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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Is Now A Good Time To Drink Coffee? Here's A Comprehensive Timeline

Coffee Chronicles Pt. 10

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Coffee. The bean juice that gives most of us our daily life force. Personally, it's a ritual that makes me less grouchy and more likely to speak actual words instead of just growl.

While coffee is typically a morning beverage, being in college has shown me that really any time is coffee time, and with good reason. With a weird sleep schedule and homework to be done about 112 percent of the time, I joke that I should just have a coffee IV drip hooked up to me at all times.

However, the rest of the outside world is probably thinking, "You silly human! We have normal schedules and drink coffee at normal times! You inconsistent swine!"

First of all, good for you and all your normalcy. I wish I didn't routinely watch the sunset and sunrise because of homework. Second of all, you're quite wrong. Coffee is good for you any and all hours of the day, and what's more, I have science to back me up.

6am - 10am: Waking up

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Naturally, drinking coffee in the morning is pretty understood. You wake up immediately wanting to go back to sleep, so you drink coffee to wake you up. Seems straightforward enough.

While this is true up to a certain point, there's a certain technique that will give you the most energetic bang for your buck. Many studies show that drinking coffee right after you wake up isn't the best move due to rising and falling cortisol levels. Waiting two to three hours after waking up is better.

However, for those who really need that jump right after crawl out of bed, making coffee and just smelling it will give you want you need. Just take that cup of Joe with you and drink it later.

10am - 2pm: Afternoon slump

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When lunch comes and goes, the Afternoon Slumps hit. This is usually the time between 1 pm and 3pm, but can happen earlier if you've woken up earlier than the average duck (or haven't slept at all).

While there are many methods of combating this tired feeling, one of the most often (and best-tasting) techniques used is drinking that sweet, sweet bean juice. Some studies recommend that you stop coffee consumption by 2 pm to allow caffeine time to leave your system before sleep.

What is sleep in college, though?

2pm - 6pm: Dinner time

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Whether your dinner is a meal at a five-star restaurant or five servings of Top Ramen, drinking coffee afterward may be a great way to round out the meal. The caffeine can aid in digestion and even help lose weight and increase the metabolism.

Before you start heading to Starbucks after every meal, though, studies suggest one cup of black coffee is the best way to achieve this.

6pm - 10pm: Workout time

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Okay, so I only really workout in the evenings, and I'm sure I'm not alone in this. Even though I have no energy and very, very little motivation, I have the time, so I drag myself out to run.

Well, good for me, because drinking coffee before a workout can be beneficial. Not only does it give you the energy boost to get that PR, it also releases neurotransmitters like dopamine to actually make you enjoy your workout.

Try drinking a small cup of coffee with a splash of milk about an hour before your workout to get the protein as well as the coffee boost, and then chase it with some water to make sure you're properly hydrated.

10pm - 1am: All-nighter time

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So, all-nighters are a big, fat pain, but I would definitely recommend coffee as part of your all-nighter process. While it will most likely screw up your sleeping patterns (like any of you college students were going to get sleep anyways), at least you'll be getting all the other benefits of drinking coffee, like a reduced risk of multiple cancers, a reduced risk of depression, and even stronger DNA.

1am - 6am: Sleeping(?)

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Ideally, all you crazy kids should be sleeping between these times. Unfortunately, scientists haven't found a way to continue drinking coffee while unconscious, but it's only a matter of time.

So, to answer the original question, yes, now is definitely a good time to drink the sweet golden bean liquid, no matter when "now" actually is. Enjoy it!

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