The daily grindAlthough tea can justifiably be referred to as Ireland’s traditional brew, there has been a huge risein coffee consumption in recent years. We take a look at what’s on offer and the health issuessurrounding this popular beverage. Ethical sources of coffee
are cultivated in Africa, the Far East and
shops all over Ireland. It’s now common
less than their production costs, forcing
them into a cycle of poverty and debt.
€280 million a year. A coffee shop is not
looking at the beans. If they are Arabica
While farmers sell at a loss, business for
coffee companies is at an all time high.
Fairtrade offers a viable solution to this
are roasted very quickly. This results in a
AT A GLANCE
coffee products in supermarkets, and fair
The coffee bean
fresh for longer, but ground coffee, once
Like wine, the origin of coffee has a huge
container and used within a few days. Health effects. Mixed messages Best value.
FOOD MARCH 2009 consumer choice COFFEE GLOSSARY Useful contacts
• Acidity Positive term used to describe the sharp, Food Safety Authority of Ireland
• Aroma Refers to the smell of the coffee and
• Barista A person highly skilled in preparing
• Bitter or burnt Undesirable flavour characteristics
• Blend Combination of two or more varieties of
• Bloom The golden froth on the top of the cup. Irish Nutrition and
• Body Refers to the density of the coffee. Dietetic Institute
• Flavour Describes the impression you get when Mental performance COFFEE PRICES 1
the ability to perform complex tasks. The
Price (€) Quantity COFFEE SHOP Bagel Factory Bewley’s Cafe Butlers Chocolate Café Café Gusto, Cork Café Luna, Galway Café Sol Coffee Society Insomnia La Cala, Dublin McCafé (McDonald’s)
and Alzheimer's disease, but the evidence
Mews Café, Cork Mojo Café Bar, Limerick Mugshot Café, Kilkenny Liver health O’Briens Sandwich Bar
In Italy a 2007 review of the relationship
Pinocchio Luas Kiosk Ranelagh Starbucks Subway (Dublin 1) Superquinn Café Refresh
risk of the disease. The results of another
West Coast Coffee CONVENIENCE STORE Centra (Dublin 6)
developing cirrhosis of the liver dropped
Londis (Dublin 2) Spar (Dublin 6) SUPERMARKETS Dunnes Stores Caffeine hit
reports in the media on the health effects
The caffeine in coffee acts as a stimulant
when a scientific study is carried out. For
most people, one or two cups of coffee in
the morning won’t affect their sleeping
suggesting that coffee can reduce insulin
smoking, not coffee, was the likely cause.
sensitivity, which would actually increase
those who are sensitive to the stimulant.
the risk of diabetes. Confusion can occur
Most studies on a cancer-coffee link have
significant amounts of coffee for at least
consumer choice MARCH 2009 FOOD • Americano An espresso diluted with hot water. • Cappuccino An Italian espresso coffee containing steamed, frothy milk and sprinkled with chocolate. • Espresso A strong, dark coffee made from roasted and finely ground beans, served in a small cup. • Frappuccino A blend of ice and a mix constituted of coffee, water, milk, and various syrups • Iced coffee A double strength coffee diluted by melting ice. • Instant A powdered, soluble extract from coffee beans. • Latte One part espresso to two parts steamed milk, usually served in a tall glass. • Macchiato An espresso topped with a little frothed milk. • Mocha An espresso mixed with chocolate and topped with whipped cream. Cutting calories? Choose a skinny latte or cappuccino, which is made with skimmed or low fat milk to cut down on calories and fat. Stay
well away from deluxe treats such as the Maple White Chocolate Crème, a white chocolate based frappuccino with added maple syrup,
served with whipped cream, maple topping and white chocolate sauce!
avoided if you have high blood pressure.
opposite). The volume of a ‘cup’ of coffee
sized ‘tall’ cup holds 12 ounces of coffee.
calcium in the bones, and some scientists
and the dearest, at €2.50, were in Butlers,
calculated the average cost of a takeaway
The perfect brew Beverage Caffeine
at home isn’t difficult. We’ve put some
cups of coffee, while a 200g jar of instant
coffee would provide even more servings.
• Use fresh coffee Freshly roasted coffee
buy it as it can go stale very quickly.
Look for a ‘roasted’ or ‘packed on’ date
loss. Some are offering a €5 ‘any coffee,
• Grind the beans yourself Unless you
saving of up to €2.50 in some cases for
Report by Sinéad Mc Mahon cc choice comment
• Practice makes perfect If the beans are
Drinking coffee has its pros and cons, and its effects vary from person to person. Most people will determine
their personal consumption based on their sensitivity to the beverage and on how long they are willing to lie
• Instant coffee Once you find a brand
awake at night! Judging from our findings, if you are in the habit of buying a daily coffee on the way to work
it can cost over €500 per year! The annual savings can be huge if you make your own coffee in the morning
instead. However, if you drink too much you may pay with the jitters and a racing heartbeat. Excessive caffeine
• To add flavour Sprinkle spices or
can cause anxiety, insomnia, headaches or stomach irritation. In particular, pregnant and breastfeeding women
should keep their caffeine intake low. If you enjoy coffee it’s best to stick to no more than two to three cups a
day and, if studies are to be believed, you may even reap some benefits for your health.
FOOD MARCH 2009 consumer choice
Info-research… by Luc Marchand, M.D. Medical research, CHUM-CAMPUS Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal It has been demonstrated that there is a deficiency in seratonin and in thiamine in patients with ataxia a well phenomena of cellular destruction on the level of the cerebellum. Previous works of Dr. Botez and our neurology of behaviour laboratory demonstrated the improvement in the symptoms of
For personal use only. Not to be reproduced without permission of the editor (email@example.com) By Gail Foreshew , MSc, MRPharmS Pharmacists can help A&E departments achieve thefour-hour target for dealing with patientsdepartment is one of the busiest in Britain, Drug history taking with 131,581 patients attending in 2004. Arecent £6m development has enabled a newTakin