Conversations, bonding, romance, and birth of ideas — what can't a cup of coffee do?

There is some truth to caffeine, after all. It really does help you feel more awake. Brain studies show it reduces sleepiness and improves alertness, effectively jump-starts a sleep-deprived mind, and increases the ability to pay attention — a real bonus when there's no time to rest.

For those who consume caffeine regularly, an even more intriguing benefit may be its capacity to stimulate positive feelings and perk up mood. Researchers think this mood-enhancing effect reinforces the consistent use of caffeine — and may explain why some individuals get “hooked” to it. And though recall studies show varied results, moderate caffeine consumption may improve both long-term and short-term memory.

And, that brings us to coffee. Before we proceed, here's a little bit of coffee history. Coffee was discovered in Ethiopia, but first cultivated in the European peninsula. Then the popularity of coffee slowly spread to other countries. Social factors too contributed to the popularity of coffee.

It has always remained a popular beverage, and often associated with compatibility, intellect, interaction, and, unavoidably, romance.

Sharanya Menon, assistant prop handler and owner of Highlight, Mumbai, says: “Whether alone or with company, a cup of coffee can spark off the best of ideas. Personally, my best ideas have come over a cup of coffee and a book. It is the best way to spend an afternoon when everyone else is busy.” But, there always are contradictory opinions. Arun Krishnan, an engineer from Bangalore says: “May be coffee stimulates the mind, but it doesn't work for me; this belief is rubbish. ”

In a place such as Chennai, a morning begins with the strains of ‘Kausalya supraja rama purva…' and the familiar aroma of fresh ‘decoction coffee' that permeates the air. And, it could be a great time for bonding. As a neighbour says: “The most important part of my day is the ‘half-hour' I spend with my husband every morning over a hot cup of coffee! We plan the day's menu, the priorities of the day etc., after which the day goes by in a whirl. But nothing like that feeling of companionability and togetherness that we quietly enjoy over a cup of coffee.”

So, looks like ‘a lot could happen over a cup of coffee', isn't it?

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At WorkSeptember 24, 2010