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People have used coffee as far back as the tenth century, when Ethiopian highlanders first cultivated the coffee bean. Studies have shown its health benefits and how it can decrease the risk of certain diseases. Yes, there are positive aspects to coffee but it does not hinder the fact that coffee has become an addiction for some.

Americans crave their daily fix and drink an estimated 400 million cups a day. But, coffee is so much more than just a drink. As one of the most actively traded commodities, coffee is now a multibillion-dollar global industry. So, what is it about coffee that keeps us coming back for more? Is it truly the taste or is it something else…

caffeine: It’s what gives you that kick in the morning. It’s what some  athletes use as a performance-and-endurance enhancer. It’s a supplement to a diet pill a way to speed up your metabolism.  Some may appreciate the bold bitter taste of black coffee but others choose to add more to it to make it taste drinkable. Milk, sugar, the array of favored sweeteners on the market, completely transform a black brewed coffee in to an entirely different tasting drink. Making drinking coffee enjoyable and less painful to reap its effects. manufacturers of course know this and many have gone above and beyond to develop different ways to get that boost. I personally see these as more  When I say that, I mean the convenience of not having to find a coffee shop (not like there isn’t one on every other block).

CoffeeMallows: Grownup marshmallows that contain coffee extract to give you that boost of caffeine. Weather you pop one in your mouth or add it to your warm milk- supposedly it does the trick.  I personally think this is a little ridiculous. It’s basically another way of taking 5 hour energy or a caffeine pills except the marshmallow form is supposed to consciously make you feel better about doing it.

The real buzz on the news now is AeroShot: Inhalable Caffeine. The way it works is you  breathe in on one end of the canister through your mouth which releases a powder that dissolves instantly. Each  canister contains B vitamins, plus 100 milligrams of caffeine powder (the same as a tall cup of coffee from Starbucks). The controversy around this new product is that it is being sold as a dietary supplement, which means it did not have to be approved by the FDA.

In an article on Huffingtonpost.com, “The company said that when used according to its label, AeroShot provides a safe amount of caffeine and B vitamins and does not contain common additives used to enhance the effect of caffeine in energy drinks.” Meanwhile, the FDA will review the product and determine whether AeroShot qualifies as a dietary supplement and  whether it’s safe.

For me, energy drinks, marshmallows and inhalable caffeine are all just for mere convenience. You can save yourself those extra 15 minutes in the morning standing online for coffee. The problem with these alternative methods is that I don’t believe you reap the same benefits as you would with a freshly brewed coffee. Once you start breaking something down to a different form and adding other ingredients to make it taste better the whole chemistry changes. And yes it may give you that kick in the morning but all those positive health aspects go right out the door. Whatever happened to sitting down and enjoying a cup of coffee? When I traveled to Spain for a semester I noticed that people there appreciate their dinning experience. Having a “to go” Starbucks in your hand just made you an outcast.

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