In my previous blog post, Impressive Health Benefits of Coffee, we learned that coffee can provide your body beneficial protection from free radicals, certain cancers, and diabetes while satisfying your taste buds. However, if you don’t purchase quality coffee, you may be doing more harm to your body than good.
Coffee is one of the largest and most important crops in the world, worth roughly $16.5 billion in the United States alone. The International Coffee Organization estimates there are nearly 26 million people employed in the coffee business across 52 countries. Next to Brazil and the European Union, the United States is one of the largest consumers of coffee and the largest market for organic coffee. Still, you might think organic coffee (farmed without the use of pesticides) would be close to conventional coffee in numbers. But organic coffee only accounts for 6.6 percent of the world’s harvested coffee. Why is that, if organic is better for you? The truth is, it’s cheaper for companies to grow beans that are not organic. Mass production of non-organic beans is quicker, yields a larger crop (thanks to spraying with deadly chemicals) and they pay their farmers less for their labor.
This is why it’s important that the coffee you purchase is not only fair trade, but that it’s organic as well. Coffee that is grown organically is rich in flavor and free from chemicals. As a reminder, coffee offers a copious amount of health benefits such as; lowers the risk of diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and certain cancers. Why would you risk those benefits by purchasing “dirty” coffee that’s been sprayed with harmful chemicals? Chemicals like pesticides, insecticides and fungicides have been proven to cause cancer and damages the nervous and reproductive systems. If you drink coffee, the single MOST important factor is to purchase fresh, organic beans.
The easiest way to brew good coffee at home is to start with good beans. Whether you’re buying coffee at the grocery store, a coffee shop, or direct from a roaster, you need to know what to look for on a bag of coffee.
You should buy your coffee beans whole and grind them right before you brew. The oils that drive those fruity, toasty, beautiful flavors start to degrade in quality the minute the beans are ground. That means pre-ground coffee loses flavor as it sits in the package on a shelf in the grocery store for weeks or months or years.
To preserve your coffee as long as possible, make sure to keep it in an airtight container at room temperature. Store in a dark space, like a cabinet or cupboard. Some people freeze their coffee, but this actually changes the flavor, so don’t do it. Try not to buy in large bulk. The best way to ensure freshness of your coffee is to use it within a few weeks then purchase more.
“A drink you buy at Starbucks could contain up to 25 teaspoons of sugar per serving, according to a new report by British campaign group Action on Sugar. That’s three times the amount of sugar in one can of Coke, and more than three times the maximum adult daily intake recommended by the American Heart Association….” Sugar overload: What your hot drink is doing to your body”, CNN
Below are some healthier options to sweeten your coffee instead of using sugar or dairy…
Hidden Sugars, CNN