This week, our podcast is all about breakfast, so to get started, of course we needed to grab that first cup of coffee.
If you just can’t start your day without a cup of coffee, you’re not alone…In 2000, the National Coffee Association found that 54% of Americans drink coffee everyday. And those people drink an average of 3 cups per day!
There’s Just Something About Coffee
Jamie Shepherd of Bloomington-based coffee roaster B-Town Beans says that there’s just something about coffee that makes it one of life’s simple pleasures.
His shop specializes in organic coffee, meaning that the production process of the coffee has to be inspected every step of the way – from growing to selling. No chemicals, no pesticides.
But can the everyday coffee drinker really tell the difference?
“If you look at whether organic coffee is better tasting,” Shepherd said, “I can’t give you an answer that I’d like to give you. I can’t tell you, yes, organic coffee tastes better than non-organic coffee.”
Not About The Taste
But according to Shepherd, it’s not about the taste. It’s more about the environmental impact of the coffee, especially in the growing regions.
In addition to being certified organic, B-Town Beans also offers fair-trade coffee. Fair-trade is something that’s become increasingly popular in the past ten years.
Fair-trade guarantees farmers a minimum price for their product, but it’s not just a financial thing.
“It also helps to improve working conditions on farms in the various countries,” Shepherd said. “It helps to eliminate some of the middle-men so more of the money returns to the farmers. Fair-trade farmers are given a degree of autonomy to determine how to invest these revenues and turn them back into their business and make it more productive, and they even get rewarded for organic production.”
All About The Bigger Picture
For Shepherd, it’s all about the bigger picture. He tries to keep an eye on the impact his business has on the local community as well as its larger environmental impact.
“The foundation of sustainability is ethics,” Shepherd said, “whether it’s ethics of social practices or environmental practices, we want to be a contributor. We don’t just want to be a taker, and that’s really why we formed the business.”
Gender-Specific Affects of Caffeine on Teenagers
Earth Eats’ News Correspondent Megan Meyer also found a story about scientists from the University of Buffalo who have found that caffeine’s effects seem to be gender-specific.
Neurobiologist Jennifer Temple ran an experiment with about 50 teenagers to study how they respond to caffeine.
She didn’t expect the boys to behave much differently from the girls, but she found that teenage males are willing to work harder and longer to obtain a caffeinated beverage.
Temple’s current theory is that hormones in males at the time of testing affected their desire for caffeine.
Read More: A Generation Hooked on Caffeine (futurity.org)
Video: Does Caffeine Make You More Easily Persuaded?
And finally, does caffeine make you more easily persuaded? Our friends at A Moment of Science have a video that asks just that:
How Do You Take Your Coffee?
Have you found an interesting variety of coffee recently? Leave a comment and let us know what you’re drinking!