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Coffee - The Amazing Elixir for Young and Old
by Dr Anand T & Geeta N Pereira

February 26, 2009

As black as the devil,
As hot as hell,
As an Angel,
As Sweet as Love,

These words by Talley Rand (1812) describe coffee at its best.

Coffee as a natural beverage is consumed by both the young and the old. It acts as a companion to the senior citizens in times of stress and as a stimulant for the young and energetic. From its humble discovery centuries ago, coffee has today become quite an indispensable part of our lives. The morning cup of fresh coffee is sure to make one feel better, think better, work better and carry a positive attitude all day through. No wonder coffee is the world's most popular beverage, 400 billion cups consumed every year.

The word coffee, which first came to be used in the 1600s, comes from the Italian caffe. The term was introduced to Europe via the Ottoman Turkish kahveh which is in turn derived from the Arabic qahweh. Rev Edward Terry, chaplain to Sir Thomas Roe who was ambassador at the court of Emperor Jehangir, provides a detailed account of its usage (in 1616):

Many of the people there (in India), who are strict in their religion, drink no Wine at all; but they use a liquor more wholesome than pleasant, they call coffee; made by a black seed boiled in water, which turns it almost into the same colour, but doth very little alter the taste of the water: notwithstanding it is very good to help digestion, to quicken the spirits and to cleanse the blood.

Coffee and Health:

This article is specially written to help readers of Daijiworld understand the intrinsic value of coffee as a health beverage. Coffee contains over 300 naturally occurring base chemicals that act as powerful antioxidants. Worldwide research suggests that coffee consumption in moderation imparts numerous health benefits on the human immune system. Evidence also points out to the fact that coffee can avoid or cure or slowdown liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, heart diseases and degenerative brain disorders such as Parkinson’s disease. Coffee beans are known to contain thousands of compounds that exhibit a protective role in improving the human defense system and wards of danger… After all caffeine is a naturally occurring substance that has-been enjoyed by people from all walks of life.     

Health Benefits of Coffee:            

  • Moderate consumption of coffee helps reduce incidence of gallstones, liver cirrhosis and type 2 diabetes
  • Coffee caffeine is used in medicines because it tends to improve absorption and increases their pain killing effect
  • The aroma of roasted coffee beans can soothe frayed nerves
  • Coffee can enhance mood, mental and physical performance and alleviate fatigue
  • Coffee acts as a stimulant to the central nervous system. People who are sleep deprived; coffee improves memory and the ability to perform complex tasks
  • Caffeine is known to enhance endurance in aerobic activities
  • Coffee helps manage certain asthma’s and even control attacks when medication is unavailable. Caffeine is a bronchodilator which widens the airways and enables the individual to breathe more easily
  • Coffee can also play an important role in the prevention of cavities
  • Drinking more than three cups of coffee a day, protects, elderly women, against some age-related memory decline. Caffeine intake is associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Increases uptake of polyphenols by human erythrocytes thus protecting them from oxidant stress
  • Help preserve natural oxidants in the body such as vitamin E
  • Protects cell membranes
  • Caffeine reduces and heals acne breakouts
  • Caffeine reduces wrinkles on the skin and calms skin allergies   

Coffee: A Great Antioxidant:

Antioxidants are naturally occurring chemical compounds which impart a high degree of immunity to the human immune system and it has been proved beyond doubt that this natural beverage coffee decreases the generation of toxic-free radicals, thereby protecting the human body from various diseases.

Free radicals are produced within the body with the help of oxygen during metabolism. Oxygen is essential for all living beings. Without it, no life is possible. However, oxygen is also involved in toxic chemical reactions within the human defense system and is a threat to our well-being. Oxidants or active oxygen components cause damage to most beneficial organs leading to heart, muscular and other diseases. The antioxidants in coffee help to prevent postpone or limit the severity of many degenerative diseases of ageing, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, cataract, the age-related decline in the immune system and degenerative diseases of the nervous system by scavenging the free radicals. People who drink coffee with cream, milk or sugar can be rest assured that the quantity of antioxidants remain the same when compared to black coffee.

Coffee Facts:

  • Coffee is the world's most popular beverage. - 400 billion cups consumed every year
  • Coffee is actually a fruit
  • A single cup of coffee contains about 80-100 milligrams of caffeine (considered to be a healthy intake)
    The caffeine content which acts an s a stimulant is largely responsible for the world wide popularity of Coffee
  • Worldwide, 25 million small producers rely on coffee for a living
  • One roasted pound of coffee consists of around 2000 handpicked Arabica coffee cherry, with 2 beans per cherry. In simpler terms, it takes 4000 beans to make a single pound of coffee
  • A fully grown up coffee bush will produce only one pound of coffee per year (one growing season)
    A Robusta coffee bean has almost twice the caffeine of Arabica coffee beans
  • The country produces only 4 percent of the world's coffee, but exports 70-80 percent of its output
  • The Japanese have been known to bathe in coffee grounds fermented in pineapple pulp, for reducing wrinkles and improving the skin
  • In Italy, espresso is considered so essential to daily life, that until recently, the price was regulated by the Government
  • Raw coffee beans, soaked in water and spices, are chewed like candy in parts of Africa
  • Bach, the famous music composer wrote a coffee cantata in 1732
  • The heavy tea tax imposed on the colonies in 1773, which caused the Boston Tea Party, resulted in America switching from tea to coffee
  • In Greece and Turkey, the oldest person is almost always served coffee first
  • In the ancient Arab world, a law was enacted allowing for the marital separation, if a husband refused to produce coffee for his wife
  • Coffee was not immune to controversy during the early times, however. During the 13th to 17th centuries a person drinking coffee, or violating coffeehouse restrictions, in the Turkish Ottoman Empire (Turkey) could suffer punishment of severe beatings or even put to death
  • When coffee made its way to Italy during the 17th century it was labeled an invention of Satan and condemned by many local clergy as the devil’s drink. This label was forever lifted when Pope Clement VII baptized the beverage saying coffee is so delicious, it would be a pity to let the infidels have exclusive use of it
  • Large doses of coffee can be lethal. Ten grams or 100 cups over 4 hours can kill an average human being 

The Perfect Cup 

  • Make sure that any equipment you are using is thoroughly cleaned. Leftover residue, oils and grounds will leave strange flavors in your brew. Ideally, you should clean your coffee maker thoroughly at least once a week with a mixture of water and vinegar to remove the oils
  • Buy and start with fresh, quality coffee beans. No matter how good the coffee is, if it is stale it will be very flat
  • 98% of a cup of coffee is water. Bad water means bad coffee. Use fresh, clear water to prepare your coffee
  • Always grind your coffee, if possible, immediately before brewing. This will give a fresh taste and avoid bitter or stale flavours in the coffee
  • Make sure that the grind of the coffee that you are using matches your method and taste
  • Use the right amount of coffee. The most common mistake often made is that not using enough coffee, resulting in a thin cup that lacks depth of flavour, and does not have the distinctive qualities that help make each coffee unique. A good rule of thumb to make an excellent cup is two level tablespoons for each cup of coffee. For non-coffee drinkers this is strong, but everyone should start from this point, and then make adjustments to your taste
  • Coffee should be brewed "just off the boil", between 195 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit (95-98°C). If the coffee is brewed with boiling water, delicate flavors will be lost. If the water is not hot enough you will not extract all of the flavours from the coffee, ending up with a thinner cup
  • Warm your cup before pouring the coffee in; this keeps the coffee hot longer
  • Before serving, stir the coffee. Heavier oils and inconsistent extraction will cause differences in the consistency of the coffee
  • If you are making more than you intend to drink, store the coffee in a quality thermos. Leaving the brew in the coffee warmer will slowly destroy its flavours
  • Drink your coffee freshly brewed. Never reheat coffee, or let it sit on a warmer for more than 20 minutes. At best, it will taste dull and stale; at worst, it will develop a bitter, acrid flavor
  • Coffee beans are naturally sweet in flavour and that distinctive bitterness comes from extraction when hot water is added. As a general rule, the longer the coffee is brewed the more bitter the taste - as caffeine is extracted last of all. Prior to this there is an acidic flavour, which is why coffee made too quickly tastes thin and sour. It is advisable to drink the freshly brewed coffee within 15 minutes after brewing, during which time the active chemicals are retained


Recently there has been an upsurge in the interest on antioxidant potential of coffee. Scientific studies on the physiological and the health effects of caffeine often use between 250 mg and 600 mg of caffeine as representative of people’s average daily caffeine consumption. This level of intake presents no adverse effects to the human system. From the health point of view, it is becoming increasingly clear that drinking a moderate amount of up to 5 cups a day has a number of health benefits. Many diseases are due to the involvement of free radicals in the human system. Drinking coffee in moderation is a sure way of protecting and preventing against various diseases. The Institute for Coffee Studies (Nashville, USA) has carried out research in identifying the fundamental mechanisms underpinning the health benefits of coffee. The implications of such research clearly demonstrate the potential for new medications from natural constituents of coffee. 

Also See:

Comments on this article
Ansar, BangaloreSaturday, August 23, 2014
Dear Anand.
you are a great coffee man
Comment on this message     

fr J F Texeira, VirajpetSaturday, September 24, 2011
Dear Anand,
Thanks a lot for the information on coffee......the benefits of it , and the tips you have given while making the brew.....Hope you agree with me ...with the simple method of getting the brew by direct use of thermos flask is a short cut method???
Comment on this message     

A.S.Mathew, U.S.A.Wednesday, May 04, 2011
Great article. Perhaps we may not
have yet realized the great value
of the varities of coffee and tea
which can be found in many parts
of the world. Indeed, it is one
of the best special creation of
the Creator for humanity to enjoy
life every day.
Comment on this message     

Dipali Raval, Baroda, INDIAWednesday, June 09, 2010
Hi! Anjali:

This is a shot in the dark. But if you are reading this please email back ASAP to dipaliraval2006@yahoo.com. Mihali Raval Pandya is trying to reach you.

Comment on this message     

Raymond Govias, Mangalore / Dallas. Tx.Saturday, March 07, 2009
Dear Anand,& Geetha, Your articles on Coffee, Elephant, etc.are a real great way of educating the young and the old of all walks of life the numerous health benefits that coffee has. We spent many of our summer vacations as boys with you as family but never ever got to know anything about coffee or nature. Hats off to you both and keep up the good work.
Comment on this message     

shiva, singaporeThursday, March 05, 2009
Great,   I read this article with a cup of coffee.Truely I had a misconseption about coffee.......True too much is too bad..... Coffee has several health benifit Thaks to the writer and Daiji World for publishing.
Comment on this message     

Donald Pinto, Chickmaglure/Abu-DhabiWednesday, March 04, 2009
Great article & thanks for many usefull information. Mainly thanks for promoting COFFEE
Comment on this message     

Kaushik Subramani , CoorgWednesday, March 04, 2009
Great article doc
Comment on this message     

William Pais Orchid Art Gallery, MangaloreTuesday, March 03, 2009
Great artiscle Anand. I am planning to combine the cup and the canvas will you guide me.
Comment on this message     

John Pinto, chickmagalur/ QatarTuesday, March 03, 2009
Great way of educating people , I liked the way of promoting our home towns produce namely Coffee, This artile is a real fact . Keep up good works Dr Anand and Geetha.
Comment on this message     

Rathan Castelino, Mangalore / Dubai Sunday, March 01, 2009
Thank you Dr Anand & Geeta for an wonderful article.
Comment on this message     

Leander Pais, MysoreSaturday, February 28, 2009
Dear Dr Anand-Very good article,I also like your article on Human Elephant Conflict,The flying Jewels were too good,I was very impressed when I went through your book ECOFRIENDLY COFFEE,It will be a very handy book in our school Library.We all from St Joseph's Primary School wish you all the best,All your articles help us very much in our school projects & activities,Very easy to prepare a school project or prepare a speech,We browse through Daijiworld & find your articles-Warm Regards-Leander Pais(Mysore)
Comment on this message     

Irene Rasquinha, Kulshekar, Mangalore/ UKSunday, March 01, 2009
Fantastic article! though, I spent my childhood on a coffee estate, I dint know so much about coffee. I always thought that coffee and tea were not good for health. but after reading your article, you made me enjoy a cup of coffee without hesitation.
Comment on this message     

Prem Colaço, Sakleshpur/Muscat,Sultanate of OmanSaturday, February 28, 2009
Dear Dr Anand & Geetha Pereira , You have immensely rekindled my memories on drinking Coffee and elaborating on its health benefits . Having spent 21years in Coorg, right from childhood I was'nt keen lover of this beverage..But these days every sip tastes exotic.The brew ,roasted coffee aroma with a mix of rusty taste makes the cuppa even more addictive. To all the coffee lovers enjoy every drink possible ..for the Tea lover's try drinking coffee for a change!!
Comment on this message     

Bosco Jacob, Kozhikode - Kerala / Sharjah, U.A.E.Saturday, February 28, 2009
Very nice and informative article for the Coffee lovers. Is it possible to publish an artcile for the "TEA" also.
Comment on this message     

Leona Pais, PuneSaturday, February 28, 2009
Anand. Very impressed with your aeticle,Specially i liked your article on flying Jewels,I wonder where you find the time to put your input into so much of valued work,I can imagine you may be taking around 6 to 10 months to create one article,Your Book on ECOFRIENDLY COFFEE will do very well,I require one copy in Mysore to present it to my relatives & friends,Kindly send me one. Leona Pais (Mysore)
Comment on this message     

Allen Pais, SiddapurSaturday, February 28, 2009
Anand. You have alway's been the best & you always do better,each & every article of yours has quite a lot of depth,You have been a great inspiration to me & the entire Coffee world,I wish you all the best with your new book on ECOFRIENDLY COFFEE,Kindly send me 10 books that i will have to distrubute as gifts to my colleague's in Austriala (Adelaide)-Warm Regards Allen Pais
Comment on this message     

Anand,you have given only the fruits and not flowers. why you did not click the coffee blossoms and added to this article? I missed that scene.
Comment on this message     

Ashok Frank, Mangalore / CanadaSaturday, February 28, 2009
Thank you Anand and Geeta for this very informative article on coffee. Ashok
Comment on this message     

Noel F Lewis, Kinnigoli(mini dubai)Saturday, February 28, 2009
Thank you so much for giving such a great article
Comment on this message     

Vivek Colaco, sakleshpurSaturday, February 28, 2009
Thank you for your very nice article on  coffee. Vivek and jacintha Colaco
Comment on this message     

darryl lasrado, mangaloreSaturday, February 28, 2009
Thanks for the foreward. Now we dont feel so guilty on drinking lots of coffee. Take care & all the best.
Comment on this message     

Yvonne Frank, Mangalore/UAEFriday, February 27, 2009
Nice article, very informative. Can't do without our coffee. Keep the articles coming. Your articles are like coffee - refreshing!!!
Comment on this message     

sharon, mlore/puneSaturday, February 28, 2009
With all the bad publicity this beverage has been getting of late, this is a welcome article for coffee lovers and coffee growers. Cheers!
Comment on this message     

Liza Pais, MysoreFriday, February 27, 2009
Anand. Uncle Anand very nice article,One question when will you give me the book on ECOFRIENDLY COFFEE,My teacher in school wants a copy. Regards-Liza Gina Pais
Comment on this message     

arul aranha, MangaloreFriday, February 27, 2009
That's great !!!!! Congratulations to you both.
Comment on this message     

JOHN PRAKASH PEREIRA, NEWARK, U.S.AFriday, February 27, 2009
Great Facts. I am sure many people will start looking at coffee in a more positive manner.
Comment on this message     

ANILDSOUZA, DUBAIFriday, February 27, 2009
That was simply great My first love last love and only love coffee Nehal you can have as much coffee as you like no age limit for coffee Payal you sure are setting a new trend studies with coffee cheers and enjoy coffee
Comment on this message     

Ivan Frank, MangaloreFriday, February 27, 2009
Dear Ananad & Geeta, Excellent article on the various aspects of coffee.Coffee has captured the attention of millions with its unique taste and aroma. Coffee remains immensely popular to this day. What a great way to start the day with a cup of coffee in one hand and the newspaper in the other.
Comment on this message     

chethan, kinnigoliFriday, February 27, 2009
A very nice article. I  love coffee, and I work for  starbucks coffee.
Comment on this message     

Dusty R., IndiaThursday, February 26, 2009
Though I belong to the coffee drinkers club, and cannot complete a day without drinking coffee, I would still advise non coffee drinkers not to switch to coffee based on the health information mentioned in the article. As mentioned by A.D'Cunha Shenoy, mangaluru, as well coffee is not good for children and also not to be taken under certain medications. Most important, which is not mentioned in the article, is, what kind of coffee preparations have the actual health benifits. The gauva (arabic coffee) used in the gulf countries have health benifits, but the coffee used by the majority with sweetners/sugar and cream may not be good for health, though black coffee without sweetners and cream may act like antitoxidents.
Comment on this message     

A.D'Cunha Shenoy, mangaluruFriday, February 27, 2009

Very nice information. Coffee is a wonder drug, a wonder beverage, a wonder stimulant, a wonder day starter, a wonder warmer, a wonder socialisor, a wonder in hospitatlity and if taken in moderate, a wonder health keeper and refresher.

But in ayurveda treatment coffee drinking is not advised due to its caffeine content and may interfere in the holistic approach of treatment. Not advised for young children due to its caffeine and may cause hyperactiveness as it is a stimulant.

Comment on this message     

Hamsa, SYDNEY, AustraliaThursday, February 26, 2009
We have been to your ecofriendly farm and love the way you grow coffee. Coffee really tastes like nature in the cup. Good information on this global beverage.
Comment on this message     

Anjali Sahasrabudhe, SYDNEY,AUSTRALIAThursday, February 26, 2009
I enjoy coffee twice a day and especially coffee brewed from freshly roasted beans. Wonderful article.
Comment on this message     

Payal pereira, mangaloreThursday, February 26, 2009
Nothing like a hot cup of coffee on a stressful day,especially when the final exams are nearing.The article is very informative.Guess you got the inspiration to write this article while sipping a cup of this wonderful drink.
Comment on this message     

NACHAIAH. M, SIDDAPUR,COORGFriday, February 27, 2009
Thank you Daijiworld and the authors for the detailed information on coffee health benefits.
Comment on this message     

Sr. Supriya A.C, St. Agnes Convent, MangaloreFriday, February 27, 2009
Thank you Dr.Anand & Dr. Geetha for the informative article. I remember the happy memories of our visit. It was an enriching and enlightening interaction. Best of luck for your further study and research and contribution to society.God bless you and your family.
Comment on this message     

NIHAL JOSEPH, MANGALOREThursday, February 26, 2009
Comment on this message     

SWATHI HOASAKERE, CALIFORNIAThursday, February 26, 2009
I remember you gifting us a beautiful coffee mug-india coffee-taste nature. Everyday in the morning I drink a fresh cup of coffee and it reminds me of your beautiful estate. Thanks to daijiworld and the two of you.
Comment on this message     

VIKRAM H.B., BANGALOREFriday, February 27, 2009
My parents are coffee planters and this article has opened a whole new world of ideas to start with no company has marketed coffee as a health beverage. Good authentic information
Comment on this message     

VEERESH. h.b., CaliforniaFriday, February 27, 2009
Loved reading such an educative article. Keep telling us more about how coffee is grown. I have deep roots with coffee planters in India.
Comment on this message     

RAKESH BASANNA, SAKLESHPURThursday, February 26, 2009
We grow ecofriendly coffee at sakleshpur and it is nice to note that our friends are educating people worldwide on the health benefits of coffee. Thank you Daiji world.
Comment on this message     

RAMANAND, NEWYORKThursday, February 26, 2009
Comment on this message     

U . SATHYA, TEXAS. U.S.AThursday, February 26, 2009
Well researched article. I am a scientist and was happy to note of the antioxidants that coffee has. thanks
Comment on this message     

ROMOLA, MANGALOREThursday, February 26, 2009
Without my morning cup of coffee, it is pretty difficult to function all day. Good and informative article.Many thanks
Comment on this message     

ruchir agarwal, mangaloreThursday, February 26, 2009
Good and informative article.Thank you Dr.Anand and Geeta.But one thing is there coffee has to be really well made and in Mangalore only Taj mahal can make it the best.If I go to hampankatta or car street for any work its not complete without a cup of coffee from Taj mahal!!.
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