Coffee is one of the world's most popular drinks. It is made from coffee beans and contains caffeine, a powerful stimulant. Coffee shops that prepare, serve and sell coffee and coffee drinks have been around for centuries and can be found in virtually any city in the world. This article will discuss coffee, coffee drinks, caffeine and how to find coffee shops near me.


History of Coffee


The use of coffee is believed to have originated in Ethiopia. Legend says that a goat herder named Kaldi lost track on his goats one day to find them eating red berries and glossy green leaves off of a tree he had never seen before. They were also dancing and seemed to have a lot of energy! Kaldi decided to try eating one of the leaves for himself. After chewing it, he found that he had a lot of energy and began to dance around and sing poetry! He told his father about the beans and leaves, and Ethiopians began using the coffee beans and leaves in their culture. It is believed that, at first, the Ethiopians simply chewed the coffee leaves, as Kaldi had when he first found them. Eventually the Ethiopians began grinding the coffee beans and mixing them with boiling water, creating a weak tea to drink.


The first recorded mention of coffee beans, however, was by an Arabian physician, Rhazes, in the tenth century. Coffee was used by the Arabs for medicinal and religious purposes. For example, monks would imbibe coffee to stay awake during prayers. Eventually, however, the ingestion of coffee spread to common use. Wealthy Arab families had special rooms in their houses reserved especially for drinking coffee. The coffee house/shop was also created for visitation for people who could not afford to have their own coffee rooms.


In the sixteenth century, people began roasting the coffee beans, grinding them, and making an infusion, creating the coffee that we know and drink today.


Caffeine in Coffee

One of the reasons that coffee and coffee drinks are so popular has to do with their caffeine content. Caffeine, found in not only coffee, but also tea, soft drinks, kola nuts, chocolate and certain medicines, is a bitter substance that has profound effects on the body's metabolism. Caffeine acts as a central nervous system stimulant, providing the user with a boost of energy and revving up that individual's metabolism.


A typical serving of brewed coffee (8 oz. / one cup), contains 95 - 200 mg of caffeine. Instant coffee, espresso shots, and decaffeinated coffee contains less caffeine than this. A cup of instant coffee contains 27 - 173 mg of caffeine; an espresso shot contains 47 - 75 mg of caffeine; and a cup of brewed decaffeinated coffee contains 2 - 12 mg of caffeine. The caffeine content of coffee depends on many factors, including the brewing method and for how long the coffee is brewed. That is why the caffeine ranges are so broad.


For most people, 2 - 4 cups of regular brewed coffee does not pose a problem to their nervous system. However, drinking more than this may produce adverse effects because of the introduction of too much caffeine. Some effects of ingesting too much caffeine include jitters, dehydration, abnormal heart rhythms, trouble falling or staying asleep, withdrawal symptoms if caffeine use is stopped suddenly, and irritability. Certain groups of individuals are advised to limit or completely avoid drinking caffeinated coffee and/or drinks with caffeine. These groups include pregnant and/or nursing women, children and the elderly.


Coffee Drinks


Along with plain coffee, coffee drinks have become increasingly popular in recent years, especially with the explosion of coffee shops, which prepare and sell coffee and coffee drinks. Coffee drinks are made using different preparation methods (brewing, steaming, etc.) and adding various ingredients, such as additional coffee or espresso shots, steamed milk and/or syrups. There are countless ways to prepare coffee, resulting in hundreds of coffee drinks. This section will discuss some of the most popular coffee drinks that are popular today.


Basic Brewed Coffee


Plain brewed coffee is the most popular way to drink coffee and is a very appealing coffee drink. Coffee is made through a process of several steps. First, the coffee beans are grown, picked and processed. The coffee beans (which are actually seeds, or "coffee cherries") are processed in one of two ways. One method, the Dry Method, is popular in countries where water resources are limited. This method involves drying out the coffee cherries by spreading them on a large surface and turning them over by raking them several times a day. Coffee cherries are left in this way to dry out until their moisture content drops to 11%; this process sometimes take several weeks. The other method, the Wet Method, involves passing the coffee cherries through a pulping machine to separate the skin and pulp from the coffee bean. The beans are passed through a water channel, where the heavier beans sink to the bottom and the lighter beans rise to the top. There are several additional steps involved in the Wet Method, which is the most commonly used method for processing beans today.


Next, the beans are milled and then exported. The beans, green at this time, are then roasted at a temperature of around 550 degrees Fahrenheit, which turns them brown. The beans are then ground and brewed with hot water. Voila! You have your cup of basic brewed coffee.


Many people add cream, milk and/or sugar to their coffee to enhance its flavor. Drinking plain brewed coffee, without additives, is called "black" or "plain" brewed coffee.




Espresso is another popular coffee drink. An espresso is made using an espresso machine, and takes a small amount of nearly boiling water and forces it through finely ground coffee beans. Espresso "shots" can be drank in a singular, small cup, or can be the basis of other coffee drinks, such as lattes, cappucinos, caffee machiattos or cafe mochas.


An espresso is a thick coffee drink that can be difficult to drink for many. Its preparation produces a thin layer of "crema", a foamy cream, that floats on the top of this coffee drink.




A latte (or caffee latte) is a coffee drink made with espresso and steamed milk. Caffee latte actually means "coffee milk." Cafe lattes are other extremely popular coffee drinks! There are several different variations of caffee lattes as coffee drinks. Regular cow's milk can be replaced by almond or soy milk, for example. A "skinny" latte uses skim milk instead of regular, full fat milk. Additionally, the espresso base can be substituted for chai tea (spiced Indian tea). Lattes are generally hot coffee drinks, but they can also be served cold. Cold caffee lattes are called "Iced Lattes" and are made using cold, not steamed, milk.


The latte machiatto ("stained milk") is another variation of the traditional caffee latte coffee drink. In a latte machiatto, the espresso is added to the milk, rather than the milk being added to the espresso shot. Additionally, less espresso is used in the preparation of the latte machiatto. In a traditional caffee latte, one shot or more of espresso is used; in a latte machiatto, however, one half espresso shot or less is used.




A cappucino is another popular coffee drink. Cappucinos are made with an espresso shot as its base, hot milk and steamed milk foam. Cappucinos are comforting coffee drinks, as they are often topped with cinnamon. They can also be made with cream instead of milk. Cappucinos are similar to caffee lattes but smaller, and the layer of foam is thicker. These coffee drinks, prepared with an espresso machine, can be served cold (iced cappucino) or hot.


Decaffeinated coffee


Decaffeinated coffee is a great coffee drink option for people who need or want to limit their use of caffeine. Such people may include pregnant and/or nursing women, children and the elderly. Decaffeinated coffee is prepared similarly to regular, caffeinated coffee, but the caffeine is almost entirely removed. Contrary to popular belief, decaffeinated coffee still has some caffeine in it, but it tastes similarly to caffeinated coffee.


Decaffeinated coffee can be used to make any of the above mentioned coffee drinks, including espressos, lattes, and cappucinos. Decaffeinated coffee can also be drank as a plain brewed coffee drink.


Other Coffee Drinks


Popular chains like Starbucks and other coffee shops give customers the option to create their own coffee drinks using different milks and syrups, and sometimes even adding alcohol. Different coffee drinks can also be created using hot coffee, or coffee that has been cooled and poured over ice.


Popular syrups for coffee drinks include vanilla, caramel, chocolate and hazelnut. Popular cows milk substitutions include almond and soy milk. Customers at coffee shops can make their coffee drinks as individualized as they'd like! Grocery stores also sell flavored coffee drink creamer powders, milks and syrups; peppermint creamer, for example, is a popular coffee flavoring served in the winter time.


Toppings may be added to coffee drinks. Whipped cream is a popular option. Cinnamon or cocoa powder are other toppings frequently added to coffee drinks.


Find Coffee Shops Near Me


There are thousands of coffee shops all over the world, and it is very easy to find coffee shops near you, especially if you have access to a computer and/or smartphone!


Search by Location


If you are walking, riding or driving around looking for a coffee shop and you have access to a smart phone with a GPS, you can pull out your phone and type in, "find coffee shops near me." You can also speak "find coffee shops near me" into your voice-activated assistant (i.e., Siri on an iPhone, Alexa for Amazon). Doing this should let you pull up a list of coffee shops near you. Sometimes, your smartphone might even display a map of coffee shops and show where they are in relation to you! You can select the coffee shop that you want to visit, find the address, and look up directions to the coffee shop. You're on your way!


You can also find coffee shops near you using your personal computer, if you have access to GPS and a WiFi connection. Simply type in the same things you did with your smartphone, "find coffee shops near me," to pull up a list of coffee shops.


If you have access to a map on your smartphone, you can pull up your location on the map. Many maps, such as Google maps, have businesses listed on the maps, along with their location. You can scan the map near your location in this way to see if there are any coffee shops nearby.


If you want to be "old fashioned," (and you don't want to search using a smartphone and/or computer), you can simply ask a passerby or stop in at a gas station if there are any coffee shops nearby. Hopefully someone will be able to assist you!


Search by Name


Obviously, if you're searching for coffee shops near you and have a certain coffee shop in mind, you can search for that coffee shop to see if it is near you. Many people have a favorite coffee shop in mind, and will want to drink coffee or coffee drinks only at specific coffee shops. In order to do this, you will need a personal computer with WiFi and GPS and/or a smartphone. You will perform the same tasks as indicated above, but instead of typing in "find coffee shops near me," you will replace "coffee shops" with the name of the specific coffee shop. For example, if you're looking for a Starbucks coffee shop, you will type in "find Starbucks near me." Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts and Greenberry's are names of popular coffee shops.


Remember, that not all places that serve coffee are considered exclusively "coffee shops." Some restaurants and stores that specialize in other products - grocery stores and bookstores, for example - also serve coffee. When you're looking for a coffee shop, remember that you have these other options available!


I hope you enjoyed this article about coffee, coffee drinks, caffeine and where to find coffee shops near me!