An Addict’s Guide to Coffee

I can imagine all my friends rolling their eyes at this post already. If you know me even a little bit, you’ll know I love my coffee. It’s impossible to not know that about me, considering talking to me before my first cup usually only leads to disaster for the poor person involved (and my former roommates will definitely attest to this fact). Though I have cut down recently, a day without a cup of coffee is absolutely impossible for me. I need it, I crave it, and yes, I get a headache when I don’t have it. And it doesn’t hurt that it tastes (and smells) absolutely¬†amazing.

Coffee also has a number of health benefits. Aside from keeping you awake and alert thanks to the caffeine content (by binding to the adenosine receptors that make you sleepy, if you want the biological explanation), coffee has also been linked to greater concentration, a higher metabolism, improved mood and lower chances of Type II Diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. Not bad for a cup, huh?

However, coffee has long ago lost its simplicity. You can no longer walk into a specialty coffee shop and ask for “one coffee, please”. More often than not, you’ll get a blank stare, especially if you’re in India. The different types of coffee beans and the several different ways to prepare espresso have led to the rise of a number of inventive coffee beverages – not all good, not all good for you, and not all authentic. So if you have ever looked at that huge menu board behind the barista and wondered, “What the hell is that?”, then worry no more. Here are the most common coffee beverages on the menu at your favorite caffeine spot, with an explanation about what they mean. You never have to wonder about what goes into your cup of java again! Continue reading

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