I absolutely used to hate bananas and mushrooms. Everything to do with them; the taste, the texture, the smell, everything. I couldn’t even have banana flavoured sweets. But it used to ‘do my head in’ that i didn’t like these popular foods as you find them in everything especially when eating out and I hate being fussy. So, I decided to make myself like them and now not a day goes by when I don’t consume them and genuinely enjoy it! How did i do it? Simple, ate them everyday. Your tastebuds change as you get older, so that food you may have had a bad experience with as a child, the chances are that you will now enjoy it! Experiment!
How does this relate to coffee? The same really; I hated everything to do with it, the coffee flavoured chocolate in a packet of revels was my idea of an actual nightmare. But I wanted to like it, I wanted to be able to go out for coffee with friends and I wanted to be able to enjoy the health benefits that research has shown caffeine to have. So I decided to try it and hope it turned out the same way my experiments with bananas and mushrooms had.
I knew some of the benefits which caffeine has, but investigated some more and here is what I found:
Caffeine gives you energy
Everyone know caffeine can help people feel less tired and increase energy levels. When you drink a coffee, the caffeine, which is a stimulant is absorbed into the bloodstream and travels to the brain. In the brain, caffeine then blocks a neurotransmitter called adenosine; this is the hormone which promotes sleep and it also causes the pituitary gland to produce more adrenalin, which is our ‘fight of flight; hormone. This all leads to an increase in your attention level and gives you that extra burst of energy.
This release of adrenaline will also boost your physical performance which is why a lot of people will take some sort of caffeine based beverage or supplement before they go to the gym. Studies have shown a notable effect on anaerobic cardiac output (sprints, high intensity work etc) and also power output (weight lifting) when caffeine is taken beforehand, this is dependent on the persons tolerance to caffeine though (examine.com).
Caffeine can help you burn fat
Several studies have shown that caffeine can boost your metabolic rate (the speed at which chemical reactions take place in the body) by 3-11%. *This must also be used in conjunction with a healthy diet and fitness regime and will depend on a persons tolerance. According to examine.com fat oxidation is only a minor effect of caffeine.
Caffeine may lower your risk of type II diabetes
Some studies have shown that people who drink the most coffee have a 23-50% lower risk of getting this disease.
Caffeine may protect you from Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s
There is no known cure for either of these diseases, but a healthy diet and exercise, as well as drinking coffee has been shown to be incredibly effective at preventing such diseases.
There are some side effects of consuming too much caffeine on a daily basis; such as insomnia, increased anxiety, sweating and heart palpitations to name but a few. Habitual caffeine use may also lead to an intolerance which means that the effects of the caffeine will be diminished. I stick to one cup a day to ensure I am not taking in too much! It is also easy to overdose if you are consuming multiple cups a day on top of energy drinks and/or pre-workouts, so be mindful of what you are consuming. It is typically recommended that you ‘cycle’ caffeine intake, i.e. take a month off every now and then in order to stop a tolerance build up.
My Coffee Experience and Beanies Coffee Review
Gillian, one of my regular clients suggested that I try mixing it with some options hot chocolate powder to start off with and make a low calorie mocha! It then just so happened that two days later another of my wonderful clients and friend Nat surprised me with a thoughtful gift of a coffee hamper! She is an absolute gem. So I made up my very first mocha….and I have not looked back since! It was absolutely delicious. Just the right amount of sweetness for me.
A whole new world had now been opened up to me and I popped down to Sainsbury’s to see what offerings they had available and stumbled upon this Cinder Toffee flavoured coffee by Beanies Coffee. I made myself a cup (black with one sweetener) and it was lovely, there really is an undertone of toffee as you open and smell the jar for the first time but also as you drink it!
I then visited their website to see what other interesting flavours they had available for me to try. There are 11 in total to choose from and I went with a box of six including; Chocolate Orange, Cinder Toffee, Cinnamon and Hazelnut, Double Chocolate, Very Vanilla and Coconut Delight for £15. The other flavours included Almond Amaretto, Chocolate Mint, Gingerbread, Nutty Hazelnut and Irish Cream. They also have some of the flavours available as decaffeinated options.
Each cup is only 2calories so is great if you like a flavoured coffee but don’t want all the extra calories that tend to come with your regular Starbucks or Costa offerings. Beanies ‘infuse’ their coffee beans with their flavourings, and according to them it is this initial send of smell which tricks our taste buds into thinking we are about to have something sweet! Sounds like a winning combination to me!
So here is my mini review of each flavour:
Chocolate Orange: I was expecting this to smell and taste more like a Terrys chocolate orange, but the smell was more reminiscent of orange flavoured sweets. You could definitely smell the flavour in the kitchen when I was drinking it. One of my favourites. 4/5.
Cinder Toffee: This was the first flavour I picked up and probably my favourite out of the ones I have tried. It smells all caramelly when you are making it, yumm! 5/5
Cinnamon and Hazelnut: If you have been reading the blog a while you know that I am a huge lover of anything cinnamon flavoured so had high hoped for this one. I wasn’t a fan of the smell of this one when I first opened the jar, smelt a bit too chemically for my liking; not a great start. In my opinion it doesn’t really taste of either flavour and leaves a bit of a weird after taste. Not a fan. 1/5
Double Chocolate: This one smells really chocolatey when you peel back the foil seal, but once brewed isn’t quite as strong. Could possibly have a bit of a stronger flavour when drinking it. 3/5
Vanilla: I honestly can’t decide if i like this one of not. The first time I tried it I really wasn’t keen and was disappointed, but decided to give it another chance and really enjoyed it?! It smells a little bit like soap(?) when you open the lid, which I think is what put me off first time round. The jury is out on this one. 3/5
Coconut Delight: I have a tub of coconut flavoured options hot chocolate so was looking forward to mixing the two and having a coconutty mocha. It did not disappoint, and although the jar states it is a ‘drink in the taste of paradise,’ I maybe wouldn’t go that far, I would much prefer a coconut mojito if I was in paradise! I have tried it without the hot chocolate powder mixed in and it is just as flavoursome. 4/5
Overall I really enjoyed the majority of the flavours which I tried, and from further research and reading other peoples reviews it seems that Irish Coffee should be next on my list to get! A drink that tastes like Baileys before noon is a good one in my opinion!
Sainsbury’s stock a couple of the flavours and I believe they are currently on offer at £2 per jar. But if not you can get them direct from their website, or if you type into google there are plenty of stockists.
Do you have any favourite coffees which I must try? Let me know!
Love Abi x
NB: I still dislike seafood and sweetcorn. Yuck.