Monday, May 02, 2011

Gourmet coffee and health - here's to both

When I'm around people who know I work for Café Britt or when we're
drinking coffee, I'm often asked about coffee's effects on human health. What's
interesting is that people who are my age - 40 or older - usually ask me about
coffee's harmful effects. People younger than 40, far from worried about
coffee, often make comments about coffee's health benefits.

Coffee got a bad rap about 30 years ago following reports that linked it to
health problems. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, coffee was associated with the
same health maladies linked to smoking. Since Café Britt began selling Costa Rican coffee 25 years ago, new studies have begun to
reverse the findings of the earlier research. Empirical evidence about the
effects of coffee drinking on human health have yielded very positive results.

Many independent studies over the last two decades have concluded that drinking
coffee has many associated benefits. Apparently, the earlier studies didn't
differentiate between coffee drinkers who also smoked and those who didn't
smoke. In this group, it seems that the harmful effects discovered were linked
to the smoking, not the coffee.

As great lovers of gourmet coffee, it's very good news that today caffeine is
considered harmless to health. In fact, studies show that its stimulating
effects actually improve the attention span and concentration. Besides, the
coffee bean contains more than just caffeine. Some 600 chemical components have
been analyzed in different types of coffee, including many that act as
antioxidants. In fact, it is believed that most people who live in western
nations get most of their dietary antioxidants from coffee.

Many studies have since been carried out, including some that reveal certain
health risks that could be derived from excessive coffee consumption. Even so,
the benefits discovered in these studies often far outweigh the risks. What's
more, some studies that set out to link coffee to a health hazard actually
found only benefits to drinking gourmet coffee.

I encourage anyone interested in learning more about the many benefits and low
risk levels associated with coffee drinking to check out the following links:

The National Geographic study is the most complete I've seen about caffeine.
Read all about it, and by all means sip a few cups of your favorite coffee
while you're reading!

All the best,


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