I remember precisely when I started to drink coffee. I was in high school, on a Latin Club trip to Italy. At breakfast, the hotels served the most wonderful-tasting coffee.
My friend and I drank up. We were only going to be in Italy for 10 days; we figured we could sleep when we got home.
Now, in addition to making my own – the coffeemaker turns on automatically in the morning, I get a large latte, made with skim milk, every day. The people at my local Starbucks don’t ask me for my order anymore, except to say, as I join the back of the line on a hot Houston day, “Cheryl – iced or hot?”
But it always makes my heart skip a beat (and it’s not my caffeine intake) when I see an article about the health effects of coffee. Apparently, there is A LOT of research going on, trying, it seems, to discover something bad about coffee. I think it says something about our Puritan attitudes: if people enjoy something, particularly if it changes how they feel, it must be bad for them, right?
The American Psychiatric Association even recently declared “caffeine withdrawal” a mental illness in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or (DSM).
Even financial planners get into the coffee-hating. Ever notice how they always tsk-tsk about that daily latte and how it’s going to keep you from ever retiring?
But guess what? The medical research is finding that coffee is good for you, uncovering lower rates of depression, suicide, heart disease, stroke, dementia, Alzheimer’s, several kinds of cancers, glaucoma, diabetes and even accidents and infections in coffee-drinkers. A recent article in The Atlantic went so far as to say that coffee should be considered a nutrient.