The Harm and Benefits of Coffee: Is Caffeine so Dangerous and How Many Cups You Can Drink a Day

Ask anyone to name the top three most popular drinks in the world, and for sure coffee would be among them. We drink it at home, while working or playing at a Canada online casino, or just going out to a restaurant. However, it has been declared a carcinogen, then rehabilitated. So should we drink coffee or not?

Types of Coffee: From Arabian to Excelsa

Let’s start by figuring out what kind of coffee goes into our cups and where it comes from. There are four types of coffee:

  • Cofféa arábica is Arabian coffee (although history says that the trees and the invigorating properties of their seeds were first discovered in Ethiopia). It’s the most popular and most valuable of the industrial coffees. Arabica beans are large, more than a centimeter long, with an intense aroma and a slight acidity in flavor, evenly darkened when roasted.
  • Coffea canephora is a Congolese coffee, which includes more than 40 subspecies, the most famous of which is Robusta. Robusta is valued because of the high caffeine content in beans and undemanding – it grows where arabica doesn’t survive. Robusta beans are small, up to 1 cm, rounded, with an irregular color after roasting – distinctive spots are visible, the taste has a bitterness.
  • Cofféa liberica is a Liberian coffee. Although considered a commercial coffee (about 1% of the market), it’s rarely exported in its pure form (West and Central Africa, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Venezuela). Even if it’s included in blends, it has a strong aroma but a poor taste.
  • Excelsa or Coffea Dewertii is a tall coffee, found in the wild, like Canefora, in the Congo. It’s also cultivated in Venezuela, the Philippines and Kenya, but the yields are unstable and unstable, so the species is used more for breeding. For example, it was used to breed the popular mocha variety.

The Health Benefits of Coffee

Coffee Can Reduce the Risk of Cancer

In 1991, the World Health Organization listed coffee as a possible carcinogen. However, research continued, and by 2016 the WHO had rehabilitated coffee, as new data indicated that the drink was not associated with an increased risk of cancer. On the contrary, the risk of colon, oral, endometrial, and skin cancers decreases among those who drink coffee regularly.

Coffee May Reduce the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease

The effect of coffee on the heart worries many coffee drinkers. However, studies have shown that regular but moderate coffee consumption (2-3 cups per day) reduces the risk of heart disease by 21%.

Coffee Can Help Fight Depression

The natural polyphenols in both coffee with and without caffeine work as antioxidants, reducing damaging oxidative stress. For some people, it can act as an antidepressant – it improves mood, helps reduce anxiety, and at the same time helps improve attention and concentration.

Coffee Consumption May Reduce the Risk of Parkinson’s Disease

Long-term studies on men have proven that drinking at least 6 cups of coffee with caffeine per day reduces the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by 58%.

There have also been studies on the relationship between coffee and the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. No exact correlations have been found yet, but in general, there is a tendency for caffeine to have a protective effect against senile dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

So when consumed in moderation, coffee can be considered a healthy beverage.

Are There Any Harms and Contraindications to Coffee

Despite the proven beneficial effects of coffee on the human body, researchers and physicians don’t get tired of repeating and emphasizing: everything is good in moderation.

Caffeine gives you energy, vitality and concentration, but at the same time, high doses can cause unreasonable anxiety, insomnia and increased heart rate.

That’s why people with cardiovascular diseases, hypertension and nervous disorders should be very careful: reduce the amount of drink, choose types and varieties with low caffeine content.

With coffee, you may want to be careful if you have problems with high cholesterol: cafestol contained in it increases the level of “bad” cholesterol with low-density lipoproteins.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should avoid or reduce your coffee intake, as it stimulates the production of cortisol and adrenaline.

How to Choose the Right Coffee

Arabica is considered the best coffee because it’s the most aromatic. But it also has some drawbacks: 100% Arabica isn’t cheap and does not always satisfy the tastes of those who like a stronger drink. That’s why roasted coffee producers always have a mix of Arabica and Robusta (the latter, as you remember, is no less aromatic but contains more caffeine) in different proportions, but not always this ratio is stated on the label.

The taste of coffee depends on the variety and degree of roasting:

  • Light roasting gives the beans a light brown hue, the taste of the drink from such beans is delicate, without bitterness.
  • Medium roasting makes the beans moderately brown, a slight bitterness appears in the drink.
  • Full roasting – the beans are deep brown, shiny, since this method produces a lot of oils and makes the beverage taste sweet.
  • Strong roasting gives a dark-brown color and astringency in the taste with a noticeable bitterness; maximum roasting brings the coffee bean to a black-brown color with an obviously burnt smell.

The degree of roast is usually indicated on the packet by a number from 1 to 5 (from mild to maximum) or by a pictograph.

Pay attention to the roasting date: ideally, if 40 days havent passed since the processing, as after this period, the roasted grain begins to lose its flavor and aroma qualities little by little.

How to Store Coffee

The taste and aroma of coffee suffers from contact with oxygen, ultraviolet light, high humidity, and the proximity of strong-smelling products (such as spices).

Keep coffee in a dark and dry place, in a tightly closed container:

  • A glass or ceramic jar with a screw-on lid or spring-loaded lid (these usually have a silicone gasket on them).
  • A tin can with a tight-fitting lid.
  • A foil-lined ziploc bag (always deflate after opening and only then close the valve).

Wooden and plastic containers, even with tight lids, are less suitable: wood is porous and absorbs flavors well, and plastic must be marked “for food” and not emit any extraneous odors.

Choose a container of such a volume that it’s filled with freshly roasted beans every 5-7 days – so the coffee will be in less contact with the air.

If you store coffee in factory-made packaging, when you open the pack, don’t cut the whole sealed edge, but only a corner: pour a portion of beans, let the air out, fold the cut corner tightly and secure it with a clamp or paper clip.