Tips for Enjoying the Best Coffee at Home

There is no doubt that coffee as a beverage is one of the most popular in the world. It shares the top spot with tea. It is enjoyed in different parts of the world and in every continent. Its strong flavour and distinct and powerful stimulating effect is what makes it a very popular drink today. The practice of drinking coffee has been around for hundreds of years now. For some it has become a part of their tradition. There are also those who have got the preparation of coffee down to an art form.

Are you a coffee lover yourself or are you just starting to explore what this drink has to offer? You might be surprised that you can get a great deal out of it. Whether you are a veteran coffee drinker or just a novice, you need to make sure that you are getting the best. That might be a bit hard if you prepare your drink at home. The good news is that there are plenty of things that you can do in order to ensure the quality of your drinks that you make at home.

We have listed here some of the tips that you can follow to ensure the quality of your home coffee.

Pick Your Source

What kind of coffee drinker are you? Are you the sort who is just after a dose of caffeine or do you like the flavour as well? If you enjoy drinking coffee because of its flavour, you can take extra steps to ensure that you will get the best out of your drink. One of the ways that you can do is by picking your source carefully. The flavour of the drink that you would be able to make at home depends largely on the source of the beans that you use for the drink.

If you want the best and finest coffee then you should try getting them from a roaster. These are the stores that are solely dedicated to selling coffee. A roaster would have a wide selection of coffee beans to sell which are quite fresh. More importantly, people manning the roaster should be able to give you some advice and guidance when it comes to selecting your coffee.

Pick the Right Type

There are two types of coffee being sold in the market. These types are the Robusta and the Arabica. The Arabica type of coffee is normally grown at higher places than the Robusta. This difference is important when it comes to the flavouring of the coffee. Arabica is normally more flavourful than the other type.

Pick the Country of Origin

Another important factor when it comes to the flavour of the coffee is its country of origin. The flavour of the coffee bean is also determined largely by the place where it is grown. The kind of soil and the climate in a certain area would be a factor. There are certain countries that have been associated with high quality and flavourful coffee. Some people like Brazilian coffee for example because the beans have a chocolate-like scent.

Pick the Right Kind of Roast

The kind of roast of your coffee will also have an effect on the quality of the coffee drink that you can produce at home. Light roasts will contain more acids and contain more caffeine as well. It will also show more of the nuances of the flavour of the coffee that you have. The dark roasts will contain less acid and caffeine.

For best results you should learn to do your own roasting at home. This might take a few tries, but once you have learned to do your own roasting, that would be a great advantage. Coffee beans that have been roasted will soon deteriorate. It will lose its flavour, but if you buy green coffee and you do your own roasting then you can get your coffee fresh every time.

Pick Your Grinder

Another important factor in determining the quality of your beverage would be the beans’ grinding. Freshly ground beans would be better and would have more flavour. Relying on the store to do the grinding for you is not going to work all the time if you want the best coffee. You should really consider getting your own grinder.

There are many types of coffee grinders that you can get for your home. There is a blade grinder which is the most common type. Then there is a burr grinder which produces even more quality. Finally, there is a conical burr grinder which produces the best quality.

Picking the Water

Many people might not realize it, but there is a lot that depends on the quality of water that you are going to use for your coffee. If the water that you use for your coffee has a taste on its own, that would have an effect on taste of your drink. In most cases, that could ruin your drink. Experts actually recommend that you avoid using distilled water in making coffee. That’s because distilled water lacks some of the minerals that enhances the taste of coffee. The temperature of the water that you will use also has a great impact on the way that your water would taste.

Proper Storage for Your Coffee

The way that you store your coffee will also play an important role on the quality of the beverage that you will make. Improperly stored coffee beans will easily lose its flavour. You have to make sure that you keep your beans in a sealed container, so that it does not lose its flavour. Some would suggest that the best thing to do in those cases would be to put the coffee in the freezer. But that’s not necessary at all. If you know the exact date when your beans are roasted, then you can predict up to which time you can use it.

Using a French Press

How do you make coffee at home? If you are like most people then you use a drip coffee maker. But a French press will actually produce a better quality drink. In most cases even a cheap French press will produce a better beverage than a drip coffee maker. Why is a French Press better? That’s because in using it, more oil gets into the coffee. With a drip coffee maker, many of those oils, which are necessary for the flavour of the coffee, get into the drink.

Using a Drip Machine

Some people on the other hand still prefer the convenience presented by a drip coffee maker. The problem with it though is that it takes really long to reach the right temperature for brewing coffee. You can help that process, though. You can try running a pot of warm water through the maker just so you can warm it up. You can use that water again in order to make the actual brew. You can be sure that the water is warm enough.

These are just some of the steps that you can follow in order to make great coffee in the comfort of your own home.

The Origins of Halloween

Spanning the line linking autumn and winter, bounty and scarcity, life and passing, Halloween’s a period of merriment and fallacy. It’s believed to have begun with the aged Celtic celebration of Samhain, where individuals might light campfires and wear ensembles to protect against wandering apparitions. During the 8th century, Pope Gregory III selected the 1st November a period to distinction all examples of piety and saints; the occasion, All Saints’ Day, consolidated a portion of the customs of the Samhain. In the prior night was reputed to be All Hallows’ Eve and presently Halloween. In due course, Halloween developed into a common, neighborhood based occasion portrayed by kid friendly exercises, for example trick-or-treating by children. In various nations across the globe, as the daylight hours get ever more short and the nighttimes get cooler, individuals press on to bring in the season of winter with social occasions, ensembles and sweets. In this article, we will look more closely at the origins of Halloween, what it means and where trick-or-treating originated from.

Ancient Origins of Halloween

Halloween’s origins go as far back as the very old Celtic celebration of “Samhain” (said like “sow-in”). The Celts, who existed 2 thousand years back in the region that is currently Eire, the Great Britain and the northern regions of France, observed their New Year’s festivities on the 1st November. The date denoted the closure of the season of summer as well as the yield and the start of the dim, icy winter, a period of the year that at the time was frequently connected with human passing. Celts accepted that on the prior night before New Year, the edge between the universes of the existing and the departed got smeared. During the nighttime of 31st October they praised Samhain, once it was accepted that the phantoms of the departed came back to earth. As well as making mayhem and harming crops, Celts suspected that the attendance of the supernatural specters made it less demanding for both the Druids, and the Celtic ministers, to make forecasts about what’s to come. For individuals fully dependent on Mother Nature, these predictions were a critical font of solace and guidance throughout the long, dim winter.

Halloween and the Druids

To remember the occasion, Druids constructed gigantic consecrated blazes, where the individuals accumulated to blaze crops and creatures as offerings to the Celtic gods. Throughout the festival, the Celts wore outfits, normally comprising of creature heads and skins, and endeavored to let each know different fortunes. The point when the festival was over, they re-lit their hearth fires, which they had smothered prior that nighttime, from the holy campfire to help secure them throughout the nearing winter.

Halloween Comes to America

The festival of Halloween was greatly constrained to colonial New England on account of the unbending Protestant belief systems there. Halloween was substantially more normal in Maryland and the southern states. As the convictions and traditions of distinctive European ethnic aggregations and additionally the American Indians fit, a particularly American form of Halloween started to rise. The primary festivals incorporated “play parties,” open occasions expected to celebrate the harvest, where neighbors might impart stories of the dead, let each know different fortunes, dance and sing. Colonial Halloween celebrations also emphasized the recounting ghost stories and devilishness of assorted types. By the mid nineteenth century, twelve-monthly fall celebrations were regular, however, Halloween was not yet observed all over the country.

Immigrants Boost the Celebration of Halloween

In the second part of the 19th century, America was inundated with new migrants. These new foreigners, particularly the huge number of Irish escaping Ireland’s potato shortage of 1846, assist to promote the festival of Halloween nationwide. Taking from Irish and English customs, Americans started to spruce up in outfits and head off house to house requesting candy or cash, a practice that in the long run came to be today’s “trick-or-treat” custom. Adolescent ladies assumed that on Halloween they could discover the name or look of their future other half by doing tricks with yarn, fruit parings or mirrors.

A Change to the Celebrations

In the late 1800s, there was a change in America to shape Halloween into an occasion increasingly about neighborhood and neighborly get-togethers than about phantoms, tricks and witchcraft. At the turn of the century, Halloween parties for both kids and grown-ups turned into the most widely recognized approach to observe the day. Celebrations focused on recreation, foodstuffs of the season and merry outfits. Folks were supported by daily papers and group guides to take anything “terrifying” or “odd” out of Halloween festivals. As a result of these exertions, Halloween lost the majority of its superstitious and religious suggestions by the start of the twentieth century.

Halloween in the Early Part of the 20th Century

By the time of the 1920s and 30s, Halloween had turned into a common, yet group focused occasion, with parades and vast parties as the offered diversion. In spite of the best hard work of numerous schools and groups, vandalism started to torment Halloween festivals in numerous neighborhoods throughout this time. By the 1950s, town guides had solidly restricted vandalism and Halloween had developed into an occasion targeted at the youthful. Because of the high amounts of babies born throughout the 1950s, gatherings moved from town civic centers into the classroom or home, where they could be all the more effortlessly accommodated. Between 1920 and 1950, the hundreds of years old practice of trick-or-treating, was rejuvenated. Trick-or-treating was a generally modest method for a whole group to join in with the Halloween festivities. In principle, family units could also avoid tricks being played on them by giving the neighborhood kids little treats. A brand new American custom was conceived.

Today’s Halloween Traditions

Jack-O-Lanterns

The people at amazingdiscoveries.com have described the tradition of Jack-o-lanterns: “The legend of the jack-o’-lantern has a few different meanings. Some sources say the Celtic people used hollowed-out turnips to carve frightening faces and put a candle in to keep harmful spirits away from their homes. iii Other tales say it was meant to act like a lamp to guide their dead ancestors to the meal left out for them. iv The legend of “Jack of the Lantern” has it that a man named Jack tried to outsmart the devil through practical jokes. The devil punished him for it by making him carry around a lit lantern the rest of his life, meant as a warning for others not to offend the devil.”

The Origins of Trick-or-Treating

The American Halloween convention of “trick-or-treating” presumably goes back to the ancient All Souls’ Day parades in England. Throughout the merriments, poor residents might ask for nourishment and families might give them cakes called “soul cakes” in exchange for their guarantee to appeal to God for the family’s dead relatives. The giving out of soul cakes was encouraged by the congregation as an approach to displace the antiquated practice of leaving sustenance and wine for wandering spirits. The practice, which was alluded to as “going a-souling” was in the long run consumed by youngsters who might visit the houses in their neighborhood and be given beer, nourishment, and cash.

Dressing Up

The custom of dressing in outfits for Halloween has both European and Celtic roots. Many years back, winter was an indeterminate and unnerving time. Supplies of food frequently ran low and, for the numerous individuals anxious about the dark, the short days of winter were full of consistent stress. On Halloween, when it was accepted that phantoms returned to the natural planet, individuals suspected that they might experience apparitions assuming that they left their homes. To abstain from being distinguished by these apparitions, individuals might wear veils when they left their homes after dark so the phantoms might confuse them for individual spirits. On Halloween, to keep phantoms far from their houses, individuals might put bowls of food outside their homes to allay the apparitions and thwart them from trying to enter.

Halloween Superstitions

Halloween has dependably been an occasion loaded with mystery, enchanting and superstition. It started as a Celtic end-of-summer celebration throughout which individuals felt particularly near deceased relatives and companions. For these neighborly spirits, they set places for supper, left treats on doorsteps and along the side of the street and lit candles to help friends and family to discover their direction once again to the spirit world. Today’s Halloween phantoms are regularly portrayed as being more fearsome and malignant, and our traditions and superstitions are scarier as well. We abstain from crossing paths with dark cats, concerned about the fact that they give us bad fortune. This thought has its roots in the Middle Ages, when most individuals accepted that witches escaped capture by transforming themselves into cats. We do whatever it takes not to stroll under ladders, for the same reason.

Forgotten Halloween Traditions

Anyhow shouldn’t we think about the Halloween conventions and convictions that today’s trick-or-treaters have overlooked? A large number of these out of date customs kept tabs on what’s to come in place of the past and the living rather than the dead. Specifically, many had to do with helping youthful ladies recognize their future spouses and consoling them that they might, by next Halloween—be wedded. In eighteenth century Ireland, a matchmaking cook may cover a ring in her pureed potatoes on Halloween night, maintaining a specific end goal, which is to carry intimate romance to the diner who discovered it.

In Scotland, soothsayers prescribed that a qualified youthful lady name a hazelnut for each of her suitors and afterward throw the nuts into the chimney. The nut that smoldered to powder as opposed to popping or blasting, the story went, spoke to the young lady’s future spouse. (In a few forms of this legend, confusingly, the inverse was accurate: The nut that consumed with smoldering heat symbolized a fondness that might not keep going.) Another story had it that if a youthful lady consumed a sugary creation made out of walnuts, hazelnuts and nutmeg before bed on Halloween night, she might dream about her future spouse. Junior ladies hurled fruit peels over their shoulders, trusting that the peels might fall to the carpet and form the shape of their future spouses’ initials; tried to research their futures by gazing at egg yolks floating in a dish of water; and stood before mirrors in obscured rooms, holding candles and searching over their shoulders for their spouses’ appearances.

Different ceremonies were more focused. At some Halloween parties, the first visitor to uncover a burr on a chestnut-chase might be the first to wed; at others, the first apple bobber might be the first down the aisle.

In Conclusion

As you can see, Halloween and its origins are deep rooted in Celtic culture, and these traditions have morphed over the years to become the rituals we know and love today.

Dealing with Mold in Your Home

You should be aware that mold can be a serious problem at home. It can cause health problems and, in very severe cases, even death. It is therefore important for you to know as much as you can about this threat. Find out what causes it, what its effects are and how to prevent its growth. Only by properly educating yourself can you take the right steps to take care of your family at all times and help prevent them from being seriously affected by mold.

What is Mold?

Mold is a kind of fungus that can grow into multicellular filaments. There are many types of mold and it is important to note that there is always a certain amount of mold that can be found in the air or inside our homes. It only becomes a problem when certain types of mold that can cause serious harm infest your home or the mold infestation reaches a certain point. Some types of mold are used for specific purposes. There is evidence that exposure to some types of mold can cause health problems. Evidence points out that mold exposure can cause neurological problems and in extreme cases even death. Other negative effects of exposure to mold would include asthma, allergic reactions and problems with the respiratory system.

Controlling Mold Growth

It is important to take note that it would be virtually impossible to eliminate all mold inside your home. No matter how much you clean up your home, some mold will still manage to get through. There is absolutely no way that you will be able to eliminate the presence of mold. But there are many things that you can do which will reduce the risks of being exposed.

You have to accept that mold is part of the natural environment. Finding it inside your home is not surprising. In the outdoors, the presence of mold is even more crucial. It plays an important part on the way that nature works. Molds can reproduce through tiny spores. These spores are small that you would not see them without the aid of a microscope. These miniscule pores can be carried away in the air. Moisture is the most important factor that can fuel mold growth. When mold spores land on surfaces inside your house that are wet, they can thrive and you are sure to have a mold infestation in your place.

We have mentioned that eliminating all traces of mold indoors would be an impossible task. That can only be done in a very controlled environment where even the air is going to be filtered. But even if you can do that to your home, there is no real point in doing so. The thing to aim for is to avoid the infestation inside which would reach the level where the mold growth can cause health problems. Mold thrives on moisture and if you take out moisture inside your home then there would be no way that mold can infest it.

Ways of Controlling Mold

There are several ways that you can control mold in your home. But the focus of those steps is to control the presence of moisture. We have enumerated here several steps that you can take on how you can control mold.

Leaks and Seepage

We have mentioned that moisture is the biggest factor for mold growth inside your home. One of the main sources of moisture would be leaks and seepage. You should move in right away and fix any leaks and seepage that you might find inside your place. If the problem is water seepage that’s coming from the outside, then the measures that you need to take are going to be more expensive and extensive. That might include excavations, landscaping and even waterproofing.

The problem with leaks is that they might happen in areas that are not exposed. So you might not realize that there is a leak until it’s too late. What you should do is to conduct regular inspections and checks on the possible areas where there might be some leaks.

Exhaust in Bathrooms

You might be wondering about what you should do in areas that are meant to have moisture. These areas would include the bathroom and your kitchen. What can you do then about the moisture in those spaces to prevent the mold growth? The best that you can do is to place an exhaust fan there. The fan would get rid of the extra moisture inside before it ends up in the surfaces there. With your clothes drier you should vent it on the outside, so the moisture does not end up inside your house.

ACs and Dehumidifiers

Do you live in a hot climate? If you do then the moisture problem there can be more acute. You should use AC and dehumidifier in your house, so you can reduce the amount of moisture that can be found in the air. But you have to make sure that your AC and your dehumidifier will be well-maintained or they might end up being sources of biological hazards in their turn.

Carpets and Concrete Floors

Do you have a concrete floor at home and you use a carpet over it? Then you should pay special attention to it. Carpets can absorb a great deal of moisture. It would be better if you are going to use area rugs which would be easier to take up and wash. Think about a vapour barrier if you are going to use a carpet. The barrier is made up of plastic and can be used for preventing the build-up of moisture which could lead to mold growth.

Cleaning Mold in Your House

We have given you steps on how you can prevent the growth of mold in your house. But what would you do in case there is mold growth in your home already? We have listed here some of the easier steps that you can take for cleaning mold inside your house.

Using borax is one of the best ways that you can use in order to clean the mold. You can buy this item at the grocery and is very affordable. It should work with most of the surfaces at home. Before you should start cleaning with borax you should vacuum the area to be cleaned first. You should mix one tablespoon of borax and mix it with a gallon of water. Using a brush dipped into the solution you can scrub away the mold. Wipe it away but don’t wash away the solution.

Another household material that you can use for cleaning away the mold would be detergent. It works best on non-porous surfaces only such as tiles and glass. All you have to do is to mix the detergent with water so you can come up with a solution. Use that solution for washing away the mold.

It is important to remember that dealing with mold would depend on the climate that you live in. The steps you need to take if you live in a cold climate would be different from what you should do if you live in a humid area. Thus, you need to do more research.