Roasted Riches: Coffee fans can cash in on healthy returns

By: Sommer Danielsen

With more ways to consume coffee than ever before, the popularity of coffee is seeping into younger demographics. Whether you prefer espresso drinks, frappuccinos, lattes or a glorious cup of black coffee, the options are endless. Coffee is even available for purchase at school since the opening of the Tigers Den. For many, coffee is the liquid of life, not only because of its delicious taste and instant energy boost, but also for its proven health benefits.

Over the past few years, research has been conducted on the benefits and drawbacks of regular coffee consumption.The rumor that coffee shortens one’s life span can be put to rest. A study conducted by Harvard University found that there is no link between drinking coffee each day and increased risk of death by any cause, even for those who drank six cups each day. Other recent research has found that regular coffee consumption can protect against liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, type II diabetes and Parkinson’s disease. This is because coffee has more antioxidants than any other food.

However, there is not enough research to confirm that everyone should take up coffee drinking for its perpetual health benefits. Coffee is a very complex beverage and affects everyone differently. If coffee keeps you awake at night,  gives you stress or causes horrible jitters, you should cut down your coffee intake, switch to decaf or (God forbid) even avoid the drink all together.

Another important thing to consider is how you are consuming your coffee. Health benefits from coffee have only been proven with black or lightly sweetened coffee, which means those venti lattes and frappucinos won’t offer you anything but more sugar and calories to burn.

If you’re a coffee novice, don’t be afraid to order your first cup. Pay a visit to Sidecar Coffee in Cedar Falls or Cottonwood Canyon in Waterloo, both of which offer coffee pour overs. These individual brews create the smoothest, most amicable cup of coffee. Lighter roasts such as Sidecar’s Ethiopian and Costa Rican roasts are great options for your first coffee experience. With an airy, flavorful body and none of the heavy bitter notes found in dark roasts, a mug of light-roast is the gateway to a future filled with good health and longevity. Cheers.

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