But First, Coffee.

By Sara Lichterman

What Intrigued Me

Ever since I can remember, coffee has been a staple part of my life. When I was a child, I never drank the magic juice, but my mom was addicted. On our way to drop me off at school, we would pull through the Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru for her medium hot coffee, extra cream, and one sugar. It was the same routine every morning. When she would pick me up, back through the drive-thru we went. Was that her 2nd cup? No… her 4th! The employees at Dunkin’ Donuts knew her by her first name and always had a cup ready to go like clock work.

Photo credit: dunkindonuts.com

My mom always warned me about the power of coffee, but I never truly believed her. I always assumed that coffee was an adult version of my Tru Moo Chocolate Milk. She told me that coffee has this power to make you feel alive, and more vibrant. This intrigued me. As I grew up, I was always afraid to try coffee. I just stuck to my chocolate milk. But then one day, I arrived at school for my first day of high school. Three AP and four honors classes… I left the first day with tons of assignments and a stack of 600 page books. I was exhausted and burnt out.

Photo credit: Sara Lichterman

I was about to give up on all my classes the very first day until I remembered what mom told me about that magic juice. I brewed myself a cup…or four… of delicious Joe. As I sipped more and more, I felt my body rejuvenate. I started to become full of life. Eyes lit, thoughts out of control, and more energy than I could possibly ever imagine!

Seven years later and coffee is my best friend… my confidant. He’s been there through all of my late night study sessions, all day tests, and most of my work and school meetings. He’s reliable, and there’s nothing in the world quite like him.

Coffee is what…?

Caffeine comes in many forms. Tea, soda, but the most common form… coffee. Coffee is universal. People everywhere drink their favorite blend to start their day off right. No one questions the power of the coffee bean. Drinking coffee has become as universal as breathing. For people to survive, the must breath, but for people to stay awake… they must drink.

Caffeine is the world’s most commonly used stimulant, and it’s cheap and readily available so people can maintain their use of caffeine quite easily. Research demonstrates, however, that when people don’t get their usual dose they can suffer a range of withdrawal symptoms, including headache, fatigue and difficulty concentrating. They may even feel like they have the flu with nausea and muscle pain.

“Experiments have shown that 50 % of people got headaches when their coffee was taken away and 13 % were sick enough to lose time at work.” (credit: Daily Mail: Health)

Caffeine is like a drug. The more you have of it, the more you want. You become hooked. It has mainstreamed in your blood. You crave it. Love it. There is no limit. But then why is coffee not treated as such? Why are there no Coffee Addict Anonymous Programs?

The truth is… no one wants there to be. There are too many benefits from not only drinking coffee, but from making it as well.

Benefits of Coffee

As the old saying goes… a glass a day keeps the doctors away, but this is not only true for wine. A cup of coffee in the morning may pack more than just an energy boost. Coffee may have potential health benefits by protecting us against Type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver disease, liver cancer, and promoting a healthy heart.

Coffee increases plasma levels of a protein in the body that control the activity of sex hormones, which help develop Type 2 diabetes. It may help control movement in people suffering from Parkinson’s. Researches found that drinking coffee lowers the risk of liver cancer by 40% or even more if you drink more than three cups. Drinking coffee is linked to a decrease in liver cirrhosis death risk, which is a rare autoimmune disease. Also, drinking decaf lowers liver enzyme levels, indicating that the benefits are not only link to the caffeine in coffee. Finally, drinking coffee in moderation protects against heart failure.

Are we starting to see why coffee may not be as bad as other drugs? Most drugs have no benefits… but coffee is special.

Life After Coffee

Why does coffee get all the attention? People are so focused on drinking their cup of morning Joe that they simply throw everything else away. That’s right… I’m talking about you. You… the person who either leaves the coffee grounds in the coffee pot, or chucks it away into the trash. Let me give you some insight… DON’T DO IT! Used coffee grounds are way more useful than you could possible imagine! Yes…even the grounds in the Kuerig pods!

Photo credit: http://www.tiptophomeremedies.com/10-genius-ways-to-recycle-used-coffee-grounds/

Check out this video of the multiple ways you can utilize your coffee grounds!

Coffee Unifies People

The idea of coffee is known for bringing people together. When two people want to do homework together, they meet up at a coffee shop. When a couple goes on a first date, it is usually a coffee date. If a person is extremely talented with music or wants to be a stand-up comedian, he or she goes to an open mic night, usually held at coffee shops.

If coffee didn’t have enough benefits already, it also plays a part in social interaction. It stimulates people to talk more and to meet more people. Coffee shops give people a place to come to mingle and drink their favorite magic juice.

Best coffee shops around the world…

Online Coffee Game:

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