Coffee Break: Health Benefits and Dangers

A man quietly observes birds consuming berries from a plant and concludes that the berries made the birds ‘spirited’ after consumption. Eventually, the observer decides to eat the berries and he finds that they have indeed had an energizing effect on him, so he sets out to find new ways to consume the berries.

This legend about coffee’s origins has been told on all continents, although sometimes goats are mentioned as the coffee-berry eating species. Shortly after the coffee berry had been determined as fit for human consumption, the Arabs were credited with roasting and grinding them into grounds that can be added to boiling water resembling the beverage that many modern day coffee connoisseurs drink. From this process, coffee roasters and brewers have focused on producing a beverage that contains the robust flavor people expect from their coffee beverages.

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Over the years, health journals have published studies pointing to coffee consumption as the reason for sharper memories, fighting specific cancers in the human body and lowering the risk of death. Coffee has also been lauded for its antioxidant properties and has become the highest source of these properties in an American diet; no higher antioxidant source is consumed than that derived from coffee by the majority of inhabitants within the United States.

Coffee consumption is now, conversely, being viewed as a beverage that may increase an individual’s risk of high cholesterol and high blood pressure. The Baylor College of Medicine Journal published research showing how a chemical named “Cafestol” elevates a human’s cholesterol level by interfering with receptors in the body that control these levels. Additionally,  large amounts of Cafestol consumption may contribute to the risk of stroke as well.

Espresso Latte With Leaf Design by the Barista

Which coffee drinkers are more susceptible to the risks of high cholesterol levels and blood pressure? The answer points to the large group of coffee connoisseurs in the U.S. who take the coffee brewing process so seriously that it is almost an art form. The most sought after coffee beverages by connoisseurs are prepared by French Press, Espresso machines and by boiling fine grounds with other ingredients, such as Turkish coffee, and by utilizing the Scandinavian brewing process. Each of these beverage processes contains extremely high levels of Cafestol while remarkably, in contrast, the often snubbed “Drip System” coffee brews are the healthiest way one can consume a coffee beverage as they contain very low levels of Cafestol. This is due to the fact that Drip Systems use filters to hold coffee grounds while hot water is added slowly to travel down into a carafe that holds the brew. During this process, the majority Cafestol found in coffee beans is trapped in the filter — leaving the drinker with a pleasant-tasting brew that contains the healthy properties mentioned above, but is devoid of risks for high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Automatic Coffee Drip System (Moccamaster) 

This news may make it very difficult for coffee connoisseurs around the world to adjust their richer and stronger flavor-demanding palates to drinking Drip System coffee beverages. However, it is recommended that every coffee drinker become mindful of how his or her coffee is brewed. Otherwise, the ‘spirited’ aspects of these beverages may not be the only rise one will experience when enjoying that special brew.



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