Coffee, the beverage a large part of the world uses to kick-start their day, has been around for a very long time. According to the National Coffee Association, no one really knows the true origins of this popular beverage, although legends and myths abound. The undomesticated origin of coffee is thought to have been Ethiopia, with several mythical stories associated with its discovery, including one surrounding a certain goat herder who noticed his goats became very energetic after eating berries from a certain tree and were unable to sleep at night, but no solid evidence exists to support this mythical account.
No matter what its origins, there’s no denying the worldwide popularity of this iconic beverage today. Many of us look forward to enjoying our first cup of morning coffee, have a favorite mug we like to use, and our own unique coffee ritual. Although it was initially viewed with fear and suspicion, even to the point of gaining the nickname “the bitter invention of Satan” by some early doubters, when urged to intervene and help settle the controversy over whether coffee was evil Pope Clement VIII gave it papal approval after sampling a cup in Venice in 1615.
Tea held the top spot as the favored drink in the New World until 1773, when colonists revolted against the exorbitant tax imposed on tea by King George III. The Boston Tea Party would forever change the American drinking preference to coffee, with Thomas Jefferson claiming coffee was the ‘favorite drink of the civilized world”. Coffee houses have endured for centuries and, once known as “Schools of the Wise”, today’s coffeehouses remain a place where adults of all ages gather to socialize and discuss current events, catch up with friends, study, and conduct business.
Coffee boasts several health benefits including:
- cuts post-workout muscle pain by up to 48%
- increases fiber intake
- protects against cirrhosis of the liver
- lowers risk of Type II diabetes
- prevents cavities
- lowers risk of Alzheimer’s disease
- reduces suicide risk and depression
- protects against Parkinson’s Disease
- prevents retinal damage
- lowers risk of heart disease
- reduces the risk of colorectal cancer
- may protect against development and reoccurrence of MS
Coffee isn’t just for drinking; the warm, robust flavor of coffee has found its way into a variety of recipes from Tiramisu to coffee mousse, coffee ice cream, and coffee cake (which may or may not taste like coffee, depending on the recipe). Coffee is not only superb all by itself, but also holds its own as a wonderful companion beverage for all manner of desserts. Whether you prefer your coffee steaming hot and black or served cold over ice with cream, milk, or flavored syrups, we hope you take some time to enjoy this ‘favorite drink of the civilized world’ on September 29th, National Coffee Day. Drink up!