The ultimate coffee klatch |

The ultimate coffee klatch

Diane Dean-Epps
Special to Sunday Express

As someone who is always looking at the healthful potential of any given product, recently I read an article that really made my tail wag.

The headline boldly and pungently announced, “Wake Up and Smell Health Benefits of Fresh Coffee.” May I say, as an avid consumer of strongly brewed, robust coffee products, I was truly excited to learn I’d been contributing positively to my own health.

It seems that this group’s findings confirmed that not only is the aroma of freshly brewed coffee pleasant, but when exuding those “yummy, your fix is on its way” fumes, it’s also exuding those precious antioxidants that we are all running around attempting to corral for our greater good. I can finally put together that antioxidant breakfast of champions: blueberries, dark chocolate and coffee.

Apparently you not only need to smell the stuff to get the full benefit, but drink it too. May I tell you the excitement that this caffeine addict feels over this particular finding?

As I read on I learned that antioxidants work by helping to block some of the undesirable effects of oxygen on living tissue. Good thing. I’m so out of the loop I was still under the impression that oxygen was always good for living tissue.

Fortunately, I knew intrinsically that I needed to counteract the bad effects of oxygen with the good effects of caffeine ingestion. I’m now thinking that maybe I should spread coffee all over my face because I’ve certainly got some undesirable things going on with that living tissue as it ages.

And while this study certainly garnered a great deal of attention from me, it got me thinking about how these folks get the money to fund these studies. I mean, talk about your dream job.

Granted, the gentleman who put together the study and surveyed its participants had some pretty impressive credentials, he being a Professor of Environmental Toxicology at University of California, Davis. While that title represents a fair amount of schooling, how the heck did it translate into Java Maven? Can you imagine how this pre-research scenario played out?

Picture two science guys, Lab Partner and Professor Guy, sitting around in white lab coats, trying to come up with next year’s research project and the attendant funding.

Professor Guy might say, “No, no. Saving the earth’s resources has been done to death. We need something new, something exciting.” (Slurping sounds heard, as he lifts his UC Davis monogrammed mug full of steaming coffee to his lips, contemplating a profitable project.)

Lab Partner: “Well, how about the consequences of the diminishing ozone layer on infants in their open air strollers and the skin’s inability to manufacture ample melatonin to combat the possibility of skin cancer by the time the child reaches adulthood?” (Insert sound of liquid being poured as he completes his walk across the room to pour himself another cup of hot joe after which he begins his long journey back across the room, pot in hand.)

Professor Guy: “Darn it, man, no! We need something special,” he exclaims, accepting the proffered second cup of French Roast from his research buddy. “Wait a minute, I’ve got it!” he shouts as he stares at his coffee cup, only just now noticing that it’s not an appendage, but a receptacle that can be successfully balanced on any flat surface.

Lab Partner: “What did you get? The chipped cup again? Sorry. I thought I’d thrown that danged thing away.”

Professor Guy: “No, you idiot! We’ll study caffeine as it relates to antioxidants which will combat the negative effects of oxygen on living tissue.”

They both laugh uproariously for a full five minutes at the absurdity of it all, and then Professor Guy and the Lab Partner exchange meaningful looks as they simultaneously drain the last few drops of the pungent, slightly sweetened offering from the bottom of their respective cups. The room is still. Professor Guy picks up a pen.

“Dear Folgers…”

Diane Dean-Epps is an author, teacher and comedienne. She can be reached at

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