Sit back and sip as we take you on a journey through time and taste buds as we unravel the origins and unveil the remarkable health benefits of coffee. From its humble beginnings in Ethiopia to its global conquest, coffee has become more than a beverage—it’s an experience.
Long black, short!
Coffee’s origins can be traced back to Ethiopia in East Africa, where the coffee plant, Coffee arabica, is believed to have originated. Legend has it that a goatherd named Kaldi discovered its energising effects when he noticed his goats becoming more lively after consuming the red berries from a particular plant. This led to the cultivation and consumption of coffee beans.
Cultivation and consumption spread from Ethiopia to the Islamic world during the 15th century. The stimulating effects appealed to Muslims, as it helped them stay awake during long periods of prayer. Coffee houses, known as qahveh khaneh, became popular social spaces for intellectual discussions and gatherings.
And then coffee made its way to Europe through trade routes and the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century. Initially, it faced resistance and controversy due to religious and cultural concerns. However, the establishment of coffee houses in major European cities like Venice, London, and Paris led to its growing popularity.Coffee has become deeply ingrained in the cultures of various countries worldwide. From the café culture in Europe to its importance on rituals in the Middle East, and the rise of coffee chains like Starbucks, has become a symbol of socialising, relaxation, and productivity.
Coffee’s rise has seen the development of diverse coffee-based beverages. From classics like cappuccinos, lattes, and espressos to more recent trends like cold brew, nitro, and flavored concoctions, the industry continuously innovates to meet consumer preferences.
Today, it is the second most traded commodity in the world, after oil. It has a massive global market and continues to evolve with new brewing methods, flavors, and cultural adaptations. Its rise as a beverage has been fueled by its stimulating properties, the social experience it offers, and its versatility in catering to a wide range of tastes.The 17th and 18th centuries witnessed the establishment of coffee plantations in various parts of the world, particularly in colonies controlled by European powers. Its cultivation expanded to regions like the Americas, Southeast Asia, and the Caribbean, fueling the global demand for coffee.
The industrial revolution in the 19th century revolutionised coffee production. Advances in transportation, roasting, and brewing technology allowed for mass production and distribution. This led to the emergence of coffee as a ubiquitous beverage accessible to people of various social classes.
In the late 20th century, the specialty coffee movement emerged, emphasising the quality, origin, and unique characteristics of coffee beans. It focused on sustainable farming practices, fair trade, and direct relationships between farmers and consumers. This movement led to the popularity of gourmet coffee shops and artisanal brewing methods.
Coffee has become deeply ingrained in the cultures of various countries worldwide. From the café culture in Europe to its importance on rituals in the Middle East, and the rise of coffee chains like Starbucks, it has become a symbol of socialising, relaxation, and productivity.
The rise has seen the development of diverse coffee-based beverages. From classics like cappuccinos, lattes, and espressos to more recent trends like cold brew, nitro coffee, and flavored concoctions, the industry continuously innovates to meet consumer preferences.
Today, it is the second most traded commodity in the world, after oil. It has a massive global market and continues to evolve with new brewing methods, flavors, and cultural adaptations. Its rise as a beverage has been fueled by its stimulating properties, the social experience it offers, and its versatility in catering to a wide range of tastes.
The Up shot for Health
Coffee has been the subject of extensive research, and numerous studies have explored its potential health benefits. However, it’s important to note that individual responses to it can vary, and excessive consumption or adding unhealthy ingredients (like excessive sugar or cream) can negate some of the potential benefits. Here are some commonly observed health benefits associated with moderate consumption:
Antioxidant Properties: It is a rich source of antioxidants, which help protect the body against oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals.
Improved Cognitive Function: The caffeine in coffee is a central nervous system stimulant that can enhance alertness, concentration, and cognitive performance.
Boosted Metabolism and Physical Performance: Caffeine can increase metabolic rate and fat oxidation, making it a common ingredient in many weight-loss supplements. It has also been shown to improve physical performance and endurance during exercise by stimulating the nervous system and reducing fatigue.
Reduced Risk of Type 2 Diabetes: Several studies have found that coffee may improve insulin sensitivity and regulate blood sugar levels.
Liver Protection: Moderate consumption has been linked to a lower risk of liver diseases, including liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Lower Risk of Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s Diseases: Some studies suggest that coffee drinkers may have a reduced risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. The exact mechanisms behind this association are not fully understood, but caffeine and other compounds in coffee may have neuroprotective effects.
Reduced Risk of Certain Cancers: Moderate consumption has been associated with a decreased risk of certain types of cancers, including liver, colorectal, and endometrial cancers.
It’s always advisable to listen to your body, monitor your own tolerance, and adjust your consumption accordingly. And for every cup you drink, you should have a least two glasses of water to offset the diuretic effect and to stay hydrated.
The Bitter Bean Truth
According to Mark Curry of Savvy Beverages, data published by Statistica shows that 97 percent of coffee produced in the world, and available in Australia is not organic and heavily sprayed with chemicals. In fact, it is the most heavily sprayed crop with hundreds of chemicals like fungicides, pesticides, herbicides and more. And unlike fruits and vegetables that you may be able to wash, you do not get the same opportunity with coffee.
“Australians would be horrified to know that only three percent of the coffee consumed around the world and in Australia has been produced from coffee beans grown in artificial environments and heavily sprayed with chemicals,” Curry said.
“The chemicals they use are insecticides and they include organophosphates (OP), pyrethroids, and carbamates. These chemicals are not only acutely toxic; some of them may also cause serious health issues, with some even being linked to cancer. One of the most common herbicides used on Brazilian coffee plantations is glyphosate, which is sold under the brand name Roundup and used around the world as a weed killer. This is of stark concern as we import a lot of Brazilian coffee.”
To play it safe, and to enjoy the taste (and benefits) of coffee always choose organic. And don’t undo the benefits by loading a great cup of Joe with sugar!
About Savvy Beverages
Savvy Beverages specialise in healthy functional nootropic drinks and organic coffee infused with nootropics. They have become known for their innovative brain optimising product formulas that improve the brain power of consumers, using sustainably sourced and organic ingredients.
Words: Kris Abbey
Read more Health & Wellness blogs HERE