Facts on the Bean

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We’ve been collecting all those juicy mindless facts about our drug of choice – that unifying, gratifying, spiritualising and sometimes satisfying dark brown liquid we know as… Coffee!

The Buzz on Coffee

From global commodity to addiction, to health threat, to gourmet delight, the story of coffee touches every part of the globe …
Coffee is the world’s second most traded commodity after oil, and it employs over 25 million people worldwide. Love it, hate it or adore-it-but-can’t-drink-it, there are few people who could claim they are not arrested by the aroma of freshly roasted and brewed coffee. So deeply embedded in the culture of billions of people, what is this drink we so ritualistically consume first thing upon the waking morn?

Cafe Jargon

Cafe Au Lait – Combines one-third coffee with two-thirds hot frothed milk.
Cappuccino – Espresso drink comprising one serving of espresso topped with hot milk and froth.
Chicory – The root of the endive, roasted and ground and often blended with coffee.
Dandesoycino (with Carob Sprinkles) – A drink for vegan types who hang in cafes but don’t like coffee, dairy or chocolate.
Doppio – A double espresso, or 3-6oz of straight espresso.
Espresso – Used to describe both a roast of coffee and a method of brewing in which hot water is forced under pressure through a compressed bed of finely ground coffee.
Filtered Coffee – Any brewing method in which water filters through a bed of ground coffee. In popular application, describes drip method brewers utilising a paper filter to separate grounds from brewed coffee.
Flat White – Espresso coffee with steamed milk.
Irish Coffee – A mixture of hot coffee and Irish whiskey served with a whipped cream topping.
Latte – A serving of espresso combined with about three times as much hot milk topped with froth.
Long Black – An espresso lengthened with hot water.
LSD – Dandelion soy latte (for Vital Magazine readers).
Macchiato – A serving of espresso ‘stained’ or marked with a small quantity of hot frothed milk.
Mocha – Single-origin coffee from Yemen; also a drink combining chocolate and (usually espresso) coffee.
Short Black – Single serve of straight espresso.

Coffee – Killing You Slowly?

The half-life of caffeine in the human body varies from three to seven hours.
It increases metabolic rate by about ten percent.
Females metabolise caffeine 20-30 percent more quickly than males.
But there’s more – much more – when it comes to the health ups and downs of this legal drug.
Caffeine is a powerful central nervous system stimulant, improving mental alertness and giving you extra stamina.
What it’s also doing is turning on the body’s fight-or-flight response, and if you imbibe too much, this can trigger anxiety and stomach upsets, along with the requisite jitters.
While coffee may never truly be endorsed as a health drink, it’s not all bad news either.
There have been some surprising research results about coffee recently- which may allow you to enjoy your next cappuccino without guilt.
Here’s the medical pros and cons:
* Coffee may lower your risk of gallstones.
* Coffee can be good for digestion.
* Coffee can lower the risk of bowel cancer.
* Coffee is a good source of anti-oxidants.
* Coffee can boost brain function.
* Coffee can improve stamina.
* Coffee boosts pain relief.
* Coffee may offer asthma prevention.
However ….
* Coffee may contain harmful chemicals.
* Coffee can weaken your bones.
* Coffee upsets the digestive process.
* Coffee may increase the risk of heart disease.

Reasons to go Organic

Coffee is grown in tropical regions where insects abound, so most of it is heavily treated with chemical pesticides. And because it’s a low-yield crop, the grower’s goal is to produce as much as possible. Organic grown coffees, however, are usually shade-grown amid indigenous plants which continue to naturally fertilise the soil and maintain a habitat for birds who eat pests.
Organic coffee also has both health and socio-economic benefits, preserving the environment and creating more jobs.

Warning for Workers

Workers – be warned! That fourth cup of coffee late in the day is not the pick-me-up you think it is. A study has found that drinking more than three-and-a-half cups of coffee a day hurts productivity levels and does not make people more aware – it causes concentration lapses and stress.
The British Nutrition Foundation said excessive caffeine can cause dehydration which adversely affects concentration. But then the poms are prejudiced – they prefer tea after all. Drinking water with coffee, or consuming fruit juice between coffees reduces negative effects.


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