All over Twitter and various news websites this morning, people were paying homage to the humble cup of joe. The coffee industry is one of the most lucrative in the world earning almost $100billion annually, and the coffee bean is the most sought after commodity worldwide after crude oil. Over 500 billion cups of coffee are sold each year, so it comes as no surprise that cafés are the fasting growing area of the restaurant industry with a 7% growth rate.
Today is International Coffee Day. It’s definitely no secret that I love my coffee. I estimate that approximately 80% of my posts have some reference to coffee in them and my Instagram feed regularly features my beloved americano, or the occasional Starbucks caramel macchiato if I’m feeling fancy! Whether you are partial to a long black in the morning to wake up, a latte during the day with friends or an espresso after your evening meal, coffee has become a constant staple in our lives. There isn’t a day that passes that you don’t come across coffee somewhere, be it at home, in a restaurant or on television. Lots of research has been done on the benefits and drawbacks of drinking coffee. There are conflicting reports whether coffee is good or bad for your health. If you pay attention that that sort of thing, here are some of the main facts:
The Good 🙂
– Coffee is a stimulant, so it improves mental ability by making you feel more alert and focused.
– Coffee may decrease your chances of Alzheimer’s and Dementia by up to 65%
– Coffee can help fight depression and generally boost your happiness
– Coffee is full of antioxidants which lowers the risk of cancer, heart disease and memory loss (whoop!). Research suggests that we get more of our antioxidants from coffee than from fruit & vegetables nowadays!
– Coffee tastes delicious!!
The Bad 😦
– Your body and mind gradually build up a tolerance to caffeine, forcing you to drink more in order to achieve that same mental focus you expect after drinking a cup of coffee.
– Coffee can irritate the lining of the stomach leading to tummy pains and digestive issues – never a fun experience!
– Coffee can impact your sleep cycle. It’s great when it wakes you up in the morning, but not so great when it keeps you awake at night!
– Coffee can stain your teeth and give you bad breath!
“Even bad coffee is better than no coffee at all.” – David Lynch
As a coffee lover, who genuinely loves the taste of coffee more than the benefits it offers, I can’t say I agree completely with Mr Lynch. I’m a little bit of a coffee snob, and if it’s ‘bad’ by my definition (i.e weak, watery with no distinctive taste or smell), I will refuse to drink it! Ironically, I chose today of all days to cut down on my coffee intake!
As I write this post, I am sipping on a coffee substitute by Iswari. If you haven’t heard of them already, Iswari is a company that specialise in high quality organic and raw ‘super-foods’, and their Macaccino ticks all boxes for a healthy substitute stimulant. It is described as ‘a cocktail of nutrients and antioxidants that nourish and stimulate your mind and body, giving you the energy required to kick-start your day, without the bad side effects that coffee can bring.’
The powder itself consists of three simple ingredients: organic raw cacao powder, organic raw maca powder and organic coconut sugar. Add 2-3 teaspoons to some hot milk of your choice (I chose unsweetened almond milk), and voila, instant energy booster. What makes Macaccino so good for you if it contains no caffeine. Well….
Raw Cacao is chocolate in it’s rawest form, and who doesn’t like chocolate?! It is full of antioxidant flavanoids (enhances absorption of Vitamin C, precent inflammation, protect cells from oxygen damage, reduces risk of cancer), sulfur (important for detoxification & proper insulin function) and magnesium (alkalises the body, strengthens bones & teeth, relaxes nervous system and helps you sleep). It also contains essential fatty acids that help raise good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol!
Maca is a root grown in Peru also known as ‘Peruvian ginseng’. It is rich in Vitamins B, C and E. It also provides plenty of calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and amino acids (protein is important!) It increases stamina, helps clear up acne and increases mental energy and focus.
Unlike regular table sugar that contains no vital nutrients, Coconut Sugar contains Vitamin C, iron, zinc, calcium and potassium, albeit in trace form. While no sugar is good for you, coconut sugar has a lower glycemic index (i.e the effect of carbohydrates on your blood sugar level), but still provides a natural sweetness.
Macaccino looks like hot chocolate, and tastes like hot cocoa (i.e barely sweetened), perfect for people like me who don’t add sugar to their coffee. However, it can be sweetened to taste with a sweetener of your choice. I think that making it with sweetened almond milk may be a nice treat!! The best thing about it is that it only costs around €5. Organic, natural and good for your body and mind. It’s a win-win all round!
Did you celebrate International Coffee Day with a coffee today?