The Two C’s of New World History

On March 15, 1493, Christopher Columbus returned to Spain after his first voyage to the New World. The 2 C’s could be considered to be Christopher Columbus, the explorer renowned for “discovering” North America and many other places in the New World. But, according to many, there are two other significant C’s in America — Coffee and Chocolate!

And the two are linked by more than just alliteration. When Christopher Columbus first sailed that ocean blue (as the rhyme goes) in 1492, he traveled to the so-called New World at the behest of the Queen of Spain. And two of the precious items he brought back to Europe? You guessed it: coffee and cacao beans.

Here’s a lowdown on some of the history that links Christopher Columbus with two of the Americas’ favorite treats — coffee and chocolate:

  • The introduction of coffee beans to the Americas is often attributed to Columbus, as it is thought that he carried coffee beans on one of his voyages to the New World.
  • Columbus is also often credited with bringing chocolate, by way of cacao beans, back to Europe and then on to the rest of the world.
  • Columbus is believed to have “discovered” cocoa beans in around 1502, when he and his crew appropriated the cargo of a native Mayan trading ship, near what is now known as Honduras.
  • Apparently Columbus assumed that the beans were some kind of almond. But, sensing the value placed upon these mysterious legumes, he took them.

So, what lesson can we take from this? Well, one thing’s for sure. We’d like to thank Columbus for that initial transportation of the magical beans behind coffee and chocolate. We guess we have him to thank, in a round-about way, for one of our favorite products — the Cafe Mocha. And we can bet he would have been a big fan of one of the best — the BrewKup™  in Chocolate Almond.  

Untitled design (43)

Advertisements

The Natural Difference

The Ganoderma lucidium mushroom, so prized by Chinese herbalists, is unique in that grows in wooden trees or logs. Some Ganoderma is harvested using plastic bags which mean that the mushroom’s precious spores cannot effectively propagate, making plastic bag-harvested Ganoderma much less potent.

At Rae’s Cafe, we’re proud of Organo Gold’s natural, organic growing methods and all-natural processing practices. They partnered with some of the most reputable people in the world to produce our Ganoderma lucidum powder.

Here’s a breakdown of how we take these fantastic-looking mushrooms and turn them into an almost magical, potent and wonderfully beneficial powder:

  • First, OG’s Ganoderma mushrooms are grown undisturbed on maple logs high in the Wuyi Mountains of China’s Fuxhou region. It’s cold and deeply forested up there, and these miraculous mushrooms thrive.
  • Once harvested, their partners at the $240 million Gano Herb Industrial Park process the mushrooms. The agriculture and food scientists at OG’s state-of-the-art facility use cutting-edge technologies, techniques and equipment to gently dry, sterilize and process the mushrooms, transforming the tough, wood-like caps into a fine powder.
  • OG’s expert team then carefully transforms the mushroom stems and caps into a fine powder, which is then easily added to our coffee, tea, and other beverage products, as well as personal care products.
  • OG packages and ships all beverage, personal care and nutraceutical products to our partners and distributors in more than 30 countries across the globe.

Untitled design (16)

Simple Ways to Save Time and Money

Let’s crunch the numbers: An estimated 120 to 150 million cups of coffee are consumed every day across the USA, at an average rate of 1.6 cups per man and 1.6 cups per woman over the age of 18. No doubt, one or two of them are consumed in or around your household.

Now imagine the 10 to 15 minutes it takes you to either:

  1. Fix the cup yourself at home using your: drip brew coffee machine; espresso machine; French press; or other DIY coffee method of choice; add a few additional minutes if you grind your own beans at home (for the time it takes using and washing the grinder).
  2. Stand in line at your local coffee shop or cafe.

On average – whether it’s prepping coffee at home or buying it to-go – that’s around 12 minutes per cup, per day. This doesn’t seem like much in the grand scheme of things, but let’s add that up and look at the bigger picture. The average prep time for six days a week of just one coffee per day, breaks down to 12 minutes per cup. Multiply that by 312 days a year and that’s a grand total of 3,744 minutes per year, or, roughly 62 hours or about two-and-a-half (2.6 to be exact) days a year just preparing coffee.

Now imagine what else you could do in that time? Two-and-a-half days could be spent enjoying a lovely vacation — perhaps in a ski lodge, or at a resort on a sunny tropical island, if that’s more your style. Or you could read a book. Or write a short story. Or see multiple movies. Or take in your favorite sporting event, in person or live via broadcast television.

Time is valuable in today’s busy, multi-tasking society. For many of us, time is money. So wasted time means wasted money. What if you could save those 62 hours?

In honor of the Coffee Connoisseur Club, here are our six top tips on using the Cafe’s coffee, mocha and tea products to help literally save you time and money, and make your life simpler, more efficient, and possibly even happier. And who doesn’t want to be happier?

  1. Gourmet Cafe Supreme not only has the light and creamy flavor of a $5 store-bought latte, it has added benefits. Namely, it is enhanced with two powerful ingredients: 100% pure Ganoderma extract; plus the prized ancient ingredient of Panax Ginseng root.
  2. For basic black coffee connoisseurs, Gourmet Black Coffee features a classic, robust, smooth flavor, and is enhanced with antioxidant-rich Ganoderma extract.
  3. With Gourmet Café Latte, a light, creamy latte is at your fingertips in an instant — minus the wait in line.
  4. Guilty of a sweet tooth and tend to crave a sugary pick-me-up in the middle of the afternoon? We have the answer— Gourmet Café Mocha. This instant product offers a rich, cocoa-tinged coffee that’s ideal for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.
  5. Organic Green Tea adds an element of instant zen to your day, blending the finest organic green tea leaves with our renowned organic Ganoderma extract for an antioxidant double dose.
  6. Prefer a chilled beverage on those hot summer days and nights? Try an instant cup of Black Ice— a naturally invigorating iced black tea that has already been sweetened with pure, natural honey and enhanced with Ganoderma extract and Amazonian Guarana, to revive your body and mind.

Untitled design (26)

8 Reasons to LOVE Ganoderma

It’s at the heart of all of our products, which is why Rae’s Café is such a big fan of Ganoderma, the ancient Chinese mushroom that has long been used in Eastern medicine. Here are just some of the many reasons this precious fungus has been revered for thousands of years, and why Rae’s Cafe just loves it so!

  1. The names given to Ganoderma in various Asian languages reflects its potency. The Chinese name, Lingzhi, means “spiritual potency”, while the Japanese name, Reishi, translates as “King of herbs.” The Vietnamese name for the Ganoderma mushroom, Linh Chi, literally means “supernatural mushroom.”
  2. With their long brown stems and shiny orange caps, the mushrooms look like something straight out of a children’s book!
  3. Ganoderma Lucidum has been recognized by practitioners of traditional Asian medicine as the highest ranked of all herbs found in the Chinese pharmacopoeia. Dr. Shi-Jean Lee — the most renowned doctor of the Ming Dynasty — strongly endorsed the effectiveness of Ganoderma in his famous book Great Pharmacopoeia (Ban Chao Gang Moo), where he wrote that “long-term taking of Ganoderma will build a strong, healthy body and assure a long life.”
  4. Today, Ganoderma has become known by modern science for its potent antioxidant properties, and antioxidants have a wide range of health benefits. According to The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Ganoderma contains one of the highest concentrations of antioxidants in any food.
  5. Certain types of Ganoderma, such as the Cafe’s Ganoderma Lucidum Mycelium, also contain the polysaccharide Beta-glucan, which has been shown to help stimulate immune function.
  6. Because Ganoderma Lucidum respires just like humans — oxygen in and carbon dioxide out — it helps add a quality source of oxygen to the body.
  7. At Rae’s Cafe, the Ganoderma is grown naturally in logs, as it was meant to, high in the Wuyi Mountains of China’s Fuzhou region.
  8. Finally, Ganoderma is transformed in Organo Gold’s multi-million dollar facility in China into a flavorless powder that adds goodness to all of the Cafe’s delicious products — such as our BrewKups, our pre-brewed coffees, organic teas, gourmet hot chocolate, nutraceuticals, and more!

raescafe

Recipes or ReciTEAS???

After reading my post “A Taste-Tea Option,” I know that you’re all experts on how to brew and steep the line of teas featured at Rae’s Cafe. This week, I’m going to take it one step further and give you a brand new recipe to put your expertise to the test!

Try out this new Vanilla Green Tea Latte recipe and tweet me a photo with the #raezcafe!

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag of Organic Green Tea
  • ½ cup of boiling water
  • 1 cup of milk of your choice
  • 1 tablespoon of honey (or sweetener of choice) to taste
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions:

  • Steep the bag of Organic Green Tea in the ½ cup of boiling water for 1-3 minutes (as mentioned in “A Taste-Tea Option”, never go over 3 minutes!)
  • While the Green Tea is steeping, heat the milk until it is very hot, but not boiling
  • Once the Green Tea is done steeping and the milk is hot, mix together
  • Add in the honey and vanilla extract
  • Pour into mugs and enjoy while hot

*Note that you have the option to use a frother to make the milk foamy. Or check out “Foam Sweet Foam” for a quick, easy way to create foam.

Recipes

The Rise of the New Coffee Class

riseofnewcoffeeclassIf you want to talk fancy coffee brewing methods and equipment, we could be here for a while. There are dozens upon dozens of fancy coffee machines that brew, percolate, or create the perfect cup of coffee or shot of espresso.

The recent rise of the cult coffee roaster has also produced a “new wave” of coffee connoisseurs of whom are very specific about the flavors of their beans, brews and the consistency of their foam. Even a new form, “coffee art” has emerged from this coffee-centric society — with baristas creating patterns in the foamy cap of lattes or cappuccinos, using pouring techniques (or sometimes even toothpicks) to com-bine the foamy milk with the dark brown liquid of the espresso.

While all this has been going on, another kind of coffee has also experienced something of a Renaissance – pre-brewed coffee.

A certain Seattle-based coffee giant launched their own in-house pre-brewed product with an enthusiastic response. It seems the convenience and portability of pre-brewed, powdered coffee products is a hit in today’s modern, multi-tasking, always-on-the-go society.

And why not? The fact is that pre-brewed products – in particular premium, luxury-level products such as Rae’s family of coffees – are made with the same high quality beans freshly ground in hipster coffee shops to make those over-priced lattes and espresso drinks.

  •  We source only the finest, hand-selected beans for our pre-brewed coffee products, such as the Jamaican Blue Mountain grown beans used in our Premium Gourmet Royal Brewed.
  •  We use only the latest technology to dry, process and make our premium pre-brewed coffee, capturing the freshly-roasted flavor of these quality coffee beans from the world’s finest coffee regions.
  • The flavor of our beverages is enhanced with only the finest ingredients, such as the luxuriously rich chocolate flavor of our Gourmet Café Mocha.
  • Our Gourmet Café Latte product is SO much like a fancy coffee shop latte, complete with freshly-foamed milk, we challenge you to challenge your coffee elitist pals to take a blind taste test and spot the difference.
  • We believe our products, with the addition of the amazing Ganoderma powder, are not merely as good as store-bought, freshly brewed coffee — they’re better. AND beneficial.

raescafe

Foam Sweet Foam

Who loves the creamy foam that sits on top of a cappuccino from the corner coffee shop?

The answer, of course, is everybody.

For today’s Barista Bulletin, we’re going to teach you how to make this aesthetically pleasing and deliciously tasting foam from the comfort of your own home! We promise you won’t need to purchase a fancy espresso machine or a frother. Rather, all you’ll need is a glass of milk, a clean jar, a microwave, and about 120 seconds of free time.

How Does This Work?

Making milk foam in the microwave is a two step process: First you shake the milk in a jar to create foam, then you microwave it for a few seconds to stabilize the foam.

Without the microwaving step, the milk foam will quickly collapse back into the milk.

Note: Use 2% or Nonfat Milk

This is an instance where low-fat milks are our friends because the whey proteins they come with are critical stabilizers for milk foam. Milks that are fortified with added protein — usually reduced-fat and skim milks —are most easily foamed.

Using the Milk Foam

Once stabilized in the microwave, the milk foam is so thick that you can literally spoon it into your coffee mug. If you want a little milk as well, use your spoon to hold back the

foam while you pour a little into your coffee, then spoon the foam on top, barista-style.

How to Froth Milk for your drink in the MicrowaveCappuccino_with_foam

Ingredients:                                             

  • 2% or nonfat milk

Equipment:

  • Small jar with lid
  • Microwave

Instructions:

  1. Pour the milk into the jar: Fill your jar with as much milk as you normally use in your coffee, but no more than halfway full so there’s room to make some foam.
  2. Shake the jar with the lid on: Screw on the lid. Shake the jar as hard as you can until the milk has frothed and has roughly doubled in volume. This will take 30-60 seconds.
  3. Microwave for 30 seconds: Take the lid off the jar. Microwave uncovered for 30 seconds. The foam will rise to the top of the milk and the heat from the microwave will help stabilize it.
  4. Use the foam: Pour the warm milk into your coffee and spoon the milk foam on top.
  5. Recipe Notes: Use the foam right away! It will start to dissolve after a few minutes.