The Real Deal about Coffee – Health Benefits & Risks

Coffee has became one of the most popular drink. To wake up, to improve your energy level, simply because you like the taste, there are one hundred reasons to drink coffee.

If you’re a regular coffee consumer or not, it’s good to know where it comes from and most importantly it’s benefits or risks on your health.

Without further ado, let’s get into the subject 🙂

Mythic Origin of Coffee

Coffee beans come from the coffee tree, which originates in Ethiopia and Tropical Africa. For centuries, coffee beans were used to an ancient drink from an unknown provenance.

History about the true origin of coffee differs. One legend tells that in year 850, a farmer in Abyssinia (the old Ethiopia), noticed that his goats were excited after eating the leaves and fruits of a specific tree. He gave  one branch of this tree to a monk, who cooked a drink from the beans collected inside the fruit. This drink surprised the monks as it had many exciting effect. That’s why they assigned this drink to the gods.

Another side of the history tells that the same farmer took a branch of the tree when he saw his goats excited after eating it. He had the idea to boil the beans and obtained a potion that helped him stay awake at night for his prayers. Either ways, coffee has a mythic history and we’re still not sure today were it comes from!

The Incredible Expansion of Coffee

Arabs started to grow coffee trees only  in 1575. For a long time, they were the only ones trading coffee. Coffee, also called black gold, was only sold in boiled beans so that others won’t steal it and grow it too.

However, Venetian in 1615 broke this monopoly situation and brought back coffee trees in their country. After that, Dutchman also started to grow coffee trees in Ceylon, Java, Sumatra, and Bali. France started its own coffee production in Martinique, Spanish in Philippines and America Latina.

From there, it was the beginning of the incredible trade of coffee all around the world. Nowadays, coffee still is one of the most widespread commodity. The main producer of coffee is now Brazil, followed closely by Colombia, Indonesia, Mexico, Vietnam, and Ivory Coast.

Funny Facts about Coffee

Coffee is one of the most popular drink nowadays. Did you know that:

  • Coffee trade is the second most important in global exchanges, after oil
  • Coffee price is quoted on the stock exchange
  • Coffee is sometimes used by the World Bank as money
  • Producer countries can exchange coffee to rich countries for foreign aid

Coffee Tree 101

Coffee tree can grow up to 4 to 6 meters. It’s producing fruits at his 5th or 6th years and during 30 years. From its white flowers rise dark red fruits. Inside those, there are light green beans which are covered by a strong membrane. This membrane contains between 1 to 2% of caffeine, depending on the tree variety.

There are more than 50 varieties of the coffee tree. However, the 2 mains are:

  • Coffea Arabica, which is the oldest and most popular one. Its taste is soft and slightly flavoured. It has a low caffeine content: only 1%. It corresponds to 75% of the coffee production
  • Coffea Robusta, which is more tasteful and strong. It has a stronger caffeine amount: 2%. It’s mainly produced in Africa and is usually cheaper than arabica. It corresponds to 25% of the coffee production

It’s important to note that each variety has a different taste, aroma, and caffeine amount.

Coffee beans are still manually gathered as their maturation is not even. Fruits are washed and their envelope is removed. Beans are either sun or kiln dried and then selected before sending them to consuming countries. Some coffee beans are stored a while in order to make them age, which result in a better quality.  

Finally, husked grains are roasted. And voilà, your coffee is now ready 🙂

One Coffee Please!

There are 3 different types of coffee. It can be either the husked beans, ground coffee, instant or decaffeinated one. Either you love the boost of coffee or not, you’ll find a type that match you.

1- Coffee Beans & Ground Coffee

It’s the strongest coffee you’ll find, and also the one of best quality. If you’re a coffee lover, try to find out a coffee machine that can do coffee from bean. You won’t be disappointed for sure!

2- Instant Coffee

It’s basically coffee powder where you only need to add hot water to get your coffee. Grains for instant coffee usually are low quality, from the robusta variety.

3- Decaffeinated Coffee

It corresponds to a almost caffeine free coffee. Indeed, decaffeinated coffee are usually 97% decaffeinated.

Coffee Nutrition Facts

Coffee is low in protein, carbs, and fat. Coffee beans contain more than 100 different substances such as caffeine, tannins, and oils.

Depending on the coffee variety, method of preparation, your own tolerance (less you drink coffee, more effects you’ll have), the daily recommendation differs. However, try not to drink more than 4 cups of coffee a day. Also, it’s important to note that many foods, drinks, and meds also contain caffeine.

Check below the amount of caffeine depending on the different coffee drinks.

Coffee Drinks

Size (mL)

Caffeine (mg)

Brewed

237

95-165

Brewed, decaf

237

2-5

Espresso

30

47-64

Espresso, decaf

30

0

Instant

237

63

Instant, decaf

237

2

Latte / Mocha

237

63-126

See also: 3 Natural Supplements to Instantly Boost Your Intellectual Performances

Top Health Benefits of Coffee

See also: 7 Brain Foods to Improve Your Memory and Focus

If you consume moderate amount of caffeine, there are no health risks at all. However, it has been shown that an excess of caffeine can lead to increasing anxiety, impairing sleep, a negative mood, and reveal an addiction. Don’t worry if you’re a regular coffee consumer as long as you don’t drink more than the recommended daily amount.

Tips to Prepare the Perfect Coffee

Here are some secret advice in order to make the perfect coffee drink. Let us know in the comment if you have any other tips to add to the list 🙂

  • Grind your coffee beans at the last moment
  • Use some fresh water which hasn’t been hot. Let it simmer at 90 / 95° C, avoid boiling it as it will lose all of its oxygen. Avoid hard or chlorinated water as the flavour will spread into the coffee
  • Time how long you infuse the coffee beans as tannins concentration increases if it’s too long. Consider about 2 minutes infusion with a temperature between 85 to 95° C. It’s the perfect heat in order to extract the maximum of soluble substances while keeping the substances avoiding bitterness  
  • Don’t boil or reheat the coffee
  • Don’t use metal coffee machine or cups as they change the flavour of coffee. Best is to use earthenware cup as it keeps the heat better than glass
  • Thoroughly wash and rinse your coffee machine after each use in order to remove all the oil contained into the coffee and soap

Now that you know everything about coffee, it’s time to use it in your recipe. Because yes, coffee is not only for drinking! Let us know if you try any of the amazing recipes below or tag us on Instagram.

4 Desserts for Coffee Lovers

Breakfast Coffee Smoothie

This breakfast smoothie is the perfect way to start your morning. It's filled with good stuffs: coffee, oats, flaxseeds, and bananas. It will rise your energy level up thanks to coffee and banana and make you feel full until lunch time thanks to oats and flaxseeds.

Prep Time5 mins
Ingredients
 1 cup strong brewed coffee
 1 banana
 ¼ cup rolled oats
 1 tsp cocoa powder
 1 tsp flaxseeds meal
  tsp ground cinnamon
 1 cup soy milk or almond milk
 1 tsp honey

Ingredients

Ingredients
 1 cup strong brewed coffee
 1 banana
 ¼ cup rolled oats
 1 tsp cocoa powder
 1 tsp flaxseeds meal
  tsp ground cinnamon
 1 cup soy milk or almond milk
 1 tsp honey

Directions

1

This breakfast smoothie is the perfect way to start your morning. It's filled with good stuffs: coffee, oats, flaxseeds, and bananas. It will rise your energy level up thanks to coffee and banana and make you feel full until lunch time thanks to oats and flaxseeds.

Breakfast Coffee Smoothie

Get the recipe here

Pistachio, Coffee & Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

These irresistible cookies are also healthy. Indeed, pistachios are loaded with potassium, magnesium, and fibers. Plus, dark chocolate and coffee will boost you and improve your cognitive function.

Prep Time15 minsCook Time10 minsTotal Time25 mins
Ingredients
 1 cup unsalted butter
 1 tsp instant coffee granules
 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
 ½ cup granulated sugar
 1 tsp vanilla
 2 eggs
 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
 1 tsp baking soda
 ¼ tsp salt
 ¾ cup pistachios, shells removed
 1 ½ cups dark chocolate chunks

Ingredients

Ingredients
 1 cup unsalted butter
 1 tsp instant coffee granules
 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
 ½ cup granulated sugar
 1 tsp vanilla
 2 eggs
 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
 1 tsp baking soda
 ¼ tsp salt
 ¾ cup pistachios, shells removed
 1 ½ cups dark chocolate chunks

Directions

1

These irresistible cookies are also healthy. Indeed, pistachios are loaded with potassium, magnesium, and fibers. Plus, dark chocolate and coffee will boost you and improve your cognitive function.

Pistachio, Coffee & Brown Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Get the recipe here

Coffee Coconut Ice Cream

This amazing ice cream is vegan and gluten free. Plus it's creamy and the sweetness of vanilla and coconut milk offset the bold coffee. It's low sugar, and full of good foods 🙂

Prep Time45 minsCook Time5 minsTotal Time50 mins
Ingredients
 3 ½ cans of quality full-fat coconut milk
 ½ cup raw sugar, depending on preferred sweetness
 ¾ cup strong brewed coffee
 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract

Ingredients

Ingredients
 3 ½ cans of quality full-fat coconut milk
 ½ cup raw sugar, depending on preferred sweetness
 ¾ cup strong brewed coffee
 1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions

1

This amazing ice cream is vegan and gluten free. Plus it's creamy and the sweetness of vanilla and coconut milk offset the bold coffee. It's low sugar, and full of good foods 🙂

Coffee Coconut Ice Cream

Get the recipe here

Vanilla Beans Ice Coffee

This is the perfect drink to wake you up in the morning or to boost you during your afternoon. It's low in sugar and calories. It's definitively a go-to drink for the ice coffee lovers!

Prep Time15 minsCook Time15 minsTotal Time30 mins
Ingredients
 1 cup whole coffee beans
 45 cups coconut water or water
 1 can full-fat coconut milk
 1 whole vanilla bean, seeds removed
 24 tsp honey or coconut sugar

Ingredients

Ingredients
 1 cup whole coffee beans
 45 cups coconut water or water
 1 can full-fat coconut milk
 1 whole vanilla bean, seeds removed
 24 tsp honey or coconut sugar

Directions

1

This is the perfect drink to wake you up in the morning or to boost you during your afternoon. It's low in sugar and calories. It's definitively a go-to drink for the ice coffee lovers!

Vanilla Beans Ice Coffee

Get the recipe here