Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A cup of joe

KJAQ is a local radio station, better known to listeners as JACK-FM, and it offers up pop music with an irreverent attitude. JACK calls Seattle the city that gave the world the 750-calorie cup of coffee—and convinced them to pay five dollars for it.

Folks in Seattle do love their coffee, perhaps it has something to do with the weather, and over the past eight months, I have—God help me—picked up the habit.

Until now, I have never cared for the taste of coffee. I used to get my morning caffeine in a plastic bottle with diet cola; even now, I can only tolerate coffee by loading the cup with lots of other things. Rachael says I like a little coffee with my milk and sugar.

But, regardless of my tastes, I have always loved the way coffee smelled. Rachael said it was crazy. Now there seems to be some scientific support for my dichotomy.

A university study in Korea has concluded that one sort of antioxidant, released when coffee is brewed, is ingested and give the drinker a transient energy boost, that rush we all feel with the first sip. But, they also discovered a second sort of antioxidant that is released into the air, as coffee brews. It is that aroma that finds it way into the bloodstream, and the brain, stimulating pleasure centers.

The report cautioned that the results still are tentative, but it’s enough proof for me. It’s not crazy to love the smell of coffee but not care for the taste. As Jimmy Durante, the great comedian and singer, used to say: The nose knows.