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How to Make Espresso in 7 Simple Steps

You sigh in complete bliss as you leave the coffee shop and take the first sip of your drink. Nobody makes coffee quite like your favorite shop. What if we told you that with the right equipment, you could?

Learning how to make espresso isn’t too hard and once you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to save a few bucks by making a café quality cup every single morning in the comfort of your own home.

Ready to get started? Check out this espresso guide for everything you need to know to brew the perfect cup of joe.   

1. Choose Your Equipment 

The first step to making espresso is investing in the right equipment. The best espresso machines aren’t cheap but they’re worth it. They come in all sorts of different settings and features so be sure to do plenty of research before you pick one out. 

A good burr grinder won’t come cheap either but if you want your coffee grounds to be consistent, it’s a necessary purchase. Blade grinders are much cheaper but you’ll be able to taste the cheap in your drink. 

When it comes to choosing coffee beans, pretty much any high-quality dark roast blend will do. Other things you’ll need is a timer, tamper, and scale. It’s a lot of stuff and we won’t lie, it will hit your wallet pretty hard but it’s the price you pay to make quality espresso at home. 

2. Preheat Your Espresso Maker 

Now that you have all your equipment in front of you, it’s time to learn how to make espresso coffees with it. The first step is to turn on your espresso maker and allow it to preheat. 

This process can take up to 25 minutes to complete so make sure you give yourself plenty of time in the morning. If you do need to speed things along, you can brew a blank espresso shot. Essentially, making a cup of hot water. 

3. Prepare the Coffee Beans 

If you have an espresso machine that comes complete with a grinder, you can skip this step. If you don’t then keep reading. Set your grinder to its fine coffee setting. 

Set the portafilter on the scale and grind about 20 grams of freshly ground coffee into it. You may have a little lump of coffee grounds peeking up out of the portafilter. Even it out with your finger. 

4. Tamp the Coffee Grounds 

Next, you’re going to pack the ground down and get rid of any air pockets through a process known as tamping. Before you start tamping, it’s important that your coffee grounds are evenly distributed in the portafilter. You can do that by tapping the side of the filter. 

The secret to good tamping is to press straight down on the coffee grounds. If you don’t the entire thing will be uneven and your end product will taste off. Keep applying about 30 lbs. of pressure until it feels like the grounds aren’t going to budge anymore. 

Don’t feel bad if you don’t get this down right away. It takes time and practice to pull off the perfect tamp. We didn’t say your first time making espresso would go absolutely perfect. 

After you feel like you’ve tamped the grounds enough, brush any escaped coffee off the brim of the portafilter. You’re now ready to pull your first espresso shot. 

5. Create Your First Espresso Shot

Insert your portafilter into the machine and begin brewing. Start brewing as soon as you put the filter in place or you may end up burning your coffee grounds which doesn’t make for a good espresso drinking experience at all. 

Time how long it takes your machine to pull your shot. The sweet spot is around 30 seconds. If it takes any longer or shorter than that it means that you got something off when you were performing the steps above. 

Take the portafilter out and start from square one until your machine is pulling the shot within 30 seconds. The end product may have a bit of a sour taste otherwise. 

6. Steam Some Milk  

Pour your milk into the container and dip the steamer wand in a little bit below the surface of the liquid. Turn the wand on and froth the milk until it reaches the consistency that you want. 

For the best results, hold the steamer wand a little bit off-center while you froth. Pay attention to the heat. If the container gets to be too hot, stop frothing, or else your milk will have a burnt taste. 

On the flip side of this, if you don’t use enough heat then you’ll have bubbly unpleasantness instead of a silky froth. It might take you a couple of tries to get this right. 

7. Keep Practicing

The last step in how to make espresso at home is practice. It’s likely that you won’t make the perfect cup of coffee on your first try. Instead of getting discouraged when your drink comes out tasting slightly burned, go watch a few tutorials. 

There are plenty of videos out there that can walk you through the process and tell you how you can improve. There are also books that you can read. So, keep working at it! 

How to Make Espresso in the Comfort of Your Own Home

Do you want to replicate your favorite cafe drinks in the comfort of your house? Learning how to make espresso is an art form. It takes a lot of expensive equipment and practice to get it right.

Once you get the hang of it though, all your hard work will be worth it when you never have to spend five dollars for a cup of coffee again. 

Want to learn how to make even more tasty drinks at home? Check out the drinks section of our blog daily for more tutorials like this one. 

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How much drinks per week is too much?

cocktail drinks on bar

How many drinks do you have in a week? While alcohol affects everyone differently, research has shown that there’s a specific number of drinks the average person can consume in a week before it becomes excessive. 

It’s not an easy science, though. Most studies show that 7 is the limit for the average woman while the number rises to 15 for the average man. Making matters even more confusing, guidelines for alcohol consumption vary widely. So, how much is too much? 

Alcohol Percentages

Many people think that a drink is a drink, but each type of alcohol has its own percentage of alcohol content within. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism defines one standard drink as equivalent to:

  • 12 fl. Oz. of 5% beer
  • 9 fl. Oz. of 7% malt liquor
  • 5 fl. Oz. of 12% table wine
  • 1.5 fl. Oz of 80 proof spirits (40% alcohol content)

As you can see, no two drinks are exactly the same. Each contributes to your blood-alcohol level in a different way, which is why excessive drinkers often find themselves in desperate need of a felony DUI attorney. This is especially true for liquor lovers. 

Men vs. Women

The recommended guidelines for men and women are different because their bodies metabolize alcohol in a drastically different way. Women typically have less body mass, less body water content, and higher liver to body mass ratio.  

Women will reach peak blood alcohol levels much faster and are often more vulnerable to organ damage from alcohol than men. That’s why their recommended weekly limit is much lower. In contrast, men are more likely to become alcohol dependent than suffer damage quickly. 

Other Factors

Other factors that affect how a person’s body processes alcohol may include body weight, medications, and whether or not a person is drinking on an empty stomach.  A higher body weight may result in a lower blood alcohol concentration. This happens when their body mass to alcohol ratio is higher. 

Medications may have adverse interactions when combined with alcohol, with some effects being unpredictable or even fatal. Then there’s food. Eating a meal before drinking alcohol may help slow down the body’s ability to process alcohol, which works to your benefit.

On an empty stomach, alcohol is absorbed faster and may also cause digestive problems. You’re also going to get drunker faster on an empty stomach. Before you know it, one random shot could cause you to start building your DUI defense in Santa Ana

The Effects of Over-Drinking

Whether you’re drinking too much on occasion or every week, there can be severe effects on the body from over-drinking. Over-drinking is known to cause damage to the liver and the pancreas.  Excess alcohol cannot be metabolized by the liver and may result in steatosis, liver inflammation, liver scarring, and fibrosis.  

The pancreas might react by producing toxic substances that lead to inflammation of the blood vessels that prevent proper digestion, a condition known as pancreatitis. Excessive drinking can also cause changes in coordination, the ability to think clearly, damage to the brain, and fluctuations in mood and behavior.  

Excessive drinking becomes an addiction when a person loses the ability to limit drinking, negatively impacting their life. They may see their performance at work slip, their relationships crumble, and their ability to think and act clearly dissolve. 

A person may find they have to drink more and more to get the same desired effects as tolerance rises. They may find it difficult or impossible to think about anything else, or may find themselves unable to function without a drink. If you or someone you know has developed a problem with drinking excessively, consult a physician or addiction specialist for help. 

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The Different Types of Beer Explained: A Detailed Guide

Are you interested in learning about all the different types of beer that there is to choose from?

Perhaps you’re trying to get further into the craft beer scene. Maybe you’re wanting to try different beers that you’ve never had before.

Whatever the case might be, knowing the different beers will help you choose which ones you’d like to try.

Brewers all over the world make many different variations, but they all fit into the category of one of the types listed below.

Here are all the main types of beers that are out there in the world. Be sure to try them all and find your preferred palate.

India Pale Ale (IPA)

Even first-time beer drinkers have heard the term “IPA” in passing before. However, they might not know that it stands for India Pale Ale.

These beers are known for their taste, which infuses hops and fruity flavors. Some variations of IPAs are hoppier than others, some are more citrusy than others.

The taste also has a bitter taste to it and has a higher alcohol level than lagers, pale ales, and many other types on this list.

It’s a beer type that brewers and beer fanatics go crazy for. It’s arguably the most loved beer among the craft beer scene, as it offers so many different styles and flavors.

Better yet, there are many different IPA styles such as Belgian IPAs, West Coast IPAs, Double IPAs, and Session IPAs to name a few.

Lager

If you’re just starting out on your craft beer journey or would consider yourself a base-level beer drinker, then lagers are for you.

For those of you that drink the traditional domestic beers such as Yuengling (east coasters), Budweiser, or Coors, you’re drinking a lager.

They’re perfect for beer novices because of their low alcohol content and light body flavor. It’s the perfect “first step” for anyone that wants to try different beer types down the line.

If you were to pick up an IPA for your first-ever beer, you’d most likely spit it out. But after drinking lagers for a while, you’ll develop a taste for hoppier beers such as Pale Ales and IPAs.

For all you novices looking to get a gift for the beer-lover in your life, be sure to consider these beer gift ideas.

Brown Ales

Smoky, sweet, and amber… these are three words you might not think would make a great pairing, but they certainly do for brown ales.

Brown ales are made with a focus on the malt ingredients while the beer is being brewed. 

They are a bit of a secret, even in the craft beer community, but their mixture of different flavors make them a work of art.

They’re no heavier in alcohol content than a pale ale, but they give off a richer flavor closer to that of a stout. 

Those of you that enjoy Guinness, but want something a bit lighter in color, you might fall in love with brown ales.

Pale Ales

So… you have a taste for the hops, but you don’t enjoy getting a beer that’s too heavy in alcohol content. 

Just a step down from the IPA is a pale ale, one of the most popular beer types in the world.

Every brewery that you go to will have a different variation of a pale ale. In fact, many craft beer fanatics enjoy trying American pale ales, Imperial pale ales, and English pale ales.

If you want a drink that boasts hoppy flavors but goes down smooth with every sip, you will develop a liking for pale ales. In fact, many consider pale ales to be the next “step” from those that want to venture beyond lagers.

Pilsners

if you take a drink of a pale ale and still think you need a bit more of a warm-up to the hoppy flavors, give pilsners a try.

Pilsners are essentially hoppy lagers. They have a low alcohol content with a range of hops mixed into the brewing process.

They’ll still offer that crisp and refreshing flavor that you’re looking for, making them the perfect beer to drink on a hot summer’s day. They also have the clear body of a lager, giving a clean look that many people are searching for.

The next time you want a drink by the pool, reach for a hoppy pilsner… you’ll be glad you did!

Porters

Maybe you’re the type that, when you feel like having a beer, you want something that’s heavy and filling.

If so, then you’re going to love porters. Porters are exceptionally popular in the UK for their dark color and rich ingredients.

Many breweries in America like to have a different play on porters in order to cater to their clientele’s need for adventure. Because of that, you’ll find crazy flavors like a PB&J porter, peanut butter porter, chocolate sundae porter, etc.

If you like stouts, but wish for something with more of a chocolate flavor, then porters are the beer type for you!

Give All These Different Types of Beer a Shot

Now that you’ve seen all the different types of beer, it’s time for you to extend your palate.

Be sure to consider all the different types of beer that you might like to try. If you’re just starting out, try starting with a lager, then a pilsner, and then a pale ale or IPA from there.

Make sure to browse our website for more articles on beer, as well as many other helpful topics!

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5 Amazing Health Benefits You Can Get out of Coffee

Do you love your morning cup of joe, but worry about the effects on your health? Well, worry no more! Coffee may have a few drawbacks for your health, but there are plenty of great things about drinking coffee to make up for the risks.

There are plenty of health benefits you can get out of coffee, and we’ll do through them with you know. 

1. Coffee Can Help Prevent Heart Disease

When you learn how to grind coffee beans, you may also be preventing damage to your heart. Coffee is thought to prevent inflammation, which helps lower your risk for cardiovascular disease and other related risks.

It lowers your risk by protecting against arterial damage, which means that you’ll have less damage to your cardiovascular system overall.

2. Coffee May Lower Your Cancer Risk

Coffee’s high antioxidant count has some pretty great benefits when it comes to preventing cancer. Some studies have documented that coffee reduces some people’s risk of liver cancer, melanoma, and uterine cancer.

While it can’t be definitively proven what in coffee helps provide the health benefits, that doesn’t mean that the health benefit isn’t there!

3. Coffee Could Help Stop Diabetes

Worried about your risk of diabetes? Well, coffee may help fend off that threat. Some studies have shown that the risk of diabetes lowers per caffeinated cup of coffee by seven to nine percent, depending on the study.

However, that’s only true of black coffee — adding sugar, milk, Splenda, or cream to your coffee may lessen the health benefits of drinking your coffee in the morning.

4. Coffee Helps Keeps You Happier

Some studies have shown that coffee helps lower the rate of depression for many groups of people. This has been particularly demonstrated by women who drink caffeinated coffee.

Coffee includes a few different acids, including ferulic acid, which are thought to reduce the inflammation of nerve cells, which is thought to exacerbate depression. Basically, coffee helps you get happy and stay happy for longer than you might have otherwise!

5. Drinking A Lot Of Coffee Might Reduce Your Risk Of M.S.

If you’re drinking large quantities of coffee, there might be even more positive health benefits for you. Some recent research showed that drinking at least four cups of coffee a day reduces your likelihood of developing multiple sclerosis.

That’s not all — there’s also some evidence that drinking coffee lowers your risk of Alzheimer’s Disease and other diseases that cause dementia. There are tons of health benefits to coffee that can keep you healthy into your old age!

The Health Benefits You Get Out Of Coffee Can’t Be Underestimated

Coffee definitely has positive implications for your health. However, it should be noted that drinking coffee isn’t recommended for all people, and you may want to check in with your doctor if you haven’t been a regular coffee drinker in the past.

Just be careful when you enjoy your favorite blend before you run out of coffee!

Want to learn more about other, similar topics? Check out some of our other blogs!

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Delicious and Healthy: How to Make Kratom Tea

Plenty of people are looking for alternative ways to treat their problems at home.

Have you heard of kratom and the health benefits that you may be able to get from it?

If not, keep reading to learn about what it is and how you can make kratom tea at home.

How to Make Kratom Tea

Kratom tea is a tea that is made using leaves from the kratom tropical tree (Mitragyna speciosa). Leaves from these trees, which are originally from Southeast Asia, have been used for centuries for pain relief.

If you take a small amount, you may feel more stimulated and if you take a small amount, you may feel more sedated. 

You might be a tea drinker. If so, buy some kratom at The Kratom Connection and use it to make your own kratom tea.

If you’re curious about how to prepare kratom tea, here are the steps that will help you do it easily. 

Step One: Boil Water and Add Kratom

The first thing you must do is boil the water you plan to use for tea.

If you have a standard kettle, you should use 1.5 cups of water add it to low to medium heat. You want the water to come to a soft boil.

Add your carefully measured kratom powder directly to the water. 

Step Two: Lower the Heat and Simmer

Once you have put the powder into the water, you should lower the heat.

You want the kratom mixture to simmer for about 10 minutes. Check on your tea from time to time to make sure the water is not too hot.

Step Three: Check the Color

As you are checking the tea, be aware of the color as well. If your tea is starting to turn a yellow or orange color, it is time to remove the kettle from the heat. 

Step Four: Use a Strainer

If you have a strainer, you can use this to remove the extra residue from the tea. A cheesecloth can work for this purpose as well.

You need to place the strainer or the cheesecloth over your mug and pour the liquid out. This way, the extra residue won’t collect in your tea and you’ll just be drinking the tea.

Step Five: Discard or Reuse Residue

After you’ve made your tea, you need to choose what to do with the residue. You can either throw it out or you can save it to use in the future. 

Things to Consider Before Using Kratom Tea

It will take about 30 minutes after you start drinking your tea to notice any effects. If you want to add some flavor, consider reaching for sugar or honey.

The effects of kratom can vary based on how much you ingest.

You can use this product as a sedative for pain management, anxiety, or depression. Alternatively, you can use it as a stimulant if you are concerned with your mood, sexual performance, or physical ability.

Research has shown that taking too much kratom, such as more than five to eight grams, can lead to unwanted side effects. As a result, be sure to monitor your intake and use kratom responsibly.

With proper use, kratom tea can be a great addition to your regular diet and can give you the health benefits you’re looking for!

Ready to Enjoy Your Kratom Tea Health Benefits?

Now that you know how to make your own kratom tea, it’s time to get started.

Feel the positive effects of kratom today and find out whether this tea works for you.

Do you want more content like this? To get more food and drink ideas, check out the rest of our website.