Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Black Coffee

I'm feelin' mighty lonesome
Haven't slept a wink
I walk the floor and watch the door
In between I drink
Black coffee
Love's a hand-me-down brew
I'll never know a Sunday
In this weekday room...

kd lang, Black Coffee

“Black Coffee” is one of those songs I love to sing when I’m a bit sad and on my way to getting helplessly inebriated. One of my oldest friends takes his clue from this song---it’s time to give me black coffee to lift my mood. Is it the caffeine or the sugar he puts in my coffee that cheers me up?

I'm talkin to the shadow
One o'clock till four
And Lord, how slow the moments go
And all I do is pour
Black coffee
Since the blues caught my eye
I'm hangin' out on Monday
My Sunday dreams to dry

This everyday elixir has a colorful history, not to mention a long journey across continents. Some coffee aficionados say an Ethiopian goatherd discovered coffee around 800 AD. The goatherd, the story goes, noticed his flock frolicking from one coffee shrub to another, munching on the cherry-red berries containing coffee beans. He chewed on a few himself and was soon romping along with his herd. Then a monk (there’s always a monk behind the bushes :D) saw the goatherd cavorting with his goats, got curious and plucked some berries for his brothers. That night, the whole monastery was incredibly euphoric and vigilant to divine inspiration. The magic beans later crossed the Red Sea to Arabia and it was there where things really got brewing. By the 13th century, Muslims were drinking coffee religiously. It kept worshippers awake and wherever Islam went, coffee went, too.

Coffee was regarded as a passion in those days and the beans were tightly guarded. Until an Indian pilgrim-cum-smuggler left Mecca with fertile coffee seeds strapped to his belly. The Indian’s seeds bore fruit and reached Europe’s colonies (Source: National Geographic)

Now man was born to go a lovin'
But was a woman born to weep and fret
And stay at home and tend her oven
And drown her past regrets
In coffee and cigarettes
I'm moonin' all the mornin'
Moanin' all the night
And in between it's nicotine
And not much heart to fight
Black coffee
Feelin' low as the ground
It's drivin' me crazy
This waitin' for my baby
Might maybe come around
Come around...

Caffeine has been the focus of research for decades...it's a stimulant and had been linked to heart disease, gastrointestinal problems, insomnia, anxiety, to mention a few. And as one of the sources of caffeine, coffee has been maligned for years, but it's undoubtedly a beloved drink all over the world. What used to be as an elite indulgence has become a staple of our modern life and culture. Despite coffee's bad rep, researchers believe that it has a number of health benefits---aside from lifting our moods and treat headaches, coffee lowers the risk of diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and color cancer. There is a significant presence of antioxidants in coffee beans to help mitigate the chances of heart disease and cancer.

I remember my Grade 4 teacher who warned the class about the hazards of drinking coffee. She said that coffee would stunt our growth, cause ulcers, infertility and mental illness. My father's family was [and still is] a bunch of coffee-drinkers so I announced my teacher’s warning at lunch. My aunts and uncles find it funny, teased me that I would never grow taller than 4 feet and that I'd inherit the "bad genes" from drinking "weak" coffee. My grandfather winked at me and remarked that Miss O’s (my teacher) father was thickwitted, he probably didn’t drink coffee. :D My grandmother always made sure that kids would drink the "weak" coffee, not the strong brew drank by adults.

I grew taller than 4 feet---thank God, but not as tall as I wished I'd be. Blame it on some genetic anomaly. As for the "bad genes", that remains to be seen (hehe). But before you panic that you’re going to die a premature death from drinking coffee, check out The Coffee Science Information Center.
In the meantime, enjoy your coffee in moderation and sing with kd lang.


nutart said...

I know that my father-in-law has to drink coffee everyday to thicken his blood...whatever that means. That's what his doctor had prescribed! Sarap naman ng presription, no?

I also know that beekeepers (when they have large tracts of lands) would also grow coffee plants because the bees love them. Kaya pala they're always up and about :-)...bzzzy.

Thanks for the uplifting research, Luna! Better take my shot-o-mug of good barako coffee!

Oman said...

never heard the song before but i do prefer my coffee with cream. nothing perks me up like a hot cup of coffee.

Unknown said...

same here, lawstude. i prefer black coffee, brewed or instant. i can't think straight unless i had my morning coffee.:D

Unknown said...

wow, good doctor! that's an inexpensive prescription.:D oh, so the bees are also caffeine addicts, kaya pala! enjoy your barako, bernadette and thanks for droppin' by.

Panaderos said...

I've been drinking coffee since I was a kid. Luckily, I never developed a serious caffeine addiction and never really consumed more than two cups of coffee on my worst days. :D

Glad to know that our dear but much-maligned coffee also provides a number of health benefits. Welcome information indeed. :)

Unknown said...

my relatives would tell my friends that i was bottlefed with coffee and tuba.:D there was a time when i consumed 6-8 cups a day, with matching yosi pa. i developed a host of problems after that. nowadays, i only take 2-3 cups.:D

i once read an article that coffee stimulates the brain. kaya ang biruan namin dito sa office, magkape na lang para makaroon ng konting talino!:D thanks for visiting, panaderos.

Anonymous said...

Nice song from kd lang.

I'm a coffee addict (I prefer very strong brewed coffee with cream and a little mascovado sugar) and no amount of "bad news" about coffee's going to let me miss my mug of coffee. :)

Daniel Chérouvrier said...

Nice song for our black coffee.
Expresso is my favorite.

Unknown said...

i'm with you, bugsybee. life's short after all.:D

Unknown said...

glad you like the song, deslilas. enjoy your coffee!:D