Coffee Ripples, YouTube
Coffee Ripples, YouTube

A Latte Art Printer Takes the Work Out of Latte Art

Coffee Ripples, YouTube
Coffee Ripples, YouTube

It takes thousands of tries to finally be able to pour out a beautiful rosetta on a cappuccino, and thousands more to reach the peak of Instagram latte art perfection. Now, with the introduction of the Ripple Maker, even amateurs can impress their customers or friends with intricate latte art. The printer, created by parent company Steam CC, can take any image and print it on latte, cappuccinos, or other foamy drinks in less than 10 seconds.

The Wi-Fi enabled machine allows customers and baristas to choose a design from the pre-existing catalog or upload their own content through a free app. Once the image is selected, the Ripple Maker uses a combination of 3D and Ink Jet printing technologies to transform the natural coffee extract from the Ripple Pods into latte art—or Ripples.

"Latte art is one the most shared images on social media. We're taking latte art to a whole new level," Yossi Meshulam, the CEO of Steam CC, said in a press release. "When you put something beautiful in someone's hands, they want to share it. That's how we're making a ripple on the world."

Ripple Maker partnered with Lufthansa, making the German airline the first global brand to adopt the appliance. Later this year, they’ll be placing Ripple Makers into First and Business class lounges.

The Ripple Maker is $999 and requires a $75 per month service plan. They’ll begin shipping in September 2015.

[h/t Gizmodo]

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Just Smelling Coffee Can Give You a Brain Boost
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iStock

Coffee’s pleasures have long been proven to go beyond its function as a social and mental stimulant. For instance, its anti-inflammatory properties may contribute to greater longevity and it might lower your risk of type-2 diabetes. Most of these benefits are typically attributed to ingestion. But what if the smell of coffee led to a boost in your productivity? And what if that scent didn’t have to come from coffee at all?

The results of a new study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology lend a lot of credence to the idea, as Newsweek reports. The paper describes 114 undergraduate business students who were asked to take a Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT). One group was led into a room filled with the scent of coffee (which was generated by an electric diffuser) to take the 10-question algebra exam; another was taken into a room that didn’t carry the aroma. Participants who were in the Starbucks-esque environment scored significantly higher than students deprived of the scent.

The subjects later disclosed that they felt emboldened by the coffee smell as soon as they walked into the room, believing they would be more cognitively focused and better equipped to deal with the pending math problems. Since these students had higher expectations of themselves, it’s clear the smell created a placebo effect. It’s also possible that their past experience with coffee boosting their alertness created an olfactory association with its benefits. Even without actual caffeine, the students were still able to improve their mental functioning. Previously, scientists have discovered that sleep-deprived rats who smell coffee were able to ease their fatigue-related stress.

Still, while it’s perfectly fine to huff the aroma coming from your cup, you should stop short of actually snorting it. Powdered caffeine can easily facilitate an overdose of the drug that can lead to heart failure.

[h/t Newsweek]

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Drinking Up to Eight Cups of Coffee a Day Could Help You Live Longer
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iStock

Good news for coffee fiends: That extra cup of joe in the afternoon could help you live longer, according to a new UK-based study spotted by Newsweek. Researchers determined that people who drink between one and eight cups of coffee per day may have a lower chance of death, regardless of whether their bodies are able to metabolize caffeine well.

To reach these conclusions, the team of researchers analyzed data from the UK Biobank pertaining to the lifestyle choices, demographics, and genetic information of 500,000 people, 87 percent of whom were coffee drinkers. More than 14,000 participants died during the course of the study from 2006 to 2010, and an inverse relationship between coffee drinking and the risk of death was recorded.

These findings were published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, but scientists say more research is needed to determine the link between coffee and other health outcomes. A similar study last year by the European Society of Cardiology suggested that people who drink up to four cups of coffee a day are 64 percent less likely to die early than those who hardly drank coffee. Every two additional cups of coffee improved one’s odds of an extended life span by 22 percent, researchers determined.

However reassuring these results may be to latte lovers, public health specialist Robin Poole of the University of Southampton told Newsweek that this doesn’t necessarily mean non-coffee drinkers should suddenly start caffeinating. (Poole was not involved in the study.)

"We know that some people metabolize caffeine quite slowly and are less tolerant of the apparent physical affects of caffeine, which of course comes from many sources other than coffee,” Poole said. “Such people would be better to avoid too much coffee, or move toward decaffeinated choices, [which] this study has shown still have beneficial associations.”

[h/t Newsweek]

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