If it wasn’t for the coffee, I’d have no identifiable personality whatsoever. -David Letterman
I have been drinking coffee since I was 14. Granted, I didn’t drink as much of it then as I do now, and I tended to dump loads of sugar and milk in it until Poppa caught me and said if I were going to drink the stuff I had to drink it straight. I think he was hoping that would put me off and that I’d stop, but it didn’t. I learned to drink it black and enjoy the flavor of the bean itself, not all the flavor and garbage dumped on top. To this day, I fail to understand the fascination with lattes and cappuccinos and other fancy coffee-based drinks. I suppose there’s nothing wrong if you really like all that sweetness and confection actually in your coffee. I prefer my coffee black, a bold roast if you please, something of moderate acidity.
Coffee drinking has taken a lot of heat over the years (pardon the pun). I was told it would stunt my growth, that it would damage my kidneys, and that it could lead to more dangerous addictions (yes, a dear old church lady actually told me that). Some religions forbid the drinking of coffee because of its caffeine (they’d rather their members not be too alert). Like anything else we try to enjoy, there’s always someone right there waiting to tell us we shouldn’t. We tend to ignore those people.
- Coffee is the biggest source of antioxidants in the Western diet
- A single cup of coffee contains 11% of the daily recommended amount of Riboflavin (vitamin B2), 6% of Pantothenic Acid (vitamin B5), 3% of Manganese and Potassium, and 2% of Niacin and Magnesium.
- Drinking coffee can increase your metabolism 3 to 11%.
- Coffee drinkers are up to 65% less likely to get Alzheimer’s Disease.
- People who drink four cups of coffee a day are 80% less likely to develop cirrhosis.
What may be most compelling about coffee in today’s society, though, is its qualities as an object of social construct. Coffee shops have become the meeting place for everything from first dates to important business meetings. Today’s picture, made somewhat humorous by the expressions on the men’s faces, is an example of coffee’s social attraction. A large storm had just swept through the area, flooding streets and knocking out power. Anyone in the neighborhood when the storm hit was just stuck. There was no getting out. Where did they go? The coffee shop. Their large carafes of coffee were already full and an honor box let patrons pay without needing a cash register. The coffee shop offered comfort, safety, friendship. and a place to pretend to get work done.
So here’s to coffee, the good and bad and everything else we’ll talk about this week. Now, put down your phone and go talk to your mother. Maybe over a cup of coffee.