An Exploration Into The History of Coffee


Although no one is quite sure when coffee first made its introduction into mainstream consciousness, many historians believe that the first cups of coffee were brewed as early as the 10th Century. There are many reports and legends that circulate the reasons for its first use. The origin of coffee seems to come from Ethiopia. According to one of the most popular theories, legend says that a goat herder named Kaldi first discovered the potential of these rare beans.

As the story goes, Kaldi discovered the unique effects of coffee beans after he saw that some of his flock were consuming the berries from a unique tree. After several minutes, he noticed his goats were so energized they didn’t want to sleep, which was a rarity for his flock. As he made his way back to his town, he reported these sighting to the abbot at the local monastery. Of course, he brought with him a sack of these “magical” berries. After giving the abbot these berries, the abbot decided to brew himself a cup of what is considered the world’s first cup of coffee.

Upon consuming this concoction, the abbot found it to have strange, yet satisfying, effects. He found that upon consumption, he was highly alert throughout the long hours of prayer that followed. The next day, the abbot shared his experiences with other members of the monastery. Soon, these magical effects spread across the land. Through a complex network of conversations, word of coffee beans made its way to the Arabian peninsula. From here, coffee began its long journey to our cabinets.

coffee-fair-tradeThe first official cultivation of the coffee trade began in the 15th Century along the Arabian Peninsula. Coffee was being shipped to outlying areas, and by the 16th Century, coffee export reaches Egypt, Turkey, Persia and Syria.

As its popularity grew, coffee was not only enjoyed in the comfort of homes, but the first coffee houses began to pop-up throughout these regions; specifically in the Near East. As today, the popularity of coffee houses boomed and these establishments soon became the center of local social encounters.

It wasn’t until the 17th Century that European countries began to experience the energizing effects of coffee. Of course, many Europeans feared this dark beverage. Some even went so far to call it the “bitter invention of Satan.” With local clergy condemning coffee, Pope Clement VIII was asked to review this demon drink. However, his experience was a positive one. In fact, he became such a fan of the energizing effects of coffee, he gave these magical beans the official papal approval. From here, coffee made its way into the hearts – and minds – of users across the world, and eventually, into our homes and lives.

Is Organic Coffee Worth The Hype…And Money


To say that coffee lovers are discerning consumers is an understatement. In fact, many individuals who are active in their coffee habit are deeply passionate about the flavors, origins and aromas of their coffee. However, one of the biggest questions asked by both novice and avid coffee consumers pertains to whether or not organic coffee is truly worth their money? While there’s the obvious reason as to why people prefer organic products over their more conventional counterparts, what are the true reasons why organic coffee is worth your money? The following delves into the various reasons why you should reach for a bag of organic coffee over the traditional, chemically-rich, variety.

Reason #1 – No Harmful Chemicals

Did you know that conventional coffee beans are typically wrapped in a host of chemicals before being shipped off? However, when it comes to organic coffee, the processing techniques avoid the use of any chemicals. How does consuming a cup of coffee with beans that were bathed in ammonia or chlorine sound? Not very delicious, at all.

Reason #2 – No Pesticides

One of the most notable hallmarks of choosing organic coffee is the lack of pesticides used during the growing phase. While you may think that when the coffee beans are washed and roasted these harmful pesticides and herbicides are washed away with it? The truth of the matter is quite the opposite. When these compounds are using during the growing phase of any plant – including coffee trees – the chemicals are literally soaked up by the plant and deposited into the coffee beans.

Reason #3 – Community Oriented Production

fairtrade-coffee-productionIf you could choose to give your money to a giant corporation or to a local farmer, the majority of you will likely choose the latter. When you’re faced with the purchasing decision between conventional or organic coffee, this is the literal decision you’re making. Along with helping smaller farmers, you’re also ensuring that those who grow the organic coffee beans aren’t exposed to toxic chemicals on a daily basis.

Reason #4 – Environmentally Friendly

environmentally-friendly-coffeeAlthough the use of toxic chemicals used in conventional growing methods may not directly affect your immediate environment, the use of these harmful compounds significantly destroys the local environment and the communities that rely on the earth’s natural resources. Buying organic coffee ensures that you’re not paying into an industry that’s known to cause serious harm to the local environment.

Reason #5 – The Taste!

Beyond a doubt, organic coffee features more complex and deliciously decadent flavors. When conventional coffee utilizes chemicals, they’re actually dulling or inhibiting the natural flavors of your favorite coffee.

The Case of Coffee – Does Coffee Actually Boost Mental Alertness


If you were to ask why the majority of people consume coffee, their answer is strikingly similar – they wish to boost their overall mental alertness. While it’s common knowledge that caffeine can cause an increase of overall energy levels, does this actually breakdown to an increase of alertness? Or is the stimulation simply fighting off physical exhaustion while your brain is still muddled in brain fog? Although there are conflicting answers, the latest scientific data suggests that consuming coffee may actually increase your attention span when it comes to simple and complex tasks.

Based upon our latest understanding of coffee and its interaction with your brain, it appears drinking a cup of coffee can actually increase not only our mental alertness, but also a host of other essential cognitive function elements. These include:

your-brain-on-coffeeIncreased Focus and Concentration

Many people turn to coffee to help them power through a long day at work or at long night of studying. According to several studies, it appears the caffeine content in coffee can actually help draw your attention to tasks that are important by triggering neurotransmitters responsible for cultivating and sustaining concentration and focus.

Strengthening Short Term Memory

Did you know that your memory is divided into two categories: Short Term Memory and Long Term Memory. According to several studies, the caffeine content in coffee can actually promote alertness and reduce fatigue by enhancing your brains short term memory. This is why many people find drinking coffee while studying for an exam or writing a research paper is ideal as their brain is able to retain vast amounts of information for a short period of time.

Dynamic Mental Alertness

Here is the answer to this common question: caffeine works within your body as a stimulant. As many of us already know, when you consume a stimulate your brain is facilitated to enhance its attention, wakefulness and alertness. By enhancing these mental elements, you’re able to easily learn and process incoming information. Many find this to be especially beneficial for times when you’re required to perform long and detailed tasks, such as reading or writing.

Mood Enhancement

You may be surprised to learn that your baseline mood determines your overall mental alertness. If you’re in a bad mood, such as stressed or depressed, your ability to retain information and perform both short and long tasks is severely limited. However, the compounds found in coffee are shown to increase your mood, which ultimately strengthens your focus and drive – two essential elements when working or going to school.

What Are The Pros and Cons of Single-Serve Coffee Cups


By this point, you’ve probably heard about single-serve coffee cups. The concept of a single-serve coffee cup is quite simple. You simply insert a pre-manufactured “cup” into a specialized machine, push a button and within a few minutes you have a “perfectly” brewed cup of coffee. Although there are many concerns regarding the efficiency and quality of these machines, it hasn’t stopped them from becoming one of the most popular ways to consume your morning cup of coffee. With over 5 billion single-serve coffee pods sold each year, this is truly a phenomenon within the coffee industry. However, what are the true pros and cons of such an experience? The following article will delve into the advantages and disadvantages of having a single-serve coffee maker.

Advantage #1 – Convenience

The most obvious advantage of utilizing single-serving coffee cups is its convenience. There’s nothing quite easier than putting a pod in a machine, pressing a button and having a fresh cup of coffee almost immediately. For many busy professionals, this time-saving element is their primary reason for switching to single-serve coffee pods.

coffee-single-cup-serveAdvantage #2 – Cleanup

Although traditional coffee preparation isn’t necessary a messy experience, there’s literally no-mess when it comes to single-serve coffee pods. Once your coffee is made, you simply take the used pod out of the machine and throw it away.

Advantage #3 – Preparation Time

Because there’s no beans to grind or coffee to measure, the preparation time is literally a few seconds. Against, this is an excellent advantage for those who live busy lifestyles. In most cases, the preparation time is less than 30 seconds from start to finish.

Disadvantage #1 – Coffee Quality

Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of using single-serve coffee pods is the quality of coffee. While many manufacturers use high-quality coffee, the duration of time the coffee sits in the pods from start to finish can be weeks. Because the aging process of coffee is expedited when the beans are ground, the freshness – and subsequent flavor – can be undesirable to those who demand flavor-rich coffee.

Disadvantage #2 – Control Over Coffee Creation

In many instances, single-serve coffee pods don’t offer the level of control many coffee lovers demand. While you get convenience, you also lose a serious amount of control over the coffee grind, overall water temperature and even the dosage of each cup.

Disadvantage #3 – Cost of Use

While you may think that single-serve coffee pods will save you money, the opposite is actually true. On average, you’ll spend roughly $30 per pound of coffee consumed. If you were to spend this amount on a traditional bag of coffee, you could be savoring some of the most exotic blends in the world.