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Purity Coffee on All You Need to Know About Coffee

Purity Coffee on All You Need to Know About Coffee

Child: Welcome to my Mommy’s podcast. This podcast is sponsored by The Ready State. If you’re at all like me, you might have perpetual stiffness and pain in your neck and shoulders from years of working, carrying kids and all of the demands of parenting. Or sore hips from too much sitting or multiple pregnancies.

Child: Welcome to my Mommy’s podcast.

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Katie: Hello, and welcome to “The Wellness Mama Podcast.” I’m Katie from wellnessmama.com. And this episode is all about one of my favorite drinks, coffee, and we are going to cut through some of the confusion about whether it is good for you or not, and how much, if there’s a dose-dependent response, and the best way to get the most from your coffee.

I am here with Andrew Salisbury, who is the founder of over 14 companies in the last 25 years in 6 countries, including Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Ireland, and the USA. His latest company, Purity Coffee, is a project of passion and a favorite company of mine. And at Purity, they are very health-focused, and like some of my other favorite companies, they test everything for quality and they’re very transparent about the results.

I personally believe that switching out the quality of different foods and drinks is one of the easiest things we can do to improve health and wellness, especially when it’s something we consume anyway. And since coffee is one of the most largely consumed beverages in the world, I thought this was an important place to start. I know that you’re really going to enjoy this episode if you are a coffee-drinker like I am.

So, without further ado, let’s join Andrew. Andrew, welcome. Thank you for being here.

Andrew: Thanks a lot for having me on.

Katie: Well, we get to talk about one of my favorite topics today, which is coffee and I’m drinking coffee right now. It’s the most morning beverage for me and I know that it’s something that gets talked about quite a bit in the wellness world and there’s a little bit of debate about it, but in general, we know that there are some benefits attached to coffee. Of course, it’s one of the most loved drinks in the world and many of the people listening are quite big fans. But to start, I would love to just kind of start broad and talk about coffee in general and what we know about, I don’t want to say the benefits of coffee, but the constituents of coffee and how they affect the body.

Andrew: Yes. It’s sort of interesting. Most people are not aware that coffee is the number one source of antioxidants in the American diet, which I think is when I first discovered this, I thought…I was a little bit blown away. There’s so much talk about things like blueberries and kale and eating the rainbow and all these things are very, very valid. But if you’re a coffee drinker, you get most of your antioxidants from coffee because coffee is actually very high in polyphenols and very high in antioxidants. And it’s something that most of us, you know, 164 million Americans will get up this morning and drink a cup of coffee. So that’s perhaps one of the most interesting facts I find about coffee

Katie: That is fascinating. And from what I’ve read it is by far one of the most consumed beverages in the world after water. But the majority of the world consumes coffee relatively regularly, right?

Andrew: That’s right. I like to get my water from coffee, so my wife’s telling me all the time to drink more water, but I prefer to get it from my coffee. But yeah, absolutely. It’s one of the most popular beverages. In fact, one of the reasons why we’re so interested in this focus on coffee and health. Because if you think about something that people do every single day, 164 million Americans drink coffee, if you can make a change to something that people do repeatedly, then you’re going to have a real impact on overall health and longevity. And that’s one of the reasons why we’re so focused on this. We don’t need to have behavior change. We don’t need to persuade people to drink something that they’re unfamiliar with. Just get a better quality coffee.

Katie: Yeah, I absolutely agree. I’m a big fan when it comes to health of changes that can either be made one time and then have lasting effects where that you can change something about your routine like you said, that you’re already doing, so you’re not having to add anything. There’s no effort. On an unrelated note, I love this thing. I sleep with every night called the chiliPAD and it goes underneath my sheet and it keeps my bed cooler. And we know that from the data that sleeping at a certain temperature is beneficial for sleep quality. But rather than cooling the whole house, I can just cool my bed is energy efficient and now that it’s set up, I don’t have to think about it.

So it’s a very easy health addition because it’s not something that requires any effort. And I feel like that’s what we’re talking about. With coffee or with any food or anything that you upgrade, when you improve the quality of something that you’re consuming anyway, it doesn’t take any extra effort, but you get extra benefits. And I’ve read before, I don’t know if this is correct, but that coffee is the largest source of antioxidants in most of the American diets. For most people, it’s probably the biggest source of antioxidants. Is that true from what you’ve read?

Andrew: It is. If you look at the ORAC table, which is the measurement of antioxidants in the diet, you’re going to find the first 30 or 40 things that are very high in antioxidants, spices and those are things like peppermints and oregano and just various spices because we don’t consume those in enough quantity that it’s going to make a huge impact even though they’re very high. But then further down from there and very high up on that table is coffee, the different ways you would brew coffee, cacao that sort of thing. Chocolate and coffee are the two highest in antioxidants that people consume on a regular basis.

Katie: Got it. And then what else is present in coffee? Because I think most people just think of coffee for the taste and for the caffeine, but there’s a lot of other stuff going on when it comes to coffee, right?

Andrew: That’s right. When we started, purely our focus was we wanted to make every decision based on health. And so that meant the absence of bad stuff. So, the pesticides and molds and things like that that we want to avoid, but the presence of more of the good qualities in coffee and the good qualities that the products that we want more of, compounds we want more of are the antioxidants, the CGAS, the polyphenols. But inside of that, there’s various other compounds that are beneficial in coffee that are created either in the farm with green bean, also through roasting, but we also want to dial-up. So chlorogenic acids is the number one compound that we look for. Then there’s other things like trigonelline, chlorogenic lactones are important and there’s just various… It’s a bit of a juggling act. If you know what to look for, you know what to roast for, then you can maximize those compounds. But you need to be very conscious, how you roast the coffee to make sure you get more of those compounds.

Katie: Gotcha. And those people aren’t roasting their own coffee and probably not even aware of the process of roasting the coffee. Does this vary based on the types of coffee that people would be familiar with? For instance, I know I’ve heard of like dark roast and light roast and all these different terms. Do those have actual like defined meanings and does that affect what the finished coffee will have in it?

Andrew: Absolutely. Almost every decision you make with coffee all the way from the coffee cherry and where it’s grown, to the way it’s processed, to the way it’s roasted, to the way it’s shipped, and the way you actually serve it in the end, will have an impact on the health benefits of coffee. So, it’s actually quite complex. And the starting point is that the chlorogenic acids that you want in coffee, they’re highest in the green bean when you haven’t roasted the coffee, but they can vary wildly from plantation to plantation, region to region, farm to farm. And there’s no sort of great predictor of what coffee is going to be highest in chlorogenic acids on the farm. So, really, the first step is you have to lab test coffee from around the world and pick the ones that are highest in chlorogenic acids. And then the roasting protocol, the way you manage the roast, that’s a balancing act between heat and time. And the darker you roast a coffee, the more you take away the antioxidants in the coffee. So very dark roasted coffee has 5%, 10% of the antioxidants that you could have in a coffee that’s roasted correctly.

Katie: Oh, wow. That’s a huge difference for sure. And I know just from being in the studies myself and reading PubMed pretty regularly that there are a lot of studies related to coffee consumption, to caffeine consumption, to the antioxidants in coffee. And I know that this is something you monitor closely as well. So what are we actually seeing in the research in the literature right now when it comes to these components of coffee and how they might be beneficial?

Andrew: Yeah. And there’s been some amazing studies that have come out recently, but the thing that we’re seeing is a reversal from around 15 years ago when there were cancer-warning labels or the idea that the coffee could potentially be cancer-causing. And those are all based on studies that were done in the ’50s and ’60s, where they didn’t sort for the fact of the people who’re drinking coffee were also smokers and drinking a lot of alcohol and not exercising. And when they sorted for those cofounders, what they found out is the results actually reversed.

And so the World Health Organization came out about four years ago, five years ago to say that it has a positive benefit on the lowering the risk of six forms of cancer. So basically, the studies are coming out stronger and stronger in terms of all of the health benefits of coffee as they link to things like the prevention of type 2 diabetes, liver health, heart disease. And again, a lot of that seems to be linked to the high antioxidant quality of the coffee.

Katie: Gotcha. And I know those are obviously big topics right now in the health world because we’re seeing a rise and pretty much all of these. Before we go any further, I want to also talk about are there any massive downsides to be aware of when it comes to coffee consumption? Like I think of a lot of things in life sort of on a bell curve of there’s a sweet spot of consumption. Is that true with coffee as well?

Andrew: I think that the thing you have to think about here is the…is a lot of people conflate coffee with caffeine. It’s just a delivery system for caffeine. And it really isn’t. The antioxidants are the things that are the most important part about coffee when it comes to health benefits. But the problem is you are drinking the caffeine and there’s a sort of diminishing marginal returns on the amount of caffeine that you should drink.

So depending on whether your… People are broken into fast metabolizers of caffeine or slow metabolizers of caffeine, and if you’re a slow metabolizer of caffeine, it means it stays in your body for longer and you’re going to be the sort of person that has a coffee at let’s say mid-day and has problems sleeping. I’m the sort of person that can have double espresso and go to sleep at night because I’m a fast metabolizer of caffeine. So caffeine is the thing that you really want to watch out for.

So when it comes to any detrimental effects of coffee, you really just have to watch your body and how it reacts to the caffeine in the coffee. The recommended intake of coffee is between four and six cups, but then there’s no reason why you wouldn’t switch to decaf to get more of the polyphenols, more of the antioxidants in the coffee and not have any of the downsides. I hope that answers your question.

Katie: It does. When it comes to being a fast metabolizer of caffeine versus a slow metabolizer, is that it all related to someone’s caffeine tolerance or is that a genetic thing that’s separate of how much coffee your body is used to consuming?

Andrew: It’s actually a genetic thing. You can do, say, a 23andMe and find out if you’re a faster or a slow metabolizer of coffee. But probably you already know which one you are because if you’re sensitive to a cup of coffee, if you’re someone listening to this and you realize you have to be very conscious of the amount of coffee you consume before you get either nervousness or jitters, then you’re a slow metabolizer of caffeine. And if you can drink a lot of coffee and it doesn’t seem to bother you and just gives you steady energy, then you’re a fast metabolizer.

Katie: Got it. Okay. Well, I know it’s good news for a lot of people listening and for me as well because I love coffee, that, in general, the data points to it being healthy, especially if we know what to look for and we’re consuming it in the right amounts and correctly. And I’m also a big fan. I would guess I’m a slow metabolizer of caffeine, so I try to limit my caffeine, but then I’ll switch to decaf just because I love the taste of black coffee.

Andrew: Absolutely.

Katie: Yeah. And I think that’s a great way to balance it. I also, just personally I’m a big fan of not doing anything every single day. So I don’t take supplements on the weekend, I don’t drink coffee every day. Or if I do, I’ll drink decaf just to mix it up because I don’t want my body to fully adapt to anything. And so that’s another trick that I’ll sometimes use to make sure I can still consume coffee and that it’s effective and efficient when I do consume it versus developing that tolerance.

Andrew: Yeah. Okay. Great. What’s the sort of decaf that you drink as well though? There’s a couple of methods of the caffeinated you’d want to avoid, which is the chemical methods and I’m not sure which method your coffee uses when you drink a coffee. But Swiss Water, or critical CO2 is the best two ways to remove caffeine from the coffee and then you still keep the antioxidants.

Katie: Okay. That’s good to know. So I drink your decaf coffee, but I would love to explain that for everyone listening. Because I know this was something I didn’t understand for a really long time. So explain that there’s various methods we can use to get the caffeine out of coffee or reduce it truly. Because it’s not completely gone, but explain how those different methods work and which ones we want to look out for.

Andrew: Okay. So our focus was, in some of the decisions that we make are relatively easy to make and some are more complex. And this was a relatively easy decision to make. There’s two methods. The main two methods that uses chemicals to leach the caffeine or take the caffeine out of the coffee. We decided to move away from those very quickly. And the reason is that we just didn’t want to introduce chemicals into a product that was already so good for you. And we found that there was leaching of the chlorogenic acids in that process. So they were ruled out almost immediately.

The best method we found is Swiss Water method, which works through an activated charcoal filter by heating the water that the coffee sits in. And then an activated charcoal filter traps the caffeine particles which is a little bit larger than the other particles. And then the water is reintroduced into the coffee and you’re getting natural water process to decaffeinate the coffee. Critical CO2 is another process, but it’s only done in Germany right now. And when we tested the two, we didn’t see a noticeable difference in chlorogenic acids. So we think both would work well. The most convenient method is the Swiss Water for us.

Katie: Got it. Okay. So that’s what people need to know if they’re looking for decaf. And I know there are people who for various health reasons have to avoid or severely limit caffeine. So, of course, that’s an easy way to still get the benefits and the antioxidants without getting too much caffeine. Also, I’d love to talk about mold and coffee because this is a topic that has become increasingly… Just talked about increasingly in the health world especially. And it seems like there’s a lot of debate and controversy when it comes to the potential of mold and mycotoxins in coffee. So what’s your take on that and how do we know if something that’s present in coffee?

Andrew: Well, I think the first thing is that, unfortunately, there is a lot of mold in coffees. But we’ve never seen the numbers that have been quoted in some of the studies. Some of the studies that we’re looking at show 50% and above. That’s not what we found when we tested the top 49 coffees in the U.S. But we still found 20%, 22% had mold, yeast or ochratoxin A. So it’s a big enough problem where you need to be aware of it. And it’s a big enough problem that, you know, with relatively easy solve that you should make sure that you don’t have mold in your coffee.

I hope it’s a standard that all coffee producers will pick up pretty quickly because it really is a major health issue and it’s very easy to solve for. The problem is that the mold arise in your coffee in lots of different ways and so you really got to make sure that all the way through the production process of coffee, there’s no way that mold can develop. So it’s not one easy fix. It doesn’t just occur on the farm and it can occur in the roaster and it can occur when it’s being shipped.

And there’s lots of reasons, unfortunately, why mold occurs in these different stages. If I want to drill down a little bit, one of the areas that mold happens in the very first place is the fact that with industrial farming, what happens is you’ve got rows of coffee trees and those coffees on the tree, those coffee cherries will ripen at different times. So you could pick a tree that has perfectly ripe cherries at the same time as underripe green cherries, and there’s overripe black cherries on that coffee tree.

With industrial farming, what they’ll do is they’ll take a tractor and they’ll take it all the way through the rows of coffee trees, scraping up all of the cherries, whether they’re ripe or underripe or overripe, leaves and twigs. And then their job is to sort it afterwards and to remove the impurities from the coffee. Well, the problem with that is its sort of like taking a moldy strawberry and putting it in a vat of fresh strawberries. You’ll come back to the next day and all your strawberries will be moldy.

So once you’ve introduced mold, even at these early stages, it’s very difficult to get rid of. Which is why we insist you have to have handpicked, hand-selected coffee cherries, which means you’re only picking the cherries that are ripe at the time. And then there’s various other methods. Unfortunately, some of the methods can be avoided. Some of the methods…

I was in a farm in Brazil and I saw a farmer spraying a mountain of coffee with water. And I was trying to understand, exactly why he would do that. And I thought that the coffee had already been processed correctly to this point. Why spray it with water? And he admitted to me that since the coffee was sold based on weight, if they spray it with water, it picks up the water because the coffee bean is very dry, picks up the water and they get paid more because obviously they get paid based on weight. And you’ve now got a product that’s going to be shipped for a month or two months, you know, that’s very moist. And that’s obviously going to create mold. So that’s just one of two ways that you can introduce mold into the coffee.

Katie: Oh, wow. And that makes total sense. And it seems like there would need to be a lot of control over that process and harvesting it. But is there any standard or way of knowing, if you’re just buying coffee, if that’s going to be an issue or not? I’m guessing not something that is really reported on any kind of label, is it?

Andrew: Not really. We’re trying to create a standard for this and there’s just a lot to them. But I mean, I can tell you the sort of things that your listeners should look for in coffee to avoid most of these problems and that’s just based on all of our lab testing, what we’ve seen. So would that be useful to just give you an overview of what to look for?

Katie: Yeah, absolutely. That was one of my next questions was like what is lab tested for in coffee and then what are the optimal ranges we’re looking for?

Andrew: Yeah. Well, so the starting point, so if you’re going to your local coffee roaster or if you’re going to buy coffee, the starting point is you need to ask for organic coffee. Coffee is the most heavily treated crop on the planet next to tobacco and cotton. And so you have a choice in both of those. But in terms of coffee, if it’s not organic then you’ll really ingesting a lot of chemicals. And also, the big problem is that the coffee is treated in countries that don’t have the same level of oversight. Meaning that pesticides that have been banned in the U.S are accepted in Brazil and there’s no sort of check and balance when it comes to pesticide residues when those coffees arrive into the U.S.

So starting point, there’s a minimum, your coffee needs to be organic. Then what you need to ask for is you need to ask for specialty grade coffee. Specialty grade as the highest grade of coffee. And the reason you would ask for that is that every time you move down the level in the grade of coffee is as a result of the thing called a primary defect. And a primary defect, every single one of those primary defects, although they affect taste to be tracked back to health, there are things like over-fermentation, cracked or broken beans. There’s a list of different things in primary defects that you want to avoid. And the only way to be sure you can avoid those primary defects is to say, “I want specialty grade coffee.”

So that’s the second thing that you should ask for. So specialty grade coffee and the way the coffee is roasted, ideally you want to find coffee that has been tested to be free of molds. But if you’re looking at an organic specialty grade coffee, it’s likely to be treated a lot better than the average commodity coffee. So you’ve got to sort of a safety net in there. Then the second thing is the way that the coffee is roasted. The problem is you can have just as great quality coffee and then if it’s over-roasted, you’re roasting away a lot of the antioxidants.

So those very dark roasts. There’s a bit of cheating going on with these dark roasts in the sense that the large coffee companies, their problem is that they want a coffee to taste exactly the same, whether it’s in Seattle or Singapore. And so the very best way to do that is to over roast the coffee so that the consumer is used to a burnt taste and they recognize that as coffee, but then you’re getting a fraction of the health benefits from that. So you’re looking for a medium roast, city to full city, nothing darker than that is the thing that you would ask for.

And then finally your coffee’s got to be fresh. That’s something that you can control from a consumer standpoint is to make sure your coffee was roasted no more than a few days ago when you get it and you want to consume it in the first sort of 15 to 20 days on the outside because antioxidants drop off on the coffee as well as it stales. Does that answer your…

Katie: Got it. Yeah, that definitely answers it. That makes total sense. And I know this, like I said in it or any industry, we see this in food as well. And in supplements and everything, there aren’t like really… It’s like industry-established standards that are required to be posted about this. And so it really is up to doing our own research essentially and then relying on the company being transparent and actually sharing this information to kind of know some of these things, right?

Andrew: Absolutely. You need to find a company that is concerned about the health benefits of coffee or at least concerned about the quality of the coffee. There’s certain power or certain things you can look for. People aren’t buying coffee based on health yet. They’re just starting. They’re starting to recognize how good coffee is for their health. They’re doing it every day, that it’s a small adjustment that they should make. Because they’re not buying coffee based on health, coffee producers are not looking to those sorts of decisions that will be relatively easy to make to improve the health benefits of coffee.

So that’s the sort of stage that we’re at right now, unfortunately. But there are some indicators. What we’ve learned is that the closer the coffee is grown to nature, the more likely it’s going to be beneficial for you in terms of being high in antioxidants. It’s not always true, but it’s true enough of the time where it’s a good sort of yardstick for you to look for coffee. So that means that the coffee is grown in a natural habitat, it’s shade-grown, is one of the labels to look for. Bird-friendly is another label to look for. Both of these are indicators that the coffee is grown instead of the industrial farming that we talked about earlier, it’s grown in its natural habitat. There’s a lot of ground cover. There’s leaves that are rotting, which is improving the quality of the soil. It’s bird-friendly, meaning that it hasn’t driven away the birds.

So one, it’s good for the environment and we care about that. Our primary driver is health and having coffee that’s bird-friendly means that Smithsonian-certified bird-friendly means that it’s likely to be grown in its natural habitat. Look for coffee that’s handpicked and hand-selected because again, that’s another indicator that they couldn’t put tractors to pick the coffee. They have to handpick, hand-select it, which means it’s much more likely to be in a rougher environment, you know, where there’s mango trees, there’s papaya trees, there’s coffee trees and the coffee needs to be handpicked.

Katie: Got it. Okay. So I know we talked about antioxidants in general in relation to coffee and we know coffee is a good source. I love to go deeper on just the health aspects of antioxidants in general and what we know from the literature about how antioxidants benefit the body. Because I know this is a topic, everybody is familiar with that word antioxidant, but to really understand, because there’s so much research on this and understanding all the ways in the body that antioxidants are beneficial, especially for a lot of these problems that we’re seeing really drastically on the rise right now. And I know one of the areas of research I’m really fascinated with right now is liver health because the liver is so connected to so many parts of the body. So from your research, what are you seeing when it comes to antioxidants and the liver?

Andrew: Yeah. So I’m not a doctor, so I can’t talk specifically about the mechanistic explanations of how it works on the body. But what I can say is that we’ve worked with some of the best coffee scientists in the world and doctors who have given us some really good directions on the compounds that we should care about. So the antioxidants, one of our big guys, and this has been Dr. Sanjiv Chopra. And Dr. Sanjiv Chopra was the last dean of Admissions at Harvard Med School. And he’s also a liver surgeon and he says that in 35 years as a liver surgeon, he’s never seen anybody with end-stage liver disease, that drinks three to five cups of coffee a day. Which, when I heard that, I was staggering.

So he’s a big proponent of coffee and health and he’s been lecturing in front of thousands of doctors really for longer than anybody talking about the health benefits of coffee. And the reason that he’s passionate about what we’re doing as a group is the fact that he feels like coffee is one of the best things that you can do to prevent liver damage. So, the example he uses is, look, if you’re going to be drinking alcohol, you need to be drinking coffee. That doesn’t mean there’s going to be a lot of problems with alcohol consumption, but it’s not going to affect the liver in the same way. And that, I found staggering and that’s one actionable piece of information I think that the people should be aware of.

The other one is the prevention of type 2 diabetes. And very large studies, one which is the nurses’ study, 1,109,000 people tracked over 25 years, shows that if you drink 3 to 5 cups of coffee from the baseline that you drink, you have an 8% lower chance of ever developing type 2 diabetes with… And so if you think of this as a sort of global problem that we’re dealing with this 25 million Americans who are diabetic, I’ve lost count right now, but there’s 81 million Americans that are pre-diabetic. And if they’re not aware that coffee consumption is one thing that they should be doing to reduce their risks, that’s a huge opportunity I think to help people in overall health.

Katie: No kidding. And of all the things we know we should be doing for health, like exercise and like eating healthy, clean diet, drinking good coffee is one of those not difficult and relatively enjoyable things, especially for those of us who like coffee and to have that potential for really supporting the body in that way I think is really astounding. And also takes off some of that guilt. Because there have been articles I’ve seen over the years, even there are some big online publications saying, “Coffee might not be as good as we thought.”

And I think the research is definitely supporting its benefits now, but for anyone who still has some reservation about should I be drinking this much coffee, it’s pretty incredible to hear that there are studies like that that really do support regular consumption of coffee. Again, of course, in line with everything we’ve talked about, making sure it’s a high-quality coffee, which is just like you’d want to do in food. There’s a huge difference between refined sugar and fruit or between a refined grain or refined anything and a really high-quality farm-grown version. So I think that same applies to coffee and I love that you are making that so transparent and easy for consumers to understand.

Andrew: Yeah, it’s so true of any food it’s difficult to say a definitive answer. Is fish good for you? Is meat good for you is, you know, it really depends. Was the salmon farm-raised or was it wild-caught or? Now, we have to learn to get into a little bit more detail with our food. And I don’t think we can make as you know, blanket statements about it. And I think the same is true of coffee and you made a very good points. I mean, this is something that most Americans do every single day. So if you can just make a small adjustment and get better quality coffee, then you’re going to do yourself a real service and it’s relatively easy thing to do. It’s not inaccessible. We’re not telling people to eat more kale and has to be of a certain variety. It’s just something you’re likely to be doing every day. And you can affect the health quality of that coffee just by selecting a little bit better.

Katie: Exactly. Yeah. Going back to that easy change that doesn’t take a lot of effort or time or really anything other than just changing out the beans that you’re making coffee with.

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Katie: As someone who is so involved in this world and I would guess has also tried many types of coffee and has developed ways for making it exceptional. I’d love to hear what your routine is for making coffee each morning because there are so many different methods and there’s so much debate on the best way both for taste and for getting all of those beneficial properties into the finished coffee. So what does your routine look like for making coffee?

Andrew: Yeah. And it really depends on time of day. So I’ll do a pour-over in the morning and my wife and I will have what we call our purity huddle, which is 20 minutes, 30 minutes just talking about the day. And the pour-over is relatively simple, easy way to make the coffee and then extracts most of the positive compounds. Then later on the day, I tend to move to espresso, which is again, another good way of making the coffee. And I just prefer black coffee. If you have really good quality coffee, you don’t need to add milk and sugar, which, you know, there really no benefits to doing that anyway. So if you’re drinking really good quality coffee, there’s no reason to add any of those things.

Katie: I agree. Well, I will say I wouldn’t want to have to become a coffee snob. I already was, but I have developed really strong systems for how I make coffee and I’m a big fan of the pour-over as well. And we use a glass Chemex and I grind my coffee fresh. I know that’s something else you talk about quite a bit is, waiting to grind the coffee until right before you make it. Is there a benefit there besides just the taste?

Andrew: There is. It’s all about oxidation. So the problem is that as coffee oxidizes, so if it’s in its full bean, it’ll take about 15 to 20 days to stale and then you’ll lose a lot of the antioxidants in the coffee as it stales. And the oils that you see on some coffee that you think, “Oh, this coffee looks beautiful.” The reality is that that’s the oils that are coming from the coffees as they turn rancid. So, most people, a lot of people are drinking coffee that stale.

The trick is, and the problem is that when you grind coffee, then you created much more of a surface area. And coffee is more like an avocado or an apple where if you cut it in half, you can actually visually see that it’s staling very quickly. But you can’t see that in coffee, but it is. It’s staling very quickly. So when you grind your coffee, then if you use it in the next half an hour or so, you’re fine. But if you leave it to sit in a container till the next day or grind the whole bag of coffee, then your first cup of coffee is going to be great. Your first pot of coffee is going to be great. And everything after that is going to be stale. And so the reason why that’s important is we make every decision based on health.

So we just go to these tremendous lengths to find the very best quality coffee, the highest in antioxidants, we roast it to maintain the antioxidants, we give it to you, nitrogen flush, so it’s fresh until you open the bag. All of these things to make sure you’re getting the highest quality coffee. But if you then take that bag and then grind it and then use it over the period of a week or whatever, you’re drinking stale coffee and a lot of the benefits that we worked hard to give you are lost for that reason.

Katie: Okay. Gotcha. That makes sense. And you said that we don’t need to add sugar or cream or anything to coffee, which I am full in agreement with. Especially there is such a difference I feel like with your coffee that’s so… It doesn’t have that acidic or bitter taste at all. So to me, it feels like there’s almost a natural sweetness to it. But there’s also this trend right now of adding literally everything imaginable to coffee in different ways. And I see people adding crazy amounts of fat or blending up a banana and coffee or like all these different things. Are there any things that are synergistic that work well with coffee or with the antioxidants that can make it more beneficial? Or is that really just based on taste?

Andrew: So we’ve been approached by a number of different companies talking to us about different things to add into our coffee. And we decided early on that we wanted to focus just on making the very best quality coffee we could for health and let people add those things in that they feel are likely to have an impact. So we’ve intentionally stayed removed from that conversation. These things that I do personally. Personally, I have MCT and butter in a coffee in the morning. I actually like the way my body reacts to that. But it’s just not something that we’re sort of promoting because what we’re trying to do is get people to focus on the fact that coffee by itself is incredibly good for you. You don’t need to add supplements to it. You don’t need to add anything to the coffee to make it an incredibly good food for your body. And so that’s where we want to focus on.

Katie: Got it. Okay. That makes sense. So it’s more of like, listen to your own body,see what works best for you, experiment. And I think really at the end of the day, that seems to be so much of health goes back to. And that’s been one of my lessons over this past year is, the end of the day, there’s million and one things we can all do in the name of health and a million and one things we can do that are not healthy. It’s finding those things that are the most beneficial for each of us and finding our own routines. And on that note, I always love to ask, are there any things that are also just really part of your health routine, maybe not related to coffee, but just that you find to be big needle movers in your own life?

Andrew: A huge one for me is meditation. Honestly, I think that’s probably one of the number one things I introduce later on in life that makes a huge difference. So I really can’t… And I do TM meditation, honestly, I think that’s probably one of the highest leverage points in my sort of lifestyle habits that had the biggest impact. There are lots of other things, but I think meditation and pausing a little bit and not getting off the hamster wheel to sort of take stock of your life in the direction you want to go in. It’s just a very impactful thing.

Katie: I absolutely agree. I know that you are a busy business owner as well, or do you have any tips for traveling with coffee? Because that’s always one of my pain points is at home I have this perfect coffee routine and the coffee’s amazing. And then if I drink coffee anywhere else anymore, I’m like, “Oh, it’s not as good.” So how do you travel with high-quality coffee?

Andrew: This is a problem I’ve just fixed. It’s a problem that I had myself personally. I had exactly the same frustration that you’ve had, which is that it’s very difficult to find really good quality coffee when you’re out and about even fantastic hotels. Typically, they underperform when it comes to the coffee you’re drinking. So what we’ve done is we put Purity Coffee in a single-serve sachet, like a teabag. It’s in a small bag, it’s nitrogen flushed and you treat it like a pour-over, like a teabag. You just literally put it in the bottom of the cup and then pour hot water over it and let it sit for four minutes and you’ve got a great pour-over. So that’s our solution to the problem. I’ll send you some.

Katie: Yeah, I would love to try and I’ll of course put links. I know we’ve mentioned several of your products and some other ways to brew coffee. I’ll make sure all those links are in the show notes at wellnessmama.fm. So I know many of you guys listen while exercising or driving. Don’t worry about writing this down while you’re doing those things. Just check out the show notes at wellnessmama.fm. Andrew, a couple of unrelated questions. I love to ask toward the end of episodes, are there any books that have been really influential in your life and if so, what are they and why?

Andrew: Wow, there’s so many. I love to read. I’m trying to think about the ones, how to narrow it down. I mean, I love Tony Robbins. I think he’s an incredible speaker. He’s doing something that very few people know how to do and are just a very high level. So “Unleash the Power Within” is one of his first books. That was formative for me because that set me on the road to personal development. And I think that’s an incredible book to read. I think there’s… Let me think. In terms of business books, I think probably the cultural book that I think was most impactful for me is “Bury My Heart at Conference Room B” which talks about just the importance of culture and how we get it wrong. And I think that’s a starting point. I think for most companies, I think if you get your culture wrong, you know, it’s very difficult to dig out of that hole. So that to me was very impactful. Yeah, there’s just so many. I mean really if you pick a subject, I drill them more, but I would say they’re the first two thought that come to mind.

Katie: Got it. And then any advice, can be related to coffee or not coffee, that you want to leave with the listeners today?

Andrew: Yeah, as far as… I mean, I’ll stick to my subject of coffee. The biggest advice I can give in that subject is that this is a high leverage point, which is easy for you to make an adjustment in. I think it’s worthwhile. I think it’s worthwhile at various levels. I think that as people start buying coffee based on health. As they start making health a criteria for why they buy coffee, it’s going to have a knock-on effect for the coffee producers. What’s happening right now in farms is that coffee is treated like a commodity and it’s treated like a commodity. I mean, it’s handled roughly. Money isn’t given to people who are doing an exceptional job.

Artists and farmers have been marginalized for big industrial farming. And then the people who are doing a really fantastic job and the small farms, this bird-friendly, handpicked, hand-selected, regenerative agriculture, people who are making coffee close to nature. As consumers start buying coffee based on health, they’re going to gravitate to those sort of high-quality products and that’s going to impact the farmers much more than writing a check or doing something on a local level, which is all great and should be done. Or paying a surcharge on the coffee that you buy, that really doesn’t move the needle as much as what will happen when consumer stop voting with their wallet and buying coffee of a higher quality. And that’s going to translate to high-quality coffee for their health, but we’ll also translate to making sure that we’re growing this important crop in a sustainable way with regenerative agriculture. That’ll be good for the local farmers that produce it. So I’d say, I think it’s an important initiative. I think people should take a look at the coffee they drink and pay attention to it.

Katie: Great advice. And I will make sure, I know we’ve talked specifically about Purity Coffee. I will make sure that there is a link to that in the show notes at wellnessmama.fm and I believe we have a special offer just for you guys who are listening and you can find that in the show notes as well, but other than website, and I’ll make sure that the link is there. Is there anywhere else they can find you online to stay in touch and keep learning?

Andrew: Website’s number one source. We’re on all sorts of social media and LinkedIn and Facebook and that sort of thing. But I would just say get direct to the website. And as we talked about early on, we try to be very, very transparent about this. So there’s no secret sauce that we’re hiding from people. We hope more coffee companies will take out this message of coffee and health. And so if you go to our site, you can read about our standards, our lab testing, what we test for, what we look for in coffee, how do we find it, and we want to be as transparent as possible. So and if there’s something that you’re looking for and you don’t find it there, reach out to me. I’m easy to find on our site.

Katie: Perfect. I will make sure all of that’s in the show notes. And Andrew, thank you so much for your time and being here today and for all the transparency that you guys have in lab testing and just being so above and beyond when it comes to coffee and for spreading the word.

Andrew: Absolutely. Thanks a lot for having me on the show. I really appreciate it

Katie: And thanks as always to all of you for listening and sharing one of your most valuable assets, your time with us today. We’re so grateful that you did and I hope that you will join me again on the next episode of the “Wellness Mama Podcast.”

If you’re enjoying these interviews, would you please take two minutes to leave a rating or review on iTunes for me? Doing this helps more people to find the podcast, which means even more moms and families could benefit from the information. I really appreciate your time, and thanks as always for listening.



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  • LonoLife
    March 10, 2020, 11:31 am

    Arabica and Robusta are to categories of coffee. Arabica is with less caffeine and more healthy.

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