I think we all pray to the first cup of the day. It's a silent prayer, sung while the mind is still foggy and blue. "O Magic Cup," it might go, "carry me above the traffic jam. Keep me civil in the subway. And forgive my employer, as you forgive me. Amen" - Stewert Lee Allen, English comedian
It is estimated that over 1.7 billion cups of coffee are consumed worldwide each year. Worldwide, sale of coffee adds up to a revenue of $80 billion and over 25 million people sustain their living by producing coffee. The US is the world’s largest coffee-consuming nation. Germany, Japan, Italy, and France are the other top consumers of coffee in the world.
Why is Coffee Popular?
Coffee is a popular stimulant. People believe that it ‘kick-starts’ brain functions and keeps you more alert and active. The main ingredient in coffee that produces this result is caffeine. You start to get drowsy when the chemical Adenosine generated by daily activity combines with Adenosine receptors in your brain. Caffeine keeps the two from combining by attaching itself to the Adenosine receptors. Besides, caffeine induces the pituitary gland to stimulate production of Adrenaline which has you wide awake. Adrenalin causes the release of blood sugar into the blood for extra energy. Caffeine also increases the dopamine levels in your system and jerks you awake. Caffeine causes the brain’s blood vessels to constrict, reducing the severity of a vascular headache.
The earliest record of a public cafe dates back to 1475 when a place called Kiva Han in Istanbul started to serve coffee. The rise of coffee culture is often associated with the growth of Islam. Alcohol is prohibited in Islamic culture while coffee is an acceptable drink. It was legal in Turkey for a woman to divorce her husband if he could not supply her with coffee. Coffee has long been associated with culture and sophistication. In the late 20th century coffee became the preferred drink of geeks and the creative professionals.
Your Cup Of Joe
The US celebrates National Coffee Day on September 29. 54% of Americans over the age of 18 drink coffee everyday. Americans get through over 450 million cups of coffee each day. This adds up to about 150 billion cups in a year costing the country over $4 billion worth coffee imports. The US Coffee Market is estimated to be about $18 billion. The US imports over a third of the world’s coffee production. In the US, Hawaii and Puerto Rico are the only places which grow coffee. About 65% Americans who drink coffee consume about 13 cups each week and 3 of five need a cup of coffee to ‘start the day’.
An average American drinks about 3.1 cups of coffee each day. An average espresso drive-through in the US serves between 200-300 cups a day. 20%-30% of all coffee sales in the US are made up of flavored coffees. The top flavors sold in the country are Chocolate, Vanilla, Caramel, Hazelnut, and Cinnamon.
In the US, the 64% of the workers from the Northeastern states drink coffee regularly, 54% from the south, 51% from the Midwest and 51% professionals from the western states are regular coffee drinkers.
Most of the coffee in the world is grown in the Bean Belt – the region between the tropics. Coffee is grown in over 65 countries in the world. Brazil is the largest producer of coffee in the world. The country produced over 44 million bags of coffee each year.
Know Your Coffee
Over 70% of the world consumes Arabica coffee. Arabica is mild and aromatic. The flavor varies depending on the region of origin. Indonesian Arabica is full-bodied and rich which the Arabica from South America is moderate. Sumatra produces great dessert Arabica coffee. About 30% of the world consumes Robusta coffee. Robusta has almost 50% more caffeine than Arabica. It has full flavor and is high-quality coffee.
Potential Health Risks of Drinking Coffee
Decaffeinated coffee increases the risks of rheumatoid arthritis. People who drink over 4 cups of coffee each day have a 100% increased risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
A study led by Dr. De-Kun Li from Oakland, California, concluded that a daily consumption of about two cups of coffee increases the risk of miscarriage considerably. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that pregnant women consume no more than a cup or 2 of coffee through pregnancy.
Coffee is known to cause heartburn. Coffee promotes dehydration and gastro-oesophageal reflux.
Coffee has traditionally been associated with loss of sleep, perhaps due to its stimulating effects. The effect of coffee on sleep, however, depends on the individual.
Consumption of coffee promotes increased excretion of calcium. Women who drink over 4 cups of coffee increase the risk of osteoporosis.
Caffeine is responsible for increase in blood pressure. Consumption of coffee causes sustained elevated levels of blood pressure in people already suffering from hypertention.
Coffee causes cardiac arrhythmias and increases the risk of intracranial aneurysm by 10.6%.
Consumption of coffee is directly linked to damage of arteries. It causes stiffness of arteries and increases wave reflections. This may also lead to heart disease.
Boiled coffee increases total blood cholesterol and LDL levels. Unfiltered coffee contains cafestol and kahweol, which are responsible for elevated cholesterol levels in blood.
The causal relation between coffee consumption and cardiovascular disease remains controversial. Some studies suggest elevated risks of heart diseases in coffee- drinkers.
Should Coffee Carry A Warning Label?
In the 1700s, coffee addiction was considered a social problem. Johan Sebastian Bach, the composer wrote a satirical cantata in 1732 about coffee addiction. In a recent study by Dunkin’ Donuts and Career Builder the top three professionals who rely on coffee to get through a workday are – Food Service Workers, Scientists, and Sales Representatives. According to the same study 43% professionals from across all industries believe they are less productive without drinking coffee. According to Roland Griffiths, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University caffeine, widely consumed as coffee, is the world's most popular mood-altering drug. Almost 50% of regular coffee drinkers experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop drinking coffee. Coffee consumption creates a physiological and psychological dependence. Major coffee withdrawal symptoms last about a week after which they start to ebb –
Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee
Researchers believe -
People who drink 4-6 cups of coffee a day have a 28% lower risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Those who drink 6 or 7 cups have a 35% lower risk.
People who drink three cups of coffee each day lower their risks of suffering from Dementia and Alzheimer's disease by about 65%.
Drinking 2 American-size cups of coffee a day decreases the risk of heart failure by about 11% and the risk of stroke by about 10%
Drinking coffee is associated with a decrease in the risk of developing the commonest form of skin cancer - basal cell carcinoma
Men who drink 6 cups of coffee have a 20% reduced chance of developing prostrate cancer and 60% less risk of a lethal prostrate cancer.
Drinking 2-3 cups of coffee each day lowers the risk of developing Parkinson's disease by 25%
People who drink 4 cups of coffee daily are 80% less likely to develop cirrhosis of the liver than non-drinkers.
Men who drink 2 or 3 cups of coffee a day reduce their risks of developing gallstones by 60%.
Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world. The first in the list is oil.
In 1906, instant coffee was invented by a Belgian man living in Guatemala. His name was George Washington.
The term “cup of joe” comes from the GI Joes – American military servicemen from WWII who were regular coffee drinkers.
Coffee beans are seeds found in bright red coffee berries that grow on trees. Coffee trees are cultivated to be around 10 feet.
Seattle is the ‘Coffee Capital of the US’ with about 35 coffee shops per 100,000 population.
Kopi Luwak from Indonesia is believed to be the most expensive coffee in the world. It sells for about $50 for a cup
A standard American cup of coffee measures about 9 oz.
Even in the late 1700s Italy had about 200,000 espresso bars.
65% of all coffee consumption is at breakfast.
In Africa, coffee beans are soaked in water and mixed with spices to be served as candy.
In 1675, Charles II, King of England, issued banned Coffee Houses because he thought they were places where people plotted against him.
The first espresso machine was made in France in 1822. The coffee percolator was invented by James Mason on December 26, 1865.
Timor Leste produces some of the world’s most preferred coffee. Most of it is bought by Starbucks.
The oldest coffee house in Paris is the Cafe Procope. It was the frequent haunt of Alexander von Humboldt, Benjamin Franklin, Voltaire, and Thomas Jefferson.