Morning Coffee: Exactly!

fallFor me, the best part of waking up in the morning is that first cup of coffee. Coffee drinkers, you understand what I’m saying. Yes, I know, it’s great to just be alive, to realize God has given you another day on this earth. If I were struggling with a serious illness I would agree with you, but right now I’m really happy for that first cup of coffee. Nothing tastes the same; not even the second cup.

While perusing the internet for facts about coffee I came across an interesting article at goodhousekeeping.com by Amanda Hawkins: 26 Surprising Facts About Coffee. Here are a few you might not know.

Legend has it shepherds discovered coffee in Ethiopia circa 800 A.D. Goats appeared to “dance” after eating coffee berries. A local monk made a beverage from the coffee berries and found it kept him awake at night. There you are; the first cup of coffee.

Coffee is a fruit. The beans are the pits of a cherry-like berry grown on bushes. While more accurately a seed, it’s called a bean because of its resemblance to actual beans. And they were originally consumed as a food. Coffee berries were mixed with fat to create an energy-rich snack ball. (No, thank you.) It was also consumed as a wine made from the pulp of coffee berries. (Oh! My favorite end of the day beverage! Win! Win!)

The world’s most expensive coffee is another no thank you. If you’re squeamish you may want to skip this one. It comes from the feces of a Sumatran wild cat, the kopi luwak or civet cat. They eat the coffee cherries and then defecate the undigested coffee beans. If you’re interested, I see you can buy it on Amazon for roughly $12.00 an ounce. (I’ll stick to my pumpkin spice, hazelnut, etc. No civet cat feces flavored coffee for me.)

There have been five attempts to ban coffee. It was first banned in Mecca in 1511 because it was believed to stimulate radical thought. (I don’t know about “radical” thoughts, but it certainly helps me think.) Sixteenth century Italian clergymen believed it to be “satanic”; but Pope Clement VII loved coffee so much he lifted the ban and had it baptized in 1600. (Seriously!?) Ottoman leader Murad IV ascended to the throne in 1623 and created punishments for drinking coffee; including, beatings and being thrown into the sea. In 1746, the Swedish government made it illegal to even own coffee cups and dishes. Finally, in 1777, Frederick the Great of Prussia declared beer superior because he worried coffee was harming the country’s beer consumption. (I don’t know; I’m acquainted with plenty of people who drink their fair share of both.)

I like this one: coffee drinkers have a lower risk of Alzheimer’s. Studies show older patients with higher caffeine levels in their blood were more likely to avoid Alzheimer’s. It may also have positive effects on type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s. And, it may protect against skin cancer in women.

Coffee stays warmer when you add cream; but when you add milk, it weakens the effects of caffeine.

Coffee was brought to New Amsterdam, present-day New York City, in the mid-1600s but didn’t become popular until after the Boston Tea Party in 1773. The Civil War and other conflicts also helped boost coffee’s popularity.

Dark roast coffees have less caffeine than lighter roasts because roasting actually burns off some of the caffeine. And for you people who swear by your decaf, decaf does not mean caffeine-free. Although I will grant you, there is far less caffeine. An 8oz cup of decaf has 2-12 mgs of caffeine, whereas, a regular cup as from 95 to 200 mgs.

One last interesting fact about coffee, as all us coffee drinkers already know, just smelling coffee can wake you up. Simply inhaling the aroma of coffee can alter some genes in the brain. When you actually drink that cup, the caffeine will reach your bloodstream within 10 minutes.

Here’s the link if you want to check out more interesting facts about coffee: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/diet-nutrition/a30303/facts-about-coffee/

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