My name is Alyce George and I am a coffee-holic. I have to drink at least one to two cups a day to wake up mentally before 4 pm. When my friend introduced me to the pleasures of ice coffee, I found a wonderful way to get my fix quickly, without waiting for my hot coffee to cool. Apparently, it is also usually double brewed, which causes the caffeine content to be higher.
Now, life without my ice coffee feels pointless. I look for change under the sofa, in the dryer and in kitchen drawers to support my habit. I even pulled a stint working at Starbucks, just to receive the free coffee. I found I would rather pay for it, then dabble in customer service. But nonetheless, I still have to have my coffee!
One of the main reasons I am an eternal student-for-life is that I get to enjoy the coffee culture that goes along with hours of study. Without being able to go into a café, listen to the hubbub of pseudo-intellectuals, and drink my coffee, I seriously believe I would have dropped out of school all together.
But why is coffee so addicting? Where did it come from? Why are we Americans hooked?
Most people know that coffee comes from the coffee-bean, or seed, and is processed by roasting, and then grinding, followed by brewing. Apparently, in Arabic, coffee means “wine of the bean”-telling, considering how addictive it is.
Coffee is said to have originated in Ethiopia in the 9th Century and from there the Muslims began drinking it, followed by its spread to the Europeans, and then, after a particularly poignant tea battle in America, to the US.
Drip coffee (depending on how it is brewed) can contain as much, or more than 175 mg of caffeine. Caffeine is a xanthine alkaloid compound, which stimulates humans (1). Accordingly, the word caffeine itself derives from the word café. Caffeine acts as a natural pesticide when residing in plants, and deters insects from destroying the plant matter. Some statistics have said that as many as 90% of people drink coffee at least once a day.
Americans are a non-stop culture. The more one works, the more worth one has in our society. I assume this is one reason we are addicted to a substance that helps us to keep going and going.
I know that as for my coffee, and me, none shall separate us! That is, until Caffeine-Anonymous is invented.