ESPRESSO YOURSELF: BEYOND THE BEAN

A black painter drinking coffee sitting by a table with a canvas image of a black girl and painting kit .

Coffee and caffeine, that hit, a match made in heaven. But have you ever wondered about coffee; the good and the bad sides to it?

It is not just coffee; it is more than that. Did you know?

  • It boosts mental alertness and focus by heightening state of alertness, concentration, and cognitive function.
  • It enhances physical performance by stimulating the nervous system, signaling for the release of adrenaline, preparing the body for physical exertion.
  •  It is rich in antioxidants such as polyphenols and hydrocinnamic acids, potentially reducing inflammation and cell damage.
  • It lowers the risks of certain diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer. The antioxidants in coffee may play a role in offering protective effects against these conditions.
  • Coffee has been found to boost metabolism and aid in fat burning. It can slightly increase metabolic rate, which, coupled with its ability to enhance physical performance, can contribute to weight management goals when consumed in moderation and without excessive additives like sugar and cream.
  • It promotes social bonds and well-being. Beyond its physiological benefits, it fosters social interactions and connections. Sharing a cup of coffee often accompanies meaningful conversations, creating moments of bonding and community. These interactions contribute positively to mental well-being, offering a sense of belonging and friendship.

While it brings an array of benefits, moderation of consumption is key.

Caffeine is a natural stimulant found in coffee, however, upon excessive consumption, it’s been seen to result in insomnia and disrupted sleep, increased heart rate and blood pressure, anxiety and nervousness, digestive issues, and jitteriness. Individual tolerance levels vary, so it’s essential to know your limits and enjoy it sensibly.

  • Brew methods: Experiment with different brewing methods like French press, pour-over, or cold brew for distinct flavor profiles.
  • Coffee concoctions: Try iced coffee, lattes, cappuccinos, macchiatos, or Vietnamese iced coffee with condensed milk.
  • Spiced up: Add spices like cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, or ginger for a warm and exotic touch.
  • Sweet treats: Infuse it into pastries and syrups for a decadent indulgence and experience.

If coffee is not your thing, you are not left out, here are alternatives you can enjoy:

  • Tea: choose from the world of herbal teas which are rich in antioxidants, promote calmness and muscle relaxation, and some are effective against bad breath e.g., the peppermint tea.
  • Hot chocolate: this is a known to be a comforting alternative and can be enjoyed with both dairy and non-dairy alternatives.
  • Golden milk: This is made with turmeric, ginger and other spices. It is not only flavourful but can be enjoyed with dairy and non-dairy options.

Other alternatives are fruit/vegetable juices, decaffeinated coffee, matcha, Lipton, or water with Lemon, for similar energy boosts and warm flavors.

In conclusion, coffee isn’t just a beverage; it’s a versatile elixir offering a multitude of benefits. From sharpening mental acuity and boosting physical performance to providing a dose of antioxidants and fostering social connections, its effects reach far beyond the morning routine. Embrace the wonders, savor its flavors, and enjoy its benefits in moderation for a richer, more fulfilling experience.

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Cheers to the marvels in every cup!

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