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Coffee is a drug, but is it good for you?

This is a great 4-minute survey into the coffee industry, with some interesting observations on where coffee grows, who drinks it and why.

The largest importer of coffee in the world is the U.S. As coffee trees grow between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, in the so-called "coffee belt", only the U.S. state of Hawaii can effectively grow coffee. That's why we import most of the coffee we consume.

While the U.S. is the largest coffee importer, the Scandinavians lead in coffee consumption per capita. The world champion is Finland. Coffee evolved to produce caffeine, probably because it is a pesticide, to protect itself from bugs. While caffeine is technically lethal for humans as well, the dosage required for lethal effects is probably around 90 cups of coffee. This is physically impossible for most people to consume because our bodies won't be able to fit that much liquid. This is probably why there are no recorded deaths from coffee in healthy adults. The only problems recorded arise from consuming caffeine pills or the drug in its pure form. Caffeine does cause a physiological addiction through its release of dopamine. But because it makes you feel happy, increases concentration, decreases fatigue, improves your heart, your memory, it does seem to be a "good" drug. The caffeine is the world's most used psychoactive drug.

Some other benefits of caffeine include reduction in risks of cardiovascular decease, Parkinson's decease or diabetes. In fact, we may have coffee to thank for the Enlightenment, the period in Western history that coincides with the start of coffee consumption to replace beer and gin. In other words, coffee is a fuel of the modern world.