Monday, February 3, 2014

Rethinking your coffee pot

Although I significantly cut back on caffeine while I was pregnant, I am a bit of a coffee junkie.  I love me some Starbucks, and we brew coffee at home pretty much everyday.  I recently saw an article somewhere that mentioned the health problems with the at-home coffee maker.  It comes down to the fact that bacteria grows in moist, dark a coffee maker. This includes the pipes and reservoir systems as well (the parts you can't see), so this isn't just the grounds you accidentally left in the maker while you went on vacation that started growing mold. Gross, right?

This article from 2013 mentions that coffee actually has anti-bacterial qualities, but counters: "While coffee brewed from roasted beans does have some antibacterial action due to its acidity, there is research which shows that it is only about 50 percent effective in killing bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus mutans, and molds." 

Experts recommend cleaning your coffee maker with a vinegar solution once a month.  With our last coffee maker, we'd had it for FIVE YEARS and never did anything like that.  Luckily we never got sick, but reading about this filth really had our family rethinking our coffee maker.  The lesson is really to clean your coffee maker more frequently to avoid the funk. 

We recently got rid of our five year old coffee maker and upgraded to a Starbucks Verisimo.  It's sort of like a Keurig, but made by Starbucks and uses different pods.  In doing some preliminary research on health concerns, it seems the main concern of the Keurig-type machines is the BPA in the plastic pods & environmental concerns.  I haven't seen the mold-growing-staph-infection concerns I found with traditional coffee pots.  Plus, you can buy a cleaner to use once monthly.

Ultimately, I like the coffee made with my Verisimo better (and the tea).  And I like the convenience of being able to make just one drink at a time.  I think it will be even better when I'm back on my triple-shot iced latte kick & I can easily make 3 shots of espresso & just add milk!

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