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There’s a lot to love about coffee. Its taste is rich, dense, and satisfying. It’s often tangy, citrusy, or winey and is usually complemented with chocolate and vanilla hints. Great coffee has balance and no single overpowering flavor.
The beans used for brewing come from a shrub that produces little red fruits. Those fruits are called coffee cherries, and the beans are seeds.
Coffee is a plant whose origins are enmeshed in mystery and lore. One popular story claims that in ninth century, a goat herder named Kaldi noticed his herd acting strangely: they were frolicking wildly and seemed to have boundless energy. After observing them for some time, he realized that the goats were eating red berries from a certain shrub. After trying the berries himself, he discovered their invigorating effects and reported this discovery to the local monks. They scoffed at his idea, saying that the berries were the devil’s invention and threw the berries into the fire. But a few days later, Kaldi returned to see his herd acting even more exuberantly than before. The berries were re-roasted, and the resulting beverage is believed to be the first cup of coffee ever made.
Coffee began to be cultivated around the 15th century, primarily when it was used as a religious stimulant and to keep devotees awake for nighttime prayers. From here, it spread throughout the Muslim world and eventually gaining popularity as a hot drink during the seventeenth century. It became a major staple in the American colonies during the Revolutionary War, replacing tea as the nation’s primary morning beverage after Britain cut off access to its tea supplies.
Although coffee is often brewed in the form of a hot liquid, it can also be roasted and ground and added to drinks such as cocoa, tea and desserts. It can also be used in the form of instant coffee, which is a mixture of pre-ground beans that have been mixed with water.
Many people use coffee as a substitute for black or green tea, which can be too bitter. Some prefer to mix their coffee with milk, sugar and flavorings such as vanilla or cinnamon. Other common additions include almonds, chocolate and nutmeg. Some people enjoy mixing their coffee with a bit of cream or ice. Others drink their coffee straight, or as a chilled latte. Coffee is a highly caffeinated drink, and this can have a number of positive health benefits, as long as the amount consumed is kept within reasonable limits.
The flavor of coffee can be influenced by how the beans are grown and processed. Different methods can produce a variety of flavor profiles, and the taster must choose which ones to favor based on their personal preferences. The aromas and flavors of a great cup of coffee can be described as fruity, earthy, floral, sweet, or roasted. A cup can also be savory or bitter. The finish of a good cup can be described as fleeting or lingering.
With thousands of unique aromatic and flavor compounds, coffee is one of the most complex beverages in the world. Various factors can affect its taste and flavor, including where the beans are grown, how they are harvested and roasted, the climate, and how they are stored.
Coffee can be flavored with natural ingredients like cinnamon and sugar or artificial ingredients like chocolate syrup. Some of these flavors are more popular than others, and each can have a different effect on the overall taste of the drink. For example, a sweet flavor will increase the sweetness of the coffee, while a savory flavor will increase its spiciness.
Using the flavor wheel, it is easy to determine which flavors a cup of coffee will have. The flavor wheel begins with the most general flavors and then moves to more specific tastes. The five most common coffee flavors are sweet, nutty, fruity, floral, and roasted.
A great way to learn about coffee is to try a few different varieties. With this practice, you will be able to build your vocabulary of coffee flavors and learn which types of roasts, processing methods, and aromas you prefer.
Some of the more exotic flavors that can be found in a cup of coffee include citrus, tropical fruit, and berries. The citrus flavor is often due to the level of acidity in the coffee, while the tropical fruit flavor can be caused by a variety of factors, including the amount of sun and humidity that the bean received while growing. The berries in the coffee can be produced by the presence of certain volatile organic compounds or by the levels of thiols and melanoidins that are present in the beans.
Whether it’s an extra cup of joe to kickstart your morning or the energy boost you need during exercise, coffee has been linked to health benefits. It may help reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes and depression, as well as support weight loss. It also contains a number of antioxidants and other nutrients, including potassium, niacin and magnesium.
Despite being a popular beverage, there’s still debate about how much coffee is safe to drink and its impact on various diseases. Some research suggests that people who drink coffee have a lower risk of heart disease, while others warn against it because of the high levels of caffeine.
Coffee is also linked to a number of other health benefits, such as reducing the risk of liver cancer and lowering blood pressure. However, there are also concerns about the effect of coffee on those with bleeding disorders and its potential role in triggering heart attacks in some people.
There is a wide range of evidence about the association between coffee consumption and different health outcomes, but most of it is observational and therefore of low or moderate quality. To assess the overall strength of the evidence, we conducted an umbrella review that systematically assimilates the existing literature on this topic.
The results of the umbrella review show that drinking coffee is often associated with beneficial effects on a variety of health outcomes, such as an increased life expectancy and reduced risks of type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. It is also often associated with a reduction in the risk of liver cancer and cirrhosis. There are some harmful associations, such as an increased risk of lung cancer, but these can often be explained by smoking, which is both a confounder and a mediator of the relationship between coffee consumption and health outcomes.
Coffee is a major source of caffeine in the world and it is consumed in many forms, including instant coffee, ground beans, café latte and cappuccino. It is used for both hot and cold drinks, and can be sweetened with sugar or artificial ingredients. It is also used in food products, such as chocolate and bakery items.
Coffee beans contain caffeine, a stimulant known for keeping people alert. The amount of caffeine in each cup varies depending on the type of bean: beans from Coffea arabica, grown mostly in Central and South America, have about 1.1 percent of this substance; those from the Coffea robusta plant (grown mostly in Indonesia and Africa) contain about 2.2 per cent. Caffeine is also a naturally occurring substance in black and green tea; cocoa pods, from which chocolate and cocoa products are made; kola nuts (used to make cola drinks), the leaves of the ilex plant, from which yerba mate is prepared, and guarana seeds (used to make some energy drinks). In its pure form, caffeine is a white powder with a bitter taste.
Caffeine has many effects on the body, but it mainly increases activity in the brain and nervous system. It blocks adenosine receptors in the brain, which causes feelings of tiredness, and it stimulates adrenaline levels and the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine.
In small doses, caffeine can improve performance in some activities, such as focusing and memory. But high doses can cause an increase in heart rate, insomnia and nervousness. It may also cause stomach irritation and can interfere with the sleep cycle. It also interferes with the way the body uses some medications, such as diuretics, estrogens and valproate.
Researchers have found that caffeine and a group of compounds in coffee (such as polyphenols, chlorogenic acid and trigonelline) have neuroprotective properties, which can slow or prevent the development of tremors in Parkinson’s disease patients. 
However, not all research on coffee and health has been positive. People who consume large amounts of coffee appear to be more likely to have some chronic illnesses, such as cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Those who have heart attacks or a history of heart disease should avoid coffee. Other studies have shown that the acetate and cafestol, two caffeine metabolites, have anti-cancer effects in colon cells.