It all started with a good cup of coffee. Like this article. As the words began to form on the page, they were met with metallic sound of rotating blades, slicing and chopping the coffee beans, of water bubbling up and bursting out as it was heated, and finally the familiar and soothing melody of the black beverage as it fills the coffee cup. And that unique smell… haven’t had yours yet? Grab one, and read on to learn why it’s good to have caffeine by your side as you work and how to get the most out of it both in terms of productivity and coffee-enjoying pleasure.
The coffee bean has a thousand different compounds, and caffeine is just one of them. It’s the most studied compound, and that’s why we know so much about it. Caffeine acts as a stimulant for central nervous system. When it reaches your brain, you feel more alert, more awake, and less tired. That’s why caffeine is used as an ingredient in medications that treat or manage drowsiness, headaches, and migraines. Various studies have shown that consuming coffee even lowers the risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Caffeine provides no nutritional value on its own, however, and naturally due to its ability to perk people up, there are concerns over just how good for you it is. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, it’s safe for healthy adults to consume up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day – no doubt a dose that most office workers around the world regularly manage to hit..
The Effects and How to Control It
Adjusting the level of caffeine is easy, you just need to follow a few basic principles and experiment a little bit. But first, you will need to reprogram yourself to fully enjoy the taste of a good cup of coffee, since the effect of caffeine increases your well-being and productivity, whether at a workplace or in your home.
A good start is to allow your body wake up. As self-confessed coffee addicts, we know all too well that the suggestion from former Google tech designers Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky rings true: don’t drink coffee on an empty stomach. It works, too, so prepare breakfast instead and grab a cup of java only afterwards.
The body doesn’t require a stimulant in the early mornings, even if it doesn’t feel that way when forcing yourself out of bed. It’s when molecules called adenosine tell the body to slow down and you start feeling sleepy that caffeine has the desired effect, and the best time for that is after 9am. The timing of a second cup of coffee varies by each individual, but don’t miss having another one before lunch because that’s the point when most people’s energy level drops.
When working from home, it’s so easy to have lunch and then have a quick nap. Just put your Skype status on ‘do not disturb’, and off you go. There’s a twist for coffee lovers, though: how about having a coffee and taking a 15-minute nap immediately afterwards? Been there, done that, and it works. It may sound odd, but it takes a bit of a time for the caffeine to be absorbed into the bloodstream and reach the brain; drink a cup of coffee and let it work its way through your system and as its effect kicks in, you’ll wake up fresh and energized.
Those that are relatively new to the coffee experience, might favor tea in the afternoon since, unlike a cup of espresso which contains up to 80 mg of caffeine, a cup of green or black tea has only 15-20 mg and so your body will be less caffeinated.
Make Coffee With Minimal Equipment and Maintenance
Not all of us can afford to buy the latest and greatest coffee machines. For those working from home it is a smart idea to invest in an expensive coffee machine, but you should also calculate in the extra costs – both in time and money – of maintenance, which depends on the machine purchased. That’s why we recommend cheaper alternatives that require little to no maintenance, while keeping the coffee making ritual up close.
The cheapest coffee machine you can get is the moka pot or the macchinetta as the Italians alternatively call it. This contraption, known as a percolator, is present all over Europe, especially Italy – most households have one. It’s the easiest way to make coffee and enjoy the taste of a custom-made espresso.
Beyond the ease of making a Turkish coffee (all you need is ground coffee and a pot), there is another machine called AeroPress. It’s cheap, easy to use, and quick to clean; something everyone is looking for. In any case, you don’t need a large, expensive machine to make great coffee.