May 14, 2007

Coffee: Mighty Fine Beverage After All

Coffee is one of those right-of-passage beverages, like beer or Cabernet Sauvignon, that one has to work a bit to fall in love with. Unlike, say a milk shake, which is more inherently lovable.

Remember back as a teenager or young adult (or even earlier, if you grew up in Crabby's house), how grown-up you felt opting for a cup of coffee instead of a Coke? Gradually, perhaps, the rich bitter taste even started to grow on you (especially if you cheated and added milk and sugar). And the best part? A lovely and perfectly legal buzz. The fact that coffee was vaguely "bad for you" only added to its allure.

But then we all grew up and the nagging of the Health Experts got to many of us. We realized we wouldn't live forever, and the same way we stopped eating so many cheeseburgers, many of us either cut back on coffee, switched to decaf, or just felt guilty about drinking it.

But lo and behold, over the last few years, the nagging has quieted. Health Experts are changing their story: Coffee is even good for you now, and "moderate" consumption is defined as 3-5 cups a day. Hooray!

So recently a bunch of coffee-obsessed researchers got together at some sort of symposium and discussed some of the benefits of coffee: it might reduce the risk of Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's, kidney stones, gallstones, depression, and type 2 diabetes.

Other studies have noted that coffee contains healthy antioxidants, and even some dietary fiber.

Plus, coffee is great for increasing your endurance and lessening your misery when you exercise.

Of course if you drink a whole pot right before bed, there may be some unwelcome side effects. So don't do that unless you have to because you're laboring under some impossible deadline.

Crabby drinks her coffee brewed strong; mixed with equal parts heated milk (a blend of nonfat and 1%) and she dumps Splenda in it like a sissy 'cause she never totally got used to the bitter taste. How about you?


  1. "...she dumps Splenda in it like a sissy..."

    You're not a sissy, Crabby.

    I've heard people say, "If you drink coffee with sugar, you don't really like the taste of coffee." That's the silliest thing ever. That's like saying you don't really like chocolate because you won't eat cocoa raw!

    I enjoy coffee both black and with cream & sugar. It depends if I have a desire for bitter or sweet. I also like beer because it's bitter. But that doesn't mean I don't enjoy sweet drinks, too.

  2. I haven't brewed my own coffee in a couple of years or so, though I still buy a cup now and then. I drink a lot more tea these days and enjoy experimenting with different varieties.

    When I do drink coffee, I like it strong and with milk only, no sugar. (I put honey in my tea most times though.)

    Part of the reason I no longer brew my own is I've been very unhappy with my last two coffee maker purchases. The ubiquitious drip-filter jobbies nowadays do not get the water hot enough for my liking.

    Hmmm...maybe I should hunt up an old-fashioned percolator.

    Crabby, I added you to my blog roll and I'm going to send you a PM via your AW account in a little while.

  3. I'm a milk and Equal, gal, and I drink my coffee a little on the weak side so that I can have an extra cup or two per day.

    Where do you find this info, Crabby. Coffee has fibre!

    Right on the button, anony miss!

  4. Thanks, anony miss!

    I don't know why I always feel apologetic about drinking my coffee sweet. I always have and always will--just somehow seems like a failure of character or something. On the other hand, i do like bitter beer. Go figure.

    Hi Frank,
    Well, tea's awfully good for you, so might as well stick with a good thing.

    And thanks, by the way for the blogroll listing and for introducing me to the whole PM thing!

    And Dawn--so you're a milk & sweetener gal too! I'm surprised about the weak coffee though. Somehow i would have put you down for a triple espresso drinker.

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  6. Well, Crabby, I'm getting old. I remember when coffee was bad for you and oral sex was considered a safe alternative. Hmm, not sure if those belong in the same sentence like that, but I'm tired.
    I like my coffee strong. In 1991 I was banned from making coffee at the newspaper because of this. I used two packages of coffee instead of one. I thought it was wonderful. The view was not shared.
    Thanks for the "favorite commenters" note in your post about road trips. It was a wonderful cyber welcome home.

  7. Spider drinks Cafe Cubano, think as ink, with two large tablespoons of real sugar.

    Of course, the really tough guys drink it without any kind of sugar.

  8. Yay, the goat* returns! It was much quieter here without you. (Truly, my sitemeter went down during your absence, not that I check it every five minutes or anything. Okay, yes, I do check it every five minutes).

    I think everyone was awaiting your return and now we can get on with things. For the record I approve of strong coffee and don't think there's anything wrong with it sharing a sentence with oral sex.

    *Leah has given me permission to call her "goat" on occasion but i will try not to abuse it.

    And hiya Spider--Excellent choice on the Cafe Cubano! However, I had to give you a hard time over on your blog over inclusion of Paul McCartney and Wings on your all time favorites list.

    I'm hoping I'm not alone in my belief that Silly Love Songs was one of the most annoying songs ever written.

    I know I may catch some grief over this bold statement. Perhaps hordes of angry Wings fans will have to come to my blog to complain and can perk the ol' Sitemeter up again.

  9. Hey, even if it was bad for me, I'd drink it. I have so few vices any more that I need something!!!

  10. Way cool to hear about the possible health benefits of coffee! I am a coffee addict and drink mine with three packs of Sweet 'n' Lo (yeah, that isn't so good ;) ) and a healthy (ha) dollop of sugar-free Vanilla goop sweetened with Splenda. So needless to say my coffee is a concoction of artificial sweeteners and assorted goopety goop, but man oh man, how I love it! :-D

    And I second bunnygirl: whether or not coffee's bad for me, I've gotta drink it.

  11. Hi Bunnygirl & Thomma Lyn!
    Yeah, I'm totally hooked too. Even if they change their minds again, I'm not giving it up.

    I'm not a covert to Vanilla goop yet--but my mother drank her coffee black nearly her entire life then started adding hazelnut goop in her seventies. So you never know.

  12. I fill the mug halfway with skim milk, heat it until it steams, I pour the rest with coffee and add not one, but TWO Splenda. It's fabulous!

  13. Hi SmartCookie,
    We drink our coffee almost identically! I add just a smidge of 1% to the nonfat, and I use 2 3/4 packets of Splenda. Horrors. But I make it in this massive 20 ounce mug, and brew the coffee really strong, if that's any justification for using so much splenda.

    Thanks for stopping by--and you've got a great blog!

  14. Splenda, and all artificial sweeteners are EVIL!!! Don't use them!! Although everyone responds differently to chemicals, my personal account of them is that they take your expressions, and leave you feeling depressed, and make my heart pound. I personally love espresso with whole milk. Drink it all day! I also eat espresso beans! YUM!

  15. Hi javachic06!

    Yeah, I know the Splenda thing shocks a lot of people. I've got a whole defensive/whiny post about it (two posts, actually) in the archives. However, it doesn't seem to do anything weird to me.

    But I love coffee. My favorite is a double cappacino, but I'm too lazy to make it and too cheap to buy it so I mostly drink strong regular coffee.

    Thanks for stopping by!

  16. I actually caught this blog off your link on Slashfood.

    When I was younger (oh, say, 10 or 11) I used to always have a cup of two of coffee at my church's "coffee hour" at the end of the service. And if we had company over, I was able to drink it then too. I finally caught up to drinking it regularly when I was in high school and of proper driving age... you know, stop by my local Dunkin's and grab a cup on the way to school.

    In my late teens/early 20's, I used to use whole milk and 2 Equals in my coffee. I'm down to 1% milk and no sweetener now. Though for some strange reason, Dunkin's coffee tastes burned to me these days, and I can't drink it without getting half the cup filled with cocoa and half with black coffee (it's an occasional treat and it's so good, especially when they're in cinnamon coffee season during the winter!)

    There have been days I've had 3 20-oz coffees within the course of 8 hours. And there are weekend days when I copy my grandmother's old habit of making a whole pot and drinking it through the course of the day. I should explain though- I have both a day job and an overnight job.

    If you'd like to add me to your blogroll, I'd be honored.

  17. Hi Lily Iris,

    Thanks so much for stopping by! Sounds like we have very similar background & attitude toward the magical bean.

    I'm going a little slower on blogroll additions these days, unless they're health sites catering to a similar audience, or unless i have a previous relationship with the blog owner.

    Sounds weird, I know, but I'm trying to keep it pretty small. I've noticed that as soon as a blog gets more than a couple dozen on the blogroll, as a visitor I don't click on any of the links. It just seems too overwhelming. Smaller ones, though, seem to invite exploration. So I'm tending to hold off adding new blogs until there's sort of an ongoing relationship. Which there very well might be with yours, especially since we're both Slashfood & coffee fans!


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