There are ordinary people going about their lives on this planet, and then there are us, the ones who cannot kickstart our day without a refreshing cup of coffee. Coffee just happens to be one of the greatest pleasures in life that we are grateful for. There is also a long history of how these celestial beans came into being, improving the quality of life for many.
Besides that bittersweet taste, there are so many benefits you can reap should you consume the right amount on a daily basis. Some studies even went a little too far, claiming that coffee could make you live longer. It is not that we refute the accuracy of such a claim; in fact, we are excited to learn that this could be the elixir of life that everyone is looking for. Just imagine that!
Well, in this article, we will take you on an enjoyable caffeinated trip through the history, benefits, and different types. If you are still reading, it’s safe to say that you are one big coffee addict, and chances are you will enjoy reading this compulsive piece. Let’s get started!
History of Coffee
Coffee beans have been growing in different places around the world, dating back many centuries. These beloved little evergreen beans are known to be of African origin. According to oral history, Ethiopia was the first to discover coffee beans.
A popular Ethiopian legend professes that Kaldi, a goat herder, was the one to discover those beans. He claimed that when his goats ate from a particular tree, they acted more energetic and barely went to sleep. That was when he realised that those beans differed from the regular berries the goats feed on.
However, the beverages of coffee that we know today are said to first appear in Yemen in the 15th century. People in Southern Arabia used to take wild coffee plants from Kaffa, Ethiopia, to cultivate and brew them in the methods we witness today. By the 16th century, coffee drinks started to become recognised in the Arabian Peninsula, in addition to Egypt, Turkey, Persia, and Syria. And it spread across the European continent in the 17th century.
First Reactions Upon Tasting Coffee
When coffee was first discovered and made into beverages, people had kind of mixed feelings towards it. There was nothing that resembled that bitter taste, and at that time, that was why people didn’t get it at first.
In South Arabia, when the Islamic authorities realised that that drink kept people alerted and consumed it as a substitute for alcohol, they started banning it, believing it was prohibited by the Quran, just like alcohol. However, people’s admiration of the drink started growing faster, and it became a staple breakfast beverage.
Europeans did not know any better. They were also suspicious of the bitterness of this drink, which they called “the bitter invention of Satan.” Just like the scenario of the Islamic world, the local clergy in Venice inveighed against that drink. Things escalated, and Pope Clement VIII decided to intervene himself. Upon taking the first couple of sips, he found it satisfying and approved its consumption.
After coffee had gained tremendous popularity in Africa and Europe, it started spreading to the Americas, reaching South and Central America as well as the Caribbean. Coffee trees started covering vast parts of the planet, being planted in lush tropical forests and mountain highlands. Many nations were even urged to build their economies around coffee plantations, including Brazil and Columbia.
Benefits You Can Reap from a Daily Cup of Coffee
Caffeine has become a daily staple for most of us. Not only does it taste good, but it also keeps us energetic and helps improve our productivity throughout the day. Besides that, studies have proven that it can actually have significant benefits on one’s health, building a sturdy case for the coffee’s impact.
Now you can enjoy your daily cup of coffee without worrying about whether you need to cut back on it, thanks to the studies that have proven coffee is more than just an energy boost. However, we need to highlight that people are different, and some bodies can react negatively to high caffeine consumption. Thus, you should consult a professional once undesired symptoms start piling up.
Now, walk with us through this list full of positive effects of consuming the right amount of caffeine.
Reduces Coronary Heart Disease Risk
Enjoying your cup of coffee in the morning is one thing, but knowing that it also keeps you healthy is a whole different thing. One of the tremendous health benefits of caffeine is its impact on your heart health. It reduces inflammation, warding off the possibilities of arterial damage, which keeps your heart in good shape for long enough.
Betters the Functions of Your Liver
Your liver is no different than you are; it loves consuming coffee. Studies have proven over and over that caffeine helps improve the liver’s functions by regulating the enzymes’ levels. As long as the liver enzyme levels are in control, your liver stays healthy, and the chances of cirrhosis, a chronic disease of the liver, are slim.
Saves You from Type 2 Diabetes
Studies have proven that heavy coffee drinkers are less likely to develop diabetes compared to light drinkers or non-drinkers. This works as caffeine improves the body’s ability to use insulin, aiding in regulating levels of sugar in the blood. However, it is said that decaffeinated drinks have a better effect in banishing the chances of diabetes than regular coffee.
Lowers Chances of Brain Diseases
It is no secret that coffee is good for the brain in so many ways. Researchers profess that drinking caffeine regularly reduces your chances of developing Alzheimer’s or dementia when you grow older. Studies claim that warding off the chances of getting diabetes plays a role in warding off cognitive decline.
Protects You From Cancer
One of the most remarkable properties of caffeine is being laden with antioxidants that help limit the formation of cancer cells. It also aids in reducing inflammation in the body, which is sometimes linked to forming tumours. Studies have proven that consuming coffee daily lowers the risk of developing endometrial cancer in women and prostate cancer in men.
Reins in Depression
Among the great discoveries of the powerful ability of caffeine is it can elevate your mood. Coffee can activate neurotransmitters that are actually responsible for controlling mood. In other words, consuming caffeine helps the body excrete serotonin and dopamine, which are commonly known as hormones of happiness.
Different Types of Coffee Beans
Coffee beans are more than just a caffeinated beverage that you have in the early morning to kickstart your day. Many countries around the world base their economies on those precious beans. And, yes, they are very precious, although coffee trees can be planted almost everywhere.
However, these beans are not all the same. There are different types found in several spots around the world. One fun fact is that coffees are actually seeds, yet they are widely known as beans. Either way, that doesn’t alter their significance and popularity. So, let’s get started!
Arabica is one of the most popular coffee beans, and you have more likely to come across its name if you are a regular at any of the renowned coffee shops. Despite the name the fools many, it is native to Latin America, especially Brazil. These kinds of beans are characterised by their rich flavour that has sweet notes that appeal to most drinkers. Arabica beans have low caffeine content and need particular conditions to be cultivated.
Robusta is known to be more on the bitter side, providing a richer and stronger flavour than Arabica. It is famous for making espressos, given its bitterness and higher concentration. On the other hand, Robusta has lower levels of acidity and is cheaper than Arabica, for they are quicker to grow and require much fewer conditions. These kinds of beans are native to Indonesia, Vietnam, and several parts of Africa.
Liberica beans are the rarest of them all. They only grow under very specific conditions. Thus, they are more likely to develop in the Philippines. It has earned the reputation of having a woody-like taste. Despite how this may sound, people reported it to be one of the best tastes of beans. Some also describe its flavour to be closer to being fruity. This kind of beans faced a considerable drop because no nation could live up to the production that the Philippines once offered.
Excelsa is known to be part of the Liberica beans family. It is native to Southeast Asia and is produced in the least quantity compared to other types of coffee beans. This kind has a strong taste yet some little sweet notes. While it is found in many parts of the world, it is not popular among coffee shops like its counterparts, Arabica and Robusta.
Most Popular Caffeinated Beverages
While there are different kinds of beans, each can offer a wide range of caffeinated beverages. The variety makes it perfect for providing different tastes and styles that cater to other coffee drinkers.
Whether you are a regular coffee drinker or not, it is time to learn the difference between every coffee beverage that you constantly see on the menus of every coffee shop. Just so we can be clear, every beverage on this list doesn’t identify as a type of coffee bean; we’ve already been through these. Instead, they describe the brewing process used to deliver the final results.
Espresso is the thicker type of coffee, offering a caffeine-intense beverage, given high-pressure brewing. Beans are ground finely in order to make the caffeine quite concentrated. This drink has a strong aftertaste that leaves your taste buds with some bitterness that takes some time to go away, for it usually goes with double shots that are topped with a brown foam that gives the drink its bubbly texture.
In Italy, latte just means milk, but in a coffee shop, this word means much more than that. This beverage is basically milk coffee made with double shots of intense espresso mixed with steamed milk. Frothed milk is added as the final thin layer of the beverage. The reason behind the naming is apparent now, as different types of milk are used to make up the latte drink.
Remember this pot of black coffee you see in the movies people pour into their cups in the morning? Well, that is Americano. It is two shots of espresso with hot water poured over to dilute its strong flavour yet still have the impact of espresso. Some people choose to add a splash of cold milk to balance out its bitterness, but regular Americano coffee uses no milk.
Ristretto bears a remarkable resemblance to espresso, yet they are slightly different in some aspects. They both share the same amount of ground coffee that is used to make up the beverage, yet the amount of water is what makes all the difference. Ristretto has more concentration in its shorter shot, for it uses much less water, which makes the taste more prosperous and more robust.
5. Cold Brew
A lot of people like to have their coffee cold rather than hot. In the end, iced coffee has much less acidity than hot ones. That is when cold brew comes in handy. This kind of beverage is simply brewed with cold rather than hot water. Yes, as simple as that. However, it takes much longer hours, which can be anywhere between 12 to 24 hours. The change in water temperature takes the taste to different places, so cold brew doesn’t really taste as if you have left your cup of coffee gone cold.
Frappuccinos have been dominating the scenes for so many years now. They are among the main factors that made Starbucks coffee the popular franchise they are today, for they offer some of the best cold coffee beverages ever with different flavours. This type is caused by one or two espresso shots blended with milk, creme base, and flavoured syrup, all blended with ice cubes to give the drink this thick and frosty texture.
Cappuccino is not just a regular coffee beverage; it actually paved the way for milk art to come into being. This drink, like every other drink, is based on espresso and steamed milk, along with a thin layer of frothed milk on top. Cinnamon or chocolate powders are usually used to sprinkle over the drink to flavour it. Well, this pretty much sounds like a latte, but there is a difference. Latte takes more steamed milk and foam, while cappuccino has all of its ingredients even.
Portugal managed to weigh in and add a great beverage to the family tree of coffee beverages, the Galão; it is also commonly known as Portuguese Coffee. This drink is one part espresso and three parts hot milk, but this time, it is only one type of milk. Served in a tall glass, this drink is made with a couple of shots of espresso with three-quarters of foamed milk.
9. Caffé Macchiato/Espresso Macchiato
This coffee beverage goes by caffe macchiato or espresso macchiato. You can guess by the name that it originated in Italy and means “stained” or “spotted.” There is a story behind this naming that narrate that baristas wanted to mark the difference between the regular espresso shot and this beverage. Thus, the addition of milk made it look like it was stained. The addition of milk makes the coffee seem marked, and it takes steamed milk and just espresso.
Affogato is more like a dessert, yet it is deemed among the most popular coffee beverages now. This drink takes a scoop of ice cream and lets it soak in a shot of hot espresso. The heat will melt the ice cream, but you will still get to eat a couple of scoops beforehand. Once the ice cream is over, you drink the coffee blended with hints of melted ice cream.
11. Flat White
Flat white has a rich flavour and intense aroma. It bears some resemblance to the latte and cappuccino but without the milk foam that goes on top. The steamed milk in flat white is also less than that of the other two beverages, making the taste of the espresso much stronger. However, a microfoam layer is sometimes added to keep the taste of the coffee more apparent.
Mocha is a sweet combination between coffee and chocolate blended with a nice dash of hot milk. It has a strong taste, rich aroma, and a leather-like brown shade. The chocolate flavour stands out from this mixture, adding sweet notes to the bitterness of the coffee, offering a mesmerising relish. Although it contains chocolate flavour, it takes a superior dark coffee, specifically the Arabica beans.
Cortado is a kind of coffee beverage that originated in Spain. The word derives from the Spanish verb “cortar,” which means “to cut off.” This Madrid-based drink takes an equal amount of steamed milk and espresso. It comes in short cups but ones a bit longer than those of an espresso, given its strong taste.
Doppio is Italian for double, and it describes a drink that takes two shots of espresso with the same amount of water. This balance creates a strong aroma that pleases coffee addicts. Doppio is pretty much the same thing as a double-shot espresso, but the serving size is a little bigger, offering higher levels of caffeine.
15. Turkish Coffee
Obviously, this kind of coffee preparation was birthed in Turkey. It is also popular in most Middle Eastern countries and the Arab World. This coffee is made by blending water, sugar, and finely ground coffee beans and boiling them together until a frothy foam is formed. Some people like to drop the coffee to have the taste more bitter and much more potent.
Lungo has been Italian for a long time, and it describes the amount of liquid in the cup compared to a regular espresso. This kind of beverage uses shots of espresso with twice as much as the amount of water to dilute it and make the espresso less concentrated. It is almost the same size as a doppio but with a less strong aroma and taste.