Coffee, the drink that fuels America. Many of us would be lost without our morning cup, in fact recent polls show that Americans drink 1.64 cups per day on average. Whether you are one of those people, or someone who prefers tea, there is no denying that coffee is a staple drink that isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. In addition to just waking us up in the morning, coffee is thought to have many health benefits.
Health Benefits of Coffee?
It may sound too good to be true, but even Harvard concurs (with moderation). The possible health benefits of drinking coffee include:
- A decreased risk of cardiovascular issues, including a lower risk of heart attack and stroke.
- A lower risk of type 2 diabetes
- A reduced chance for uterine and liver cancer
Additionally studies suggest that 3 to 5 cups a day can slow cognitive degeneration, which leads to a 65% decrease in the risk of developing debilitating afflictions like dementia or Alzheimer’s. While an over consumption of coffee isn’t going to do you any favors, all good things come with moderation, and in many studies the pros outweigh the cons.
Is Black Coffee Healthier?
Drinking coffee black does have benefits over cream and sugar. One such benefit is lower calories, this can be significant if you are seeking to lose weight. However, black coffee also has a higher acidity, and with nothing to dilute it, it can cause heartburn in those with a sensitivity to acidic foods. Though, when polled 35% of people had a preference for black coffee, as opposed to 65% that enjoy cream or sugar. So really it all comes down to personal preference. While it would seem that black coffee could be healthier, adding sugar or cream is certainly not detrimental to your health in the least. (Provided it is in moderation!)
What About the Different Types?
Go into any coffee shop and you will see a plethora of choices to select. Here’s a rundown of some of the more popular selections:
- Espresso. You’ve probably heard of this one before. Usually served in smaller quantities, it has a slightly thicker consistency than regular coffee. The taste is strong and robust, when consumed on its own, and it is used in the making of lattes, macchiatos, and cappuccinos.
- Latte. These drinks can be made hot or iced, and are a mixture of milk, steamed if hot, and espresso. Because of the amount of milk used, it tends to be creamier than traditional coffee.
- Macchiato. Literally meaning ‘marked’ in Italian, this drink is made similar to a latte. There are two forms of this drink; an espresso Macchiato, and a latte macchiato. The espresso macchiato has a higher espresso content, and a stronger flavor, as opposed to the latte macchiato that is espresso atop a higher content of milk. Unlike the latte, this drink is not mixed.
- Cappuccino. Once again similar to a latte, this drink has much more foam atop it. Perfectly made the ratios should be equal 1/3 parts espresso, milk, and foam (layered accordingly). This drink falls in between a latte and straight espresso, as it’s neither as creamy, nor as strong as either.
While all of this might seem intimidating, don’t be afraid to branch out and try something different. 150 million Americans, the equivalent of half the U.S. population, drink a combination of the aforementioned specialty coffees. Don’t be afraid to try one for yourself, it may turn out to be your new favorite!
Coffee is a staple drink across the world. Hundreds of combinations exist, and millions of Americans turn to it each day as a pick me up. Some people love it and some people hate it, in the end it is up to personal preference. So, whether you drink it black, with cream and sugar, or not at all, I think we can all agree; coffee is la-notte going anywhere.