Cup of Truth
So you think you're a coffee fan? How many of these facts, benefits and tips did you know?
With the fast-paced lives we all live and the stress of our daily work and home lives, it can be difficult to settle down long enough to be able to take in the aroma — let alone the caffeine intake — we need to function for the day.
Although our need and love for coffee does not always warrant the ability to meet a few friends each morning at our favorite shops to sip our favorite coffees, the desire to enjoy the warm soothing beverage still remains. Whether it’s sitting down for a few hours at a shop, grabbing your to-go cup, or making it at home when you’re getting ready for the day, the want — and for a lot of us, the need — for our coffee is ever present.
But aside from a caffeine jolt, there are many other benefits and facts about coffee that the average fan has either overlooked or never knew. For instance, did you know a coffee plant can live up to 200 years?
Here are some other fun coffee facts to perk you up.
Coffee is OK to drink before a workout. Although too much coffee or a milky latte before exercising can cause cramping and other physical malfunctions, drinking black coffee in moderation can be good for your workout. “I drink 4 ounces before I go into my workout,” says David Sutton. “It keeps me alert, and my mood and intensity are better than if I just drink water beforehand. Four ounces is my sweet spot, and I feel like I can do any workout and am ready to lift. I also heard Michael Jordan had a cup of coffee before each game so that he would be more alert on the court.”
There are multiple ways to make coffee. Any one type of coffee bean can come from many different places around the world, and be made many different ways. “I enjoy the diversity and all the different types of coffee,” says Leah Bickers. “I like that in each way a coffee is made, you can’t rush the process, and there is so much intentionality in every step it takes to make a cup.”
Outside of crude oil, coffee is the world’s second most traded commodity. And it makes good sense too. Petroleum makes cars go. Coffee makes people go. On a daily basis, more than 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed around the world.
It’s an art form
The amount of practice it takes to create good latte art is unexpectedly challenging. It is a fun challenge, but a difficult one. There are, of course, people who are naturally good at it, but for the most part, it takes a lot of time and concentration to learn how to froth the milk at the right temperature and speed so that it not only looks good, but tastes delicious as well. It takes hours of practicing your frothing and pouring techniques and there is always room for improvement. So, practicing on a regular basis is important.
Drink to your health
Contrary to some popular opinions coffee is quite healthy. In a 2005 study, research showed that Americans get the vast bulk of their antioxidant needs met with coffee. Now of course, this doesn’t mean you can exclude the necessary benefits found in fruits and veggies from your diet, but, the next time someone harps on you for your third cup of coffee in a day, let them know that you’re promoting a healthy heart and liver, plus preventing the probability of Parkinson’s and type 2 diabetes.
A plus for productivity
Coffee is highly addictive. Although it has many health benefits, just like with any caffeine drink, your body begins to rely on it. Studies have shown that people who drink coffee are actually more relaxed, and are more interested in their work. The caffeine found in coffee helps you maintain alertness, which improves performance and enhances mood. Similarly, coffee is useful when studying, as it improves attentiveness and wakefulness, which makes learning easier.
Nearly endless options
There are so many different types of coffee and hundreds of growing regions where coffee beans come from — all creating dozens and dozens of various flavor notes you can taste and smell from the complexity of each coffee. It’s really mind-blowing to realize just how many different types there are. “One of my favorite things about coffee is the different varietals,” says Taylor Aston. “Each one can be so different. Some cause coffee to be sweeter than others, and you can taste so many different flavors in each one coffee. The different varietals allow me to understand the characteristics of the coffee and what ratio to brew that coffee.”
The nose knows
There is a coffee chart — referred to as the coffee flavor wheel — that coffee companies and baristas use as a reference when smelling and tasting coffees. Much like sommeliers in tasting wine, baristas and roasters train themselves to be able to decipher different tastes and smells from each type of coffee. “One thing I like to remind people of is that coffee actually has more aromatic compounds than wine, which I find really cool and interesting,” says Jason Dowd.
You don’t even have to drink it before the effects start kicking in. Even smelling a cup of coffee reduces stress, according to a study by Seoul National University. Researchers studied the brains of rats that were stressed from sleep deprivation, and found that those that were exposed to the aroma of coffee saw changes in brain proteins that tied to stress.
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