This coming Friday is a National Day of Observance, honor, appreciation, and for many, perhaps, what they think is the most important one for the whole year….a special day dedicated to the one thing that some people claim is their reason to get out of bed in the morning. It’s also a celebration of something that brings people together, and is a cross-cultural beloved tradition, shared between all socio-economic classes. What is Friday? National Coffee Day (Not to be confused with International Coffee Day on October 1st).
Coffee is ranked as the second and sometimes third most popular drink in the world, coming in only second to water and sometimes tea. Its rich history dates back centuries to the famous beans that have been roasted, ground, and produced that famously aromatic drink known around the globe. The cultivation, processing, and savoring of coffee has evolved over time, leading to the establishment of coffeehouses, cafes, and various brewing methods. People no longer must wait in line for lattes or drinks one could only imagine a barista could make, with at-home coffee makers, espresso machines, single cup makers, cold brewing, French press, and pour-over coffee opportunities. You can make your own coffee dreams come true right in your own kitchen! However, coffee has played a vital role in the economies of several countries, providing employment opportunities for millions of people involved in its cultivation, harvesting, processing, and exportation. National Coffee Day encourages consumers to support fair trade practices and sustainable farming methods that benefit both producers and consumers. Here in Vermont, we even have our own ethically sourced coffee roasting companies too!
While people are obsessing about their favorite drink and whether they want it iced, hot, shaken, or stirred, coffee does have some health benefits that exceed its caffeinated power. Studies show caffeine isn’t always just about feeling energized, it can also improve your cognitive function and enhance mental alertness. Additionally, coffee’s antioxidants are suggested to help protect against cell damage and inflammation in the body and may be linked to a lower risk of certain types of cancer, diabetes, and other illnesses. This has increased the utilization of coffee in body scrubs, face masks, and supplements that showcase the special bean.
However, like all good things, there are disadvantages that can come from this beloved beverage. The first is, it’s most treasured attribute, caffeine! Caffeine isn’t something we need or should have unlimited quantities of, and some people need to limit or restrict caffeine altogether. If you have been adding in extra sips, or cups or maybe devouring the whole pot, notice if you’ve had an increased heart rate, elevated blood pressure, or are feeling anxious or newly disrupted sleep patterns. It may be from your mug. Coffee is also highly acidic and can impact your teeth, and stomach and bring on acid reflux or stomach ulcers. Medical News Today, (www.medicalnewstoday.com) reminds us, “A moderate intake of coffee may enhance weight loss, cognitive function, and alertness. Caffeine may have a negative impact on pregnancy, fertility, glucose control, and other aspects of health. Moderation is key in small doses.” More isn’t best!
In addition, coffee can be used outside the body to celebrate each other, build new relationships, bring comfort, or just say hey, “I see you!” When someone offers you a warm drink, it’s like a warm hug to the soul. Or a cold iced coffee on a hot day can make someone your new best friend. When having hard meetings, meeting someone for the first time, or bringing new groups together, a cup of a shared drink can give people something familiar to soothe themselves, and a common “ground,” to build on. Maybe you don’t know how to say, “I would like to talk to you about that game you missed last night,” but you can say, “How’s the coffee” to start the conversation. Maybe you don’t know how to console a loved one or friend, but you can say, “Here drink this.” Maybe you need something to bring warmth or coolness to yourself, and you can do it all with one sip from these little beans. Perhaps that’s why this day is so popular. To the coffee lovers or the world, Happy National Coffee Day! May we use it to bring more people together for the greater good, maybe even ourselves, through these commonly loved grounds!
Director Of The Wellness Center