Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Coffee: Friend or Enemy?

Nowadays, people are confronted to many issues regarding our society because industrial companies are developing themselves. By expanding their inventions, citizens are bombarded with many new products and they do not recognize the good things. One of the most basic but important product that we use everyday is the coffee. Does it belong among our friends or enemies? Throughout the past years, numerous researches have been uploaded with new information about this product. Coffee is actually a great item for consumption when it is used in consideration and not in excessive amounts.

Even though the coffee is becoming a controversial subject because of the caffeine it contains, many companies have found their success by selling all types of coffee. By naming a few in the international scape, there is Second Cup, Juan Vandez Coffee, Tim Horton’s and especially Starbucks.

What is Starbucks? When did the story from Starbucks begin? Almost everyone tasted once in their life the famous cups of coffee from Starbucks. Today, it is rated as one of the most famous cups all around the world. This company opened its doors in 1971 in Seattle's Pike Place Market, Washington in the United States. However, the Director of Retail Operations and Marketing of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, got inspired from espresso bars in Milan and therefore, the style of the coffee shop changed. Then, in 1996, Starbucks opened its first store over the ocean outside of North America, in Japan. Some years ago, in 1999, this growing coffee shop became partner with the Conservation International to progress its business by using environmentally-friendly methods to collect the coffee. In addition, last year in 2009, Starbucks was upgraded to be the world’s largest buyer of Fair Trade Certified(tm)

This was a quick overview of the history of Starbucks and this explains why today, there are 15 000 stores in 50 countries all over the world and it is rated as the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee.

Starbucks is one of the most popular gathering places because of its inviting atmosphere for people can buy many types of coffee and also pastries. However, even if this company is selling many various products, the main one is coffee.

Nevertheless, is coffee good for our health or should we avoid this controversial product? Researches at Harvard on over 120 000 people indicates that drinking one or three cups of caffeinated coffee each day may decrease the risk of many disease like diabetes, Parkinson's (80%), liver cirrhosis (80%), colon cancer (25%), gallstones (50%), Alzheimer's, kidney stones and it can also fight against asthma symptoms. Moreover, a recent study revealed that caffeine by being a great stimulant is promoting attention, wakefulness and mental perform.

However, there is also a negative side on the consummation of coffee. For instance, consumers who are drinking caffeinated coffee on a regular basis are vulnerable for heart disease because of the cholesterol-raising effect. In addition, there are some affects on the blood pressure, the heart rhythm which can become irregular or rapid and so on. All of these impacts can decrease the quality of sleep, dehydration and dependence. Yes, it might be surprising to see that coffee can be a cause of dependence but even though The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concluded that coffee is a safe product, caffeine is still recognized as a drug. The principal role of caffeine is to stimulate the nervous system and therefore, people can become dependant on the effect of caffeine. However, most people are not addicted to caffeine; therefore it is not a danger for everyone. This is why the Canadian government indicates that the healthiest method to drink coffee is to take only 450 milligrams of caffeine a day.

Over the past twenty years, more than 1900 studies discovered and examined the benefits and the negative effects of coffee, and overall the results are mostly positive.

"By and large, the studies show that coffee is far more beneficial than it is harmful," indicates Tomas DePaulis, PhD, researcher at Vanderbilt University's Institute for Coffee Studies, which has its own studies of coffee studies all around the globe.

To conclude this debate about the truth of coffee, researches assured the consumers that coffee is a good thing because it can, at varied rates, reduce the risk of developing several diseases. In fact, people who are using this product everyday are more protected than those who don't drink it at all. This is why coffee can be placed among our friends for its advantages and it is highly recommended to drink coffee from Starbucks because it has the best flavored cups.


Words by Ioana Capilnean; photos by Myriam Bourdon

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