Health Benefits of Coffee and How to Enjoy it Like the Italians

If your Tuesday is feeling like a Monday, go ahead and treat yourself to that extra cup of coffee!  Studies have shown it may improve more than your mood and sleepiness!

We came across an article this week explaining a study of those who drink 500 ml of coffee per day versus those who drink none.  The study reportedly found that the DNA strands of the group who drank coffee had much less breakage than those who drank only water during the four-week span.

What does that mean for us?  It suggests that coffee may help to fight germs in the skin and boost collagen, improving the overall look and health of our skin.

This is not the first study to show that coffee is good for our health. 

We know that coffee beans are rich in antioxidants.  It is thought to lower the risk of melanoma as well as other cancers. 

In addition to the antioxidants’ power to fight off some forms of cancer, some researchers have also found links to coffee drinkers being less likely to develop type 2 Diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, liver diseases, cardiovascular disease, and depression. 

According to the European Journal of Epidemiology, drinking 4 cups of coffee per day appears to lower risk of mortality in general. 

For exercise obsessed people like me, here’s some more good news!  Drinking coffee an hour before your workout can boost your performance, and your metabolism.  Another study suggested that drinking coffee before a workout can help you to keep burning more calories post-exercise. 

In coffee, as with anything we put into our bodies, quality is essential.  Mia Emilia has selected a very special coffee producer to bring to us here in the States.  Caffe EDOR, made in Naples, uses only the highest quality raw coffee beans and traditional roasting process to give you the same wonderful flavor served in the famous Neapolitan cafes.  Even the smell will take you there! 

The producers tell us that processing their coffee beans “is like painting a picture, the tools help, but what really makes the difference is the heart.”  I want some of that, don’t you? 

One taste and this philosophy is clear.  I am not a morning person and I easily sleep through the sound of the coffee grinder, but when my husband is in the kitchen grinding the Caffe EDOR beans, the smell wakes me every time, in the most wonderful way.

It invites you to start your day the Italian way.  While it’s excellent in a drip machine, our favorite way to enjoy it is to grind it finely and make espresso.  Its rich flavor is perfect, and the aroma is uniquely Italian.  The kind of scent that beckons you into a crowded bar to stand among the locals as you throw back your espresso, Italian style. 

The coffee culture is special in Italy, but very different from our own.  Espresso is commonly consumed throughout the day, especially after a meal.  After dinner it can be lingered over once the day is done.  At breakfast at local bars, however, it is always consumed in just a sip or two and standing at the bar. 

What fun it is to join the crowd and embrace this morning tradition!  And how special to be able to re-create it here at home.  An ordinary Tuesday morning can become a special one as you drink to tradition, health, happiness, and Italy! 

When Italians clink glasses, the saying is often “Salute”, the same word for health.  The word for a toast itself is brindisi.  Its name alone makes my heart skip a beat, remembering the very evening I fell in love with Italy and discovered the Brindisi (in Opera a song introducing a toast, happy and up-beat) from Verdi’s La Traviata.

It was my first night in Italy and I was fifteen years old.  I discovered the scent of jasmine that day, and the taste of pesto when it’s freshly made. 

Already captivated by this watery city, we made our way to St. Mark’s square for the evening and discovered dueling orchestras playing Italian folk music that stole my heart piece by piece. 

While the adults ordered wine, I asked for a coffee and we sat for hours as the piazza sparkled under the stars and the orchestras made us laugh and cry and surrender under the spell.   

When the orchestra at our favorite, Gran Caffe Quadri, played the Brindisi from La Traviata, “Libiamo Ne’lieti Calici” everyone clapped along.  I’m convinced that is the happiest song ever written.  It was a magic unlike anywhere else.  A coffee and an evening I will never forget. 

Italian products are more than wholesome and good for our health, they are good for our souls as well.  The difference truly does come from the heart.