For many, life without coffee is unfathomable. Coffee is the morning kick-start they need to get their day started. Not that they can’t live without coffee, but they’d like to believe so, and for very valid reasons, they are addicted to coffee. Coffee is considered one of the least detrimental to health stimulants, for it has numerous health benefits too.
When you hear the word coffee, instinctively, you imagine black water, maybe topped with a yellowish form or a beverage with a certain shade of brown. The brown coffee beans are also something many are familiar with. In short, coffee is no longer an unfamiliar beverage to most in the entire world. It’s drunk globally everywhere, with every culture adding their own unique twist to the making of coffee.
Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world. It is prepared by brewing of roasted coffee beans that are typically cultivated in the equatorial region of Latin America, eastern Africa or Asia, central Africa, south-east Asia, and Brazil. Shades of coffee range from black, dark brown, light brown, and beige. It is bitter in taste and has a stimulating effect when consumed, largely attributed to its caffeine content.
As of today, one-third of coffee across the world is cultivated in Brazil, making Brazil the leading producers of coffee. Coffee is originally green in color, which is then roasted using machinery, which turns its color to dark brown, and packaged to be imported across the world, and devoured with immense delight.
History of Coffee
Behind every sip of the thick, aromatic, rich flavoured coffee, there exists an interesting story behind its discovery. Now, it would be fair to say that we can’t exactly place the first coffee tree ever planted, but it is said to have been introduced to mankind in the 15th century.
There are numerous accounts on the discovery of coffee. The most popular one being that of an Ethiopian legend that credits the discovery to an Ethiopian herder, Kaldi. After observing that his goats were acting unusually energetic and didn’t want to sleep at night after eating berries from certain plants. He shared this discovery to the monks of monasteries, one of whom suggested to make a drink out of the berries. They found them very revitalizing and kept them active during prayers. The word moved further across the region, and many preferred calling it a magic potion.
In the 15th century, coffee cultivation started becoming popular in the Arabian Peninsula. Specifically in the Yemeni district and eventually reached Persia, Egypt, Turkey, and Syria in the 16th century.
Coffee, which during the time was popularly known as qahveh, soon become a staple at casual gatherings, where people enjoyed spending together, dancing, singing, gossiping, learning, etc. Coffee houses were built specifically to serve coffee to people while they interact with people, translating to a healthy social activity.
During pilgrimage time, when thousand visited the holy city of mecca, word of this soothing aromatic beverage got around. As a consequence, coffee soon reached Eastern Europe in the 17th century, whose popularity spread like fire, and by the mid-17th century, approximately 300 coffee houses opened in London.
Nutritional Facts of Coffee
For your regular cup of coffee, which is brewed in tap water, there is 40mg of caffeine per 100 gram. There are no such vital nutrients found in coffee. However, coffee is rich in anti-oxidants, which enables it to fight free radicals in your body and maintaining your health when consumed in moderation. In addition, espresso is found to contain small quantities of magnesium, vitamin B-complex, niacin, and riboflavin.
Popular Types of Coffee
Some have coffee for the sake of getting the caffeine running in their system to get them going; the others have it to relish the taste of exquisite, flavorful brewed beans. There exist numerous types of coffee across the world that accredits them with their own unique taste and feel.
1. Café Americano
Americano is simply an espresso shot with the addition of boiling water. It is said that during World War 2, soldiers added water to their espresso shots to make their beverages last longer.
2. Café Latte
Latte is an espresso shot added in steamed scathed milk.
Cappuccino is one of the most popular drinks in the world and certainly the most widely known. It consists of three layers. The first is of an espresso shot, followed by boiled or steamed milk and topped with frothed, foamy milk. Certain cafes add their own unique twist to it, too, by adding chocolates shavings or syrup on top of the foam.
Espressos are the most original types of coffee to have. It is usually black or dark brown in color and topped with a yellowish foam called crema. It is usually extracted through an espresso machine, were hot boiling water is pressurized through coffee beans and dark thick, rich flavoured, the aromatic liquid is obtained.
5. Flat White
Flat white is cream, or creamy milk poured over an espresso shot.
6. Long Black
A long black is hot boiling water upon which two espresso shots are poured over. It is similar to Americano, except it is the inverse of it and has a layer of crema.
A macchiato is similar to a cappuccino in the sense that hot foamy milk is topped on an espresso shot. The difference is the quantity of the milk added. A macchiato is normally stronger than a cappuccino.
A mocha is simply a latte with chocolatey goodness added to it. The sweetness makes it more satisfying and enjoyable.
9. Filter Coffee
Filter coffee is made by adding hot boiling water to ground coffee beans, where the coffee goodness is infused in the water. The coffee seeps out of the filter, where the crushed coffee beans were placed. It is thicker than an Americano and bitter than an espresso.
Instant coffee is one of the most convenient means to get your caffeine. Many coffee lovers wouldn’t consider instant coffee to be real coffee, but it still tastes more or less the same as your brewed beans and gives you similar caffeine content. Instant coffee is powdered coffee that can be dissolved in hot water or milk.
Coffee Preparation Methods
1. French Press
A French press is a cylindrical pot with a built-in filter screen and a plunger.
- The plunger is pulled out of the pot when hot boiling water is added with 7-8 grams of coffee.
- The plunger is pressed down till its surface is just above the water.
- It is allowed to sit for 3-4 minutes before the plunger is pressed down slowly.
Espresso is typically prepared through an espresso machine.
- Coffee beans are ground, where they are placed in the machine.
- Hot boiling water is pressurized through the beans, where the goodness of coffee is infused in water and allowed to pass through into the cup.
3. Brewed Coffee
Brewed coffee is one of the most famous coffee preparation techniques used.
- The coffee pot is slightly warmed before filling it with hot water
- Grounded coffee is added to the water and heated.
- After some time, the pot is removed from heat and allowed to sit for a couple of minutes before drinking.
Health Benefits of Coffee
Coffee is extremely beneficial for human health. It is not only a drink, but it comes with incredible health benefits because of the ingredients. Studies have also proved the effectiveness of coffee. This section of the article will discuss the health benefits of coffee and why you should drink this beverage.
1. Coffee Improves Heart Health
About 600,000 people die every year in the United States because of heart failure. According to a recent study published in the Journal of Circulation: Heart Failure, it was proved that drinking coffee on a regular basis promotes heart health. This study has shown that the people who drank coffee had an 11% low risk for heart failure. Similar results were observed in another study published in the Journal of Annals of Internal Medicines. It protects your heart from damage by inflammation. Therefore, you need to drink some coffee to improve your heart health.
2. Coffee May Prevent Some Cancers
Cancer is a dreadful disease, and countless people die because of cancer and cancer-related disease. Coffee has anti-inflammatory properties, and it also contains polyphenols that offer carcinogenic properties. Studies have shown that drinking coffee may protect you from cancer. Research conducted by Harvard School of Public Health proved that coffee could significantly reduce endometrial cancer in women by 25%. It cures colon, breast liver, and other cancers.
3. Coffee Improves Physical Performance
If you want to work out or physical activity for a longer time, then you must add coffee in your breakfast. Coffee contains caffeine that serves in this regard. Drinking coffee leads to an increase in adrenaline levels, which further assists in increasing your physical performance. The presence of caffeine can enhance physical performance to about 11-12%, according to research published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. So, coffee is the best option when you want to work for hours without being tired.
4. Lessens the Risks of Type-2 Diabetes
Coffee provides an excellent shield against type-2 diabetes and makes you live a healthy life. This is because of the fact that coffee regulates a healthy blood sugar level, fights inflammation, and prevents tissue damage. A 2009 scientific research showed that coffee lessened the risk of developing type-2 diabetes by 7% While another study showed a 50% decline in developing this disease.
5. Promotes Longevity
Everyone wants to live longer, and coffee is the best option if you want the add many years to your life. It promotes longevity directly and indirectly. A surprising study published in the Journal of Annals of Internal Medicine provided that coffee reduced the risks of death in men and women to 20% and 26%, respectively. Similarly, coffee lowered the risk of death in people with diabetes to 30%, which was incredible when it comes to longevity.
6. Increases Energy Level of the Body
As mentioned earlier, coffee contains a small amount of caffeine, which is a psychoactive drug. Caffeine is also known as a legal drug, and it has soothing effects on your central nervous system (CNS). This ingredient increases the energy level of the body and helps you perform physical activities with distinction.
On the other hand, caffeine also burns fat. The burning of excess fat in the body releases enough energy. The energy that comes from the burning of stubborn fat helps to increase the energy level of the body. It provides torrents of energy so that you remain active and agile all day.
7. Promotes Liver Health
The liver is the most important organ of the human body. Studies have shown the effectiveness of coffee for your liver. When the level of liver enzymes increases, it leads to inflammation and liver damage. Drinking coffee decreases the liver enzyme level so that your liver remains healthy and free from diseases.
A study published in the Journal of Archives of Internal medicine has shown that drinking four or more cups of coffee reduces the risks of cirrhosis by 80%. There are several other scientific evidence that supports this idea of drinking coffee for a healthy liver.
8. Boosts Cognitive Health
People who drink coffee on a regular basis tend to have improved memory, focus, and mental performance. This is because of caffeine that is a key ingredient in coffee. A study published in the Journal of Nutrition proved that caffeine could boost mental performance and awakes you all day. It also has exciting effects on your mood and makes you happy. It arouses your dormant and drowsy attributes and keeps your stay motivated.
9. Fights Depression & Makes You Happy
If you want to enhance the quality of life, then you need to get rid of depression because of it the leading cause that affects millions of lives around the world. Reports said that 4.1% of the Americans are depressed; they are facing unintended consequences of depression. You can reduce depression to 20% if you consume 4 cups of coffee on a daily basis, according to a Harvard study. Similarly, another study on 208,424 people found an appreciable decline of depression by 53%. If you overcome depression, you can enjoy a happy life again.
10. Fights Headache
Coffee is the best option if you are experiencing any type of headache. People who drink coffee on a regular experience no headache at all. According to the researchers, caffeine narrows down the blood vessels to suppress headaches.
Facts and Figures of Coffee
- People in Africa used to chew coffee by mixing it with animal fat and by grinding berries.
- Instant coffee first appeared in the UK in 1771 while it was first planted in the USA in 1910.
- Average American spends $1092 on coffee each year.
- People drink 95 million cups of coffee every day in the UK.
- The coffee industry produces 210,000 jobs each year in the UK.
- 16% of the British visit café on a daily basis while 80% of them visit once in a week.
- Kopi Luwak is the world’s most expensive coffee, and it comes from animal poop.
- You will be surprised to know that there is a Starbucks in CIA headquarter.
How Much Coffee Should You Drink per Day?
Caffeine is the main ingredient in coffee and tea. First, you need to know the amount of caffeine in your coffee. 475 ml Starbucks has 300 mg caffeine, and researchers recommend 400 mg of caffeine per day. This amount of caffeine is from all sources such as coffee, tea, drinks, and medications. You need to consume caffeine in the range of 50-400 mg per day.
Researchers recommend drinking 4-5 cups of coffee daily; however, you can reduce the intake if you are experiencing any health issues. For pregnant women, the caffeine amount should be around 100-200, and many researchers recommend avoiding coffee during pregnancy.
Coffee, being the most popular beverages to exist, has risen to fame attributed to its rich, aromatic, flavour that many choose to relish in their own unique way. There are numerous coffee types to exist, and it is only fair to enjoy having coffee the way you prefer to have it. Coffee also has admirable health benefits. Drinking coffee on a regular basis will make you active, happy, and prevent several diseases such as diabetes, cancer, stroke, and Alzheimer’s.
Don’t forget to take a look at our coffee machines buying guides to find your next coffee maker to buy.