TIME Diet/Nutrition

Drinking Coffee May Fight Against Erectile Dysfunction

Researchers have found a link between higher caffeine consumption and lower ED

Good news for coffee drinkers: a few cups a day could help curb men’s risk for erectile dysfunction.

A new study from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston found that men who drink more caffeine (the equivalent of about two or three cups of coffee) are less likely to experience erectile dysfunction than their peers who consume little or no caffeine, according to CBS News. Researchers can’t prove causality in this finding, but they suggest the correlation could be true because caffeine helps relax muscles and arteries, allowing freer blood flow.

The finding does not seem to apply, however, to diabetics, who face higher risks of erectile dysfunction.

[CBS]

TIME Starbucks

There’s a New Way to Get Starbucks Rewards Points (and Music!)

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Starbucks Starbucks Cold Brew

Starbucks and Spotify are working together after the coffee chain stopped selling CDs.

Starbucks and online streaming service Spotify are teaming up, allowing Starbucks to stay in the music sphere even after the coffee chain stopped selling compact disks in March.

Customers will be able to see lists of songs played baristas in their coffee shop under a new section in their app. Starbucks will also offer Spotify users rewards points to its loyalty program.

The partnership with Spotify comes after Starbucks stopped selling physical CDs in March after more than 20 years. Artists who’ve seen their work featured on the counter next to the pastries include Bonnie Raitt and Aretha Franklin.

“For many, many years, music has been a very significant part of the Starbucks experience,” CEO Howard Schultz said, per Bloomberg. “The music in our stores gave us license over the years to be in the physical CD business and as many of you know that turned into a very, big and important business for Starbucks.”

TIME Accident

Starbucks Not Liable for Police Officer’s Coffee Burns, Jury Concludes

The police officer was seeking $750,000 in damages

A North Carolina police officer burned by a cup of Starbucks coffee has lost a suit against the company.

A jury concluded Monday that Starbucks is not liable for the burns Raleigh police officer Lt. Matthew Kohr experienced when his coffee spilt on his lap in 2012, ABC 11 reports. Kohr and his wife sued the coffee giant for up to $750,000,

Kohr claimed the lid of his coffee popped off and then the cup collapsed which caused the hot coffee to spill all over his lap causing burns, blisters and emotional damage. Kohr also said that the stress from the event aggravated his Crohn’s disease, causing him to get surgery.

Kohr’s lawyers said Starbucks has a policy of serving its large-sized coffee drinks with a sleeve, which Kohr did not receive. They also argue they gave him the coffee with the lid not properly secured. Lawyers for Starbucks questioned Kohr’s motivations, his diagnosis and Starbuck’s role, ABC 11 reports.

[ABC 11]

MONEY Food & Drink

Starbucks Moves Bottled Water Brand Out of Drought-Stricken California

After coming under fire for using water from drought-plagued California for its trendy bottled water brand, Starbucks is shifting operations to Pennsylvania.

In the midst of a severe drought, California has imposed strict, sweeping regulations to conserve water. Homeowners are being encouraged to let their lawns turn brown, or simply replace grass with landscaping that needs little or no watering, while some communities have engaged in witch hunts—or rather, water hunts—to expose and possibly fine property owners who are breaking the rules and wasting water.

Mother Jones recently published a story pointing out the curious state of affairs of Ethos Water, a bottled water operation owned by Starbucks that was founded with the goal of addressing the global water crisis. And where is the water inside Ethos bottles taken from? Yep, it originates and is bottled in Merced County, one of the state’s driest and hardest-hit drought areas.

After receiving much grief over the past week for its bottled water operations, Starbucks just announced that it is immediately shifting operations from California over to Pennsylvania.

“Beginning the first week of May and over the next six months, Starbucks plans to move production to its Pennsylvania supplier, while simultaneously exploring alternatives to transition to a new source and supplier to serve the company’s West Coast distribution,” a Starbucks statement explained.

“The decision to move our Ethos water sourcing from California and reduce our in-store water reductions by more than 25 percent are steps we are taking in partnership with state and local governments to accelerate water conservation,” Starbucks executive John Kelly said in the press release.

As BuzzFeed noted, even as Starbucks is ceasing bottled water production in California, other bottled water brands—including those from Nestle, Coca-Cola, and PepsiCo—continue to operate in the parched Golden State.

 

TIME Music

Let Miguel and Wale Wake You Up With Some Fresh ‘Coffee’

The pair's morning pick-me-up revamps a song from last December

As you probably gathered from its profane parenthetical, Miguel’s song “Coffee (F-cking)” has very little to do with caffeine, but it might help you get through this Monday nonetheless. The “Adorn” singer, who has written for Beyoncé, Jessie Ware and Usher, blows out this dreamy ode to morning sex and pillow talk—to date Miguel, you must be down with early a.m. rounds of Would You Rather?—with the same fuzzy guitars and hazy atmospherics that made his Girls soundtrack contribution one of the best songs of last 2014. The Wale-assisted release is an updated version of a song Miguel put out on an EP in December, but even old Miguel is welcome Miguel if it means Wild Heart, the follow-up to 2012’s Kaleidoscope Dream, is coming soon.

TIME Gadgets

This Is the Coffee Maker Baristas Use At Home

Bonavita 1900TS makes fantastic coffee with ease and reliability for a mid-range price tag

the wirecutter logo

After two months surveying readers, interviewing coffee experts, researching makes, models, and reviews, and testing five finalist machines with a 10-person tasting panel, we recommend the $190 Bonavita 1900TS. It’s the best coffee maker for most people who love good coffee but don’t have the time or patience for pour-over. The 1900TS brewed the most consistently delicious coffee among all of the machines we tested—better than anything I used in my past life as a barista. It does this thanks to smart internal design, like a wider showerhead and a flat-bottomed filter (the normal, wavy kind) and a built-in pre-infusion timer. This coffee machine will brew coffee 90 percent as good as pour-over every single time.

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Bonavita

Why you should trust us

To get to these picks, I talked to coffee experts of various backgrounds from different parts of the industry: Humberto Ricardo, the owner of the renowned Manhattan coffee shop Third Rail Coffee; barista Carlos Morales who just won third place in the Northeast Brewers Cup Championship; and Mark Hellweg who founded and runs the speciality coffee accessory company Clive Coffee, which recently developed and released a high-end coffee machine of their own design. I also chatted with pretty much every barista I encountered at shops to get their perspectives.

I combined what I learned from these experts with reviews from the best sources on the web—including Consumer Reports, Cooks Illustrated, Serious Eats, CNET, and Wired—to narrow the list of contenders down to five top contenders. I then conducted a blind tasting panel of 10 coffee enthusiasts who all voted on which machines produced the best-tasting beverage. In the end, there was one clear winner.

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The Sweethome

Why our pick is the best

The Bonavita 1900TS makes consistently great tasting coffee and was the easiest to use and the fastest to brew out of the six machines we tested. You won’t get many extra features, like timers and a “brew strength” adjuster, but nothing will give you better-tasting coffee with less hassle. And its maintenance and cleaning is the same as any other automatic drip machine on the market—just toss the grounds, give everything a rinse, and occasionally de-scale if you don’t use filtered water.

Using quality, well-ground beans, some of our testers even compared the brew favorably to handmade pour-over coffee. The 1900TS was also the easiest to use among the competition—just one button to push—and it was the fastest to brew a full pot by over a minute. That’s because it has a higher-powered water heater than most, which allows it to achieve the ideal brewing temperature of 195-205˚F faster than other machines.

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The SweethomeThe Bonavita (second from the left) is noticeably more compact than the other machines

Operation couldn’t be simpler. There’s only one button. Press once to make coffee, or press and hold for five seconds to activate the pre-infusion timer. Pre-infusion allows the grounds to fully and evenly wet before brewing fully begins—this leads to more even extraction and more clarity of flavor. The machine shuts itself off after the coffee has been brewed, though you can turn the machine off anytime by pressing the one button. Because it comes with a stainless-steel insulated carafe, there’s no need for a hot plate to keep the pot warm. In our tests, coffee was drinkably hot for a couple hours after brewing, but fell to room temperature after 6 hours.

The runner-up pick

If the 1900TS is unavailable, the older Bonavita 1800-series is the next best way to go. The 1800TH is your best bet, because its glass-lined thermal carafe will keep coffee warm for longer without wasting energy on heating plates. The 1800SS is also a good option, but it uses a steel-lined thermal carafe, which many coffee aficionados claim can color the flavor of the coffee within. It’s a very similar machine to our top pick, but the 1900TS’s improvements result in a more evenly-extracted, clearer-tasting cup that was unanimously preferred by our tasting panelists. Still, the 1800TH beat out every other machine in our test, which is no small accomplishment.

This guide may have been updated. To see the current recommendation please go to TheWirecutter.com.

TIME Economy

Love K-Cups? You’re Killing the Coffee Business

<> on March 5, 2015 in Miami, Florida.
Joe Raedle—2015 Getty Images In this photo illustration, Keurig Green Mountain Inc. K-Cup coffee packs are seen on March 5, 2015 in Miami, Florida.

Less wasted coffee means fewer sales for roasters

Single-serve coffee can now legitimately be called “wildly popular,” with more than one in four Americans using the brewing machines initially popularized by Keurig Green Mountain’s K-Cups.

You might think that’s a boon to the coffee-roasting business, but it turns out to be just the opposite. Why? The machines are much more efficient. Just think about how often you make a pot of coffee in an automatic-drip maker, only to end up pouring some portion of it down the drain. The less coffee you waste, the less you buy.

On one hand, this is better for consumers who are saving money. Less waste is also better for the environment, especially in parched regions like California. But roasters are feeling the pinch. “The coffee market has lost its best consumer: the kitchen sink,” Hernando de la Roche, a senior vice president at financial services firm INTL FCStone Inc., told Bloomberg. “Roasters are telling us that single-cup coffee has been reducing demand.”

Reducing demand, reducing waste — the difference is academic when it comes to toting up revenues.

Meanwhile, coffee bean inventories are rising, putting pressure on commodity prices. That’s thanks in part to recent rains in Brazil — the world’s top coffee-producing country — that have reversed two sequential years of falling yields.

At the retail level, total coffee sales are falling lately, down about 1.5% over the past year. Single-serve pods represent the only category where sales have grown in supermarkets, drugstores, and other non-restaurant outlets. Whole-bean, ground, and jarred instant coffee sales are all flat or falling.

Americans still love their joe, of course: it’s the most popular beverage other than water. Still, consumption fell over the past year as measured by the number of Americans who drink coffee daily, down from 63% in 2013 to 59% in 2014, according to the National Coffee Association. Some of that drop is thanks to people — especially younger ones — switching to tea and other beverages perceived as being healthier.

TIME Diet/Nutrition

How (and Why) to Make Cold-Brew Coffee

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Getty Images

It's more flavorful and nuanced and less bitter than hot coffee

Move over, pumpkin spice latte—the hottest trend in coffee these days is cold. Cold brew, that is.

This isn’t iced coffee, which is hot coffee or espresso allowed to cool and then served over ice (or whipped up in a blender with milk and sugar-laden syrups and topped with whipped cream). Cold-brew coffee is exactly what it sounds like, brewed by steeping coffee in cold water rather than hot. And, like another trend—we’re looking at you, bone broth—it’s a tried-and-true classic that is back in vogue.

Read more: 10 Coffee Drinks Worse Than a Candy Bar

Proponents of cold-brew say that because the grounds aren’t exposed to hot water, the resulting coffee is more flavorful and nuanced and less bitter than hot coffee. (Here’s some science around why, if you’re so inclined.)

You can buy cold-brew coffee ($10.30, amazon), but if you’re more of a DIY person, it’s a cinch to make yourself.

Read more: Best and Worst Foods for Your Teeth

“Cold brew is one of the easiest ways to brew coffee around,” Michael Phillips, director of training for Blue Bottle Coffee, tells Health. “If you have a bucket and some form of strainer or cheesecloth, you’re all set.”

Here’s a step-by-step tutorial from Phillips:

Measure it

“A simple way to get a good ratio of coffee to water is to use one pound of coarsely ground (French press grind setting) coffee for one gallon of water,” Phillips says. A lighter-roast coffee will be fruitier and will work better for a longer steeping time; darker roasts are earthier. Phillips recommends starting with filtered water: Water is “the majority of what’s in the final cup, so if it doesn’t taste good to start, the brew won’t taste good in the end.”

Add H2O

Put the coffee in a large, clean container (Phillips recommends glass; it’s the easiest to clean and will not leave any flavor in the brew). Pour in a gallon of water, taking care to get all of the coffee wet. “I like to give it a good stir after 10 minutes to allow all of the grounds that were floating at the top to sink down to the bottom,” Phillips says. Cover the container with something breathable, such as cheesecloth, so no dust settles into it, and let it stand at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours.

Read more: 6 Healthy Reasons to Keep Loving Coffee

Strain it

Set a strainer lined with cheesecloth or a paper filter on top of a clean container (this is the one that will be used to store the coffee) and pour in the coffee mixture.

Drink up

Cover and refrigerate the brew for 4 to 5 days. It’s a concentrate, so when you’re ready to drink, pour some of the brew into a cup and add some cold filtered water. How much you add depends on how strongly you brewed your cold-brew and how strong you like your coffee. It’s best served cold. Tip: Cold brew “also makes for a really easy-to-use ingredient for cooking to get coffee flavor into baked goods or even cocktails,” Phillips says.

Read more: 9 Ways to Kick the Coffee Habit

This article originally appeared on Health.com.

MONEY Food & Drink

Starbucks Backtracks on ‘Race Together’ Campaign

Starbucks will no longer add the phrase '#racetogether' on its coffee cups after facing a backlash.

TIME Food & Drink

Starbucks Plans to Launch Delivery Service

Empire State Building Run
Mark Lennihan—AP The Empire State Building and the Manhattan skyline on Oct. 5, 2014.

Work in the Empire State Building? Then you're in luck

Starbucks says it plans to launch trials of a delivery service in the second half of 2015 — but only if you live in Seattle, or work in New York City’s Empire State Building.

Sometime within the year, Starbucks will start two different delivery trials, the Seattle Times reports. The version in New York City will be limited exclusively to within the Empire State Building. The company will have employees from the Starbucks located in the building deliver beverages and food to customers who work there.

In Seattle, the company will be following a more traditional delivery approach, using on-demand delivery startup Postmates to deliver coffee, pastries and other sundries via car and bicycle.

People in these two catchment areas can use the Starbucks app to follow the status of their drink. To use the app, customers have to be a member of the company’s loyalty program.

[The Seattle Times]

Read next: Starbucks ‘Race Together’ Initiative Is Brilliant

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