What is the healthiest coffee maker?

The healthiest coffee maker

Recently, more and more coffee drinkers have become conscious of the health benefits and side effects that a cup of joe can have on you. And while the filters you use and the blend you choose can affect the strength and healthfulness of your final brew, many are shocked to learn that their plastic coffee maker could be responsible for leaking chemicals into their drink.

Many plastics are produced using an old technique that dates back to the early 60s, which relies on the use of an industrial chemical called Bisphenol A, or BPA for short. Multiple studies have shown links between BPA consumption and infertility or even cancer.

Fortunately, many of the companies that manufacture plastic coffee makers have begun removing BPA plastics from their products. These products usually carry the BPA-free label, which indicates they are assembled using non-BPA plastics. However, that doesn’t mean they’re not just switching out BPA with another harmful chemical. And if your current plastic coffee machine doesn’t have the BPA-free label, there’s just no way of knowing how much contaminated liquid you drink in with every cup!

The only way to keep these dangerous chemicals out of your coffee is by using a coffee maker that contains no plastic parts. The good news is that there are tons of options if you’re looking for a non-plastic coffee maker that’s free from BPA. Here are a few of the healthiest coffee makers for true coffee lovers, made from non-plastic materials and free of BPA.

The Chemex

Coffee maker Chemex
Source: SIX CUP CLASSIC CHEMEX®,  CHEMEX® Coffeemaker

There are several reasons why the Chemex has maintained a spot as one of the most popular manual pour-overs since its introduction in 1941. First, it features an award-winning hourglass design that is timeless. In fact, a version of the Chemex is on display at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Second, the Chemex is made of glass, with a sophisticated wooden handle wrapped neatly around its body. If you prefer, there’s a newer redesign with a glass handle. Finally (and most importantly), in the hands of a skilled barista, it produces some of the cleanest coffee you’ll ever taste.

The Chemex takes a degree of skill and familiarity with your roasts to get the best brews. The Chemex will produce a great cup of coffee no matter what roast you choose, but it’s particularly suited for light to light-medium roasts.

You can purchase the company’s proprietary bonded paper filters, available in natural and bleached variations. However, there’s a wide selection of filter alternatives produced by third-parties that are compatible with the Chemex. So, if you prefer a thicker coffee with more oils, you can always purchase a compatible metal filter online.

Hario V60

Coffe Maker Hario V60
Source: Hario V60 Glass Coffee Dripper Olive Wood – Hario UK

The Chemex is a beautiful product, but it comes at a premium price tag, which makes it unaffordable for many people. The Hario V60 brews excellent coffee at a fraction of the cost of a Chemex.

There are several variants of the V60, giving you a great selection of looks and colors to pick from. Naturally, the cheapest option is the clear plastic design, made from solid, BPA-free plastic. However, for just a bit more, you can get the classic white ceramic, stainless steel, or glass models, which are designed so no plastics come into contact with your hot coffee.

Generally, coffee is best brewed at a stable 195 to 205 Fahrenheit. The heat retention capabilities of ceramic make it one of the best materials to keep your coffee at that ideal temperature range.

As with all pour-overs, the V60 isn’t the right product if you’re looking for something that you can turn on and leave to percolate. Making a great brew with the V60 will require attention and care. The effort is well worth it if you’re a fan of clean, flavorful coffee (who isn’t?).

Tons of research shows that drinking coffee regularly in the long-term is beneficial for your health. But those benefits could be canceled out by the dangers of brewing coffee in a plastic coffee maker. If the Chemex or Hario V60 aren’t for you, don’t fret. There’s a huge variety of non-plastic coffee makers on the market; with a little research, you’re bound to find the perfect one.

Are Plastic Coffee Makers Bad for You?

Plastic Coffee Makers

So you’re convinced that you can live longer if you sip a cup of coffee religiously every day, as shown by many studies. And so you carefully handpick your the best types of coffee like Fairtrade and organic products every time. But have you thought of other ways through which toxins can end up in your morning cups of coffee and undermine your plans to live longer?

BPA (Byphenol A) is no stranger to us. It’s a toxin that’s always lurking around in our kitchen and can make its way into your coffee cups through your plastic coffee maker.

If your joy of owning a new plastic coffee brewer is being dampened by a weird plastic taste in the coffee, you should be worried about more than just the plastic taste. You could be downing significant amounts of BPA, which has been linked to many serious health issues like fertility issues, high blood pressure, endocrine disorders, and certain types of cancer.

How Plastic Coffee Makers Can Lace Your Coffee with BPA

Plastic coffee makers can release BPA into your brew when the plastic holder containing the drink is heated up. The results of a certain study show that plastic bottles release higher amounts of BPA into their contents when filled with boiling water. A similar result occurs with the plastic containers and tubing of coffee makers coming in contact with boiling water.

Even under normal room temperatures, plastic containers can still release significant amounts of BPA. In another study, higher levels of BPA were recorded in the urine samples of participants who drank cold liquids from polycarbonate bottles for a week.

Does Your Coffee Maker Leak BPA?

Many manufacturers of plastic kitchen products that are used to prepare and serve food and drinks have made efforts to remove BPA from their products. Some makers of plastic coffee makers market their products as BPA-free options. However, these claims are usually not verified by independent labs, so there’s no way of guaranteeing their authenticity. In other instances, manufacturers simply substitute BPA for other equally toxic materials like BPS (Byhenol S).

So, how can you tell if your coffee maker or espresso machine contains BPA? In some instances, it can be quite obvious with your coffee having a strong plastic aftertaste. But your coffee can still contain significant amounts of BPA even without leaving a plastic aftertaste.

Other Healthier Ways to Drink Coffee

Since it’s quite difficult to tell if your coffee maker is leaking BPA or not, it’s advisable to avoid coffee makers with any plastic parts, whether it’s their filter, container, or tubing. Most single-serve and drip brewing coffee makers are made of plastic parts, so you might want to ditch them altogether for healthier ways to make coffee. 

You can try coffee making systems such as those of glass, porcelain, and stainless steel. You can also opt for portable French press coffee makers that come with glass carafes and stainless steel mesh filters. Other alternative methods like pouring hot water over grounded coffee beans and filtering out the water using unbleached coffee meshes are also much healthier.

These alternatives may require more efforts compared to single-serve plastic coffee makers, but they’ll help ensure that your morning cups of coffee as healthy as they ought to be.

6 Incredible Free Apps for a Good Night’s Sleep

Apps for a Good Night's Sleep

These days, it’s easy to get stressed out, and it can be difficult to get a good night’s sleep as a result. You may be tempted to pay for apps that will help you wind down, but you don’t have to: You can get some excellent ones for free.

1. HEADSPACE 

This app is absolutely incredible. It offers “sleepcasts” that help you visualize a relaxing experience as you’re about to doze off. You’ll have plenty of resources if you simply use the free version, but you could pay $95 per year to have access to over forty themed meditation courses.

2. CALM

Calm is an excellent app with wonderful sleep stories. You can choose the free version, which provides you with plenty of guided meditations, or you can purchase the premium version for $70 per year and have access to more meditations and sleep stories. Honestly, the free version is just as good, although there is a bit less variety.

3. PZIZZ

The free version of this app allows you to set a timer for yourself before you go to bed. It will play beautiful “dreamscapes” for you as you’re dozing off.  You can choose from a wide variety of soothing sounds to listen to as you’re sleeping if you pay $60 per year.

4. SLUMBER

This is an excellent app because it provides you with plenty of bedtime stories, sleep meditations, and, if you’re in the mood, it even gives you the option to listen to the sound of a Jacuzzi as you rest your head on your pillow and escape into dreamland. The caveat is that you can only listen to around ten episodes. This is more than enough for a good night’s rest, but you can hear more if you pay $40 per year.

5. THE SLEEP CYCLE

Thankfully, this app is completely free. You can use it to track your sleep patterns and get tips for improving the quality of your rest.

6. SLEEPIEST

This is a great app for parents. It offers plenty of soothing bedtime stories for your little ones. If you’re having some trouble winding down yourself, it also provides guided meditations and relaxing white noise to help you drift off to sleep. There is a free version available, which offers more than enough. However, you can purchase the premium version for $100 per year.

Sometimes, it can be tempting to dish out your hard-earned cash on sleep apps, but the truth is, you don’t have to. You can simply use the free versions, go to bed at the same time every night, and maybe even take a bath, pour yourself a bit of lavender tea, or do some relaxing yoga poses if you’re having trouble winding down.

It can be extremely difficult to get the rest you need but doing everything you can to ensure a good night’s sleep can improve so many areas of your life. Sleeping for a minimum of seven hours per night has so many benefits. These include boosting your immune system and improving your productivity.

3 Easy Ways to Be More Sustainable and Save Money in 2021

It’s often a fact of life, doing the right thing means paying more.  But did you know that doing the right thing for the planet can actually save you money? Read on for 3 super easy ways to be more sustainable and save money in 2021.

1. Save On Single-Use Plastics

When you add up the cost of all the single-use plastics and consumables we buy it’s easy to see why ditching them saves you money.

Think about the packs of bottled water we pick up at the store without thinking.  They take decades to breakdown, if they break down at all. One reusable bottle topped up with tap water will more than pay for itself, fast.

Looking for reusable alternatives to single-use items is sustainable and money-saving.

Here are more swaps that save:

  • Swap paper towels for rags made from old t-shirts and bed linen
  • Swap facial wipes for washcloths
  • Swap take-out coffee cups for a reusable one and some coffee shops will give you a discount whilst you throw less into landfill.

2. Stop Your Money Going Down the Drain

Global warming signs have highlighted just how precious water is. Whilst some countries have way too much, others have too little, so letting what we have just slip away down the drain doesn’t sit right anymore.

Did you know that saving water can also save you money?

  • Collect rainwater in a barrel and use it to water your garden. You may never need to use a hose again.
  • Only run the dishwasher or do laundry when you have a full load. The machines often use the same amount of water regardless of how much you put in, so you’ll save water and money by running appliances less often.
  • Shower instead of having a bath. Baths use 36 gallons of water and showers much less.
  • Install water-conserving showerheads and faucets as an easy way to use less water and reduce your bills.

3. Eat Smart and Save Money

More and more people are choosing organic food because organic farmers don’t use pesticides and they use less water and fertilizer. They’re making a great sustainable choice.

The problem is one look in the organic aisle at the grocery store will tell you that buying organic is expensive.

But if you shop smart you can save money and eat green greens!

  • Whether you have a window box or a strip of lawn, you can save money by growing your own herbs and vegetables.  By growing your favorite produce, you can buy less at the grocery store.
  • Freeze or pickle leftovers instead of throwing them away.
  • Buy seasonally. Produce in season is often less expensive than produce that’s had to be imported out of season. Seasonal produce has probably traveled less far so you get fresher food with less of an environmental impact and keep more money in your pocket.
  • Visit farmer’s markets. Buying directly can mean cheaper organic food because the grocery store isn’t taking a cut.

It’s easier to make impactful changes when both you and the environment benefit from them. So practice some of these easy ways to be sustainable and watch your savings grow.

5 Simple Steps to Make Your Dreams Come True

Make Dreams Come True

Having a dream often seems like something we only get to think about. But that’s not true. Many people achieve their dream, whether that dream is to be famous, to be a veterinarian, or to be a business owner. All of these things are possible. If your dream is physically possible, then it’s personally possible. The only thing in between is time and effort. Here are the five simple steps to make your dream come true.

1) Define Your Dream 

Start by really defining your dream. Narrow it down to a real job title you can hold, trip you can take, or set of actions you can complete that will equal reaching your dream.  Write down what your dream is and who you will be when you achieve it. If your dream is a career goal, define your role and how you might get there. If your dream is to take a trip or have an experience, write down exactly the experience you want to have so you can make plans to experience it. When you define a dream in concrete terms, it becomes a reachable goal you can effectively work toward every day. 

2) Define the Steps

Next, lay out what it will take to achieve your defined dream. Write it down as a set of necessary or logical steps. For example, to become a doctor you will need to attend medical school. To write a novel, you will need to write several pages a week. If you want to be famous, start by creating online content and building a small internet audience. Any human goal is possible when you know the steps. 

3) Believe Every Day

Don’t let your dream start to feel distant. Think about your dream every day. Nurture the dream, develop your vision of what you want. Then find one way every day to make that goal a little closer, whether that’s studying medical textbooks, writing a page of your novel, or building your own podcast. This keeps your dream real and reachable. 

4) Value the Small Decisions

Don’t underestimate the power of small decisions. Just waking up and choosing to embrace each day with energy will get you closer to your dream. Reward yourself for choosing an hour of study instead of taking a nap. Value yourself for practicing your craft or researching the next step. Even if it doesn’t feel like you’re making big progress, a little progress every day will bring you ever-closer to making that dream come true.

5) Take on Challenges & Mistakes as Lessons

Last but not least, don’t allow yourself to be discouraged by challenges or even mistakes. Everyone experiences setbacks and no one pursuing a dream does so without a little trial-and-error. Take every challenge as a learning experience. As long as you can make another plan, you can learn and keep working toward your dream.

Making your dreams come true may sound like a fairy-tale today, but in just a few weeks of actualizing and planning to approach your dream can make it feel much closer within your grasp. With a few months or years of forward-momentum, your dream can become reality.