Although coffee first appeared in human culture as a medicine, the kind we now patronize as „herbal,” the modern medical establishment has viewed coffee over the years with suspicion. So much so that coffee has become one of the most intensely scrutinized of modern foods and beverages.
Why has the medical establishment chosen to focus so much attention on coffee in particular? Why not on scores of other foods, from white mushrooms to black pepper to spinach, all of which have been accused of promoting various diseases? Perhaps because coffee is such an appealing dietary scapegoat. Since it has no nutritive value and makes us feel good for no reason, coffee may end up higher on the medical hit list than other foods or beverages that may offer equal or greater grounds for suspicion, but are more nourishing and less fun.
For now, however, the coffee lover can rest easy, or at least sip easy. Despite over twenty-five years of intensive study, medical science has yet to prove any definite connection between moderate caffeine or coffee consumption and disease or birth defects. For every study that tentatively suggests a relationship between moderate coffee drinking and some disease, or between moderate coffee drinking during pregnancy and a pattern of birth defects, other studies–usually involving larger test populations or more stringent controls–are published that contradict the earlier, critical studies. It is safe to say that the medical profession is far away from slapping coffee with the kind of warning labels that decorate wine and beer bottles.
To be cautious, if you are pregnant or have certain health conditions, you should bring your coffee consumption to the attention of your physician, even if it is a moderate habit. Aside from pregnancy, health conditions that merit examining your coffee drinking include benign breast lumps, high cholesterol, heart disease, osteoporosis, and some digestive complaints. Again, nothing has been proven against moderate coffee consumption in any of these situations, but overall results are ambiguous, some physicians may disagree with certain studies that exonerate caffeine, and new studies may have appeared that complicate the matter.
The average cup of American-style coffee contains about 100 to 150 milligrams of caffeine; a properly prepared demitasse or single serving of espresso 80 to 120 milligrams. The average cup of tea delivers about 40 milligrams; the average chocolate bar about 20 to 60. A 12-ounce bottle of cola drink contains 40 to 60 milligrams, about as half as much as a cup of coffee.
The short-term effects of caffeine are well agreed upon and widely documented. A good summary appears in The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics by Dr. J. Murdoch Ritchie. On the positive side, caffeine produces „a more rapid and clearer flow of thought,” and allays „drowsiness and fatigue. After taking caffeine one is capable of greater sustained intellectual effort and a more perfect association of ideas. There is also a keener appreciation of sensory stimuli, and motor activity is increased; typists, for example, work faster and with fewer errors.”
Such effects are produced by caffeine equivalent to the amount contained in one to two cups of coffee. According to Dr. Ritchie the same dosage stimulates the body in a variety of other ways: heart rate increases, blood vessels dilate; movement of fluid and solid wastes through the body is promoted. All this adds up to the beloved „lift.”
On the negative side are the medical descriptions of the familiar „coffee nerves.” The heavy coffee drinker may suffer from chronic anxiety, a sort of „coffee come-down,” and may be restless and irritable. Insomnia and even twitching muscles and diarrhea may be among the effects. Very large doses of caffeine, the equivalent of about ten cups of strong coffee drunk in a row, produce toxic effects: vomiting, fever, chills, and mental confusion. In enormous doses caffeine is, quite literally, deadly. The lethal dose of caffeine in humans is estimated at about ten grams, or the equivalent of consuming 100 cups of coffee in one sitting.
It would seem that the resolution to the caffeine debate, at least in terms of short-term effects, is simple moderation. Drunk to excess, coffee literally verges on poison; drunk in moderation, it is still the beloved tonic of tradition, a gentle aid to thought, labor, and conversation.
But just how much is enough and how much is too much? No study will commit itself. One can estimate based on inference. Few, if any, studies report negative effects from doses of caffeine under 300 milligrams a day. Since the average cup of coffee (or single serving of espresso) contains about 100 milligrams of caffeine, one could infer from this evidence that anyone should be able to drink about three cups of coffee a day and enjoy the benefits of caffeine with none of the drawbacks. Such a figure assumes, of course, that you do not also consume quantities of cola drinks, chocolate bars, and headache pills. This is a conservative estimate, however. One could infer from other studies that five cups a day is safe for most people. Furthermore, reaction to caffeine varies greatly from individual to individual; some people cannot consume any amount comfortably.
So much for the short-term effects. Researchers in the last 30 years or so have tried to implicate coffee, specifically the caffeine in coffee, in heart disease, birth defects, pancreatic cancer, and a half-dozen other less publicized health problems. So far, the evidence is, at most, inconclusive. Clinical reports and studies continue to generate far more questions than answers, and for every report tentatively claiming a link between caffeine and disease, there are several others contradicting it.
If anything, the medical evidence currently is running in favor of exonerating caffeine rather than further implicating it in disease. Some evidence even points to modest long-term health benefits for coffee drinkers.
One example of the way medical establishment has tended to see-saw on caffeine, condemning on partial evidence then backing off on further evidence, is the purported connection between heavy caffeine intake by pregnant women and birth defects. In the mid-1970s, experiments indicated that the equivalent of 12 to 24 cups of coffee (or equivalent bottles of cola) per day may cause birth defects – in rats. Although human beings metabolize caffeine differently from rats (and other researchers had questioned some of the conditions of the experiments), the United States Food and Drug Administration issued a widely publicized warning about the possible ill effects of caffeine on the fetus. Subsequently, an analysis by Harvard researchers of coffee drinking among 12,000 women early in their pregnancies failed to find a significant link between coffee intake and birth defects. The upshot of the debate? The official position, if there is one, came from a committee of the National Academy of Sciences, which recommended what common sense dictates, what this book recommends, and what coffee lovers through the ages have argued: Pregnant women, according to the NAS committee, should exercise „moderation” in their intake of caffeine.
Reducing Caffeine Intake
Of course, if you simply want to cut down on your caffeine intake, rather than eliminating caffeine from your diet completely, there are alternatives other than decaffeinated coffees.
One is to drink less coffee while focusing on enjoying it more. This is a good tactic for people who consume too much coffee at work out of habit or reflex. Rather than drinking the coffee from the automatic coffee maker or urn, for example, make your own coffee carefully in a small plunger pot, focusing your attention on the act of brewing and drinking.
You can also buy coffees that are naturally low in caffeine. Specialty coffees contain considerably less caffeine than cheaper commercial coffees. Most inexpensive commercial blends are based on robusta coffees, which contain almost double the amount of caffeine as arabica. So if you drink a specialty coffee, you are probably consuming considerably less caffeine per cup than if you were drinking a cheap canned coffee.
Lastly, you can amuse yourself making low-caffeine blends by combining decaffeinated coffees with varying amounts of distinctive, full-bodied untreated coffees. Kenyas, Yemens, the best Ethiopias, and Guatemalas, for example, all pack enough flavor and body to spruce up even the drabbest of decaffeinated beans.
Another Suspect: Acid
Caffeine is only one of the villains in the coffee controversy. Another is certain chemicals often lumped together under the term acid. Some people do not like the acid or sour note in coffee and claim it upsets their stomachs. Others say it causes jitters. I suggest that you experiment. Does that sourness in coffee make your tongue or stomach feel uncomfortable? Then you have three alternatives:
- Try to find a coffee with the acid reduced through a process much like the ethyl acetate solvent decaffeination process. These coffees, treated in Germany, are marketed under the name special mild coffees. They are hard to find, do not offer much choice, and suffer from the same potential for flavor-diminution as decaffeinated beans.
- Buy a moderately-dark- to dark-roasted coffee. Dark roasting reduces the acid sensation in coffee.
- Buy a lower-altitude, naturally low-acid coffee brought to a moderately dark roast (full-city, Viennese, light espresso). To me, this is by far the best solution for acid-shy coffee drinkers. Naturally low-acid coffees include Brazils, most India and Pacific (Sumatra, Timor, Hawaii) coffees, and most Caribbean coffees.
It also helps to buy very good coffee, because the best coffee has been processed from ripe coffee fruit, and coffee from ripe fruit is naturally sweet and lacks the sharp, astringent sensation of cheaper coffee processed from less-than-ripe fruit.
Pesticides and Chemicals
The concerns raised by those apprehensive about the use of pesticides and agricultural chemicals in coffee growing are twofold. First is the health issue for the consumer: whether harmful chemical residues may reach our systems when we drink coffee. Second are the related environmental and social issues: whether buying coffees that may be grown with the help of potentially harmful chemicals contributes to the destruction of the environment and threatens the health of the rural poor who raise coffee.
Agricultural Chemicals and Consumer Health. The consumer health issue is simplest to address. Coffee is not eaten raw like lettuce or apples. The bean is the seed of a fruit. The flesh of this fruit is discarded. Along the way the seed is soaked, fermented, and subject to a thorough drying process. Later it is roasted at temperatures exceeding 400°F, and finally broken apart and soaked in near boiling water. This savage history concludes when we consume only the water in which the previously soaked, fermented, dried, roasted, and infused seed was immersed. Given this history of relentless attrition, it hardly seems possible that much if any of the small amounts of pesticide/fungicide residue permitted by law in green coffee ever make it into the cup.
Chemical Free Alternatives. In brief, coffee drinkers concerned about the impact of agricultural chemicals on environment and society or those unwilling to accept my reassurances on the consumer health issue have essentially three alternatives:
- Buy a traditional coffee, grown as coffee was grown from its inception, before agricultural chemicals were invented. All Yemen, almost all Ethiopia, and most Sumatra Mandheling coffees are grown in such a state of innocence, and all are among the world’s finest.
- Buy a certified organic coffee. Certified organic coffees are coffees whose growing conditions and processing have been thoroughly monitored by independent agencies and found to be free of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, chemical fertilizers, and other potentially harmful chemicals. The monitoring agencies visit the farm and verify that no chemicals have been used on the farm for several years, and then follow every step of the processing, preparing, transporting, storage, and roasting. Such careful monitoring is of course expensive, which is one reason certified organic coffees cost more than similar uncertified coffees. Many such certified organic coffees are the product of socially and environmentally progressive cooperatives. See pages PPP-PPP for more on organically grown coffees.
- Buy a coffee labeled „sustainable.” At this writing sustainable is a rather loose term meaning that, in the view of the importer or roaster, designated farmers are doing everything within reason to avoid the use of agricultural chemicals and to pursue enlightened environmental and socially progressive practices in the growing and processing of their coffees.
Health Benefits of Coffee
Coffee has been a medical whipping boy for so long that it may come as a surprise that recent research suggests that drinking moderate amounts of coffee (two to four cups per day) provides a wide range of health benefits. Most of these benefits have been identified through statistical studies that track a large group of subjects over the course of years and match incidence of various diseases with individual habits, like drinking coffee, meanwhile controlling for other variables that may influence that relationship. According to a spate of such recent studies moderate coffee drinking may lower the risk of colon cancer by about 25%, gallstones by 45%, cirrhosis of the liver by 80%, and Parkinson’s disease by 50% to as much as 80%. Other benefits include 25% reduction in onset of attacks among asthma sufferers and, at least among a large group of female nurses tracked over many years, fewer suicides.
In addition, some studies have indicated that coffee contains four times the amount of cancer-fighting anti-oxidants as green tea.
Of course, most of these studies do not take into account how the coffee is brewed, how fresh the beans, and so on. Perhaps as these studies are refined we may discover, for example, that drinking coffee that has been freshly roasted and brewed is more beneficial than downing coffee that is terminally stale or badly brewed. Certainly there is considerably more going on chemically in fresh coffee than in stale. And we may learn how much beneficial effects of coffee drinking are provoked by caffeine and how much by other, less understood, chemical components of coffee. But one thing is certain, if I were a nurse taking part in the study noted earlier, and if I were drinking cheap office service coffee, I would be much, much more prone to suicide than if I were drinking, say, a freshly roasted and brewed Ethiopia Yirgacheffe.
Why Is It Called Cappuccino?
Where did term cappuccino come from? It is said the name of this popular espresso drink came from the Capuchin friar’s habit, which resembles the peak of foam atop the coffee drink.
In the 16th century the Capuchin Order of Friars was instrumental in returning Catholicism to Reformation Europe. The name Capuchin derived from the long, pointed cowls, or cappuccinos (from cappuccio, or hood), that they wore as part of their habit.
The word cappuccino was later used to describe the espresso coffee drink that is topped with frothy, steamed milk or cream, the color of which also resembling the color of the Capuchin friars’ habit.
About 42 coffee beans are needed to make one shot of espresso, and about 4,000 coffee beans are found in one pound of roasted coffee. A 132-pound sack of coffee contains about 600,000 coffee beans.
Roasting – Two Cracks and It Is Good To Go!
As coffee beans are heated up to between 400 degrees Fahrenheit and 425 degrees Fahrenheit during roasting, the outside of the bean becomes dark and oils develop, forming in pockets and being forced to the surface. The roasting causes the beans to crack (the first crack), and then crack again (the second crack), at which time they are removed from the roaster and cooled with cold air.
A longer coffee roasting time leads to a darker roast, and as the coffee beans cool they release approximately 700 chemical substances that comprise the vaporizing aromas.
A coffee tree matures after about 5 years and yields about 1 pound of coffee beans per year on average.
Both Robusta and Arabica coffee trees may produce coffee crops for more than 25 years if they are well cared for. Harvesting of the coffee cherry (fruit) occurs between November and April.
Coffee trees are grown in more than fifty countries worldwide, but in the United States and its territories only Hawaii and Puerto Rico grow coffee. All of the coffee growing regions are near the equator between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer.
That Really Is A Latte Coffee!
About 400 billion cups of coffee are consumed each year worldwide, including more than 400 million cups of coffee each day in the United States, which is the world’s largest coffee consumer. The U.S. consumes about one-fifth of the world’s coffee, and the average U.S. adult drinks about 400 cups of coffee each year. About half of all U.S. adults start the day with a Cup of Joe!
Cup of Joe Anyone?
The term Cup of Joe originated when alcohol was prohibited aboard Navy ships by Admiral Josephus “Joe” Daniels. The Navy men took to drinking coffee instead, which they nicknamed Cup of Joe in reference to the man who had forced them to cease their maritime libations.
Creating one pound of freshly-roasted Arabica coffee requires about 2,000 coffee cherry (fruits). Since each coffee cherry (except Peaberry) consists of two coffee beans, the pound of roasted coffee actually required 4,000 coffee beans – or should we call them half-beans?
GiddyYupp!! Cowboy Coffee Anyone?
It’s rough on the range! It is said that the true cowboys brewed their cup of coffee by putting some ground coffee into a sock which they put into cold water and then heat over the campfire before pouring it into their tin cup.
Potential Olympic Gold Medalist? Then Put Down the Coffee!
The International Olympic Committee prohibits athletes from using excessive caffeine. If an athlete has more than 12 micrograms of caffeine in their system they will be banned from competing in the Olympic games. For reference, it takes about 5 cups of coffee to reach that level.
Waste Not, Want Not!
Companies that produce decaffeinated coffee used to throw the dreaded caffeine away. Now the pharmeceutical companies purchase the caffeine.
Pure caffeine is a crystalline white powder – its chemical name is 1,4,7 – trimethylxanthine, and the chemical formula for it is C8H10N4 O2
How and When We Like Our Coffee
A little more than one-tenth of all coffee consumed is instant coffee, and that may go up now that Starbucks is promoting their new Via instant coffee product.
Nearly 40% of coffee drinkers prefer their beverage black, and more than 60% add some sweetener. Only about one-third of U.S. coffee drinkers add sweetener, while more than 40% of Germans add sweetener to their coffee.
Good Morning Sunshine! Is the Coffee Ready Yet?
Half of all United States adults begin their day with coffee, and three-fourths of U.S. coffee drinkers brew it at home. About one-third of all coffee drinking occurs at breakfast time.
Coffee Crop Yield
One acre of coffee trees will typically produce about 10,000 coffee cherry (fruits), which will reduce to about one ton of hulled and milled coffee beans.
Room For Cream? How’s That?
Some people have unique coffee preferences. The infamous Frederick the Great liked his made with champagne and with a bit of mustard added!
England’s Public Demands Their Coffeehouses
England’s wine and ale sellers were angered by the introduction of coffee, which they felt threatened their sales. In response these liquor vendors protested to Charles II and persuaded him to issue an order that shut down coffeehouses.
The public then launched their own protest in favor of the coffeehouses. Charles II retracted his order on January 8, 1675.
You Say You Want A Revolution! Well, You Know….!
Coffee houses are breeding grounds for dissent, or so it seems from the fact that the French Revolution as well as the American Revolution are said to have begun in such establishments.
The Green Dragon (Green Lion) Public House in London’s Lloyd District is said to have been the place where patriots began their plotting for the American Revolution.
The 1789 French Revolution was incited by the verbal campaign of Camille Desmoulin which led to street protests. Two days later was the Fall of the Bastille marking the French Government’s overthrow and the beginning of a changed France.
Producing Coffee Takes A Latte Hard Work!
In Brazil alone there are nearly 4 billion coffee trees and more than 5 million coffee trade workers producing about three and one-third billion pounds of coffee annually.
About two-thirds of all coffee is grown in the Americas including one-third of all coffee being grown in Brazil. Worldwide there are about 25 million coffee trade workers.
Japanese Love Their Coffee
The official Coffee Day in Japan takes place every October 1st. Since 1945 canned, iced coffee has been very popular in Japan.
The Color Of Coffee Berries
When coffee berries appear on the coffee tree they are green. Soon they turn yellow and then increasingly reddish. When the coffee berries, or cherry, or completely dark crimson they are ripe. Some say the time of perfect ripeness is just before it is fully crimson.
The Scent of Coffee Flowers
Kona coffee trees produce fragrant white blossoms known as Kona Snow. Though the flowers are short-lived they are highly aromatic with a scent between orange and jasmine.
Paris’ First Coffeehouse
The first coffeehouse in Paris opened in 1689 and was called Cafe Procope. The coffeehouse was located across from Theatre Francais, and thus had as its patrons many actors and artists. The owner of Cafe Procope was Francois Procope, who had previously sold lemonade.
Coffee Beans That Make The Grade
Different countries and coffee growing regions have different methods of grading their coffee beans.
In Kona Coffee Country on the Big Island of Hawaii in the United States [CHECK GET],
Costa Rica’s coffee bean grading system includes the following grades: Low Grown Atlantic, Medium Grown Atlantic, High Grown Atlantic, Medium Hard Bean, Hard Bean, Good Hard Bean, and Strictly Hard Bean.
In Columbia the coffee beans are grades as either Pasilla (the lowest grade), Extra, Excelso, or Supremo.
In Kenya the best coffee beans are labeled AA. Other grades are A, B, and C.
Coffee Drinkers Around the World – How Different Countries Like Their Coffee
Moroccans like peppercorns with their coffee.
Austrians prefer whip cream in their coffee.
Mexicans often use cinnamon in their coffee.
Egyptians like straight, strong coffee but will sweeten it at weddings.
Middle Eastern coffee drinkers like to add spices such as cardamom.
Italians prefer sugar in their espresso.
Swiss and Germans add hot chocolate to their coffee.
Belgians also like chocolate in their coffee.
Turkey and Greece serve their elders coffee before all others.
Ethiopians like a pinch of salt in their coffee.
Ugandans wrap green coffee beans with spices and sweet grasses and hang these decorations/talismans in their homes.
Bedouins serve coffee with ginger or cardamom and say to their guest “Allah wa sablan” (”My home is your home”).
Yugoslavians have small coffee shops called kafano where you will be served coffee in a long-handled open pot called a devza, or cezv (known as an Ibrik in Turkey). The coffee is then poured into a small cup similar to a demitasse.
Turkish Coffee is made my grinding the coffee beans very finely and then boiling them in water. This is done in Greece as well as Turkey, and also in many other places that serve Turkish Coffee.
It was way back in the 13th century when Turkey began roasting and grinding coffee beans. By the 16thcentury Turkey was a primary coffee distributor in the region, providing coffee to Persia, Egypt, Syria, Italy, and Venice.
Flavor of the Week
So you like flavored coffees such as the very popular Hazelnut, the equally popular Irish cream, or one of the many other options commonly available? This trend toward flavored coffees began in the United States in the 1970s.
These commercially flavored blends are made by roasting and then partially cooling the beans until they are about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. At this time the pores of the coffee beans are still open and very receptive to absorbing the flavors as they are applied.
The Rule of Five – Premium Gourmet Coffee
An Arabica coffee plant takes about five years to become mature and produce its first crop of coffee berries.
Each year the coffee plant will produce about FIVE pounds of green coffee beans.
About one-FIFTH of the green coffee beans will be deemed worthy of being graded as high quality specialty gourmet coffee.
Question: What are coffee sacks usually made from?
Coffee and Winecheck title
Gourmet coffee connoisseurs may be compared to gourmet wine connoisseurs. Both know that the product is greatly affected by many factors including climate, soil quality, soil drainage, altitude, and the care taken during harvesting and production. While wine is said to have 400 distinct flavor characteristics, coffee is said to have 800.
The human body is able to absorb, at the most, about 300 milligrams of caffeine, and dissipates about 20% of the caffeine each hour. One cup of coffee contains about 150 milligrams of caffeine.
Question: What is considered a lethal dose of caffeine? Answer: 10 grams.
Drink It – Now!!
Coffee is better fresh. Once the green coffee beans are roasted they should be stored properly, and even so will begin to lose flavor after about two weeks.
If stored properly, coffee will last a long time, but will not be as flavorful and aromatic as when it is fresh.
Once you grind the coffee it will begin to lose flavor after about one hour. Once you pull an espresso, you have just a few minutes before the flavor begins to degrade.
Fatty Fatty Two-By-Four
Espresso is about 2.5% fat, while drip/filter coffee is only about .6% fat.
Vienna’s First Coffeehouse
After Turkish troops fled Vienna, the coffee beans they left behind were used to open Vienna’s first coffehouse, which was known as the Blue Bottle.check
That’s A Latte Coffee, and A Latte Money!
About 2.5 million pounds of coffee are imported into the United States every year. Most coffee is transported on ships, and worldwide there are more than 2,300 ships being used to transport coffee.
In 2007 about 16 billion pounds of coffee were produced worldwide (most hand-picked), and the coffee industry generated about $70 billion. The premium gourmet coffee industry generates about $2 billion annually (and growing).
Home Roasting Back In the Day
Until the end of the 19th century most coffee drinkers roasted their own coffee at home using either a stove-top frying pan, a popcorn popper, or roasting the coffee beans over a charcoal fire.
Using hot air to roast coffee by heating up a roasting chamber with natural gas as the fuel was first done in 1885. This remains the preferred coffee roasting method today. About 2,000 U.S. retailers now roast coffee at their establishments.
New Year’s Resolutions
Decaffeinated coffee consumption goes up significantly in January as people resolve to cut back on their caffeine intake.
Word Origin – Espresso
The word Espresso derives from its Latin root which means “Under Pressure” or “Pressure.”
The First Cappuccino Machines – Not Subtle!
Oh those showy Italians! Always with the ornate and elegant styles! And the first Espresso machines were no exception. As they steamed and foamed they also provided entertainment including the barista’s style and technique – and perhaps even some dramatic showmanship – as they created delicious cappuccinos. These impressive first Espresso machines set the standard that is still adhered to today.
You Say To-May-To – I Say To-Mah-To
We call them coffee beans as we grind them up and brew them into tasty gourmet coffee – but they are not beans at all. Instead they are coffee berries, or more precisely, the pits at the center of the berries of the coffee tree, which is actually a bush.
Caffeine consumption in the United States comes in many forms, but three-fourths of all caffeine is consumed in the form of coffee. Other common sources are tea, soft drinks, and chocolate.
More than 63 plants contain caffeine in either the seeds, fruits, or leaves – the most common are. Caffeine was first isolated from the coffee plant in 1820.
The Japanese Love Their Coffee – In More Ways Than One!
Coffee shops in Japan are known as Kissaten. Tokyo has more than 10,000 coffee cafes and also thousands of coffee vending machines. A Japanese treatment said to reduce wrinkles involves bathing in coffee grounds that have been fermented with pineapple pulp.
1. In the United States and Canada, his name is Santa Claus.
2. In China, he is called Shengdan Laoren.
3. In England, his name is Father Christmas, where he has a longer coat and a longer beard.
4. In Germany, children get presents from Christindl, the Christ Child.
5. In France, he’s known as Pere Noel.
6. Santa Claus, Saint Nicholas, Saint Nick, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle, Santy, or simply Santa is a figure with legendary, historical and folkloric origins who, in many Western cultures, is said to bring gifts to the homes of the good children on 24 December, the night before Christmas Day.
7. The modern figure of Santa Claus is derived from the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas, whose name is a dialectal pronunciation of Saint Nicholas, the historical Greek bishop and gift-giver of Myra.
8. During the Christianization of Germanic Europe, this figure may have absorbed elements of the god Odin, who was associated with the Germanic pagan midwinter event of Yule and led the Wild Hunt, a ghostly procession through the sky.
9. Santa Claus is generally depicted as a portly, joyous, white-bearded man—sometimes with spectacles—wearing a red coat with white collar and cuffs, white-cuffed red trousers, and black leather belt and boots and who carries a bag full of gifts for children.
10. Images of him rarely have a beard with no moustache.
11. This image became popular in the United States and Canada in the 19th century due to the significant influence of the 1823 poem “A Visit From St. Nicholas” and of caricaturist and political cartoonist Thomas Nast.
12. This image has been maintained and reinforced through song, radio, television, children’s books and films.
13. Since the 20th century, in an idea popularized by the 1934 song “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town”, Santa Claus has been believed to make a list of children throughout the world, categorizing them according to their behavior (“naughty” or “nice”) and to deliver presents, including toys, and candy to all of the well-behaved children in the world, and sometimes coal to the naughty children, on the single night of Christmas Eve.
14. He accomplishes this feat with the aid of the elves who make the toys in the workshop and the flying reindeer who pull his sleigh. He is commonly portrayed as living at the North Pole and saying “ho ho ho” often.
15. The tradition of Santa Claus entering dwellings through the chimney is shared by many European seasonal gift-givers. In pre-Christian Norse tradition, Odin would often enter through chimneys and fire holes on the solstice.
16. Ho ho ho is the way that many languages write out how Santa Claus laughs. Ho ho ho represents an attempt to write the deep belly-laugh of Santa Claus, as opposed to the conventional, higher-pitched ha ha that represents the laughter of less obese characters, or the snickering, cynical bwa ha ha! associated with the villains of melodrama.
Coffee is a brewed drink prepared from roasted coffee beans. Let’s see some interesting facts and trivia about it!
1.Coffea is native to tropical Africa, Madagascar, and the Comoros, Mauritius and Réunion in the Indian Ocean
2. The plant was exported from Africa to countries around the world and coffee plants are now cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in the equatorial regions of the Americas, Southeast Asia, India, and Africa.
3. The two most commonly grown are the highly regarded arabica, and the less sophisticated but stronger and more hardy robusta.
4. The earliest credible evidence of coffee-drinking appears in the middle of the 15th century in the Sufi shrines of Yemen.
5. Coffee seeds were first exported from Eastern Africa to Yemen, as the coffee plant is thought to have been indigenous to the former.
6. From the Middle East, coffee spread to Italy. The thriving trade between Venice and North Africa, Egypt, and the Middle East brought many goods, including coffee, to the Venetian port. From Venice, it was introduced to the rest of Europe.
7. The Dutch East India Company was the first to import coffee on a large scale.
8. Starbucks sustainability chief Jim Hanna has warned that climate change may significantly impact coffee yields within a few decades.
9. Caffeine was once thought to be a significant diuretic, but that’s actually not true. Unless it’s consumed in large quantities (more than 500 to 600 mg a day, or two coffees) there aren’t such negative effects. In fact, studies have shown that urine output isn’t significantly changed when a person drinks a caffeinated beverage, rather than something non-caffeinated like water.
10. Coffee contains lots of antioxidants that help the body fight chemicals called “free radicals.” As a result, coffee French novelist and playwright Honore de Balzac supposedly consumed 50 cups of coffee a day to fuel his inspiration while writing. It’s scary to think that the lethal dose is about 100 cups of coffee.drinkers are at a lower risk of diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease, Type II Diabetes, and Heart Disease.
11. Coffee contains important nutrients you need to survive. A single cup of coffee contains 11% of the daily recommended amount of Riboflavin (vitamin B2), 6% of Pantothenic Acid (vitamin B5), 3% of Manganese and Potassium, and 2% of Niacin and Magnesium.
12. The buzz you feel after drinking coffee is actually from ingesting tiny 0.0016-inch crystals of caffeine.
13. The most expensive coffee in the world is made from elephant dung, and it’s called Black Ivory coffee. It costs $50 per cup.
14. People who drink four cups of coffee a day are 80% less likely to develop cirrhosis, a condition that develops from several diseases affecting the liver.
15. During Turkish wedding ceremonies, grooms were made to vow to always provide their brides with coffee. Failure to do so could result in divorce.
16. French novelist and playwright Honore de Balzac supposedly consumed 50 cups of coffee a day to fuel his inspiration while writing. It’s scary to think that the lethal dose is about 100 cups of coffee.
17. During WWII American soldiers would ordered their espresso watered down because it was too strong for them.
18. Coffee was declared illegal not once, not twice, but a whopping three times by three different cultures! The first was in Mecca in 1511, followed by Charles the II in Europe in an attempt to quell the on-going rebellion and the third was by Fredrick the Great in Germany in 1677 who was worried about the economic implications of money leaving the country to buy this beverage.
19. In 1906, a Belgian man living in Guatemala by the name George Washington invented instant coffee. Not the first American president, but the first inventor of instant coffee.
20. Energy drinks still don’t have as much caffeine as a Starbucks coffee.
21. Coffee is the world’s second most valuable traded commodity, only behind petroleum.
22. Coffee is most efective if consumed between 9.30 and 11.30 am.
23. Coffee beans aren’t beans. They are actually fruit pits.
24. The first reference to coffee in the English language is in the form chaona, dated to 1598 and understood to be a misprint of chaoua equivalent, in the orthography of the time, to chaova.
25. This term and “coffee” both derive from the Ottoman Turkish kahve, by way of the Italian caffè.
Librăria „La Două Bufniţe”, recent deschisă în Piaţa Unirii din Timişoara, dispune şi de un spaţiu de cafenea. Este singurul loc din oraş unde se poate bea o cafea de la celebrul cafegiu al Bucureştiului, Gheorghe Florescu. Gheorghe Florescu este unul dintre cei mai pricepuţi cafegii din România. Mentorul său a fost armeanul Avedis Carabelaian, fost furnizor al Casei Regale a României. În 2010, Florescu şi-a deschis primul magazin de cafe gourmet din Bucureşti, unde se prepară cafeaua sub marca „Avedis”. Gheorghe Florescu este solicitat să deschidă cafenele la Bruxelles, Londra sau Barcelona, însă cafegiul s-a oprit mai întâi la Timişoara. Librăria „La Două Bufniţe” din Piaţa Unirii este singurul loc din oraş unde se poate bea o cafea de la celebrul cafegiu al Bucureştiului. Aşa se face că Florescu nu putea lipsi de la inaugurarea librăriei, mai cu seamă că avea de prezentat timişorenilor şi o carte. Volumul de memorii „Confesiunile unui cafegiu” a apărut în 2008, la editura Humanitas. A avut parte de un mare succes şi i-a adus nominalizarea la premiile Uniunii Scriitorilor, cât şi premiul „Şerban Cioculescu” pentru memorialistică al Muzeului Literaturii Române. A devenit la scurt timp un „best-seller”.
Aproviziona cafegii în timpul comunismului Gheorghe Florescu prepară cafea de peste 40 de ani după reţete armeneşti vechi de cinci secole, încredinţate lui de mentorul său armean Avedis Carabelaian. „Nu o spun ca laudă, dar până la mine nu a avut nimeni ideea de a aduce o cafea de înaltă calitate în România. Când am început, în 2010, nu prea mai erau pe piaţă din vechii cafegii. Majoritatea lor au părăsit România, mulţi au şi murit datorită vârstei”, spune Gheorghe Florescu. Cafegiul poate să povestească ore întregi. Doar cartea sa are numai puţin de 500 de pagini şi încă nu a scris tot. Tocmai lucrează la volumul doi.
În timpul comunismului, Gheorghe Florescu se ocupa cu importul cafelei în România. Ca atare, el aproviziona cafegii din acea vreme. Printre aceştia se afla şi renumitul Avedis Carabelaian, cu care a legat o frumoasă prietenie. „Regimul comunist nu le-a dat posibilitatea românilor să bea o cafea proaspătă şi bună. Asta pentru că România nu mai importa cafea. Oamenii s-au obişnuit să aducă din străinătate. Dar noi aveam tradiţie, pentru că România nu a început cu Ceauşescu. Ca urmare a genocidului împotriva armenilor din Imperiul Otoman, mulţi au emigrat în România. Armenii sunt cei mai buni preparatori de cafea din lume. În perioada interbelică, în Bucureşti erau cam o sută de cafegii armeni. Toţi prăjau artizanal, fiecare cu clienţii lui, nu se bârfeau, nu se concurau. Armeanul încerca să convingă clientul”, a povestit Gheorghe Florescu. Cafea a fost pe lista de interdicţie în România Cafegiul afirmă că cea mai proastă veste pentru iubitorii de cafea din România a fost dată la 9 februarie 1979, când statul comunist Român a oprit complet prăjirea cafelei în magazinele de specialitate. Meseria de cafegiu a dispărut odată cu această dată, spune Florescu. „S-a oprit orice fel de import de cafea. Se ştie, cafeaua era pe lista de interdicţie. Cafeaua bună e scumpă peste tot, era considerat un produs de lux n România. Unii psihologi ai comunismului şi-au dat seama că acest aliment aduce o contribuţie deosebită la deşteptarea românului. La dezvoltarea sa intelectuală. Nu trebuia ca oamenii să înceapă să gândească foarte bine, iar cafeaua avea aceast efect asupra lor. Plus că ţăranii mutaţi la oraş începeau să descopere şi ei aceste tabieturi ale orăşenilor, cu ceşcuţa de cafea în fiecare dimineaţă. Comuniştii au văzut că începe să crească din ce în ce mai mult consumul de cafea, aşa că s-a decis interzicerea cafelei. Cei care au interzis însă importul, aveau cafeaua lor, li se aducea, trăiau diferit de plebe, de restul populaţiei. Ei aveau magazine speciale, unde aveau cafea specială. Cafeaua este esenţa inteligenţei. Dacă vrei să gândeşti bine, o ceşcuţă de cafea ajută foarte mult”, a povestit Gheorghe Florescu.
un surogat de cafea Cafeaua naturală dispăruse din comerţul socialist în anii ’80, datorită limitării drastice a importurilor. Se mai putea găsi doar în shop-uri şi, desigur, pe piaţa neagră. Regimul a decis să oferit populaţiei un surogat de cafea, intitulat ironic „nechezol”. Era o cafea cu înlocuitori. Se folosea o plantă numită cicoare. „În anii ‘80, s-a introdus cafeaua cu amestec. Dacă la început a fost 20 la sută înlocuitori, 80 la sută cafea, în final s-a ajuns la 80 la sută înlocuitori şi 20 la sută cafea. Era şi ceva mai grav. Prietenii lui Ceauşescu din Africa aduceau cafea Robusta, de cea mai proastă calitate, deprieciată, mucegăită, care era transformată în cafea cu înlocuitori. Erau sacii plini cu şobolani, cu pui de şobolani, am văzut cu ochii mei, se punea la prăjit cu tot cu acele animale moarte şi cu tot felul de prostii. Asta e adevărul. Mulţ cretini spun acum, ce bine era pe timpul ăla”, a mai declarat Gheorghe Florescu.
Stocurile de cafea prăjită sunt mereu proaspete Pentru Gheorghe Florescu, pregătirea cafelei pentru clienţii săi este o adevărată religie, ale cărei ritualuri le respectă cu sfinţenie în fiecare zi, pentru că, spune el, numai aşa cafeaua iese sublimă. „Fetele de la librăria din Timişoara primesc un stoc mic de cafea, tocmai ca să nu se învechească. Noi vom avea grijă să nu aibă stocuri vechi de cafea. Noi nu prăjim doar cât este nevoie. Cafeaua crudă poate să stea un an, doi”, a mai spus Florescu. Întrebat cum se bea o cafea bună, Florescu punctul pe „i”: „Se bea în linişte! Iar bărbatul trebuie să se scoale cu zece minute înainte de soţia lui, să pună ibricul pe foc, să facă cafeaua, şi apoi să o ducă la pat. Pentru că soţia are şi alte obligaţii în timpul zilei!”.
sursa : Adevarul.ro