Coffee ... It's hard to find another such versatile drink. We start with a fragrant cup in the morning, remember coffee, when you need to drive away sleep and regain strength, without this drink friendly gatherings and romantic dates are not complete. But such a huge popularity gives rise to many myths. So what is coffee for a person: salvation and enjoyment, or a dangerous enemy? Let's look for the answer to this question together.
Origin: legends and scientific facts
Puzzle the World Wide Web with the query "The Origin of Coffee" and the search engine will return several million pages with stories on this topic. And in many cases, the date when humanity first tasted this drink, "walks" within several centuries. Somewhere they call the V century, somewhere XI or XIII. And the most famous legend about coffee dates back to 850. According to legend, once the Ethiopian shepherd Kaldi noticed that his goats, having tasted the dark green leaves and red fruits of one of the bushes, began to behave very strange. Animals jumped, frolic. The shepherd himself tasted the berries, and soon learned about the powerful effect of coffee beans.
And now a few facts from the researchers. Scientists suggest that the coffee plant first appeared on a plateau in central Ethiopia, in the region known as Kaffe. By the way, the tradition of consuming "energy balls" made from animal fats and soaked coffee berries has been preserved in the traditions of the Ethiopian galla tribe.
Over time, the culture spread to the lands of Yemen, Cairo, Mecca. On the Arabian Peninsula, coffee has become a favorite fruit of monks. They consumed an infusion of berries and leaves in order to stay awake for hours of night prayer. It is believed that it was they who first thought of roasting and grinding grains.
By the sixteenth century, coffee was discovered in Turkey, and the product quickly spread throughout the Ottoman Empire. In the XVII century, Venetian merchants brought fragrant grains to Europe, but the Catholic Church met the drink with wariness. The counselors urged Pope Clementius VIII to proclaim coffee as the "devilish" drink. But the Pope refused and he was "hooked" on the Arab energy. And when Europe was fond of coffee aroma, Arab merchants, in order to maintain a monopoly on the cultivation and supply of goods, poured boiling water over the beans before sending them to Europe.
It is believed that the very first coffee house appeared in Istanbul, where coffee has become an integral part of the local culture.
Although, according to another assumption, the first institutions where they brewed a drink arose in Mecca. The first European coffee houses appeared in Venice, but not one of them has survived to this day. But in the German city of Leipzig today you can visit the oldest coffee house in Europe, opened in 1694.
What types and varieties are
Coffee is an evergreen tropical shrub with white flowers that smell like jasmine. The coffee beans we are used to are found inside red berries - two in each.
Every morning, millions of people on the planet start their day with a cup of invigorating coffee - a drink made from roasted and ground coffee plant seeds. There are many varieties of coffee, but all of them represent only 2 product categories: arabica and robusta.
Arabica is a species native to their Arabian Peninsula. It is the oldest cultivated, and the most popular in the modern world (it occupies almost 70% of the market). Grains of arabica are large, slightly elongated and flattened. The taste of arabica may vary depending on the quality of the soil, weather conditions, temperature conditions in which the coffee plant developed. Ethiopian arabica is known for its soft and delicate taste with a floral aftertaste. Kenya is recognized for its harsher and bitter taste, beans from Latin America are also bitter, but have a cocoa flavor and leave a nutty aftertaste. One of the most popular in the world are varieties grown in Colombia. Their distinctive feature is the taste of walnuts.
Robusta, or graying coffee tree, originally from Congo. Compared to arabica, these varieties are more resistant to weather conditions and diseases, require less care, but are inferior in taste. Ripe grains are small and rounded.
Another coffee tree is known - Liberian, or Liberica, which is not so popular because it has a worse taste and aroma than other types. Liberia occupies no more than 2% of the global coffee market.
Most Popular Views
Coffee lovers know a lot of coffee drinks, but seven of them are truly the most popular and most famous in the world.
- Espresso. This is a strong black coffee made using a press and steam. Properly prepared drink - with a thick, golden brown foam. They are consumed with a small addition of sugar (in a quality drink, sugar will linger for a few seconds on the froth before falling to the bottom).
- Cappuccino. This is a natural cappuccino. The correct option is a mix of equal proportions of coffee, fresh milk and milk foam. The foam is usually sprinkled with a little cocoa powder or grated dark chocolate.
- Americano. This is, in fact, a portion of espresso added to a cup of hot water. Usually consumed with sugar and / or milk.
- Cafe Latte. Mix of 1 part espresso and 3 parts fresh milk. Delicious sweet, with different pastries and desserts.
- Coffee with milk. A traditional French drink, reminiscent of some measure of latte. The difference is in the proportions of the ingredients. In the French version, the ratio of the components is one to one.
- Mocachino. This is cappuccino or latte with chocolate syrup. Often served with a “cap” of grated chocolate or cocoa powder.
- Macchiato. It is a combination of espresso, caramel, frothed milk and vanilla.
The benefits and harms of coffee
"Drinking coffee is bad!" - categorically declare some opponents of this drink. However, not everything is so simple. Coffee contains a lot of antioxidants and an impressive amount of other substances useful for humans, and the latest research suggests that much of what we knew about this drink is nothing more than a myth. Here are a few facts that this fragrant black drink has health benefits.
Gives energy and makes us smarter
Coffee helps people feel energized and increases their energy reserves. And all because the product contains a stimulant known as caffeine. By the way, he is the most popular psychostimulant in the world. After a cup of drink, caffeine is absorbed into the bloodstream, and with it enters the brain, where it blocks the work of the neurotransmitter adenosine. When this happens, the level of other neurotransmitters in the body rises sharply - norepinephrine and dopamine, which as a result causes the excitation of neurons.
Many clinical studies show that coffee improves the overall functioning of the brain, including improves memory and mood, increases alertness, and has a beneficial effect on cognitive functions.
Helps burn fat
Do you know that almost all diet pills contain caffeine. And all because he is one of the few natural substances that contribute to the burning of fat. Studies have shown that caffeine can accelerate metabolism by 3-11%. However, there is a warning: with excessive enthusiasm for coffee, this effect weakens.
Speaking on the subject of excess weight, one can not help but remember about green coffee, which contains especially high portions of chlorogenic acid - an antioxidant that promotes weight loss.
Caffeine raises adrenaline levels in the blood. This hormone is necessary for a person with intense physical exertion. Caffeine destroys body fat to provide additional energy. Given these abilities of caffeine, it is not surprising that coffee benefits people who work physically. A cup of drink drunk about 30 minutes before training in the gym can increase physical endurance by 11-12%.
Source of Important Nutrients
Coffee is much more than a fragrant drink. Its grains contain many nutrient components. In a cup of the drink there are approximately 11% of the daily intake of vitamin B2, 6% of vitamin B5, about 3% of manganese and potassium. And magnesium and vitamin B3 in a cup of coffee is contained in an amount corresponding to two percent of the recommended daily portion.
Reduces the risk of diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a serious problem for humanity. Today, around 300 million people suffer from this disease in the world. And this number continues to grow. But studies are increasingly convincing that plain black coffee can prevent this disease. Scientific observations suggest that people who drink this drink are about 23-50% less likely to have diabetes. Why this happens, scientists continue to analyze.
Protects against Alzheimer's and Parkinson's
Alzheimer's disease usually affects people over 65. Unfortunately, scientists have not yet found a cure for this neurodegenerative disease. But there is good news. Proper nutrition, exercise and ... coffee can prevent the development of the disease. Coffee drinkers are nearly 65% less likely to have Alzheimer's disease. About the same indicators for Parkinson's disease. However, scientists note that decaffeinated coffee does not have a protective effect against these diseases.
Helps the liver
The liver is an extremely important organ in the human body. Hundreds of functions are assigned to it. But cirrhosis and other diseases can deprive this organ of the ability to play its unique role. Not only medications, but also a cup of coffee will help protect the liver. Fans of this fragrant drink are almost 80% more protected from the risk of cirrhosis and other painful changes in the liver tissue.
Makes us happier
Scientists at Harvard University have calculated that women who consume 3-4 cups of coffee a day are 5 times less likely to suffer from depression. Another study showed that coffee also reduces people's suicidal tendencies. Biologists explain this phenomenon by the ability of caffeine to activate the production of hormones in the body that are responsible for good mood and positive thinking.
Reduces the risk of certain types of cancer.
Cancer is accompanied by uncontrolled growth in the body of degenerated cells. Coffee, according to the results of clinical trials, can prevent this process. At least when it comes to malignant tumors in the liver and colon. Scientists made similar conclusions after observing nearly 500 thousand people.
If you consider that coffee lovers are less likely to get many serious illnesses, you can say that this drink prolongs life. But there are other, more convincing facts. Researchers estimate that mortality among male coffee lovers is about 20% lower than those who abandoned this aromatic drink. Among espresso lovers, mortality is lower by 26%.
The most important source of antioxidants
This may seem strange, but at least scientists say so. Coffee contains more antioxidants than vegetables and fruits. This gives reason to some researchers to rank this product as the most healthy drinks.
A few bitter facts: possible coffee dangers
This may surprise many, but coffee is one of the crops most contaminated with pesticides. Poor and cheap grains are usually a danger. On the other hand, regular consumption of large portions of the drink increases the risk of cholesterol growth, the occurrence of osteoporosis and cardiovascular disorders. And now a little more detailed about the most bitter facts.
Effect on hydrochloric acid
Many people like to drink coffee in the morning on an empty stomach. And this is the worst thing you can do for your stomach. The fact is that this drink stimulates the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which, according to the plan of nature, should be secreted only for the digestion of food. An empty stomach begins to "digest" itself.
Acidity, ulcers, bowel disease
Coffee contains various substances (and caffeine is one of them), which irritate the mucous membranes of the stomach and small intestine. And this is a serious problem for people with gastritis, ulcers, Crohn's disease and other intestinal disorders. The acidic effect of the coffee product affects the balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria in the digestive organs. And irritated mucous membranes often cause abdominal cramps, cramps, diarrhea, and constipation.
Heartburn and reflux
Coffee relaxes the sphincter. Normally, after eating this muscle should be tightly closed to prevent the eaten and hydrochloric acid from flowing out of the stomach into the esophagus. For a long time, it was believed that this effect provokes caffeine. But recent observations suggest that a decaffeinated drink produces a similar result.
This black drink can stimulate intestinal motility, working as a natural laxative. Some use this effect intentionally. But still it is important to understand that in this case there is an increased emptying of the stomach, the body does not have time to properly absorb the beneficial components from food.
By the way, researchers say that caffeine does not play the role of a laxative - the caffeine-free drink has the same effect.
Coffee abusers are often deficient in many minerals, even if their diet is rich in these substances or they take dietary supplements. This is due to the fact that coffee affects the absorption of iron in the stomach, and also impairs the ability of the kidneys to retain calcium, zinc, magnesium and other important minerals.
Acrylamide in coffee
Acrylamide is a potentially carcinogenic substance that is formed by roasting coffee beans at high temperatures. The darker the beans, the higher the likelihood of a high concentration of acrylamides in them.
The body of coffee lovers produces more stress hormones - cortisol, adrenaline and norepinephrine. These chemicals accelerate the heartbeat, increase blood pressure and cause tension in the body. Yes, it is these substances that give the body energy, but in some cases they support the body in constant tension. If this effect lasts for a long time, this is a very dangerous indicator for the body.
Is a decaffeinated drink good?
Many coffee lovers still prefer decaffeinated options.
Such a product is made from ordinary coffee beans, from which up to 97% caffeine has been previously removed.
As a rule, this process takes place with the participation of water, organic solvents or carbon dioxide. This process does not affect the nutritional value of the drink, which cannot be said about the taste, aroma and color of decaffeinated coffee. But, as a rule, together with caffeine, the product loses its bitterness and acquires a milder flavor. Minor losses of antioxidants are also possible. However, it should be understood that even so-called decaffeinated coffee may contain small doses of the substance (from 0 to 7 mg per cup). Such a drink is suitable for people with hypersensitivity to caffeine, people with certain diseases, as well as children, pregnant and lactating mothers.
Application in cosmetology
Coffee cosmetics today will not surprise anyone.And many women at home enjoy using a home-made scrub of coffee grounds. But this is only one of many possible ways to use this product in home personal care programs.
Before sharing a few more original recipes, we note that the skin feels many benefits from caffeinated products. They make the skin smooth, give it a beautiful shade, prevent premature aging, loss of elasticity and the appearance of age spots. Such remedies well soothe inflammation, remove dark circles under the eyes, redness. Coffee scrubs and body wraps reduce cellulite by almost 17%.
Coffee masks are also useful for hair. Caffeine stimulates their growth, prevents loss, makes curls more obedient, shiny. Researchers say coffee masks can extend the life cycle of the follicle by 33% and activate hair growth by up to 46%.
Coffee Beauty Recipes
- Scrub. Prepared from 1 part olive oil, 2 parts black ground coffee and the same amount of brown sugar. Apply with massage movements, rinse with warm water, and then apply a moisturizer.
- Mask for the face. Mix ground coffee, honey and natural yogurt in equal proportions. Hold for half an hour. This tool nourishes, moisturizes and enriches with useful components.
- Remedy for eye swelling. Chill coffee, soak a cotton pad with a drink and apply it for centuries. Hold for several minutes, then rinse with cool water.
- To improve blood circulation. For this, cubes of frozen coffee are perfect, for a more noticeable effect you should wipe your face daily.
- Hair Mask. Mix 1 part ground coffee and 2 parts olive oil. Keep on hair for at least 30 minutes. This tool softens the hair, makes it shiny.
- Rinse aid for hair. Prepare a few servings of espresso, cool. Rinse with clean, damp hair, leave for a while, and then rinse with clean water. After this procedure, the hair is easy to comb, become soft, silky.
And these are just some examples. There are hundreds of options for home-based coffee based cosmetics. Create your own and be beautiful.
Coffee is an amazing drink. Some cannot live without it even a day, others are afraid of it as a dangerous product. It is hard to say who is more right. The truth, as you know, is in the middle ground, and a cup of coffee for a healthy person certainly will not do harm.