Coffee And Tea

Written by Sarah Provost
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The revolution that has occurred in America's coffee and tea preparation and consumption over the last few decades is truly astonishing. It now seems improbable that in the mid-twentieth century, most Americans bought coarse-ground, light-bodied coffees in cans from the supermarket and prepared them in percolators. As for tea, only black tea was widely available, no green, oolong, or herbal teas, and teabags were far more common than pot brewing.

Consumption of coffee and tea has so skyrocketed that coffee is now the second most imported product in the world, following only petroleum. Coffee and tea connoisseurs have a mind-boggling range of products to choose from, and reviews are regularly published using the vocabulary of fine wine. With increased consumption, however, have come increased concerns about the long-term effects of the beverages.

Health Issues for Coffee and Tea Consumers

The medical community has been studying the effects of caffeine for many years now, and their results have been largely ambiguous. Caffeine has been thought to exacerbate benign breast cystitis, high cholesterol, heart disease, and osteoporosis. Pregnant women are routinely advised to limit the amount of caffeine they take in.

On the other hand, the anti-oxidant qualities of green tea have been widely reported. Also, some studies have shown that moderate coffee drinking may lower the risk of colon cancer, gallstones, cirrhosis of the liver, and Parkinson's disease. Asthma sufferers are also reported to have attacks reduced by about 25 percent. As is true with most everything, it seems likely that moderation is the appropriate path.

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