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Best Time to Drink Coffee and More News

Best Time to Drink Coffee and More News

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In today's Media Mix, the dilemma between Cronut and true love, plus the most surprising food pairings

Scientists have found the most effective time to drink coffee.

Check out these headlines you may have missed.

Amazing Food Combinations: Reddit users wax poetic about the best food combinations that you may not know about. Avocado, toast, and a soft-boiled egg? Sold. [Reddit]

Coffee Time: Apaprently, the best time to drink your coffee is between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., when your cortisol levels fall. [Fox]

Chefs Argue Over Seal Hunting: After Anthony Bourdain called out prominent chefs for boycotting Canadian seafood over seal hunting (the practice is apparently valued in Inuit communities), another chef argues back, "We're not opposed to the Inuit tribes continuing with what they do. What we are specifically opposed to is the commercial seal hunt." [CBC]

Cronut vs. Breakup: This long, insightful piece commenting on the commercialism of our society brings up the life-changing dilemma of whether you should accept Cronuts from someone you're going to break up with. Yes, you should. [Cosmo]

Antibiotic-Resistant Salmonella: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that three out of seven strains of salmonella found in Foster Farms chicken are resistent to multiple antibiotics. [Food Quality News]

15 Coffee Smoothies That’ll Start Your Morning Right

Raise your hand if at least once a week your morning looks like this: Alarm goes off. Three snoozes go by before you’re out of bed, and suddenly you’re running around your house/condo/apartment, pants in one hand and breakfast bar in the other.

Yep, us too. Despite our best intentions, mornings aren’t always as smooth as we’d like.

Luckily, there’s a little trick that’ll keep you from having to chug your coffee before rushing out the door. Keep it cool by making a coffee smoothie.

We’ve gathered 25 coffee smoothie recipes with healthy ingredients that might surprise you, like mango, beets, or hemp hearts. Frozen bananas are magical, but sometimes you want to shake it up.

Or smoothie it up, in this case.

These coffee smoothies won’t magically make you a morning person, but hey, they could help. (And they’re portable too!)

1. Coconut cashew latte smoothie

Any time we can get a smoothie to taste like a milkshake without packing in the sugar, it’s a win.

This thick, creamy drink uses a small frozen banana, vanilla protein powder, cashews, shredded coconut, and coffee to mimic your favorite shake.

Play around with it — add a date or two, a tablespoon of nut butter, or a few shakes of cinnamon.

2. Peanut butter espresso smoothie

Reese’s for breakfast? Don’t mind if we do. OK, it’s not exactly the same, but it does taste pretty darn good.

The key here is espresso powder, but if you’re in a pinch, you could always swap in a shot of actual espresso or half a cup of coffee.

3. Salted caramel mocha smoothie

Salted caramel is always a good start, isn’t it? This smoothie has a sneaky secret. Instead of caramel sauce, the recipe uses dates, vanilla extract, and almond milk to get a yummy caramel-frappe taste.

4. Peppermint mocha smoothie

Peppermint lattes are all the rage in winter, but there’s no reason you can’t re-create the minty flavor year-round.

Just add a little peppermint extract to coffee, banana, almond milk, and cocoa powder and you’ve got yourself a peppermint mocha.

If you’re feeling fancy, add a few fresh mint leaves on top.

5. Iced coffee protein smoothie

You’ll need some overnight prep for this one, but trust us when we say it’s worth it.

Fill a plastic ice cube tray with strong, cold coffee. Pop a couple of coffee ice cubes in the blender with Greek yogurt, chia seeds, and hemp seeds for a protein-rich smoothie that’ll keep you full until lunch.

6. Coffee and oat smoothie

Coffee, oatmeal, and a smoothie all in one? Yup. Blending in rolled oats thickens this naturally sweet smoothie.

You can even throw a handful of frozen cauliflower to the mix for extra bulk. Yes, really!

7. Chocolate chia coffee smoothie

This smoothie almost tastes like a java chip Frappuccino. Remember those, your first foray into drinking “coffee”?

Thankfully, this one actually has caffeine. And instead of syrup, it’s sweetened with vanilla extract, dates, and cacao, which gives it the chocolaty flavor and color you want.

8. Raspberry coffee smoothie

Raspberries make this smoothie seem so special that you’d never know the coffee’s made from instant. Keep a bag of berries in the freezer so you’re ready to whip this up.

9. Cold brew mocha smoothie

Make or buy cold brew for a more mellow smoothie, enriched here in a high speed blender with frozen cubes of coconut, which creates one of the creamiest textures we’ve tasted.

We love to add seasonal fruit like strawberries or avocado or sneak in some frozen cauliflower rice.

10. Pumpkin coffee smoothie

Canned pumpkin or frozen cubes will work in this fall-flavored smoothie, which gets a boost from protein powder. And yes, it’s got pumpkin pie spice in it.

11. Coffee smoothie with hemp hearts

Hemp adds a nutrient boost to this tasty, banana-free smoothie. You can also throw in some baby spinach. Actually, you can toss spinach into almost any smoothie.

12. Coffee avocado smoothie

Avocado has the most amazing ability to ease into a recipe, adding satisfying richness and creamy texture yet letting other flavors sing.

This recipe calls for sweetened condensed milk, which we readily admit is luscious (love it in Vietnamese and Thai coffee). But if we’re making this on a regular basis, we’ll swap in almond or coconut milk to keep our sugar intake lower.

13. Hidden veggie coffee smoothie

Remember when we shocked you with the idea of cauliflower in your coffee smoothie? Here’s how to do it. Frozen cauliflower rice makes it easy. Dates, walnuts, and coffee make it taste gooood.

14. Mocha beet smoothie

Beets bring a sweet earthy flavor and crimson hue to this beauty. (Serve it in a clear glass to best appreciate the color.) We’d swap 1 tablespoon of cocoa for a tablespoon of instant espresso to give it a java jump.

15. Mango coffee smoothie

We admit we wouldn’t have come up with this flavor combo, but it’s delish! Feel free to swap in your milk of choice for the cow kind. Instant espresso is your friend here.

Coffee smoothies are an awesome way to start the day if you’re short on time and still want a nutritious breakfast. All it takes is a few frozen ingredients and a high speed blender. And you can take that smoothie to go.

These coffee smoothie recipes show you how to use a range of healthy ingredients like fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds to make creamy smoothies that’ll keep your mornings calm and cool.

Hot cacao

Brewed cacao is a low caffeine drink that is rich in theobromine, a mild central nervous system stimulant. It offers all the "decadent flavors of dark chocolate, without any of the sugar and fat, and virtually no calories," licensed dietitian/nutritionist Monica Reinagel wrote in an article for Food & Nutrition.

"Although an afternoon cup of tea or coffee often feels incomplete without a little something to go with it, a cup of brewed cacao, with or without a splash of milk, feels completely satisfying.

"Brewed cacao actually is nothing new. It was enjoyed by native Central Americans as early as 1,500 BC," she added.

Why caffeine affects everyone differently

So that’s the basic science on how caffeine can harm our sleep. But when it comes to how coffee impacts one person’s sleep versus another’s IRL, it can be a totally different story. We all know someone who can pound two double espressos and appear impervious to its effects, as well as someone who gets jittery after a cup of black tea. What’s the deal? “Like almost everything else in sleep medicine, there's really just a lot of variability here,” Dr. Sampat says. “There are so many different elements with this. Every person reacts differently to [caffeine].”

We can chock a lot of this variability up to genetics, Dr. Sampat says. Our natural sensitivity to caffeine and the rate at which we metabolize it can differ hugely from one person to the next. While we don’t fully understand the genetic component yet, we do know that there are genetic variations in both the various adenosine receptors that caffeine targets and the main liver enzyme that metabolizes caffeine, called cytochrome P450, Dr. Sampat explains. So while the typical half-life of caffeine may be four to six hours, that’s far from being true for everyone.

Then there are medical variables and lifestyle factors. We can shape our caffeine sensitivity with our caffeine-drinking habits. The more caffeine we regularly drink, the more we develop a tolerance, or decreased sensitivity—meaning we need more and more to feel its effects. There are also certain medications that can interact with and affect how quickly we metabolize caffeine. That liver enzyme, cytochrome P450, also metabolizes other drugs in addition to caffeine (like the beta blocker propranolol). So, for example, if those liver enzymes are busy processing another drug while you’re sipping on a cold brew, the caffeine has to wait its turn to be metabolized, lengthening the amount of time it takes for the caffeine to hit you (and wear off), Dr. Sampat says.

It’s also possible for the way caffeine affects you to change over the years. Many people find their caffeine sensitivity increases with age—so if it seems like your evening espressos are all the sudden betraying you, you're probably not wrong. It’s not totally clear why this happens, but it may be related to the same metabolic and genetic variations we have with caffeine processing in general, Dr. Sampat says. Plus, as people get older, they are more likely to have a hard time falling and staying asleep anyway, Dr. Sampat points out, so the stimulant effects of caffeine become more noticeable and problematic.

Drinking black coffee has this one major benefit.

The American Heart Association published a study in their journal Heart Failure that linked black, caffeinated coffee to a long-term reduced risk of heart failure. After tracking and analyzing the diets of 21,000 Americans over the course of 72 years, one of their key takeaways was that people who drank two or more cups of black coffee a day reduced their risk of heart failure by about 30%.

Importantly, these benefits did not extend to decaffeinated coffee. In fact, the study found that the opposite was true: decaf coffee might actually increase your risk of heart failure. For more on the risks of drinking decaf, check out our investigation into the beverage.

Nutritionists everywhere agree that black, caffeinated coffee is the single healthiest way to get your buzz—as Sharon Katzman, MS, RD, explains, the more you add to the beverage, the less healthy it has the potential to be. She steers clients away from sweet additives in particular, as the taste of sugar triggers brain chemicals that encourage you to seek out more sugar (which must explain why a lemon loaf goes so well with that vanilla latte).

Coffee recipes

Celebrate the irresistible flavour of coffee in our range of espresso cocktails and iced drinks or munch on cappuccino cakes, tiramisu, ice creams and more.

Flat white

If you have a coffee machine, make the best use of it with our easy flat white recipe. This trendy beverage has earned its spot at the breakfast table


Make your favourite morning coffee from scratch – it's easy with the right equipment. We love a creamy cappuccino topped with a sprinkling of cocoa powder


Dust off that coffee machine and learn a few barista skills to make a creamy latte. Our easy recipe takes breakfast, or brunch, to the next level

Dalgona coffee

Our easy whipped coffee recipe is simple enough to make at home. This frothy drink, known as dalgona coffee, might just be your new favourite caffeine kick

Iced latte

Cool off with a refreshing iced latte. This simple drink only needs a handful of ingredients and is perfect for a hot weather caffeine kick


Put your coffee machine to work and brew an easy macchiato. Ideal for breakfast, brunch or whenever you need a pick-me-up


If you have a coffee machine, treat yourself to a comforting, chocolatey mocha. You don't need to be a trained barista with our easy recipe

Coffee cake

Whip up a classic coffee cake with ease. You can freeze the sponges if you want to save time later on. Ideal for a bake sale, birthday party or coffee morning

Do You Drink Coffee Right When You Wake Up? Maybe You Should Wait

Most of us probably try to suck down our first cup of joe as soon after we wake up as possible. But a new video by AsapSscience parses the research and reveals that the best time to give your body its first caffeine boost of the day is actually not when you first wake up, but about an hour later.

Why? It has to do with our circadian rhythm, the built-in biological clock that, among other things, regulates the release of cortisol, a hormone related to alertness. Cortisol levels peak around 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., AsapScience notes, as part of our natural waking process. And if we drink coffee or other caffeinated beverages during this peak cortisol production phase, the caffeine is less effective. Plus, we build up a greater tolerance to it over time, meaning we have to drink more and more for the same pick-me-up.

This cortisol surge is regulated by sunlight, so it happens no matter what time we hit the sack or wake up. (Science has shown we have two more spikes during the day — between noon and 1 p.m. and between 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. — making those times less than ideal for a coffee break.) Cortisol levels, however, have also been found to jump by 50 percent right after we wake up no matter what time of day that is.

So what’s a caffeine lover to do? “Wait at least an hour [after you wake up] to get your cup of joe,” AsapScience advises, “and your body will be optimally ready to go.” That is, if you don’t hit the snooze button and nod off in the meantime.

Our 11 Best Iced Coffee Drinks

It doesn&apost have to be summer for the iced coffee craving to kick into high gear, but when the temps creep up to triple digits, something chill to start the day seems just about right. Here&aposs a list of some of our very best iced coffee creations, from cold brew to cleverly flavored espresso drinks designed to help keep you cool while delivering that welcome caffeine jolt. All these make an awesome addition to your weekend brunch bash, natch.

How to Make Iced Coffee at Home: 11 Tasty Recipes

Just a spoon full of sugar and a splash of milk or cream softens the kick of that can come from a straight shot of espresso. Variations on that sweetened dairy scenario seem endless, but remember this: If you want to make a drink like a polished pro, stock up on simple syrup. It mixes easily for a seamless sipper.

"Adding creamy smooth banana milk to your morning cold brew makes it taste rich and delicious," says foodelicious. "Talk about an eye-opening good-for-you breakfast in a cup!"

3 Baileys and coffee recipes

Irish coffee is a classic winter drink that will warm you inside and out on a blustery afternoon. If you love the idea but are more cutting-edge than classic, try one of these updated versions.

Irish coffee has been a classic since the early 1950s. Some fans of the beverage believe it was first served in the United States at Buena Vista Cafe in San Francisco, while others give the credit to Tom Bergin’s Tavern in Los Angeles. No matter where it started, it continues to be a winter favorite.

Be sure to use an espresso roast in these recipes or the alcohol will overwhelm the coffee flavor. You can easily change the flavors by using one of the flavored Baileys Irish Creams rather than the classic. You should adjust the amounts of sugar and alcohol to your own tastes.

Baileys afternoon delight

Caramel vodka is added to Baileys and coffee to create a chocolate truffle in drinkable form. The splash of Kahlua just adds an extra punch of coffee flavor.


  • 1 ounce Baileys Irish Cream
  • 1/2 ounce caramel vodka
  • 1/2 ounce Kahlua
  • 1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup
  • 4 ounces strongly brewed Italian roast coffee
  • 2 tablespoons lightly sweetened whipped cream
  • Grated chocolate for garnish


  1. Mix the Baileys, vodka and Kahlua in the bottom of a coffee cup.
  2. Add the coffee, chocolate and sugar. Stir well.
  3. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkle of grated chocolate.

Irish temper

Settle in for the evening with an old movie, a roaring fire and this silky smooth coffee with a spicy kick.


  • 2 ounces Baileys Irish Cream
  • 1 ounce spiced rum
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 4 ounces strongly brewed Italian roast coffee
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Cinnamon to dust on top


  1. Lightly whip the cream with a little sugar, just until it is thickened but does not hold peaks.
  2. Mix the Baileys, rum and sugar in the bottom of a warmed coffee cup.
  3. Pour in the hot coffee and mix well.
  4. Spoon two tablespoons of the cream over the top and dust with cinnamon.

Baileys coffee punch for a crowd

Go ahead and offer to make the punch for the office Christmas Party. Your promotion should be in place before New Years with this decadent coffee for a crowd.

Drink One of These Alcoholic Coffee Cocktails, Find Bliss, Repeat

There's the cowboy method of making a coffee cocktail. You know, sloshing a slug of whiskey from a flask into a tin mug of watery, mostly burned, gritty grounds. Horse, hat, and Red Dead Redemption attitude not required. There's the pregame method, too: Brewing a fresh pot after work and adding it to a thermos with whatever alcohol you have stocked on the bar cart (Jameson Cold Brew, if you're lucky), then nursing it in the taxi or on the train to your final destination. There's also the cop-out method, which is sipping one of the handful of esteemed coffee liqueurs that've been introduced to the spirits world over the last decade&mdashMr. Black and Patrón XO Cafe come to mind&mdashover ice.

Or Kahlúa. There's always Kahlúa, though it barely has enough caffeine to rile up a puppy.

But should you want to go legit with your alcoholic coffee cocktail consumption, here's a selection of classic drinks that'll work. A few call for brewed coffee, the others for coffee liqueurs, Kahlúa being the most recognizable but not the only option. From there, it's up to you to balance the confounding coupling of caffeine and alcohol, upper and downer, in a way that leaves you buzzed without swan-diving into sleepiness.

Nirvana can be found at the bottom of your first Irish Coffee. Perhaps your second. Hot, strong, and almost sweet, it's damn near revelatory on an otherwise shit day.

&bull 2 oz. Irish whiskey
&bull 5 oz. coffee
&bull 2 tsp. sugar
&bull heavy cream

Pour the whiskey, coffee, and sugar into a heated glass mug. Stir, then top off with a thick layer of lightly whipped heavy cream. Don't stir it in.

Technically speaking, this cocktail isn't a martini. A martini is ice-cold and ice-clear, with dry vermouth. Technically speaking, it's an alcoholic energy shot in a fancy glass. Add simple syrup if you need to take the bite off.

&bull 2 oz. vodka
&bull 1 oz. coffee liqueur
&bull 1 oz. fresh espresso

Shake ingredients together with ice, then strain into a chilled martini glass. Top with three coffee beans if you want to be cute.

Think of a Mudslide like you would a hot fudge sundae: If a topping sparks your interest, be it cookie crumbles or whipped cream or cherry drizzle, then by all means, pile it on top.

&bull 1 oz. coffee liqueur
&bull 1 oz. vodka
&bull 1 1/2 oz. Irish cream liqueur

Combine coffee liqueur, vodka, and Irish cream liqueur in a shaker with ice. Shake for at least 10 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass over ice.

One White Russian-making method has you building it on the rocks, watching the colors swirl and twirl, then stirring and downing it, Dude-style. The other has you shaking it into a froth. Pick your poison.

&bull 1 1/2 oz. vodka
&bull 3/4 oz. Kahlúa
&bull 3/4 oz. heavy cream

Add vodka and Kahlúa to a rocks glass over ice, top with heavy cream, then stir if you're so moved. (Alternatively, shake the ingredients well with cracked ice, then strain into a chilled Old-Fashioned glass.)

Rob the White Russian of its "white" and you get a darker, bolder, blacker cocktail. Like Dunkin' without vanilla creamer or Folgers without half and half.

&bull 2 oz. vodka
&bull 1 oz. coffee liqueur

Stir ingredients with ice in a mixing glass. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass over fresh ice.

On a parting note, we give you a coffee infusion. Doctor your tequila as such, and you can use it in any funkier tequila cocktail or sip it straight. The recipe comes from Tequila: Shake, Muddle, Stir.

&bull 1 split vanilla pod (bean)
&bull 20 oz. blanco tequila
&bull 3 1/2 oz. freshly ground coffee
&bull 3 1/2 oz. demerara simple syrup*

*Demerara Simple Syrup
&bull 7 oz. water
&bull 3 1/2 oz. demerara, cane, or granulated (raw) sugar
&bull 1 tbsp. golden syrup or corn syrup (optional)

1. Add a vanilla pod to your tequila and leave to infuse for 24&ndash72 hours (check daily, as you want a gentle vanilla taste if you leave it too long, it becomes too floral).
2. When your vanilla infusion is ready, remove the vanilla pod, then add the ground coffee and give it a good shake. Place the tequila in the freezer for at least 72 hours.
3. Strain through a coffee filter, then add a little of the simple syrup, to taste. Shake well.

Demerara Simple Syrup Directions
1. Boil the water in the saucepan and gently add the sugar. Turn down the heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon for 3&ndash5 minutes until all the sugar is dissolved, and the syrup is clear.
2. Turn off the heat and leave to cool. While still runny, pour into a sterilized mason jar or pour through a funnel into a sterilized glass bottle with stopper. Adding a spoonful of golden syrup to the cooled mixture will help keep it smooth. Store in the fridge for up to six weeks.


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