molecule called caffeine built in. I am not very familiar with the process for its removal though. I picture a huge contraption resembling a sieve that uses a filtration system to remove the caffeine from the boiling beans’ water. I suppose this is more fantasy than reality because you can get whole grinds and beans from stores. I strongly imagine that the process involves the entire bean and not just the water. However, it is my best bet for coffee lovers like myself who have to avoid that dreaded caffeine.

I do worry that with the flavours of regular and decaf coffee being so much alike that the coffee-houses may give me regular accidentally. I avoid this concern by keeping a constant supply of decaf in my kitchen. Making mistakes is only human, right? I am also concerned that my Starbucks barista may give me decaf instead of my morning regular. Without that morning boost of caffeine, I have forked out $4, only to continue to doze the day away. Whatever the case I do adore coffee. Don’t you?

Author Info:
Peter Wilson: Concentrating on the topic of coffee types, Peter J. Wilson publishes essentially for . Through his detailed publications (e.g. on coffee maker ) he improved his expertise in the field.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

When the coffee you're drinking gives restaurateurs a jolt

When the coffee you're drinking gives restaurateurs a jolt
February 14, 2008

Want to show the owner of your favorite breakfast place some love this Valentine's weekend? Then ditch the venti caramel macchiato or Big Gulp before you line up for your eggs Benedict and Belgian waffles.

Customers "walking in with a super grande drive me nuts!" says Ina Pinkney, owner of Ina's in the West Loop. "They're on their way to breakfast and they walk in with a giant cup of Starbucks or Caribou. We very gently say, 'Would you mind pouring that coffee into our cup?' I try to be gentle, but at the same time let them know their behavior is not acceptable."

So, why does it bother her so much? "I have better coffee [Intelligentsia]," Pinkney says. "Also, my table is not for advertising another business."
At Kitsch'n on Roscoe, chef-owner Jon Young has hung a small sign on the door of his Roscoe Village restaurant that reads, "Please -- no outside beverages," and bears a Starbucks-esque logo, in reference to the coffee shop just up the block.

"We don't really enforce it that much," he says. And he doesn't really have to. "We have such a great clientele that they get it." Still, if someone does show up bearing a big, obnoxious cup of coffee, the wait staff may ask the customer to put an Intelligentsia "sleeve" over the cup or pour the beverage into a mug. "Coffee sales are very key to us," Young says. And, he adds, "I would never walk into a bar with my own drink."

At M. Henry in Andersonville, "We're not experiencing that too much because we haven't been near a coffee shop [until an independent opened recently]," says general manager Daniel Malone. But he has encountered the behavior while working at other restaurants, where he too would ask paper-cup toters to pour their beverage into one of the restaurant's mugs.

Malone blames it on people who are "so particular about their specialized drink -- like a soy latte with half a pump of vanilla." Still, M. Henry has a full espresso bar in its adjoining cafe, where those who have to wait for a table on weekends can hang out and order a drink. He also offers a bottomless cup of Metropolis coffee that customers can then carry into the dining room when their table is ready.

At Toast, the popular breakfast and lunch spots in Lincoln Park and Bucktown, "I think it's tacky [when someone carries in a Big Gulp], but I won't say anything," says owner Jeanne Roeser. "I pick my battles. If someone feels right from the get-go that they're going to be scolded for something," it can create ill will.

Chris Manolis, one of the owners of Blueberry Hill pancake house in LaGrange (right across the street from a certain coffee chain), has a similar view. Not welcoming them in "is small-minded," he says. "They may come in with a cup of coffee, but they bring five people with them.

"Some of my loyal customers will say, 'I'm sorry I have a cup of Starbucks.' I say, 'No problem.'"

Please, sir, I want some more ...

Who determines how much food winds up on your plate when dining out? Most often it's the executive chef, according to a 2007 Clemson University study on restaurant portion sizes. In addition, when chefs were asked what factors they consider in deciding how much food they serve, they most often said presentation, followed by food cost, then customer expectations.

Only 16 percent said they consider calorie content when determining portion size, according to the study, which appeared in the journal "Obesity."

That can make dining out particularly vexing for those trying to watch their weight, because the temptations are, well, huge.

But chefs who try to do the right thing by serving moderate portions can run into trouble too. Take John Caputo, executive chef at A Mano, the trattoria that opened last fall in River North. He offers an antipasti selection ($5 each for things like marinated mushrooms, grilled octopus or caponata) as well as full and half-portions of about five made-by-hand pastas each night. In the beginning, especially because of the high quality of the pasta, portions weren't big. But after receiving feedback from customers, he has upped the size on both courses to meet expectations.

"We call it the Maggiano's effect," Caputo says, of the chain with its gargantuan portions. "There are a certain number of people who judge a restaurant by the amount of food they take home."

He would prefer that customers eat in the Italian style, by ordering a couple of antipasti, followed by a half-portion of pasta then an entree. But many prefer American style, which often means dinner is a full plate of pasta. And that's where another problem creeps in. Some guests order only the half-portion of pasta as their entree, and while it may positively affect their bottom, it negatively affects his bottom line. So much so that he's been wrestling with whether to even keep that option on the menu.

We say keep it. In fact, we'd like to see even more portion size options -- like the taster slice (half a piece) of pie at Bakers Square.

Or, barring that, we'd like servers to be more helpful in guiding us on how much to order. If the salads are huge -- as more and more seem to be, even when they're clearly not intended as entrees -- say so, and encourage sharing. Then we might even order dessert.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Espresso's Good

Espresso's Good, But Why Decaffeinated Coffee?

I love above all else to drink coffee, but I am still totally baffled why anyone would drink decaffeinated varieties. What about the needed and pleasurable caffeine rush? What would possess anyone in his or her right state of mind to give up on a good espresso for that dribble? Does this not take away the whole reason for drinking a decent cup of delicious coffee? I was soon to learn why this drudgery even existed. As I discovered pregnancy, I quickly developed a new taste for it. In fact, strangely enough, I actually really started to like it for the flavor alone. Weird, right? Hormonal reaction, maybe? That may have been a possibility, but you should read the rest.

Unfortunately, for everyone else, I cannot resist the insatiable urge to learn absolutely everything there is to know about pregnancy and how to avoid all known complications, diseases and anything, even the bubonic plague. Science said to avoid aspartame because how much of it was harmful was unknown. Luncheon meat was out because of a possible infection from listeria. Caffeine was the biggest fear – possible miscarriage. The fact is that you have to consume a minimum of three portions of normal coffee each day to do this, but it frightened me enough to settling for decaffeinated drinks and simple sodas.

Then, reaching my half-term point, I was horrified to discover through some television coverage that some decaffeinated varieties from coffeehouses may not be as caffeine free as they had claimed. Of course, it is obvious that there was some fractional amount of caffeine left in my drinks. However, I never dreamt that I was consuming close to that in the regular drinks. Then I discovered something else. In almost 60% of cases, the caffeine concentration in decaf was no different from the regular. As if that wasnt enough, scientists discovered that the problem lay in a cross-brewing process or the very brewing machines that had not been cleaned properly after the last batch. Normally that would not be a problem. However, in my case that was out of the question.

I understand now that during pregnancy my instincts to protect my unborn child left me now mad enough to eliminate any coffee types from my diet altogether, unless I made it myself. My pregnancy was to go undisturbed with any hint of decaf and that it frankly didnt help my moods during my last trimester.

Author Info:
Rob Carlton: Focusing on the topic of espresso, Robert Carlton wrote at large for . Working on his detailed publications such as ,the reviewer established his deep knowledge on coffee makers.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans - Wholesale

Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans - Wholesale
by: Lorna Mclaren

For a coffee addict chocoholic, the thought of a double fix through Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans is almost too much. Being able to buy Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans Wholesale online and have them delivered to my door is like a dream come true. I am a frequent flyer when it come to buying online but what if you are not?

You want to buy Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans wholesale. You know that the Internet is probably THE place to get the best deals and quality products. But what you aren’t sure of is how to go about buying Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans wholesale without risking your credit card numbers or your identity. Everybody’s heard of those horror tales about people getting their identities stolen and their bank accounts cleared out. It can and does happen if you don’t know how to shop online.

Buying chocolate covered espresso beans wholesale online, or any product for that matter, is not as frightening or difficult as you might think. You just need to know the precautions when you start entering your credit card numbers online.

First, always know what you’re buying. Although a Web site may say it has the best chocolate covered beans, make sure to study the seller’s item description carefully, including any photographs they may have. Watch out for fine print and any unusual adjectives that might suggest that what you’ll get in the mail won’t exactly be what they offered online. And remember the old saying, “If something sounds too good to be true….” If those high-grade espresso beans seem too cheap, chances are they might not be as high-grade as you first thought.

The second step is to be careful how you buy. Before making a purchase at any Web site, find out what type of payments the site will accept and how they are going to ship their products. A red flag could be any Web site that asks for your Social Security numbers, your driver’s license numbers, or your bank account information. You shouldn’t have to give these things for some candy. Check to on the bottom of your tool bar, there should be a padlock to indicate security. Any reputable website offering chocolate covered espresso beans will probably have a secure online shop and they will tell you that.

There are extra precautions that you can take though. Record every purchase you make online. That means printing hard copies of all transaction information, including the shipping information including when you are expected to receive your espress beans and any e-mails that the Web site sends you. Keep the name of the Web site, the official online description of the beans you bought (what weight of beans you have ordered, for instance), and the exact date, time, and price of your purchase. These will be very handy if a problem occurs and the Web site shortchanges you.

If the worst comes to the worst, and you still don’t feel secure buying your delicious chocolate covered beans online, most Web sites will also offer an 800 number. That way, you can order your chocolatey beans the old-fashioned way over the phone. Or better yet, have them send you their wholesale catalog.

About the author:
Lorna Mclaren has an information and resources website at where you can find out everything you need to know aboutCirculated by Article Emporium