I had my first coffee only in my late teens.
Coffee drinking was (and still is) strictly an adults only activity in my family. But this was an exception. It was one of those cold sensation numbing fall days which only a hot drink could remedy. I'd run to the vending machine in the class hallway but there was no more hot chocolate. Only coffee! Aargh. So what's a non-coffee drinking person to do but right?
I can't remember the specific day or time; I only distinctly remember thinking 'wow, this is bitter'. (Come to think of it, no wonder that's all that was left). And no, it didn't turn out to be a 'and as they say, the rest is history' kind of thing. I continued drinking coffee after that fateful day, although again more out of necessity than passion and quit after college, sticking to Milos and teas for years after.
In the last few years though, I've rediscovered coffee (re: the kind in the pic above, exotic sounding names, nice (ceramic or china, no styrofoams please) cups and all). And love it. Especially so in the last one and a half years :)
Plus I derive comfort from these little nuggets of information gleaned from the internet, which I happily cut and paste and (hopefully accurately) paraphrase from Positively Coffee.
1. Coffee does not have any substantial effect on the risk of cancer of either the pancreas or of the kidney. (yay!)
2. Drinking coffee is not a causal factor in the development of cancer at any body site. (double yay!)
3. Drinking coffee may be protective in relation to liver, lower bowel and ovarian cancer as well as against the development of Type II diabetes. (yaay!)
4. A cup of coffee may help increase performance as well as exercise for longer before exhaustion. (woohoo!)
5. Moderate coffee drinking contributes to one's daily fluid intake, essential to both well trained and recreational sports men and women. (yayyy!)
6. Drinkers of more than 3 cups of coffee a day show lower levels of some liver enzymes in the blood than drinkers of less than 3 cups per day and in those non coffee drinking individuals. (woohoo!)
7. Research shows an inverse relationship between coffee drinking and the development of Parkinson's, with the exception of women undergoing hormone therapy. (woohoo!)
8. Moderate coffee consumption (2 regular cups of coffee according to UK Foods Standard Agency) among women trying to conceive, during pregnancy or whilst breast feeding is perfectly safe. (yay!)
9. Moderate amounts of caffeine significantly improve alertness in sleepy subjects. (It is well documented that stopping for a caffeine containing drink, such as a cup or two of coffee, and a short nap are the most effective counter measures for alleviating driver fatigue) (triple YAY!)
And they say this too on the same site;
"It is clear that for the majority of healthy adults coffee can be enjoyed in moderation (4 to 5 regular size cups a day) helping maintain important body fluid levels as well as increasing alertness; and keeping us going throughout the day."
So. I'm healthy. I'm an adult. And if it's on the net, it must apply to me too... musn't it????
Still, much as it is heartening to know how wonderful coffee is for my health, I still much prefer tea. It's just a family, tradition, habit kind of thing....