I met someone years ago. Her name is Coffea arabica, but she is known as Coffee. Coffee and I started our relationship more than 7 years ago. The relationship started out light and without the intention of commitment. I wish I had known Coffee’s intentions of being a lifetime partner rather than a summer fling. I could have seen the signs if I wasn’t so closed minded.
Nowadays I wake up to Coffee, and whenever I’m in the need of someone to give me a boost I have my Coffee. Some people call it an obsession, but they are wrong. It isn’t an obsession, it’s an addiction. Unhealthy addiction? I wouldn’t say so. Healthy addiction? I wouldn’t say so. Life needs moderation. Even the healthiest things in life can become unhealthy with extreme overuse or over consumption.
So I was thinking about how close Coffee and I have become. Our relationship started blooming 3 years after we had met. Every year Coffee brings me white flowers and red ripe fruit. Coffee continues to show me her strength through each year with her towering structure hard as wood. The ripples of her muscle tissue run the length of her fine narrow structure. Coffee’s limbs can reach beyond all of my short stumpy limbs.
Now you might be wondering what it is about the coffee tree I want. Well the main attraction is the beans. The beans are the dried seed from the coffee cherry. This is done annually and the cherries are usually picked manually due to the inconsistent maturation of the coffee cherries. Therefore, my coffee gives me a gift each year. The fruit covering is removed and the beans are dried on asphalt cement or mechanical dryers. My Coffee usually gives me flavoured beans; yum, vanilla and hazelnut. These beans are flavoured in a mixer that tumbles the beans without damaging then and then sprays them evenly with a pressurized spray mechanism. An interesting thing about Coffee is that I don’t usually get to see Coffee; usually I only get to see Coffee’s gifts for me. Coffee stays in climates that range 15 – 30 °C in temperature and with only 1500 -3000 mm of rain each year. Another environment Coffee prefers is elevations between 600 – 1200 meters above sea level. Coffee spends most of her time in South America.
When I really thought about how well we knew each other, I came to the realization that Coffee knew me better than I knew Coffee. Unfortunately I have been naive in thinking I knew Coffee from the inside out. I didn’t know Coffee’s family, the secrets, and lies. In order to overcome this gap in our relationship, I had to do some research and asking. To begin with, I asked where Coffee’s ancestors came from, Rubiaceae. Coffee has a few ancestors but they said their first ancestors came from Arabia in 900 C.E. Wow, Coffee’s family has been around longer than I thought. It didn’t stop there no, it turns out my Coffee has a lot more relatives than I knew were possible. First of all, my Coffea arabica has a cousin, Coffea Robusta, and she didn’t think it was relevant to tell me. I have probably met Rubusta before and didn’t know it was a cousin of my Arabica. Not only that, Coffea arabica has a sibling, decaffeinated Coffee; a dark side 0.8 – 1.4 % caffeine, Arabica, with a light side with less than 0.02% caffeine. While decaffeinated coffee can occur naturally in Ethiopia, decaffeinated coffee is usually manufactured industrially through the process of GMO’s.
At this point, I was ready to break off the relationship. I had had enough of the secrets. I thought in relationships we were supposed to tell each other everything. I suppose that’s what I get, from being in a relationship with the drug influenced Coffee. Her sibling does not possess the drug aspect, and would be the better or safer side to be on.
The research and questions I wanted answered brought one answer I wasn’t sure I wanted. I am not Coffee’s only one; Coffee has been disloyal this whole time as she is the number one consumed beverage in the world. Defeated, yes I have been by my own lack of knowledge. It’s off I said.
A few days went by and I thought of the pros and cons of everything I had found compared to what I knew before. Coffee contains phenolic acids which contain antioxidant properties. Coffee has been shown to lower the risk of some types of cancers. Coffee has been shown to protect against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Moderate intake of Coffee can lower the risk of diabetes, stroke, liver disease, and heart attacks. Moreover, if you have Coffee Turkish style or the French Press way, you actually increase LDL cholesterol levels, which is good cholesterol. With the help of filtered Coffee, this actually stops the diterpenes from passing through the filter into the Coffee.
As a result of all of the research, I knew I had to make a decision and tell coffee what I had decided; to live with, or without her. My conclusion was moderation. Coffee doesn’t have to be the only one; I can get to know decaffeinated Coffee. I don’t need to live in fear of the dark side; I can spread my risk by drinking Coffee and her sibling. Coffee and I decided to continue our relationship, but keep it open to change and the option of altering anytime.
We all have unique relationships. Like our finger prints, our relationships are different than anyone else’s relationships. Our unique relationships can be with people, material things and especially food. We might not know about them, or might not consider them relationships. However, they are there, in the background and should be brought forward. Are they bad or are they good relationships? They can even be indifferent if you have yet to consider it a relationship. Do you really know what it is you ingest? Have you ever done research to find out? You might be dealing with deceit from the very product you eat for energy. They all have secrets; it is up to you to figure them out. Is it truly what you want? Are you okay with what you’ve exposed?
Food industries are not out to do what is right; they are out there to make money. Therefore, what you eat could possibly be harmful to you. We shouldn’t continue to stroll around the world with blindfolds on when the blindfolds can be so easily untied. Unfortunately, like the cat, curiosity might not take you where you want to go and you may not be able to come back to where you started. But in this case, food industries should not control you. You should make the effort to decide what is best and what is not best for your life and your lifestyle. I have found out things about coffee that I did not know before, and what I learned is that I should only consume it in moderation. It doesn’t need to be a necessity.
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