Friday, June 20, 2008

Sipping My Brand Cup of Coffee

Working in the farm is hard but enjoying. Waking up every morning, you will feel the embrace and freshness of nature. And you walk down the pathways through the flowering shrubs with a refreshing hot cup of coffee, oh! My day. It’s far better than holding a bottle of beer on one hand and a lighted cigar on the other and zigzagging through the dark and faulty smelling alley of the city after night life.


When I was in our barrio countryside during my school days, one of my frequent activities were to till the land, plant rice and other past crops to augment the meager income the family is earning. And during the period of rest, my mother used to serve us hot “barako” coffee. This is the variety we had in the backyard of my grandparent. I remember everytime the coffee berry got ripen, my “Lola” will call her grandchildren as well as her neighbors’ to pick the fruit berries. The ripe berry is crimson-colored, oval-shaped, the size of a regular grape and with a sticky thin-coated meat which tastes sweet and delicious to eat. After eating the fruit, all the seeds –usually two turtle-shaped or shell bead beans in one berry- were gathered and dried under the heat of the sun for three days. It is then brewed, roasted in a frying pan until it turned to a dark-brown color, then pulverized into grits like sand and stored in a tight-fitted container. One spoonful of coffee grits boiled in two liters of water in a cooking pot is enough to get the aromatic flavour desired by an avid coffee drinker. I always look for this “barako” brand or “Batangas Cape” whenever possible to suit my taste. I still remember we only add a spoonful coffee grits in the cooking pot where the previous boiled coffee grits are not removed. Sometimes we only add water in the pot and it was we called “recycled coffee.” When the aroma is dissipated it’s the only time we throw away the complex blend.


Today, many imported brand are in the local market. Displayed in the supermarket’s grocery are the popular Nescafe brand (caffeine or decaffeinated), Blend 45, Folgers, etc. We can buy the “barako” brand but it appears it’s now the most expensive. This brand is the popular brewed coffee being served in five star hotel, classy bars and restaurants. It is believed that the “barako” is the natural brand and have maintained its superior quality. It’s the largest beans of all coffee variety, the best among Liberica species, and superior to Robusta and Arabica varieties. Others considered it endangered to extinction as there is current campaign to save cape barako. It is still traditionally produced and planted in a shaded method and considered environmentally friendly serving as habitat of birds and other native species. Others believe that coffee has a medicinal value. It is considered as a great help to cancer patients. There are reports that coffee reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, heart disease, diabetes mellitus, cirrhosis of the liver, and other associated diseases due to its caffeine content. I cannot remember my source but based on my data gathered somewhere, an American scientist Yaser Dorri has said that even “the smell of coffee can restore appetite and refresh olfactory receptors.” Other studies show that it may affect an individual’s short-term memory and the hardship of recalling the information related to the discussions or the current chain of thoughts.


Only recently, from the Google News of June l7, 2008, “Drinking up the latest on coffee” a research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine findings state that: • “Women who consumed two to three cups of caffeinated coffee a day had a 25% lower risk of death from heart disease. • Women who consumed two to three cups of caffeinated coffee a day had an 18% lower risk of death caused by something other than heart disease or cancer. • Men who consumed two to three cups of caffeinated coffee a day had no change in risk of death. • There was no association between coffee and cancer deaths. Interestingly, researchers did not find a relationship between caffeine and the risk of death. That is, people who drank decaffeinated coffee had death rates similar to those who drank caffeinated coffee. This suggests that there may be some other factor at work — something unrelated to coffee that coffee drinkers share.”


Anyway caffeinated or decaf, I can assure myself coffee works well with me. Two or three cups of coffee serve me an inspirational feeling, particularly on a writing mode. If it’s okay with me, it might be also good for you, so come with the nature’s trend and enjoy coffee. Coffee with me I am now sipping my coffee as of these writings hot-t-t-t-t!

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