Blog - VitaCup

[Quiz] How Much Do You Know About Coffee?

[Quiz] How Much Do You Know About Coffee?

Coffee Lovers unite and test your coffee knowledge! Are you a coffee pro? Or are you an average joe? Now's the time to determine what you really know about coffee with our fun-fact coffee quiz - perfect for the middle of National Coffee Month.

Does your Coffee fun fact knowledge stand up to the test? Find out!

Did you get coffee bragging rights? If not, never fear. Exploring coffee is part of the fun, and you can always explore your love of coffee with us here at VitaCup.

Make sure to sign up for our loyalty program, no purchase necessary, to be entered to win our box a day giveaway going on throughout the whole month of August in celebration of National Coffee Month!

Let us know how you did in the comments below or on social media.

5 Key Benefits of MCT Oil & 5 Surprising Uses

5 Key Benefits of MCT Oil & 5 Surprising Uses

Are you missing out on MCT Oil benefits? If you aren't aware of what MCT Oil is or aren't sure if it's good for you or not, you probably will answer 'no' to that question.

To start off, MCT Oil stands for Medium-Chain Triglycerides, a form of saturated fatty acid that has numerous health benefits, ranging from improved cognitive function to better weight management. It is notably found in Coconut oil but can be detected in other foods and oils as well.

Top 5 Reasons You Should Have More MCT

  1. Weight Management
    MCT Oil consumption has been shown to have a positive impact on weight management compared to other oils (1). For so long we were convinced that saturated fats were all bad but in fact, that's not true. Now we know that MCT oils like coconut oil ideally should be consumed every day. MCTs, also called “MCFAs,” are one of the things experts believe to be missing from the Standard Western diet.
  2. More Energy
    MCT is stored in the liver and therefore is digested more efficiently than other fats. Because of this, they can give you more energy more quickly. MCT oil also triggers the production of ketones, a substance generated when fat is burned for energy (2).
  3. Combating Alzheimer's 
    MCT Oil is unique as it got its start as a medicine but is now a supplement available to everyone. One of the most promising uses for MCT oil is for treating dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s is believed to be a type of diabetes of the brain where the brain cells lose their ability to uptake glucose, their primary source of energy, and subsequently die. PET scans show that areas of the brain affected by Alzheimer’s readily take up ketones as an alternative fuel source (3). While ketogenic diets can be useful for dementia and Alzheimer’s patients, it is notoriously difficult to get them to change their eating habits. The additions of supplemental MCT oil might provide the solution.
  4. Digestive and Gastrointestinal Health
    MCT oil is beneficial for balancing bacteria in the gut which has positive effects on the digestive system, energy levels, and the ability to absorb vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat - which is perfect if you take vitamins at the time like in our Genius Blend. Medium-chain fats have been shown to help kill a wide range of viruses and bacteria that cause digestive issues such as candida, constipation, diarrhea and food poisoning (4).
  5. May Lower Risks of Heart Disease
    MCTs may be able to help reduce the risks of Heart Disease and mortality in general by helping to lower odds of someone becoming obese which is a substantial contributor to heart disease (5). MCTs most likely have this effect due to their anti-inflammatory properties, the fact they are easily digestible, help with curb hunger, and are readily converted into energy. 

5 Surprising Ways to Use MCT

  1. Bump up Your Baking
    Substitute MCT Oil for other oils when you bake! As a flavorful ingredient, this is a great way not to feel too bad about a dessert. Try it with a fudge where you would typically use coconut oil for a special melt in your mouth experience.
  2. Dress Up Your Salad
    MCT Oil has a unique flavor on its own so if you want to cut out some pesky calories and try something different with some good saturated fats, try giving your favorite salad a facelift with a drizzle of MCT.
  3. Replace Your Cooking Oil
    Why use ordinary cooking oil like Olive Oil when you could be using MCT Oil with all of it’s added benefits? Kick start your morning by cooking your breakfast with MCT Oil instead of greasing your pan with your standard cooking spray or oil.  Use MCT Oil instead to get a little extra energy and wake up your metabolism.
  4. Infuse Your Coffee
    Our newest vitamin-infused flavor is called Genius Blend and it has MCT infused right in. It combines your daily caffeine, vitamins, Cinnamon, Turmeric, and MCT Oil! Because we have done all the work of infusing the MCT Oil into the coffee you won’t have to worry about measuring or not mixing the MCT Oil well enough and having it separate before you are done drinking it.
  5. Twist Up Your Smoothies
    Using a high powered blender you can blend in anywhere from half to a full teaspoon of MCT Oil into your favorite smoothie. A high powered blender is key as will ensure the MCT Oil is fully blended in therefore taking longer to separate.

Whether you are looking for something new to try to give you a little more energy and kick-start your metabolism, or you just want to see what all the buzz is about we hope you learned a little, maybe even a lot.

Resources

(1) St-Onge, Marie-Pierre et al. “Medium Chain Triglyceride Oil Consumption as Part of a Weight Loss Diet Does Not Lead to an Adverse Metabolic Profile When Compared to Olive Oil.” Journal of the American College of Nutrition27.5 (2008): 547–552. Print.
(2) E, Hanczakowska & Szewczyk, A & Świątkiewicz, Małgorzata & Okoń, Krzysztof. (2013). Short- and medium-chain fatty acids as a feed supplement for weaning and nursery pigs. Polish journal of veterinary sciences. 16. 647-54. 10.2478/pjvs-2013-0092.
(3) Page KA, Williamson A, Yu N et al. (2009) Medium-chain fatty acids improve cognitive function in intensively treated type 1 diabetic patients and support in vitro synaptic transmission during acute hypoglycemia. Diabetes 58, 1237-1244.
(4) Boateng, Laurene et al. “Coconut Oil and Palm Oil’s Role in Nutrition, Health and National Development: A Review.” Ghana Medical Journal 50.3 (2016): 189–196. Print.
(5) Eyres, Laurence et al. “Coconut Oil Consumption and Cardiovascular Risk Factors in Humans.” Nutrition Reviews 74.4 (2016): 267–280. PMC. Web. 8 Aug. 2018.

    What's The House Blend at Different International Coffee Houses?

    What's The House Blend at Different International Coffee Houses?

    We love our Gourmet House Blend.  It is a classic medium roast that is deliciously balanced, and that makes it the perfect crowd pleaser. Our Gourmet Decaf Blend uses the same roast, but with a decaffeinated bean. We like our Gourmet House Blend so much that it's the base of our extremely popular Genius Blend coffee which just adds MCT, Cinnamon, and Turmeric.

    Now, the house of VitaCup does our Gourmet House Blend coffee differently than other houses; we add our essential vitamin blend to each cup and that gives it an unmistakable flair. But just because it's a standard coffee for our house doesn't mean it has to be basic!

    That got us wondering - what's the signature "house blend" or preparation at different coffee houses around the world?  Check out these interesting coffee trends from international coffee houses in celebration of National Coffee Month!

    THE NORTH AMERICAN HOUSE COFFEE

    Canada

    Coffee is King, or should we say Queen, in Canada. Coffee is the number one consumed beverage for adults, with 71% of Canadians saying they had a coffee yesterday and a consumption rate higher than even tap water.  Canadians drink as much coffee in the house as outside of the home - about a barrel's worth a year! Read this fun Canadian Coffee infographic for more facts.

    Mexico

    VitaCup's House Blend and Breakfast Blend Both contain beans sourced from Mexico, a great region for growing high-quality coffee beans. A lot of people are familiar with a spiked Mexican Coffee that has a tequila kick. We even shared our favorite recipe on National Tequila day & Cinco De Mayo.  But in Mexico, you're  likely to discover a very special preparation called Café de Olla. This is prepared with a traditional earthen clay pot that imparts a unique flavor. Add some cinnamon and panela, or piloncillo (an unrefined, whole cane sugar) and it's muy delicioso!

    THE SOUTH AMERICAN HOUSE COFFEE

    Colombia

    Some of the best beans in the world are from Colombia, just like the beans we select to use in our French Roast. So it's no wonder that Colombia has a serious coffee culture. While many Colombians are ordering a sophisticated cup of coffee, most Colombians are drinking a more commonly found cup of coffee, the tinto.  The Tinto is a long, black coffee that is sweet, flavorful, and sometimes even has a piece of South American Cheese floating on top of it!

    Brazil

    The traditional cup in Brazil is likely to be a cafezinho, or "little coffee".  A lot of people might mistake this small, strong cup of coffee for espresso, but it's made with traditional Brazilian coffee beans, like the beans you'll find mixed with our beans from Mexico in our Gourmet House Blend. It's prepared to be super sweet, mixing the sugar and water before you even add the coffee and straining through a cloth into a tiny cup of sweet sunshine!

    THE EUROPEAN HOUSE COFFEE

    Netherlands

    The Netherlands is the #1 biggest coffee drinking country in the world, drinking 2.5 times more coffee than we do here in the United States. Dutch coffee is the original cold brew, using cold water instead of hot water for somewhere between 3-12 hours in a Dutch Coffee maker. The big difference between cold brew and true Dutch Coffee is the brewing method, though. Cold brew is a "set it and forget it" method where the grinds sit with the water until strained, whereas Dutch Coffee has cold water consistently dripping onto the freshly ground coffee, yielding an even fuller body.  

    Malta

    In Malta, you can get Kafè, a concoction that is small and unique, just like the island nation, itself. This standout aromatic brew is flavored with rosewater and cloves! 

    Read more about other European coffee favorites here.

    THE ASIAN HOUSE COFFEE

    Japan
    Japan hits some extremes of coffee styles.  You can get the slow preparation that gives the Dutch coffee style brew a run for its money as a faster, but still delicious, cold preparation option.  They pour hot water over ice with a slow drip through a cloth filter.  In contrast, Japan is also where canned coffee's popularity took off.  Ready to drink kan kōhī is found just about everywhere including vending machines and convenience stores. 

    Singapore

    The kopitiam (or coffee shop) phenomena has hit Southeast Asia, but they've given it their own style.  The shops aren't just a destination for a cup of coffee, they're a regular social hub.  They are destinations for meeting up for a game of checkers, enjoying beers in the afternoon, or noshing on simple meals through the day.  The Singapore beans are often wok-fried in butter or even lard, and the coffee is strained through a cloth and sweetened with evaporated milk. Yum!

    THE MIDDLE EASTERN HOUSE COFFEE

    Iran

    In Farsi they say "gahveh" for their cup of coffee - and they love to drink a Turkish style coffee with a side of psychic insight.  It's a social party custom to drink a thick, dark and unsweetened cup of gahveh and have your fortune read while you sip based on the way the brew leaves rings in the cup.  Read this fun blog post all about coffee culture in Iran.

    Lebanon

    The Lebanese use the traditional Arabic coffee that is a strong Brew like the Turkish coffee you'll find in Iran but they add their own flair to their coffee.  They use the traditional Arabic coffee addition of Cardamom, but they prefer a sweeter coffee than most of the area and also, sometimes, add a few drops of orange blossom water to their coffee, too.

    THE AFRICAN HOUSE COFFEE

    Ethiopia

    Ethiopia is another world-renowned coffee growing region. Coffee makes up 28% of the Ethiopian export market.  In Ethiopia coffee is brewed in traditional clay pots and served in intimate, popular coffee houses called buna bets. It's often prepared with sugar OR salt - and the salt is a nice addition to their traditional coffee side, popcorn! 

    Tanzania

    In Tanzania, you'll find some of the spice islands, including Zanzibar where you'll find not only high-quality coffee beans but delicious and exotic preparations. The coffee in Zanzibar often includes cardamom, which is fairly common throughout Africa. However, they also add other spices - most commonly ginger, but you can also find additions like clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, and turmeric!

    We hope you enjoyed going on a tour of household coffees, international coffee cultures, and worldwide coffee recipes with us. 

    Do you have a favorite country to get coffee from?  Tell us in the comments below!