I hope you enjoyed that… I sure did. Now on to the coffee coffee coffee coffee…. (but I swear I won’t get snobby)
I love coffee (in moderation, sometimes), but I haven’t always. I went until 25 years of age without ever enjoying a single cup. Then, one day, with the help and encouragement of Pat Barber, I changed my mind, and I haven’t looked back. It’s delicious, soul-warming, bowel-helping, energy-providing, and did I say delicious? But before I go any further, let’s get real. Not all coffee is created equal, not everyone should drink coffee, and believe it or not, you can have too much of a good thing.
First, though, WHAT IS COFFEE?
Well, it’s actually the seeds of a fruit similar to a cherry. Coffee trees produce berries, called coffee cherries, that turn bright red when they are ripe and ready. The skin is thick and bitter, but the fruit beneath it is intensely sweet and has the texture of a grape. Under that is a honey-like layer, followed by a layer similar to parchment paper, which help to protect the beans. These beans are fermented, sun-dried and roasted to create the stuff we love so much. Coffee beans contain caffeine and some theophylline, a mild stimulant and muscle relaxer. Coffee stimulates the nervous system, increasing heart output and improving the flow of digestive juices. It is also a diuretic and can be used for detoxification and cleansing, among other things. Isn’t coffee awesome?
Now, let’s talk about the BENEFITS:
It has been discovered that coffee can reduce the risk of Type II Diabetes and cancer, while also providing pain relief. Coffee is very rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, and it doesn’t take much convincing to understand that those are good for our bodies.
Recent studies have shown that coffee has some pretty stellar health benefits. For instance, it has been concluded that it can help people dealing with dementia. It has also been shown to help protect and heal the liver. Perhaps in the near future, coffee might get more respect for the nutrient density it provides! Studies continue to be done, and I for one, will continue to read them (and report them to you).
Now, though this is all awesome stuff, it is important to understand that everything should be consumed in moderation, AND that coffee might not be for everyone.
Sorry to be a bubble burster, but there are some folks WHO SHOULDN’T DRINK COFFEE:
- anyone dealing with adrenal fatigue (learn more on if this might be you HERE)
- those struggling with regulating blood sugar or cortisol levels (more on cortisol HERE)
- anyone struggling to fall asleep or stay asleep at night
The Paleo Mom has a great article on who perhaps shouldn’t drink coffee and why it shouldn’t be our only source of nutrients (duh).
Also, remember that NOT ALL COFFEE IS CREATED EQUAL!
Let’s talk about where it’s sourced and how it’s made. When I buy coffee, I always look for brands that are Fair Trade, Local, and Organic.
Why fair trade? Because coffee ranks among oil as one of the top export crops in the world, there is a lot of responsibility for the consumer to choose wisely because in many cases, producers are exploited. By choosing fair trade coffee you can be sure that the farmers who actually produce the beans can make a living.
Why local? Let’s keep it in the family. The more local the bean, the fresher coffee. The less distance it travels, the less resources get used and the fewer “middlemen” are in there messing things up for the ones who deserve credit (you get the picture).
Why organic? Pesticide leftovers can be compounded when coffee is roasted at high temperatures. Also, coffee is one of the heaviest chemically treated foods in the world (mainly fertilizers that destroy the soil). Lastly, let’s save our forests people. About 70% of the world’s coffee production comes from sun-resistant coffee hybrids (GMOs), leading to rain forests being cleared out at disgusting rates to make room.
Also, the higher quality the bean, the BETTER it will make you feel…. you can avoid the jitters and crash by doing a little research and finding high quality beans, keeping them fresh, and making the perfect coffee drink.
This guy is literally obsessed with coffee, and you can find out a lot about bean quality from watching his videos. You might have heard of Bulletproof Coffee, well here is your guy. I haven’t actually tried his coffee, but I do know he is on to something when it comes to avoiding toxins in your coffee. (And I have added butter and coconut oil to my coffee. It is delicious and a great way to start the day).
Now, on to the fun part… my PRODUCT REVIEWS!
*click each link to read more about the product by visiting their websites (note: I am in no way endorsed, sponsored, or paid by any of these guys. I just seriously like this coffee)
- Chameleon Cold Brew – I am a sucker for cold brew, and this is the BEST I have found. Tastes like chocolaty goodness!
- Stumptown Coffee’s Cold Brew – a very close second. This stuff is amazing, and it comes from one of the hippest places on earth, Portland
- Santa Coffee Roasting Co – all-time favorite local beans to use for my own version of bulletproof coffee (get them at Whole Foods)
- Uber Fresh Rocket Fuel – favorite pre-made, fresh, organic coffee drink on the go
- Coco Java Nut Butter – though this isn’t coffee you can drink, these little nut butter, coffee-filled packets of goodness can’t go without noting. Check them out HERE!
That’s all I’ve got on coffee for you, except for a few of my favorite recipes… Enjoy!