A Coffee Treat By Fahmida Mehreen
“I like coffee because it gives me the illusion that I might be awake,” once said Lewis Black, the American stand-up comedian, author, playwright, social critic and actor.
Coffee is a popular beverage worldwide for its irrepressible ability to energize its taker. In around 9th century, it was first discovered in Ethiopia, and eventually spread out globally with billions and billions of cups being brewed every day in thousands of cities.
Bangladesh is no exception to this global phenomenon. In a country where the culture of having betel leaf and betel nut along with tea predominantly prevailed, coffee made its way holding the hand of the international brand Nescafé, a signature product of Nestle. Since the early 1990s, the consumption of coffee by the upper class and upper middle-class citizens incepted in offices and selectively at residences. Subsequently, its popularity spread out among general mass. The uprising campaign “Your first cup” by Nescafé in January 2012 with the tagline “Time you started” was the initiation of mass level advertising of coffee in Bangladesh. Nescafé also took the initiative of setting up its instant coffee machines in public places like hospital cafeterias, small shops in food courts, offices, and such like.
In time, fancy and upmarket coffee shops started to open up in Dhaka and other major cities. North End Coffee Roasters, Gloria Jeans Coffees, Crimson Cup Coffee, Tabaq, Coffee Worlds, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leafs, George’s Café, Krispy Kreme Bangladesh, and many more are the prime coffee houses in Dhaka, located mostly in the bustling areas like Gulshan, Banani, Dhanmodi, Uttara and Khilgaon. Some of these cafés are international chains and it is an added benefit to have them in town. Today’s dynamic youth who are well-travelled started to introduce their city-bound friends to the delicate taste of different types of coffees like cappuccinos, lattes, espressos, and macchiatos. The types are dependent on the strength of caffeine and its ingredients. For instance, an espresso is a strong black coffee taken in single or double shots, while a latte is rather mild coffee with a blend of creamer and coffee beans. The choice of coffee depends on the taker’s preference and need. If one is willing to get over morning dullness, a shot of espresso (in case of black coffee) or cappuccino (in case of milk coffee) can be wise choices. On the other hand, while chilling with friends in the evening, a cup of latte or mocha with enticing flavors like caramel, hazelnut, and vanilla may be good to go. Most of these types come with their counterparts in chillers i.e. iced coffee.
Along with the social element attached with coffee, come its nutritional advantages. It not only kills fatigue and weariness, but also comes with other vital health benefits. Coffee contains essential nutrients such as riboflavin (vitamin B2), pantothenic acid (vitamin B5), manganese and potassium, and magnesium and niacin (vitamin B3) which helps to reduce muscle pain and spasm. At the same time, studies show that caffeine increases metabolism by 3%-11% and helps to burn fat. Physical performance gets escalated with coffee consumption as result of breaking up of fat cells. Furthermore, consumption of coffee reduces the risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Dementia. It also reduces the risk of Type 2 diabetes, certain types of cancer, and stroke. In short, the popular drink comes with impressive health benefits along with its remarkable quality of pulling up energy level. However, every cloud has a silver lining. Overconsumption of coffee may supersede its benefits and bring adverse effects like palpitation and caffeine rush resultant from excessive caffeine intake.
Therefore, intake of reasonable amount of coffee on a regular basis will enable you to enjoy its amazing taste while giving a glorious treat to your health and to your taste-bud.