Healthier Coffee with the Hourglass Coffee Maker

I discovered the Hourglass Cold Press Coffee Maker after reading a headline in a Better.tv e-mail newsletter that touted “Acid-free Coffee.” Hardly believing that this could be true, I clicked on the link to watch the video. Well, Mr. Rinaldi, the president of Hourglass, always used the qualifier “virtually” when he said “acid-free” during this interview and demonstration. But he allowed the interviewer, Brook Carlson, to repeat the acid-fee claim without the qualifier. The Hourglass website states clearly that their coffee maker brews coffee with 69.6% less acid than hot brew coffee, and they have lab test results to prove it. The Hourglass coffee maker is also promoted as being eco-friendly because it uses BPA free plastic, and also because it uses no paper filters or electricity. Sounds great, and personally, I love cold brew coffee. I also agree that it can be a healthier alternative for those who have medical conditions that make the acid in hot brew coffee an issue for them. But I see a few problems with this product.

First of all, there is the price. The Hourglass Cold Press Coffee System costs $69.95 plus shipping. Not only are there cheaper cold brew coffee systems for sale, but there is an inexpensive alternative to buying a specialized cold brewing system at all. My article, Making Cold Brew Coffee in a French Press (Associated Content), explains how to make delicious cold brew coffee using a simple French press. You can purchase a basic French press for around $15 from almost any store that sells other types of coffeemakers. If you cannot find one locally you can always find one on Amazon.com.

Second, there is the size of the Hourglass Coffee System. From the video on Better.tv the Hourglass brewing system looks about as tall and wide as an average coffee maker. However, since you don’t usually need to make cold brew coffee everyday this is something most people will want to store inside a cabinet and not on their countertop. This product will definitely require more precious shelf space than a French press. And for its size, it still only makes half as much coffee concentrate as my 32 ounce French press.

Finally, this product is still made of plastic while my French press is made mostly of glass and stainless steel. (The handle and lid of my press are both plastic, but neither of these parts touches the coffee while it brews.) BPA free plastic may be safer than other plastics, but it still cannot beat glass and stainless steel for being eco-smart. Also, once the coffee has been brewed, you will need to clean your coffee maker. Since the Hourglass Coffee System has more and larger components, a simple French press requires less energy and water when it comes to clean up.

So, if you would like to try this healthier way to brew coffee, my suggestion is to buy a French press. And as an added bonus, a French press can also be used to brew hot coffee or even loose leaf tea.

The Ideazon Zboard Gaming Keyboard Reviewed: The Best Gaming Keyboard for the Money?

If you’re still using a standard, traditional keyboard for your gaming, then you’re likely missing out on many of the features that modern gaming keyboards offer. Serious PC gamers know that while the standard keyboard that most people are accustomed to may be fine for internet use and word processing, it’s often less than ideal for the demands of hardcore gaming sessions.
As more and more PC users spend time honing their skills as gamers, a variety of specialized gaming keyboards have become available to meet their needs. Perhaps one of the best known is the Zboard offered by Ideazon. Marketed as the “Ultimate Gaming Keyboard”, the Zboard offers a wide range of features specifically designed for gamers including a unique modular keyset system.

That the Zboard remains a popular keyboard despite the fact that it’s been available for some time is perhaps an indication of its versatility and quality. While other keyboards are available from brand names that might be more recognized by average consumers, the Zboard was arguably the first keyboard of its kind specifically tailored for and marketed to gamers and gamers alone. If you’re wondering just what makes the Zboard an excellent choice for gamers, here are some of the features that set it apart from any other old plain keyboard.

Modular: Swap out keysets on the fly

The feature that may initially surprise most consumers the most is the Zboard’s modular design. The keys of the keyboard are actually part of two distinct detachable sets that can easily be removed and attached any time you want. The keysets are distinguished by their alternate layouts with one keyset having the traditional, classic keyboard layout that all computer users are familiar with, and a second keyset specifically designed for gamers. Each section conveniently folds for ease of storage and transport, and swapping out the keysets is a cinch.

The standard keyset is ideal for typing, word-processing, and standard computer and internet tasks, so the Zboard is perfectly functional as a standard keyboard. The second keyset is where the action is and it’s what PC gamers will find themselves using during gaming sessions.

The Gaming Keyset

This keyset features a set of directional controls which correspond to the the “WASD” keys, well-known as the classic movement configuration for games of all kinds, in large red colors as the central focus of the left hand side of the keyset.

More than just WASD…

The movement keys are surrounded by an extremely convenient layout of numerical keys which would map to the classic weapon layouts that are ubiquitous in PC gaming these days. To the right and left of the movement keys are clearly labeled buttons intended to be mapped to run/walk, reload, use, and crouch functions which are essentially universal and extremely handy to have quick and easy access to. Since it can be a major annoyance to memorize letters that are assigned to various functions in any of the games you might play, the Zboard’s clearly labeled and cleverly placed keys make in-game control a real breeze.

Currently selling for $49 USD via thetechinsider.org, the Zboard really is a must-own for any serious PC gamer. Once you use it, you’ll wonder how you ever played without it.

Finding Espresso Machine for Home within Budget

For all coffee amorous people, the thought of being able to prepare espresso at home is truly an appealing notion. Since the market is flooded with a variety of machines for espresso beverages, it may seem difficult for average people to find the best Espresso Machine for their home use which is affordable and at the same time purposeful. So, here is a guide for you that can help find the suited machine for you home use.

How Much Does Espresso Machine Would Cost?

Almost everyone with the idea to purchase the best Espresso Machine for home use is with tight budget. The budget for the best machine would range from $50 to $500, depending upon the features and capacity of the machine. This price range won’t get you the top of the line espresso machines, but it can get you the suitable setup for your home espresso needs.

The low range models of espresso machines would cost you between $50 and $200. These are cheaper models basically made out of plastic and are stream-driven. Such cheaper versions would not produce quality espresso and are likely to break very easily. So, such machines must be avoided and try to grab the mid-range Espresso Machine which delivers good espresso drinks and perfect for home use as well.

Locating Good Espresso Machine within $200

Still, budget conscious people are likely to find the best Espresso Machine for home use within $200. Instead of steam-driven machines, prefer to buy the machine that are pump-driven as they can generate quality espresso to suit your taste. Pump-drive machines are best for home use and it can produce good shots of espresso. Manual piston-driven machines are also considered good option for home use, but come with difficult opting features which make it complicated for average person to operate.