Articles From Whole Latte Love

Is it True? Dispelling common coffee myths.

Posted: 03/21/13
n. (m th)

1. A popular belief, tradition or story that has become associated with a cultural idea
2. Fiction or half-truth

The other day my contractor, Mike, looked at me kind of bewildered as I scooped coffee out of the canister and dumped it into the grinder of my Gaggia Titanium. He said, "Hey, I thought you’re supposed to store that stuff in the refrigerator. Haven’t you heard that?" He was convinced that his Maxwell House was staying fresh next to the Italian Dressing. I told him that was just a myth and coffee beans are actually best stored at room temperature in an airtight container. "Oh, okay," he said nonchalantly and continued on with his business.
The mystery and intrigue surrounding all things coffee nowadays is growing way out of hand and it’s our job to try and set a few things straight. So here we go.

Is it true that coffee tastes best when it’s stored in the refrigerator?

The National Coffee Association suggests the best way for keeping a reasonably small amount of coffee fresh is in an opaque, airtight container just large enough to accommodate the beans. The four things that you’re keeping the beans away from are air, moisture, heat and light. So not only are the beans in the refrigerator exposed to the cold, and moisture, but they’re picking up odors from last nights leftovers too!

Is it true that espresso has more caffeine than regular coffee?

A total misconception. It would take possibly three or four single shots of espresso to equal the caffeine found in a 12-ounce cup of coffee. So if it’s a caffeine buzz you’re looking for - you’re better off getting your fix from a regular cup of Columbian coffee.

Is it true that espresso is a specific type of bean?

Nope. Espresso is not a bean; it’s the end result. Espresso is produced through a pressure brewing process - with your espresso machine. It’s the retailers and coffeehouses that are trying to convince you otherwise. You can take any type of coffee bean - Kona, Kenya AA, Blue Mountain or Columbian and brew delicious espresso. The better the bean - the better the espresso!

Is it true that espresso is a specific blend or roast?

Roasters peddling beans know a good thing when they see it - so many of them are catering to the particular palates of espresso lovers. While there’s no specific type of bean that "makes" espresso - there are certain blends or roasts that do taste and perform better when brewed as such. This is why so many roasters and importers have created their own "Espresso Roast."

Is it true that drinking coffee has some health benefits?

Like most things, drinking coffee in moderation is key. In recent studies, coffee consumption has been linked to reducing the risk of liver and colon cancer, Type Two Diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. That’s because coffee contains tannins and antioxidants that are good for the heart and arteries. The caffeine in coffee helps reduce headaches and reduces the risk of asthma attacks because it improves circulation within the heart. However, drinking five or more 5 ounce cups of coffee increase nervousness and cause an increased heartbeat. Pregnant women, those with heart conditions and anyone with stomach ulcers are usually advised against drinking large amounts of coffee.

We hope this helps clear up some the ambiguity that surrounds espresso and was helpful and informative. Remember, believe half of what you see and none of what you hear. Or was it half of what you hear and none of what you see. Either way, knowing is half the battle according to GI Joe.