Chemistry of Coffee Essay

Submitted By kristabird888
Words: 1173
Pages: 5

The Chemistry of Coffee

Every morning millions of people indulge in a cup of coffee; some purely for the taste and aroma of this popular morning beverage or souly for the caffeine that gives you a jump start your day. Most researches have predicted that the coffee plant originated in Africa, especially Ethiopia and Madagascar. It was then later discovered the coffee bean can be brewed into a beverage by the Arab traders in Yemen. Coffee was traded and experimented with throughout the whole Eastern hemisphere. It was not until the early 1600s that coffee was brought to the Americas. From then on coffee has tested on by many scientists to come up with the beverage we sip out of our mugs in the morning. Around the entire world we consume four hundred billion cups each year, nearly four hundred million cups a day (Professor Peaberry). There are many good things that can come from drinking coffee but there are also some cons. Coffee can reduce your risk of diabetes, fights off free radicals, and improves memory and cognition. On the other hand coffee can potentially increase osteoporosis, cause wrinkles, and could contain pesticides if inorganic (Samantha, selected from Planet Green).

What really are you drinking everyday? Coffee is made up of thousands of different aroma compounds. One of these compound families being alkaloids such as caffeine or otherwise known as 1,3,7 – trimethylxanthine (Coffee Science Seminar Portland). The other alkaloid present in coffee is Trigonelline. This alkaloid is a bitter alkaloid and serves to produce the aroma from coffee. Acids are also present within this beverage, including Quinic Acid, Citric Acid, Chlorogenic Acid, Phosphoric Acid, and Acetic Acid. Chlorogenic acids (CGAs) are the most abundant acids in coffee. They make up approximately twelve per cent of the dry weight of green unroasted coffee beans. Most of coffee's bitter taste comes from CGAs. However, about half of the CGAs in coffee beans are reduced when the coffee is roasted at a high temperature, which causes many chemical reactions. In the Maillard browning reaction compounds are created including brown colored and very bitter tasting antioxidant polymers called melanoidins (Chemistry in Every Cup). Coffee is also made up of proteins, lipids, and carbohydrates. Proteins are made of smaller components called amino acids which can vary significantly within each coffee type based on how ripe the bean is and what temperature it is contained in. When coffee beans are roasted amino acids contribute to the color, aroma, and flavor through a reaction previously talked about called the Maillard reaction. In a coffee bean a small percentage of lipids are contained in the covering of the bean and most of them being dispersed in the endosperm. Studies show that coffee storage has played a role in lipid concentrations. The amount of lipids increase when coffee is stored for an extended period of time at subtropical temperatures. Although, when a coffee bean is roasted the amount of lipids do no change due to their relatively high melting points. Carbohydrates make up about fifty percent of a coffee bean. When coffee is being roasted carbohydrates go through the Maillard reaction and molecules in the coffee decompose to form water, carbon dioxide, the aroma, and the brown color (Coffee Science Seminar Portland).

Caffeine is a natural stimulant found in coffee. It is known to improve memory and the speed with which our brains process information. A normal amount of caffeine is not harmful in any way to your body; in fact, caffeine is easily absorbed by your stomach lining. Researchers have found that caffeine affects your cardiovascular system, nervous system, and your metabolism. Caffeine stimulates the nervous system, which sends direct signals to the fat cells to tell them to break down fat. Caffeine has been known to increase fat metabolism. When caffeine enters your body it blocks adenosine,