Thursday February 21, 2019

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

Next Story

Here’s How The Microbes Help You Make a Perfect Cup of Coffee

Besides lactic acid bacteria, other micro-organisms that play a role during wet coffee fermentation include enterobacteria, yeasts, acetic acid bacteria, bacilli and filamentous fungi. But it is still not known how most bacteria influence this process, De Vuyst said

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A barista pours steamed milk into a cup of coffee at a cafe in Los Angeles, Sept. 22, 2017. State health officials proposed a regulation change Friday that would declare coffee doesn't present a significant cancer risk, countering a California court ruling.
A barista pours steamed milk into a cup of coffee at a cafe in Los Angeles, Sept. 22, 2017. State health officials proposed a regulation change Friday that would declare coffee doesn't present a significant cancer risk, countering a California court ruling. VOA

Ever wondered what makes your coffee taste good? It’s the microbes, finds a study.

The study showed that lactic acid bacteria which help in the longer fermentation of coffee beans results in better taste, contrary to conventional wisdom.

“A cup of coffee is the final product of a complex chain of operations: farming, post-harvest processing, roasting and brewing,” said lead investigator Luc De Vuyst, Professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, in Belgium.

There are several variants of post-harvest processing, among which wet processing and dry processing are the most common. Wet processing — commonly used for Arabica and specialty coffees — is the step that includes fermentation.

The research, published in the Applied and Environmental Microbiology journal, was carried out at an experimental farm in Ecuador. The team found that during extended fermentation, leuconostocs — a genus of lactic acid bacteria used in the fermentation of cabbage to sauerkraut and in sourdough starters — declined in favour of lactobacilli.

coffee
Hot coffee contains more antioxidants than cold coffee. Pixabay

Lactic acid bacteria were already present before fermentation, and these acid tolerant lactobacilli proliferated even more during this process.

“It is challenging to draw a causal link between the microbiota and the volatile compounds in the beans — those compounds that contribute to the coffee’s smell — since many of these compounds can be of microbial, endogenous bean metabolism, or chemical origin,” De Vuyst said.

But De Vuyst noted that the microbial communities, in particular the lactic acid bacteria, showed an impact.

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It may have “had a protective effect toward coffee quality during fermentation because of their acidification of the fermenting mass, providing a stable microbial environment and hence preventing growth of undesirable micro-organisms that often lead to off-flavours,” he said.

Besides lactic acid bacteria, other micro-organisms that play a role during wet coffee fermentation include enterobacteria, yeasts, acetic acid bacteria, bacilli and filamentous fungi. But it is still not known how most bacteria influence this process, De Vuyst said. (IANS)