Coffee is thought to have originated in Ethiopia and has been known since the 10th century on the African continent. It reached Istanbul in 1555, brought back by the Turkish governer of Yemen. Primarily a drink of the Islamic world it was noted to have an invigorating effect. Not only that, it is loaded with anti-oxidants and beneficial nutrients. Interestingly coffee drinkers seem to have a reduced risk of developing diabetes type-2, Alzheimers and Parkinson’s disease. It also appears that coffee may protect the liver from problems such cirrhosis, hepatitis C lowering liver damage and inflammation.
Enjoyed the world over, tea is thought to have originated in Yunnan province 5,000 years ago where it was used intially as a healing herb. Since being used as a medicine it has developed into an art, enhanced cuisines and become part of many cultural rituals. Both tea and coffee contain caffeine, but tea contains rich sources of flavonoid antioxidants and an interesting amino acid called L-theanine. L-theanine is able to pass the blood-brain barrier and increase alpha waves inducing a relaxed but alert state of mind. Perhaps this was why it became part to the ritual for Buddhist monks seeking enlightenment.