Researchers at Cornell University in New York have discovered that a cup of cocoa contains up to three times more antioxidant value than green tea, and five times more than black tea. But don’t overdo it – the amount of sugar we tend to put into a cup of cocoa is not always particularly healthy!
Coffee – why is it that so many people drink so much of it? Surely coffee is one of the world’s most popular drinks. It seems that wherever you go, you can get a cup of coffee in some form or other.
Here’s some thoughts…
Many of us crawl out of bed and head for the coffee machine. Mine is set to start bubbling away just before my alarm goes off, and I love it! Staggering into the kitchen to fill up a cup of rich, strong brew. The smell, the taste, the wake up.
And grabbing another cup of coffee is the first thing that I do when I get into the office.
But is coffee just a quick blast of caffeine? Clearly not! If that was the case, wouldn’t we just take it as a tablet?
No – the truth is, we LIKE coffee. Despite its bitter taste, there is something about a good quality coffee that appeals to us. Whether you have it with milk, cream, sugar or none of the above, you still like the basic taste of the stuff.
Is it good for us? Now there’s a debate!
A May 2012 study found that coffee drinkers “who drank at least two or three cups a day were about 10 percent or 15 percent less likely to die for any reason during the 13 years of the study.” Wow! That’s some claim!
Some of the pundits out there will point to studies that show us that coffee may reduce risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. They say that it’s good for your liver, may help you fight depression, may even go some way to fending off type 2 diabetes. It may even be a temporary weight loss helper.
I don’t know the answers, and I certainly don’t presume to be a medical expert. All I know is that I like, no – NEED – my coffee. It is perhaps one of the few completely legal and readily available performance boosters. Athletes spend heaps of dosh on fancy energy boosters, while the rest of us working slobs just pour another cup of coffee. Even if it doesn’t really work, we think it does, so maybe it’s just a case of “mind over matter”.
Of course, if it’s the caffeine in coffee that gives us a boost, that raises the argument over why we bother with decaf. Or perhaps strengthens the argument that we drink coffee because we simply like it!
Does coffee make you jittery and is it responsible for those sleepless nights? There is a school of thought that would tell you no – not at all. Apparently, it is not the coffee itself, but how it’s brewed. In other words, we can drink as much as we like, with no side effects. But just a couple of badly brewed cups…
Personally, I’m not taking any chances. Coffee for me in the morning, but not after midday. However, don’t let me change your habits!
There’s a mind boggling range of coffees to choose from.
Sumatra – earthy, almost fruity, taint to it and can be an ideal choice as a dessert coffee. Grown, obviously, on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
Kona – rare, grown in rich volcanic soils in Hawaii. Delicious, but, because it’s rare, it’s pretty expensive.
Arabica – a medium roast and traditionally used for most standard, American coffee blends. The coffee bean of choice for South and Central America.
Kenya – similar to Arabica beans, but with a livelier, sweeter flavour. Also a faint blackberry taste.
Robusta – less flavour but much cheaper to produce than Arabica beans. So the beans that are usually found in your basic supermarket coffees. However, for those looking for their quick caffeine boost, coffee made from these beans have nearly twice the caffeine level as coffee made from Arabica beans.