Friday, July 29, 2011

Caffeine High

Whether you are spending worthwhile time with your best friends, sitting alone in a cozy couch during a cold stormy afternoon, or scrambling a last-minute project, there’s one thing that always keeps you going, and that is a hearty cup of coffee.

There’s something about this dark, bitter and brewed beverage, optionally added with milk and sugar to enhance taste, that warms your heart, recharges your energy, and stimulates your senses. Conversations, either meaningful or frivolous, flow freely over a cup of coffee. A good day doesn’t begin without taking a sip from your favorite coffee mug. A tall tumbler won’t usually suffice in long hours of working on a deadline. A brilliant idea or an important self-realization may come up unexpectedly while stirring the whipped cream on top of your cookies and crème frappucino. Coffee helps you break free from the stress and tediousness of your daily routine; definitely it is one of the best ways to unwind.

While enjoying a venti of your favorite café mocha from Starbucks, have you ever wondered how this black-colored drink came to be discovered? More than five centuries ago, Ethiopian shepherds first observed the effects of coffee on their goats that seemed to turn lively and dance after eating coffee beans. So maybe after finishing your coffee, you might ask why you are in the mood for dancing.

There are many things we don’t know yet about coffee. Did you know that coffee, next to oil, is the second most traded commodity on earth? All coffee grows in the “bean belt” or the area between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn including the Philippines; Hawaii is the only state in the US that grows coffee. Coffee grows on trees that can reach up to 30 feet tall but are cultivated to be about 10 feet tall for easy-picking. The inventor of instant coffee was George Washington - not the first president of America but a Belgian man from Guatemala - in 1906.

The term Espresso is not a particular type of bean but a means of coffee preparation described by shooting pressurized, hot water through finely ground coffee. There are a lot of coffee varieties and some of them are as follows:

 Americano. Simply Espresso mixed with hot water to dilute the strong flavor. The word comes from America GIs during the Second World War when soldiers were seen as heavy coffee drinkers.

Café Latte. A single shot of Espresso added with three times more steamed milk and foam.

Café Mocha. A concoction of Espresso, chocolate syrup, milk and whipped cream.

Café Macchiato. Espresso mixed with four times more steamed milk.

Cappuccino. A blend of Espresso and steamed or frothed milk in equal parts, often with cinnamon, flaked chocolate, or tons of foam on top.

Which one do you prefer? Whichever type you choose, as long as you’re a coffee lover, you would always appreciate the ecstatic and intoxicating effect of a coffee drinking spree. There is also a bunch of health benefits we can get from drinking coffee and it includes reduced risk of Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia, gallstone disease and Parkinson’s disease, increased cognitive performance, anticancer and antioxidant.

Needless to say, coffee is one of the things that should not be missing from your kitchen and from every single gathering. It is something we offer to our visitors to make them feel comfortable and is a way of showing hospitality. Coffee has already been around for centuries and as long as there is a cup of coffee, forming of new conversations and friendships will never end. 

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