Coffee, the Perfect Longevity Beverage

Since at least 1520 when Ponce de Leon set out to find the Fountain of Youth, we’ve searched for an elixir that increases longevity. We may have finally found it — and most of us have been drinking it daily.

Recent studies show that just two cups of coffee per day reduce the risk of liver cancer by as much as 30 percent and that heavy coffee drinkers (four to six cups a day) have about 30 percent lower risk of diabetes. Good research also suggests you have a much better chance of eluding Parkinson’s disease and gallstones, too. Dr. Oz told me once that he believed that Americans get over 50 percent of their antioxidants from coffee. Science confirms this.

Already Drinking It

I endorse coffee as a blue zones drink because coffee is something we tend to drink everyday for much of our lives. We may start taking supplement and health drinks but we tend to stop using them within a year. (Many of them are not good for us in the first place.) When it comes to longevity, unless it’s something we’re going to consume for decades, it’s probably not going to have any measurable impact on life expectancy.

Below is a method of making the perfect cup of coffee. It comes from my good friend Jim Reininger, a longtime chef and baker.

“The coffee I use most often is Peace Coffee’s Guatemala Light Roast or their Eithiopian Yrgecheffe. The grind is for drip (basically a medium grind, too fine extracts too many unpleasant flavors). I am a big fan of the Chemex coffee beaker. I have found this the best pour over option of all the other ones I have tried.

Use 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for each 6 oz. of water.

Heat water to 204 degrees or so. Pour into beaker to warm it up and then pour water back into pan and reheat back to 204.

Place filter in coffee utensil.

Pour a small amount of hot water into filter — to dampen it. Place grounds into filter.  Pour a small amount of the hot water over the grounds to wet them. Wait about 30 seconds. The grounds will bloom (swell up in size). You may have to keep the water on a low simmer to maintain the heat. Now, start pouring this over the bloomed grounds very slowly. Try not to create a pool of water on top of the grounds. This can take a couple of minutes depending on how much coffee you are brewing and you may have to reheat the water.

Voila!  Remove the filter and grounds and enjoy. It sounds fussy, but all good things take time, or so I keep discovering often to my chagrin.

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