By: Andrew Robertson, Director of Retail at PRESS Coffee
Mental health awareness continues to become both more mainstream and necessary with each new year. A great deal of effort has been made to bring certain aspects of this crisis into focus, and we should all be looking for opportunities to decrease stress levels and take better care of ourselves—both physically and mentally. Having those in mind, I want to reexamine a customary practice many of us take for granted—the coffee break.
January 20 marks National Coffee Break Day. And while the jury still appears to be out
surrounding research on increased workplace productivity associated with taking more breaks, spending quality time with yourself in an intentional practice is never unproductive.
Let us first consider what we’re actually consuming. A good cup of coffee should be interesting, harmonious, refreshing and inspiring. It should never be bitter, burnt, harsh or overladen with sugary syrups. I continually find most people who “hate coffee” actually hate burnt coffee—and so do I. Luckily there has been a revolution in coffee quality, and we now have far better options available to us all.
The miracle of specialty coffee lies in the tangible quality of the coffee itself. Evaluated for
defects, chemical composition, and numerous other factors, specialty-grade coffees are those scoring 80 points and above on the coffee review scale. These rare offerings are roasted to bring out their unique origin flavors, and do not run the risk of being sour or astringent, even with a lighter roast profile.
Have you ever tried a Peruvian Geisha coffee that tastes like strawberries and jasmine? How about a naturally processed Ethiopian Guji that drinks like blueberry juice and dark chocolate? These are some of the options available in the specialty marketplace, and each offers a unique sensory experience that can radically transform your day. Not requiring sugar or cream, these coffees offer a glimpse into the pure and rarely reviewed aspect of coffee consumption—the experience.
There’s a certain romance that goes along with treating yourself to a great cup of coffee. When not fueled by loads of sugar, you don’t have to worry as much about the dreaded afternoon energy crash. Coffee is habitual, and we should be paying close attention to the things we practice and consume daily.
Drive-thru cafes offer absurdly sugary drinks containing coffee, topping out at a whopping 157 grams of sugar in some cases. Opting for a zero-calorie Americano or pour-over brew offers better health benefits both in the short and long term. A serving of coffee generally contains 80- 100 mg of caffeine. And while you want to limit your intake to around 400 mg per day, eliminating or reducing the sugar content in those drinks will lead to increased energy, reduce symptoms of glycemic “crashing,” and you will look and feel better.
So, when the next opportunity arises for a coffee break, be intentional with your time and your body, and make a choice for a better experience. Demand a higher quality coffee that doesn’t need any altering with flavored creams or syrups and enjoy the journey.