joi, 24 februarie 2011

Massive iceberg shears off after N. Zealand quake

CHRISTCHURCH (AFP) – A 30 million tonne block of ice sheared off a New Zealand glacier just minutes after a violent earthquake devastated the city of Christchurch, officials said Wednesday.
The huge iceberg crashed into a lake shortly after the 6.3 magnitude tremor rocked the South Island on Tuesday and created waves up to three metres high for 30 minutes which rocked two sightseeing boats on the lake at the time.
The enormous iceberg -- estimated to weigh 30 to 40 million tonnes -- began ripping off the Tasman Glacier at Aoraki Mount Cook National Park accompanied by a loud noise which sounded like a rifle shot, a local tourism official said.
Aoraki Mount Cook Alpine Village tourism manager Denis Callesen said locals had been expecting a major iceberg to drop from the glacier for the past month, but the "curve ball" was that the event was caused by an earthquake.
"The earthquake that we felt here was a swaying motion for about a minute, then it stopped and then it swayed for about another minute," he told AFP.
"Within about a minute of that happening, the staff at the lake heard from five kilometres away (from the glacier) a sound that sounded like a rifle shot and then over the next two minutes all the events started to unfold.
"I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that the earthquake was the trigger."
The Department of Conservation confirmed that a "large chunk" of the glacier fell into the lake but was unable to say if this was caused by the earthquake, which was only felt lightly around Mt Cook some 150 kilometres (93 miles) from the epicentre.
"You could argue whether the earthquake precipitated it or not -- the fact is that the terminal face was about due to carve anyway," area manager Richard McNamara told AFP.
"The estimate of around 30 to 40 million tonnes of ice would be at a rough estimate about right."
McNamara said the one-kilometre long piece of ice which carved off the glacier had broken into smaller icebergs, some of which were now about 200 metres (650 metres) in length, and towering up to 50 metres above the lake.
"It carved in one big lot; a face about a kilometre long carving is a spectacular sight," McNamara said, adding that the iceberg would then have popped up to the water like a porpoise before starting to break into smaller pieces.
He said that particular face of the glacier had experienced similar events in recent years and it was not unusual to see huge icebergs in the lake. However, the 7.0 magnitude quake which hit New Zealand in September had not produced a similar event at Mt Cook, he said.

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luni, 21 februarie 2011

10 dirty fruits and veggies

Are the fruits and vegetables you buy clean enough to eat?

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) studied 100,000 produce pesticide reports from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to create a list of 49 of the dirtiest and cleanest produce.

So before you hit the grocery store, see how some of your favorite fruits and veggies measured up.

Did one of your favorites make the list? Don't worry, the EWG recommends purchasing organic or locally grown varieties, which can lower pesticide intake by 80% versus conventionally grown produce.

This stalky vegetable tops the dirty list. Research showed that a single celery stalk had 13 pesticides, while, on the whole, celery contained as many as 67 pesticides.

Chemicals fester on this vegetable as it has no protective skin and its stems cup inward, making it difficult to wash the entire surface of the stalk. It’s not easy to find locally grown celery, so if you like this crunchy veggie, go organic.

Peaches are laced with 67 different chemicals, placing it second on the list of most contaminated fruits and vegetables. They have soft fuzzy skin, a delicate structure, and high susceptibility to most pests, causing them to sprayed more frequently.

This red, juicy fruit has a soft, seedy skin, allowing easier absorption of pesticides. Research showed that strawberries contained 53 pesticides. Try to buy strawberries at a local farmer’s market for a sweet dessert.

Apples are high-maintenance fruit, needing many pesticides to stave off mold, pests, and diseases. The EWG found 47 different kinds of pesticides on apples, and while produce washes can help remove some of the residue, they’re not 100% effective.

Blueberries (domestic)
These antioxidant-rich berries have a thin layer of skin that allows chemicals to more easily contaminate the fruit. Domestic blueberries were loaded with 13 pesticides on a single sample, according to the EWG. Imported blueberries also made the list at No. 14 for the dirtiest produce.

Sweet bell pepper
This crunchy, yet thin-skinned, vegetable is highly susceptible to pesticides. According to the EWG, sweet bell peppers showed traces of 63 types of pesticides. While some pesticides can be washed away, many still remain.

Spinach, kale, collard greens
These leafy green vegetables are on the list, with spinach loaded with 45 different kinds of pesticides and kale 57.

In 2006, Dole recalled bagged baby spinach after multiple E. coli illnesses associated with the vegetable made their way across the country.

Grapes (imported)
These tiny fruit have extremely thin skins, allowing for easy absorption of pesticides. And think twice before buying imported wine. The grapes that go into the wine could be coming from vineyards that use too many pesticides.

Have you ever indulged in a potato skin at your favorite restaurant? You might want to think twice before eating the skin. This spud was highly laced with pesticides—36, according to the EWG—that are needed to prevent pests and diseases.

Cherries, like blueberries, strawberries, and peaches, have a thin coating of skin—often not enough to protect the fruit from harmful pesticides.

Research showed cherries grown in the U.S. had three times the amount of pesticides as imported cherries. Because cherries contain ellagic acid, an antioxidant that neutralizes carcinogens, it’s worthwhile to buy organic or seek imported ones.

vineri, 18 februarie 2011


What are triglycerides?

Triglycerides are the chemical form in which most fat exists in food as well as in the body. They're also present in blood plasma and, in association with cholesterol, form the plasma lipids.
Triglycerides in plasma are derived from fats eaten in foods or made in the body from other energy sources like carbohydrates. Calories ingested in a meal and not used immediately by tissues are converted to triglycerides and transported to fat cells to be stored. Hormones regulate the release of triglycerides from fat tissue so they meet the body's needs for energy between meals.

How is an excess of triglycerides harmful ?

Excess triglycerides in plasma is called hypertriglyceridemia. It's linked to the occurrence of coronary artery disease in some people. Elevated triglycerides may be a consequence of other disease, such as untreated diabetes mellitus. Like cholesterol, increases in triglyceride levels can be detected by plasma measurements. These measurements should be made after an overnight food and alcohol fast.

The National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines for triglycerides are:

Normal Less than 150 mg/dL
Borderline-high 150 to 199 mg/dL
High 200 to 499 mg/dL
Very high 500 mg/dL or higher
These are based on fasting plasma triglyceride levels.

AHA Recommendation — Dietary treatment goals

Changes in lifestyle habits are the main therapy for hypertriglyceridemia. These are the changes you need to make:

  • If you're overweight, cut down on calories to reach your ideal body weight. This includes all sources of calories, from fats, proteins, carbohydrates and alcohol. 
  • Reduce the saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol content of your diet. 
  • Reduce your intake of alcohol considerably. Even small amounts of alcohol can lead to large changes in plasma triglyceride levels.
  • Eat fruits, vegetables and nonfat or low-fat dairy products most often. 
  • Get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on five or more days each week. 
  • People with high triglycerides may need to substitute monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats —such as those found in canola oil, olive oil or liquid margarine — for saturated fats. Substituting carbohydrates for fats may raise triglyceride levels and may decrease HDL ("good") cholesterol in some people. 
  • Substitute fish high in omega-3 fatty acids instead of meats high in saturated fat like hamburger. Fatty fish like mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon are high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Because other risk factors for coronary artery disease multiply the hazard from hyperlipidemia, control high blood pressure and avoid cigarette smoking. If drugs are used to treat hypertriglyceridemia, dietary management is still important. Patients should follow the specific plans laid out by their physicians and nutritionists.

Related AHA publications/Web content:

What is Cholesterol? What Causes High Cholesterol ?

Cholesterol is a fat (lipid) which is produced by the liver and is crucial for normal body functioning. Cholesterol exists in the outer layer of every cell in our body and has many functions. It is a waxy steroid and is transported in the blood plasma of all animals. It is the main sterol synthesized by animals - small amounts are also synthesized in plants and fungi.

The word "cholesterol" comes from the Greek word chole, meaning "bile", and the Greek word stereos, meaning "solid, stiff".

What are the functions of cholesterol?

  • It builds and maintains cell membranes (outer layer), it prevents crystallization of hydrocarbons in the membrane
  • It is essential for determining which molecules can pass into the cell and which cannot (cell membrane permeability)
  • It is involved in the production of sex hormones (androgens and estrogens)
  • It is essential for the production of hormones released by the adrenal glands (cortisol, corticosterone, aldosterone, and others)
  • It aids in the production of bile
  • It converts sunshine to vitamin D
  • It is important for the metabolism of fat soluble vitamins, including vitamins A, D, E, and K
  • It insulates nerve fibers

There are three main types of lipoproteins

Cholesterol is carried in the blood by molecules called lipoproteins. A lipoprotein is any complex or compound containing both lipid (fat) and protein. The three main types are:
  • LDL (low density lipoprotein) - people often refer to it as bad cholesterol. LDL carries cholesterol from the liver to cells. If too much is carried, too much for the cells to use, there can be a harmful buildup of LDL. This lipoprotein can increase the risk of arterial disease if levels rise too high. Most human blood contains approximately 70% LDL - this may vary, depending on the person.
  • HDL (high density lipoprotein) - people often refer to it as good cholesterol. Experts say HDL prevents arterial disease. HDL does the opposite of LDL - HDL takes the cholesterol away from the cells and back to the liver. In the liver it is either broken down or expelled from the body as waste.
  • Triglycerides - these are the chemical forms in which most fat exists in the body, as well as in food. They are present in blood plasma. Triglycerides, in association with cholesterol, form the plasma lipids (blood fat). Triglycerides in plasma originate either from fats in our food, or are made in the body from other energy sources, such as carbohydrates. Calories we consume but are not used immediately by our tissues are converted into triglycerides and stored in fat cells. When your body needs energy and there is no food as an energy source, triglycerides will be released from fat cells and used as energy - hormones control this process.

What are normal cholesterol levels?

The amount of cholesterol in human blood can vary from 3.6 mmol/liter to 7.8 mmol/liter. The National Health Service (NHS), UK, says that any reading over 6 mmol/liter is high, and will significantly raise the risk of arterial disease. The UK Department of Health recommends a target cholesterol level of under 5 mmo/liter. Unfortunately, two-thirds of all UK adults have a total cholesterol level of at least five (average men 5.5, average women 5.6).
Below is a list of cholesterol levels and how most doctors would categorize them in mg/dl (milligrams/deciliter) and 5mmol/liter (millimoles/liter).
  • Desirable - Less than 200 mg/dL
  • Bordeline high - 200 to 239 mg/dL
  • High - 240 mg/dL and above
  • Optimum level: less than 5mmol/liter
  • Mildly high cholesterol level: between 5 to 6.4mmol/liter
  • Moderately high cholesterol level: between 6.5 to 7.8mmol/liter
  • Very high cholesterol level: above 7.8mmol/liter

Dangers of high cholesterol levels

High cholesterol levels can cause:
  • Atherosclerosis - narrowing of the arteries.
  • Higher coronary heart disease risk - an abnormality of the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the heart.
  • Heart attack - occurs when the supply of blood and oxygen to an area of heart muscle is blocked, usually by a clot in a coronary artery. This causes your heart muscle to die.
  • Angina - chest pain or discomfort that occurs when your heart muscle does not get enough blood.
  • Other cardiovascular conditions - diseases of the heart and blood vessels.
  • Stroke and mini-stroke - occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery or vein, interrupting the flow to an area of the brain. Can also occur when a blood vessel breaks. Brain cells begin to die.
If both blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels are high, the risk of developing coronary heart disease rises significantly.

Symptoms of high cholesterol (hypercholesterolaemia)

Symptoms of high cholesterol do not exist alone in a way a patient or doctor can identify by touch or sight. Symptoms of high cholesterol are revealed if you have the symptoms of atherosclerosis, a common consequence of having high cholesterol levels. These can include:
  • Narrowed coronary arteries in the heart (angina)
  • Leg pain when exercising - this is because the arteries that supply the legs have narrowed.
  • Blood clots and ruptured blood vessels - these can cause a stroke or TIA (mini-stroke).
  • Ruptured plaques - this can lead to coronary thrombosis (a clot forming in one of the arteries that delivers blood to the heart). If this causes significant damage to heart muscle it could cause heart failure.
  • Xanthomas - thick yellow patches on the skin, especially around the eyes. They are, in fact, deposits of cholesterol. This is commonly seen among people who have inherited high cholesterol susceptibility (familial or inherited hypercholesterolaemia).

What causes high cholesterol?

Lifestyle causes
  • Nutrition - although some foods contain cholesterol, such as eggs, kidneys, eggs and some seafoods, dietary cholesterol does not have much of an impact in human blood cholesterol levels. However, saturated fats do! Foods high in saturated fats include red meat, some pies, sausages, hard cheese, lard, pastry, cakes, most biscuits, and cream (there are many more).
  • Sedentary lifestyle - people who do not exercise and spend most of their time sitting/lying down have significantly higher levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) and lower levels of HDL (good cholesterol).
  • Bodyweight - people who are overweight/obese are much more likely to have higher LDL levels and lower HDL levels, compared to people who are of normal weight.
  • Smoking - this can have quite a considerable effect on LDL levels.
  • Alcohol - people who consume too much alcohol regularly, generally have much higher levels of LDL and much lower levels of HDL, compared to people who abstain or those who drink in moderation.
Treatable medical conditions

These medical conditions are known to cause LDL levels to rise. They are all conditions which can be controlled medically (with the help of your doctor, they do not need to be contributory factors):
  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure (hypertension)
  • High levels of triglycerides
  • Kidney diseases
  • Liver diseases
  • Under-active thyroid gland
Risk factors which cannot be treated

These are known as fixed risk factors:
  • Your genes 1 - people with close family members who have had either a coronary heart disease or a stroke, have a greater risk of high blood cholesterol levels. The link has been identified if your father/brother was under 55, and/or your mother/sister was under 65 when they had coronary heart disease or a stroke.
  • Your genes 2 - if you have/had a brother, sister, or parent with hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) or hyperlipidemia (high blood lipids), your chances of having high cholesterol levels are greater.
  • Your sex - men have a greater chance of having high blood cholesterol levels than women.
  • Your age - as you get older your chances of developing atherosclerosis increase.
  • Early menopause - women whose menopause occurs early are more susceptible to higher cholesterol levels, compared to other women.
  • Certain ethnic groups - people from the Indian sub-continent (Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka) are more susceptible to having higher cholesterol levels, compared to other people.

How is high cholesterol diagnosed?

Cholesterol levels may be measured by means of a simple blood test. It is important not to eat anything for at least 12 hours before the blood sample is taken. The blood sample can be obtained with a syringe, or just by pricking the patient's finger.

The blood sample will be tested for LDL and HDL levels, as well as blood triglyceride levels. The units are measure in mg/dl (milligrams/deciliter) or 5mmol/liter (millimoles/liter).

People who have risk factors should consider having their cholesterol levels checked.

What are the treatments for high cholesterol?


Most people, especially those whose only risk factor has been lifestyle, can generally get their cholesterol and triglyceride levels back to normal by:
  • Doing plenty of exercise (check with your doctor)
  • Eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, oats, good quality fats
  • Avoiding foods with saturated fats
  • Getting plenty of sleep (8 hours each night)
  • Bringing your bodyweight back to normal
  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Stopping smoking
Many experts say that people who are at high risk of developing cardiovascular disease will not lower their risk just by altering their diet. Nevertheless, a healthy diet will have numerous health benefits.

Cholesterol-controlling medications

If your cholesterol levels are still high after doing everything mentioned above, your doctor may prescribe a cholesterol-lowering drug. They may include the following:
  • Statins (HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors) - these block an enzyme in your liver that produces cholesterol. The aim here is to reduce your cholesterol levels to under 4 mmol/liter and under 2 mmol/liter for your LDL. Statins are useful for the treatment and prevention of atherosclerosis. Side effects can include constipation, headaches, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Atorvastatin, fluvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin, rosuvastatin and simvastatin are examples of statins.
  • Aspirin - this should not be given to patients under 16 years of age.
  • Drugs to lower triglyceride levels - these are fibric acid derivatives and include gemfibrozil, fenofibrate and clofibrate.
  • Niacin - this is a B vitamin that exists in various foods. You can only get very high doses with a doctor's prescription. Niacin brings down both LDL and HDL levels. Side effects might include itching, headaches, hot flashes (UK: flushes), and tingling (mostly very mild if they do occur).
  • Anti hypertensive drugs - if you have high blood pressure your doctor may prescribe Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, Angiotensin || receptor blockers (ARBs), Diuretics, Beta-blockers, Calcium channel blockers.
In some cases cholesterol absorption inhibitors (ezetimibe) and bile-acid sequestrants may be prescribed. They have more side effects and require considerable patient education to achieve compliance (to make sure drugs are taken according to instruction).

joi, 17 februarie 2011

What are Essential Oils ?

Essential oils are the concentrated essence of plant material widely used in aromatherapy. They are exclusively made from botanical matter, so any fragrance that contains musk (an animal product), for instance, is not pure essential oil. They are often confused with synthetic fragrance oils, which are chemical recreations of scents made primarily from coal tar. While these fragrance oils may smell identical to their botanical counterparts, they do not feature the same chemical structure and will not have the same therapeutic effects; their use is limited to perfumery.
Essential oils are typically extracted from plant matter via steam distillation. The plant material is treated with steam, which 'cooks' the plant, breaking it down and releasing its essential oil. The steam containing the essential essences is cooled and the oil separated from the water and filtered to become essential oils.

Some essential oils can be extracted through pressing, just as grape juice can be pressed from the grape. If you twist a piece of lemon or orange rind, the rind will yield a bit of liquid which is oily and smells strongly of the fruit - this oil is the fruit's essential oil and is easily extractable through a press.

Essential oils vary widely in price, depending largely on the amount of plant material needed to make them. The citrus oils are quite economical to make, since the citrus rind contains a lot of oil, and thus less expensive than the oils derived from flowers, which contain very little oil. It can take over a hundred pounds (45 kilograms) of lavender flowers to make a pound of lavender essential oil. That may sound high, until you consider that it takes over a thousand pounds (450 kilograms) of jasmine to make a pound of jasmine essential oil. Jasmine, rose and neroli (orange blossom) are among the most costly of all the essential oils.

While a very few essential oils, such as lavender and tea tree, are safe to apply directly to the skin, most are so concentrated that they must be diluted with 'carrier oils'. Carrier oils are massage oils typically made from nuts and seeds - apricot kernel, grapeseed and jojoba are all good blending oils.

The aromatherapeutic effects of essential oils can be administered in different ways, depending on the oil and the effect. Skin absorption is one of the most common methods - a dilute blend of essential oils and carrier oils are massaged into the skin, which absorbs the active ingredient of the essential oil into the bloodstream.

Inhalation of steam containing vaporized essential oils is often a very effective way to treat respiratory complaints, and is also one of the most widely used methods of using essential oils for their mood-enhancing and emotion-stabilizing effects. A few drops of essential oil in a small glass bowl of water over a tealight candle is all you need to infuse your surroundings with a lovely scent that can calm or invigorate, depending on the oil you choose. 

Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils
  • There are, however, commonly accepted practices involved in the growing, harvesting and distilling of therapeutic-grade essential oils. Understanding these practices is essential to obtaining the best essential oils.
  • It is a safe alternative if you have a busy household where another type of diffuser might be knocked over accidentally. Essential oil diffusers for therapeutic use differ from their room-freshener cousins. Heating therapeutic-grade oils diminishes their effectiveness, so these diffusers operate without generating heat.

Essential Oil Blends 
  • Examples of middle notes are lavender, rosemary, juniper and nutmeg, while examples of base notes are rose, clove, sandalwood and jasmine. When mixing an essential oil blend, beginners usually make sure they have all three notes in their blend.
  • As for its fragrance, myrrh essential oil acts as a perfume when combined with other types of aromatherapy oils. Compatible essential oil blends include myrrh with frankincense, lavender, sandalwood, rosewood, thyme, and others such as juniper and patchouli.
Frankincense Essential Oil
  • The oil can also be applied directly to sores and damaged skin with a washcloth. Some who use frankincense essential oil also claim that the substance, rubbed into the skin, can help alleviate joint ailments such as arthritis.
  • As for its fragrance, myrrh essential oil acts as a perfume when combined with other types of aromatherapy oils. Compatible essential oil blends include myrrh with frankincense, lavender, sandalwood, rosewood, thyme, and others such as juniper and patchouli. 

Sandalwood Essential Oil 
  • It may also be added to bath products and candles. In aromatherapy, sandalwood essential oil is believed to have a calming effect. It is also used to focus the mind for meditation.
  • As for its fragrance, myrrh essential oil acts as a perfume when combined with other types of aromatherapy oils. Compatible essential oil blends include myrrh with frankincense, lavender, sandalwood, rosewood, thyme, and others such as juniper and patchouli.

Ylang Ylang Essential Oil 
  • In parts of the Pacific Rim, ylang ylang, with its heavy and sweet scent similar to jasmine, is associated with weddings and honeymoons. Ylang ylang essential oil comes in four grades: ylang extra, ylang I, ylang II, and ylang III.
  • Almost all materials that are used to make essential oil only require one process of essential oil distillation. There are just a few exceptions. Ylang ylang is one of those exceptions. Most essential oil distillation happens on an industrial level with oil produced in large quantities for use in body products or for retail sale.

Bergamot Essential Oil on wiseGEEK:
  • Bergamot is also used to enhance the flavor and aroma of Earl Grey tea. In aromatherapy, bergamot essential oil is believed to inspire feelings of love, happiness and self-confidence.
  • To enhance the stimulating properties of eucalyptus essential oil, it can be blended with orange or bergamot essential oils while lavender may increase its relaxing effects. Applied topically, eucalyptus essential oil has been known to alleviate arthritis and cramps. 

List of essential oils

Essential oils are volatile and liquid aroma compounds from natural sources, usually plants. Essential oils are not oils in a strict sense, but often share with oils a poor solubility in water. Essential oils often have an odor and are therefore used in food flavoring and perfumery. Essential oils are usually prepared by fragrance extraction techniques such as distillation (including steam distillation), cold pressing, or extraction (maceration). Essential oils are distinguished from aroma oils (essential oils and aroma compounds in an oily solvent), infusions in a vegetable oil, absolutes, and concretes. Typically, essential oils are highly complex mixtures of often hundreds of individual aroma compounds.

    * Agar oil, distilled from Agarwood (Aquilaria malaccensis). Highly prized for its fragrance.[1]
    * Ajwain oil, distilled from the leaves of Bishop’s weed (Carum copticum). Oil contains 35-65% thymol.[2]
    * Angelica root oil, distilled from the Angelica archangelica.[3]
    * Anise oil, from the Pimpinella anisum, rich odor of licorice, used medicinally.[4]
    * Asafoetida, used medicinally and to flavor food.
    * Balsam oil, from the Myroxylon pereirae.[5]
    * Basil oil is used in making perfumes, as well as in aromatherapy
    * Bay is used in perfumery; Aromatherapeutic for sprains, colds, flu, insomnia, rheumatism.
    * Bergamot oil, used in aromatherapy and in perfumes.
    * Black Pepper essential oil is distilled from the berries of Piper nigrum. The warm, soothing effect makes it ideal for treating muscle aches, pains and strains.
    * Buchu oil, made from the buchu shrub. Considered toxic and no longer widely used. Formerly used medicinally.
    * Birch is aromatheapeutic for gout, Rheumatism, Eczema, Ulcers.
    * Camphor is used for cold, cough, fever, rheumatism, arthritis
    * Cannabis flower essential oil, used as a flavoring in foods, primarily candy and beverages. Also used as a scent in perfumes, cosmetics, soaps, and candles.[6]
    * Caraway oil, used a flavoring in foods. Also used in mouthwashes, toothpastes, etc. as a flavoring agent.[7]
    * Cardamom seed oil, used in aromatherapy and other medicinal applications. Extracted from seeds of subspecies of Zingiberaceae (ginger). Also used as a fragrance in soaps, perfumes, etc.[8]
    * Carrot seed oil (essential oil), used in aromatherapy.
    * Cedarwood oil, primarily used in perfumes and fragrances.[9]
    * Chamomile oil, There are many varieties of chamomile but only two are used in aromatherapy- Roman and German. Both have similar healing properties but German chamomile contains a higher level of azulin (an anti-inflammatory agent).
    * Calamus Root, used medicinally
    * Cinnamon oil, used for flavoring and medicinally.
    * Cistus species
    * Citronella oil, from a plant related to lemon grass is used as an insect repellent, as well as medicinally.
    * Clary Sage
    * Clove leaf oil, used as a topical anesthetic to relieve dental pain.
    * Coffee, used to flavor food.
    * Coriander
    * Costmary oil (bible leaf oil), from the Tanacetum balsamita[10][11]
    * Costus Root, used medicinally
    * Cranberry seed oil, equally high in omega-3 omega-6 fatty acids, primarily used in the cosmetic industry.
    * Cubeb, used medicinally and to flavor foods.
    * Cumin oil/Black seed oil, used as a flavor, particularly in meat products. Also used in veterinary medicine.
    * Cypress
    * Cypriol
    * Curry leaf, used medicinally and to flavor food.
    * Davana oil, from the Artemisia pallens, used as a perfume ingredient and as a germicide.[12]
    * Dill oil, chemically almost identical to caraway seed oil. High carvone content.
    * Elecampane, used medicinally.
    * Eucalyptus oil, historically used as a germicide. Commonly used in cough medicine, among other medicinal uses.[13]
    * Fennel seed oil, used medicinally, particularly for treating colic in infants.
    * Fenugreek oil, used medicinally and for cosmetics from ancient times.
    * Fir
    * Frankincense oil, used for aromatherapy and in perfumes.
    * Galangal, used medicinally and to flavor food.
    * Galbanum
    * Geranium oil, used medicinally, particularly in aromatherapy, used for hormonal imbalance, for this reason geranium is often considered to be "female" oil.
    * Ginger oil, used medicinally in many cultures.
    * Goldenrod
    * Grapefruit oil, extracted from the peel of the fruit. Used in aromatherapy. Contains 90% limonene.[14]
    * Henna oil, used medicinally.[15]
    * Helichrysum
    * Horseradish oil
    * Hyssop
    * Idaho Tansy
    * Jasmine oil, used for its flowery fragrance.
    * Juniper berry oil, used as a flavor. Also used medicinally, including traditional medicine.

Lavender oil is distilled from the lavender flower

    * Laurus nobilis
    * Lavender oil, used primarily as a fragrance. Also used medicinally.[16]
    * Ledum
    * Lemon oil, similar in fragrance to the fruit. Unlike other essential oils, lemon oil is usually cold pressed. Used medicinally, as an antiseptic, and in cosmetics.[17]
    * Lemongrass. Lemongrass is a highy fragrant grass from India. In India, it is used to help treat fevers and infections. The oil is very useful for insect repellent.
    * Lime, anti septic, anti viral, astringent, aperitif, bactericidal, disinfectant, febrifuge, haemostatic, restorative and tonic.[18]
    * Litsea cubeba oil, lemon-like scent, often used in perfumes and aromatherapy.
    * Mandarin
    * Marjoram
    * Melaleuca See Tea tree oil
    * Melissa oil (Lemon balm), sweet smelling oil used primarily medicinally, particularly in aromatherapy.
    * Mentha arvensis oil/Mint oil, used in flavoring toothpastes, mouthwashes and pharmaceuticals, as well as in aromatherapy and other medicinal applications.[19]
    * Mountain Savory
    * Mugwort oil, used in ancient times for medicinal and magical purposes. Currently considered to be a neurotoxin.[20]
    * Mustard oil (essential oil), containing a high percentage of allyl isothiocyanate or other isothiocyanates, depending on the species of mustard
    * Myrrh oil, warm, slightly musty smell. Used medicinally.
    * Myrtle
    * Neem Tree Oil
    * Neroli is produced from the blossom of the bitter orange tree.
    * Nutmeg
    * Orange oil, like lemon oil, cold pressed rather than distilled. Consists of 90% d-Limonene. Used as a fragrance, in cleaning products and in flavoring foods.[21]
    * Oregano oil, contains thymol and carvacrol, making it a useful fungicide. Also used to treat digestive problems.[22]
    * Orris oil is extracted from the roots of the Florentine iris (Iris florentina) and used as a flavouring agent, in perfume, and medicinally.[23]
    * Palo Santo
    * Parsley oil, used in soaps, detergents, colognes, cosmetics and perfumes, especially men’s fragrances.[24]
    * Patchouli oil, very common ingredient in perfumes.
    * Perilla essential oil, extracted from the leaves of the perilla plant. Contains about 50-60% perillaldehyde.
    * Pennyroyal oil, highly toxic. It is abortifacient and can even in small quantities cause acute liver and lung damage.[25]
    * Peppermint oil, used in a wide variety of medicinal applications.
    * Petitgrain
    * Pine oil, used as a disinfectant, and in aromatherapy.
    * Ravensara
    * Red Cedar
    * Roman Chamomile
    * Rose oil, distilled from rose petals, Used primarily as a fragrance.
    * Rosehip oil, distilled from the seeds of the Rosa rubiginosa or Rosa mosqueta. Used medicinally.
    * Rosemary oil, distilled from the flowers of Rosmarinus officinalis. Used in aromatherapy, topically to sooth muscles, and medicinal for its antibacterial and antifungal properties.[26]
    * Rosewood oil, used primarily for skin care applications. Also used medicinally.
    * Sage oil, used medicinally.

The spice star anise is distilled to make star anise oil

    * Sandalwood oil, used primarily as a fragrance, for its pleasant, woody fragrance.[27]
    * Sassafras oil, from sassafras root bark. Used in aromatherapy, soap-making, perfumes, and the like. Formerly used as a spice, and as the primary flavoring of root beer, inter alia.
    * Savory oil, from Satureja species. Used in aromatherapy, cosmetic and soap-making applications.
    * Schisandra oil, from Schisandra chinensis, used medicinally.
    * Spearmint oil, often used in flavoring mouthwash and chewing gum, among other applications.
    * Spikenard, used medicinally.
    * Spruce
    * Star anise oil, highly fragrant oil using in cooking. Also used in perfumery and soaps, has been used in toothpastes, mouthwashes, and skin creams.[28] 90% of the world's star anise crop is used in the manufacture of Tamiflu, a drug used to treat influenza, and is hoped to be useful for avian flu
    * Tangerine
    * Tarragon oil, distilled from Artemisia dracunculus, used medicinally.
    * Tea tree oil, distilled from Melaleuca alternifolia, used medicinally. Being a powerful antiseptic, antibacterial and antiviral agent, tea tree's ability to fight infection is second to none.
    * Thyme oil, used medicinally.
    * Tsuga
    * Turmeric, used medicinally and to flavor food
    * Valerian, used medicinally
    * Vetiver oil (khus oil) a thick, amber oil, primarily from India. Used as a fixative in perfumery, and in aromatherapy
    * Western red cedar
    * Wintergreen
    * Yarrow oil is used medicinally, to relieve joint pain
    * Ylang-ylang
    * Zedoary, used medicinally and to flavor food



  1. ^ a b c d Sapeika, Norman. Actions and uses of Drugs, Pub: A.A.Balkema, 1963
  2. ^ a b Thorpe's Dictionary of Applied Chemistry, Vol. 8, 4th ed. Pub: Longmans Green. 1947
  3. ^ Gilman, Alfred; Goodman, Louis Sanford (1990). Goodman and Gilman's The pharmacological basis of therapeutics. New York: Pergamon Press. ISBN 0-08-040296-8. 
  4. ^ Klaassen, Curtis D.; Amdur, Mary O.; Casarett, Louis J.; Doull, John (1991). Casarett and Doull's toxicology: the basic science of poisons. New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-105239-9. 
  5. ^ E.J. Brill's first encyclopaedia of ... - Google Books
  6. ^ "ISO TC 54 Business Plan — Essential oils" (PDF). Retrieved 2006-09-14.  It is unclear from the source what period of time the quoted figures include.
  7. ^ Haneke, Karen E: Turpentine [8006-64-2] Review of Toxicological Literature Pub.: National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences 2002
  8. ^ Watt, John Mitchell, Breyer-Brandwijk, Maria Gerdina: The Medicinal and Poisonous Plants of Southern and Eastern Africa 2nd ed Pub. E & S Livingstone 1962
  9. ^ Seenivasan Prabuseenivasan, Manickkam Jayakumar, and Savarimuthu Ignacimuthu (November 30, 2006). "In vitro antibacterial activity of some plant essential oils". BMC Complement Altern Med. 6: 39. doi:10.1186/1472-6882-6-39. PMID 17134518. PMC 1693916. 
  10. ^ Henley, D. V.; Lipson, N; Korach, KS; Bloch, CA (2007). "Prepubertal gynecomastia linked to lavender and tea tree oils". New England Journal of Medicine 356 (5): 479–85. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa064725. PMID 17267908. 
  11. ^ "Oils make male breasts develop". BBC News. 2007-02-01. Retrieved 2007-09-09. 
  12. ^ For example: Menary,R.C. Minimising pesticide residues in essential oils, 2008 Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation
  13. ^ Bischoff K, Guale F (April 1998). "Australian tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil poisoning in three purebred cats". J. Vet. Diagn. Invest. 10 (2): 208–10. PMID 9576358. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ International Organization for Standardization. "ISO 4720:2002 Essential oils — Nomenclature". Retrieved 23 April 2009. 
  16. ^ International Organization for Standardization. "71.100.60: Essential oils". Retrieved 14 June 2009.

35 Free High-Quality E-Commerce Templates

For website owners who are evaluating e-commerce solutions, there are several good options for powering websites and shopping carts. Regardless of which option you chose, deciding on a design brings with it even more decisions to make. Of course, a custom design is always an option, but for those who want to keep costs down, templates are a popular choice. Premium e-commerce themes are easy to find, but they can be expensive. Free e-commerce templates are difficult to find, and quality free templates are even harder to find.
We’ve done the research for you, and in this post we present 35 of the highest-quality free e-commerce templates available. There are templates specifically for WordPress, Prestashop, osCommerce, Magento, Zen Cart, CubeCart, and CRE Loaded, as well as a number of general e-commerce templates. Please notice that these templates aren’t intended to be used 1:1, but should rather be used as a skeleton for your own shop and hence saves a lot of work, because otherwise you would have to start from scratch.

1. WordPress Templates

Crafty WordPress Theme | Demo | Download
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2. Prestashop

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A collection of free high-quality templates for PrestaShop.

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6. CubeCart Templates

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A collection of free CubeCart 3 Skins. More free Cubecart skins.
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Electronics Store | Download
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8. General E-Commerce Templates

The following templates were created for the purpose e-commerce but not built for a specific system. If you plan to use one of them, it would need to be adapted to and integrated in the e-commerce solution of your choice. Templates with valid HTML code are marked.
Tool Shop | Download (valid HTML)
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Pet Shop | Download (valid HTML)
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How to create a Flash Flipping Book for Free

Have you ever wanted to create online album or image gallery with page flip effect for your blog or website? Now you have a chance to create it for free with the tools I've found for you.

1. Free Flash Page Flip - "Free Version of Flash Page Flip has no advanced functions but it has some nice features like resizing and navigation. You can make and publish your own publications (Online Catalog, Digital Brochure, Flipping Book, Interactive Flyer, Virtual Magazine, Flip Album etc.) by writing JPEG or SWF formatted pages names on XML file in the Free Version. You don't have to know Flash software to make your flipping book".
Online Demo

2. PixelWit's Free PageFlip Flash - The original dynamic Flash ActionScript page flip effect code. Maybe one of the most popular Flash page flips codes. "Improved" version costs $12.50 only and offers lots of great options. Require Flash knowlege but gives a great result for free.

3. Flash Flipping Book - "Flash Flipping Book is a web tool for you to display your images / photos in the form of a book / catalogue / brochure. The page transition animation is like flipping pages of a book". Free version contains Flash-here logo.
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4. Free PageFlip - "professional and realistic Adobe© Flash based flash book". There is a free basic version with source files included. Basic Flash knowledge and the software are required.

Types of Coffee

Coffee is a great beverage – one that’s been used over the years and also has a fair share of romanticism attached to it. But the next time you decide to gulp down some caffeine – be it to stay awake before an exam, to get back to piled up work, to improve athletic performance on the track field, or just to get a high – do it in as healthy a way as possible.

Most people when looking at the menu in a coffee house have no clue on what to order and have no idea of the difference between a cappuccino from an Espresso or an Americano. The list below will help you appreciate the menu better and also help you decide what is best for your palate –

Coffee can be had on its own as in Espresso or with added milk, lemon or brandy.


Espresso has no milk, just pure coffee. Most traditional coffee recipes revolve around a single or double espresso shots. If you are a coffee connoisseur then you should try and learn how to make one.

It is generally made from a single 1 oz shot of coffee made with 7 Gms of finely ground coffee extracted at between 18 and 25 seconds. There are many recopies and this is small selection to choose from –

Americano (American) – This is espresso shot that is diluted to taste with hot water. The name was given to insult Americans who the Europeans believed were not up to drinking full espressos.

Black coffee: Coffee served with no milk.



Cappuccino usually consists of equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and frothed milk. All this makes the coffee taste more diluted and weaker. Some coffee shops will sprinkle cinnamon or flaked chocolate on top and other will add more milk than others. All shops make some variance to suit the taste of regular customers.

Dry Cappuccino

This is a regular cappuccino but without steamed milk and small amount of foam.

Flavored coffee

These are made to taste and more a local tradition. A great variety exists in different parts of the world. The flavor can be either a mix of syrups, spices (eg. cinnamon), flavorings or nutmegs that are added to the coffee and give coffee a different taste.

White coffee

A black coffee with milk added.


A cortado is an espresso (also known as "Pingo" or "Garoto") "cut" (from the Spanish and Portuguese cortar) with a small amount of warm milk to reduce the acidity. The ratio of milk to coffee is between 1:1 - 1:2, and the milk is added after the espresso. The steamed milk hasn't much foam, but many baristas make some micro foam to make latte art. It is popular in Spain and Portugal, as well as throughout Latin America, where it is drunk in the afternoon. In Cuba, it is known as a cortadito, and in Catalan it's called a tallat or trencat. It's usually served in a special glass, often with a metal ring base and a metal wire handle. There are several variations, including cortado condensada (espresso with condensed milk) and leche y leche (with condensed milk and cream on top).


Eiskaffee, literally "ice cream coffee", is a popular German drink consisting of chilled coffee, milk, sweetener, vanilla ice cream, and sometimes whipped cream.

Espresso Romano

An Espresso Romano is a shot of espresso with a small rind of lemon and sugar added to it.

Flat white

A flat white is prepared by pouring the creamy steamed milk from the bottom of the jug over a single shot (30ml) of espresso.
The drink is an coffee style originating from New Zealand and Australia and is sometimes served in a small 150-160ml ceramic cup. The stretched and texturised milk is prepared by entraining air into the milk and folding the top layer into the lower layers. To achieve the "flat", non-frothy texture the steamed milk is poured from the bottom of the jug, holding back the lighter froth on the top in order to access milk with smaller bubbles, making the drink smooth and velvety in texture. This leads to a white coffee with the crema on top still intact.


Frappuccino is the name and registered trademark of a Starbucks blended ice beverage and a bottled coffee beverage.


Galão is a hot drink from Portugal made of espresso and foamed milk. In all similar to caffè latte or café au lait, it comes in a tall glass with about one quarter coffee, 3 quarters foamed milk. When the proportion is 1:1 it is called "meia de leite" and it comes in a cup.

Greek frappé coffee

Greek frappé (Café frappé) (Greek: φραπές) is a foam-covered iced coffee drink made from spray-dried instant coffee. It is very popular in Greece especially during summer, but has now spread on to other countries. In French, when describing a drink, the word frappé means shaken and/or chilled; however, in popular Greek culture, the word frappé is predominantly taken to refer to the shaking associated with the preparation of a café frappé.

Iced coffee

Iced coffee is a cold variant of the normally hot beverage coffee.
  • Farmers Union Iced Coffee
  • Toddy coffee

Cafe Latte

Cafe Latte has more milk than a cappuccino. It is one part espresso with at least three to five parts ofsteamed hot milk with a small amount of froth on top. Latte in Italian means ‘milk’, so be careful ordering one when in Rome.

Cafe au Lait

Similar to ‘ Caffe Latte’ with an equal milk to coffee in the ratio of 1:1, It is made from brewed coffee and not from espresso. The taste is milder and less intense due to it consisting 50% milk

Cafe Breva

A cappuccino made with half and half milk, instead of whole milk. The theory is that the mix gives a richer, creamier flavor. You should be aware, before trying this for yourself, that half and half is much harder to foam.

Cafe Macchiato

A shot of espresso with steamed milk added. The ratio of coffee to milk is approximately 4:1.

Cafe Latte Fredo

It is a type of cold coffee. Cafe Latte Fredo is an espresso mixed with cold milk in similar proportions as a Cafe Latte that is usually shaken well with ice in a cocktail shaker.

Cafe Mocha

Quite popular with the ladies or after dinner coffee. It is one part espresso with one part chocolate syrup and two or three parts of frothed milk. You could also ask for some whipped cream. Mocha was the popular coffee port route in the 17th century.

Espresso con Panna

Another espresso that is topped with a small amount of whipped cream.

Espresso Granita

A kind of cocktail coffee! It is one shot of espresso that is mixed with a teaspoon of soft brown sugar and on this is added a splash of brandy. It is then frozen, crushed and served in a parfait glass with whipped cream.


This is a cold espresso and popularly ordered in some cafes in Europe and Latin America during summer months. Generally prepared using 1-2 teaspoons of instant coffee with sugar, water and ice. The brew is next placed in a long glass with ice, and milk turning it into a big coffee milkshake.

Turkish Coffee or Known also as Greek Coffee

A ‘different preparation from the usual coffee. It is thicker and made usually made in an ‘cezve’ which is a long-handled, open, brass or copper pot. Finely ground coffee and water are boiled together to making a mix of muddy and thick coffee. Once it is made it is served in smaller cups called ‘Demitasse’ cups. Sugar and sometimes cardamom pods or spices (more Arabic) are added before it is brewed and all this is left for sometime to allow it to settle before it is sipped. In Greek coffee Chicory is used and cracked cardamom pods to Turkish coffee.

Indian (Madras) filter coffee

The popular ‘South Indian’ filter coffee is made from fresh ground, dark-roasted coffee Arabica or Peaberry beans. It is left for a few hours to drip-brew in a traditional metal coffee filter. It is served with coffee to milk ratio of usually 3:1.

Instant coffee (or soluble coffee)

These have become very popular over the years due more to convenience and some people are not even aware that there are so many other tastes to try out and when served the real coffee fail to appreciate the aroma and its taste. The coffee is available in packets as granules or soluble powder.

Hammerhead or Shot in the Dark

This is a mix of espresso and drip coffee in a regular-sized coffee cup. Many cafes rename this drink further to their own names or as per to their needs.

Iced coffee

This is a regular coffee served with ice, and sometimes milk and sugar.

Irish coffee

If you want to have whiskey with coffee try this coffee. It consists of coffee that is spiked with Irish whiskey, with added cream on top. Best suited for a cold winter night to keep you warm.

Kopi Tubruk

If you visit islands of Java and Bali in Indonesia you can try this coffee. It is similar to Turkish or Greek coffee as it very thick.


This is 2-3 shot of espresso and has more water to pass through coffee grounds.


The name means ‘restricted’. It is like Lungo, but exactly the opposite as it has less water with 0.75 oz espresso. 

Kopi susu

Kopi susu is found in (at least) Malaysian Borneo and Indonesia and very similar to the preceding entry for Ca phe sua nong. Literally, kopi susu means "coffee milk". Served in a glass kopi susu can be made simply by mixing black coffee (arabica) with about a quarter to a half a glass of sweetened condensed milk then let stand to cool and allow the grounds to sink on the bottom. You should not drink this to the end unless you want to "eat" the ground coffee. Kopi Turbruk is as above but uses sugar instead of sweetened condensed milk.


Coffee with honey. Made by using coffee that is mixed with 1 teaspoon of unsweetened powdered cocoa and drizzled honey. It can be served with cream.

Vietnamese Coffee

Uses more and like south Indian coffee uses a metal mesh. Hot water is dripped through the metal mesh and after this the intense brew is poured over ice and sweetened with condensed milk.

If you are a heavy coffee drinker and wish to reduce the number of cuppa, there are also several coffee substitutes available in the market. These include green tea, licorice tea, black tea, ginseng tea, or even decaf. Some have negligible caffeine content while others (like decaf) have much lesser caffeine constituency than regular coffee.


Yuanyang, sometimes also called Ying Yong, is a popular beverage in Hong Kong, made of a mixture of coffee and Hong Kong-style milk tea. It was originally served at dai pai dongs (open air food vendors) and cha chaan tengs (cafe), but is now available in various types of restaurants. It can be served hot or cold. The name yuanyang, which refers to mandarin ducks, is a symbol of conjugal love in Chinese culture, as the birds usually appear in pairs and the male and female look very different. This same connotation of "pair" of two unlike items is used to name this drink.

Instant coffee

Instant coffee is a beverage derived from brewed coffee beans. Through various manufacturing processes the coffee is dehydrated into the form of powder or granules. These can be rehydrated with hot water to provide a drink similar (though not identical) to conventional coffee. At least one brand of instant coffee is also available in concentrated liquid form.
  • Chock full o'Nuts
  • Farmers Union Iced Coffee
  • Japanese canned coffee
  • Kenco
  • Moccona
  • Mr. Brown Coffee
  • Nescafé


Liqueur coffee

A liqueur coffee, as its name suggests, is a coffee brew with a 25 ml shot of liqueur. This brew is usually served in a clear, clean, pre-heated, liqueur coffee glass with the coffee and cream separated for good visual and taste effect. The liqueur of choice is added first with a teaspoon of raw cane sugar mixed in. The glass in then filled to within an inch of the top with good, strong, fresh filter coffee. Fresh, chilled, additive free, slightly whipped cream is then poured carefully over the back of a cold teaspoon, so that it floats on top of the coffee and liqueur mixture. The sugar is required in the coffee mixture to help the cream float.
  • Irish Coffee (Whiskey)
  • Brandy Coffee (Brandy)
  • Keoke Coffee (Brandy and Kahlúa)
  • English Coffee (Gin)
  • Calypso Coffee (Tia Maria or Kahlúa and Rum)
  • Jamaican Coffee (Tia Maria & Rum)
  • Shin Shin Coffee (Rum)
  • Baileys Irish Cream Coffee
  • Monk's Coffee (Bénédictine)
  • Seville Coffee (Cointreau)
  • Witch's Coffee (Strega)
  • Russian Coffee (Vodka)
  • Australian Coffee (VB)
  • Corfu Coffee (Koum Quat liquor)
  • Kaffee Fertig (coffee with Swiss prune schnapps)
  • Caffè corretto (that is an Italian beverage, consists of a shot of espresso "corrected" with a shot of liquor, usually grappa, brandy or sambuca.)
  • Coffee liqueurs (ex. The Evil Monk, Kahlúa, Kamora)

As we all know, coffee isn’t just coffee. When ordering in a coffee shop, there are a lot of types of coffee in which you should know, so that you will be able to keep up with the current “coffee” trend and lingo.
Here is a list of some of them: 

Americano – It is a mixture of a single shot of espresso with about 7 ounces of water.

Black Coffee – A French press style coffee served as is, with no milk.

Cafe au Lait – A slightly less intense variant of Caffe Latte, due to it being made with brewed coffee instead of espresso

Café Breva – Type of cappuccino made with half milk, instead of whole.

Caffe Latte – A mixture of a single shot espresso in steamed milk.

Café Macchiato – A stronger variety of Caffee Latte, having more espresso.

Cappuccino – An equal mixture of espresso, steamed milk, frothed milk, with cinnamon or flaked chocolate on top.

Double/Double Shot – A double shot of espresso.

Dry Cappuccino – A cappuccino having no steamed milk, plus a smaller amount of foam.
Espresso Con Panda – Espresso with whipped cream as a topping.

Flavored Coffee – Coffee that has an added flavor to it.

Frappe – Espresso that is served cold, with added sugar, water and ice.

Iced Coffee – Coffee with ice, which can also be served with milk or sugar.

Instant Coffee – As the name suggests, instant coffee is coffee that is served instantly. The taste may vary though. Good for those who are on the go.

Mocha – Basically, it is a cappuccino or latte that has been mixed with chocolate syrup.

White Coffee – Black coffee that has been added with milk.
Note, these are just some of the more common types of coffees that are ordered in coffee shops. There may be other types of coffees out there as well, which may vary depending from place to place.