Coffee: Friend or Foe?

October 1, 2013 12:00 pm0 comments

Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love.”
– A Turkish proverb

Coffee is the substance that has made all nighters possible, made breakfast charming, and is even placed within the desert category at times. But this beverage has also been the topic of a debate for quite some time now: is coffee good or bad for you? What are the real effects of coffee on the body? Even, what exactly is coffee?

According to legend, coffee was discovered by an Ethiopian goat herder by the name of Kaldi who observed that his goats were acting particularly hyper after eating some berries (those of which were in actuality the coffee bean we know today). After being converted into a beverage, coffee soon spread throughout the Middle East and then later to the rest of the western world. Interestingly enough, coffee was banned from certain religions and was thought to be an evil intoxicant for a time. After Pope Clement VIII blessed the dark liquid instead of condemning it, however, coffee’s fame spread quickly throughout the the west. Presently, coffee is the second most consumed liquid in the world with water being the first … so yeah, people like their coffee.

Enough of the history lesson, what about the coffee here on Arcadia’s campus? Unfortunately there is no Starbucks within walking distance, but through personal coffee makers, Easton Cafe, and the Nestle machine in the Chat, students are still able to get their early morning (or late night) caffeine fix. While some students can’t live without coffee, others avoid it like the plague. One of the main reasons why students do or don’t drink coffee is because of a taste preference, but for supporters it’s usually for the caffeine, and for the avoiders it’s the headache they get afterwards.

After some extended research, it seems as though coffee can actually be good for you… in moderation, of course. Studies have shown that caffeine can help reduce the risk of diabetes, gallstones, Parkinson’s disease, and liver disease. But, like any form of excess, if you consume too much, there can be bad addictive side effects as well as headaches and sluggishness. All in all, keep making that cup of joe, just don’t keep filling it up the moment it’s empty.


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