Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Clarity at the Dawn

I love coffee.

Instead of an engagement ring my husband gave me an espresso machine. Honestly.

I look forward to seeing its gleaming face every morning.

And I am a relentless coffee apologist. If you feel in need of a tirade just start saying coffee is a vice. I'll be all over you like the crema on my triple shot.

I'll quote articles like this:

Want a drug that could lower your risk of diabetes, Parkinson's disease, and colon cancer? That could lift your mood and treat headaches? That could lower your risk of cavities?

If it sounds too good to be true, think again.

Coffee, the much maligned but undoubtedly beloved beverage, just made headlines for possibly cutting the risk of the latest disease epidemic, type 2 diabetes. And the real news seems to be that the more you drink, the better.

So I had a little thrill the other day when listening to Steven Johnson talk about his new book The Invention of Air on Science Friday. Because, he said, now brace yourselves, "It is not an accident that the Age of Enlightenment coincides with the arrival of coffee and tea as the daily beverages of choice...everyone was basically a lot more alert."

"If you go back a century or two before," he says, "most of the day people drank alcohol. Because it was really the only safe beverage you could drink because the water wasn't safe... [Y]ou had people waking up and drinking wine or beer all day. So you had an entire population that was pretty much drunk from 9am on."

And then came the coffeehouses. So not only is it good for your health, coffee is also responsible for the Enlightenment.

I'll drink to that.


Wendy said...

I'll toast to that! *raising my steaming cup of Starbucks*


AM said...

I hope to meet other non-three-month-salary-diamond-demanding women over pizza and wine.

patricia said...

Do you own the machine pictured? That is a beauty! I can see how it could rival an engagement ring!

We have a much more humble La Pavoni, but I love it dearly. I never start a day without my cappuccino. I don't even like American-style coffee anymore.

And now I'm off to bed, so I can wake up and have my cappo!