Perk up // Splurge

In pursuit of the perfect cup of coffee

By Melissa Wilson

On Wednesday March 9th, 2011

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To brew the perfect cuppa before you’re out of your pajamas, you’ll need a swanky espresso machine (be prepared to spend at least $500), a solid grinder and a tamper to pack down the beans

Rancilio

 

Rancilio Silvia Espresso and Cappuccino Maker Ltd. Edition Red, $1,100

tamper

 
Rattleware Tamper, $30

 

Kicking Horse

 

Kicking Horse Cliff Hanger Espresso, $14/lb

grinder

 
 
Baratza Virtuoso Burr Coffee Grinder, $220

 

 


The Law

fairtradecertifiedHow do you know your fair trade coffee is actually fair to the farmers who grow it? You don’t. There’s no legal requirement that a product be certified to be labelled as fair trade. But try looking to Fairtrade Canada, which ensures any products sold in Canada bearing the internationally recognized Fairtrade symbols are up to code.

Its purpose, says Michael Zelmer, director of communications, is to clearly lay out the standards so that consumers can easily identify a product that’s okay by them (look for the “Fairtrade certified” badge), and understand what that means. A fair trade product lacking the badge could adhere to fair trade principles but not be certified with any agency, or it could be using a legally meaningless buzzword to sell coffee, so buyer beware.

The Style

Spilled coffee on yourself again? First, blot the spot with a wet cloth. Then use a stain remover, or try vinegar, baking soda, club soda or regular soap and water. But take expensive fabrics, like silk or cashmere, straight to the cleaners. “Don’t try to get it out of silk. You’ll get a water stain, which is actually harder to get out than the coffee,” says Meloney Walters of The Preeners dry cleaners, nestled below the TD Centre.

The Stats

  • 80%
    The reduction in risk for cirrhosis of the liver for those drinking 3–4 cups of coffee a day
  • 5
    The number of cups of coffee per day that will make men five times less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease
  • 45
    Minutes your brainpower is boosted after downing a cup of Joe
  • A bajillion
    The number of “coffee will kill you and your loved ones” studies that have been discredited over the last 50 years. Most recent studies indicate neutral or positive benefits to drinking coffee

Pro tip

Don’t store your coffee in the fridge or freezer. The cold and damp will damage the structure of the beans. It’s best to store it in a sealed container in a cool, dark, dry place.