Beans may bring benefits, experts say

Jenna Staul

Richard Steigmann-Gall, associate professor of history, gets a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Steigmann-Gall said he usually starts his morning with a cup of coffee, even though the price affects his wallet. DANIEL OWEN | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Ron Soltys

Madison Hailand estimates she spends around $1,000 each year on fuel — and that’s not referring to gasoline.

“I come (to Starbucks) at least four times a week,” the junior early childhood education major said about her addictive — and pricey — caffeine habit. “It’s disgusting.”

Kristen Collins, a junior fashion merchandising major, is also in the throes of dependence.ÿ”I wake up in the morning and I crave it. I’m like ‘I can’t wait to get to Starbucks,'” Collins said.

Judging by the lengthy line of caffeine-deprived patrons in Starbucks waiting to get their next fix, Hailand and Collins are far from being alone in their coffee addiction. According to coffee distributor, more than 100 million Americans down 350 million cups of Joe each day.

And coffee brewer reports that the wake-up enhancing beverage is the second most imported product in the United States, right behind petroleum.

Starbucks stats

– Most calories: Frappuccino Blended Creme Strawberries and Creme, venti, with no whipped creme (620 calories). Adding whipped creme (typically an additional 80 to 130 calories), raises the total to more than 700 calories – roughly equaivalent to 3 McDonald’s hamburgers.


Kent staff opinions

– Fewest calories: Brewed coffee, tall, black (5 calories)

– Most popular drink: Carmel macchiato

– Least popular: Green tea latte

– Kent daily customers: about 950

But does the popular drink yield any health benefits to the many java junkies worldwide?ÿ Experts say yes.ÿÿÿÿÿÿÿÿ

Studies show that regular coffee drinkers have a lowered risk of debilitating ailments such as colon cancer, diabetes and heart disease.ÿIn fact, people who drink coffee habitually are 80 percent less likely to develop Parkinson’s disease and have a reduced number of tooth cavities as compared to those who do not drink coffee, according to

However, experts warn that too much coffee consumption can lead to health problems as well.ÿ also cautions that coffee drinkers can be subject to high blood pressure, brittle bones and difficulty sleeping, in addition to the many side effects of caffeine withdrawal, including irritability and headaches.

Nevertheless, coffee and the college experience seemingly go hand-in-hand, and for many students, this is a fact of life that doesn’t show signs of waning.

“I think a day without it would be tiring; I’d have a hard time waking up,” said freshmen exploratory major Dillon Krocker as he sipped from his cup at Jazzman’s Caf‚ in the Eastway Center. “I get kind of stressed without coffee.”

Contact features correspondent Jenna Staul at [email protected].