The “Magic” Bean

Roberto, a senior at DVC and personal barista, making his novelty expressos.

Roberto, a senior at DVC and personal barista, making his novelty expressos.

Alessandra Pacheco, Features Editor

Another Starbucks just opened up across your street, you’re a big coffee fan, and you couldn’t be more excited at the prospect of coffee being closer to you. Every morning, now, you can have an iced blended mocha at your fingertips and start your day right. However, is the cost of drinking that mocha worth it?

According to the ABC News Network and ABC research writers, “The average American worker spends nearly $14.40 a week on coffee” which might not seem drastic, but, “the average worker spends around $1,100 annually on coffee.” This also excludes the expenses a person will have if they brew their own favorite drinks at home, so that means a greater amount of money will be spent toward a person’s coffee fix.

The National Coffee Association’s 2013 statistics suggest that “about 83 percent of adults drink coffee in the U.S,” which means that, the average working American drinks “three cups a day or 587 million cups” daily on average per year.

The consumption and cost that Americans have with coffee isn’t the only issue, health plays a huge role in the addiction this country has with caffeine. According to WebMD’s article, Coffee Addiction, the liver makes coffee consumption’s effect on our bodies less damaging, but there’s still the fact that the substance only ‘disappears’ out of the body “after 8-10 hours” and even then, only “75% of coffee in the body is gone.”

This matters because coffee enters the blood in the body, leading coffee to the brain, and blocks the “adenosine molecule in the brain that produces the feeling of tiredness.” By drinking coffee, you’re tricking your body into not being tired, which can slowly change the amount of the adenosine molecule in the body, making it harder for a person to sleep overtime- chemical body change for a couple more hours of energy is pretty hardcore.

However, this doesn’t seem to deter people at Da Vinci Communications from drinking coffee. For instance, Geraldine Lopez, a teacher’s assistant for many classrooms, says, “The only thing I look forward to in the morning is drinking coffee.” Lopez also noted that when she does drink too much coffee, “during the week my eye starts to twitch and that’s when I know I need to lay off of it for a little bit.”   

Some people are not, however, as reliant on coffee as others might be. Fellow teaching assistant Lynne Awick says, “Coffee is something I indulge in once in awhile, it’s not something I need.” Awick adds, “The only time I really need it is when I have papers due and I’m tired, but I don’t regularly drink coffee. I don’t see myself as an avid drinker of coffee.”

Others oppose the idea of coffee altogether. Isaiah Cornelius, a senior at DVC said, “I hate coffee because of the bitter taste, it’s really nasty, and it’s supposed to keep you up but it only makes me sleepy.” He continues, “Companies like Starbucks flood the market with all this nasty crap, they’re not helping anyone, they’re not making it better. I want better made, natural, organic coffee that doesn’t taste terrible.”

Laura Chase, the Chemistry teacher at DVC, mentioned, “I like Starbucks because I don’t like the taste of coffee and they have lots of sugary and delicious drinks that drown out the coffee with chocolate. I love sugar, so the marketing works on me.”

Chase went on to say, “I think as far as diets go, you should have all things in moderation and I think that once you start having multiple cups of coffee or like espresso drinks a day, you’re adding a lot of caffeine to your diet. Caffeine can change a lot of your body chemistry, accelerate your heart rate and keep you from sleeping- it has a lot of negative health impacts and can make you reliant on caffeine.”

This is true, caffeine can cause sleep deprivation if you have coffee six hours before bed, which means those all-nighters filled with homework and constant coffee are even more unhealthy than a coffee addiction.

Most people do drink coffee if they need a boost for work or school, considering we prioritize these areas of our lives frequently. That may seem reasonable, but we should try our best to plan out more ahead of time when an assignment is due to stress with lack of sleep doesn’t always lead to excess caffeine.

At the end of the day, each person to their own, and coffee is just a drink- just not something we should be having as frequently as some of us may have.