Saturday, August 01, 2009

Coffee Foam .

Coffee Foam .

Andre Willers

1 Aug 2009

Dedicated to Ermeine on her birthday .

"You are the foam on my coffee ." Popular 20th Century AD song .

Synopsis :

Volatile aromatic compounds can be quite effectively captured by using foams on the surface . The large surface areas of the foam bubbles both capture and concentrate the volatiles .

Discussion :

This is used in two hot-water brewing systems :

1.Arabic , Turkish and Greek methods of boiling the grounds three times , and carefully preserving the foam . A foaming agent might be added . The liquid remaining would be very deficient in volatiles , but high in caffeine .

The foam would be loaded with aromatics . The foam is also considered the most important component .

Social ritual :

Serving a guest coffee without foam indicates he is not welcome .

A fascinating aside :

In Greek , Arabic or Turkish societies , a serious suitor for a daughter's hand is served by the woman in question . If the family females in consensus has nixed him , or the woman has a violent antipathy , she serves him coffee without foam . It would be brave or extremely foolish males who ignored this pointed hint . But it also saves face .


The foam is generated during the hot-brewing process by steam in milk . If done right , this traps a large percentage of aromatic volatiles quickly . The speed is important in commercial applications . The problem lies in smothering the surface of the liquid quickly enough to prevent the escape of these volatiles .

The foam must be eaten , not shoved aside or filtered through a moustache .

Foaming agents :

Milk , as in cappucino .

Chicory , with lesser success . Used in bubble-kernels of freeze-dried instant coffee .

Others exist , unknown to me . But definitely tried .

A cold-water foaming process used by the Lacandon Maya to prepare chocolate foam used a vine they called "suqir" to capture the aromatic volatiles . This was spooned and eaten .

(Source : "The true history of chocolate" ISBN 0-500-28229-3 by Coe , p64-65)

Modern science can supply many more .

Try whipped cream on top of the cold brew .

The canned variety of whipped cream , with lots of cells . These should capture the aromatics that would have escaped .

Lacandon Coffee or Chocolate : a new delicacy .

Cold brew coffee/cacao with a thick layer of highly whipped cream on top . Stir the sludge continuously , without breaking up the foam-cells , letting the volatiles escape into the cream foam . Then rework the Lacandon foam as desired .

The result is a delicacy packed with aromatics , without caffeine if so desired .

Cacao (Chocolate)

Many of the previous discussions are applicable to cacao . Try it , especially the cold brewing .

Quantum aspects .

Quantum systems get hairy when foams are involved . String theory of some sort is unavoidable . After all , string theory is but an attempt at explaining Planck-scale space-time foams . Their bigger cousins do not promise to be more tractable .

Still , it should be very interesting to observe what happens when we shine entangled photons through coffee or cacao bubble-foams . And observe we can , since the foam-sizes are way above quantum levels .

A cheap and easy way of observing macro effects of quantum-level processes . Tasty , too .

The trick is to see that even large , complex aromatic compounds can fit themselves through and around the walls of more than one foam-cell . As long as the topological class matches (roughly , the number of holes).

Novel compounds can form , because the outer surface of cell-A interacts with its own inner surface , but this same outer surface of cell-A is also the inner surface of cell-B . And so forth .

As long as the cells do not collapse or grow too small , they can accommodate even large aromatic molecules quite nicely , thank you .

Cellular automata breeding .

There is a teensy-weensy possible problem . It is unlikely that one compound will fit exactly . It will overlap in some way with another , forming novel compounds . These spread and reverberate in the well-known cellular-automata way . (See Wolfram )

Of course , this has large commercial applications in developing novel compounds for specific applications . The theory is well-known and the apparatus is simple and cheap .

Many living organelles or organs can be seen as compressed , structured foams .

Stabilizer : Chickenfat .

Use a very small amount of chickenfat (a few drops) on the surface before spraying on the cream foam .

Better yet , mix the cream with the moderator before foaming .

These processes (ie novel compounds forming) involve sticky-bonds breaking , releasing short-range x-rays , which in turn releases neutrons . The chickenfat moderates the fast neutrons , slowing down premature collapse of the cellular foam by too many energetic holes being punched in it .

Too many energetic holes means the topological class changes and the whole shebang goes to hell in handbasket very quickly . Not exactly an explosion , but probably a new class of cold fusion .

Can DNA/RNA/PNA be mapped to a foam multicellular surface ?

Indications are that at least some life originated from clay-foams near volcanic vents . Hollow clay-pockets (cells) , whose surfaces were covered inside and out with chemical compounds adhering (even past boiling point) by Van der Waals forces . Gecko life .

Cellular automata breeding and natural selection would quickly lead to self-replication .

This has obvious applications in all present planetary life-forms using DNA/RNA/PNA.

Especially viruses . External DNA and internal DNA can communicate without penetrating the bio-cell wall .It is an evolutionary mechanism . Patterns of electric and Van der Waal forces . Like knocking on the door .

The evolutionary implications are clear .

Epigenetics :

The ur-structures on the cell-walls evolved to control , trigger and steer the processes inside the cell . The cell-nucleus (DNA , etc) only executes the instructions from controls on the cell-wall . Epigenetics is the original self-replicating system , parasitical upon DNA/RNA/PNA . Call it the phene mechanism . Packets of information that can hive off as viruses , viruses being just another way for it to propagate . Now can you see why cells never evolved truly effective anti-virus protection ? It would be literally suicide . Note that the apoptosis initiators are all found on the cell-wall . (except for that gast-arbeiter , mitochondria) .

Epigenetic population control :

Phene structures evolved with built-in population controls . This is inherent in the limited surfaces of the ur-cells .

These communicate via viruses . Cf flu-viruses with or without the ability to change DNA .

Terran life is essentially tripartite :

1.A phene structure on the surfaces of cells . The epigenetic system .

2.A DNA governed cell doing the scutwork .

3.Virus communications medium . Messengers .

All are essential .

The phene system uses DNA and viruses to maintain , duplicate and prevent overpopulation on a large scale .

The mechanism .

The overpopulation triggers will probably something simple , like quorum systems on shortages or too high concentrations of certain chemicals or virus counts . Really simple things . This is an old mechanism , and not given to subtleties .

Sulphur springs to mind . Too high concentration of certain breakdown-products . Each phene pops out markers that get counted . Too many , and viruses (flu's) get made that reduces population , initially by just killing them , but , if that does not work , a reduction in fertility . There is a sound evolutionary reason for this order : errors in killing orders can be corrected by breeding , but not reduction in fertility . This is inclined to be permanent .

Sounds familiar ? Old age .

Forget DNA programming , detritus , etc . Look what is happening on both sides of a bio-cellular wall in a multicellular organism . The cell-wall sees it as overpopulation . From birth , the organism grows like mad , and apoptosis from the phene system races to catch up . The organism uses the apoptosis commands to sculpt organs like the brain and other body parts.But eventually , the system switches to reducing fertility (ie replacement from stem cells) . This shows up as old age .

The fertility Phene-switch.

This is operative at fractal ranges . Ie species and intra-body wide . This gives a clue to its nature .

How does it know overpopulations occurs ?

It is like a computer programmer with all the passwords to a supercomputer , crouching over a headset trying to make out what the crackly thing is saying . What it is listening to is the infrared communication occurring near the cell . If it hears a lot of activity , on the principle of denial , it simply triggers the fertility phene-switch .

(See "Gene Expression Control")

What can we do about it ?

1.Inject infrared opaque material (might help , but usually too late)

2.GIGO Garbage in , garbage out . Saturating the tissue with infrared frequencies near the critical ones will lead to beat-frequencies that will not trigger the counter . Iffy .

3.A combination of the two above might give better results .

4.Knowing what you are doing will help . This is not one of the world's smartest systems . About as sophisticated as an old 486 computer . And programmed by evolution .

5. Twisted infrared . Some molecules can twist electro-magnetic radiation into a spiral . This will have a drastically lower incidence on a phene counter . Not a true anti-agathic , but should delay age processes considerably .

Can it be reset ?

What we would really like is to reset the phene counters , especially the fertility switch , while avoiding cancers .

Evolutionary speaking , there seems to be no particular reason why a reset should have been included . Death and reproduction was the reset . But there is wriggle room in the definition of organism .

Organs in a multicellular structure age at different rates .

It seems unlikely from the evidence that reproduction rates are the variable . It is the apoptosis rate that changes . And a critical variable seems to be the age and activity of the new-born cell (see "Neurogenesis")

A possible mechanism :

We know H2S can halt molecular machinery at a low level . A concomittant blast of high-intensity infrared at the correct frequency (700nM wavelength) can reset the phene counter . The system on restart will think it is at the start of the cycle (ie just been born)

Do not try this at home .

Jurassic Park .

I cannot help wondering if post-facto entangled light might work After all , it is a time-independent process .

The algorithm :

Bathe fossilized dinosaur cells in a DNA nutrient with some flu viruses and some reptilian cells at 104 degrees Fahrenheit . Shine an entangled infrared laser at the critical frequencies for at least some months (chirp it around 700 nanometres wavelength) . See if the phenes patterned in the fossil use the viruses to reassemble the genome .

Pulse it with H2S at 90 ppm and O2 at 30% to kickstart it .

General reserve arguments (see "New Tools:Reserves) imply that even after loss of 2/3 of information , the system will still self-reassemble .

Some old viruses will be included .

Do not try this outside a level four lab .


Wave action pounding kelp (which has a high concentration of foamants ) create foam surfaces many times the size of the planet . These bubble surfaces are populated by bacteria and viruses , subjected to mutation pressures many times higher than normal . For millions of years . These include all those bacteria humans have been so thoughtfully been dumping in their sewerage . Their effluent is then aerosolled all over the planet . The quorum systems on the cell-walls sits and watches this .

Death epidemics did not work . Now expect reduced fertility , mediated by flu-like pandemics .

Surfs up !

Epigenetically yours


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