Elixir of the Month – The Aroma of Coffee

Just in case anyone did not realize it… the molecule of the month for April was Adrenaline ^_^;;

And due to the complexities that surround this upcoming BRILLIANT beverage… an Elixir of Life of sorts… COFFEE!!!! Over the years I’ve been a barista at Starbucks (best months of my life as an employee), a barista at college cocktail bars serving alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks (including, of course, COFFEE!!!), as well as an overall lover of anything that can taste bittersweet and make you feel alive!

I remember walking in to my shift at Starbucks… probably feeling slightly down due to workload… but as soon as I entered the door, I would take in a huge breath, slip on my apron (smile automatically comes onto my usually unsmiling face), and it would always be 6 hours of energetic bliss! As a result of my vigor, I was given the honor as Employee of the Month (Twice!), and also made Head Barista on my final month working there (sadly). The pay was awesome, but nothing could compare with the smell I was blessed with during my shift, and for hours after… lingering on my clothes and hair. I have to admit I was tempted at most times to just skip showering! ^_^;;;;

Now to start off, I just simply HAVE to mention caffeine, the world’s most widely consumed psychoactive drug. More specifically, it is a central nervous stimulant (CNS) of the methylxanthine class of psychoactive drugs. As a substance, it is a bitter, white crystalline purine, a methylxanthine alkaloid and closely related to adenine, which is found in DNA and RNA. What’s important is that it can stave off drowsiness, definitely useful in many situations. But it also has negative side effects like insomnia, gastric, etc. Nothing is free in this world… what we have to do is weigh the pluses and minuses… and decide!

The-Chemistry-of-Coffee-Sept-14-v2

This infographic above, taken from Compound Interest in 2014, details some of the most important aspects of coffee. Not only does it summarize the action of caffeine, but also explains why coffee is bitter. Now, not many would be interested in bitter things. Most fairy tale wannabe believers just want the sweetness in life. Although it takes a special kind of maturity to love bitter things, it doesn’t take much to love coffee. The key to brewing the ultimate coffee, is love! Depending on the levels of chemicals like 5-caffeoylquinic acid in coffee beans, different grades of roasting can reduce that enough to give a great taste.

However, the most important aspect of coffee to me, lay in the smell… the sweet aroma of the bitterness (see what I did there?). The next infographic summarizes it very well, and once again, THANK YOU Compound Interest.

Aroma-Chemistry-Coffee

I don’t know what else I need to say… I’m printing out this infographic in a large size and pasting it on my bar counter wall. Once the cupboards are done, and the coffee machine is here… there will be a very nice aroma in my living room ^__^

P.S. Although caffeine is listed as the molecule of the month, it’s up to you to decide which chemical that is found in Coffee, the Elixir of Life, that interests you the most, and research them individually.

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