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Coffee: Beans and Brew

Coffee: Beans and Brew



Where does coffee come from?
Why do people crave coffee?
Does coffee have calories?
Does all coffee have caffeine?
Is drinking coffee healthy?


Some people drink coffee to jump-start their day with a caffeine boost. Others like to linger over tiny cups of espresso at a café. Whether you take it black or sip frozen mocha coffee treats through a straw, it all comes from beans and brew. back to top

Where does coffee come from?
Coffee comes from a flowering plant that grows in places where there is plenty of rainfall and moisture, like South and Central America, Indonesia, parts of Africa, and Hawaii. The coffee plant sprouts berries, called cherries, inside which a coffee bean grows. Through fermentation, the bean is separated out. Then, the coffee beans are sorted according to where they were grown and their shape, size, and uniformity. back to top

Why do people crave coffee?
Maybe you crave coffee for its taste and aroma. Or maybe your body has gotten used to the caffeine. Because it's a stimulant, caffeine can make you feel more awake and alert, give you a burst of energy, and quicken your reaction time. But it can also keep you from getting a good night's sleep. And too much caffeine in your diet can make you anxious and jittery. back to top

Does coffee have calories?
Black coffee—even from flavored coffee beans, like hazelnut—has no calories. But once you add milk or cream, sugar, flavored syrup, or chocolate shavings, the calorie count shoots up. Specialty coffees made with espresso and steamed milk, such as cappuccino and latte, contain calories from the milk. To reduce the fat and calories in your coffee, ask for skim milk. Keep in mind that frozen specialty drinks made with ice cream, chocolate syrup, and coffee are loaded with calories. Think of them as a dessert or an occasional treat, not a daily beverage. back to top

Does all coffee have caffeine?
The amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee depends on the type of coffee and how it is brewed. Coffee made using the drip method has more caffeine than coffee made in a percolator or by adding boiling water to instant coffee. Most home coffeemakers use the drip method. Espresso contains a little less caffeine than regular coffee. Because it is served in a very small cup, called a demitasse, you may get less caffeine from a shot of espresso mixed with steamed low-fat or skim milk than from one cup of regular coffee. And even decaffeinated coffee contains a little caffeine. If you want a caffeine-free drink, try an herbal tea like chamomile. back to top

Is drinking coffee healthy?
Although the caffeine in coffee probably isn't dangerous (unless you drink eight or more cups a day), it can affect your health in various ways. Even a couple of cups can cause your heart to beat faster and make you feel nervous, restless, anxious, and irritable. Caffeine can also make it hard for you to fall asleep, give you heartburn, cause constipation or diarrhea, and upset your stomach. And coffee contains an acid that can etch itself into your tooth enamel and stain your teeth. Although caffeine can make you feel less hungry, the effect lasts for too short a time to help you lose weight.

Coffee is a mild diuretic, which means it makes you urinate more often. If you don't replace that fluid with water, you can get dehydrated, which can leave you feeling tired, weak, and dizzy. Coffee also causes you to lose calcium through urination. This could be a problem because you need a lot of calcium to grow and develop healthy bones. back to top

 
 
 
Last Modified Date: 4/4/2001
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