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How to Benefit From Massage Therapy

How Massage Can Heal the Body and Mind

Think of massage as an indulgence? Perhaps. But it can also be a powerful tool for health and well-being — from easing pain and inflammation to soothing stress and anxiety.

By Catherine Guthrie | Experience Life

Originally Published February 1st, 2020


When Amy Buttell separated from her husband in 2005, her anxiety spiked off the charts. A suddenly single mother, Buttell didn’t have a lot of money to throw around. Still, in the wake of her marital upheaval, she made massage a priority. It helped her weather the storm,  she says, and today, she still finds that getting one or two massages a month helps keep stress at bay. And that helps her defend against physiological tension, too.

“When I’m anxious, I feel all clenched up,” says the 49-year-old marketing communications director from Erie, Pa. “My massage therapist untangles my knots.” Like many people, Buttell values not only the hands-on healing but also the opportunity to power down her brain and nervous system for an hour or so. “Even if I’m short on money,” she says, “I find a way to make it happen.”

Buttell is not alone. Despite massage’s reputation as a self-indulgent luxury, an increasing number of people are embracing it — not just as a “spa treatment,” but as a powerful therapeutic tool.

Americans currently log more than 114 million trips to massage therapists every year. Massage therapists are the second most visited complementary and alternative medicine providers behind chiropractors. All told, Americans spend up to $11 billion a year on massage. And statistics from the American Massage Therapy Association project that over the next five years, that number is likely to grow considerably.

What we’re getting for our money, whether we realize it or not, is an access code of sorts — a healing key capable of opening the body’s stickiest locks.

Scrunching our shoulders, craning our necks, sitting for hours, driving in rush-hour traffic — such mundane activities can create patterns of muscle tension (referred to as “holding”) in the body. And when muscles are chronically tense or tweaked, it can have a nasty effect on both our bodies and our minds.

Persistent musculoskeletal tension can restrict blood circulation and nutrient supplies to the body’s organs and tissues. As the weblike connective tissue (fascia) that envelops the muscles gets increasingly dense and less mobile, it can negatively affect posture and breathing. The experience of low-grade, habitual tension can contribute to chronic hormonal, biochemical, and neurological problems of all kinds.

Massage interrupts such stress-inducing patterns and helps nudge the body back into a natural state of balance.

So what is massage, exactly? Scientists who study its health benefits often use the therapy’s broadest definition: “The manipulation of soft tissue for the purpose of producing physiological effects.”

That clinical definition hardly does massage justice, though. So read on to find out more about the subtleties of various types of massage, and the powerful healing potential they might hold for you.

Alleviate Anxiety

In conventional medicine, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies are the gold standard. But massage and most other forms of bodywork don’t lend themselves well to such studies. Therefore, scientific “proof,” both for massage’s efficacy and its means of function, runs a little thin. But convincing clinical evidence is accumulating.

For example, in 2004, Christopher Moyer, Ph.D., a psychologist at the University of Wisconsin–Stout, published a meta-analysis on massage therapy research and found that, on average, research subjects who received massage had a lower level of anxiety than those who did not.

“My research consistently finds that massage does have an impact on anxiety,” says Moyer. “We don’t know exactly why, but people who get massage have less anxiety afterward.”

One popular explanation is that massage lowers the body’s levels of cortisol, the hormone notorious for triggering the body’s fight-or-flight response. “No matter how we measure cortisol — in saliva or urine — or how often, we always find that massage has a beneficial effect,” says Tiffany Field, PhD, a researcher at the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine.

Although Moyer is yet to be convinced of the cortisol connection, both he and Field agree that massage is potentially very therapeutic for what’s known as “state” anxiety. Unlike generalized anxiety disorders, state anxiety is a reaction to something you can pinpoint, such as a troubling or traumatic event, circumstance, or setting.

Although more research is needed, says Moyer, “some experts posit that the reported alleviation of state anxiety could be a result of something as simple as the social and psychological environment where the massage takes place.”

Relieve Lower-Back Pain

Aside from stress, if there’s one thing that drives people to the massage table in droves, it’s pain. Especially lower-back pain, which up to 85 percent of Americans experience at some point during their lives.

In 2008, the Cochrane Collaboration (a global, independent, nonprofit organization that reviews the usefulness of healthcare interventions) published an examination of the evidence linking massage to relieving lower back pain. Reviewing 13 clinical trials, they found massage to be a promising treatment.

“Physical pain is like the alarm system of a house,” says Andrea Furlan, Ph.D., a clinical epidemiologist who specializes in massage at the Institute for Work & Health in Toronto. “With acute pain, like a burn or a broken bone, the pain signal indicates something is wrong. But, if you have pain every day, like chronic back pain, the alarm is malfunctioning. Massage may not be able to turn off the alarm, but it can lower the volume.”

Theories abound on how massage interrupts the body’s pain loop. One of the oldest and most well-regarded explanations is called the gate-control theory. Proponents surmise that pain signals to the brain are muffled by competing stimuli. More specifically, the pain travels on small-diameter nerve fibers, while massage stimulates large-diameter ones. Larger nerve fibers relay messages to the brain faster than smaller ones. In essence, says Furlan, the sensation of the massage “wins” over the sensation of pain.

One word of advice from fitness experts, though: You’ll get more lasting, long-term relief of lower back pain by supplementing massage with isometric core exercises, such as planks, that focus on strengthening the muscles that support and guide the spine’s movements.

Soothe Tension Headaches

Tension leads to headaches, so it follows that massage would help ease them. And for many, trigger-point therapy can prove particularly effective.

“A trigger point is an area of tightly contracted muscle tissue,” says Albert Moraska, Ph.D., a researcher focused on complementary medicine at the University of Colorado in Denver. “Trigger points in the shoulder and neck refer [relay] pain to the head. By reducing the activity of trigger points, we can reduce headaches.”

Moraska’s work, funded by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, explores how massaging the neck and shoulders can ease tension-type headaches. “We think massage can disrupt trigger points by forcing apart the tightly contracted sarcomeres (proteins responsible for contraction) within the muscle cells; as a result, the cells relax and subsequently muscle tension dissipates.”

Restore Deep Sleep

Roughly one in five Americans suffer from sleep deprivation, according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. That’s a problem because lack of sleep alters the body’s biochemistry, making it more vulnerable to inflammation and lowered immunity, and more sensitive to pain.

“The relationship between pain and sleep deprivation is a vicious cycle,” says Tiffany Field. “Your body doesn’t get the rest it needs to heal.”

Although studies of massage therapy and sleep quality are few, the findings suggest that massage can promote deeper, less disturbed sleep, especially in people with painful chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia. Massage therapy indirectly promotes good sleep by relieving pain and encouraging relaxation.

Because massage therapy stimulates the body’s parasympathetic “rest-and-relax” nervous system (the opposite of its sympathetic “fight-or-flight” response), it counters both physical and mental stresses — giving you a better shot at enjoying the sleep you need to repair tissue during the night and to cope better during the day.

Reduce Symptoms of Depression

It may seem surprising that physically manipulating the body can help counter a malady we associate with the brain. But, in his oft-cited 2004 review, Christopher Moyer found that depression is particularly responsive to massage.

The average research subject who received massage had a level of depression that was lower than 73 percent of those who did not. These findings are on par with more conventional approaches to treating depression, including psychotherapy.

Field’s research on depression shows that massage boosts the body’s natural levels of serotonin, a substance that works “much like Prozac” in the brain. Her studies show that massage also encourages the brain to release the neurotransmitter dopamine, a mood enhancer, as well as oxytocin, a hormone that generates feelings of contentment.

While the exact mechanisms are unclear, it seems evident that a good massage has a variety of positive psychological implications as well, from receiving nurturing touch from another person, anticipating that the experience will be beneficial, or feeling empathy from the therapist.

Lower Blood Pressure

Given how positively it affects the rest of the body and mind, and how well it moderates stress, it probably comes as no surprise that massage therapy can also benefit the heart — in part by reducing blood pressure. In his meta-analysis, Moyer found that massage significantly lowers blood pressure, at least temporarily.

He notes that the findings are consistent with the theory that massage can trigger the body’s parasympathetic nervous system, which helps prompt the body to return to biochemical balance and emotional ease after enduring a stressful event.

But perhaps the bigger takeaway here is that massage can help unlock the body’s healing potential not by anyone means, but rather by many. As epidemiologist Andrea Furlan points out, “Well before drugs or surgical procedures were developed, people used massage to treat almost everything.” Still, today, she notes, “when we get hurt, our first instinct is to rub.”

Amy Buttell, for one, doesn’t need any more evidence than her own transformation. “I don’t know if it’s the touch, the warm table, or the fact that I get to turn my phone off for an hour, but I do know that massage is worth every penny.”

Multiple Modalities: What Kind of Massage Is Right for You?

Not so long ago, available massage styles in most U.S. cities were fairly limited. Today, bodywork modalities abound, from familiar basics like Swedish to more exotic options like Hawaiian Lomi Lomi and Chinese Tui Na. Wondering which style of massage is right for you? Read on for a rundown of some of the most popular options. Some massage styles are more physically intense than others but keep in mind, you always have a role in guiding your therapist about how much pressure feels good to you and where it’s applied.

Abhyanga: Based on the principles of Ayurveda, one or more therapists apply herb-infused oils to usher the body into a state of relaxation and balance.

Acupressure: Working with the same theory of acupuncture (but without the needles), acupressure stimulates points on the body to release energetic congestion and open the body’s energy pathways.

Craniosacral therapy: A gentle, non-invasive form of massage in which a therapist uses a light touch to work the cranial bones, the spinal column, and the sacrum (a triangular bone at the base of the spine) to balance energy, treat headaches, and reduce mental stress. Mild enough for infants, as well as the elderly.

Deep tissue: Targeting chronic patterns of holding, deep tissue relies on slow strokes and targeted pressure, often with a finger, thumb, or elbow.

Hot stone: Smooth, warm stones are placed on the body and become focal points of relaxation as the heat penetrates and soothes tense muscles.

Lomi Lomi: An ancient Polynesian practice, this style is characterized by the practitioner’s rhythmic use of the hands, forearms, and elbows. Long, broad strokes invite relaxation.

Myofascial release: A light, sustained pressure is applied to constrictions in the body’s fascia, or connective tissue, to elicit elongation and release.

Reflexology: Stimulates pressure points on the hands, feet, and ears. Each point is believed to correspond to other, less-accessible parts of the body, such as the organs.

Shiatsu: A Japanese style, shiatsu directs pressure to lines of energy (meridians) considered important for health and well-being.

Sports: Often used before and after athletic activity, the focus is on reducing inflammation, keeping joints flexible, and enhancing performance.

Swedish: A combination of long, gliding strokes, as well as kneading, stretching, and tapping. Swedish massage is thought to enhance health by increasing blood flow to the muscles.

Thai: Performed on the floor with clothes on and no oils, a Thai massage involves being stretched into yoga-like positions.

Trigger-point therapy: Trigger points often show up as “knots” in the muscles, most often in the shoulders, upper back, and neck. Trigger points are different from acupressure points because they actually feel like lumps. Trigger-point therapy (also known as neuromuscular therapy) uses pressure to dissolve the knots.

Tui Na: A vigorous kneading and pulling of the body, Tui Na (meaning push and grab) is a component of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Like other Eastern approaches, such as Thai massage and acupressure, the goal is to open up the flow of Qi through the body’s energy pathways or meridians.

How to Choose a Massage Therapist

Finding a truly great massage practitioner — one whose skills, style, and personality all suit you — can make the difference between a merely nice (or worse, ho-hum) experience and the kind of transformative healing dynamic that keeps you coming back for more.

You won’t know for sure until you get on the table, but here are some key questions to help you decide whether a therapist is right for you.

1. Are you nationally certified? More than 300 schools and programs in the United States offer accreditation for massage therapists. To become nationally certified, a person must have a basic set of skills, pass an exam, adhere to certain ethical guidelines, and take part in continuing education.

2. Are you state certified? Every state is different, but most of them (42, plus the District of Columbia) offer certification for massage therapists; some are voluntary, and others are mandatory. Seek out a massage therapist who is state-certified, which typically means he or she met a minimum number of training hours and passed an exam.

3. How many hours of training have you completed? This is a helpful question, especially in states lacking strict oversight of who can call themselves a massage therapist. The answer you’re looking for is a minimum of 500 hours. According to the American Massage Therapy Association, the average practitioner has 633 hours of training. A massage therapist with less than 500 hours of training can still be good, but consider the number a benchmark.

4. Do you have any special or advanced training? The best massage therapists spend years developing specialties and honing a specific skill set. The massage therapist who is passionate about Chinese meridians and spends several weeks a year going to special training may have an edge over the generalist who hasn’t evolved beyond the basic moves she learned in massage school. The same goes if you have special needs. For instance, a massage therapist who emphasizes sports massage might be a good bet if you have a weekend-warrior injury, but not if you have fibromyalgia.

5. How much do you charge? Expect to pay roughly $1 a minute for a chair massage at the mall or airport. At an upscale spa or studio, massage rates range from about $60 to $120 an hour, plus a 15 to 20 percent tip. (Sometimes, packages of four or six massages are available at a discount.) If you have health insurance, ask your provider if you are eligible for either a discount (available with some plan-approved therapists) or if you can pay for massage with money from a flexible spending account. Unless you have the Mercedes-Benz of healthcare plans, preventive massage is probably not covered 100 percent, but if your doctor or chiropractor recommends massage therapy, your plan might cover a specific number of sessions.

One final tip: Get a referral. It’s OK to be picky about who puts their hands on your body. If you’re feeling spontaneous and want to book a one-time massage at a local spa, great. But if you’d like to explore massage as a long-term investment in your body, or if you have some tenacious kinks to work out and you think you might need a series of treatments, talk to your friends about whom they like and why. If your friends don’t get a massage, ask for a recommendation at your local yoga studio, health club, acupuncture center, or chiropractor’s office. More often than not, these folks are plugged into the local “who’s who” of bodyworkers and can steer you in the right direction.


Catherine Guthrie is an Indiana-based health writer and a regular contributor to Experience Life.

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How To Make Mustard Garlic Herb Paste

Mustard Garlic Herb Paste – For Summer Grilling

Originally Published on MAY 25, 2021 BY MARIE 2 COMMENTS


Summer grilling is here and life is opening up again, it’s time for gathering together with friends and family, having backyard BBQ’s and enjoying special occasions which we all missed so much!

Memorial Day is just around the corner and so is Father’s Day and if you’re planning on doing any cookouts, I hope you add this intensely flavored mustard, garlic herb paste to just about whatever you’re planning on grilling.

herb paste

Fresh herbs are the key to this delicious herb paste which can be made in a jiffy using a food processor and don’t be afraid to double or triple this recipe, I promise it will amp up your grilling game!

herb box

I used a mix of basil, parsley, thyme, and rosemary. Each herb carries its own intense flavor which pairs nicely with grilled foods but feel free to create your own combo that you might prefer.

cut herbs
marinated chicken

Smother the herb paste all over whatever your grilling and then let it sit for a while to intensify.

marinated kabobs

Brush it all over veggies, chicken, beef, pork, and even fish, the more the better!

grilled chicken

I’ve been using this herb paste since way back, here’s a post I did nine years ago, time sure does fly!

grilled herb paste kabobs

Snip off some herbs and make this mustard, garlic, herb paste the next time you turn on the grill, enjoy!

Mustard Garlic Herb Paste – SFor Summer Grilling

Print Consider double or tripling this recipe, it’s that good! Author: Marie

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of herbs like parsley, basil, thyme, and rosemary, but feel free to use your favorite combination
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a food processor add the herbs and garlic and process, then add zest and lemon juice and finish with the olive oil to the consistency of a loose paste, easy to spread.
  2. Make sure to let it sit on your protein or veggie of choice for at least an hour before grilling.
  3. ENJOY
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Eat Your Invasives With This Garlic Mustard Pesto Recipe! — Friends of Rye Nature Center

Roasted Garlic Grainy Mustard – Recipe – FineCooking


The Fourth Turning. Where Are We Right Now?

About Half Way Through the 4th Turning, the Second Half Gets Real Crazy!

Dateline: Creve Coeur, MO. USA/May 12th, 2021/By: Jeffrey L. Klump


In 1997, a book was published that detailed the history of the United States and of the world in general and the book broke down events in history into four cycles.

The title of the book was The Fourth Turning.

The book was written by William Strauss and Neil Howe.

Neil Howe has been most interviewed since the best seller was released.

Howe broke down these cycles into “turnings” of history.

These turnings are broken down into approximately 20 year periods of time.

The first turning is described as a “High”.

Old Prophets die, Nomads enter elderhood, Heroes enter midlife, Artists enter young adulthood—and a new generation of Prophets is born. This is an era when institutions are strong and individualism is weak. Society is confident about where it wants to go collectively, even if those outside the majoritarian center feel stifled by the conformity.

The second turning is an “Awakening”.

Old Nomads die, Heroes enter elderhood, Artists enter midlife, Prophets enter young adulthood—and a new generation of child Nomads is born. This is an era when institutions are attacked in the name of personal and spiritual autonomy. Just when society is reaching its high tide of public progress, people suddenly tire of social discipline and want to recapture a sense of personal authenticity.

The third turning is classified as an “Unraveling”.

Old Heroes die, Artists enter elderhood, Prophets enter midlife, Nomads enter young adulthood—and a new generation of child Heroes is born. The mood of this era is in many ways the opposite of a High. Institutions are weak and distrusted, while individualism is strong and flourishing. 

The fourth turning is a “Crisis”.

Old Artists die, Prophets enter elderhood, Nomads enter midlife, Heroes enter young adulthood—and a new generation of child Artists is born. This is an era in which America’s institutional life is torn down and rebuilt from the ground up—always in response to a perceived threat to the nation’s very survival. Civic authority revives, cultural expression finds a community purpose, and people begin to locate themselves as members of a larger group. In every instance, Fourth Turnings have eventually become new “founding moments” in America’s history, refreshing and redefining the national identity.

According to Howe, 2008 began the fourth turning and says it may last until 2030.

If so, we are about halfway through the fourth turning.

Even Neil Howe didn’t foresee what was coming in 2020.

Pandemic, lockdowns, mask-wearing, toilet paper mania, riots, economic upheaval, chaotic election, vaccines and that was just in one year!

The year 2021 is getting off to a robust start with inflation rampant and hyperinflation knocking at the door of the world’s reserve currency, the U.S. dollar.

In February of 2021, Dr. Michael J. Burry of the “the Big Short” fame posted a tweet that went viral regarding inflation and hyperinflation of the U.S. dollar.

Burry warned that a rapid increase in the money supply, which has been going on under Trump for four years and now Biden, would lead to catastrophic consequences for the dollar.

Burry received a visit from the government shortly after that tweet.

The SEC showed up at his doorstep.

They weren’t there to question him about his involvement with GameStop.

Burry had a huge following on Twitter until he removed his profile last month.

I spoke with him briefly last week and via email and he told me that he will keep his thoughts to himself from here on out.

I got the impression that the Fed’s put the scare into him.

The year 2021 will be the year everything collapses from the U.S. stock and bond markets to the United States government, and all Western governments.

Everyone will be rushing into commodities and precious metals like gold and silver, and the rush into cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin, will continue.

The gold price and the price of silver have been manipulated by the Federal Reserve and Wallstreet banks like J.P. Morgan, for decades.

In the end, the Federal Reserve Bank loses control of everything.

Financial and economic events are not the only problems facing America and the world.

You are already seeing political upheaval in France, and the Middle East.

These will spread elsewhere and quickly.

France is mentioned prominently in prophecy.

Another issue that almost no one knows about and what NASA has been talking about is the Grand Super Cycle Solar Minimum that we have been in and are going deeper into.

Our planet has moved into what is known as a Maunder Minimum.

This could last until 2050 or beyond.

There will be an overall cooling of our planet which could result in a mini ice age.

The smartest man in the world and modern-day Nostradamus, Clif High, has been tracking and reporting about the solar minimum that we have entered, for years.

One of the biggest problems this solar minimum will have for humans is crop failures especially those living North of the equator.

You will eventually see a huge migration southward and for those living in the United States and worried about illegal immigration. One word: Don’t!

Those that have moved into the United States from Mexico will be trekking back to Mexico and you may even see some Yankee Americans following them.

Mexico will be sitting in a great position because of its proximity to the equator, its climate, and Mexico is also sitting on the largest silver reserves of any country.

Another problem with this solar minimum is weather patterns will change.

Right now you are seeing the lowest temperatures in the United States for the month of May, since the 1600s.

The up and down temperature swings will continue and you will also see an increase in seismic and volcanic activity.

Finally, one area that we have not covered is the Spiritual realm.

In a recent communique from the last of the living experts on the Fatima prophecies, Father Paul Leonard Kramer, said that the chastisements that are written about in the 3rd Secret of Fatima, which has never been disclosed to the world, and which only a few people have ever seen, have begun to unfold.

Kramer stated that the manufactured pandemic known as Covid 19 marked the beginning of the chastisements for the earth and the people living on earth.

Kramer is finishing his second volume to the book, “To Deceive the Elect”.

The prudent prepper needs to stock up on the following items if they expect to survive the second half of the Fourth Turning.

These items include :

  • Water
  • Food
  • Lead
  • Silver
  • Gold

Yes, indeed.

The second half of the Fourth Turning is here and it is going to be crazy!.

Related:

Modern Grand Solar Minimum will lead to terrestrial cooling (nih.gov)

Update: 

Michael Burry Reveals Massive Tesla Short, Huge Inflationary Bet | ZeroHedge


How To Improve Your Life With Massage Therapy

The Benefits of Massage Therapy Can Improve Your Life In a Variety of Ways.

Dateline: Creve Coeur, MO. USA/April 27th, 2021/By: Jeffrey L. Klump


Massage therapy is part of the healing arts and some say it has been around for thousands of years in one form or another.

The Healing Arts are generally thought of as healing, whether it be physical, mental, or emotional, to include wellness, coping with life challenges, and personal change.

The Healing Arts is a variety of complementary and alternative medicine including holistic healing, Ayurvedic medicine, Traditional Chinese medicine, Acupuncture, and Massage Therapy.

A practitioner in the healing art of massage therapy is license & certified with the local community or state in which they conduct business.

You do not want to visit someone who is not certified.

Those are the types you hear about that make headlines with professional athletes.

This is something completely different.

The best massage therapist in the Saint Louis, Missouri area is Elsa Deen with True Touch Massage.

Deen is a native of Cebu, Philippines.

Filipino women are taught at an early age the value of hard work from their parents.

Deen is attentive to detail and puts every effort into the entire time that you are there. She also has some of the strongest hands this writer has ever experienced.

She is a true professional in the Healing Arts.

Massage Therapy has many benefits that can help improve your life, including:

  • Detoxifies your body and squeezes out all of the impurities that your body builds up from stress and anxiety.
  • Reduces muscle tension.
  • Helps manage lower back pain including pain from degenerative disc disease.
  • Helps promote relaxation to help you get a better night’s sleep.
  • Lowers blood pressure.
  • Effective for anyone who has Post Traumatic Stress or Grief.
  • Enhances exercise performance.
  • Improves cardiovascular health.
  • Reduces migraines.
  • Helps with pain management including Osteoarthritis.
  • Lowers stress for people with life-threatening diseases like cancer.
  • Helps strengthen your immune system.
  • And much more!

Massage Therapy isn’t for everyone especially if you have Deep Vein Thrombosis, Bleeding Disorders, or a Low Platelet count.

There are several different types of massage that a licensed practitioner can give, and they include:

  • Deep Tissue MassageThis massage technique uses slower and more forceful strokes to target deep layers of muscle tissue. This type of massage is perfect for anyone who has had an injury or is experiencing disc problems with the lower back area including the sciatic nerve. This type of massage will make you worn out at the end like you had an intense weight training session.
  • Swedish MassageA Swedish massage is not for people who live in Sweden. This is a gentle type of massage compared to Deep Tissue and the strokes are longer using deep circular movements and tapping. This type of massage helps you feel relaxed and energized.
  • Trigger Point MassageTrigger points are those areas of your body with really tight muscle fibers. These are specific areas where your practitioner can target and they can incorporate Deep Tissue Massage, as well.
  • ReflexologyThis is also known as Zone Therapy and is similar to Acupuncture but without the needles. This is the application of using pressure to specific areas of your hands and feet. You can feel pain when this is applied, but it is meant to relieve stress and pressure that is built up in other areas of your body.

The human body experiences stress every day and most people associate that with mental or emotional stress.

Did you know that sitting down for a prolonged period of time, causes stress on your lower back, gluteus maximus, and hamstrings?

Think about how long people sit every day whether it be for work or pleasure like gaming or going onto social media.

The human body was not meant to be sitting on our posterior for most of our lives.

Our bodies are meant to be moving. Bodies in motion.

You are much more likely to develop Degenerative Disc Disease, Spinal Arthritis, and problems with your Sciatica if you do not make changes to the way you live and work.

Try getting up and stretching after about 20 minutes of sitting down either at work or home.

Stretching is critically important for your body especially the older you get.

Massage is just one more way to improve your life and overall health without using “Big Pharma” drugs which have all kinds of side effects.

Go see a certified massage therapist today!

Your body will thank you.

Jeffrey L. Klump is a writer, blogger, digital marketer, work from home business opportunity specialist, and an Enigma.

RELATED:

Massage: Get in touch with its many benefits – Mayo Clinic

Massage Therapy: What You Need To Know | NCCIH (nih.gov)


12 Ways To Add Extra Flavor To Your Coffee

How To Add Extra Flavor To Your Coffee

 Mark Morphew Originally Published March 23, 2021, 8 min read bean Ground is completely reader-supported. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Learn more


As great as plain black coffee is sometimes our taste buds need a break from the norm, admit it having the same thing day in day out tends to get boring. An excellent way to spice up your favorite coffee beverage is by adding some extra flavor. Forget about those store brought sweeteners and creamers that are often packed full of garbage, what I’m talking about are natural flavorings.

Some of these flavored coffee combinations are strange, and others not so obvious, but trust me they will bring life back into your boring cup of Joe and you’ll wonder why you didn’t think of them before.

Below I have experimented with various ways to add extra flavor to your coffee, and I think these 12 are the best so far that will tickle ya taste buds and leave you coming back for more!

I have no doubt that after going through this list, you will be heading home in a flash to give at least one or two of these coffee combinations a try.

1. Cinnamon

cup of black coffee and whole Cinnamon

Adding cinnamon to coffee isn’t anything new, but it’s one that’s stood the test of time and is a favorite with many coffee drinkers. But before you read on I have a twist on the already popular combination.

Instead of sprinkling cinnamon on top of your coffee or even stirring it into your brew, you’ll want to infuse the cinnamon with your coffee beans if you want to give your coffee a real cinnamon kick.

It’s not as hard as it sounds, simply grind whole sticks of cinnamon along with your whole coffee beans. If you don’t grind your beans fresh before each brew (why not?) you can instead sprinkle some cinnamon into your pre-ground coffee before you add water.

Adding the cinnamon to the start of the coffee brewing process will allow for a fully blended coffee that actually tastes like cinnamon and not just smell like it.💡 Fun Fact: Did you know that you can easily add flavor to your coffee by using a French Press. Simply immerse your Cinnamon, Vanilla, Ginger, or anything else inside of your French Press along with your freshly brewed coffee. Allow it to sit for a while for the magic to happen, the infused flavors will transform your coffee into something else! Looking for a French Press? These are the best French Press coffee makers we could find.

MCT Oil powder helps burn fat, great brain fuel, appetite suppression, boosts energy, enhances mood, and supports heart health. CLICK HERE!

 

2. Cocoa Nibs

ceramic dish containing Cocoa Nibs

Cocoa Nibs.. say what? Isn’t that just chocolate? Not really. Cocoa Nibs are what chocolate is before it’s processed into the shaped bars we all know and love. These chunks are more black in color than brown and are 100% cocoa beans. The texture is also different, and the taste is far nuttier and slightly chewier plus they deliver a dark rich taste.

It’s this flavor profile that makes Cocoa Nibs the perfect addition to your coffee. Trust me they taste great! Add about ½ a teaspoon of Cocoa Nibs to every two cups of coffee that goes into your coffee grinder, grind together, and brew your coffee as normal.

If you love dark chocolate and black coffee this flavored coffee is going to bring you to your knees! YUM!

3. Vanilla

Fresh Vanilla Pods

If you love adding flavored creamers and sugar to your coffee but aren’t happy about the added calories you’re loading into your cup, try some vanilla.

The best way to take advantage of this natural coffee flavoring is to add a vanilla bean to your whole coffee beans just before you grind. If you can’t get your hands on fresh vanilla, you can use a few drops of extract directly into your cup of coffee or into your portafilter on your espresso machine before you pull a shot. Remember, though, a little goes a long way, any more than two drops and you’ll be pouring your brew down the drain.

4. Ginger

Fresh Whole Ginger

I’m not a fan of this coffee flavor, but for those of you that enjoy ginger tea, this coffee combination might be a winner!

Ginger can be overpowering if used in large quantities, so I recommend that you only add a few small slices to your grounds before you brew. The hot water will pass over the ginger and will infuse with your coffee. If you don’t have fresh ginger, you can supplement by using one or two tablespoons of ginger powder instead, but fresh is definitely better!

5. Cardamom

Fresh Cardamom

Cardamom is relatively unheard of in the west but is hugely popular in the Middle East. The taste of cardamom is very similar to ginger and comes packed with numerous health benefits. Fiber and other essential minerals are just some of the hidden gems of cardamom as well as aiding in circulation it goes great with coffee.

Either add whole cardamom seeds to your whole coffee beans before you grind or sprinkle a couple of pinches of pre-ground cardamom seeds to your freshly brewed cup of coffee.

6. Star Anise

Whole fresh Star Anise

This coffee flavor isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but it will definitely get you a few strange looks. Star Anise is known for a strong licorice taste with sweet, floral notes. For those of you that enjoy licorice, it makes a great coffee infusion when paired with dark roasted coffee.

Add your Star Anise into your whole coffee beans before grinding and brew as you normally would. However, if overused it can be very overpowering, I recommend using no more than 3/4 of a clove, or you’ll be pouring your freshly brewed coffee into the sink.

7. Nutmeg

Fresh whole Nutmeg and a grater

If you want to bring out the earthiness in your morning coffee brew, I recommend trying a bit of Nutmeg. The added sweetness and earthy taste are truly unique and are a sure way to tickle ya taste buds.

The amount of Nutmeg to add to your cup of coffee is down to personal taste; however, I find that one shard is perfect for a typical cup. With that said experiment until you find the best infusion for your liking.

8. Lavender

Lavender next to a white coffee cup

I only thought that lavender was something found in body soaps, that was before I tried lavender ice cream as a child, yum!

Lavender is the perfect companion for many things, and coffee is no exception; I have found that it marriages best with the fruitier roasted coffees. You can either add a few sprinkles of lavender in with your ground coffee and infuse when you pour your hot water or add a few tiny drops of lavender oil to your brewed coffee. is brewed. Either way, this combination tastes great, especially on a lazy spring afternoon.

9. Clove

Dried Clove

If you smoke cigarettes or have done in the past, this Clover-flavored coffee is going to be a winner! Many popular cigarette brands add clove into their tobacco mix to give an added sweetness.

When it comes to cloves and coffee use sparingly, because this spice can be very overpowering. Either grind with your whole coffee beans before you brew or add a couple of cloves to your pre-ground coffee and infuse when boiling water is poured over your grounds. If the taste is too strong, experiment until you find the best ratio for your taste buds.

10. Peppermint Oil

Bottle of Peppermint Oil on a table

Nothing screams ‘tis the season more than a steamy cup of peppermint coffee. To successfully infuse your brewed coffee with this delicious holiday flavor it’s best to use pure peppermint oil which works really well with chocolatey dark roasted coffee beans.

To try this flavored coffee add a couple of drops to your coffee during the brewing process, however, use sparingly because peppermint oil in its concentrated form can quickly become overpowering no matter how rich your coffee beans are.

11. A Raw Egg

tray of fresh eggs

It might seem crazy, but adding a raw egg to your coffee tastes great! Hot coffee mixed with a raw egg delivers a one-of-a-kind flavor – trust me, you have to try it, at least once, It might not be a taste that everyone enjoys for everyone, but to be honest it’s not as disgusting as you might expect.

The addition of a raw egg gives the coffee a dense and slightly creamy body without masking the natural coffee flavors and aromas.

12. Butter

adding butter to coffee

If you haven’t heard about Bulletproof Coffee (1), you must have been living in a cave. Many coffee lovers and health buffs have come accustomed to this coffee butter combination which has gained popularity in recent years.

This strange combination can be traced back to south-east Asia where strange coffee infusions are commonplace. Even though it’s hard to imagine butter which is normally only used in cooking, going so well with coffee, if done right it really is a marriage made in heaven (I said if done right!).

Just adding a teaspoon of organic butter to a sweet roast coffee will give your coffee a smooth, rich texture with a buttery depth that is truly unique.

References (1) Bulletproof Blog. https://blog.bulletproof.com/how-to-make-your-coffee-bulletproof-and-your-morning-too/

Mark Morphew

Mark is the Editor-in-Chief at the popular coffee blog – Bean Ground. He’s been active in the catering and hospitality industry for over 20 years. When he’s not fiddling around with a new coffee gadget, you’ll find him busy working on his other passion, web development. You can discover more about Mark here.

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What is the Best Black Diesel Coffee?

Review: Black Diesel Coffee Guatemala Huehuetenango

Originally Posted on March 7, 2021by Margaret


This is the second bag of coffee I received from Black Diesel Coffee. Black Diesel is a craft coffee company dedicated to quality, community, and coffee education. I haven’t had a chance to visit their shop in person yet (not surprising, since I live in Texas and the global pandemic is still going on!) but I would really like to go the next time I am in Michigan if nothing else to see their cozy outdoor igloos available for rent!

Whole bean: A wonderfully decadent aroma of dark chocolate and malt wafted from this bag as soon as I opened it. Very sweet!

French press: This coffee strongly reminds me of hot cocoa. It struck me as a little under-sweet – I normally don’t add sugar or milk to my coffee but I almost feel like this particular preparation could use just a touch of sugar to round out the chocolaty flavor. I enjoyed the smooth mouthfeel.

Chemex: I miscalculated my grind size and the total brew time was a little longer than I intended (close to 5 minutes). The result wasn’t bitter but it was probably a little stronger than it would have been otherwise. Still, the coffee was heavy with dark chocolate flavor, and it got fudgier as the coffee cooled.

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V60: This wasn’t my favorite preparation method for these beans. It’s possible my extraction time was too long (my total time was 3:10), but I think something about the pour-over method brings out slightly more bitter, harsher flavors from these beans than the immersion methods do. These harsher notes faded some as the coffee cooled, but it was noticeably unbalanced to my palate, especially given what I had next…

AeroPress: Wow. This cup was creamy and sweet, full-bodied and decadent. At the time of writing this review, I have been setting up and experimenting with a new microphone for music/Zoom calls, and while I thought my old mic was decent, hearing the result from my new mic is just staggering in how much more beautiful the sound is. That’s kind of how I feel drinking thus Guatemala Huehuetenango made with the other brewing methods, and then from the AeroPress! Hands down, my favorite way of preparing these beans.

I didn’t try these beans brewed as espresso, but I did pull a shot of this via my AeroPress plus the Prismo attachment, to get an idea of the flavor notes that might come out when ground and brewed closer to espresso-style. I didn’t like the result as much vs. when brewed in the “traditional” AeroPress method, so I’d recommend not using the Prismo for this.

Summary: In my opinion, it’s a little harder to get optimum results for these beans in pour-over methods. Stick with immersion methods like the French press and the AeroPress. The AeroPress in particular resulted in coffee that was an incredible treat to drink. I felt like I was getting away with something!

From the roaster: melon, creamy, chocolate

Black Diesel Coffee Guatemala Huehuetenango

Review conducted 12-14 days post-roast.

Disclaimer: I received this product gratis in exchange for a fair and honest review. Even though I received this for free, I treat and test it the same way as if I had paid for it out of my own pocket.

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How To Make Seafood Lasagna with Lemon Cream Sauce

Seafood Freeform Lasagna with Lemon Cream Sauce

FEBRUARY 5, 2021 BY MARIE3 (Originally Posted on 02/05/21)

 

seafood lasagna

 

 


If you’re looking for a special date night dinner, something a little fancy but not so hard to make try this seafood freeform lasagna, what makes it even more special is the subtle lemon cream sauce that’s spooned all over.

This is the perfect dinner to have on Valentine’s Day which is coming up soon and I’m quite sure many of us will be dining at home. This is meant for two people but you can certainly double the recipe for more to enjoy if need be.

I used a mix of scallops and shrimp in this easy freeform lasagna, which is highlighted with a touch of Limoncello for a smack of bright lemon flavor! 

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chopped shrimp and scallops

The prep work is all done in advance so when it’s time to eat all you have to do is pop your dish into the oven, warm it up and get that golden top.

You’ll be spending all your time with your date instead of cooking and cleaning in the kitchen all night, and that’s a good thing!

filling ramekins

The lemon sauce is very light, you can use half lemon juice and half Limoncello or just all lemon juice. I wouldn’t do all Limoncello because that would be too sweet tasting and overpower the seafood.

If lemon is not your thing, you can make a nice white sauce to top it off like a béchamel, that would be equally as delicious and creamy to top it off.

Cut your lasagna noodles to fit into individual ramekins if using or if you end up using a bigger dish,  it doesn’t have to fit perfectly.

seafood filled ramekins

Then you’re going to layer all that amazing seafood on top. It’s a delicious mix of chopped scallops, shrimp, garlic, shallots with a little ricotta and mascarpone for creaminess and to help bind it all.

shrimp and scallop lasagna

Save some whole shrimp for garnish it makes a striking presentation. This can be served alongside a beautiful salad or if you really want to go all out, a steak for some surf and turf!

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Print A date night or Valentine’s Day dinner for you and your special someone.

Author: Marie

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. seafood, I used a combo of ½ lb. shrimp and ½ lb. scallops, you can also use all shrimp or any combo of your choice, peeled and deveined leaving a couple of whole shrimp or scallops for garnish
  • 6 lasagna sheets, pre-boiled
  • SEAFOOD MIXTURE INGREDIENTS
  • drizzle of olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, small dice
  • 2 large garlic, minced
  • 2 heaping tablespoons chopped parsley, extra for garnish
  • ¼ cup of ricotta
  • 1 heaping tablespoon mascarpone cream
  • 1 tablespoon, limoncello in the seafood mix or use 1 tablespoon, lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • FOR THE LEMON CREAM SAUCE
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter and extra to butter your ramekins
  • 2 Tablespoons, Limoncello ( or use all lemon juice to make up the 4 Tablespoons)
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Pre-boil your lasagne noodles, according to the time directions on the box, cool them down, and set them aside.
  2. Chop up your seafood into bite-size pieces, making sure to clean your shrimp beforehand, and setting aside 1 or 2 for garnish.
  3. For the whole shrimp garnish, season them and stick into a 420F oven until cooked through, then set aside.
  4. Butter 2 -6 inch” ramekins or 1- 12 inch”
  5. Drizzle olive oil in the bottom of a sauté pan, add the shallot and garlic till soft then toss in the chopped seafood, tossing gently till cooked. Don’t overcook!
  6. Add 1 Tablespoon of Limoncello to the mix or lemon juice as well as the parsley.
  7. Let the mixture cool down then add the ricotta and mascarpone, folding it in and mixing it till incorporated.
  8. Make your lemon cream sauce by placing both Limoncello, ( 2 tablespoons) and lemon juice( 2 tablespoons) in a small saucepan together ( or use all lemon juice( 4 tablespoons).
  9. Once warm whisk in your butter.
  10. When the butter melts in add the heavy cream gently stirring on low heat until the cream thickens.
  11. NOW FOR ASSEMBLY
  12. Line the bottom of your ramekins with a few cooked lasagna noodles, cutting them if need be to fit.
  13. Spread a little of the lemon cream sauce on the noodles.
  14. Divide your seafood mix between the two ramekins and spread on top of the pasta.
  15. Use the remaining lasagna noodles to fit over the top of the seafood mixture.
  16. Spoon some of the lemon sauce all around.
  17. This all can be prepped ahead of time.
  18. When you’re ready to serve you can place the ramekins under your broiler to warm it up and get some golden color on top, but if you do you can’t walk away!
  19. Stay near the oven broiler and keep checking to make sure it doesn’t burn,.
  20. You can also heat them in the oven at 375 just til heated through, ovens vary so keep checking, it won’t take too long, and remember everything is cooked already.
  21. If you want a little more golden on top, stick it under the broiler for that, but again do not walk away!
  22. Spoon some of the lemon cream on top to finish, garnish with chopped parsley and top it off with the whole cooked shrimp.
  23. Enjoy!
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How To Make Carpaccio Smoked Salmon

Carpaccio di salmone affumicato (Smoked Salmon Carpaccio)

Originally Published by Frank 27 December 2020antipastiVeneto37 Comments

Carpaccio di salmone affumicato (Smoked Salmon Carpaccio)

Here’s an elegant yet quick and easy starter that would fit perfectly into just about any menu: Carpaccio di salmone affumicato, or Smoked Salmon Carpaccio.

Classic carpaccio, of course, is made with thinly sliced beef. But the term carpaccio has evolved into a kind of passepartout for any number of dishes featuring thin slices of meat or fish, typically dressed with a light vinaigrette and perhaps some aromatic herbs. In this incarnation, thin slices of smoked salmon are dressed simply with an emulsion of oil and lemon, to which I like to add just a pinch of finely minced parsley. If you like, you can gussy up your carpaccio with all sorts of garnishes: a few capers, shaved fennel, arugula, even pomegranate seeds. Whatever strikes your fancy, really.

Smoked Salmon Carpaccio is simple itself to make, but it makes quite the impression, so it’s apt for a special occasion. To me, it’s an ideal way to begin a cenone di san Silvestro, or New Year’s Eve dinner on a simple but elegant note. That means less time in the kitchen, and more time sipping champagne and enjoying the evening with your loved ones. I call that a win-win.

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Ingredients

Serves 4-6

  • 500g (1 lb) smoked salmon, thinly sliced

For the dressing:

  • Freshly squeezed juice of 1/2 small lemon
  • A few leaves of fresh parsley, finely minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 dl (1 cup) olive oil

For garnish (optional):

  • Capers
  • Shavings of fresh fennel
  • Thinly sliced red onion
  • Arugula
  • Avocado wedges
  • Pomegranate seeds

Directions

Arrange thin slices of smoked salmon on a plate (if you like, over a bed of tender greens as pictured).

Then, whisk together all the dressing ingredients together until you have a smooth emulsion. Spoon this over the salmon slices.

Allow the salmon to macerate for just 5 minutes or so before serving, topped with one more garnishes if you like. Some crusty bread to go with is always welcome.

Notes on Smoked Salmon Carpaccio

As we’ve pointed out on this blog, the original carpaccio, as invented by Giuseppe Cipriani for his renowned Venice bar, was made with sliced beef fillets, pounded paper-thin then dressed with a creamy mayonnaise-based sauce.  The charm of using smoked salmon, of course, is that you can buy it pre-sliced, which eliminates an awful lot of work. And the resulting contrast of orange and green, while not true to Carpaccio’s style of contrasting reds and whites, is lovely to behold all the same.

The choice of smoked salmon is up to you, but I particularly like Nova Scotia, the kind used for lox and bagels, as it’s only lightly smoked. For a more decisive smokiness, you could opt for Scottish smoked salmon. Personally, I find sockeye salmon’s darker color and fishier flavor less appealing as a carpaccio, but if you like it don’t let me stop you.

And obviously, you want to best quality olive oil you can manage to find, although I would opt for a lighter one, perhaps one from Liguria. Those very fruity and green olive oils, as wonderful as they are, could overwhelm the flavor of the fish.

And speaking of which, go light on the lemon juice. You want just enough to brighten the olive oil but no more. Since lemons vary in size and acidity, you may want to start with a few drops and add more to dressing until you’re pleased with the results. Also true for the salt. It may come as a surprise that you’d need any, but a small pinch, just enough to enhance the other flavors without drawing attention to itself, is what you want.

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Variations

As mentioned above, the basic recipe for Smoked Salmon Carpaccio lends itself to a huge variety of garnishes. I’m partial to either laying my carpaccio on a bed of tender greens or else topping it with arugula leaves, which pairs particularly nicely with smoked salmon, I think. But the list given in the ingredients list is really just examples. Let your imagination run wild!

Besides its usual role as a starter, Smoked Salmon Carpaccio can double as a light pescatarian main course as well.

Making Ahead

You can plate the salmon well ahead, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re almost ready to serve. The dressing, too, can be made ahead. Let the salmon come back to room temperature, then nap it with the dressing and top with any garnishes. What I wouldn’t do, however, is dress the salmon too far ahead of time as the dressing will become overwhelming if the salmon is left to macerate too long.

Carpaccio di salmone affumicato (Smoked Salmon Carpaccio)

 Print Recipe

Carpaccio di salmone affumicato

Smoked Salmon CarpaccioTotal Time15 mins Course: AntipastoCuisine: ItalianKeyword: raw, seafood

Ingredients

  • 500g 1 lb smoked salmon thinly sliced

For the dressing:

  • 1/2 small lemon, juice of freshly squeezed
  • A few leaves of fresh parsley, finely minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 250ml 1 cup olive oil

For the garnish (optional):

  • Capers
  • Shavings of fresh fennel
  • Thinly sliced red onion
  • Arugula
  • Avocado wedges
  • Pomegranate seeds

Instructions

  • Arrange thin slices of smoked salmon on a plate (if you like, over a bed of tender greens as pictured).
  • Then, whisk together all the dressing ingredients together until you have a smooth emulsion. Spoon this over the salmon slices.
  • Allow the salmon to macerate for just 5 minutes or so before serving, topped with one more garnishes if you like. Some crusty bread to go with is always welcome.

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Why are Espresso Cups So Small? 4 Interesting Facts

SEPTEMBER 16, 2020

COFFEE FACTS

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Espresso is an integral part of many coffee lover’s daily life! We sip it at anytime you want and just enjoy the natural aromas and scents that comes from it.

But have you ever wondered why are espresso cups so small? This is something that has plagued our minds, so we decided to do a bit of research and answer the question for you and ourselves.

Before we get into answering the question, we got to cover a bit of background about Espresso. Espresso is served in a delicate small mug in which the coffee with a frothy layer on top, usually the foam from the brewing process.

Espresso is brewed with a blend of hot water under intense pressure. To make the best espresso, the beans of coffee should be ground into very fine powder.

You cannot use gritty, grainy coffee powder into the machine. This finely ground powder is compressed into a compact lump. It is not strong coffee but a flavorful espresso using a different preparation method.

Now that we got some basics about espresso out the way, we can cover off the main question then followed with some additional things you may not know about espresso.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Why are espresso cups so small?What size should an espresso cup be?How quickly should you drink espresso?Why is espresso so strong?Final Thoughts

WHY ARE ESPRESSO CUPS SO SMALL (1)

Why are espresso cups so small?

Espresso is made by pressing coffee and it has a crema layer on top to lock the aroma within the espresso.

To sustain this crema, the espresso cups are made small and the reason they are served in small cups is to avoid the creme layer to spread out!

Falling or dissipating crema can also make the espresso cold. Espresso is thicker and consists of lesser water as compared to a drip coffee. It is caffeine packed and flavorful into a small cup.

Some primary aspects of espresso cups being small are:

  • Crema, which is a foam layer forms on the top of an expresso. It is decorated on the top of the espresso. Espresso and cream make the cup. Selecting a large wide cup can result in the dissolving of crema. Crema is very important in making expresso perfect. Crema becomes very thin and gradually dissipates in a large cup.
  • Espresso is also very concentrated, and so you can say it is a shrunken form of coffee and a strong one in a small cup. A small cup itself tastes very strong, so much that it can use 7oz. of milk for 1 oz. of espresso.
  • A typical espresso is about 1-2 fluid ounces, which is right in a small cup.
  •  Espresso is about getting less water in a coffee that is too topped with foam crema.

Espresso in a small cup is just the right way to enjoy it. Its concentration, water content, and crema are in the right proportions in typical cup size.

why are espresso cups so small

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What size should an espresso cup be?

An espresso cup is of a typical size of 2-3 fluid ounces and the cup size is about half of the regular cup of coffee.

Hence, the espresso cup is also termed as “Demitasse Cup” in French, which is nothing but half a cup. The espresso cups are about 2-2 and 1/2 inches tall.

This is because if the cup is bigger, then there is a high chance of crema spreading out and unlocking the expressing aroma. Not only this, once crema splits, but it also spreads out and thins.

This eventually makes the crema disappear fast. A large cup impacts the espresso temperature as well. This makes the espresso turn cold very quickly.

Below we will take at each cup size with its standard and metric equivalents to get a better picture:

  • One cup means 2 ounces or 59 ml
  • Two cups mean 4 ounces or 118ml
  • Three cups mean 6 ounces or 177ml
espresso cup sizes

Related Article: How does a Drip Coffee Maker Work?

How quickly should you drink espresso?

Espresso, as the name suggests, should be made quick and also had quickly to get the best flavor, taste, and aroma. It should be drunk with “crema” on top.

What is crema? It is the creamy coffee oil emulsion that covers the espresso. It is a covering lid for espresso beneath. This way, all the espresso aromas are locked within to enjoy while drinking.

This emulsion is essential as the aroma dissipates fast. But then, how quickly should it be drunk to get overall espresso pleasure?

An espresso cup, traditionally, which is about 1-2 fl. ounces of coffee, should take about 25 seconds to get excellent espresso. But, when it comes to drinking it, to enjoy its flavor and aroma, but without making it cold, it would need around 2 minutes to sip an espresso cup.

Drink the espresso with crema layer on top to lock in the aroma without dissipation.

Take your espresso in three or more than three sips in about 30 seconds to as much as 4 minutes also. This time is particularly applicable for a double espresso shot.

The duration depends on how well you want to savor the drink with its flavors and aroma. It is essential to remember that a long time doesn’t mean more taste like the aroma and crema to dissipate with a longer time.

The time mentioned is sufficient enough to enjoy the espresso to the fullest. Beyond which, you are bound to get a cold, taste-fading espresso.

Related Article: Best Coffee Maker with Espresso

Why is espresso so strong?

Espresso is high in concentration and, therefore, can appear stronger as compared to regular coffee. It can also taste bitter than a regular brewed coffee.

But, the coffee strength is determined by the method and level of roasting of coffee beans and not how it is brewed.

Generally, coffee beans are roasted at three levels- Dark, medium, and light roast. Dark roast is done at 225 deg C to 230 deg C, medium roast is done at 210 deg C to 219 deg C, and the light roast is done at 196 deg C to 205 deg C temperatures.

The more the roasting of coffee beans, the enhanced will be its taste. On the same lines, the dark coffee roast is most strong of all coffee types.

An espresso made out of these dark roast of coffee beans results in a strong espresso as compared to regular coffee.

Final Thoughts

From the article above, we can see why a small cup is essential and important to get a perfect espresso. It is very important as a small cup with foamy crema keeps the espresso aroma, temperature, and flavor intact

The crema is very important to be thick and covering the coffee fluid. A larger cup can make the crema fall out, thin out, and eventually disappear.

This, in turn, makes the espresso flavorless, aroma less, and cold. Who would want to have a compromised, flavorless, and cold espresso? Get your typical small espresso cup and take pleasure in each sip.