Wake up and smell the coffee!

I often get asked about coffee. Is it good for you? Or is it not? The answer: everybody has a different caffeine threshold. I’m saying, if you’re sensitive to caffeine and you get heart palpitations or jittery when you drink coffee, this is NOT your food! 

Personally, I like to have a cup of coffee in the morning. I like the taste of bitter, and I drink it black. Just a shot of espresso, with a “pour over” of 4 to 5 ounces of hot water to make it an Americano. But one cup is all I can handle. I’m not one of those people who’s going to Starbucks every 5 minutes for a cup of coffee. That’s just not my M.O. (Although I unexpectedly fell in love with working in a coffee shop recently! See below.)

There is WONDERFUL NEWS about the healthy benefits of coffee.

If you’re a coffee drinker, I think you’ll be REALLY intrigued by the coffee research that’s come out over the past year. It’s quite astounding, and well worth taking a moment to review the details in these excellent articles. 

Drink To Your Health: Study Links Daily Coffee Habit To Longevity, an NPR piece by Allison Aubrey which offers GREAT news for coffee drinkers on the topic of longevity. Allison interviews Walter Willett of the Harvard School of Public Health, one of the study authors. One among many interesting findings: decaf drinkers received similar results, suggesting the positive benefits are not derived from caffeine, but from the many different nutrients and phytochemicals contained in the beans. 

Possible health benefits of coffee from Medical News Today highlights research showing that coffee may be protective against type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's disease, liver disease, and liver cancer, as well as promote a healthy heart. (Wow!) More in Coffee Consumption and the Liver — Potential Health Benefits, a British Liver Trust report that came out just last month. 

David DiSalvo says in his Forbes article, Here’s More Evidence That Coffee Is Good For Your Brain, “...according to the latest study, drinking a consistent, moderate amount of coffee each day significantly reduces the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment (MCI), a precursor to dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.” 

I think you’ll agree, this is a pretty impressive list!

A little aside: my coffee shop epiphany

I somehow missed the memo about how cool it can be to work in a coffee shop. My friend and business partner Jen Yasis remedied that, taking me to a hipster coffee shop when we were in Denver this spring. Young people were sipping on REALLY good coffee and working on their computers, with pleasant music… It was invigorating!  We had a lot of work to do and we got a lot of work done, in SUCH a delightful way. See below for proof positive, with my fave espresso Americano pour over in hand. Savoring my one cup.

EXTRAORDINARILY good beans

Here’s my theory of coffee drinking: instead of having a BUNCH of cheap cups of coffee, have one delicious, nutritious cup of coffee in the morning! Quality makes a HUGE difference. And are you savoring it? Or are you sucking down coffee all day to keep going? One cup in the morning gets your dopamine receptor (think focus) in gear, starting your day off beautifully. Think of it as you would one glass of wine, and drink the best cup you can. 

Both the taste and nutrient value of coffee depends on the quality of the beans, just like anything else.  Where is it coming from? How is it roasted? 

My friend (and my other business partner) Paul Remer’s brother Dan has an online coffee company, Nicasio Coffee. He roasts organic, fair trade, low-acid coffee, guaranteed not to upset your stomach. My current favorite is from Peru. He's discovered an unusual roasting technique that brings out the chocolate and fruit and eliminates any harsh flavors. (Mmmmm!) The roaster's art is finding the right roasting profile for each type of coffee.  His coffee beans are an adventure in coffee on a whole new level.Try it! Until the end of July, Dan is offering free shipping on all purchases when you use the discount code FREESHIPJULY. 

The motto in the Katz kitchen is, if you’re going to do something, do it right. Instead of store-bought mochas — which, if you add syrup, contain who-knows-how-much sugar or corn syrup — our way is to combine top-notch cocoa powder, a hit of coffee or espresso, a half-cup of steamed hazelnut milk for that special heady taste, and a pinch of cinnamon or a cinnamon stick. I swear this is like drinking a candy bar minus the sugar. Trust me. Try it.

CONNECTING THE DOTS: WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE! THERE’S ALL THIS GOOD NEWS ABOUT COFFEE’S HEALTH BENEFITS. CHOOSE THE BEST COFFEE YOU CAN, DRINK RESPONSIBLY, AND YES, I SOUND LIKE YOUR MOTHER! BE SMART.