Alexandra Bruce
March 14, 2015

Coffee is the lifeblood of most peoples’ mornings (not mine – it gives me hives and makes me feel like I’m going to fly through the roof. I’m a tea-drinker), but do you know what’s actually inside that cup of coffee you’re drinking each day? You’d be surprised.

Coffee naturally contains some aromatic compounds that would be pretty disgusting, if they were present in higher concentrations, such as 2-Ethylphenol, which has a tar-like medicinal odor and also happens to be the same compound that’s a pheromone, which cockroaches excrete to signal each other of danger (yipe).

There’s also a whiff of dimethyl disulfide, which is a smell given off by rotting meat…but this is offset by the copious amounts of acetylmethylcarbinol, a component of butter which makes coffee have that round, irrestible taste, to so many people. We hate to admit it but everything kind of *is* better with butter! Especially cockroach juice!

Trigonelline gives coffee it’s Earthy taste, which is also a compound that battles a tooth-decaying bacteria, streptococcus mutans.

Coffee also contains the antioxidant, 3.5 dicaffeoylquinnic acid, which protects you from brain damage. What’s not to like about that?

But the thing you really drink it for is the caffeine, which like all serious, mind-altering chemicals is an alkaloid, such as nicotine, cocaine and most hallucinogens. Caffeine blocks the neurotransmitter, adenosine which suppresses sleepiness (I don’t need this but it seems most people do).

Has this altered your view of your Morning Joe?


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