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Replace at least one soda a day with a cup of coffee
November 8, 2013 7:49 AM   Subscribe

The bad news? Inflammatory dietary pattern is linked to depression among women. The good news: Drinking two-four cups of caffeinated coffee a day reduces the risk of suicide for adults by about half.
posted by stoneweaver (184 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
I know I want to die a lot less after my first cup in the morning.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 7:51 AM on November 8, 2013 [64 favorites]


Good coffee is good.©*

(*Licensing agreements available.)
posted by RoseyD at 7:56 AM on November 8, 2013


Everyone should really stop drinking soda. It's really, surprisingly bad for you.

I periodically wonder if soda would be as cheap as it is if a full accounting of the health problems it causes ever took place, a la tobacco.
posted by mhoye at 7:58 AM on November 8, 2013 [10 favorites]


If I drank 2-4 cups of coffee a day the rest of the world would want to die.
posted by elizardbits at 8:00 AM on November 8, 2013 [85 favorites]


I'm a coffee achiever, Max!
posted by eriko at 8:00 AM on November 8, 2013 [11 favorites]


most individuals adjust their caffeine intake to an optimal level for them

My optimal level is apparently INFINITE
posted by ook at 8:01 AM on November 8, 2013 [23 favorites]


When i was doing fine detail inkling i had to quit coffee cause my hand shook to much
posted by The Whelk at 8:02 AM on November 8, 2013


Coffee is gross.

I miss my cokes. Lost 15 lbs since giving it up and lots of other benefits. Still miss my cokes. Life was so much easier when I was young and didn't have to care so much about what I ate.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:03 AM on November 8, 2013 [12 favorites]


yeah, unfortunately if i drink more than a single mug of coffee in the morning, i am jittery, my jaw aches from clenching, i get wicked acid reflux, and i'll toss and turn all night. 2-4 cups a day is unfathomable.
posted by misskaz at 8:06 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


How many sodas do people drink in a day?
posted by Mister_A at 8:07 AM on November 8, 2013


I'm a coffee achiever, Max!

Wait ... it's the other way around, isn't it? (Yes, I'm a dork.)
posted by uncleozzy at 8:07 AM on November 8, 2013


Coffee is gross.

BURN THE HERETIC
posted by Rangeboy at 8:08 AM on November 8, 2013 [42 favorites]


I love me some coffee. Love love love. Unlike some other poor damaged souls out there. My brother calls coffee the great lie.
posted by eriko at 8:09 AM on November 8, 2013


My morning ritual is to bring my ground coffee to work, where I boil water in an electric kettle and make my coffee in my French Press. One day, two strangers with clipboards stopped by my desk. I was officially reprimanded for having my kettle plugged into my cubicle wall (they didn't seem to mind the poorly wired electric clock I have sitting right next to it) and was told not to use it anymore. I almost quit my job on the spot.

Do not touch my coffee.
posted by backseatpilot at 8:09 AM on November 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


BURN THE HERETIC

No, first you roast, then you grind, then you pour hot but not boiling water through the heretic.
posted by eriko at 8:09 AM on November 8, 2013 [83 favorites]


Any more, coffee just triggers my primordial small-mammal fight-or-flight instinct and makes me hella-anxious, which is why I've switched to drinking tea (mostly green) at work. Something tells me that if I started up my old coffee habit again, I'd jump out an 18th floor window JUST TO MAKE THE VOICES STOP.

So yes, I'm not entirely convinced by the results of this study.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:10 AM on November 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


I too miss my cokes. But good lord is coffee good!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:11 AM on November 8, 2013


How many sodas do people drink in a day?

I would have about 6-8 12 oz cokes in a day. Usually. Never cared for coffee, though.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:11 AM on November 8, 2013


One large Finnish study showed a higher risk of suicide among people drinking eight or nine cups per day.

I think if you're drinking eight or nine cups a day, coffee probably isn't the problem.
posted by three blind mice at 8:12 AM on November 8, 2013 [11 favorites]


Mister_A: How many sodas do people drink in a day?

When my older brothers were teens, the answer was MANY -- as in, more than one 2-liter bottle per day.

One of them rigged up a bottle cap with surgical tubing so that on the hour+ ride to our lake cabin, he could nestle a bottle down by his feet and suckle while reading scifi paperbacks. Because hey, who can go without for 90 minutes?
posted by wenestvedt at 8:13 AM on November 8, 2013 [6 favorites]


So what they're saying is that drinking lots of coffee will make you immortal.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:13 AM on November 8, 2013 [8 favorites]


How many sodas do people drink in a day?

According to this article, 160 liters (42 gallons) per capita per year. That works out to be about 16 oz a day.
posted by 7life at 8:13 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Despite the years of being a barista in my 20s, I was hampered by one thing: caffeine sensitivity.

Sometime around 1995, I burned my system out on coffee--because as a young'un, it was cheap and easily available at any of the fine Waffle Houses my friends and I gathered at, smoking cigarettes and generally being as gothy as one could be in South Carolina at the time--and anything else caffeine-related. It is only now nearly 20 years later that I can drink green tea (but not black) with only mild ill effects. But no coffee, no Coke or caffeine-laden sodas for me ever again.

I used to miss coffee, but working around coffee just made it easier to not worry about it.
posted by Kitteh at 8:15 AM on November 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


When i was doing fine detail inkling i had to quit coffee cause my hand shook to much

Yeah, you have to have a caffeine management strategy. When I used to hand draft, I'd gradually build up the caffeine levels so that by the time I got around to stippling my drawings it basically happened without any real effort on my part.
posted by LionIndex at 8:16 AM on November 8, 2013 [23 favorites]


I raaaaaarely drink soda. I've started occasionally having a glass of seltzer spiked with some fruit syrup or juice, but that's it. Maybe the occasional Coke once a month if I'm feeling like I want a really good old-fashioned burger-with-fries-and-a-coke-in-a-diner-like-when-I-was-in-high-school experience.

But I do have about 2 cups of coffee a day - one before I go to work, and one at work. These days I'm between jobs, so it's down to the one cup in the morning. And I also ended up with really good coffee these days (my old roommate asked if we could sign up for the organic fair-trade coffee share at my CSA back in March, but then she moved out in May and now it's all mine). I have 3 pounds of whole beans still tucked up in my cupboard.

....Maybe the benefits of coffee are even more greatly enhanced if it's really GOOD coffee.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:17 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


he could nestle a bottle down by his feet and suckle while reading scifi paperbacks

Are you protecting our delicate sensibilities by leaving out the part about the catheter? Because we're all thinking it.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:17 AM on November 8, 2013 [7 favorites]


One of them rigged up a bottle cap with surgical tubing so that on the hour+ ride to our lake cabin, he could nestle a bottle down by his feet and suckle while reading scifi paperbacks.

I can't decide if this is the most beautiful or most horrifying thing I will hear today.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:17 AM on November 8, 2013 [10 favorites]


No, first you roast, then you grind, then you pour hot but not boiling water through the heretic.

That would still be drinking decaf.
posted by three blind mice at 8:18 AM on November 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


No, first you roast, then you grind, then you pour hot but not boiling water through the heretic.

That would still be drinking decaf.


What if you force feed them nothing but Jolt for a couple days before you brew them?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:19 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have a great benefits package at work, but the one thing we don't get is free coffee. I think it's a bit of a mixed blessing, because at my last job we did have free coffee and I found that any time I needed to get up and stretch my legs I would wind up getting a cup. I think I was up to about six cups a day before I left. At least now I'm limited to the amount that I bring in from home every day (and the huge stash of tea in my desk).
posted by backseatpilot at 8:19 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


That would still be drinking decaf.

At what point did I say "drink the heretic?"
posted by eriko at 8:20 AM on November 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


Coffee murders my stomach and makes me feel miserable. Soda gives me the caffeine boost I need, plus delicious sugar.

In other words: Cold. Dead. Hands.
posted by Katemonkey at 8:20 AM on November 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


My husband started drinking coffee at first because he had quit being a Mormon and it seemed to be the thing to do. I started drinking it because Waffle House.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 8:22 AM on November 8, 2013 [20 favorites]


What if you force feed them nothing but Jolt for a couple days before you brew them?

Mrs. Three Blind Mice, "Hmmm, TBM never has a second cup of coffee at home."
posted by three blind mice at 8:22 AM on November 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


stupidsexyFlanders: Are you protecting our delicate sensibilities by leaving out the part about the catheter? Because we're all thinking it.

s/s Flanders, he just held it. They drank so much Coke each day that I am pretty sure their bladders had a rated capacity somewhere near a gallon.

We were fishing in Canada the day that Coke Classic returned, and as we drove south to get home we had a good eight hours in front of us -- and we HAD to stop as soon as we passed the border (at International Falls, I think) and pick up a six-pack. Warm, yes, slightly, but undoubtedly The Real Thing. Ahhhhhh.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:22 AM on November 8, 2013


Gosh, it's frustrating not to be able to read the actual peer-review article we're trying to discuss, but only the press releases.
posted by alasdair at 8:24 AM on November 8, 2013


Gosh, it's frustrating not to be able to read the actual peer-review article we're trying to discuss, but only the press releases.

Who's got the attention span for peer reviewed articles any more with all the coffee we've had?!?
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 8:28 AM on November 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


The coffee study is linked in the article in full. That's the HTML version. You can pick other versions at the top right. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find a free version of the other one.
posted by stoneweaver at 8:29 AM on November 8, 2013


100 Cups of Coffee
posted by monju_bosatsu at 8:29 AM on November 8, 2013 [6 favorites]


i can't figure out how people physically are capable of drinking multiple sodas in one day. It's like the more improbable porn scenes with way too many peens happening at once. How do you fit it all inside?
posted by elizardbits at 8:30 AM on November 8, 2013 [17 favorites]


Oh wait. Here's the full text of the other one. It was linked at the bottom of the "Study" link as "get the text elsewhere" or some such.
posted by stoneweaver at 8:31 AM on November 8, 2013


i feel like with just a bit more thought i could have come up with a better example
posted by elizardbits at 8:31 AM on November 8, 2013 [43 favorites]


Coffee used to do terrible things to me until I changed how I was brewing it. Now that I have a press, I can do a 10 second steep in 180 degree water and coffee is no longer crazy bitter, I don't get the anxiety and weird paranoia that I used to, no upset stomach, etc. It was a real eye opener.
posted by indubitable at 8:31 AM on November 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


Aww, monju_bosatsu beat me to it. But yeah, replacing soda with coffee is probably the most significant factor in my going from a pudgy teenager to a reasonably slim adult. My poor parents, they tried so hard to regulate soda at our house when we were young, but between the three of us, we kids were pretty skilled at gaming the system.

If your parents keep all the Cokes in a mini-fridge and count the cans, you can still drink as much as you want: just put the empty cans back in, tucked behind the full ones. This only works if your parents never drink the cokes. And if you can walk to a 7-11 to replace things eventually.
posted by like_a_friend at 8:33 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I had not heard about an inflammatory reaction caused by diet sodas. Is it a carbonation thing, then, and not caloric? Would any carbonated beverage cause the same problems?

It would be good to see some more information here. I've gotten a lot of finger-wagging about my preferred diet-Coke-based caffeine delivery system over the years, but usually it's of the "aspartame is evil and rots your braaaain" type. (this was often told to me by people who were busily smoking their sixth cigarette of the day).

I have heard some rumors/comments about artificial sweeteners triggering some of the same problems that actual sweeteners do, but never anything conclusive.

I do not like coffee, I prefer my caffeine cold. I could switch to iced tea, but I like it with sweet'n low in it, so if the sweetener is the problem, that won't help. Which would be also true if I switched to coffee, wouldn't it? I doubt I could just jump to drinking it black, no sugar. And I'm allergic to milk.

Ugh, why is this so complicated, argh.
posted by emjaybee at 8:34 AM on November 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


indubitable, cold press it this weekend (overnight) and see if you like that better.
posted by wenestvedt at 8:34 AM on November 8, 2013


I just sleep in.
posted by kyrademon at 8:35 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I switched to the pour-over method a few months ago and it's astonishing how much better my coffee tastes now. Everyone acts like it's this super fussy, pretentious way to make a cup, but it's really not. It just takes a grinder, a V 60, a kettle with a smallish spout (people use these fancy Japanese gooseneck kettles, but I don't think that's as essential as everyone says it is), and some good beans. I also use a food scale to control my proportions, but I think you could get decent results from eyeballing things.

Basically, you're just taking time to control the temperature of the water and to soak the grounds thoroughly. The result is coffee that tastes sweeter and more full-bodied for a fraction of the cost of bitter Starbucks crap. I think most people who hate coffee probably just hate the poorly made coffee they've grown up with.
posted by R. Schlock at 8:35 AM on November 8, 2013 [10 favorites]


Very strangely, I go through phases on my taste for coffee. I made my morning coffee today and pitched it and ended up getting soda just to get through the morning--I'll get tea tonight to keep me for a bit until coffee sounds better again. I attribute this to medication side effects, but it's terribly annoying. The one thing I will say for Coke is that it never, ever tastes bad or off or different. It just tastes like sugar. Which is also the problem.
posted by Sequence at 8:36 AM on November 8, 2013


Ugh, why is this so complicated, argh.

Sorry to tell you this, emjaybee, but they want to ban trans-fats, too. *wibble*
posted by wenestvedt at 8:37 AM on November 8, 2013


Also I am greatly irritated to note that every item listen on the list of noninflammatory diet items is something that I personally cannot eat/drink. Thanks, nature, you are a shitbitch.
posted by elizardbits at 8:38 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Who's got the attention span for peer reviewed articles any more with all the coffee we've had?!?

Wait, who can comprehend those things without coffee? All the standard complaints about scientists' writing style basically amount to "I can't follow this shit unless I'm at least as caffeinated as the author was when they submitted it."
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 8:40 AM on November 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


i can't figure out how people physically are capable of drinking multiple sodas in one day. It's like the more improbable porn scenes with way too many peens happening at once. How do you fit it all inside?

I think I'm physically capable of drinking as much soda as I can find. In high school, I had a two liter or so a day, and to this day, I'll easily down six or seven cans if there's soda in the house and I don't make an affirmative decision not to drink it. You know that scene on the The West Wing where Leo explains what being an alcoholic is like by asking "how can you have enough of feeling like this?" that's where I am for all sodas. It tastes like magic sparkling deliciousness, how can you ever stop?
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:42 AM on November 8, 2013 [9 favorites]


In my defense, I drink a lot of diet soda instead of regular soda now, and the amount of weight I've lost is impressive.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 8:42 AM on November 8, 2013


But don't the burps kill you? How do you not die of the burps.
posted by elizardbits at 8:43 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


My daughter thinks the burps are hilarious, so I do it for her.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 8:43 AM on November 8, 2013 [6 favorites]


Opening line of that second link:
Drinking several cups of coffee daily appears to reduce the risk of suicide in men and women by about 50%

3rd paragraph:
The authors … found that the risk of suicide for adults who drank two to four cups of caffeinated coffee per day was about half that of those who drank decaffeinated coffee or very little or no coffee.

Correlation: still not causation.
posted by dywypi at 8:45 AM on November 8, 2013 [7 favorites]


I find I'm more prone to homicide than suicide without a cup of coffee in the morning.
posted by nowhere man at 8:46 AM on November 8, 2013 [6 favorites]


I don't drink a whole lot of soda anymore, but sometimes I just want a half-gallon Big Gulp of Diet Coke, you know?
posted by uncleozzy at 8:46 AM on November 8, 2013


But don't the burps kill you? How do you not die of the burps.

People get burps from drinking soda ? That explains how I can drink so much delicious fizzy beer.

Plus - I probably could have been a competitive eater. I was on a date one night as a teenager; you know, pizza and a movie. I ate the whole pizza. Plus three passes at the salad bar. And then treats at the show. 6'4 and 130lbs, yo. Those were the days.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 8:46 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sounds like tea does the trick as well, but they went with coffee because it was overwhelmingly what people drank.

Good. Cause I just spent hella bucks getting myself all set up with tea kettle, pot, cozy, cups, strainers, and loose leaf teas, because there is nothing I can't be a snob about.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 8:48 AM on November 8, 2013 [14 favorites]


I have a hard time drinking coffee partly because, in its purest state, it is like drinking a cup of varasol that's been used to flush out a particularly filthy carburetor (though this can be ameliorated with an immense quantity of sweetened condensed milk or the addition of a lovely swirl of citrus liqueurs), but mostly because it is near the top of the scale of beverages tainted by toxic pedantry (see also: wine).

I've been lectured on my sugar/cream/sweetened condensed milk habits by prim homebaristas who instruct me that the reason I don't enjoy coffee that's not adulterated to the point of resembling melted coffee ice cream is because I'm (A) not making it right, (B) not using the right kind, grind, or combination of coffee and/or tools, and (C) that I'm just being a wuss, a big baby, or another variety of anticuisinary lout. I have tried the various suggestions that don't involve spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on exotic Italian brewing equipment (and my attempted use of a Bialetti Moka pot drew only sneers and Henry Higgins routines in the process), and, having once imbibed a mouthful of varasol that had been used to flush out a particularly filthy carburetor, I can say that it's not the coffee, apparently—it's just me. Both are things I don't want to linger in my mouth.

So I reserve the coffee for my special Vietnamese mornings, when I start out with a giant bowl of phở and a cup of Café du Monde brewed in a little stainless cup-topper and swirled with canned condensed milk and spend the rest of my mornings with a nice mug of plain black tea, made to the very simple specifications provided by Saint Douglas, with a bit of milk or cream and nothing else. Caffeine's caffeine, and I get to sidestep the absurd ritualization of coffee that renders it an awful lot like sex for those who require a fully stocked dungeon and custom-fitted leatherware and accessories before an erection is permitted to be employed in the service of joy.

Mileage may vary, of course, but give me a bicycle over a parade float any day.
posted by sonascope at 8:51 AM on November 8, 2013 [15 favorites]


If coffee is murdering your stomach too much you can always switch to tea partway through the day.

(Still though, there is something about the smell and mouthfeel of coffee that keeps me coming back for it, even though it is probably going to give me esophageal cancer in 20 years from the reflux.)
posted by en forme de poire at 8:52 AM on November 8, 2013


The inflammatory diet study - the abstract says they controlled for confounding factors, can anyone with access to the full article confirm that they controlled for wealth? Because the non-inflammatory diet strikes me very much as a wealthy-person diet, and poverty is a known risk factor for mental illness. Obviously if they did control for this then this not an issue.
posted by Coobeastie at 8:53 AM on November 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


mostly because it is near the top of the scale of beverages tainted by toxic pedantry (see also: wine).

Coffee snobs are one thing, but people are absurdly loyal to their brand of coffee even when it's totally pedestrian, in much the same way that smokers love their cigarettes pretty much no matter how good or bad the brand is. My office is divided between the people who only drink the bagged Dunkin' Donuts stuff and the people who insist on Folgers and frankly none of it seems to be governed by reason.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 8:55 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Correlation: still not causation.

yeah it's weird that these scientists just looked at the caffeine/suicide correlation, high-fived each other, and wrote "QED" at the bottom of the paper in crayon instead of doing a multivariate analysis, simultaneously controlling for potential confounders using updated information at each 2-year questionnaire cycle, including smoking status, high alcohol consumption, body-mass index, physical activity, marital status, reported regular use of antidepressants, and minor tranquilizers such as benzodiazepines.
posted by theodolite at 8:56 AM on November 8, 2013 [41 favorites]


I get to sidestep the absurd ritualization of coffee that renders it an awful lot like sex

It's a feature not a bug!
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 8:58 AM on November 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


the only two things that have worked with my scatterbrained tendencies have been coffee and Adderall. I've been off the latter for a couple years now, mostly because coffee is so much more pleasurable and I can't have both- reading what those of you who are sensitive to caffeine are writing rings true in the days when I'd have both amphetamines and a cup of coffee. Jittery, paranoid, no-good, heart-pattery freakouts.
posted by maus at 8:59 AM on November 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


In spite of the findings, the authors do not recommend that depressed adults increase caffeine consumption, because most individuals adjust their caffeine intake to an optimal level for them

Oddly, most people also adjust their suicide rate to the optimal level for them.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:00 AM on November 8, 2013 [7 favorites]


Theodolite, thanks for pointing out TFA. I was talking about the writeup, where most readers will stop. But by all means, if someone is wrong on the internet, step right up.
posted by dywypi at 9:01 AM on November 8, 2013


Correlation: still not causation.

Well yeah, of course, but they do say in the abstract that they accounted for different relative risks, in what I can only assume is a rigorous way. The correlation/causation line will be true for any empirical science, because of the problem of induction.
posted by Ned G at 9:01 AM on November 8, 2013


Bunny Ultramod: Good. Cause I just spent hella bucks getting myself all set up with tea kettle, pot, cozy, cups, strainers, and loose leaf teas, because there is nothing I can't be a snob about.

Fortnum and Mason Royal Blend. Delicious. Strong. Caffeinated. Yet, a normally aspirated humane bean can drink remarkable quantities of the stuff.

Bonus: makes great iced tea.

Much as l love arabica coffees, I find the slower release of caffeine from tea prefereable on most days, leaving coffee for weekends and 'emergencies'.
 
posted by Herodios at 9:03 AM on November 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


(What theolodite said a lot better)
posted by Ned G at 9:03 AM on November 8, 2013


No love for yerba mate?
posted by orme at 9:04 AM on November 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


Consistent correlation: still the only meaningful evidence of causation available to us in this universe.
posted by yoink at 9:05 AM on November 8, 2013 [24 favorites]


But don't the burps kill you? How do you not die of the burps.

Years of practice have enabled me to burp either silently and daintily or loudly and obnoxiously, depending on environment. Beer has a similar effect.

Mostly, I love the way a cold Diet Coke scrapes the gunk off the inside of my throat when I drink it in the morning, and then the caffeine perks up my brain. And since it's cold, I don't have to do any of the fussy oh-no-it's-too-hot-now-it's-ok-oh-no-it's-gone-cold dance you do with hot drinks.

Iced coffee would work, I'm sure, but requires a lot more prep.
posted by emjaybee at 9:07 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


but mostly because it is near the top of the scale of beverages tainted by toxic pedantry (see also: wine).

Oh this, and in some circles it's much worse than wine. Coffee is good. The improvement gained through expense, ritual and wankery is minimal. It's really not that hard.

I love screwing with the heads of my coffee-wanker colleagues by insisting I just prefer to drink instant. And I kinda do. "Proper" espresso coffee made by an over-indulged "barista" can half the time be the greatest thing, and half the time be utter bitter grizzly crap. At least with Nescafe Blend 43 I know what I'm getting. If you insist that only beans x rosted like y available only from place z at a cost of $4.50 a cup are worth drinking, then sorry, I don't think you actually like the taste of coffee.
posted by Jimbob at 9:08 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


why do I get the sneaking suspicion that all these "coffee is good for you" studies are all secretly funded by Starbucks? Has anyone ever done any research into the quid pro quo of these studies vs funding of other studies by the university?

A quick Google search shows a positive study on caffeine from the City University of Hong Kong in 2009 and a recent grant from Starbucks to the same University to study the reuse of food waste. I'm a cynic to the bone but I know this kind of crap is the modus operandi in the pharmaceutical industry so why put it past another drug industry?
posted by any major dude at 9:13 AM on November 8, 2013


At least with Nescafe Blend 43 I know what I'm getting. If you insist that only beans x rosted like y available only from place z at a cost of $4.50 a cup are worth drinking, then sorry, I don't think you actually like the taste of coffee.

That makes literally no sense at all. If you're drinking coffee on the cheap, then you're making an economic decision to compromise quality to save on cost. If you want to maximize quality and are willing to pay for it, then, by definition you "actually like the taste of coffee." Unless you think there is no real difference between nescafe and quality beans prepared properly...which is demonstrably false.
posted by R. Schlock at 9:14 AM on November 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


I dunno, I honestly can't taste a difference between different kinds/brands/qualities of coffee. I assume this is because I don't care for either the taste or the smell, but it could very well just be a Real Thing That Happens To People. The same thing happens to me with wine, although I can distinguish vile plonk from decent wine.
posted by elizardbits at 9:18 AM on November 8, 2013


elizardbits: "If I drank 2-4 cups of coffee a day the rest of the world would want to die."

"She doesn't drink coffee. She IS coffee!"
posted by symbioid at 9:18 AM on November 8, 2013


"Coffee is gross"

Shun the unbeliever!
The Java Cow suspects this person is a minion of the Decalf.
posted by boilermonster at 9:20 AM on November 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


Let me put it to you this way, Jimbob: coffee is basically the oils of the coffee bean emulsified in water. But coffee beans have in them a variety of oils, some really flavorful, others bitter and gross. The flavorful ones come out at when soaked in water that's around 200 degrees Fahrenheit over the course of 2-3 minutes. Contrast that with instant coffee, which is a freeze dried product made to maximize shelf life at the expense of taste.

If you soak the beans for too long in water that's too hot, you'll extract more of the oils you don't want along with the ones that taste good. If you optimize your brew to just get the good oils (the fussy part you're complaining about), then your coffee will taste remarkably better. It's totally possible to have someone who doesn't know what they're doing fuss around with coffee paraphernalia to no good effect. But it doesn't necessarily follow that every person brewing carefully is just wanking.

Seriously, go into an independent coffee shop one day. Pick one that has the pour over tools out in front and the drip brew hidden away. Ask them to make you a single origin variety that they recommend. Put your $4.50 on the counter and tell me if it wasn't worth it. Or spend about $30 and do it at home yourself for a week.
posted by R. Schlock at 9:26 AM on November 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


any major dude: "why do I get the sneaking suspicion that all these "coffee is good for you" studies are all secretly funded by Starbucks? Has anyone ever done any research into the quid pro quo of these studies vs funding of other studies by the university? "

While I could see some healthy skepticism being necessary, most of these studies are usually very explicit that the healthiest way to drink coffee is black, straight up. Maybe some milk, and maybe a little sugar, but the DEATH BY VENTIMOCHALATTESHPRINKLESCHMITZ kind is almost constantly mentioned as being frowned upon when it comes to coffee being healthy, which kind of goes against the M.O. of Starbucks.
posted by symbioid at 9:30 AM on November 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


R. Schlock: (people use these fancy Japanese gooseneck kettles, but I don't think that's as essential as everyone says it is)

Um...at night, when I'm not going to be using it to make any coffee, I use my Hario kettle to water the plants. It is really, really good at getting underneath the leaves without spilling water everywhere.
posted by mittens at 9:33 AM on November 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


emjaybee: I had not heard about an inflammatory reaction caused by diet sodas. Is it a carbonation thing, then, and not caloric? Would any carbonated beverage cause the same problems?

If you can read the full inflammation study: Is there any mention of BPA? In particular, I'm wondering about the BPA-containing lining of both diet and regular soda cans. Last I read there was suspicion about a connection between BPA and C-reactive protein.
posted by purpleclover at 9:34 AM on November 8, 2013


I use my Hario kettle to water the plants

Holy shit, you are a genius. This might be the thing that finally convinces my wife that this isn't a totally self-indulgent purchase.
posted by R. Schlock at 9:35 AM on November 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


The delivery method my brain has been conditioned to associate with the imminent delivery of caffeine is the absolute fucking best!!!
Anyone who prefers anything different is quite obviously a Philistine.
posted by rocket88 at 9:38 AM on November 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


Over the summer I put together a seltzer setup, so I have unlimited seltzer.

One thing I noticed: I want to drink way more seltzer than I can straight up water. In fact, I would sometimes make an entire 2L bottle of seltzer, and just chug it slowly over the course of a few hours, then make another bottle, and repeat. I could never understand when people did that with soda - but I think the texture of carbonation itself is addictive, even without any sugar. (As a result, I was very well hydrated this summer.)

Another thing: after I started drinking seltzer enough, I had a can of soda. Whoa! Pure sugar! I couldn't handle it. Once you get really used to the texture of seltzer and carbonation, soda, being carbonation + sugar, starts to just taste like sugar water. Which is pretty disgusting by itself.

Oh, and once some friends and I chilled some coffee and carbonated it. CARBONATED ICED COFFEE. It was only when our hands started shaking that we realized we had inadvertently drank two liters of ice coffee in an hour. We promptly abandoned the experiment and deemed it too dangerous..
posted by suedehead at 9:38 AM on November 8, 2013 [21 favorites]


CARBONATED ICED COFFEE

Man, I wish they made unsweetened Manhattan Special.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:45 AM on November 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Can't even remember the last time I drank a soda that wasn't a fonkay regional chateau-bottled pretentio-glug with an arty label. And probably like two of those a year.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:47 AM on November 8, 2013


Now that I have a press, I can do a 10 second steep

Wow. I, uh, I press mine for like ten minutes minimum, usually. Once I forgot it in there for half an hour and still drank it. xD
posted by Steely-eyed Missile Man at 9:48 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Cause I just spent hella bucks getting myself all set up with tea kettle, pot, cozy, cups, strainers, and loose leaf teas, because there is nothing I can't be a snob about.

You know what the problem with tea snobbery is? It is totally un-portable. It's like being a coffee snob thirty years ago, probably. I love my daily pot of tea so much. It is the highlight of my day. And then when I'm away from home I just wander the streets, tearing my hair out, shouting IS THERE ANY TEA HERE THAT ISN'T STARBUCKS.

It is kind of a problem.
posted by gerstle at 9:48 AM on November 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


Years ago, I used to drink a lot of Coke. Then, one day, I was drinking one on a break and I wondered "if I had to describe this taste to someone who had never drunk a Coke, how would I do it? Let's see... sweet, obviously... kind of like... caramel... a little bit of burnt flavor... an underlying chemical taste... WAIT!! WHY AM I DRINKING THIS? I DON'T LIKE IT!!!" I tried for a week to find another soda I actually liked, but they were all vile. So I just drink coffee and tea for caffeine now. I don't judge anyone else for this, but the switch probably saved my pancreas.
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:50 AM on November 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


eriko: I'm a coffee achiever, Max!

...Or is it all just a bunch of hooey?
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:51 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Years ago, I used to drink a lot of Coke. Then, one day, I was drinking one on a break and I wondered "if I had to describe this taste to someone [...]

Kind of the same for me, only in my case it was the realization that I couldn't think of anything else I would willingly drink cold that was so completely disgusting warm.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:54 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Drinking two to four cups of coffee would not reduce my risk of suicide. These studies are really hogwash. They don't say anything about human bodies at all; they only say something vague about a correlation between two things that might not be a significant connection at all. It'd be nice if they controlled for various problems and maybe studied people who were just starting or just quitting coffee, but I guess that would be too much effort.
posted by koeselitz at 9:56 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


The only worthwhile caffeinated drink is Diet Dr. Pepper. That is all.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:56 AM on November 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


And then when I'm away from home I just wander the streets, tearing my hair out, shouting IS THERE ANY TEA HERE THAT ISN'T STARBUCKS.

Fortunately Omaha has something called The Teasmith which is a tea snob's dream.

I can't explain what it's doing here either.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:58 AM on November 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Now that I have a press, I can do a 10 second steep

This seems more like just washing the coffee beans than actually extracting the oils. A cold steep overnight or 2-3 minutes in ~200 degree water is the ideal according to coffee snobs.

It'd be nice if they controlled for various problems and maybe studied people who were just starting or just quitting coffee, but I guess that would be too much effort.

As theodolite mentioned, they did control for "various problems." This wasn't mentioned in TFA, though, so I can't blame you for not knowing. It's pretty much impossible to control for all potential variables in a study like this, but the researchers do what they can.
posted by Thoughtcrime at 10:03 AM on November 8, 2013


There's something bizarre about the stash/tazo types of herb teas that have emerged and gone mainstream in the last decade or so. You stick this bag of with a pinch of dried something in hot water and what emerges is a startlingly rich and fragrant beverage that's more like a juice than a tea. What the hell is in those bags? Does nature even produce a leaf or blossom that has that much stuff in it and releases it so rapidly? My hypothesis is that it's just flakes of cardboard that have been soaked in flavor concentrates and dried.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:03 AM on November 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, mark me down as someone else who would love to see the full text of the inflammation study. It sounds plausible (in fact, I'm predisposed to believe the overall findings are true) but dietary pattern studies in particular are rife with issues, especially what I like to think of as the Chris Traeger Effect. (Example: Food X is widely reported to cause cancer, causing people like Chris Traeger who take their diet very seriously and have the financial means to do so to abstain from Food X. Meanwhile, the Jerry Gurgiches of the world continue eating Food X. Subsequent studies will show Food X is in fact associated with cancer -- but is that because it really is causing cancer, or is it because the Chris Traegers of the world have so many other positive health behaviors when compared to the Jerry Gurgiches? How do you tease that out? I'm not convinced that the Nurses Health Study is able to do this.)

I personally try to eat much closer to the lower-meat, higher-fiber, lots of veggies way of eating (minus the wine and coffee), so this fits with what I want to believe personally. But this kind of study is problematic. This is how eggs became known as an unhealthy death food of death for two decades (and thank goodness the pendulum is swinging back on that one).

tl;dr: I really, really want Denise Minger from Raw Foods SOS to come back and explain this study to me.
posted by pie ninja at 10:04 AM on November 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


My hypothesis is that it's just flakes of cardboard that have been soaked in flavor concentrates and dried.

I would eat those cardboard flakes.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:05 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sometime around 1995, I burned my system out on coffee--because as a young'un, it was cheap and easily available at any of the fine Waffle Houses my friends and I gathered at, smoking cigarettes and generally being as gothy as one could be in South Carolina at the time--and anything else caffeine-related. It is only now nearly 20 years later that I can drink green tea (but not black) with only mild ill effects. But no coffee, no Coke or caffeine-laden sodas for me ever again.

Wait is this really a thing? Because I went from two pots a day regularly to an almost immediate "NOPE CAN'T HANDLE A DROP" thing and I've had to slowly work my way back up to a few cups a day, so I've always wondered if your body is like "Screw this, I'm hitting the brakes on your tolerance for your own good!"
posted by jason_steakums at 10:06 AM on November 8, 2013


I completely went off the taste of pop while in high school - my sister and I were complete band nerds, and we had a particularly active band council. Someone got hold of an old beat-up vintage vending machine that still worked, and we put it in the band room and sold pop for 50 cents a can as a way to make money. It was great, but boy, I got sick of pop.
posted by LN at 10:07 AM on November 8, 2013


is it because the Chris Traegers of the world have so many other positive health behaviors when compared to the Jerry Gurgiches? How do you tease that out? I'm not convinced that the Nurses Health Study is able to do this.

Yeah, it's going to turn out the waffle heavy Knope diet is the way to go anyway.

'We need to remember what's important in life: friends, waffles, work. Or waffles, friends, work. Doesn't matter, but work is third.'
posted by Drinky Die at 10:09 AM on November 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


Wait is this really a thing? Because I went from two pots a day regularly to an almost immediate "NOPE CAN'T HANDLE A DROP" thing and I've had to slowly work my way back up to a few cups a day, so I've always wondered if your body is like "Screw this, I'm hitting the brakes on your tolerance for your own good!"

I can't speak for anyone else but I have tried a couple of times to work back up to coffee and my system just refuses to deal with it. I get heart palpitations, nausea, the works. So...no more caffeine in those forms ever. After all this time, it's not a big deal. You just develop different morning rituals to wake up, is all.
posted by Kitteh at 10:11 AM on November 8, 2013


I have a friend who is an excellent statistician and an extremely honest inquirer. Though he had no interest in nutrition, through a weird series of coincidences, he ended up doing stats for a food and nutrition think-tank. Clueless about the political background, he just dove in. He kept me informed about what he was doing, and I remember his growing sense of amazement and outrage as he began to discover how, in his view, terrible the majority of anti-soda studies he encountered were. He was just baffled. As he began to publish his results, he found that he was suddenly being savaged by an extremely dedicated anti-soda faction among nutrition scientists (or "scientists," as he might put it). It turns out that the soda debate is so vitriolic that some young researchers in the area refuse to comment on it, for fear of what will happen to their careers. My friend got out of that area as soon as he could, though not before he had been attacked viciously and unfairly. According to my friend, a whole lot of the statistics being done in nutrition studies is downright incompetent. Needless to say, you don't know me, nor him...but there's that information. Make of it what you will.

There is an almost religious anti-soda fervor among some nutrition scientists--and not because the evidence is so clear. The fervor is, at least to a large extent, not a result of their inquiries, but a motive for them. I take any anti-soda study--especially, let me say, from the Harvard School of Public Health--with an extremely large dose of salt.

My own suspicion, incidentally--though this is absolutely nothing more than a suspicion--is that some of this stuff tracks upper-middle class food aesthetics. For example: soda--gauche; it's for poor people. Coffee--nectar of the gods...the new wine...worthy of fawning adoration.... (And I say this as someone who really likes coffee, and enjoys only the very occasional soda...) In an area of inquiry in which the methods are shoddy and passions run high, non-rational motives have more sway...
posted by Fists O'Fury at 10:14 AM on November 8, 2013 [15 favorites]


Eh, Gergich has a satisfying home and social life (a happy 30-year marriage!), plus he makes time for relaxation (nightly baths!), so it might be a wash.

Confounding!

I agree with you. Reminds me of the finding that eating berries multiple times a week staves off memory decline in older women. All I could think was that older women who have the money and ability to shop for fresh groceries often enough to keep berries in the house are doing pretty well in general.
posted by purpleclover at 10:19 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


especially, let me say, from the Harvard School of Public Health

Um...can you expand on that a little? Willett and Hu of the HSPH have been my guiding lights in recent years to separate the science from the woo in nutrition!
posted by mittens at 10:25 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think the ten second steep is referring to an Aeropress, not a French press. With an Aeropress you slurry perfectly heated (IMHO) water and grounds together for ten seconds, and then use a plunger to press the coffee out ideally through a paper filter, which involves 15-20 seconds pressing and additional steeping. Then you treat it like strong fucking coffee, espresso, or just pour hot water on top to get that American watery coffee effect, or go to town with ice. It's awesome. I've figured out how many minutes to shove a Pyrex cup of water in the microwave to achieve a 180 Fahrenheit temperature and the taste is unprecedented compared to anything I've ever had. I used a cheap plastic Starbucks cup to contain some the other day and my mind kept jolting every time I took a sip and made the association between "Starbucks cup" and decidedly way better than Starbucks Coffee. I do like their pike place roast well enough but the $30 Aeropress and any halfway decent coffee bought in bulk from Amazon prime is the gold standard for me now.
posted by lordaych at 10:32 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I had to stop drinking coffee because even a cup every few days would murder my stomach. I drink this now, because each bag is hefty enough that I can brew it dark enough that it passes for coffee at a glance. I think they're literally 1/8 oz each. Gentle caffeination; never any problems sleeping. I don't crash in the afternoon, either.

Still miss the coffee when I want an immediate jolt, but overall I think it was a net negative for me.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 10:33 AM on November 8, 2013


Um...can you expand on that a little?

I cannot.
posted by Fists O'Fury at 10:36 AM on November 8, 2013


This study was definitely not aimed at soda - it was just one of the foods mentioned. I'm not sure that pishing it on that basis is entirely fair. The Nurse's Study is considered to be one of the higher quality ventures out there.
posted by stoneweaver at 10:36 AM on November 8, 2013


Ya'll missed the best part of the article. Along with blessing my coffee habit, it virtually commanded me to drink more red wine. Win-Win.
posted by Measured Out my Life in Coffeespoons at 10:46 AM on November 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


elizardbits: i can't figure out how people physically are capable of drinking multiple sodas in one day. It's like the more improbable porn scenes with way too many peens happening at once. How do you fit it all inside?

So you're saying 3 sodas is the reasonable limit?
posted by 256 at 10:47 AM on November 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


This study was definitely not aimed at soda - it was just one of the foods mentioned.

Good point.

I'm not sure that pishing it on that basis is entirely fair.

Good point.

The Nurse's Study is considered to be one of the higher quality ventures out there.

The data itself is, indeed, of unusually high quality.
posted by Fists O'Fury at 10:47 AM on November 8, 2013


I love the taste of coffee but I feel so much better since I stopped drinking it everyday. I feel a lot less tired in the morning and have a lot fewer headaches now that I don't wake up in caffeine withdrawal each morning.
posted by WhitenoisE at 10:52 AM on November 8, 2013


CARBONATED ICED COFFEE.

Oh no. I'm doomed.
posted by smidgen at 11:00 AM on November 8, 2013


No love for yerba mate?

No.

I like my coffee like I like my coffee: with coffee.
posted by Foosnark at 11:02 AM on November 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


I always imagine Yerba Mate being served at Brazilian Narcotics Anonymous meetings.
posted by R. Schlock at 11:09 AM on November 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


...at night, when I'm not going to be using it to make any coffee, I use my Hario kettle to water the plants.

I use a fat separator to make Chemex coffee. I can't yet tell the difference but it's more fun to make it that way. And I always liked Alton Brown's advice against unitaskers — I rarely make gravy, but I'm often making coffee.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:15 AM on November 8, 2013


Why not just loads and loads of redeye gravy?
posted by elizardbits at 11:21 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I use a fat separator to make Chemex coffee.

Do you...wait, do you put the filter in the top? Or no filter? HOW HOW HOW?
posted by mittens at 11:22 AM on November 8, 2013



yeah it's weird that these scientists just looked at the caffeine/suicide correlation, high-fived each other, and wrote "QED" at the bottom of the paper in crayon instead of doing a multivariate analysis


Multivariate analysis controls for the confounders you bother to take into account. It can never control for the confounders you don't even know about. I understand the ennui that accompanies hearing "c!=c" for the thousandth time, but it's still important to keep in mind. It's not even a criticism, at least of the coffee study: nowhere in there do the authors claim a causative relationship.

The correlation/causation line will be true for any empirical science, because of the problem of induction.

I guess I'd consider the problem of induction to be a different problem, and one for philosophers, not researchers. The way to establish causality is via randomized controlled (blinded) trial. There are times, with good RCTs, when complaints that "c!=c" are totally specious.

An RCT for the caffeine thing strikes me as unlikely, but an RCT for the diet thing seems like the only responsible thing to do if the conclusions are justified (pay article, and I'm not really qualified to judge anyhow). That large reduction of incidence in a disease so common and debilitating is worth doing something about.

Maybe there's an induction related problem that nobody's mentioning, but it's a different one. Nurses' Health Study is great data, but it is far from a heterogenous slice of the US population. For instance, none of the "could it be socioeconomic status?" questions can be answered by data from it.
posted by nathan v at 11:24 AM on November 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


suedehead: Oh, and once some friends and I chilled some coffee and carbonated it. CARBONATED ICED COFFEE.

This sounds delightful—I'll have to give it a try.
posted by JiBB at 11:25 AM on November 8, 2013


I have never tried soda - I'm probably one of the few Americans able to make that claim - but I do love coffee. Get one shot of espresso in me and I'm speedy all day. I try to save it for special occasions (I'm an academic so this usually means "for article deadlines") but I would love to have a cup every morning - I just worry that the effect would become too routine and I would miss out on that extra jolt that I so desperately need for deadlines.
posted by k8lin at 11:25 AM on November 8, 2013


R. Schlock: "Seriously, go into an independent coffee shop one day. Pick one that has the pour over tools out in front and the drip brew hidden away. Ask them to make you a single origin variety that they recommend. "

Sometimes I feel like the whole world is gaslighting me because every fancy coffee shop I've been to offers coffee that tastes a little bit like raisins and a whole lot like the terminals of a 9V battery. I mean, Starbucks coffee does taste pretty ashy, but I totally prefer that to the overwhelming sourness that seems to be the preferred flavor of self-professed coffee enthusiasts. In conclusion, WTF?
posted by invitapriore at 11:26 AM on November 8, 2013 [7 favorites]


In conclusion, WTF?

"Different strokes for different folks", is what.

I like the flavor of good coffee, but to me all tea - green, black, and everything in between - tastes like astringent faintly bitter water. *shrug*
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:34 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wonder if it matters if the coffee is consumed alone or with someone else, or in other words, there it is about the coffee itself, or if the social aspect of drinking coffee with others.
posted by 4ster at 11:38 AM on November 8, 2013


I mean, Starbucks coffee does taste pretty ashy, but I totally prefer that to the overwhelming sourness that seems to be the preferred flavor of self-professed coffee enthusiasts.

To me it's a little bit like loving beer but not being down with the HOPS EVERYWHERE, JUST JAM EM IN THERE trend. I love me some quality coffee, but it doesn't have to be a cup of acid and it's better when it's not.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:48 AM on November 8, 2013 [7 favorites]


foods that restrain inflammation—like wine

WOOHOOOO

ciao les potes je vais à la cave à côté
where "cave" = wine shop
posted by fraula at 11:50 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Do you...wait, do you put the filter in the top? Or no filter? HOW HOW HOW?

I put a cone filter in the top and use the fat separator to pour water over the filter. I take out the filter, discard the water and then put the filter back in with the grind for the brew. Stumptown has a technique and ritual and everything, but I replaced the fancypants $1,500 Japanese stainless steel water can with a not-so-fancypants $5 fat separator I already had in the kitchen.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:51 AM on November 8, 2013


What I'm really saying is that if you like coffee and gravy, it's a savvy investment.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:52 AM on November 8, 2013 [6 favorites]


mmmm ...coffee gravy.
posted by The Whelk at 11:54 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


doomed
posted by smidgen at 12:02 PM on November 8, 2013


Red eye gravy is made with coffee. If you can imagine the flavor of ham fat mixed with coffee, it is precisely as good as that.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:03 PM on November 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


Sometimes I feel like the whole world is gaslighting me because every fancy coffee shop I've been to offers coffee that tastes a little bit like raisins and a whole lot like the terminals of a 9V battery. I mean, Starbucks coffee does taste pretty ashy, but I totally prefer that to the overwhelming sourness that seems to be the preferred flavor of self-professed coffee enthusiasts. In conclusion, WTF?

African coffees tend to be much more acidic than other single-source coffees, and I have noticed that fancy-pants coffee shots tend to be TOTALLY ENAMORED with the African single-source coffees. I love coffee, do the Aeropress thing every morning with light- or medium-roast beans and no sugar/milk to dilute the flavor as befits a coffee snob, but I am very careful to stick to central/South American coffees so that I don't feel like I'm eating batteries in the morning. Definitely not a flavor note that I enjoy at all, although I can see how it's a matter of personal taste.

On preview, yes, it's exactly like the hops thing among beer snobs. I also love me some microbrews, and definitely enjoy hoppy IPAs, but I get really irritated with how huge hop-forward flavors (to the exclusion of all other flavors) and high IBUs have come to define "good" beer for a big segment of craft beer population. I think it's a reaction to the strong malty and/or yeasty flavors you tend to find in mainstream beers (e.g., Budweiser or imported German beer), just like I think the pushing of African single-source coffees in independent coffee shops is a reaction to the heavily-roasted, chocolate-y flavors that you'd get at Starbucks or other national chains.
posted by iminurmefi at 12:08 PM on November 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


I mean, Starbucks coffee does taste pretty ashy, but I totally prefer that to the overwhelming sourness that seems to be the preferred flavor of self-professed coffee enthusiasts.

To me it's a little bit like loving beer but not being down with the HOPS EVERYWHERE, JUST JAM EM IN THERE trend. I love me some quality coffee, but it doesn't have to be a cup of acid and it's better when it's not.


Prepare to be doubly disappointed, you two, because apparently sour ales are the new trend in craft beers. Hopped coffee can't be far behind.
posted by echo target at 12:12 PM on November 8, 2013


To me it's a little bit like loving beer but not being down with the HOPS EVERYWHERE, JUST JAM EM IN THERE trend.

This is such an apt comparison! There must be something wrong with these people's taste buds, maybe if they weren't frying their tongues with such astringent coffee they wouldn't need so many goddamn hops in their beer.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:15 PM on November 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


The thing I can't stand about overly acidic coffees, more than the acidity itself, is that they carry off flavors just a little too well - just a touch burnt or stale and it's like a klaxon going off in your mouth.
posted by jason_steakums at 12:17 PM on November 8, 2013


jason_steakums: "To me it's a little bit like loving beer but not being down with the HOPS EVERYWHERE, JUST JAM EM IN THERE trend. I love me some quality coffee, but it doesn't have to be a cup of acid and it's better when it's not."

Excellent, I think that explains it. It's a bummer, though, because it'd be nice to find a really well-done coffee that's more on the chocolatey side of things, since that's the taste I really like in coffee.
posted by invitapriore at 12:21 PM on November 8, 2013


Maybe . . . they wouldn't need so many goddamn hops in their beer

You'd prefer but one hop?

"I'll have a single-malt with a single-hop chaser, barkeep."

". . . and a bag of peanut."



". . . and bring some shit for my fly."
posted by Herodios at 12:25 PM on November 8, 2013 [5 favorites]


Surprise! Hops and coffee have been combined. I think the fellow's smug but dissatisfied look says it all.
posted by mittens at 12:25 PM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


the HOPS EVERYWHERE, JUST JAM EM IN THERE trend

Is this even a thing anymore? It seems like most of the super-hopped beers lately also have tons of fresh, juicy hop flavor and enough behind it for balance. I can't remember the last real enamel-stripper I tried.

Although I suppose it makes me a heretic to say (I think I misspoke when I commented about this a few weeks ago) that I drink mostly cold-brew iced coffee at home, and Chock Full O' Nuts makes awesome, cheap cold brew. So maybe my tastebuds are broken.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:30 PM on November 8, 2013


uncleozzy, Trader Joe's does an IPA that's…too much and also not very good. :7( It goes well with their porter that's also not very good, and only a couple bucks cheaper than Good Beer.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:48 PM on November 8, 2013


the strong malty and/or yeasty flavors you tend to find in ... Budweiser

Say what, now???

I always thought So Much Hops was just a Pacific Northwest thing, because I never encountered it before I moved here a little over 5 years ago - I was expecting the sort of robust full-flavored microbrews I'd experienced in Asheville NC. But maybe I just happened to move about the time this trend went big.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:50 PM on November 8, 2013


You'd prefer but one hop?

A hop is a kind of flower, not surprisingly the kind found on a hop plant or a hop-hornbeam tree.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 12:52 PM on November 8, 2013


Speaking of beer and coffee, is there anything like BeerAdvocate for coffee?
posted by jason_steakums at 1:04 PM on November 8, 2013


I always thought So Much Hops was just a Pacific Northwest thing,

No, it is also big in Wisconsin. I think mostly it has to do with the pun-ability of the word as compared to malt. That allows them to invest all of the cleverness in the name of the beer and none in the production.

But I only say that because I'm bitter.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:06 PM on November 8, 2013 [7 favorites]


San Diego has been major craft beer paradise the last few years, and every damn brewery has a super-hopped up IPA, as well as a at least one other hoppy beer, if not just a wide variety of IPAs, so yeah, it's a thing. A year or two ago, we made the mistake of going to Hamilton's (local brewpub with a bajillion taps that they switch out frequently) during a a brewfest of some kind, and maybe 25 out of 30 of their draft beers were IPAs. I think the trend is scaling down now that brewers are discovering Saisons and stuff like that, but drinking beer was potentially not fun for a while here.
posted by LionIndex at 1:06 PM on November 8, 2013


I think mostly it has to do with the pun-ability of the word as compared to malt.

Indeed. For example, here's a relatively famous local (to me) brewery's beer list. Note the "Pure Hoppiness" DOUBLE West Coast IPA. Note the presence of 2 other double IPAs on the list, as well as a TRIPLE IPA, and then 4 other regular IPAs, as well as some really scary thing called a "Belgian Quadruple". So, out of 30 total beers that they make, 8 of them are IPAs, plus a couple more plain old pale ales.
posted by LionIndex at 1:15 PM on November 8, 2013


invitapriore: but I totally prefer that to the overwhelming sourness that seems to be the preferred flavor of self-professed coffee enthusiasts. In conclusion, WTF?

You're not crazy. It's super-trendy right now to use roasting and brewing methods that bring out what the other coffee enthusiasts call lightness, acidity, and floral notes, and you and I perceive as sour and gross. Avoid the pour-overs and Chemex-brewed coffee and get a French-pressed or cold-brewed coffee, and that will help a lot--those brewing methods bring out the richness and body of coffee. And if you go somewhere where you have options for different bean origins or blends, just tell the barista that you prefer richer, earthier, chocolatey coffees to lighter, more acidic ones, and they should be able to recommend the one that fits your tastes. After you've done this a few times you'll have an idea of what to look for in the future.

I am all about the coffees with tasting notes that say things like "chocolate" and "brown sugar" and "syrupy" and "earthy," so if you want suggestions for specific coffees to try, MeMail me!
posted by rhiannonstone at 1:15 PM on November 8, 2013 [12 favorites]


I think mostly it has to do with the pun-ability of the word as compared to malt.

Sadly, I think it's because you can cover for mediocre beer with a bunch of hoppiness in much the same way you can cover mediocre coffee by over processing/roasting.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 1:31 PM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


as well as some really scary thing called a "Belgian Quadruple"

Nope, that's different. They're a bit heavy on the fruity side, not the hoppy.
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:32 PM on November 8, 2013


African coffees tend to be much more acidic than other single-source coffees, and I have noticed that fancy-pants coffee shots tend to be TOTALLY ENAMORED with the African single-source coffees.

This is good to know. I usually buy Garuda beans from Peet's Coffee, but I bought an African strain on my last trip and I was blown away by how great it tasted to me. I'm so square in most ways, it's nice to be trendy every once in a while, even by accident.

I've never had coffee that tasted sour to me. Must be genetics, just like the way some folks taste coffee as bitter vs. chocolaty.
posted by Thoughtcrime at 1:36 PM on November 8, 2013


LionIndex: “as well as some really scary thing called a 'Belgian Quadruple'”

Greg_Ace: “Nope, that's different. They're a bit heavy on the fruity side, not the hoppy.”

That's... traditionally true, yes. But hoppy Belgian quadrupels and tripels are sort of becoming a thing, to my growing horror; apparently the worst American influences are spreading abroad. For instance. Being a lover of Belgians, a fan of Duvel, and a hater of hops (as all true beer fans are) I cringe every time I see that at the store.
posted by koeselitz at 1:49 PM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


African coffees tend to be much more acidic than other single-source coffees, and I have noticed that fancy-pants coffee shots tend to be TOTALLY ENAMORED with the African single-source coffees.

  I usually buy Garuda beans from Peet's Coffee, but I bought an African strain on my last trip and I was blown away by how great it tasted to me.


Favourite Afric: Harar (one of several available Ethiopian varieties)
Favourite S Am: Guatemalan
Favourite Asian: Celebese

All very different. The Harar is like Kenyan only better; rather heavy.
The Guatemalan is nice sipping coffee.
The Celebese seems more complex, a coffee for savouring on a slow morning -- no rush.

Your experience may well differ.
 
posted by Herodios at 1:53 PM on November 8, 2013


hoppy Belgian quadrupels and tripels are sort of becoming a thing

Oh, that's sad. I hadn't encountered those yet.
posted by Greg_Ace at 2:08 PM on November 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


A friend who knows much more about coffee than I do told me that the trendy, astringently sour coffees (which taste to me like coffee that's been sitting in the office coffee pot all day -- Blue Bottle in SF, I'm looking at you, though I do love your cold-brewed New Orleans iced coffee) were due to only roasting the beans to "first crack". Interesting to hear it could be the geographical source as well. Whatever the case, I'm glad to hear I'm not alone in not in finding this trend annoying and kind of gross.
posted by treepour at 2:53 PM on November 8, 2013


I wanted to give up sodas, which (even diet) are apparently the worst thing you can drink short of antifreeze, and I never developed a taste for coffee except for like frappucinos and iced mochas and shit that is half your calories for the day.

So I bought one of these.

It is amazing. Iced tea is cheap, easy, there are plenty of types and flavors for variety, no calories or carbs, a fair amount of caffeine... it is basically revelatory.

Also the tea packaging often talks about how many "flavonoids" the tea has in it, which is great because hahaha flavonoids are you serious?
posted by rifflesby at 4:34 PM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


I lost track, that fall, of the number of times I woke on a slab of foam to the roar of Rubin's antique espresso mach- ine, a tarnished behemoth topped with a big chrome eagle, the sound outrageous off the corrugated steel walls of the place, but massively comforting, too: There was coffee. Life would go on.

How I feel too.

But I've never seen that carbonated cold coffee brand anywhere but NYC, and only in certain delis, over ten years ago.
posted by bad grammar at 4:34 PM on November 8, 2013


African coffees tend to be much more acidic than other single-source coffees, and I have noticed that fancy-pants coffee shots tend to be TOTALLY ENAMORED with the African single-source coffees.

Lately, all of the acidic coffees I've had were Latin American, while the African coffees have been lovely chocolatey and earthy coffees - or stunningly sweet and fruity (amazing Ethiopian - I think it was sundried).

But I'm also increasingly convinced that the origin of a coffee matters less than the processing and roasting. Unless you have beans from different regions which have been subjected to the same process and roasting, it's hard to see what region means.
posted by jb at 4:45 PM on November 8, 2013


Umm... In my house, we always made iced tea by boiling a kettle, making tea, and then refrigerating it. We didn't need any special devices.

Actually, we mostly made iced tea with tea that had been accidentally left to go cold in the pot. It was totally stewed, of course, but lemon juice and plenty of sugar cut the tannins, leaving lovely strong iced tea.
posted by jb at 4:49 PM on November 8, 2013


That device gives you cold tea in three minutes, without fussing around with extra pots, waiting for water to boil, or for the results to chill. The only extra task involved is refilling your ice-cube trays, if your fridge doesn't churn them out for you.

Old-schoolier methods are fine of course, if you're the sort that can remember to make tea in advance of when you're going to want it, instead of ending up with a 1/4 cup in the pitcher and nothing to drink until the next batch is ready. I ain't that guy.
posted by rifflesby at 4:58 PM on November 8, 2013


Alton Brown would tsk-tsk your use of a unitasker, is all I'm sayin'.
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:21 PM on November 8, 2013


Yeah, well Alton Brown can peel my 'unitaskers' ( like my pizza dough pans ) from my shiny metal ass...

I have a more relevant metric due to my small, 100 year old kitchen. "Do I USE THE DAMN THING?" If I don't use it for months and months, it goes into a box out on the back porch. If I ever need it, I know where it is. If not, then it's ready to go to a church sale or the landfill or whatever. I suspect those boxes will outlast me, so I'm not too worried about the final disposition. ( Politically, my wife would freak out if one of the things she knows she HAS somewhere around here disappeared for good. ( I'm looking at you Banana Slicers... )

This topic needs a Trigger Warning....

And man, Ethiopians grow some incredible fucking coffee beans....
posted by mikelieman at 6:16 PM on November 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


That device gives you cold tea in three minutes, without fussing around with extra pots, waiting for water to boil, or for the results to chill. The only extra task involved is refilling your ice-cube trays, if your fridge doesn't churn them out for you.

Makes some sense, I suppose - I actually don't like iced tea much, and would rather have hot tea most days. So that's 2 min for the kettle to boil - and no min to steep because I'll run out the door with the bag still in my travel mug.

But if you're using pots to boil water, you're doing it wrong. An electric kettle is best, or stovetop if you must. But kettles are an essential.
posted by jb at 6:36 PM on November 8, 2013


Yeah, if I were doing hot tea it would be a different story. I can't do hot drinks, though -- even before I moved to the desert, I could only deal with hot drinks in the dead of winter, and we don't get that around here.
posted by rifflesby at 7:36 PM on November 8, 2013


Avoid the pour-overs and Chemex-brewed coffee and get a French-pressed or cold-brewed coffee, and that will help a lot--those brewing methods bring out the richness and body of coffee

Oh, god, I had a cold-brew version of this type of coffee recently and it was just fucking unbelievable. It was also FIVE MOTHERTRUCKING DOLLARS because I got it at a schmancy coffee shop, but I'm totally going to Try It At Home now.
posted by en forme de poire at 9:37 PM on November 8, 2013


I'm glad so many brought up the sourness of some of the coffees now considered premier-cru. I'm old enough to remember what cans of ground Folger's looked and tasted like and I swear if you put some of that sour stuff beside your Stump Town first-crack African I could not tell the difference. Which maybe says more about me than the coffee but still, forever that sour taste has been synonymous with shit coffee to me.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 1:10 AM on November 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


But I do love love my AeroPress.
posted by Mei's lost sandal at 1:11 AM on November 9, 2013


tea is pretty fucking good too
caffeine, no unspeakable GI effects, and it pleases my Anglophilia
posted by angrycat at 6:12 AM on November 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


For me, there's a sweet spot in coffee flavor. I don't like the burnt Starbucks-style coffee, but I also don't like the sour stuff that seems to be fashionable. It's the full-bodied, rich, not-to-bitter but also not-sour flavors that I really love.

But to the articles themselves, it was the food/depression one that really caught my attention. It's intriguing that the foods that I most associate with modernity (like soda and highly processed grains) are precisely the foods that the researchers tie to depression -- perhaps the defining syndrome of modern life.

Anything that can move the broader discussion away from simplistic notions about food (such as all calories are equal) is for the better, and can hopefully help move us towards a world where not just access to food but access to good food becomes commonplace.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:38 AM on November 9, 2013


Coffee is also correlated with reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease, diabetes and liver disease. 2 cups a day is about right for me. I like really good coffee, but merely good coffee will do. Being a coffee nerd got boring.

I love that coffee, which so many people think of as a vice, is being shown to be good for you.

Next, please document the many health-giving properties of beer.
posted by theora55 at 8:43 AM on November 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well it makes life worth living, and a dark stout is full of many vital B vitamins.
posted by The Whelk at 8:52 AM on November 9, 2013


yeah i'd like a study that says being a pothead is, like, totally healthy. man, give me that study.
posted by angrycat at 9:36 AM on November 9, 2013


Lower diabetes risk?
posted by The Whelk at 9:38 AM on November 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


HA DIABETES RUNS IN MY FAMILY TAKE THAT DIABETES
posted by angrycat at 10:14 AM on November 9, 2013


Drinking two - four cups of caffeinated coffee a day reduces the risk of suicide for adults by about half.

Well, that probably explains why I'm still alive.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:47 PM on November 9, 2013


I get to sidestep the absurd ritualization of coffee that renders it an awful lot like sex

Right? Cause who wants a new, second whole big production like sex in their life?!
posted by msalt at 10:29 PM on November 9, 2013


A few years ago a friend dragged me to a coffee shop in his suburb that was on the trendy cutting edge of the coffee world. In an effort to make me a regular the owner asked me what my favorite coffee was. I told him I preferred a dark roast, like an espresso roast. His eyes narrowed and his mouth made a little puckering of distaste "Oh, you like the flavor of the roast." We were never going to see eye to eye, and I would apparently never be a cool coffee snob.
His shop is closed now and in the interim I've discovered, as some here have mentioned, that I don't dislike less roasted coffee but this sour coffee thing that the coffee snobs like? Not for me.
posted by evilDoug at 10:54 PM on November 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Being a coffee nerd got boring.

James Lileks wrote a column in the late 1908s about a taste test of cheap beers. He invited over a few friends, ranging from a snob to a clueless dad-type. The beer ranged from one with a grinning monk, down to a six-pack of "Harley Davidson Heavy Beer" (the balance of which my pizza-delivery colleague received as a tip!).

Anyway, Lileks writes that he is not at all a beer snob, and instead is "a friend to the common can" -- and I try to be the same way about beer and coffee myself now. I will happily drink the good stuff or the cheap stuff, in the sure knowledge that whatever I am presently consuming, I will be back to the other stuff in not too long.
posted by wenestvedt at 7:03 PM on November 10, 2013


No, no he only WISHES he wrote in 1908.
posted by The Whelk at 7:12 PM on November 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


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