For many of us, coffee is engrained in our daily rituals. From a cup of black steam liquid to a more chilled, icy version; our day is not complete without a cuppa. The reasons to start the day off, or end the day for that matter, are in abundance. We all have our favourite moments to sip away while seated comfortably or are on a commute.
The foundations of bean harvesting to create coffee remains a mystery. Claims from the Ethiopian Highlands to the Arabic Peninsula that their grounds own the birthrights still inundate the world of coffee connoisseurs. The first traces of coffee date back to the 15th century and lean very much in favour of Ethiopia when going deeper into it. A herder with his goats coincidentally ran into a coffee plant with deliciously looking berries. While taking a break, he found out that his herd enjoyed these fruits, resulting in his livestock getting so hyperactive, they did not want to sleep at night.
Curious about the results, the herder reported the matter to the local abbot of a nearby monastery who documented the energetic outcome when consuming these now-beloved berries. The story spread like wildfire and resulted in further studies before it became a regional hit. Reports from the 16th century showed that the first coffee houses actually opened up in Egypt, Persia, Turkey and Syria.
Trading nations from Europe got in touch with the coffee bean around the 17th century. It slowly expanded further into South America where similar beans were found in countries such as Colombia. Even the Dutch brought the trading ground for coffee to Batavia (now Indonesia), where a strong coffee culture continues to flourish to date. Some of the finest coffee examples – such as the famous Luwak Coffee – are tightly connected to Indonesia.
From the 18th century, it all took off with a vengeance. The immense growth of smaller plantations in climates that perfectly suit the cultivation of the two main types of coffee – Arabica (the original bean, dating back to the 16th century) and Robusta – made coffee one of the most sought after commodities worldwide.
The energetic side-effects are actually not new. It was the driving force that made coffee such a hit worldwide. It is the natural compound of caffeine that will drive us forward when a dip in our energy levels is noticeable. The pureness of coffee, and physical and mental outcome when taken into a moderate dose, can turn around one’s mood and energy levels in no time. The latter statement is very personal as we all have different responses and preferences when it comes to caffeine intake.
Nowadays, it is extremely hard to find a town or city without a coffee shop. The exponential growth of drinking a cup of Joe has taken over not only the social world but has made a huge impact in the physical performance industry, especially in the sports industry. Caffeine is one of the banned substances on many regulatory sport commission boards due to its potent effects to deliver. While the average person may consume not for performance enhancements, the efforts of coffee are noticeable when having a few cups too many before bedtime. Again, this varies from person to person but on average, humanity does not benefit from having caffeine when slumber time is upon us.
One of the most studied effects of coffee in the past decade does no longer revolve around its performance. Or the impact it has on sleep. The solid proof of its thriving effect has been proven over and over again. No, science has turned towards the health benefits of coffee. And some interesting results are coming out of laboratories and science centres.
Rising evidence of drinking coffee, and how it can effectively benefit a person, slowly immerse. We do believe that more and more proof will surface in the coming years. Cultivation methods to maximize the number of anti-oxidants from beans or how its inner core can benefit metabolic functions are some of the exciting findings we have discovered. The question of whether coffee is indeed good for you, in moderation, is no longer a fable; it has turned into a fact.
With the advance in science also comes the commercial drive to keep us drinking coffee. Modern-day society revolves around staying creative to maintain its customers happy and caffeine-thirsty. While it was a normal thing to enjoy a cup of black, or a combination of milk and/or sugar, leaders in the coffee industry are turning their scientific eyes towards our taste palette and how our brain responds by adding new flavours and toppings to the equation.
They want us to drink more. And they want us to come back for more. The new generation is no longer interested in staying true to the very core of the authentic coffee culture. They want to be excited, tantalised with new versions, and show off their latest order.
When that 15th-century goat herder allowed its herd to graze profusely on these magical berries, the pureness of its effects maxed out effectively. No artificial sweeteners, no skimmed milk toppings or hazelnut-glazed layer atop its slightly foaming surface – it was the pure stuff that kept its goats going throughout the night.
The potency of what coffee stands for fades away when the coffee industry is spicing up its brew. The same is now for its proven health benefits.
Some major players in the coffee industry suppress the proven health effects by adding ingredients that may uphold some of its benefits but enrich it with less-beneficial mixes. Our intake of anti-oxidants may stay the same yet when blending it with mainly sugar and lactose-based liquids, the benefits of drinking coffee will be overrun by the side effects of sweetening up your drink. One has to go or diminishes the effects it has harnessed for generations, in favour of keeping our brain and palette happy and wanting more.
Yes, we actually stop drinking “coffee” and switching over to inhaling “desserts”.
Because the end result of your hazelnut frappe with whipped cream and chocolate sauce no longer resembles what coffee stands for. The low-in-calories brew is turning into a calorie bomb of epic proportions with lesser-preferred benefits to stay on top of your health. Sweet takes over the main stage because those standing behind their caffeinated product know what our brain loves the most.
Whatever contains caffeine and is labelled as coffee – be it in cold storage in a one-sip plastic bottle or degraded to a fine powder with a 3-in-1 formula – this is no longer coffee. If you read the labels of its ingredients, the amount of sugar and incomprehensible artificial concoctions mixed in it, the percentage of caffeine can be as low as 5%. All the benefits of coffee itself have washed away, diluted to slithers of what it is supposed to represent is no longer there.
All because these “coffee” manufacturers are eager to let you consume more of their products.
This results in mass production. In conjunction with this comes a sacrifice in buying coffee beans: lower quality, faster cultivation processes, adding more pesticides, to satisfy the higher demand to keep the prices low.
When you sacrifice quality, the health and performance benefits of what coffee really can do melt away like snow under the spring sun. The quality of our beans deeply respects how historically we must drink coffee because it has been proven over and over again that keeping it super simple is what reaps the greatest benefits.
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