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Coffee Love: What’s Your Type?

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Coffee Love: What’s Your Type?

I slipped again this morning. I woke with every intention of drinking green tea for breakfast. As far as coffee was concerned, I was officially on the wagon. But something about the combination of the play of early morning sun on the grass, the slight chill in the spring air, the late night before, weakened my resolve. My wagon went around a turn too fast, and off I fell, right into the line at the local coffee emporium. There I stood, eager as a child, shivering in anticipation at the heady aroma of coffee brewing, the reassuring “bzzzzzzz” of a burr grinder, the “whooossshhhh” of a short espresso pull.

Why do we love our morning brew? Maybe it’s a simple habit, ingrained by years of filling our Mr. Coffees with Maxwell House the night before, already eager for the scent of coffee at 7 a.m. Maybe it’s the pleasurable taste and mouth feel of a hot, creamy latte or a potent, bittersweet espresso. Or maybe it’s just the gratifying jolt of an immediate infusion of stimulants.

Caffeine is key; a quick hit of the stuff increases mental acuity, stimulates heart rate and respiration, and has mild psychotropic (mood-altering) effects. We are, at heart, a nation of stimulation junkies: electronic media, big-screen TVs, video games, cell phones, chocolate, food, sex–and caffeine. It is, quite simply, our favorite drug.

What’s your relationship with coffee? Is it a simple love affair, or an unhealthy obsession? It’s a question worth examining. When love turns into an obsession, caffeine has a dark side. Drink too much of it, and you’ll dehydrate your cells, burden your liver, increase your blood pressure and stimulate your central nervous system into what approaches a fight-or-flight response, leaving you jittery, anxious or high-strung.

If your relationship with coffee is a healthy one, it should leave you feeling fulfilled, not tense. And, like any good affair, quality, not quantity, is what counts. The prevailing wisdom holds that, unless you have some kind of predisposing condition–insomnia, anxiety disorders, stomach sensitivities, high blood pressure–a cup is just fine for most people.

Next: Does your relationship with coffee parallel your love affairs? Find your coffee lover profile.

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Lisa Turner

Lisa Turner is a food writer, intuitive eating coach, and nutrition consultant in Boulder, Colorado. In her consulting practice Lisa combines her training and degrees in nutrition, mind-body practices and Food Psychology, to help clients explore both what to eat and why they eat. For more information, or to schedule a consultation, visit InspiredEating.com. Lisa is also the developer of The Healthy Gourmet iPhone recipe app; for more information, visit TheHealthyGourmet.net.

181 comments

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1:39PM PST on Jan 27, 2014

i'm more of a tea person

11:59PM PDT on Jun 29, 2013

it really has to depend on the moods...
Sometimes might prefer dark roast, sometimes medium.....Occasionally flavoured with milk

2:09PM PST on Feb 7, 2013

I drink plunger coffee mostly - strong, black, no sugar. One or two cups, mid to late morning and just occasionally in the afternoon. Oh - and NEVER instant :)

8:27AM PST on Feb 7, 2013

I drink regular in the morning and decaf or water in the afternoon. I drink coffee with skim milk and Splenda. I also buy flavored coffee.

7:59AM PST on Feb 7, 2013

Most coffees are great but gotta love the Turkish coffee!!!! Thanks.

3:42AM PST on Feb 7, 2013

Love all types of roasts, blends and single-origin, but quality is key for me!

11:35AM PDT on Oct 28, 2012

need need need that first cup

2:00PM PDT on Apr 1, 2011

My day starts with a coffee at Star Bucks, where my brain goes into action and our best creative work is done in this time. 1-2 cups only and I am set for the day. I am a coffee society brat, I love the atmosphere and the energy at coffee bars and find coffee drinking people to be so friendly. Indeed I met my partner there of last the last 6 years and we have used Star Bucks as our office to build a new industry in electric motor technologies. We thanks the coffee for switching our brains on.
Best coffee I ever had was in Taiwan, go figure I could drink it all day and never get the shakes, so smooth.

9:19PM PDT on Mar 30, 2011

I will NOT NOT NOT give up coffee! I don't drink alcohol of any sort, don't drink soft drinks and don't even hit the burgers and fries too often. The only vice I have is coffee and if I give it up I will turn into an insufferable Little Goody Two-Shoes. Besides, each cup has over a thousand different antioxidants.

6:51PM PDT on Mar 30, 2011

Light roasts actually have more caffeine than dark roasts. Roasting destroys caffeine, so the longer you roast it, the more caffeine is destroyed.

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