Coffee - Whats The Big Deal?

It is hard to believe that a humble bean could generate so many romantic tales about its origins yet also be at the heart of so much hard-headed business acumen. You can be assured that from its beginnings to its present market prowess that this aromatic, dark and pungent liquid has enriched and fascinated people from all walks the world over.

Legends abound about the birth of the coffee bean plant. We can find some reliable history that will put its beginnings in Ethiopia around 500 BC. People observed the stimulating effects of the plants berries. Wayward travelers would then bring these to Arabia and there coffee would acquire its name.

During the age of the Renaissance, scientific thought and the arts were growing popular. It was at this time that commercial production and world wide distribution of what some labeled 'that heathenish liquid' also began. We see that by the end of the 18th century plantations along with drinking popularity had spread to Asia, The Middle East, Europe, South and North America.

Over the course of the following centuries the health effects that were due to coffee certainly can seem miraculous. Lets find out some of the real facts based upon scientific research. A study from Harvard followed over 100,000 individuals for almost 20 years they came to the conclusion that general to moderate use of coffee products will assist diabetics. Other studies show that male sperm swims faster, longer and thus farther in liquids laced with coffee. These speedy sperm are being stimulated by the caffeine kick we all love.

As with wine, the antioxidants in coffee have been touted as helping keep hearts healthier, though debates rage about whether the pros outweigh the cons. Coffee is a diuretic and encourages more frequent urination, and some assert that the stimulation from caffeine leads to long term nerve degeneration. Caffeine withdrawal can lead to increased sleeplessness. And, caffeine is a natural insecticide.

But for good or ill - or both - coffee is here to stay. The economics alone virtually guarantee that, since as a commodity coffee is second only in dollar volume to oil. Whether traded on exchanges in London, New York, Hong Kong or Lima with over 400 billion cups consumed annually, this other 'black gold' only grows in popularity. It has been found that 63% of the world wide adults population drinks coffee occasionally, the total retail sales hovers near the $12 billion level annually.

Add to those figures the number of raw beans, grinders, roasters, brewers and cups bought for the home and the figures become astounding. With the rise in both basic commodity and specialty retail prices, the future for coffee businesses continues to look bright. Starbucks alone has over 10,000 outlets around the world.

And specialty coffee shops are not the only outlet for a wide choice of blends and styles. Home roasters and brewers also can enjoy espresso, invented in 1901 and growing ever since. Straight shots, long shots or double shots are a snap now with home machines.

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About The Author, Javica Holman
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