“Tumble out of bed and stumble to the kitchen / Pour myself a cup of ambition / And yawn and stretch and try to come to life.” — Lyrics from Nine to Five by Dolly Pardon.
My cup of ambition is coffee. Brewed brown water with flavored hazelnut creamer—a steaming cup of joe. A lighter roast that is smooth and mellow. Mmm-Mmm Good—just like the Campbell Soup jingle. How do you cook your coffee? Filtered, dripped, percolated. Black coffee served straight from the carafe. With or without cream and sugar. Is gourmet coffee your forte? Cappuccino, espresso, latte. What’s in your cup?
According to the International Coffee Organization, 1.6 billion cups of coffee are consumed worldwide daily. www.ncausa.org/. That’s a lot of sipping. Consumers of coffee tend to be suspicious of people who do not partake. What’s up with coffee-challenged humans—no taste for the ballyhoo brew.
We swallow our coffee beverages at breakfast, brunch, lunch, and dinner. A brewing pot of coffee is nose candy. And of course, we enjoy our work coffee breaks before and after lunch. We chat and sip at coffee houses, restaurants, and bars. Coffee connects us as we meet and greet for casual conversations. From sunrise to sunset coffee is on the menu.
Tasty treats and delectable desserts often accompany coffee. Do you dunk a doughnut? Eat an éclair? Much a muffin? Chew chocolate? Bite of biscotti? Savor a slice of strawberry pie? My favorite food with hot coffee is a cinnamon bun. So lip-smacking scrumptious.
Consumer Reports rated and selected the top coffee pot models for 2019: drip, pod, grind-and-brew, self-serve, one-mug, and combination coffee/espresso configurations.
And coffee goes with us in travel mugs, thermoses, and other cup containers. And what kitchen cabinet isn’t full of mugs with funny slogans?
The following coffee facts are going to make you a party pal. Your brunch buddies will be impressed. The old gals at the monthly get-togethers will be astounded by your trivia.
Coffee beans are not really beans, but berries from the coffee tree bush. Huh? Yes, it’s true. Coffee “beans” are the seeds of the coffee fruit. Yep fruit. Who knew? The berries pretend to be beans. Coffee beans actually start as cherries. First a bath—then a suntan. The coffee berries bask and bake in the sunshine. Drying the green coffee is one of the most critical elements in producing coffee worth sipping.
Brazil is the largest coffee producer in the world followed by Colombia, Vietnam, and Honduras—the top U.S. coffee supplying countries. Kudos to coffee farmers! They deserve appreciation.
Got coffee? After water, coffee is the second most popular drink on the planet. Sorry to dairy cows, but the bean is queen.
The Drug Caffeine
Caffeine is a drug—an addictive drug. Caffeine crosses the blood-brain barrier to stimulate the central nervous system. “Scientists have known for many years that coffee stimulates the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine produces the euphoria and pleasant feelings that people often associate with their first cup of coffee in the morning. Many drugs that produce euphoria, such as cocaine, amphetamine and ecstasy, act upon dopamine in the brain. This action by coffee has always been an adequate explanation for why caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive substance in the world,” according to an article in Psychology Today. www.psychologytoday.com/.
Is caffeine a blessing or a curse? Jolt or jitters? It depends on the amount you consume.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the amount of caffeine in four cups of brewed coffee is safe for most healthy adults. www.mayoclinic.org/.
But, too much of a good thing is not a good thing. Too much caffeine can increase the stress hormone, cortisol. Prolonged production of cortisol causes agitation, irritability, and anxiety. And the resulting insomnia is an unwelcome visitor at night.
However, studies have suggested that caffeine intake may protect against Parkinson’s disease, cardiovascular disease and stroke. www.medicalnewstoday.com/.
The largest cup of coffee contained 4,758.28 gallons and was created by Marca País Honduras in November 2018. www.guinnessworldrecords.com/.
High-vacuum freeze-dried coffee was developed after World War II. My Appalachian grandma loved instant coffee. A jar of Sanka and Cremora set by her stove. She served coffee in a cup with a saucer. I can remember the clinking sound each time the cup was returned to the saucer after sipping. I miss coffee and conversation in Mamaw Hila’s cozy country kitchen.
Coffee cultures abound in different countries. And coffee connoisseurs travel the globe in search of the Holy Grail of java. Are you in a daze from the coffee craze?
Coffee has become a cornerstone of American culture as well. Let’s add it to the list with baseball, hotdogs, and apple pie. Roll out the red carpet and celebrate the popular potion.
Melissa Martin, Ph.D., is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist. She lives in Southern Ohio. www.melissamartinchildrensauthor.com.