Specialty Coffee Shops

That one simple beverage could generate so many romantic stores and so much business is amazing. Yet, since its inception, the dark and powerful liquid known as coffee has turned into quite a lucrative product.

There are many legends about the origin of the coffee bean, but the most reliable historians pinpoint its discovery to around 500 BC in Ethiopia. It is said that travelers then brought it to Arabia after observing the stimulating effects from the coffee plant berries, where it acquired its name.

The Renaissance gave birth not only to art and science, but also to the commercial production of that ?heathenish liquid,? as it would later be termed. By the late eighteenth century, both drinking popularity and plantations had spread to other parts such as Asia, Europe, the Middle East and South and North America and did not make exception for social class.

During these centuries, the health effects associated with coffee bordered along the lines of miraculous, but as with most proclaimed miracles, there is some fact upon which to base the claim.

Some research suggests that mammalian sperm swim faster and farther in fluid laced with coffee, based upon the theory that caffeine stimulates them to perform as such. One study at Harvard followed over 100,000 individuals for nearly twenty years and drew the conclusion that moderate consumption of caffeine can help reduce diabetes, while other studies show a reduction in cirrhosis of the liver and decreased severity of asthma.

The antioxidants in coffee have been touted as helping to keep hearts healthier, albeit there is still debate about whether the risks outweigh the benefits. Coffee is a diuretic, thus encouraging frequent urination. Some allege that caffeine stimulation affects the nervous system, particularly that it can result in long term degeneration of the nerves. Caffeine withdrawal can lead to poor sleeping habits.

But, for good, bad or a combination of both, coffee is not going anywhere anytime soon, if ever. Economics alone can basically guarantee that since coffee is a commodity only second in dollar sense to oil.

Whether traded on exchanges in New York, London or Hong Kong, with over four hundred billion cups of coffee consumed yearly, this black gold is only increasing in popularity. Total retails sales estimate at near nine billion dollars annually, although only ten to twenty percent of adults drink at least one cup daily varying by country. Adding in the grinders, brewers, roasters and cups that go along with the coffee product and the numbers are astounding.

With the rise in both basic coffee and specialty retail prices, coffee's future looks extremely bright and this is not just for specialty coffee shops like Starbucks. Home brewers and roasters can also brew a tasty espresso allowing the enjoyment of coffee flavors and blends to occur both in and outside the home, adding to the overall coffee industry. By adding just a few special ingredients, anyone can have a mocha, cappuccino or latte in just a few minutes in the comfort of their own home.

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