Coffee - Magic Beans
This popular beverage world over is the second most widely used product in the world after oil and it is consumed at the rate of 1400 million cups per day. Astonishing but true, how this most popular drink after water has evolved to be not just a drink but also a way of life.
History of Coffee
There are many stories that contribute to the legend of coffee; however, one, which is distinctively known and accepted is that coffee, was discovered in Ethiopia, where it grew as a wild plant. It is believed an Arab goat herder was the first to notice that consumption of the berries from the coffee plant made his goats more energetic and lively. Intrigued and curious, he boiled the berries and thus the first cup of coffee was brewed.
From Ethiopia coffee spread to Eygpt and Yemen and it was in Arabia that the coffee beans were roasted for the first time. By the 15th century the coffee beans made their presence in Turkey, Persia and Northern Africa and slowly it spread to Italy, from where coffee was made popular to the rest of Europe, Indonesia and the Americas.
Qualities of Coffee
There have been numerous studies on how coffee can result in ailments or medical conditions and though some may lack credibility there are quite a few that are backed by sound scientific research and are considered to be true to quite an extent. However, coffee lovers need not lose heart as coffee does have its positives which have been affirmed time and again by medical and scientific experts.
Coffee is usually regarded as a mild stimulant of the central nervous system, which helps to reduce feelings of tiredness and fatigue. In fact moderate consumption of coffee also helps in temporarily increasing the heartbeat, relaxes smooth muscles, promotes flushing out of fluid and solid wastes through the body and sometimes it is even used in treating migraine.
However, if coffee is consumed in excess, then the effects are naturally not going to be positive in the least. In fact excess of anything leads to harm and the same principle applies to coffee too.
Excessive consumption of coffee can result in restlessness, headache, tense muscles, irregular heartbeats, diarrhea and heartburn. Since caffeine increases the production of stomach acid it may lead to ulcer symptoms.
A coffee lover need not be alarmed, because if coffee is consumed in moderate amounts, it can even result in less risk of developing Parkinson’s disease in men. Recent studies have even shown there’s no connection between coffee consumption and breast cancer incidence and osteoporosis in women.
Therefore the same fact is reiterated time and again that coffee consumed in moderation is good for you while excess can do you harm.
Coffee has definitely come a long way from the highlands of Ethiopia.
It has metamorphosed into a culture and history is a witness to the various dramatic world events that have taken place over a cup of coffee. American and French Revolution are testimony to this fact as they stirred not only their coffees but also their ideas of leading a revolution. The famous coffee houses of Vienna and Salzburg have many legendary stories associated with their renowned composer Mozart.
Though coffee culture was a popular concept in the Western world, in India, post-liberalization has resulted in this phenomena. The likes of Costa Coffee, Barista, Café Coffee Day, Coffee Bean have sprung in most of the cities.
A kaleidoscope of sights greet you, as you enter a café. You will find teenagers bundled up in one corner, while on the other a business meeting is in progress. Then there are those who like to spend time sipping their favorite brew while they browse through the newspapers or a bunch of friends enjoying a game of scrabble or playing the guitar.
With cafes open late into the night, it’s not an uncommon sight to see people flocking to the nearest café for a round of nightcap or satiating their sweet cravings. It therefore comes as no surprise that coffee has slowly and steadily seeped into our lives and become an integral part of our lifestyles.
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