“Tell me, what is better than a bitter cup of coffee on a fine Saturday morning?” — D.S
Coffee was originally discovered by an Ethiopian herdsman named Kaldi. Apparently, the story goes that his goats devoured some red berries and showed an exuberant amount of energy afterwards. So, Kaldi went on to try the berries himself and was shocked. An abundant amount of energy came over him. He then declared the berries as, ‘heaven sent.’ I fully back that statement and I can only imagine the excitement he must have been feeling at experiencing caffeine for the first time. Back to the story though!
In 1100, Arab traders were heading back to their homeland with coffee beans from Ethiopia. They were the first ones to cultivate the plant and create an uplifting drink, we now know as coffee. They boiled the beans in water and called it, “qahwa,” which translates to “that which prevents sleep.” Coincidently, in the process of stripping the coffee bean’s husk, the pulp of it can actually be fermented and then made into extremely potent alcohol. Ironic considering the Quran bans drinking. Nonetheless, Arabia and Africa emerged themselves in coffee production. They created laws that forbid the export of fertile beans, so before exportation, the coffee beans were boiled and the husk was shedded to prevent smugglers from sneaking away with the goods.
Fast forward to the present day, coffee is the world’s most popular beverage. Over 400 billion cups are consumed each year and the US imports up to $4 billions worth coffee a year. It’s actually second to oil as the most traded commodity.
There is so much controversy to coffee nowadays, all the hype is matcha lattes. I’m not opposed to matcha lattes, I think they taste fine and have a solid amount of health benefits. However, as a strong coffee drinker, I feel it is my obligation to provide you with a bit of knowledge as to why coffee is also good for you, and why you should enjoy it. First, let us cover the health benefits.
- Coffee increases your energy levels
As we all know, coffee contains a stimulant in it called caffeine which is absorbed into your bloodstream and then makes its way to your brain, which in turn blocks your inhibitory neurotransmitter adenosine. This causes your dopamine levels to increase and your are then in simple terms, energized.
2. Coffee helps burn fat
Don’t go drinking coffee by the gallon after reading this one, but caffeine is indeed a fat-burning supplement and there are quite a few studies done that prove caffeine can boost your metabolism, not by a lot but a bit.
- Manganese which improves bone health
- Riboflavin helps break down carbs, proteins and fats
- Magnesium has anti-inflammatory properties
Moving on to the social aspect of coffee. Coffee is a social occasion. It’s one of those things that can be and should be enjoyed in a social setting. Coffee is meant to be savored, and the taste of it will be so good you won’t even mind when it gets lukewarm as you are so lost in conversation with whomever you’re with, you begin sipping slower, enjoying the taste even more so. Have you ever noticed that when inviting a friend for a social outing, you often say, “Let’s grab a coffee?”
In-between the hustle and bustle of our lives, sipping a cup of coffee is when you relax, put the world on pause, and take a break. Coffee is something you look forward to. Something our bodies enjoy. A way to create and build relationships.
While I fully support those who don’t agree with coffee and have moved on to lighter beverages, (aka matcha, tea, etc) I will forever be a coffee fanatic and will encourage the art of coffee.