The Wonder of Coffee

The Wonder of Coffee

Coffee is one of mankind's best inventions.

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Between staying up to work on homework, and study during the semester, and now during the summer to help me wake up in time for work, not to mention just for fun, I drink a lot of coffee. As do many people, so the question is; why? Why has coffee become such a staple?

Well, coffee is from Ethiopia, where "in its most basic, unprocessed form, coffee is a cherry-like fruit, which becomes red when ripe; the coffee bean is found at the center of the red coffee fruit." But at first, it was just eaten. We wouldn't recognize a cup of coffee until the 13th century when the Arab people cornered the coffee market by boiling their coffee beans so that no one else could plant any. "In fact, tradition says that not a single coffee plant existed outside of Arabia or Africa until the 1600s, when Baba Budan, an Indian pilgrim, left Mecca with fertile beans fastened to a strap across his abdomen. Baba's beans resulted in a new and competitive European coffee trade." Coffee then spread and eventually reached the Americas, "though the drink wasn't really popular in America until the Boston Tea Party of 1773 when making the switch from tea to coffee became something of a patriotic duty."

And it has definitely exploded in popularity, with 83% of adults in the US drinking coffee. And it's a good thing too, given that coffee has been associated with lower risk of heart disease, cancer, liver failure, and some neurological disorders and type 2 diabetes. Coffee even may reduce your chance of dying! At least it doesn't look like it's hurting anyone. With that it is surprising to see in a time where it feels Starbucks is on every corner, that coffee might actually be declining in popularity.

U.S. per capita availability of selected nonalcoholic beverages

Although it appears our consumption of caffeine may be just as high as ever with how Carbonated soft drinks has sored on the above graph.

All and all I am grateful for the energy boost, and versatile drink that is coffee. Between waking up early, staying up late, enjoying a hot cup on a cold day, or some cold brew on a sunny day, coffee proves to be every bit as enchanting as when it was first eaten in Ethiopia.

Cover Image Credit:

Photo by Nick Hillier on Unsplash

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12 Starbucks Iced Drinks You NEED In Your Life This Summer

Must-try beverages brought to you by your local barista.
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Be kind to your baristas, they can make you some pretty great drinks. With the temperature rising and the days getting longer, it's approaching the time to find your summer staple to keep you cool (and caffeinated) over the next few months.

Starbucks offers a wide variety of cold beverages that really hit the spot during the summer months, from espresso drinks to fraps, smoothies, teas and refreshers. As a Starbucks barista, I've had the opportunity to taste most drinks on the menu and receive feedback from customers on the do's and don'ts of cold beverages.

While this is not an exhaustive list, I pulled together some of my favorites to give you, the "Ultimate Starbucks Iced Beverage Bucket List for 2017" that you MUST try this season:

1. Pink Drink

Three words: Basic white girl. If you want a photogenic drink that tastes like a Starburst and makes baristas happy, the Pink Drink is for you. It's a pretty simple beverage... this Strawberry Acai Refresher combined with Coconutmilk is sure to satisfy your hipster needs.

2. Iced White Mocha

This sinfully sweet iced espresso drink is not only one of the most popular beverages on the menu, but sure to wake you up at any time of day. Jazz it up by asking for half white chocolate, half mocha sauce, topped with a mocha drizzle, and you've got yourself an Iced Tuxedo Mocha!

3. Doubleshot on Ice

If nothing else, this quick pick-me-up looks classy while giving you the energy boost you need to get through the day. With two shots of espresso, a bit of milk and classic syrup, this drink is easy to enjoy in little time... it's like a caffeine I.V.!

4. Iced Caramel Machiatto

Surprise, surprise... Caramel Machiattos are actually made with vanilla syrup. Nonetheless, these espresso-topped beverages are absolutely delicious at any time of year, but summer calls for ice! Want to change things up? Ask your barista to make it with half vanilla syrup, half toffee nut syrup to make an Iced Salted Caramel Machiatto!

5. Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher

A sister to the Pink Drink, the Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher is a fruit juice-blackberry combo that makes for a pretty chilled beverage to enjoy on the go. The caffeine content is minimal, making it a great option for any time of day.


6. Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew

Cold Brew is basically Starbucks' version of a smoother-tasting iced coffee with more caffeine. The Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew is a standard drink topped with vanilla-flavored heavy cream to create a sweet taste and a marbled appearance in the beverage. Want something with flavor, but not in the mood for vanilla? Try the Toasted Coconut Cold Brew!


7. Mango Black Tea Lemonade

The Mango Black Tea Lemonade is one of the most popular drinks on the menu. Iced Teavana tea mixed with mango syrup and lemonade makes for the perfect combination

8. Iced Chai Tea Latte

Iced Chais - sound so sophisticated, yet so simple to make. If you order this drink, there is a 10/10 chance that your barista will love you for it. Milk mixed with a sweet and spicy chai syrup makes for a classy drink that can be enjoyed at any time of day.


9. Iced Cinnamon Almondmilk Machiatto

The identifying characteristic that makes a macchiato, well, a macchiato is that the espresso shots are poured on top of the milk and flavoring. Starbucks' Iced Cinnamon Almondmilk Machiatto is a combination of cinnamon dolce syrup and almondmilk topped with espresso shots, a caramel drizzle and a cinnamon dolce topping to create a delicious dairy-free option in the macchiato family.

10. Sunset Refresher

This secret menu drink is fairly simple to make with a cool lime base, lemonade, lime slices, and ice topped with black tea. When finished, the drink will have an ombré appearance that makes it totally picture-worthy!

11. Iced Caffè Americano

Calling all espresso lovers: Americanos are a Starbucks signature. The drink itself is pretty simple - espresso and water topped with ice, but if you're feeling particularly adventurous, you can mix things up with a flavored syrup. This drink is sure to wake you right up, no matter the time of day.

12. Strawberry Lemonade

Want something cold but not feeling coffee or a frap? Frozen Strawberry Lemonade is definitely worth a try! While this drink is not on the menu, most baristas are happy to make it upon request. Just ask for a combination of strawberry flavoring, lemonade, and ice blended together for a slushie-like beverage!

Cover Image Credit: FoodBeast

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The Relationship Between College Students And Caffeine

Why college students drink coffee and how it effects them determines if they have a healthy relationship with caffeine

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It is officially the beginning of the semester. Everyone is figuring out the rhythm of their schedule and trying to enjoy the calm before the storm. Soon enough the work will start piling up and the lines for Starbucks coffee will be almost out the door. But are these lines the signs of a caffeine consumption problem in college?

There are a few things to discuss and consider before trying to answer that question. People often forget that caffeine is considered a drug. Caffeine binds itself to the receptors in your brain meant for adenosine, the chemical that makes you feel sleepy. This basically allows you to maintain focus and feel more energized.

Due to these effects, University of Florida college students often drink coffee so they can work hard and play hard. Your professors and bosses expect a lot out of you because you go to a well-respected university. The expectations of your friends can be high as well, as they may want you to go to dinners and parties frequently. After being pulled in so many directions, it really isn't surprising that so many students resort to drinking coffee. However, there is a major difference between using coffee to help you stay on your A game and using coffee to replace or push off sleep. In my opinion, where you fall in that situation on most days, determines if you have a healthy relationship with caffeine.

Additionally, how caffeine affects you personally determines if you should drink coffee at all. There are lots of symptoms you can experience from having more than about 3 cups of coffee a day, which is technically the maximum amount of coffee a person should drink. You can suffer from headaches, dehydration, irritability, an upset stomach as well as other symptoms. Personally, I know I experience these symptoms way before the third cup of coffee, but I know other people who do not have problems until then.

Since the answers to these two questions majorly differentiate caffeine consumers, you cannot look at a length of a coffee line and make the judgment that this is evidence for all college students having an unhealthy relationship with caffeine. Yet, I can say that many people I know do not have a healthy relationship with caffeine. Thankfully, this is a problem that can be fixed. Improving your time management and respecting your limits are the best ways to help you get more sleep in college. This way you do not have to depend on caffeine. Needless to say, this does ask for a fair amount of effort and self-evaluation, but it will absolutely be worth your time when you find yourself becoming a happier, healthier person.

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