Interesting Facts About Culinary Arts

Want to know some interesting facts about culinary arts? Well, as most people know, the culinary arts revolve around culinary arts and food, and they include everything from restaurant management and hospitality management to food science and food safety. Someone who works in any of these areas is called a “culinarian,” and that includes everyone from food service workers to creators of the fantastic pastry arts.Continue reading: Interesting Facts About Culinary Arts

Preserve your Food with food sealing machine

One of the basic necessities of life that is food is perishable. Thanks to the sedentary lifestyle which a person is living up these days, it has been noted down that more intake of unhealthy food is consumed by the individual. This has related to many health issues like cancer and tumor. To help the person live a healthy life, it is always advisable to have food which is fresh and cooked well. If you are quite busy in your life and looking for easy to cook and store services fridge won’t be a better option. To get the best services, you need to buy food sealing machine.Continue reading: Preserve your Food with food sealing machine

A Gourmet Coffee Club Membership – What Are the Benefits?

Membership in a gourmet coffee club offers many benefits so discerning coffee drinkers can always have their favorite coffees on hand to brew and enjoy such as:

  • Large selection of specialty coffees from around the world to make coffee drinking a daily sensory experience
  • Freshly roasted to order with a choice of whole bean or ground coffee
  • Reduced costs from on line ordering without having to commute to buy ageing coffee on the shelves
  • Flexibility to make changes, special requests, hold shipments, send gifts, etc.

Gourmet coffee club membership appeals to coffee lovers who want more than the “premium” coffee choices available in the supermarket aisle or at the coffee house or specialty store. Specialty gourmet coffee clubs are very accepted and represent a growing segment of the trade. Let’s review some basics about these clubs and why you should consider joining one.

Specialty coffee is the term given to the top fifteen to twenty per cent in quality of Arabica coffee grown and harvested from select regions worldwide. The term is sometimes used interchangeably with “gourmet” or “premium” coffee. However, according to the Specialty Coffee Association of America, “...specialty coffee refers to coffees made from exceptional beans grown only in ideal coffee-producing climates. They tend to feature distinctive flavors, which are shaped by the unique characteristics of the soil that produces them.”

Many specialty coffee growing countries have associations of growers, companies, and agencies who deal with enhancements for cultivating, exporting, and marketing coffee. Such associations also lead efforts for rural community development (infrastructure, medical, and education), and for working in harmony with the environment. The 560,000 independent coffee grower members of the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia (FNC) is an excellent example.

Nearly all, if not all, specialty gourmet coffee is made from Arabica coffee beans grown at higher altitudes. Select specialty coffee beans are roasted to perfection. The specialty coffee roast master knows the correct degree to roast the different types of beans to bring out their unique characteristics. These freshly roasted coffee beans are immediately packed and shipped to the customer to brew and enjoy.

Gourmet coffee is always prepared with select specialty coffee beans roasted fresh when ordered. The whole beans then are ground to the correct fineness or coarseness for the brewing method used, and brewed with fresh cold water heated to the correct temperature. Gourmet flavored coffees require one additional process before packing can take place.

One of the benefits of a coffee club membership is that top quality specialty coffee beans are roasted fresh after you order them on line. They are packed and shipped the same day they are roasted. Coffee clubs that feature the process of using only hot air to roast the dried, raw (or “green”) coffee beans deliver great coffee each time. The reason is this roasting method, known as convection roasting™, yields uniformly roasted beans for each batch. Master roasters are part scientist and part artist who know the appropriate amount of time to attain the desired roast level to bring out the best characteristics for that varietal or blend. The result, the club member can get the perfect cup of coffee every time.

Gourmet coffee club membership also offers such benefits as:

  • Having the coffee sent automatically each month at the time of month the member chooses
  • Ease of use – no need to enter the order information each time unless making a change
  • Convenience of having your own gourmet coffee when you want it, no more trips to the coffee house or waiting in line for the morning “premium” coffee
  • Cost savings of brewing your own gourmet coffee for about twenty-five cents per cup
  • Information on the best way to grind the coffee for the method used to prepare it
  • The recommended way to store the opened bag of roasted coffee to keep it fresh to completion.

For instance, whole bean Espresso blends should be ground to the powder-like fineness of espresso grind for preparing with an espresso machine. Conventional brewing methods yield great tasting coffee with the medium-fine grind known as automatic drip grind, while coffee prepared with a coffee press (French press) should use the coarsest grind for best results. To keep the coffee beans fresh once the bag is opened, simply press out the air while folding the bag over as many times as needed and secure with a strip of tape (packing or freezer tape). Then, place the bag in an airtight container (a freezer bag will do, if no container is available) and store at normal room temperature until the next time to brew your gourmet coffee.

Each gourmet coffee club member can tell you about other benefits to be enjoyed from the club membership. Those mentioned here should give you the motivation to find a gourmet coffee club and start enjoying your favorite gourmet coffees, freshly roasted and immediately shipped, at your convenience.

It is best to brew coffee using freshly roasted beans. Ideally speaking, use up your beans within a few weeks from receipt and get ready for your next coffee club membership shipment. You could literally look at a wall calendar and plan to drink coffee from Brazil, Jamaica, Colombia, Peru, El Salvador, Panama, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Hawaii, Mexico, Java, Sumatra, Papua New Guinea, Tanzania, Kenya, and Celebes, for example, throughout the year. As a family, you could plan group activities to review basic geography, cultural traditions, music and travel information about each of the coffee producing countries. Who knows, you may really like one and decide to plan a fun vacation to that destination?

So, ready to enjoy a cup of Altura Superior specialty coffee from Mexico?

Coffee For Your Health

Many of us rely on coffee to get us going in the mornings, wake us up in the afternoons, and prepare us for that special business meeting. Go ahead, have a cup of coffee. It’s much healthier than you may be thinking right now.

Coffee is the most consumed beverage in the world. No matter where you go, coffee is usually available. Yet, until recently there’s been very little research on the effects of coffee on our health. The researcher’s are waking up however. There have recently been studies completed on a variety of health benefits to drinking that simply delicious cup of coffee.

In a study in Italy, it was proven that that brewed coffee contains many antioxidants and consumption of antioxidant-rich brewed coffee may inhibit diseases caused by oxidative damages. When compared to other caffeine containing beverages like tea and cocoa, coffee proved to be the best in helping to prevent disease.

Caffeine in Coffee – Good or Bad?

The caffeine in coffee has often been a source of concern for many. Most people have problems sleeping when they drink coffee right before bedtime. Others will drink coffee to give them that boost of energy caffeine provides. Some even feel their heart rate increase if they drink too much coffee.

Did you know there are also benefits to the caffeine found in coffee? Coffee intake ( due to the caffeine) was associated with a significantly lower risk for Alzheimer’s Disease, independently of other possible confounding variables. These results, with future prospective studies, may have a major impact on the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.

Another benefit of drinking coffee has been studied in China. Their research clinically proved the caffeine in coffee helps to prevent Parkinson’s disease. Many of us have been led to believe that caffeine is bad for us. True enough, large quantities may hurt us, but the evidence is strong for the benefits it provides.

Coffee – Healthy Tonic for the Liver?

Studies completed in Japan indicated that people who drink more than a cup of coffee a day are less likely to develop liver cancer than those who do not, Japanese researchers say. Coffee also helped lower the risk of cirrhosis of the liver. Chlorogenic acid present in coffee beans has been proven in studies to also reduce the risk of liver cancer.

Harvard Medical School completed a study in 2004 that strongly suggest coffee has preventative qualities for Type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. The authors found an inverse association between coffee intake and type 2 diabetes after adjustment for age, body mass index, and other risk factors. Total caffeine intake from coffee and other sources was associated with a statistically significantly lower risk for diabetes in both men and women. These data suggest that long-term coffee consumption is associated with a statistically significantly lower risk for type 2 diabetes.

Coffee and Physical Fitness

The amounts of water, carbohydrate and salt that athletes are advised to consume during exercise are based upon their effectiveness in preventing both fatigue as well as illness due to hyperthermia, dehydration or hyper hydration. The old issues concerning coffee and caffeine were that it acts as a diuretic, thus causing more fluid loss during activity. Studies have caused researchers to re think this point. These studies suggest that consuming caffeine does not have this effect and can even have beneficial effects on keeping the body fit.

Caffeine does not improve maximal oxygen capacity directly, but could permit the athlete to train at a greater power output and/or to train longer. It has also been shown to increase speed and/or power output in simulated race conditions. These effects have been found in activities that last as little as 60 seconds or as long as 2 hours. There is less information about the effects of caffeine on strength; however, recent work suggests no effect on maximal ability, but enhanced endurance or resistance to fatigue. There is no evidence that caffeine ingestion before exercise leads to dehydration, ion imbalance, or any other adverse effects.

Evaluating The Best Rated Diet Products

Authorities estimate that human beings weigh more on average today than at any other point during the past. This increase in the average weight can be attributed to many different things. Some experts feel that a lack of exercise is to blame, while others point the finger at an increase in the number of processed foods being consumed by human beings today. Regardless of the cause behind this weight gain, almost every expert can agree that the increased average weight comes with significant risks.Continue reading: Evaluating The Best Rated Diet Products

How to Shop for the Best Coffee Machine

Trying to find the perfect coffee machine is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Considering the variety of different coffee makers out there, the entire experience can be more than a little overwhelming. Take time to focus on the big picture, before making any decision. There are six basic methods of making coffee. Select which method you’re going to use, then find a machine that fits.

Single Cup Coffee Machines are liked by many for their speed, ease of use and flexibility. This style of coffee maker uses either a coffee pod or a coffee capsule. Coffee pods come complete with ground coffee inside its own filter. The pods are produced by a number of corporations and may be switched between different brands and models. Single cup coffee brewers that use capsules pose a disadvantage since they are not interchangeable. Both the capsules and machine need to be purchased from the same company.

Introduced in the early 1970s, the drip coffee maker quickly replaced the percolator as the most common way to brew coffee at home. They are economical to use and quite simple to operate. Place some ground coffee in the paper filter, pour water into the reservoir and turn on the machine. As water is heated to the correct temperature, it drips onto the grains in the filter and runs through to the glass carafe below. Be careful not to leave the coffee sitting on the hot plate for too long, as it can start to cook. One way around this problem is to use a thermally insulated carafe.

The combination coffee machine is basically a drip coffee machine combined with a grinder. It’s simple to use and easy to brew a fresh pot of coffee. Place some whole beans in the bean reservoir, pour the right amount of water into its reservoir in turn on the machine. The appropriate amount of beans gets ground and poured directly into the filter. From this point forward, it operates exactly as a drip coffee maker. You can set the machine up the night before, to make the freshest cup of coffee,for the next morning. These combination coffee makers are usually bigger than standard coffee machines. So make sure you take measurements, if you want to put it on your kitchen counter underneath the upper.

The French Press Coffee Maker (or coffee plunger) could very well be one of the best coffee machines. It’s actually quite simple and some models are very aesthetic. The French Press is simply a glass beaker with a plunger and mesh filter on it. Put some coarse coffee grounds in the jar, mix in some hot water and let it steep for about three to four minutes. Then simply push the plunger down to separate the grounds from the coffee. Some people feel the flavor and essential oils are better captured because the grounds stay in direct contact with the water, and a fine mesh is used instead of a paper filter. However, because of the direct contact the coffee will become bitter fast if left to stand.

A vacuum coffee maker is the machine with two chambers, where vapor pressure and vacuum work together to produce coffee. Admirers of this method of coffee making it feel that produces a much cleaner, crisper, richer and smoother coffee. With your you agree or not, one thing is true. This is a complicated and time consuming method of making coffee. These are not easy machines to keep clean, due to their convoluted shape. Perhaps that’s why it’s not a very popular way of making coffee.

Prior to the 1970s, the percolator could be found in practically every coffee drinking home in North America. Whether it was a stove top or an electric model, everyone had one. They are called percolators because of the percolating action that occurs continuously. Cold water is poured into the bottom of the percolator where it warms up and moves to the top through a pipe. The water disperses onto the coffee grounds and gravity pulls it back down to the bottom of the machine. Here it heats up again and the cycle repeats. Once the coffee reaches boiling point the perking action stops and the coffee is ready to drink. These days, percolators are mostly used for larger crowds. It’s very rare to find one sized for regular home use.

Treat Yourself Today With Gourmet Flavored Coffee

I love all types of coffee, but one of my favorite types is gourmet flavored coffee. To tell you the truth, I like everything about coffee, from coffee candy to coffee mugs to all kinds of coffee gifts. Most of all though, I love gourmet coffee. Let me tell you why.

The Wide Varieties

There is absolutely no shortage of different flavors of gourmet coffee. The online store where I buy most of my coffee has these flavors: amaretto, almond, butterscotch cream, butter rum, cherry cobbler, cherry bomb, chocolate cherry, chocolate almond, chocolate marshmallow, chocolate Irish Cream, chocolate raspberry, chocolate mint, orange, cinnamon hazelnut, pumpkin spice, orange, vanilla nut, vanilla almond, etc., etc., etc. I have only tried a fraction of all these go types of gourmet coffee.

How It is Made

Obviously, coffee beans can’t be grown with all these different flavors. Gourmet flavored coffee begins with a base like Colombia Supremo, to which pure flavors are added. There are no sugars or chemical additives in this flavored coffee. The end result of this process is a wonderfully delicious coffee, so delicious that flavored coffee can become addictive. With so many flavors to choose from, you will never become bored when drinking coffee of gourmet favor.

The Best Way to Brew

Like all types of coffee, coffee of gourmet favor will taste better when it’s brewed correctly. Start by keeping all your coffee brewing equipment as clean as possible. Coffee residue, especially flavored coffee residue, can leave later pots of coffee tasting funny. I make a practice of cleaning all of my coffee brewing equipment each time I make coffee.

Water is another important factor in brewing a great cup of coffee. Be sure to use filtered cold water so that the gourmet flavor is not masked. For really fresh flavor, start with coffee beans and grind them yourself. The coffee will stay fresh longer. Each time you make a pot of coffee, measure and grind just the amount you need. I think you’ll agree that freshly ground gourmet flavored coffee can’t be beat.

Coffee Yesterday and Today

HOW about a cafezinho, freshly made and piping hot? For some, this custom is on the wane, but Brazilians still enjoy the fame of drinking coffee from early morning till late at night.

Inflated cost of coffee has not caused a hurried switch to other drinks. In fact, one third of the world’s population still are coffee drinkers. For instance, every year the Belgians drink 149 liters (39 gallons) of coffee, compared with only six liters (1.6 gallons) of tea. The average American drinks 10 cups of coffee to one of tea. In the Western world, only the British break the general rule by annually consuming six liters of coffee to 261 (69 gallons) of tea.

Brazil holds the title as the world’s largest producer and exporter of coffee. In the first four months of 1977, receipts for exports of this “brown gold” reached the staggering total of $1,000,000,000 for 4.5 million bags, an all-time record.

However, coffee is not at all native to Brazil. Would you like to know how the use of this almost universal drink developed, where it originated, and how it got to Brazil?

Origin and Use

The word “coffee” is derived from the Arabic qahwah, meaning strength, and came to us through the Turkish kahveh. Coffee’s early discovery is shrouded in legend. One story tells about Kaldi, a young Arabian goatherd who noticed his goats’ frolicsome antics after nibbling on the berries and leaves of a certain evergreen shrub. Moved by curiosity, he tried the mysterious little berries himself and was amazed at their exhilarating effect. Word spread and “coffee” was born.

Originally, coffee served as a solid food, then as a wine, later as a medicine and, last, as a common drink. As a medicine, it was and still is prescribed for the treatment of migraine headache, heart disease, chronic asthma and dropsy. (Immoderate use, however, may form excessive gastric acid, cause nervousness and speed up the heartbeat. The common “heartburn” is attributed to this.) As a food, the whole berries were crushed, fat was added and the mixture was put into round forms. Even today some African tribes “eat” coffee. Later on, the coffee berries yielded a kind of wine. Others made a drink by pouring boiling water over the dried shells. Still later, the seeds were dried and roasted, mixed with the shells and made into a beverage. Finally, someone ground the beans in a mortar, the forerunner of coffee grinders.

Coffee in Brazil

Although coffee probably originated in Ethiopia, the Arabs were first to cultivate it, in the fifteenth century. But their monopoly was short-lived. In 1610, the first coffee trees were planted in India. The Dutch began to study its cultivation in 1614. During 1720, French naval officer Gabriel Mathieu de Clieu left Paris for the Antilles, carrying with him some coffee seedlings. Only one survived and was taken to Martinique. From Dutch Guiana coffee spread through the Antilles to French Guiana, and from there Brazilian army officer Francisco de Melo Palheta introduced it to Brazil by way of Belém, doing so about 1727. During the early nineteenth century, coffee cultivation started in Campinas and other cities of São Paulo State, and soon reached other states, especially Paraná.

Nowadays, coffee plantations are planned with technical rigidity. Instead of sowing seeds in the field, seedlings are cultivated in shaded nurseries. About 40 days after planting, the coffee grain germinates. Its unmistakable appearance gave it the name “match stick.” After a year of careful treatment in the nursery, the seedlings are replanted outside.

Usually on hillsides, the seedlings are placed in curved rows to make mechanized field work easier and to prevent soil erosion. Four years after planting, the trees are ready for the first harvest. All the while, irrigation boosts growth and output up to 100 percent.

On the other hand, the coffee grower’s headache is his never-ending fight against insects and plant diseases, such as leaf rust and the coffee-bean borer. Rust is a fungus that attacks the leaves and may kill the tree. The coffee-bean borer is a worm that ruins the beans by eating small holes into them. Of course, there are effective fungicides and insecticides, but their constant use increases production cost.

Preparation of the Coffee Beans

On the plantation, coffee may be prepared by either a “wash” or a “dry” process. It is admitted that the wash process yields a fine quality product, since only ripe coffee berries are selected. But because of less work and lower cost, Brazilian coffee usually goes through the “dry” process.

First, all the berries, from green to dry, are shaken off the bush onto large canvas sheets. Then they are winnowed with special sieves. Next, the berries are rinsed in water canals next to the drying patios, in order to separate the ripe from the unripe and to eliminate impurities. Afterward, they are spread out in layers for drying in the open air and sun. They are turned over frequently so as to allow even drying. Eventually, the dry berries are stored in wood-lined deposits until further use.

The drying process, by the way, is of utmost importance to the final quality of the coffee. Some plantations, therefore, use wood-fired driers for more rapid drying, especially in rainy weather.

In other Latin-American countries and elsewhere, the “wash” process is customary, although it is more time-consuming and costly. First, a pulping machine squeezes the beans out of the skin. They fall into large tanks where they stay for about 24 hours, subject to light fermentation of the “honey,” as the surrounding jellylike substance is called. After fermentation, the “honey” is washed off in washing canals. Next, the coffee is laid out to dry in the sun, as in the “dry” process. Some growers make use of drying machines, perforated revolving drums, in which hot air circulates through the coffee. Finally, the coffee beans pass through hulling and polishing machines. And just as the best quality coffees are hand-picked, so the inspection of the berries after washing is done by hand.

Soon the last step is taken–packing the coffee in jute bags for shipment. The 60-kilogram (132-pound) bag, adopted by Brazil, is held world wide as the statistical unit. Bags are stacked in clean, well-aired warehouses. At last, the coffee is ready for sale.

Classification, Commercialization and Cost

The Instituto Brasileiro do Café (IBC: Brazilian Coffee Institute) supplies technical and economic aid to Brazilian coffee growers and controls the home and export trade. For classification, coffee is judged by its taste and aroma. No chemical test for quality has ever been possible. The senses of smell and taste are still the deciding factors. According to its source, preparation and drying, it is classified as strictly soft, soft (pleasant taste and mild), hard (acid or sharp taste) and rio (very hard type preferred in Rio de Janeiro). Other types are less important to the trade.

For the last 20 years coffee has brought about 50 percent of Brazil’s export receipts. Some 15,500,000 persons are employed in its cultivation and trade. But Camilo Calazans de Magalhães, president of the IBC, warned that 1978 will present an unheard-of situation in the history of the coffee trade. For the first time ever, it will depend entirely on the harvest, as any stocks of Brazilian coffee outside Brazil will be exhausted by then. Additionally, the IBC fears that the specter of problems with frost, insects and diseases may unleash new losses in the 1977/78 and 1978/79 harvests.

Very recently, a series of misfortunes befell some of the world’s large coffee producers, causing scarcity of the product, price increases–and a lot of speculation. It all began in July 1975. Brazil was hit by an exceptional cold spell, which destroyed almost half the plantations, or 200 to 300 million coffee trees. Next, in Colombia, a drought, followed by torrential rains, devastated their plantations. In Angola and Uganda, political unrest affected exports. And then an earthquake struck Guatemala. The “coffee crisis” was on!

While the reserves dropped, tension grew in trade circles. Brazilian coffee was first to go up in price, dragging behind it the Colombian coffea arabica, traditionally more expensive because of its superior quality. The African coffea robusta, usually less esteemed, followed the trend. To make things worse, Brazil imposed an export tax of $100 (U.S.) on each bag, which in April 1977 went up to $134 (U.S.) a bag.

Speculation amplified trade tension, as coffee is bought in advance. It is a veritable gamble. Traders and roasters foresee a “high” and buy up great quantities, which, however, are delivered only months later. The movement gathers speed and prices skyrocket. The IBC permits registering of export sales some months before delivery of the goods, provided the registry fee is paid within 48 hours. Consequently, exporters often “take the risk” of registering sales that, in reality, have not yet been effected. This enables them to favor their clients or take advantage of higher prices.

Despite the upward trend, Brazilians are not yet paying the high coffee prices others have to pay. The Brazilian government is protecting the local coffee roasters, and the price per kilogram (2.2 pounds) is to continue lower than abroad, it being $4.08 (U.S.) in July 1977. Nevertheless, statistics reveal that Brazilians are drinking less coffee. In 1976 the consumption was 3.5 kilograms (7.7 pounds) of ground coffee per person, whereas it was 5.7 kilograms (12.6 pounds) in 1970.

Producers seemed satisfied with the new price policy, since they get more money from the consumer. The coffee-plantation worker, too, is benefiting financially. To keep prices high, Brazil bought up large quantities of Central American and African coffees. Suddenly, however, Brazil’s exporters had to face the absence of international buyers. As an immediate reaction, prices abroad began to fall, and in July 1977, a sudden maneuver at the New York and London Exchanges slashed the price further, so that a 50-percent drop has been registered since the record prices three months earlier. Exporters are jittery. Buyers ask, Will Brazil reduce the price? What will be the future of coffee? Time will tell.

Meanwhile, Brazil’s Conselho Monetário Nacional approved a plan to revive and upgrade the nation’s coffee plantations by adding 150 million trees during 1977/78, bringing the total to 3,000,000,000 trees and an output of 28 million bags by 1980. So there is no fear of coffee going off the scene. Although this popular beverage now is more costly, yesterday’s enjoyment of coffee remains with us today.

The Convenience of One-Cup Coffee Makers

The one-cup coffee maker has many benefits. Perhaps you are the only coffee drinker in your house, and you are tired of pouring good coffee down the drain because you made too much. Maybe you enjoy gourmet coffee, but do not have the time or inclination to grind beans for a full pot. Or perhaps you want a convenient, mess-free way to enjoy a fresh cup of Joe at your desk.

If any of these are true, then a single serving brewer may just be for you.

Most of these individual coffee brewers have a built in filter. You just drop in a sealed cup or pod of your favorite coffee, hit a button, and in less than a minute, you have a fresh, steaming mug of java.

You can use your favorite cup with most of these, and some come with a thermal travel mug. There are compact machines that will even let you choose between coffee and tea.

If you do opt to go with a smaller version of the coffeepot, make sure you drink your coffee within 20 minutes, or it could turn bitter.

The one-cup coffee maker is perfect for your office at work, or for your desktop at home. You can have everything you need for a freshly-brewed cup sitting right in your desk drawer, never needing to interrupt yourself to get a quick coffee fix. The best part is that they are not messy, and cleanup is a snap. Any removable parts can be rinsed or thrown into the dishwasher.

Here are some favorites based on customer reviews.

o Melitta Single Cup – This sleek, modern-looking machine has earned the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. A metered tank allows you to brew up to five cups before having to refill, and it comes in three color choices. Use your own mug and have a hot cup of coffee in less than 60 seconds, or a cup of tea in about 35 seconds.

o Keurig – One of the most popular brands of single-serve coffee maker today, the Keurig offers an adjustable brew size – up to 11.25 ounces. The programmable functions and removable water reservoir add to the ease of use, and its quiet brew and auto shut-off functions add to its appeal. Beginning at around $99, this is one of the more expensive single-cup brewers.

o Senseo – Another of the nation’s favorites, Senseo’s compact design allows you to use your favorite mug, and removable parts can go right in the dishwasher. Brew either four-ounce or eight-ounce cups with an auto-shut off feature. Priced at around $70, this one-cup roaster is a great bargain.

o Black & Decker – The little Brew-n-Go percolates fresh coffee right into a handy travel mug. The auto shut-off feature will give you peace of mind. This little bargain model is another customer favorite.

o Bialetti – This java maker lets you make the perfect cup of espresso at home. Just put your water and coffee into the specially designed pot and heat up over your stove. Starting at around $47, this little coffee pot gives you the choice of brewing two cups or four.

o Bunn – The fast brew option on the My Café not only gets your coffee ready in a hurry, but allows you to brew between four and twelve ounce increments.

If you choose to use your one-cup coffee brewer to make tea instead, there are two ways you can enjoy a steaming cup. One is to put the teabag into the filter, where the coffee pod would normally go. Fill with water, hit the start button, and let it brew. In just a few seconds, you will have a steaming cup of tea.

The other method is to run hot water through the machine and place your teabag inside your cup. Heated water fills the cup, allowing the tea bag to steep like it usually would.

Either way, you will have an enjoyable hot treat.

The only potential disadvantage to the one-cup coffee maker is the lack of variety in coffee choices. If you prefer to experiment with various flavors and roasts, you may find yourself wanting more choices with the one-cup option. With these little coffee brewers, you are required to use the appropriate cup or pod designed for your machine.

On the other hand, many of the coffee pods available on the market are of the gourmet variety, allowing you to taste some exotics blends and roasts without spending a fortune. The convenience of the packets makes them so easy to use. Simply toss into the trash when you are finished, with no loose, messy grounds to concern yourself with.

The one-cup coffee brewer may also be a perfect addition to your kitchen for those times when you are in a hurry, but really need that pick-me-up you get from a fresh cup of coffee. You only need to delay yourself for one minute, and then you will be ready to fly out the door, coffee in hand.

The units are small enough they hardly take up any room, making them easy to stow in a cabinet, desk, or cubby. Add one to your list of “must haves” for your office, or put it on your birthday list. When you discover the convenience of the one-cup coffee maker, you will be glad you did.