Monthly Archives: January 2017

Good News about Coffee and Health

Good News about Coffee and HealthIn past blog posts, we have articulated some of the known health benefits of moderate coffee consumption. This month, we want to address one specific area of good news: coffee and other foods with caffeine do not lead to irregular cardiac rhythms as previously believed. You can now engage in moderate coffee consumption without worrying about arrhythmia.

Past studies have suggested that caffeine can cause irregular heart rhythm. Those studies caused doctors and other health professionals to warn against consuming coffee, chocolate, and other foods with significant volumes of caffeine. But a new study out of the University of California-San Francisco now says otherwise. The study is the largest ever to look at the supposed links between irregular cardiac rhythm and dietary habits.

According to lead researcher Dr. Gregory Marcus, previous recommendations to avoid foods that contain caffeine should be reconsidered by the medical community. In fact, Dr. Marcus and his fellow researchers believe that caffeine consumption might actually have positive health benefits that should be encouraged.

No Evidence of PVCs or PACs

Researchers conducted their study with a group of just under 1,400 subjects with an average age of 72. Regular caffeine consumption was reported by 60% of the subjects at the start of the study. Researchers then measured instances of premature ventricular contractions (PCVs) and premature atrial contractions (PACs) among their subjects, only to find that those who consume caffeine on a regular basis did not have a greater incidence of the contractions.

Both kinds of contractions are understood to cause the heart to beat more times than it normally would. Both are related to a long list of heart conditions including atrial fibrillation, stroke, coronary artery disease, and general heart failure.

So why the difference in the study results? The UCSF researchers say that the past studies we depended on for decades did not look at either PACs or PVCs in relation to irregular heart rhythms. That makes them flawed inasmuch as irregular heart rhythm generally begins as either PACs or PVCs.

Buttressing their claims are a significant number of observational studies that have found regular caffeine users have measurably lower rates of cardiovascular and coronary artery disease.

Everything in Moderation

We need to be careful with this good news about coffee and health. As always, everything needs to be done in moderation. Moderate coffee consumption can provide certain health benefits thanks to the caffeine it contains. But too much of a good thing can be counterproductive. So go ahead and enjoy two or three cups of good coffee every day. Just watch it on the cream and sugar, and don’t indulge yourself via multiple pots.

Here at Galaxie Coffee, we love coffee and everything that goes with it. That’s why we have been faithfully serving our customers in the greater New York area for as long as we have. We would be happy to provide your office with high-quality coffee service that includes a full line of beverages and equipment.

The Oldest Coffeehouse in the U.S. Is…

The Oldest Coffeehouse in the U.S. IsThe Galaxie Coffee staff thought might be fun to search through the records with the hope of finding the oldest coffeehouse in the U.S. What began as a fun project turned into an obsession, as we searched one source after another looking for a straight answer. It turns out that determining the oldest coffeehouse in this country depends a lot on how you define the terms. But that shouldn’t be surprising.

There is a lot of disagreement over ‘firsts’ in the food service industry. For example, there are two sandwich shops in Philadelphia, within sight of each other, that claim to have been the original purveyor of the Philly cheese steak sandwich. Likewise, there are two bars in Buffalo that claim to have come up with the chicken wing. Even the beef on weck sandwich is a matter of dispute. Determining the oldest coffeehouse in America engenders the same kinds of disagreements.

Where It All Began

One of the first things we discovered in our quest for the oldest coffeehouse is that the entire coffeehouse concept is not a modern one. It didn’t originate with Starbucks in the 1990s or even the espresso bar fad of the pre-war era. Coffeehouses actually date back to the 16th century Constantinople.

Coffeehouses made it to America by way of English and French culture that was exported here prior to the start of the Revolutionary war. This is where some of the disputations come in. There are records of a number of coffee houses having been built in Philadelphia during the decades just before the Revolution. Merchants Coffee House, also known as City Tavern, was one of the last such coffeehouses built in the City of Brotherly Love in the 1770s. But that means there were others built before Merchants.

It is possible that the earliest coffeehouses in America were opened in cities like Boston, New York and Philadelphia where coffee imports were common. If you’re looking for the oldest coffeehouse still in operation, that may fall to our very own Caffee Reggio in Greenwich Village. They opened in 1927 as the first establishment in New York to use an imported espresso machine direct from Italy. Caffee Reggio was the favorite New York spot for Italian cappuccino and espresso well into the 1950s and 60s. Today it is still one of the most loved coffeehouses in America.

The Bean and the Culture

It turns out there’s no way to pinpoint the oldest coffeehouse in America with complete accuracy. There are just too many records along with disputes about those records. What we can say is that the long-standing tradition of the local coffeehouse is all about the bean and the culture that goes with it.

Coffee remains one of the most consumed beverages in America several hundred years after it was brought here from Europe. Coffeehouses from coast-to-coast continue to propagate the coffee culture with great products for every taste. Here at Galaxie Coffee, we are just happy to be part of it.