Sunday, January 13, 2008

Enjoying Coffee At Home Or At Work

Having a cup of coffee has been a very popular pastime for almost everybody. Be it in the workplace, coffee shops or even in the comforts of our very own homes, we get to enjoy it with our family and peers. It provides opportunities for social interactions to some and while to others it gives them a time to relax and wind up.

Coffee was first discovered in the highlands of Ethiopia. It later on spread to Egypt, Yemen, Persia, Turkey, northern Africa and then to the Venetian ports of Italy. Then from Venice it was introduced to the rest of Europe and to the Americas. Initially, it was used for spiritual reasons. It became a substitute of wine for various spiritual practices. Today, coffee has become one of the most popular beverages enjoyed worldwide.

Coffee preparation involves a number of processes. It starts from harvesting (usually by hands), separating the fruit from the beans, fermentation (to remove the slimy layer on the beans), washing (to remove the fermentation residue), drying and finally sorting. Roasting comes in next since coffee beans are sold in its roasted state. It is in this process where more care is employed because roasting influences the flavor of the coffee bean, while undergoing physical and chemical change.

There are quite a number of health benefits from drinking coffee. One would be the theophylline in coffee which reduces the symptoms of asthma. It also has natural antioxidants which flush out the body from free radicals that contribute to cell damage and thus reduce the risk of cancer. It also appears to help in reducing the risk of certain ailments such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, cirrhosis of the liver, gout, heart diseases and type II diabetes. It was also known to reduce depression and is popularly known to "perk you up" in the morning. It is commonly used by athletes to aid in lengthening their endurance for physical activity and their recovery afterwards. Scientists have already had some proof that taking coffee breaks is beneficial to anyone especially in the workplace. Recent studies show that coffee can help an individual become more productive and allow their mind to function well. However, excessive coffee drinking also poses some negative effects as well. It is mostly due to a stimulant found in coffee called caffeine, which can cause stiffening on the walls of the arteries. Caffeine is also an addictive compound so it is necessary that you drink coffee in moderation for if taken in excessive amounts could lead to insomnia, arrhythmia, psychomotor agitation and osteoporosis.

Coffee can be enjoyed in various ways, whether you are in the workplace or at home. It may be served black, which is with no additives, or served with sugar or creamers or both. It may also be served either hot or cold. When served cold, it is called iced coffee and is a special treat especially during the summer months. Hot or iced coffee can be prepared with a variety of flavors which would surely tease your taste buds. A few would include chocolate, French vanilla, hazelnut, Almond amaretto, caramel, and Kona.

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