Your Coffee Machine and You!

coffeeLove your cup of Coffee? But plagued with Coffee Machine choices? If you are looking for something efficient and stylish for your home, Usha Coffee Machines are the ones to go with. They are all aesthetically pleasing and efficient Coffee makers , with one of them even featuring a Bamboo finish!

Electric Drip Coffee Maker

  • Also known as the dripolator, this machine houses a reservoir in the base which is called as the hose.
  • Cold water enters the reservoir through a thin metal tube
  • The water moves to the heating chamber when machine is turned ON
  • Water once heated in the heating chamber moves to the sprayer via the rubber hose. This movement through the rubber hose is achieved via the effect of thermally induced pressure and siphoning effect
  • The ground coffee placed on the brew basket is perched below the sprayer head
  • Hot and pressurized water passes through the ground coffee and drips down into the carafe of capacity 10-12 cupscoffee 1

Espresso Coffee Machines

       These machines rose to fame in the 18th century, designed specifically to cater to the bold taste of espresso.

  • These coffee machines can use any kind of ground coffee including both dark and light roasted ones
  • Modern makes of these machines come with a dual spout that allows two different espresso shots simultaneously
  • Adjustable short length provides the desired espresso shot in taste

French Press (No electricity needed)

The French Press was developed in the 1850’s. This is the oldest and the simplest of coffee making mechanism without the use of electricity. It comprises of a tall glass cylinder, a plunger and a filter.

  • The user has to place coarse ground coffee at the bottom of glass cylinder
  • Pour boiling hot water into the glass cavity
  • Stir the entire mixture with a metal spoon and let the brew sit for up to a maximum of eight minutes
  • Press the plunger, slowly letting coffee grounds to seep out of the filtercoffee2

Single Cup Makers

Pre-packaged coffee pods makes single cup. A coffee pod has coffee grounds and a miniature filter in the pack. These makers are easy to clean and maintain and suitable for small households with few coffee lovers. Quick in operation they allow different users to suit their different tastes by using varying coffee flavours in the pods.

  • Hot water is filtered through the coffee pod in the machine slot provided. The action results in a single cup of coffee.1610859_10155017544770251_311638911097950282_n

Know Your Coffee

COFFEEAfter oil, coffee is the most valuable legally traded commodity in the world. We love it, we rely on it, and we drink it in massive quantities. It is estimated that 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed every day worldwide.

Coffee can be roasted or be made from grounded coffee. It is the preparation of coffee that is done differently. Let us have a cursory glance at some of the types of coffee based on the method of preparation.

  1. Filter coffee – Also called as Drip coffee it is prepared by using finely ground coffee placed on paper through which steaming hot water is passed and the final brew is obtained in the decoction.
  1. Plunger or cafetiere – Coarsely grounded coffee is placed in a pot over which hot water is added. Coffee and water are brewed for some time after which the mixture is left to steep for a brief period of 4 to 5 minutes. Once done, the plunger is pushed hard to separate the coffee grounds from the coffee infusion.
  1. Espresso – The coffee ground is very fine, over which pressurized hot water is passed. The coffee obtained is filled inside the cups placed beneath the outlet. The coffee also has a layer of fine and creamy foam.
  1. Swedish/Scandinavian coffee – Made by boiling ground coffee in water, it is often served without filtering. This coffee as its namesake originated in Sweden and is consumed mostly in the Nordic countries. It is a strong brew of coffee and is kept hot throughout the day for consumption.
  1. Turkish coffee – This kind of coffee is prepared in a special kind of copper pot which has a long handle. This vessel is called as an Ibriq. In order to prepare a single cup of coffee in this vessel, two teaspoons of finely ground coffee and one spoon of sugar are added to one cup water. This mixture is then brought to boil on an average of three times. One may add cardamom seed, milk, or various syrups to enhance its flavour and aroma.

#Coffee for Health

A large number of people consume coffee on a regular basis. Equally vast numbers of researches have been conducted on the benefits of coffee on the health. The findings indicate that a consumption of 3-5 cups everyday compliments a healthy and active lifestyle.

#Caffeinate the mind and body

Caffeine is one the major components of coffee. Caffeine acts as a stimulant and when taken in normal doses it helps to improve the mental fitness by making the mind more aware of its surroundings, resulting in better response time and increased concentration.

Caffeine has an ergogenic effect on the body which means that it enhances the overall capacity to do physical work. It is believed that caffeine increases the adrenalin levels in the body which results in an increased blood flow to the muscles and the heart.1469845_10154824803320251_1311098472868064044_n

# Breaking the Myths

Myth – Coffee drinking leads to dehydration

Studies indicate that coffee consumption of up to 5 cups a day does not affect the fluid balance of the body in any way. The body therefore does not dehydrate when coffee is consumed within the normal threshold of 1- 5 cups per day.

Myth – Coffee drinking leads to dependence

There are scientific experiments conducted by the WHO that shows that caffeine in coffee does not induce any kind of dependence. However, cold turkey natured cessation of coffee may result into mild withdrawal symptoms

Berry Berry Nice Smoothie

Juice1Strawberry Oatmeal Breakfast Smoothie is the ideal morning drink for the family. It is great for those who love a quick nutritious breakfast on the go and those who relish a long extended breakfast. It will please even those little kids who won’t touch anything on their plates unless there is something exotic on the table.

The Usha Juicer Mixer Grinder 3274 is ideal for making this healthy and delicious potion in a jiffy. Its stylish look and safety lock make it perfect for the breakfast table ensuring there is never any spillage. The JMG 3274 also features a large feeder tube for full fruit juicing; for you are bound to skip between strawberries, apples, oranges and pears as days come and go. It will also help you to meet all your other needs – breakfast, lunch or dinner – from juicing, grinding, and mixing to light grinding and mincing.

Ingredients

  • 8 strawberries (diced)
  • ½ cup skim milk
  • ½ cup plain yoghurt
  • Use Mawana Select Sugar to taste
  • 2 drops vanilla essence
  • 6 ice cubes (crushed)

Method

  1. In a blender combine strawberries, milk, yogurt, Mawana Select Sugar and vanilla. Toss in the ice.
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into glasses and serve.Strawberries

Sips of Wisdom

badge-clock copy“Honestly, if you’re given the choice between Armageddon or tea, you don’t say ‘what kind of tea?” – Neil Gaiman.

Enough has been written about this magical concoction of leaves and boiling water, and more cups have been drained with relish day after day as centuries came and went, and as they will come and go. What is it all about, one might wonder? And one might wonder what will it be like to sip a cup with Mad Hatter? Lots of mad talk with method one might presume, but remember that truth does set you free in the end but first it will drive you mad. So here is Hatter over tea with a little bit of tea trivia and a little bit of outrageous tea trivia.

Long before the commercial production of tea started in India in the late 1830s, tea plants were growing wild in the jungles in northeastern Assam, in India; and without o’course the factories, machines and what-not, the locals just used their hands (they still do) and bullocks (they no longer do) to create the first brews! On a different note, did you know that long long back the Assamese at times ploughed their land using Rhinos! Figure that.

Tea Plantation, Processing Plant, Bunglow and Horse Carriage - Sibsagar, Assam c1880's

Tea Plantation, Processing Plant, Bunglow and Horse Carriage – Sibsagar, Assam c1880’s

Darjeeling Tea is the champagne of teas! In the 1960’s two fellows Bernd Wulf and Ranabir Sen began to modify the processing of the various tea leaves in the beautiful hills that stretched below the snow-capped Himalayas. The result was the more complex aromas and oolong-like subtleties we find in many Darjeeling Teas today.However, beware for every 400 tons of tea sold under the name of the Hill Town every year, only 100 tons actually comes from Darjeeling! 

Varieties of Darjeeling Tea

Varieties of Darjeeling Tea

Tea from the southern Nilgiri hills of the blue mountains make great iced tea due to their liveliness and clarity! Besides it is really good for health: It reduces risk of heart attack and strokes, protects your bones, and bolsters your immune system too; besides bringing that smile to our faces every morning and sometimes at night too. Night? Well, here is how to have tea as a party drink: Mix gin and cold tea, flavor with little lemon rind, and you’ll get a great summer cocktail.

Dawn over the Nilgiri Tea Gardens

Dawn over the Nilgiri Tea Gardens

And to keep this glorious tradition on over all the mediocrity that time tends to throw at us, add a little style to your tea drinking style, perhaps you could use a Bamboo Kettle! (an homage to China, where tea originated). Try the exquisitely designed Real Bamboo finish Kettle by Usha. It even serves 12 to 14 cups, enough to keep the conversation flowing. So usher in tea with Usha.

Usha Bamboo Kettle

Usha Bamboo Finish Kettle EK 3217B

To know more click here

Pineapple & Banana Smoothie: Sweet Medicine

Banana ShkeMade with two fabulous ingredients, the Pineapple and Banana Smoothie is a King among juices. Scientifically called Musa Sapientum, the banana means ‘fruit of the wise men’. While the Pineapple native to Brazil and Paraguay is known as the ‘Fruit of King’ in their local idioms. A good source of vitamins, minerals and fibers the Banana will give a school going kid just the right ingredients for healthy growth and an adult the right energy to rejuvenate after a hard day’s work. Whereas packed with Vitamin C the Pineapple will keep the flu and viruses away. You, can well imagine what a concoction of these two fruits will do to summer weary kids and adults – make them invincible, no matter how high or low the barometer readings go.

An one of a kind Back to School drink, it is perfect for kids beginning their new semester after a long and lazy summer vacation. Now without further ado, let’s make this king of a wise drink, and gulp it down as sweet medicine (for once literally) .

Ingredients

  1. 1 chopped pineapple
  2. 1 pineapple juice
  3. 1 bananas (6 ounces)
  4. 6 big tsp nonfat yogurt (plain)
  5. ½ cup ice cubes grated nutmeg

Method – Preparation in 5 minutes.

  •  In your juice blender jar (in JMG and MG), combine chopped pineapple and juice, banana, yogurt, and ice cubes.
  • Puree until smooth.
  • Sprinkle with grated nutmeg and serve.

Now, enjoy the nutritious and low fat Smoothie , with tantalizing flavors and textures.

The-Benefits-of-Banana-Peel1Wait, we are not yet done; since we are talking ‘healthy’ here are a few more organic tips regarding the unused Banana peels! Instead of throwing them away there is a lot you can do with these peels. For instance rubbing the insides of the peel over a mosquito bite or a burn will stop the itch or pain and also keeps them from swelling. Similarly, if you rub the insides of the peel over your teeth for 2 minutes regularly before sleeping, it will whiten your teeth! As for the Pineapple peel it is better to keep away from any rubbing.

Go Natural! Go Bananas!

Apple Lemon Fizz – The Cool Drink

Get over ‘Cold Drinks’ here comes the Coolest Drink. No kidding.

Untitled-1 copyThe Apple Lemon Fizz is one of its kinds – a refreshing healthy cool drink that reinvigorates. Where else do you get a mixture of healthy apples, re-energizing lime and cooling mint, making it the perfect summer drink, add to that the fact that a good Juicer like one from Usha will help you make it in a jiffy and it is summer perfect.

Ingredients

  1. 2 Apples
  2. 1 bottle (200 ml.) soda
  3. 2 tbsp finely chopped cucumber
  4. 1 tsp finely chopped mint leaves (pudhina)
  5. 1 tsp honey
  6. ½ tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice or squash

 Method

We were really not kidding about the ‘jiffy’ bit. So start the stopwatch and begin:

  1. Wash the apples and add them to your Full Fruit Juicer, for fresh apple juice.
  2. Then add lemon squash, finely chopped cucumber-mint leaves and a tsp of honey in it and serve immediately after adding soda, stir lightly to mix.

That’s it and your drink is ready. Your stopwatch should read 5 minutes at the most!

This cool drink can be had as an after-school or after-play drink for your kids. The soda in it makes it irresistible even to boys and girls who otherwise say ‘No’ to all fruit juices. It also makes for a great party Mocktail.

Coffee Quirks

There are so many myths and legends surrounding this beverage that it has become impossible even to point to the origin of Coffee. A Yemenite Sufi mystic, a Sheik’s disciple, an Ethiopian Goat herder and an entire African ethnic group, all lay claim to the beverage’s discovery. We are not here to take sides, but to put to words some very unique Coffee phenomenon of our times, before myths and arguments take over.

At some point in time or on a regular basis we all have had Cappuccino. But how many of us know what exactly does Cappuccino mean?  The word comes from the resemblance of the drink to the clothing of the Capuchin monks – the Catholic order of Capuchin is an offshoot of the Franciscans. As for who designed their gowns, that again is open to speculation like the origin of coffee.

It was during colonial times that the various Arabica varieties of coffee such as mocha and Java got their names. These various coffee beans are named after their ports of origin.  Mocha is the name of the largest port in Yemen, where nearly all African coffee beans are traded and later transported. Similarly Java is the name of an Indonesian island with trading ports.

The custom of tipping waiters in restaurants also has its roots in coffee. During the 16th century coffee found its way into Europe through Venice, as the trading city state had very good links with both African and Arab merchants. Introduced as a drink for the wealthy, it spread across the various strata’s of society with the establishment of Coffee Houses. Soon such Coffee Houses began to mushroom all over Europe, loud, dirty and hectic places where customers needed to tip big to the waiters in order to receive good service.

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