The History And Joy Of Coffee
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Politics and Activism

The History And Joy Of Coffee

Fun facts about America's favorite drink

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The History And Joy Of Coffee

If you are like me, the first thing you do in the morning, after struggling with your alarm for 10 minutes, is grab yourself a cup of coffee. Whatever your method of preparation, you want, and maybe need, that first cup of coffee in the morning. That single cup of liquid gives you the mental sharpness to begin to face the day ahead. But have you ever wondered why coffee is your drink of choice?

Coffee was originally exported from Ethiopia to the Arabian Peninsula. One legend of coffee’s origins comes from a tale about a goat herder who saw his goats eating the berries of a plant, and noticed how they would not sleep at night following the consumption of the berries. The goat herder told a monk at the local monastery about it, and the rest is history. The first uses of coffee are thought to go back to the 10th century, however the earliest definitive evidence of coffee consumption appears during the mid-15th century in Yemen’s Sufi monasteries. Sufis were among the first to consume coffee. They would use the drink for its energizing effects so they could stay alert during long hours of prayer late at night.

The emergence of coffeehouses has been one of the biggest impacts of coffee's growing popularity over time. These were, and still are, places that people can congregate to get a nice cup of coffee and talk about the world with people. However, coffeehouses of the past are not like our modern day Starbucks. Coffeehouses were once a place for people to openly converse about politics and other current events that were worth discussing. In the height of coffee’s popularity in England in 1675, there were around 3,000 coffeehouses. Coffeehouses were so popular that King Charles II attempted to shut them down, because he feared it was too open a platform to discuss politics. Coffee did not become popular worldwide without controversy. in 1600 Pope Clement VIII was asked to give his ruling on coffee as a Christian beverage. Many Christian priests adopted the belief that coffee was invented by Satan to be a substitute for wine, and since Muslims weren’t allowed to drink coffee, the priests believed that drinking coffee was a sin. However, when Pope Clement VIII tasted the beverage he enjoyed it so much he blessed it as a Christian beverage. This new seal of approval paved the way for coffee to expand into the western world where it continues to flourish to this day.

For some, coffee is a nice beverage to enjoy at the beginning, middle or end of the day. For others they drink it continuously throughout. In my opinion, the great thing about coffee is that it can be enjoyed in so many different ways. You can sit down outside by yourself with a hot cup full or you can sit around the dining room table with friends or family. The possibilities are nearly endless. And the best part about it all is that coffee is actually pretty healthy for you. In the past coffee was reported by scientists as being a potentially harmful substance that could increase your risk of heart problems, or even stunt your growth. However, in recent years, studies are starting to suggest coffee is in fact very good for one’s health. It seems like there is a new headline every week that says coffee may help lower risk of stroke, heart disease, or even help you live longer. While coffee has the potential to be good for you, many people completely negate the effects of it by putting an excessive amount of cream and sugar in their coffee. Expensive, sweet drinks at places like Starbucks are a good example of how you consuming your coffee can be bad for you. For example, a vanilla bean creme frappuccino has nearly 20 grams of fat, and 60 grams of sugar. This is not a coffee beverage that would give you lasting health benefits.

If you want to get the most out of coffee, I say drink it black, but that’s just me. Maybe put a little cream or milk in there to lessen the bitterness, but don’t overdo it because too much can be bad for you. However you drink your coffee, make sure that you enjoy it. Savor the flavor when you first sip the coffee, and notice the taste it leaves behind. I think a coffee’s aftertaste can really make or break how good it is. Nobody likes a bitter aftertaste. So go grab a cup of coffee, sit down, and do something relaxing like reading a book, or just catching up on the news. And remember to enjoy.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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