Coffee is one of the world’s most popular drinks. It’s really something quite magical when you think about it; a drink that helps us feel alive and alert enough to conquer the world! Or at least to conquer our workload for that day. Many people can’t function properly without a cup of coffee to start their day off. Whether you feel the same about coffee or not, it has an interesting history. Also, science has proven that it can be good for us. That’s right; drinking coffee could make us healthier individuals. I am not a doctor so this post is not meant to give medical advice. Please consult your own physician. Want to know more? Of course you do! Read on…
Where Does Coffee Come From?
The first thing we’ll start with is where coffee comes from. Unlike the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, coffee did not magically appear like the magic beans (although I’m sure you’ll agree that they are magical beans).
Coffee seeds are planted, and it takes around 4 years for a tree to grow that will produce the beans. That’s a long wait! However, they will only grow into the type of coffee that we know and love today when planted in certain areas; called the ‘coffee/bean belt’. These areas include Kenya, Colombia, and Brazil. You can also find great coffee in Costa Rica. The fruit of the coffee tree is called a cherry (confusing I know), and when that turns a deep red color it can be harvested. Don’t get the coffee cherry confused with a fruit cherry!
The coffee cherry is always harvested by hand, and it can take 4000 beans to make just 1 pound of roasted coffee. Once harvested, there’s milling and polishing, grading and sorting. This is where the beans are refined and any nasty beans are removed to make a quality cup. Coffee is then shipped all over the world!
Did you know that there are even people employed to make sure the coffee is of a high standard? They’ll use sight, smell, and taste to ensure that the beans are the highest quality. Beans are then roasted to transform them into the brown color that we know and love. Beans can then be ground, but it depends on the method in which the coffee is going to be made.
The Benefits of Coffee
Coffee is good for us! It’s true; you don’t need to feel guilty about your morning brew. Let’s take a look at some of the most notable benefits:
- Coffee contains lots of antioxidants and nutrients. In fact, many people get more antioxidants from coffee than anywhere else! Although you can get antioxidants and nutrients from food, many people don’t eat the right foods to get enough of them. This is why they get the most out of coffee.
- Coffee can help the liver, especially if you drink alcohol. If you’ve had a heavy night don’t hesitate to have a cup of coffee.
- Coffee can lessen feelings of depression, and has been linked with a reduce in suicide. If you’re feeling low, a cup of Joe could be just what you need.
- Just a whiff of coffee can help people to feel less stressed. Try having a sniff and see what you think.
- Coffee can help us to feel happier. I know from personal experience!
- Coffee can make Parkinson’s disease symptoms less prominent.
- Coffee can improve your athletic performance by giving you a buzz before you work out. It can also help you to burn more fat as it increases your metabolic rate.
- Coffee can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Alzheimer’s disease and dementia are less likely to develop with regular consumption of coffee.
- Coffee could even lower the risk of certain types of cancer. It’s said to be specifically helpful with skin cancer in women.
What better reason to get your coffee on?
Is Coffee Bad for Us at All?
You’ve probably heard people say that coffee is bad for us and we shouldn’t drink it. But how can that be true, especially with all of the benefits listed above?!
Now, while coffee is good for us in the right amounts, too much of it can be bad for us. It’s the same with anything; too much of it and we can hinder the results. One or two cups of coffee in the day is fine to perk us up, but try to drink green tea for the rest of the day. Too much caffeine can actually increase our cortisol levels, making us feel more stressed. Cortisol also makes us hold onto belly fat, so it can be bad for weight loss too.
The moral of the story is, coffee is good for us if you watch your consumption.
Interesting Coffee Facts
Want to know some interesting coffee facts you’ve probably never heard before?
- Sometimes, coffee shops use a fake coffee scent to entice shoppers. That fresh coffee smell you get when you open a new tub of coffee? That may have been injected into it too!
- People in Europe originally used to refer to coffee as Arabian Wine.
- In every scene of the film ‘Fight Club’, there’s a Starbucks cup present. Of course Starbucks were fine with the advertising!
- Two of the worlds oldest recorded cats used to drink coffee every day. They lived to be 34 and 38. They had the same owner, and were also fed eggs, bacon, and broccoli.
- Some legends suggest that coffee was first founded by the Ethiopians, who realised that their goats started to dance after eating coffee berries.
- African tribes used to mix coffee berries with fat, to make little edible energy balls.
- Hawaii is the only US state that can grow coffee.
- Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world after oil.
- George Washington invented coffee in 1906, but not the president you’re thinking of! A Belgian man living in Guatemala by the same name.
I bet you didn’t realise that coffee was so interesting, huh? Now you can share this information with your fellow coffee lovers and enlighten them. Enjoy!