Why Coffee And Snoozing Go Hand In Hand

Monday, December 08, 2014

For many of us the afternoon lull is an all too common occurrence.

Whether we are studying hard for an upcoming exam, essay writing, midway through an arduous office task, or just relaxing on the couch in front of daytime television, as we hit the afternoon our eyes begin to droop, our gaze loses focus and we drift off into the land of nod.

How do you deal with the onset of this daily doziness?

Well, traditionally, two of the most common ways of keeping this depletion of energy at bay are taking a ‘power nap’ or having a cup of coffee.

However scientists now believe that it shouldn’t be just one or the other – indeed, according to a recent study, the most effective and efficient way to deal with a lazy afternoon lull is to partake in both a snooze and a cuppa.

Sounds like bliss!


The findings

The report, which was compiled last month by Loughborough University’s Sleep Research Laboratory after tests on a group of 12 individuals, suggests fighting tardiness by taking a cup of coffee right before a power nap.

The findings concluded that drinking a cup of coffee and then immediately taking a 15 minute nap will improve alertness as well as hazard aversion when driving.

Why is the combination so effective?

Taking a nap just after a cup of coffee is effective because caffeine takes approximately twenty to thirty minutes to take full effect.

It is therefore more productive in the long-term to spend this short window conserving energy and napping rather than continuing to be tired and unproductive and just waiting for the effects of the coffee to arrive.

The science

Caffeine molecules work together with adenosine receptors (the hormone that promotes sleepy behaviour in your body) to prevent adenosine from taking effect, thus allowing you to be more alert.

In addition, a nap will enhance your energy levels – so long as the doze does not turn into R.E.M. (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep, which will leave you feeling groggy.

A short nap (the average time of actual sleep during the study, for example, was 12.4 minutes) has been shown to boost attention levels and cognitive function.

Signing off

So, there we have it, evidence that combining a cup of coffee with a quick power nap is the perfect way to re-energise and kick-start your day!

Make sure you give this coupling a go next time your eyes start to droop at three o’clock in the afternoon – and be sure to let us know here at Cafe2U how you got on!

Did it work a treat or make no difference?

We’d love to hear from you!

Can The Colour Of Your Coffee Mug Affect The Taste?

Friday, December 05, 2014

When making the perfect cup of coffee, there are many factors that you need to take into account.

The type/freshness of coffee bean, the quality/heat of the water, the kind of filter… the list goes on and on.

But have all of you coffee connoisseurs out there ever considered that the colour of your chosen coffee mug might also affect the taste?

Granted, this seems like a truly bizarre statement from the mouth of a lunatic, but according to a new study there may be some truth to it.


Does the colour of the mug influence the taste of the coffee?

The report (titled above), which was published by the journal Flavour on November 25 2014, postulates that our perception of the bitterness of coffee changes dependent on the colour of the container that we drink it from.

George H Van Doorn, the author of the study, was inspired to explore this topic after he overheard a barista say that the majority of customers complaining about the bitterness of their coffee were drinking from white mugs/cups compared to transparent ones.

And, indeed, after testing the hypothesis on a number of volunteers, the evidence clearly corroborated this line of thinking, as the participants, while drinking the same coffee, experienced different reactions dependent of the colour of the cup.

According to the report, white receptacles “enhanced the rated intensity of the coffee flavor relative to the transparent mug”, which, it was concluded, was down to the contrast in colours.

It was also discovered that blue mugs also enhanced both the bitterness and sweetness of coffee.

The study went on to summarise that:

These results support the view that the colour of the mug should be considered by those serving coffee as it can influence the consumer’s multisensory coffee drinking experience.

These results add to a large and growing body of research highlighting the influence of product-extrinsic colour on the multisensory perception of food and drink.

Why does this happen?

So, how on earth does the colour of mug affect how you taste your coffee?

Well, according to scientists, a white container causes the brown of the coffee to “pop.”

In response, your brain takes that visual data as a sign that the coffee will be both strong and bitter.

A clear mug, on the other hand, softens that pop, and thus dials down your brain’s anticipation of any bitter flavours.

Lastly, blue, believe it or not, is brown’s “complimentary color”, which means it both intensifies the brown but also primes your brain to expect sweet notes.

Choose your colour wisely!

Prefer a strong bitter coffee? Grab a white mug!

Do you have a sweet tooth? A clear, transparent cup is perfect for you!

Like a sweet but still intense flavor? Blue is the colour you need!

Remember to get in touch with us here at Cafe2U regarding your thoughts – we love hearing what our readers have to say!

Kick-start Your Day With A “Bulletproof Coffee”

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

There has been a recent health trend sweeping the food and drink world in recent months which involves the world’s favourite caffeinated beverage… coffee.

Sound intriguing?

(Sure it does, you are reading this coffee blog after all!)

Well, what if I told you that the other ingredients involved in this new health drink were lashings of butter and coconut oil?

Still want to know more – or does this heavy brew already have you reaching for a dustbin to thrown up into?

What is the Bulletproof Coffee?


The Bulletproof Coffee (or Paleo Coffee) is a ‘breakfast smoothie’ drink combining coffee, butter and coconut oil which is designed, when taken in the morning, to provide a prolonged energy hit, sharpen your focus and keep you feeling fuller for longer.

This trendy drink, which is seen as part of the Paleo diet fad, is designed as a meal replacement – and according to Bulletproof devotees it really is as rich, thick and creamy as it sounds!

This drink has become popular in many social circles, from fitness junkies and avid gym goers to white collar workers and urbane socialites looking for that extra hit to help them get through a busy day at the office or social schedule.

Where did it originate?

This new coffee craze originated in the USA (of course it did) via a mountain climber turned celebrity health guru named Dave Asprey.

Asprey was intrigued as to why Himalayans in Tibet added Yak Butter to their tea and why this particular blend made you feel so revitalised and great (he had personal experience of drinking it).

And so he began researching and experimenting.

Asprey quickly discovered that our body’s benefit from the extra good fats we get from a mix of coconut oil and really good quality butter.

And thus, as he was a coffee and not a tea drinker, BulletProof Coffee was born.

The Benefits of Bulletproof Coffee

As discussed, the immediate effect of drinking Bulletproof Coffee is lasting energy (quite different from regular coffee).

The caffeine combines with the fats and slowly releases its effects into the body over a long period of time

There are also medium to long term effects of Paleo Coffee, including improved memory, improved skin softness, better weight management and better blood sugar control.

Bulletproof Coffee is also very popular amongst the fitness crowd, as it provides a sustained energy release allowing for improved workouts.

What do you think?

Have you tried Bulletproof Coffee?

Thinking of giving it a go?

Have you come across any coffee shops selling this drink?

Be sure to let us know here at Cafe2U what you think?