I have a confession to make. I love coffee. Dark roast, light roast, Americanos, double espresso shots, pour-overs, french press, good old drip coffee . . . I love it all. So, when I heard it was caffeine awareness month, my first thought was “I’m very aware of caffeine.” I was first introduced to the joys of coffee when I tried a sip of my father’s coffee as a kid. I did not like it. However, given a few years and a summer job working at the Minnesota State Fair, I learned to love it. Now, ten years after developing a taste for it, coffee and I have been through a lot together. It got me through college, helped me stay focused and energized during twelve hour shifts working in a restaurant and food truck in Minneapolis, and warmed me up after being out in the cold for five hours going door-to-door as a canvasser.
As a coffee lover, I also thought that this month would be about celebrating the greatness of coffee.
Turns out I was wrong.
Caffeine awareness month is meant to recognize the potential risks of caffeine, and encourage moderate consumption. Now, there is a lot of research out there regarding the various health benefits and health problems that can be caused by caffeine. For instance, research from the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University has shown an association between moderate coffee consumption and lower risks of various diseases like type 2 diabetes and Parkinson’s. It can be quite confusing to keep track of how much caffeine one should consume. Thankfully, one of Minnesota’s great institutions, the Mayo Clinic, offers some guidance on this topic.
The Mayo Clinic recommends consuming up to 400 milligrams of caffeine in a day. That’s the equivalent of four cups of coffee. If you’re drinking more than that, and you experience side effects such as migraines, insomnia, irritability, or an upset stomach, it is recommended to cut back your consumption.
Also important to remember is that caffeine isn’t just found in coffee. Remember to be mindful of caffeine coming from soda, tea, chocolate/cocoa, energy drinks, and even certain medications. Whether it is coming from coffee or other sources, caffeine is a part of many people’s daily routines. More often than not, it doesn’t create health issues. However, it is important to keep in mind how much caffeine you consume to avoid the potential negative side effects.
I will continue to enjoy my morning and afternoon coffee. Lately, I have been brewing Whitestone Coffee Co.’s Campfire Roast with an Aeropress at home. It’s a great way to make a single cup of coffee, and I find that helps me to moderate how much I am drinking in a given day.
Stop in and pick up a bag of Whitestone Coffee yourself. We sell their medium and dark roasts, both ground and whole bean, in the gallery. In addition, you can pick up a new mug from one of the many artists we feature either in the gallery or online. Whether it’s one of Campbell Pottery’s Bistro Mugs, a Fitzgerald Pottery Coffee Mug, or one of the new Dirty Dog Mugs that came in last week, there are styles for everyone.