Has the aroma of freshly brewed coffee ever detracted you from your path, inviting you to enjoy a cup before heading out? Have you or has someone you know ever claimed that coffee is the drink of the Gods? We all know someone who claims that their morning doesn’t start till their first cup of coffee. Have you ever been told that coffee helps reduce weight? And who hasn’t heard of Tiramisu? So, what makes coffee all of the above? Today we will be looking at coffee, health benefits of coffee, nutrition facts, types of coffee, history of coffee and coffee based recipes. Why? Because World Coffee Day is here, and as far as stereotypes about coffee, it turns the dreamers, like writers inhale coffee and exhale its fumes to be able to function properly. It may not be true entirely, but who are we to counter stereotypes, which associate us with the drink of Gods? So, without further ado, let’s start with the first question, which generally, leads to more questions than answers.
- What is Coffee?
- Nutrition Facts of Coffee:
- 9 Health Benefits of Coffee:
- 1) Helps Improve Symptoms of Asthma:
- 2) Weight Loss:
- 3) Lowers Risk of Type II Diabetes:
- 4) Protection from Development of Parkinson’s, Dementia, and Alzheimer’s Disease:
- 5) Liver Protection:
- 6) Cancer Prevention:
- 7) Anti-Depressant:
- 8) Lowers Risk of Heart Diseases and Strokes:
- 9) Increases Life Expectancy:
- Types of Coffee Beans:
- 7 Popular Types of Coffee Preparations:
- Coffee Production Statistics:
- Recipes with Coffee:
- Side Effects of Too Much Coffee:
- History of Coffee:
- God of Coffee:
- World Coffee Day:
- Coffee Infographic:
- News on Coffee:
What is Coffee?
Coffee is an aromatic bitter drink, made of powdered and filtered roasted coffee beans. Data shows that between September 2015- October 2016, 151.3 million bags of coffee were consumed. Each such bag weighed 60 kgs. An average human being, drinks over 250 litres of coffee in a year, that is a lot of coffee to drink. If you still don’t get a picture, then imagine if every individual drank 6-8 glasses of water per day, it would be nearly 2 litres of water per day, so in a year an average person drinks nearly 700 litres of water. Looking at our coffee habits in that perspective, it turns out an individual drinks, nearly half a litre of coffee per day. That’s almost 25% of the average volume of water a person drinks. So, we are guessing, the enormity of how popular coffee is as a good for consumption has now dawned upon you. Yes, coffee is that popular, so we believe the natural question which springs from here is, how healthy is coffee for us?
Nutrition Facts of Coffee:
Coffee is known to be a strong antioxidant, it also helps deal with low blood pressure. In fact, some home remedies for diseases like low blood pressure and asthma is coffee. Here is a brief table to enumerate the number of nutrients present in your mug of coffee.
[table id=261 /]
Note: It is important to remember that these values are for bitter coffee or espresso which is prepared by adding coffee powder to hot water. It is a bitter drink, however, these values, especially for fat and sugar may change depending on the amount of cream or sugar added to the coffee to improve its taste by nullifying its bitterness.
9 Health Benefits of Coffee:
How amazing is it to realize that this delectable drink of the Gods has health benefits too? You heard us right, yes, coffee has great health benefits. The condition being that coffee should be taken in limited quantities for it to be healthy for you. Here are 9 health benefits of coffee:
1) Helps Improve Symptoms of Asthma:
Caffeine is found in abundance in coffee. In a person suffering from Asthma, caffeine has the same effect as Theophylline. Theophylline is a chemical compound which helps reduce the inflammation of the airway, as it is a bronchodilator, which means it helps relieve symptoms of Asthma like breathlessness, coughing and wheezing. We have discussed the condition of Asthma and exactly how can coffee help relieve its symptoms in a previous post.
- In fact, in 2010, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews published a verified review of a study report submitted by Welsh EJ, et al. named, Caffeine for Asthma1. The researchers conducted 7 trials with 75 participants, of which six tests with 55 participants were placebo experiments, and all the tests unanimously showed that even small amounts of coffee helped improve the symptoms of Asthma.
2) Weight Loss:
Coffee has been cited by various health magazines as being a must have for a weight loss regime. Consequently, caffeine was studied for its fat burning2 abilities, it turns out that depending on the body type obese or lean, coffee can increase fat burning by 10% in the former category and nearly 30% in the latter category. Studies have also shown that depending on other contributing conditions, caffeine can increase metabolic activity3 by 3%-11%. However, if you drink coffee every day, or are addicted to coffee then your body may develop a certain resistance to the fat burning and metabolism stimulating activities of caffeine. It is always wise to allow your body to detox for some time before going back to coffee, ensuring that you are drinking an optimum amount of coffee which is benefitting you.
Related Read: 10+ Easy Home Remedies to Reduce Weight
3) Lowers Risk of Type II Diabetes:
Diabetes is the largest killer in India. In fact, we have discussed diabetes as one of the top five chronic diseases in India, in a previous post. Diabetes is getting younger and more spread out, given our current lifestyles, however, studies have shown that coffee drinkers show a lower risk of developing diabetes in the first place. Some studies have shown that people who drink coffee regularly are at 23%-50% lower risk of developing diabetes4, one study went to claim that the risk reduction is around 67%.
- In 2009, Archives of Internal Medicine5 published a review report. The review was conducted by Huxley R, et al. who studied as many as 18 study reports, comprising of 4,50,000 participants, the studied concluded that each cup of coffee drank daily reduced the risk of diabetes by 7%.
4) Protection from Development of Parkinson’s, Dementia, and Alzheimer’s Disease:
Caffeine and not coffee in itself is responsible for lowering the risk of neurodegenerative diseases in human beings, which means people who drink decaf coffee do not benefit from any risk reduction for the said diseases. Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease are the top two neurodegenerative diseases in the world. They generally develop in people above the age of 65 years and research so far has failed to point out to a definitive cure for either. While Alzheimer’s causes the slow decay of brain, which affects cognitive functions first, Parkinson’s attacks the part of the brain which is responsible for the secretion of dopamine.
However, studies on the role of caffeine in lowering the risk of developing Alzheimer’s6 disease have shown that caffeine can reduce the risk by 65%. Similarly, studies have shown that caffeine can also lower the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease7 anywhere between 32%- 60%.
5) Liver Protection:
Liver is a major part of the digestive process as well as the metabolic process. In fact, liver influences metabolism, it is also a sensitive organ, prone to several diseases of the liver. Most of such liver infections are caused due to unbridled alcohol consumption. Liver diseases can lead to liver cirrhosis which is the development of scar tissue on the liver. This scar tissue further hampers the functioning of the liver. However, research has shown that 4 cups of coffee can8 reduce the risk of liver cirrhosis by 80%.
6) Cancer Prevention:
Caffeine can prevent the development of some forms of cancer.
i. Liver Cancer
As we have established before, coffee protects the liver, which is also exhibited in its tendency to prevent liver cancer.
- In 2005, the International Journal of Cancer published a study conducted by Taichi Shimazu et al. The research project looked into the impact of coffee in lowering the risk of liver cancer development in Japan. The study results were pooled from analysing the results from two cohorts, the first cohort consisted of over 22,000 men and women while the second cohort consisted of over 38,000 men and women. All participants were at risk of developing liver cancer. The study spanned years and the researchers concluded in the end that coffee significantly contributed to lowering the risk of liver cancer.
It should be noted that today, liver cancer is the third largest cancer in the world, which means that this was not the only study conducted to understand this property of coffee.
- In 2007, The Official Journal of the Aga Institute published a review report compiled by Larsson, Susanna C. et al who reviewed over 9 reports, published between 1996-2007. The report concluded that 2 extra cups of coffee per day can reduce the risk of liver cancer development by 43%.
ii. Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal Cancer is the fourth largest cancer in the world and hence a top researched subject. One such study has been the impact of coffee in decreasing the risk of colorectal cancer development.
- In 2012, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition9, published a study conducted by Sinha R, et al. The research was conducted with over 4,80,000 participants, all at risk individuals for colorectal cancer. The research revealed that individuals who drank 4-5 cups of caffeinated coffee every day were at 15% lower risk of developing colorectal cancer.
Depression is a growing epidemic world over. India is at the verge of facing a mental health crisis. It is a serious mental health issue, which is affecting the youth of the world primarily.
- However, in 1996, the Archives of Internal Medicines10 published a study by Kawachi I et al. the study focused on Coffee Drinking and Suicide Among Women. The study was conducted with over 8,30,000 participants, who were observed for a decade. The study concluded that drinking 3-4 cups of coffee per day can reduce the risk of suicide among women significantly.
- Similarly, in 2011, a Harvard study11 revealed that 4-5 cups of coffee per day can lower the risk of developing depression by 20%.
8) Lowers Risk of Heart Diseases and Strokes:
It is generally believed that coffee increases blood pressure, in fact, most doctors suggest coffee as the first homemade remedy to help a person who is suffering from low blood pressure. Now, this would lead several people into concluding that coffee by its very activity of raising blood pressure can lead to coronary diseases, however, studies have shown otherwise.
- In 2006, the Circulation12 published the results of a prospective study conducted by Lopez-Garcia E et al. on coffee and coronary artery diseases. The study was conducted with over 1,28,000 participants with no history of heart diseases or cancer. The participants were observed for a period of 10 years, the study concluded that there is no evidence that coffee causes coronary heart disease.
- In fact, in 2009, the International Journal of Cardiology published a meta analysis of 21 prospective cohort studies conducted between 1966- 2008, on the relationship between coffee and heart diseases. This meta analysis was conducted by Jiang-Nan Wu et al. At the end of the meta analysis the researchers concluded that there is no evidence that coffee increased the risk of coronary heart disease. On the contrary, the analysts concluded that coffee can reduce the risk of CVD in women.
- In 2013, the Stroke13 published a study conducted by Kokubo Y et al, on the impact of green tea, black tea and coffee reducing the risk of strokes. The study was conducted with over 85,000 participants, who were observed for a period of 13 years. The researchers concluded that higher consumption of coffee and green tea was inversely associated with the risk of suffering from a stroke or developing heart diseases.
9) Increases Life Expectancy:
As we have established in all the previous benefits, coffee prevents several diseases, which is bound to result in a long life. However, this is not a conjecture or a hypothesis. Several pieces of research have proved that coffee increase life expectancy.
- In 2006, Diabetologia published a study report by Bidel S, et al. who studied the impact of coffee on deaths caused due to type II diabetes induced cardiovascular diseases. The study observed over 3800 participants with type II diabetes, between the ages of 25- 74 years. The participants were observed for a period of roughly 20 years. The researchers concluded that regular coffee drinking led to a reduced risk of deaths by CVD or CHD induced by type II Diabetes.
Types of Coffee Beans:
Coffee is believed to have been first cultivated in Ethiopia and even then legends believe that it was discovered quite by accident. However, coffee has journeyed through history and geographies, which means that in some cases, it morphed in order to adapt to the new geographies it was introduced to. There are four major types of coffee:
Arabica is probably the most common that is produced. In fact, 60% of all coffee produced all over the world is of the Arabica variety. Arabica beans prefer higher altitudes, shade and balanced amount of rainfall. The tree of the Arabica variety is relatively smaller, which makes it easier to care for, prune, and harvest. Arabica is also the most delicate variety, it responds quite quickly to its environment and is more susceptible to coffee rust, a plant disease which easily destroys the Arabica tree. Since Arabica is the most popular variety of coffee and since it requires such particular climates as well as care, it is generally produced in large quantities. If the coffee trees successfully survive to harvest, this strategy of mass production is quite beneficial. However, since Arabica is so prone to diseases, even if one plant develops a disease, it is more than likely, that it could cause an epidemic in the plantation.
Arabica tastes best when it is served hot, combined with just hot water. Cream destroys its taste, so does drinking it cold. Arabica coffee is subdivided into separate varieties, the four most popular ones are, Bourbon, Caturra, Blue Mountain, and Typica.
Robusta is the second most popular coffee in the world. Robusta is named so because it is a more robust version of Arabica. It is known to thrive at different heights/altitudes, requires a hot climate with irregular rainfall, and is practically immune to all diseases that may affect the Arabica variety. Robusta is so disease resistant because the beans boast of twice as much caffeine in them as the Arabica kind. It’s this excess caffeine which protects the plant from diseases. A good quality Robusta is perfect for cold coffee, or for coffee made with milk and/or sugar.
Excelsa amounts to 7% of the world’s coffee production and consumption. It is generally produced in SouthEast Asia and the trees are as tall as 20-30 ft. The seeds are almond shaped. Excelsa has a complex taste, while it is rich in providing excellent flavour when blended. Some tasters even argue that Excelsa provides a fruity and tart taste, reminding a person of light roasted coffee with undertones of dark roasted coffee. It is the mystery of taste, that attracts connoisseurs in seeking out this particular type of bean.
There has been enough debate about the classification of Excelsa as an independent type or as sub-variety of Liberica. The reason why some enthusiasts argue that Excelsa should be counted as a sub-variety of Liberica is because of the similarity in the shape of their beans, as well as preferred location of development.
Liberica is a rare variety of coffee in today’s day and age, however, it has an interesting history, at some point Liberica was the most popular coffee type in the world. The history of Liberica starts in 1890 when 90% of the world’s Arabica crops were decimated by the coffee rust. In panic, the world searched for the solution and Philippines became the first country to try the solution, the Liberica coffee plant.
This experiment was successful and suddenly the world was riddled with the Liberica coffee, imported from the Philippines. This step contributed greatly to Philippines economy. However, eventually, the U.S.A and Philippines had diplomatic disagreements, and the U.S.A. declared trade sanctions against the Liberica Coffee produced by Philippines. The world market closed off its doors to Philippines and the Liberica coffee.
When Liberica again entered the world market in 1995, it was too late as Arabica had gained its position of number one again. Today, the Liberica coffee is elusive to say the least, it’s getting increasingly harder to locate good quality Liberica coffee. It is the only variety of coffee which has unevenly shaped beans, the Liberica coffee also has a fruity and floral smell. It has a smoky taste, while some like to argue that the Liberica coffee has a woody taste.
5. Green Coffee:
Green Coffee Extract is the new kid in the block. Introduced in 2012, primarily to aid weight loss, green coffee has been in the centre of several controversies. Green coffee extract is prepared from unroasted, green coffee beans. By 2014, the Federal bodies in America were using green coffee companies for false advertisements about weight loss. Much research is required to understand the benefits of green coffee, meanwhile, the green coffee market is thriving, as even in India, green coffee extracts are priced on the higher side.
7 Popular Types of Coffee Preparations:
Have you ever been confused between a mocha, a latte, and an espresso? Have you ever walked into a Starbucks or other coffee house and wondered exactly, how different these preparations are? Well, here we have a tiny guide to understanding the language of coffee preparations.
Most of us know espresso as black coffee, that’s the general understanding. But if you have even ordered a well made espresso, you know that it’s a shot of creamy and bitter coffee. Espresso is prepared when hot water is passed through 18 grams of coffee with such force that the coffee is completely dissolved and blended in 25-30 seconds. And it is important to note that timing is the most important part of making an espresso, if the water is shot through for more than 30 seconds, the drink would become bitter. If the water is passed through for less than 25 seconds, it becomes watery.
It is also important to remember, that an espresso shot is the basic ingredient for all other types of coffee preparations. Elements are generally added to the espresso shot or the espresso shot is added to other elements to produce other coffee drinks.
A Macchiato is a layered drink. If you ever want to judge a good Macchiato, look at the glass and the proportions of all elements, if your glass is divided into three even layers of different colours, your Macchiato is as good as they come. The three layers of a Macchiato are a shot of espresso at the base, a dollop of steamed milk, and a dollop of milk foam. Your Macchiato glass layers should show a dark brown base colour for the espresso, a light brown layer where the espresso and steamed milk mix and then a white layer on top to indicate the foam. It is served in small glasses or cups.
Americano, as the name suggests, is the popularly made in America. It is prepared in a tall glass of hot water, topped with a shot of espresso.
A Cappuccino is a more chocolaty and foamy version of a Latte which is served in a cup. Even this is a layered drink, with four layers. The bottom layer of the cup is a shot of espresso, followed by a dollop of steamed milk, 1-3 cm of foam, and the top layer being a thick dusting of chocolate.
A Latte is a tall, sweet drink. It is layered like the Macchiato but is served in a tall glass, which accommodates more milk and cream. It is prepared with a shot of espresso at the base of a tumbler, followed by dollops of steamed milk and topped with around 1-2 cm of foam.
A Mocha is every coffee and chocolate lover’s dream come true. It has four layers, the base layer is a mix of a shot of espresso and chocolate powder, followed by dollops of steamed milk, 2-3 cm of foam topped off with a sprinkle of chocolate powder.
7. Flat White:
Flat Whites are found primarily on New Zealand and Australia. It is also a common drink in India, the base layer of the cup is a shot of espresso, topped with steamed milk.
Coffee Production Statistics:
India is the third highest coffee producer in Asia, following Vietnam and Indonesia. By December 2017, India had exported 470,000 60-kilo bags of coffee, making it the fourth largest exporter of coffee by volume, and the second largest in Asia, Vietnam being the first. India exports 3/4th of its coffee production, making it rank higher than tea in the list of exported commodities and in for the fiscal year 2017, Coffee accounted for INR 57 billion in export. Indian coffee makes up for 4.5% of the International Coffee trade.
A major chunk of the remaining coffee is rather popular in the southern regions of India. The people of Karnataka call coffee “Boondh Bisneeru” in Kannada. The name on literal translation means “beaned hot water”.
The Coffee Board of India, opened a chain of Indian Coffee House in the 1940s, introducing “filter coffee” a popular drink in South India to the rest of the world. After the first one was opened in Jabalpur, 400 such Indian Coffee House cafes were opened all across India. The Indian Coffee House in Delhi, to this day, served excellent filter coffee at reasonable rates, although other famous coffee chains have entered the Indian coffee market.
Indian coffee is famed for its superior quality and taste. Italy is the country which consumes 29% of India’s coffee exports, followed by countries like Germany, Belgium, Slovenia, Russia, USA, Spain, Japan, Greece, and Netherlands.
Arabica and Robusta are the two coffee bean types produced in Indian states of Karnataka- 71% of Indian coffee comes from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu- 21% of the coffee produced comes from Tamil Nadu. There are other unusual smaller pockets and states which produce smaller portions of coffee, these states include Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, and North East Indian states, namely Assam, Tripura, Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Meghalaya.
Nearly 70 countries in the world produce enough coffee to provide the world with nearly 3.5 billion cups of coffee every day. The coffee plant or tree is a tropical one and thrives around the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Here are top 5 coffee producing countries:
[table id=262 /]
Recipes with Coffee:
If there is one thing coffee is famous for apart from its unique taste, then it would be the many desserts made out of coffee. With its unique flavour as well as well complimentary nature to chocolate, coffee is one of the most popular flavours for dessert. Tiramisu, being a great example of a coffee based dessert. So, here we present you with some savoury as well as sweet recipes that could be prepared with coffee:
1. Chicken Drumsticks in Espresso Brine:
This recipe is simple and yet it is a perfect serve for a cocktail party or any other party you may think of.
[table id=263 /]
To Prepare Chicken Drumsticks in Espresso Brine:
- In a bowl add water, 2 Tbsp salt, brewed coffee, bay leaf and chicken pieces. Mix well. Cover the bowl and leave it in the fridge to marinate for 6 hours. If you are running short on time, 3 hours of marination should be enough too.
- In a ziplock bag add powdered espresso beans, dried Oregano, Thyme, Garlic Powder or Crushed Garlic, Chicken Seasoning, Cayenne Chilli Powder, Sweet Paprika Powder, Black Pepper and the remaining salt. You can keep on checking the taste of the spices and adjust the heat according to your preferences. Mix well by shaking the bag.
- Now take the wings and drummettes out of the refrigerator. Drain them, rinse them lightly and pat them dry with a tissue paper.
- Depending on the size of your ziplock, you can add one or more pieces of chicken to the bag, seal it and shake well to ensure even coating of the spices on the pieces.
- Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.
- Now arrange the chicken pieces on a baking rack with a drip pan underneath and bake for 15 minutes.
- Take the rack out and lightly brush the chicken pieces with Maple Syrup. Put it back in the oven and cook for 10 more minutes.
- At the end of the 10 minutes, lightly brush Maple syrup on the chicken pieces again and then cook for 3-5 more minutes.
- Serve Hot.
2. Roasted Vegetables in Coffee Sauce:
Coffee is known to lend a unique flavour to dishes, so here is a recipe to give your normal roasted vegetables that extra edge. The dish is a three part dish with a vinaigrette, a mustard sauce and the vegetables.
[table id=264 /]
To Prepare Roasted Vegetables in Coffee Sauce:
We will start with the required sauces and dressings and then move on to the vegetables:
- For the Vinaigrette: Place a pan on medium heat, add 1 Tbsp Olive Oil. Add the sliced fennel, salt, fennel pollen, and pepper and cook till the fennel slices are caramelized. Add absinthe and take the pan off heat. Now add, mustard, honey, vinegar, and apple juice and stir well. Once the solution has cooled down enough, blend it in a smooth paste. Now, in a glass bowl or jar, strain this blend, add the grapeseed oil and remaining olive oil. Whisk till it emulsifies. Cover and store, this vinaigrette will be good for at least one week.
- For the Pickled Mustard Seeds: Boil Mustard seeds, twice, draining the boiled water before starting the next round of boiling with fresh water. Now, add all ingredients, including the mustard seeds in a pressure cooker. Cook on low heat with the cooker uncovered till the saffron has started giving colour to the mix and the salt is completely dissolved. Then cover cooker and cook on pressure for 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Pickled Mustard seeds can be stored for a month.
- For the Vegetables: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Keep two oven friendly casserole dishes, place carrots in one and beetroots in another. Divide all other ingredients apart from the vinaigrette and pickled mustards, equally between the two casseroles. Mix well so that the vegetables are evenly covered with the spices. Now place them on the oven and cook for 45- 60 minutes. Till the vegetables are easily speared with a fork.
- Drizzle vinaigrette on the vegetables, and serve with pickled mustard seeds.
3. Banana Chocolate Chip Mocha Muffins:
Chocolate Chips and Banana already make an excellent pair for a muffin, add coffee to the mix and say hello to a very yummy morning!
[table id=265 /]
To Prepare Banana Chocolate Chip Mocha Muffins:
- Add Coffee, water, Butter/Oil, Sugar, Egg, Banana, and vanilla essence in a blender and blend.
- In a bowl add, flour, baking soda, baking powder, chocolate chips, and the blended ingredients and mix till a smooth paste is formed.
- Now, pour this paste, into muffin moulds. You can line the moulds with butter paper or coat the moulds with oil, dusting them with flour. The amount we have prescribed here will give you around 15-18 muffins.
- Either preheat the oven at 350 degrees or select the preset menu on your microwave for cakes.
- Cook for 25- 30 minutes. Poke the muffins and check for consistency.
- Serve Hot.
Tiramisu is probably the most famous coffee based dessert one could think of. Here is an easy to cook Tiramisu dessert:
[table id=266 /]
To Prepare Tiramisu:
- If you are using ladyfinger biscuits, split them lengthwise in a large rectangular bowl. If you are using vanilla sponge cake, you can create individual cups, with layers. The bottom most layer is the cake.
- In separate bowl mix coffee and ⅓ cup maple syrup, drizzle the mix on the ladyfinger biscuits or vanilla sponge cake.
- In another bowl, add sour cream, remaining maple syrup, cream cheese, and whipped cream and fold well. Spread this mix over the soaked ladyfinger. In case of individual cups with vanilla sponge cake, you can create two-three layers of cake and cream.
- Chill in a refrigerator for 15 minutes.
- Dust cocoa powder on top before serving.
Side Effects of Too Much Coffee:
While so far we have discussed the amazing benefits of coffee, we also need to remember that coffee contains caffeine, which in moderate amounts benefits the body, but if taken in disproportionately large amounts, may cause more harm than good. Here are a few side effects of having too much coffee:
It has been proved that caffeine triggers brain chemicals just like amphetamines and cocaine, which means it can lead to a certain amount of psychological dependency. In consecutive tests with people who drink heavy amounts of coffee lead to conclusion that coffee has an addictive quality as individuals show signs of withdrawal or consistent needs.
In 2012, Drugs and Alcohol Dependence published the result of a study conducted by Juliano LM et al. the study was a questionnaire to ascertain the withdrawal symptoms of caffeine. The study involved over 200 participants. The report concluded that habitual coffee drinkers show symptoms like fatigue, difficulty in concentration, flu like symptoms, mood swings and so on.
Caffeine14 is known to block Adenosine in the brain, it also triggers adrenaline and the fight or flight response. However, at higher levels, caffeine can induce anxiety. In fact, caffeine induced anxiety is one of the four caffeine related psychological issues in humans, which is recognized by the DSM V. In fact, if an individual is suffering from anxiety disorder, it is generally suggested that they avoid caffeine.
Coffee can affect sleep15. In fact, its most prized quality is that coffee can help people stay awake. However, regular coffee intake of more than 400 mg can lead to disturbed or poor sleep which can then affect behaviour and health. Several studies have been carried out to ascertain how caffeine affects sleep and it turns out, that lower intake of caffeine does not affect sleep or stress much, however, drinking more than 500 mg caffeine per cup of coffee can induce insomnia in a person.
Caffeine stimulates the nervous system16. While it does not have a negative effect on the heart, that is it may not cause heart attack but it does help the nervous system pump more blood at higher pressure. While moderate amount of coffee remains harmless, in fact, even beneficial for people suffering from low blood pressure, but it can induce heart attack in people with high blood pressure. However, one curious quality about caffeine is that its blood pressure increasing effect is temporary, and is generally visible in people who drink coffee occasionally, thus, a person with high blood pressure who drinks coffee infrequently, must keep a track of how much coffee are they consuming. Caffeine can also raise blood pressure during exercise. Thus, it is imperative that coffee intake should be optimal.
A lot of people prefer coffee as their first drink in the morning because of laxative properties16. While coffee does exhibit laxative properties, it also reacts on the food pipe and forces a speedy passage of food through the digestive tract. Thus people who drink high amounts of caffeine may end up suffering from diarrhea. It is also important to remember that some people believed that caffeine causes stomach ulcers, but that theory has not been proved through any experiments, however, it is also true that caffeine is responsible for the development of gastroesophageal disease17 in a person.
While it is important to drink a moderate amount of coffee, it also important to understand what moderate means for us. For an individual suffering from Anxiety or Gastroesophageal disease, moderate could mean drinking lesser than the prescribed moderate amount of coffee, so that their symptoms are not worsened.
History of Coffee:
A popular legend states that coffee was first found in Ethiopia, thousands of years earlier by a goat herder. The goat herder noticed uncommon vitality in his goats, especially after they fed a certain kind of berry. The goat herder tried the berries himself and found them to be particularly nasty to taste. He flung them in the fire in disgust and discovered that on burning the seeds gave out an amazing fragrance.
Other legends talk of a Sufi Saint, Sheikh Shadhili who upon his journey from Yemen to Ethiopia, observed unusual vitality in the birds of Ethiopia, he traced their food to be certain berry and on eating the same berry, even the Sufi Saint felt the same vitality.
Alternatively, it also believed that it was the Sufi’s disciple Omar who had been to Ethiopia, as he was exiled. When he found nothing to eat, he ate the berries he found and experienced vitality.
One account states that coffee was consumed by the Islamic world as part of religious practices.
Another tale from the ninth century derives its origin from the goat herder story and speaks of a goat herder named Kaldi, who noticed the vitality of his goats and partook the berries, they used to eat. On feeling unusual vitality, he took seeds to a local monk who didn’t approve of such practices and threw the berries in the fire. The seeds of the berries gave such an aroma that the monks salvaged the roasted seeds from the fire, ground them and mixed them with water, making the world’s first coffee.
Substantial proof of use of coffee, however, comes from the 15th century Yemen, where it was largely consumed in Sufi Monasteries. Coffee Beans were traded between Ethiopia and Yemen and from there moved to the other Arab Countries. For years, coffee was a heavily guarded secret of the Arabic countries, who traded ground coffee with other nations but never revealed the secret of the coffee plant and how to grow it.
Coffee was introduced in Europe by the 16th century, by the Muslim slaves who were taken to join the European workforce.
While coffee was known to India, its cultivation in India began in the 17th century when Baba Budan, smuggled seven coffee beans in his beard from Mecca to Mysuru, India. It was in Karnataka, at the Baba Budan Giri where he planted the first plants of coffee. However, the first proper coffee plantation in India was developed by the 19th century in Karnataka, almost 200 years after Baba Budan smuggled the revered coffee seeds.
As the European expansion continued, Arabic countries lost their monopoly on coffee and the colonizers in part not only took slaves but also coffee beans to be planted and grown for trade in other parts of the world.
God of Coffee:
There are not many Gods of Coffee in world cultures, as it originated from Ethiopia. In Ethiopia, Kaldi is believed to be the goat herder who discovered the coffee beans and their flavour in 875 AD and therefore he is hailed as the ultimate source of coffee.
However, in the Roman pantheon of Gods and Goddesses, a lesser known Goddess by the name of Caffeina exists. In popular culture, she is depicted as emerging from a cup of coffee and is generally related with energy, clarity of thought, a creativity.
Legend has it, that during the third century, when Goddess worship had fallen out of favour and goddess worshippers were being persecuted. A man named Julianus, secretly prayed to the Goddess Caffeina, during the night. However, the man would be so tired from his hard day of work, that he would often fall asleep before finishing his worship of the goddess, so, the man begged the Goddess to show him a way to stay up at night to finish his prayers.
The goddess listened to his request, one day, when Julianus was taking a walk, he observed a bunch of goats dancing and frolicking in an unusual manner and asked the goat herder about the behaviour of his goats. The goat herder then pointed Julianus in the direction of these miracle berries which gave his goat immense vitality.
Julianus ate the berries and felt the same vitality in himself and started dancing with the goats. He took the berries home, boiled them and made a drink, known as coffee. Julianus deigned that the drink was quite delicious and started drinking it every night to pray to the Goddess.
Julianus was later crowned king as Julianus II and was also known as Julianus the Apostle, as he promoted Pagan worshipping. However, after his death, no other king supported the worship of Goddesses and Caffeina was lost in history.
World Coffee Day:
The International Coffee Organization decided that October 1 would be celebrated as the World Coffee Day. The first World Coffee Day was celebrated in 2015, in Milan. The exact origin of the International Coffee Day is unknown, it is believed that Japan, first promoted the event in 1983. However, several other countries have been celebrating Coffee Day on a National Basis, however, in 2014, the International Coffee Organisation decided that October 1 would be celebrated as International Coffee Day. Many activities are planned on this day, to promote Coffee.
So, here we have hoped to give you a brief on everything that could possibly be known about Coffee. We covered benefits, harms and every other bit in variable detail and we hope that this gives everyone an insight into what coffee has meant to individuals throughout the ages. So, the next time you pick up your cup of coffee remember the journey of coffee through the ages.
News on Coffee:
New Study Reveals That Coffee Can Protect Brain Health
– 4th Dec 2018
Researchers from Krembil Brain Institute, Toronto have recently come out with a new discovery. Caffeine may not be the only active ingredient in coffee which can provide health benefits. The researchers started with a fundamental question, the nature of the relationship between coffee and the reduced risk of the development of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
There is already an existing body of research-based conclusions arguing that caffeine is the active ingredient which helps with the reduction in the number of harmful proteins in the brain. These harmful proteins lead to the development of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. The researchers then tested the effects of dark toasted caffeinated coffee, light toasted caffeinated coffee, and dark roasted caffeinated coffee. The results were path-breaking, as both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee seemed to have a similar impact in protecting the brain from diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Drinking Coffee Can Prevent Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Disease
– 23rd Nov 2018
According to a recent study, drinking coffee can protect you from Alzheimers and Parkinson’s disease. The study also stated that there are approximately 500 million cups of coffee that are consumed each year. This study was published in the Journal of Frontiers in Neuroscience.
The study researched the compounds found in coffee that can prevent both these diseases. The team of researchers had divided the research into three different categories namely light roast coffee, dark roast coffee and non-caffeine dark roast coffee. The results that were found in the study were that a group of compounds called phenylindanes had emerged out of roasted coffee and this was responsible for preventing Alzheimers and Parkinson’s disease.
Also, the study has also begun to investigate whether this can enter the bloodstream or cross the blood-brain barrier. This study marks the dawn of any researcher working on phenylindanes and how it interacts with proteins that are responsible for preventing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
The Most Expensive Coffee In the World And the Latest Coffee Statistics
– 09th Oct 2018
The world is full of extremely weird and really expensive coffee. While feces coffee or Cevet or Luwark Coffee from Vietnam is quite there are other famous coffee types too. Here are three of the most weird and famous types of coffee:
- Black Ivory Coffee
Originated from Thailand this coffee is procured from the waste of elephants. Elephants are fed coffee berries, the protein is broken down in the elephant’s stomach and coffee is extracted from elephant waste, giving it the name of elephant poop coffee. Connoisseurs claim that this coffee lacks the bitter taste of coffee and is extremely smooth to taste. This is one of the most expensive coffees in the world, with one kilogram costing $1100.
- Monkey Spit Coffee
In Taiwan, monkeys suck on the coffee bean and then spit it out. This spit out bean is collected, ground and made into coffee. Connoisseurs claim that this coffee tastes like Vanilla and it is believed that this taste of vanilla comes from the monkey spit.
- Puke Coffee
Vietnamese Weasels are fed coffee berries, the weasels the digest the berry, while the coffee bean is extracted from them. Hence, giving it the name of Puke Coffee.
The European Union came up with an interesting statistic. In the year 2017, it has imported 3 million tonnes of coffee worth 8.8 billion euros. The coffee was majorly imported from Brazil followed by Honduras, Colombia, Uganda, India, Indonesia, and Peru. A majority of the coffee was imported by Germany, followed by Italy, Belgium, and Spain.
Unknown Fungus Threatens Latin America’s Global Coffee Supply
– 30th Oct 2018
An unidentified fungus has ravaged all of Latin America’s crops causing billion dollar damage and has affected the supply of global coffee. The disease has been identified as coffee leaf rust that appears to be as an organy-powder like fungus that affects the the plant’s yield. This fungus can destroy a crop on for years.
During the 1800s, the same fungus had crashed Sri Lank’s coffee industry and since the 1970s scientists in Latin America have been trying to get a cure for this. Though scientists have figured out rust-resistant varieties of coffee, the fungus has now adapted to the existing condition and beginning to evolve.
Traditionally known as leaf rust or Hemileia vastatrix, this fungus causes leaf loss for coffee plants. 70% of farms have been hit by this plant disease resulting in a massive $3.2 billion loss.
Though this fungus has existed for over 100 years, its very life cycle has not been understood because of ignorance. As a result, it’s outbreak has been deadly because this disease has evolved to be something deadly. In an effort to stop the growth of this fungus, Latin American scientists have been researching its reproductive process. Let’s hope that this does fungus can be controlled in future and help produce coffee in an effective manner.
Coffee May Help Cure Rosacea:
– 25th Oct 2018
The JAMA Dermatology journal recently published a study conducted by a group of researchers from Brown University. The study attempted to establish and understand the relationship between diet and reduction of rosacea. Rosacea is a skin condition which is generally more apparent in middle-aged women. The condition is marked by a skin outbreak, which looks like pimples but without the pus. The skin outbreak also leads to redness, inflammation, and visible red veins. The research project lasted for 14 years, between 1991-2005, and involved samples from over 80,000 women. Participants were interviewed on their coffee consumption every four years, the records were stored and compared from there on. The researchers discovered that women who drank 3-4 cups of coffee per day were at 23% lesser risk of developing Rosacea, as compared to women who drank coffee once or twice a day or month.
The researchers also found out that such a reaction was specific only to coffee, with tea, and chocolates not showing any such behaviour even upon daily consumption. The team of researchers, however, is still unclear about which elements in coffee interacts with the human body to inspire such a reaction. The team has made an educated guess and has put forth the argument that caffeine in coffee has antioxidants, which can help deal with curing the condition. The team of researchers also argues that caffeine is also a good immunosuppressor, which can help with reducing the inflammation.
The team of researchers had insisted that more research is required to understand the interaction to be coffee and the marked reduction in the risk of developing rosacea.