If you aren’t a regular coffee drinker, chances are someone close to you is. Roughly 62 percent of people consume coffee daily in the United States, up from 57 percent in 2016. But among coffee drinkers, there is a significant split—one divided along cultural approaches. There are the casual coffee drinkers, who may have a daily cup of coffee out of habit or drink it whenever it’s convenient, and the coffee aficionados, who won’t tolerate coffee that doesn’t meet their standards, and treat coffee as a way of life.
If you’ve scoffed at the latter group, it may be time to consider joining them.
The Perks of Coffee
There are some significant perks of drinking coffee on a regular basis:
- Diabetes prevention. Moderate coffee consumption has been shown to protect against type 2 diabetes, according to research from UCLA. Though the chemical interaction is a bit complicated, the short version is this: coffee increases plasma levels of sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG), which plays a role in preventing the onset of diabetes.
- Heart disease prevention. According to Harvard University research, coffee may also offer protective benefits against heart disease. This is especially important, considering the high death rate associated with heart disease and heart failure.
- Cancer prevention. The same study found that coffee can protect against the development of skin cancer. Coffee is also linked to lowering the risk of other types of cancer.
- Energy. Most people drink coffee intentionally for the short-term energy benefits it offers, thanks to its high caffeine content. Caffeine improves your alertness, decreases feelings of tiredness and fatigue, makes you feel more energetic, and can even improve your memory, according to Johns Hopkins research.
- Ritual and reward benefits. Finally, don’t write off the benefits that drinking coffee as a ritual, or as a reward for yourself, can have. Waking up to the smell of fresh roasted coffee can be a rewarding experience, and treating yourself to a coffee after a particularly difficult morning can help you relax and feel better.
Learning how to make the most of your coffee drinking habit can help you exaggerate these benefits, and minimize some of the downsides. Through the culture of coffee appreciation, you can learn to appreciate coffee’s role in your life, and maximize its impact on your health, wellness, and happiness.
Making the Most of the Experience
Making and drinking coffee is a personal experience, and one that can fundamentally change how your day develops. According to the authorities at Java Presse, great coffee shouldn’t be rushed or chugged; it should be celebrated with mindfulness and deliberateness. For that reason, they recommend grinding your own coffee and making it fresh each morning, so you can get the most out of the experience and start your day right. Wake up early and spend the extra time in quiet contemplation, rather than rushing out the door and picking up a coffee from a fast food joint.
It’s also beneficial to prioritize the quality of your coffee. Though most brands and varieties of coffee will offer similar caffeine and nutritive content, higher-quality materials will result in a tastier, more enjoyable finished product. It may cost a little more, or take a little more time to prepare, but even a luxury coffee experience is relatively inexpensive—and it has the power to transform your entire day.
People and Places
Finally, remember that you aren’t alone in your enjoyment of coffee. Going out to try different coffee shops can help you develop your palate and introduce you to flavors and brands you may otherwise never have discovered. Plus, you’ll have a high chance of meeting other people who share your enjoyment—and as research indicates, strong bonds with other people have tremendous health benefits of their own.
The culture of appreciating, optimizing, and partaking in coffee consumption is growing—and for good reason. There are dozens of benefits to drinking coffee, and if you invest the time and money into making the experience as delicious and focused as possible, you can make those benefits even better. Experiment by transforming your coffee ritual, and pay attention to the effects it has on your daily life; chances are, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.