Coffee is the drink that needs no introduction. It’s a heavenly brew: beautifully bitter, silky smooth, and the smell is enough to make any coffee lover quiver. And it seems that caffeine-addicted connoisseurs are in for some good news. A slamming new study has discovered that coffee has real health benefits! Apparently, the more you drink, the better off you are.
Despite the Western World’s obsession with this golden brew, coffee actually originated in Africa. The coffee tree is native to East Africa and the tradition of roasting, grinding and infusing coffee beans began in Yemen.
This practice spread through India and Java before making its way to the French Caribbean and Europe. Refinements in the brewing technique were made by the French and before you know it, Starbucks was born.
Hurray for health
The health benefits of coffee were derived from a study involving over 400,000 people. In 1995-1996, participants completed a survey assessing their lifestyle habits. They were tracked up until 2008, and any deaths during that period were reported (how morbid).
And the results? Those that drank 2-3 cups of coffee showed decreases in heart disease, stroke, diabetes, inflammatory disease and infections. Woo! And it seems that no matter what other lifestyle choices you partake in, coffee still gives you the same health kick.
Coffee drinkers in the study were more likely to have a low intake of fruit and veg, ate more red meat, were more likely to drink alcohol on a regular basis, exercised less and appeared to be less educated. So, in a beanshell (see what I did there), even if you are a lazy, stupid and eat crap food, coffee can still give you a health boost!
Not all good news
This study was by far the biggest coffee study ever under taken but of course, it’s not all good news. Obviously, all this goodness doesn’t work if you’re a smoker. So coffee and cigarettes is definitely not a good combination (well, cigarettes and anything is a bad combination anyway, because smokers are jokers!). Unfortunately, coffee didn’t seem to cure cancer either.
There is also another major drawback. The nature of the study was such that no cause and effect relationship could be established. So we’re not really sure if coffee is doing all that goodness or if it’s something else. What we do know though is that if it is coffee, caffeine is not the culprit as decaf coffee still showed positive results. Coffee contains over 1000 compounds, including antioxidants, so it could be any number of these that we should be thankful for.
Coffee spillage, a major issue…
But before you go out and gulp down on your favourite cappuccino, more coffee studies have been released. Some physicists from the University of California recently published research about coffee spillage. Yes, science is tackling the big issues here. The research paper was called ‘Walking with coffee: why does it spill?’, studying the fluid dynamics of coffee in cups as you walk.
They found that you were most likely to spill the coffee between 7-10 steps after receiving it… absolutely thrilling research there. The researchers also decided to offer some solutions to this dire problem, including not walking too fast and not pouring too much coffee in your mug. Thank you very much for those insightful solutions…
That’s all the coffee news for today. So the lesson is: two to three, you’re flying free; drink in seven, you’re in heaven.
P.S. For those interested, the coffee study was called “Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality” in the New England Journal of Medicine.