Natural Medicine in Your Own Kitchen
The very best coffee is made with fresh whole coffee beans, freshly ground and mixed with boiling water in a French Coffee Press. The most important component is the quality of the coffee beans. And the very best beans are the Archer Farms Sulawesi Toraja and Rwandan Mibirizi, limited roast hand picked which I was surprised to find at Target and labeled kosher. These are "out of this world", and far better than Starbucks coffee.
Coffee Beans Should Look Like This:
First Step to Make Coffee:
The first step is to boil water in the kettle. While waiting for the water to boil, get out your French coffee press, and remove the plunger. Also get out your electric coffee bean grinder.
The Coffee Bean Grinder:
Fill the coffee grinder with whole beans, replace the lid, and turn on the grinder. After 30 seconds or so, the beans will be fully ground into small particles. Dump these small particles into the large glass beaker called a French Coffee Press.
Left Image: Electric coffee grinder Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
The French Coffee Press:
A whistling kettle is recommended since it will alert you when the water comes to a full boil. Once boiling, the water is now ready to pour into the French coffee press. Be careful as you fill the glass beaker about ¾ full, because the water is scalding hot.
Left Image: French Coffee Press with plunger in center.Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Stir once and let the coffee sit for a variable length of time depending on your taste and experience. I usually give it 30-60 seconds and then push down on the plunger which then pushes the coffee grounds down to the bottom of the glass beaker. Others suggest giving it 3-4 minutes before using the plunger.
This is how your coffee should look:
Now you can pour off the coffee into your coffee cup or mug. The surface should have a rich creamy bubbly look (see above image). I usually add a small amount of milk, and wait a few minutes to cool off, and then the coffee is ready to drink. This is the really good part. It’s heaven.
How Does Caffeine Work? Natural Medicine at its Best
Left Above image is caffeine, and right above image is adenosine. Note the red arrow points to a module in adenosine which is very similar to caffeine.
Caffeine is the Drug in Coffee
The active ingredient in coffee is a drug called caffeine, a stimulant of the central nervous system. This natural plant drug is the reason we all drink coffee. The chemical structure of caffeine (see above image) is similar to adenosine, which is an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain. Caffeine blocks the action of adenosine, and therefore acts as a brain stimulant. There are about 200,000 research articles on caffeine in the scientific and medical literature. Because caffeine is a CNS stimulant, it can product dependence, tolerance, and withdrawal symptoms just like any other addictive drug.
Another mode of action of caffeine is blockage of an enzyme called Phosphodiesterase which normally degrades cyclic AMP. This allows the build-up of cyclic AMP which intensifies and prolongs epinephrine, a potent stimulant in the body.
Left Image: Cyclic AMP, which has structure of adenosine with a phosphate group attached (blue ellipse). Notice the red ellipse outlining the caffeine-like structure at the upper right.
Enjoy your cup of "Out of This World" Coffee, plant based Natural Medicine from your own kitchen.
(c) 2008-9 Jeffrey Dach MD All Rights Reserved
All Images are in the public domain courtesy wikimedia commons