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A Pilgrim Smuggled Coffee Beans To India: The Intriguing History behind the Development of Coffee Culture

India’s first coffee house opened in Calcutta after the battle of Plassey in 1780

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best time to drink coffee
Do you prefer a cup of coffee every morning to wake your body up? Experts say that is an unhealthy practice. Pixabay
  • Coffee was kept as an Arab monopoly in Ethiopia and was traded in roasted form
  • The beans were introduced on the Malabar coast by Arab traders
  • The coffee plantations developed in numerous amounts in south India and were soon hit by an illness

New Delhi, August 19, 2017: Indians adore their coffee and tea. Both drinks, however, are not indigenous to the country and foreigners introduced them to us. While British presented tea, coffee beans have an all the more intriguing story.

The coffee saga has an act of rebellion. In the seventeenth century, a Sufi saint named Baba Budan went to Mecca on a pilgrimage. Upon landing in Mecca, he discovered that coffee was found a century sooner in Ethiopia, was kept as an Arab monopoly and was just traded in roasted form. Budan chose to oppose this and sewed a few seeds into his robes. He was excluded from checking while on his return to India, as he was a saint. Upon his arrival in the nation, Budan planted seven seeds in 1670 in Chikmagalur.

ALSO READ: Indian researchers: Coffee won’t give extra heart beats

However, numerous food historians believe that Budan was not the first person to acquaint coffee beans to the subcontinent. In Hazel Colaco’s book ‘A Cache To Coffee’, she wrote that the coffee beans were introduced much earlier on the Malabar coast by Arab traders.

Edward Terry, a British man in Jahangir’s court, wrote in 1616, “Many of the people there (in India), who are strict in their religion, drink no wine at all; but they use a liquor, more wholesome than pleasant, they call coffee, made by a black seed boiled in water, which turns it almost into the same colour, but doth very little alter the taste of the water.” He noted that notwithstanding it helps to cleanse the blood, helps in digestion and to accelerate the spirits, mentioned topyaps.com website.

Soon, the trade of coffee beans started across the world with the race being led by Ottoman Empire. The plantations developed in numerous amounts in south India and were soon hit by an illness. “Coffee rust” started to affect the growth of the plant which prompted increasing imports from South America. By WWI, coffee acreage declined and cleared a path for research.

The Great Depression too halted its popularity which caused the British to advertise for boosting this beverage’s sale. Walter Thompson, the advertisers, recommended the companies to establish coffee shops in Indian cities, therefore creating the base of a great culture of coffee-drinking in high societies and major Indian cities.

A food historian named David Burton, in his book called ‘The Raj at the Table’ wrote, “India’s first coffee house opened in Calcutta after the battle of Plassey in 1780. Soon after, John Jackson and Cottrell Barrett opened the original Madras Coffee House, which was followed in 1792 by the Exchange Coffee Tavern at the Madras Fort.”

He wrote about how the proprietor of the latter enterprise of the latter said that he had decided to operate on the lines of London’s Lloyd’s, by keeping a record of the ships’ arrival as well as departure and offering European and Indian newspapers to his customers for reading. Other houses too offered free utilization of billiard tables, recouping their expenses by the high rate of 1 rupee for a one coffee dish.

Soon, a new, more-resistant, type of the seed known as s795 Arabica was developed, which changed the course of food history. Indian coffee developed quickly with advancement in irrigation and technology and Green Revolution.

Indian filter coffee was made famous by Indian Coffee Houses, operated by the Coffee Board of India, in the 1940s. In the 20th century, the Indian filter coffee migrated to Singapore and Malaysia with Indian Muslims where it is now well known as ‘Kopi tarik‘.

– prepared by Harsimran Kaur of NewsGram. Twitter Hkaur1025

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Intake of Coffee can Reduce the risk of Death for Kidney Patients

Drinking Coffee may increase the lifespan of patients with chronic kidney disease.

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Drinking Coffee reduces mortality in Kidney patients
Drinking Coffee reduces mortality in Kidney patients. Pixabay
  • Want to live longer? Charge up on your cup of coffee. According to a study, caffeine consumption may prolong the lifespan of patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Drinking coffee can Reduce mortality 

The findings showed a dose-dependent inverse association between caffeine and all-cause mortality.

People who had the highest intake of coffee had 24 percent lower risks of dying, while those in the second, third quartile of caffeine consumption had 12 percent and 22 percent lower risk.

“These results suggest that advising patients with CKD to drink more caffeine may reduce their mortality. This would represent a simple, clinically beneficial, and inexpensive option,” said Miguel Bigotte Vieira from Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Norte, in Portugal.

However, “this benefit should ideally be confirmed in a randomised clinical trial”, Vieira added.

For the study, the team examined the association of caffeine consumption with mortality among 2328 patients with CKD. The results will be presented at the ongoing ASN Kidney Week 2017 in New Orleans.

Moreover, this observational study cannot prove that drinking coffee reduces the risk of death in patients with CKD, but only suggests the possibility of such a protective effect, Vieira stressed.

Drinking coffee can also reduce diabetes risk, revealed a reported in the American Chemical Society Journal of Natural Products.(IANS)

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When Is The Best Time To Drink Coffee?

Coffee is rich in caffeine which is known to wake your body and boost energy levels. But is there a specific time when our body needs caffeine?

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best time to drink coffee
Do you prefer a cup of coffee every morning to wake your body up? Experts say that is an unhealthy practice. Pixabay

New Delhi, October 13, 2017 : Every morning as you are jostled out of sleep by your alarm, do you unconsciously crave for coffee? ‘Caffeine is just what I need to wake my body and begin my day with rising energy levels, so why not?’ you ask yourself.

Coffee is rich in caffeine which is known to wake your body and boost energy levels. But how does this happen?

How Does Caffeine Affect Sleep?

Caffeine is known to block adenosine receptors in the brain.

For easier understanding, adenosine is a nervous system depressant that transmits signals to our mind that the body is tired and needs rest, and has a slowing, calming effect on the brain.

When caffeine obstructs the production of adenosine, the brain interprets it as an ‘active period’ of the body and begins secreting adrenaline. This is characterized by the several effects of caffeine on the body that include increase in body temperature, blood pressure, sugar levels and an increase in heart rate.

ALSO READ Increasing coffee intake bad for your brain : Study

Additionally, the body also begins to produce dopamine in such a situation, the hormone responsible for mood elevation.

All these factors together work to prevent the body from falling asleep.

Coffee is your savior. And you are doing everything right –you are having rich, steaming coffee, completely devoid of sugar, milk or creamer (because that is the best way to have coffee for health; you had read so in the weekly health magazine). But did you ever wonder if you are having coffee when you should be? When is the best time to drink coffee? 

What, the practice is time conscious!?!

Yes, according to experts, there is a defined best time to drink coffee. And turns out we have all been unaware about it, which is why we have not been availing maximum benefits of the caffeine-rich drink.

A common behavior is to have a cup of coffee first thing in the morning in order to wake your body up. However, our body produces the largest amount of a hormone called cortisol immediately after we wake up, which is responsible for making us feel awake and alert.

Cortisol is known to increase the effect of caffeine in the body. While no two people can be the same, cortisol levels typically are the highest when you wake up. Additionally, the body is known to release cortisol between 8-9 am, 12-1 pm and 5:30-6:30 pm. This means, your body might be ‘naturally caffeinated’ at the time when you are usually having your first cup of coffee.

best time to drink coffee
Craving a cuppa every morning? Pixabay

A cuppa in the given hours will not be the best time to drink coffee. Still wondering why?

Consuming coffee in the given hours will dilute the effects of the caffeine, as cortisol will already be working to wake the system up. This will eventually lead to the tolerance to caffeine in your body and you will hence be forced to have more and more quantities of coffee to wake you up, which is in turn an unhealthy practice.

Cortisol, commonly known to many as the stress hormone, is associated with anxiety, fear and fatigue. Thus, doubling the cortisol levels with a cup of coffee will make you anxious and stressed. We are sure that is not how you want to feel like.

When Is The Best Time To Drink Coffee?

Experts suggest that you should have coffee when the body is producing low levels of cortisol – about three to four hours after waking up.

In an interview with CNBC, Certified dietitian and nutritionist Lisa Lisiewski suggested that the best time to drink coffee might be around mid-morning or early afternoon. “That’s when your cortisol levels are at their lowest and you actually benefit from the stimulant itself”, she said.

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International Coffee Day: Let’s Debunk Some Coffee Myths

Debunking some coffee myths on the occasion of International Coffee Day

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International Coffee Day
Coffee. Pixabay

Oct 1, 2017: Who does not like waking up to the delicious aroma of coffee? Coffee has become one of the main constituents of people’s lives. Thus the International Coffee day celebrates coffee lovers all over the world. Coffee comes in several different types like a latte, cappuccino, espresso, iced, black, decaf and much more. No matter what type of coffee lover you are, International Coffee Day is always here to memorialize your affection for coffee.

Coffee has often symbolized the new beginnings of friendships and relationships. This brown liquid and its rich aroma have become the most favored drink worldwide. Recently people have started paying more attention to their health and have made a list of food that should and should not be consumed. Coffee often falls in the not to consume category. This is because of the several myths surrounding our favorite drink.

Let’s invalidate these myths on the occasion of International Coffee Day.

Coffee leads to insomnia

The first myth being that a cup of coffee in the afternoon will cause insomnia. The main ingredient in coffee is caffeine. Though it is true that too much of caffeine causes insomnia but if it is consumed in the afternoon, it is usually processed by the liver in 4 to 7 hours and is flushed out of the system, it cannot lead to insomnia. Even if the second cup coffee is consumed at 2 pm, it has already been flushed out of the body.

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Richness of Coffee. Pixabay

Coffee helps in losing weight

Another myth that is frequently associated with coffee is that drinking coffee helps in losing weight.  This may not be completely a myth according to some experts. The caffeine may lead to the slight rise in the metabolism, but it’s not enough for losing weight long term.  Experts have realized that coffee is not as harmful as they thought it to be.

Coffee sobers up drunkards

One of the myths that have recently made rounds with the coffee addicts is the fact that a cup of coffee sobers up drunken people. The direct answer to this myth would be no.  Coffee does not sober up drunken people. Though the caffeine may make the intoxicated person much more alert it does not reverse the effect of the alcohol.  This has been proved by the American Psychological Association. They report that “It is made worse for these people. People who have consumed both alcohol and caffeine feel that they are competent enough to handle socially dangerous situations like drinking and driving.

Coffee increases height

The next myth that is famous among the coffee drinkers is the fact that coffee stunts the growth of an individual. There is no scientific evidence to prove that this is true. There have been cases where the coffee addicts have not grown more than 5 feet in height. This is mere coincidence and nothing else.  This is nothing but an urban legend and nobody knows how it came to existence.

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Coffee Beans. Pixabay

Caffeine is highly addictive

Last but not the least, there is a myth which says that caffeine is highly addictive and the withdrawal effects of caffeine are worse than the withdrawal effect of illegal narcotics.  The first part of the myth is partially true. Caffeine is not highly addictive but it is addictive to a certain extent. However, the second part of the myth is nothing but poppycock. The withdrawal symptoms of caffeine last only for two or three days maximum and extremely far from the withdrawal symptoms of the illegal drugs.

Prepared by Saloni Hindocha of Newsgram