COFFEE NEWS ROUNDUP: WEEK ENDING AUGUST 17TH

A coffee and a croissant on an open magazine atop a wooden table

Another week, another batch of mildly diverting coffee-related news stories. 

Shall we begin?

Should Coffee Come With Cancer Warnings? California Says No - via NY Times

Well this is good news, although the whole thing should never have happened in the first place. 

Back in February, it was reported that California might require coffee companies to warn customers about the potential health hazards that go along with their delicious beverage—namely, the chemical acrylamide, which has been linked to cancer (in high doses, anyway).

Coffee cooling in the tray of a roaster, in motion

The lawsuit was successful, and unsurprisingly reams of coffee companies protested the move—for some reason, they were worried that slapping a great big label on a bag of coffee saying it might give you cancer would possibly put some people off. 

There's also the matter of science, which has found the levels of acrylamide in coffee to be, well, small. Undetectable, actually. The World Health Organization even says that coffee can protect against cancer.

Now, thankfully, California seems to have seen the light—the state's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment has proposed new regulation which "is based on extensive scientific evidence that drinking coffee has not been shown to increase the risk of cancer and may reduce the risk of some types of cancer." 

Hopefully this will put an end to the matter, as the whole thing was ridiculous in the first place, and possibly just a money-grab by cynical lawyers.

Read the full story here.

How the UK recycles millions of dirty old disposable coffee cups - via Wired UK

A white single-use coffee cup sits on a marble table

This is an fascinating article which takes you behind the scenes of two companies in Northern England, showing how coffee cups from many different chains, offices and elsewhere are recycled and turned into paper products, saving a whole lot of waste from reaching landfill (or the ocean). 

Relatively small scale it may be (600 billion cups are produced and sold globally every year), but this scheme shows the actual real world viability of recycling single use coffee cups, which most people assume are un-recyclable.

Starbucks and McDonald's are working on designing a cup that is both recyclable and compostable, which sounds odd and has been met with skepticism by campaigners.

Basically, just remember to bring your own cup. Or hey, how about just sit and enjoy your latte in the cafe like you're supposed to? 

Read the full story here.

Men attempted to rob Starbucks where armed police were on a coffee break - via Metro

The funniest thing about this story—the stupidity of the robbers notwithstanding—is the fact that it took place in Northampton, England.

Why does Northampton have an armed police unit?

Read the full story here.

Group of girls use hot coffee to fight off would-be abductor - via MLive

Coffee is versatile drink—it can be enjoyed in its original state; it can be mixed into a number of foodstuffs to create coffee cake, coffee ice cream, or coffee beer; the grounds can be composted, or used to grow carrots or a nice hydrangea

It can also be used to fend off an attacker, as a group of girls in Michigan found out when some guy allegedly tried to abduct one of them—her friends fought back by kicking and hitting the man, and also threw the coffee they had just purchased at a local Speedway gas station (and as we all know gas station coffee is hotter than the fires of Hades).

Impressive stuff.

Read the full story here.

Is coffee good for you?

California seems to have changed its mind on that question, which is good news.

Two hands each hold a cup of coffee, seen from above

And if you're looking to enhance your brain power alongside your morning caffeine hit, then some guy wants to sell you Neuro Coffee—for the low low price of $45 for a twelve ounce bag. Infused with something-something-antioxidant-science, the coffee is supposed to boost proteins in your brain that are linked to mental acuity and learning. Oh, and "general well being", according to the article. Specific!

They offer four varieties—Breakfast, Donut Shop, Bold & Dark, and Decaf—with no mention of where the coffee comes from, aside from that it's roasted in Texas.

Not exactly reassuring, then. I'll probably just stick to drinking coffee I can find information on (and afford).

Man reads a paper on a park bench
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