National Coffee Day: An ode to one of my favorite beverages

Happy National Coffee Day! As I sit down to write this post at my local artisan coffee shop, I think about my love affair with coffee and how it has evolved over the years…

Although my #1 beverage remains WATER and kombucha would probably come in at second place, coffee is definitely right up there.

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Coffee is more than just a beverage, it’s a culture, a way of life, and something I throughly enjoy being part of. Although research regarding whether or not coffee is actually good for you remains varied, I believe that coffee is a welcome part of my day as long as I make sure to take breaks every now and then to be sure I don’t become dependent.

One of my favorite articles on the topic of coffee is from MindBodyGreen and it explains some of the most notable health benefits of having that daily cup of joe, including its cancer-fighting and heart-healthy properties.

While its nice to be reassured that coffee has a place in a healthy diet, I especially love coffee for its mood-boosting effects. I can definitely tell I have an extra pep in my step, a more positive attitude and outlook on the world, and am generally friendlier when I have had that cup of coffee.

As a self-proclaimed morning person, I also love what coffee symbolizes. There is something soothing and ritualistic about warming up to a hot cup during a dreary winter morning or sipping a cold brew to cool down and liven up a hot summer morning. For me, coffee symbolizes the dawn of a new day, an incentive to read, write or study, a pleasant morning chat with a friend or family member, or a solo mediative moment.

Now, back to coffee culture. Sometimes I feel as if coffee is similar to wine in the fact that there is a whole culture surrounding it; there are coffee snobs, coffee know-it-alls, and coffee purists. There are also separate camps that all fall under the coffee umbrella.

There’s drip, pour over, french press, cold brew and the revolutionary clover machine (we’ll get into this later.) There is also espresso, americanos and decadent dairy-free milk lattes and cappuccinos. There are different roasts and blends. Coffee brings people together, while also giving them their individual freedom to customize.

“Do you take cream or sugar?” could be the most the most American thing you can say besides the pledge of allegiance.

Of course, there is no cream or sugar floating around the Gray Eats Green kitchen. Clearly the “healthiest” way to enjoy your coffee is black, but I often like to sweeten and flavor my coffee with a little almond, soy or hemp milk. A few friends of mine swear by stevia but I find it tastes too artificial for me.

I love going out for coffee more than anything, but my current at-home brewing method consists of a Keurig coffee maker. I have recently heard not-so-good things about the effects of hot plastic from K-cups and I don’t love the taste of Keurig coffee so I am currently on the hunt for a less harmful and more tasty coffee brewing method that is still inexpensive and easy. I am thinking french press but would appreciate any and all suggestions!

 

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A funny sign about about benefits of drinking coffee from one of my favorite New York coffee shops; Birch. I love how this sign addresses one of the less-widely discussed aspect of coffee, the fact that it certainly gives the digestive system a nice boost.

So, cheers, from my coffee mug to yours!

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