This is such a hot topic and so many avenues to discuss. I will touch on some of the concerns as well as ways we use coffee in our home. First and foremost, coffee beans are one of the most heavily contaminated food crops. They are tested with such high levels of toxins and pesticides, that my first recommendation is to drink ORGANIC coffee.
In choosing Organic coffee, you are supporting the small percentage of organic farmers, as well as helping the environment and your personal health. Cancer is linked to several pesticides and herbicides used in spraying crops. Over 12 billion pounds of coffee is produced annually. Speaking of the environment, many folks don’t realize that walking around with that paper cup of coffee is adding to the 16 billion disposable coffee cups used annually. That is not including the polyurethane lids, sleeves, stir sticks, and straws.
Now, looking on the personal, financial side of things, add up your daily coffee habit. Just averaging a cheaper version, at $5/cup, if you drink one cup a day fives times a week, you have already spent $1,300/per year on coffee. That savings could add up toward a savings or investment into your future.
We also save our coffee grounds in a counter top compost bucket, to add to our garden and outdoor composter. Coffee grounds have many benefits to soil, and the grounds are pH neutral and help provide nitrogen and bacteria to turn organic matter into compost.
We like to make our own coffee, and prefer to have Organic and healthier non-GMO choices. We have invested in insulated to go coffee cups, we also use for camping and outside around the fire. A lot of times, we have leftover coffee we didn’t drink. We save it a few different ways. You can freeze it in ice cube trays and use the ice cubes in iced coffee, or for homemade ice cream. We also save it in the refrigerator to make Iced Coffee to grab and go. My secret is to make it a little stronger by adding a bit of Organic Instant Coffee to the leftover coffee, for the expresso effect. Then once the cream is added, it is not diluted down and still has the flavor of a prepared coffee purchased from a Coffee Shop. We are a no-waste home, and also save our jars to recycle and have lids to make quick and easy Grab n’ Go drinks to take.
Once the mixture is in the fridge, it’s easy for entertaining to make a nice drink for guests. Add a little Chai Tea with the coffee mixture and you have a Dirty Chai. Sweetening the coffee with organic brown sugar gives it a very nice flavor for those who do not like honey. If you want to sweeten the coffee mixture beforehand, best time is when the leftover coffee is still hot or warm, so it blends in well.
Others like the benefits of adding organic butter or cream or coconut oil to coffee for the bulletproof coffee version. They also add an MCT oil and can drink hot or blended. The idea behind butter/heavy cream in coffee is that the fat slows down the digestion without the blood sugar crash for longer lasting energy, and also supposed to help with mental clarity. There are a list of other reasons, yet those seem to be at the top of the list.
Depending on who is conducting the surveys, and who is backing claims, there are several spectrums of benefits and damages of coffee drinking. As with anything, I believe moderation and best choices help take things in stride. Our mindset and perception also supports our belief system. If you like and enjoy coffee, and it is not harming you nor leaching calcium, then enjoy! Everything in moderation. I also like to rotate my organic coffee brands. It’s a good practice to rotate foods and things we consume. Just like eating seasonally, it helps support our bodies in many ways.
One last idea I’d like to leave you with is grinding your own coffee beans. It doesn’t really take much more time at all, and the benefits outweigh the few seconds it takes to freshly grind your own beans. Whenever people come to my home, they always comment on how good my coffee tastes. Of course, I prepare my foods and drinks with love and good intentions, yet the only difference I find is that I freshly grind my beans before brewing. The smell, which normally draws us into coffee shops, is one draw. The reason I do it is to preserve the antioxidants by keeping the beans whole until brewing time. I do the same thing with my organic flax seeds. It is best to keep things as whole as possible until use, to preserve all the goodness it contains. It is wise to invest in a nice little coffee grinder. I’ve had several brands. An affordable and reliable brand is Cuisinart. I do NOT advise using the coffee grinders at stores or coffee shops. Almost every place I’ve ever been to, does not have a separate coffee grinder for organic vs. conventional coffee beans. Why pay for organic coffee and then grind your beans up with all the pesticide residues from convention beans?
To sum it all up, grinding and making your own coffee from ORGANIC coffee beans is even more rewarding than walking into a coffee shop and drinking a cup of pesticides and toxins while depleting your savings and destroying the earth. And if you have leftovers, save it and reuse it. If your argument is you don’t have time, invest in a coffee maker that has a timer and will make the coffee for you before you even rise. Little tiny steps to healthier and happier living doesn’t have to be time consuming and can save your health and your pocketbook. Enjoy! And also know, that every once in a while, splurging at an Organic Coffee Cafe is also okay!