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A Nutritionist's Restorative Coffee Brews

By Guan Tan

 
Fire Fighter

Ingredients for a cup of Fire Fighter. From left, flaxseed and the resultant cold-pressed flaxseed oil, fresh turmeric and chilli.

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Fire Fighter

A spicy espresso of turmeric, chilli and cold-pressed flaxseed oil. The ingredients offer anti-inflammatory and relieving properties, useful for anyone concerned about inflammations, allergies, asthma, eczema, arthritis amongst others.

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Sweet Relief

Ingredients for the making of a cup of Sweet Relief. From left, raw cashew nuts and the resulting cashew milk, cacao powder extracted from raw dark chocolate beans, granulated dried raw dates, and raw cinnamon ground.

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Sweet Relief

A cup of Sweet Relief – coffee with cacao powder, cinnamon, date sugar and raw cashew milk. "This beverage was intended to be the perfect antidote to a stressful day or a nagging sweet tooth," nutritionist Eve Persak quips. "The recipe for a standard chocolate bar usually includes a form of cocoa, creamy milk product, a sweetener and flavourings. We do the same here with pristine and potent nutraceutical ingredients."

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Body Guard

Ingredients for the Body Guard brew. From left, an organic, raw, potent New Zealand Manuka honey, ginger and cold-pressed organic virgin coconut oil.

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Body Guard

A tangy espresso of ginger, Manuka honey and cold-pressed coconut oil. The shot should be consumed consistently and is "ideal for someone with weakened immunity," Persak continues.

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Alarm Clock

Ingredients for the Alarm Clock includes (from left) powdered extract from the raw Peruvian Maca root, clear Medium Chain Triglyceride oil, a patented formulation from Bulletproof Brain Octane, coconut cream and Ghee, organic clarified cow's milk butter.

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Alarm Clock

A shot of the Alarm Clock, an espresso blend that offers a concentrated boost to energy levels. It is "a perfect beverage for someone jet-lagged, hung-over, sleep-deprived or in need of a boost on a fast-paced, exhausting day."

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It is 2:00 PM in the afternoon and nutritionist Eve Persak is into her sixth appointment of the day. The 37-year-old American oversees the food and wellness offerings at all COMO hotels and resorts.

Like most, Persak enjoys her coffee. She never shuns from caffeine. "I love coffee, I really do. Finding a nice coffee shop is something I enjoy when I'm travelling." Persak adds. "But upon visiting cafes, I can't help but wonder, 'How can we do this better?'" The nutritionist in her immediately spots the shortcomings. "Sweetened milks, whipped creams, syrups, granulated sugars, processed flavouring, toppings like sprinkles and chips," she recites. 

Coffee is perceived and branded as a "busy" beverage. On a busy morning, consumers seldom invest much thought into what they are drinking. "If a huge percentage of the population count on coffee on a daily basis, why not use it as a medium for a conduit for health improvement? As in, 'Sure, have your coffee. But let's give your caffeine boost a boost of nutrition.'" 

To Persak, coffee can be "therapeutic" on its own. "The anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties in the coffee bean are well-documented in scientific literature." The catch, however, is the treatment of these coffee beans. For it to be beneficial, it has to be high-quality, well-roasted and freshly ground. "It is more about how it's done than what it is," Persak exclaims. 

Persak took fresh coffee further and designed four different brews "blended with nutraceuticals and superfoods". They are all targeted at different health, wellness and lifestyle needs. For one, a spicy espresso shot she calls the "Fire Fighter", made of turmeric, fresh chilli and flaxseed oil. The ingredients boast "anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving properties. It's useful for anyone concerned about inflammation – allergies, asthma, eczema, arthritis, heart and brain health. The Fire Fighter is my favourite," Persak quips.

The second was a tangy coffee she calls the "Body Guard" – brewed with ginger, Manuka honey and organic virgin coconut oil. "It's ideal for someone with weakened immunity or for prevention." The Body Guard should ideally be consumed consistently.

The "Alarm Clock" was perhaps the most complex of all four. It includes a patented oil called the Medium Chain Triglyceride oil, organic clarified cow's milk butter called Ghee, powdered extract from the raw Peruvian Maca root, and raw coconut cream. "The elements of this beverage offers a concentrated bump to energy levels and offer benefits to brain health – memory, cognitive functions, alertness," Persak explains. 

The final coffee concoction named "Sweet Relief" contains powdered cacao, cinnamon, date sugar, and raw cashew milk. "This beverage was intended to be the perfect antidote to a stressful day and a nagging sweet tooth."

Persak has her pulse on the common nutritional issues of city-dwellers. Apart from designing the menus of hotels and resorts, she does private nutrition counselling for "individuals, couples and families." From her observation, "Stress seems to be the number one public enemy. Sadly, when we are in a hurry, nutrition is one of the first things to fall to the wayside. It literally fuels our mind, our body and our day. And the faster you move, the better your nutrition simply must be." There is little consumers can do to change their lifestyles and consumption habits. What Persak suggests, however, is replacement – to substitute unnutritious foods with better versions. In this case, takeaway coffee for a better coffee. 

All four therapeutic brews are available at COMO Cuisine.