Coffee: The good, bad and the ugly

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This is not going to be an anti-coffee propaganda article as I consume, breathe and live coffee! It fascinates me and is my partner in distress; it has one essence but so many forms. You want it bitter, you can have an espresso. You want it chocolatey and strong, go for a moccachino. Do you want to indulge in coffee, just go with coffee with full-fat cream and dashes of hazelnut syrup.

In honour of this great drink, I’m going to present an autobiography of coffee!


An old legend explains that Kaldi, the goatherd, was responsible for the discovery of coffee. It is said that he discovered coffee after noticing that his goats, upon eating berries from a certain tree, became so energetic that they did not want to sleep at night. Coffee began being cultivated in Yemen by the 15th century and attempted an export ban to prevent it’s spread. It was the Ottoman Empire that brought coffee to entirely new places, for new reasons. Dutch traders were responsible for bringing coffee beans from New Amsterdam bring coffee to America. Just four years later the British take control of New Amsterdam and from them it passed on to India.

The good things to remember it for:


  • Reducing the risk of diabetes:

Research has revealed that people who drink coffee are on average 25–50% less likely to get type 2 diabetes.The statistic improves if you eliminate sugar in your daily cup.

  • Improving energy levels:

When a person consumes coffee, the caffeine within it inhibids an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain called adenosine. This then brings a stimulatory action because more neurons in your brain begin firing, which leads to improved energy levels and brain function.

  • Improves metabolism:

Caffeine also increases Epinephrine (Adrenaline) levels in the body which is the ‘fight or flight’ hormone which prepares our body for physical exertion. Also Caffeine makes the fat cells break down body fat, releasing them into the blood as free fatty acids and making them available as fuel.

  • Nutrition facts

ü  One cup of coffee contains

ü  Vitamin B2

ü  Vitamin B5

ü  Manganese and Potassium

ü  Magnesium and Niacin which is non-essential but important nevertheless.


  • Liver protection:


It turns out that coffee may defend your body against cirrhosis which is a common liver disease(more likely if you drink alcohol).People who drink 4 or more cups per day have up to an 80% lower risk.


  • Good for the skin:

 The environment is full of pollutant particles and smoke that wreak havoc on the skin. However, regular consumption of antioxidants in coffee protects it and bolsters its natural defences. It is also a tissue repair agent and regulates cell re-growth, leading to retained hydration and increased skin elasticity. This is why there is an emergence of coffee-based skin procedures like massages and spa treatments.



The things which give coffee a bad reputation are:



  • Addiction:


Caffeine works the same parts of the brain as cocaine, ampletamines and heroin. It just has milder effects. Studies show that 100 cups is the number that will kill you but it isn’t practically feasible as your bladder will constantly flush it out. If you feel that you can’t get through one day without coffee, you’ve developed a minor addiction. This can lead to nervousness, hand tremble, cold sweats and even anger bouts.


  • Insomnia:


As it a stimulant, it prevents and keeps drowsiness at bay. Thus excess coffee can prevent sleep and as you know the body cannot function without adequate sleep, you entire day could go haywire.


  • Diarrhoea:


Caffeine which is present in coffee accelerates digestion so that you will be forced to eliminate food faster than you can eat.


  • Indigestion:


Drinking coffee on an empty stomach is a no-no as if may cause acid-creation in your stomach. If your body keeps creating HCl in response to your regular cups of coffee, it may have difficulty producing enough to digest a large meal.


  • Risk of osteoporosis:


Having more than 3 cups a day can decrease bone density. This means that you will be in a higher risk of developing osteoporosis which affects more women than men.


  • Headaches:

Caffeine can cause headaches. While limited amount of caffeine can relieve headache symptoms, too much of caffeine can cause headaches and lead to migraines.



Let’s return to the light side of coffee with some fun trivia!


  1. The best time to have a cup is 2 pm as a person’s energy levels are the lowest then.
  2. Coffee has 0 calories that is without the sugar or the milk.
  3. It takes about 40 coffee beans to make an espresso.
  4.  An old Turkish law stated that a woman may divorce her husband if he doesn’t provide here with a daily quota of coffee.


Like all good things, the effects of  caffeine may be determined in part by how much coffee you’re used to drinking. People who don’t regularly drink caffeine in small amount can tend to be more sensitive to its positive effects. Other factors may include body weight, age, and medication use and health conditions such as anxiety disorders.