Not Your Average Cup of Joe

As a natural stimulant as well as a delicious treat, coffee has spread all over the world and become a common food item on every breakfast table as well as something to find in the hands of those on their way to work. Through its origins, coffee has adapted from a simple seed and grown into the liquid form that can now be modified and flavored to fit the needs of many.

Coffee’s evolutions has been linked to many other historical events, making it as ever changing as history itself. The history, effects, as well as the variety in the making of coffee makes this food product quite complex. Originating in Ethiopia, coffee berries were picked, dried and peeled until just the bean was left which was what the Ethiopians consumed who would mix the berries with fat, thus making the berries edible. Later on, the spread of Islam made the drink a popular choice. Since alcohol was an unaccepted drink, the Muslims drank coffee recreationally and the drink ended up spreading with the religion.

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Coffee can only be grown in what is called the “bean belt”, but is actually a strip of the Earth located between roughly fifteen degrees north or south of the equator. Coffee is now grown all over the world and is now the second most traded export in the world. The international coffee organization states that 50% of the population, also equivalent to 150 million Americans drinks coffee. Daily, 54% of Americans drink coffee, which brings in over 167.71 million dollars per day world-wide.

Of these 54% of Americans, 60% drink the coffee at the start of their day. Brazil is the highest export of coffee in the world with over 40,000 bags of coffee per year, closely followed by Vietnam and Indonesia. The popularity and rapid spread of coffee can be linked to its addicting effect on the human brain. According to an Ethiopian legend, the effects of caffeine were first noticed when a Sheppard saw their goats dancing after consuming coffee beans. WebMD states that In everyone’s brain are adenosine receptors that only want to hang on to certain products such as adenosine. When adenosine and adenosine attach, people become tired.

However, when caffeine attaches to an adenosine receptor, your brain cannot be tired anymore. The pituitary gland sees this change as an emergency and produces adrenaline, which makes people very excited and energetic. Caffeine is a drug, but most see it as less harmful than alcohol or tobacco. Along with coffee comes this term of an espresso, which is made by shooting hot and pressurized water through finely ground coffee. With espresso, one can also make Lattes, Mochas, Cappuccinos, Americanos, Breves, or one could just drink plain espresso. These various coffees can be made by various combinations of espresso, milk, foam, chocolate or whipped cream.

Flavors can be added to any of these creations to adjust to the taste palette of many. In conclusion, coffee, or now most generally consumed as espresso, keeps the world awake, enjoying delicious drinks, and is a major contribution to worldwide trade.