Next in popularity to milk are 'those unfer mented beverages which are made from pro ducts of the vegetable world such as tea, coffee, cocoa and chocolate. Although cocoa is by far the most ancient of these drinks, having been in use long before the stimulating qualities of either tea or coffee were discovered, coffee has long been in greatest demand. In fact, it has been estimated that about 500,000,000 peo ple drink coffee daily, as against the 100,000,000 who drink tea, and the 60,000,000 who partake of chocolate and cocoa. In the United States alone some 500,000,000 pounds of coffee are consumed annually, as against 90,000,000 pounds of tea, and some 20,000,000 pounds of the vari ous preparations of cocoa and chocolate.
There are several points of resemblance be tween all these table drinks dissimilar as they are in appearance and flavor. In each case they exercise a stimulating effect, the caffeine of coffee and theine of tea being almost iden tical, while the theolronsine of chocolate and cocoa is but a slightly different principle. Each also contains the same bitter principle, tannin, and each owes its characteristic odor and flavor to an essential oil.
Coffee, which must be considered first, be cause of its great popularity, is the berry from the several species of the genus Coffeo, of which C. ambito is the most important. First used in Abyssinia during the 9th century, it was later introduced into•Arabia, and from there to Constantinople, where it had become popular ized by the middle of the 16th century. It is supposed that it was Leonhard Rauwolf, a Ger man physician, who introduced coffee into Europe in 1573. A few years later Prosper Alpinus brought some of the beans to Venice to use them as a drug, but it was many years before it was drunk to any extent outside of C,onstantinople. In 1652, however, a coffee house was opened in London by the Greelc serv ant of a merchant named Edwards, whose ships sailed to the Levant, and since that dine the_popularity of the beverage has never waned.
In its preparation as a drink coffee should not be boiled in water, but instead, should be covered with water that has previously been boiled. Here it should be allowed to infuse for fully 10 minutes, at a temperature little below the boiling point. As coffee does not contain as great a quantity of tannin as tea and does not yield it so readily, it may infuse longer without becoming bitter and indigestible, the effect which tannin exerts if it is boiled or left for too long a time over the fire.
Like many other b'everages coffee exercises both good and evil effects upon the system. Stimulating the muscles, heart and nerves, its tendency is to overcome the ills of fatigue, while its strengthening effect upon the heart's action makes it a most valuable stimulant. At the same time its action upon the nervous system is so marked that over-indulgence in the drink is certain to be attended by such ill effects as insomnia, and nervous headaches, if not palpitation and general nervous disability.
Tea, which stands next to coffee as a table beverage, is a native of China where these shrubs of the Camellia family have been culti vated for more than a thousand years. It was once a general belief that there were many 'rinds of tea plants, but Robert Fortune, the botanist, exposed the myth by his thorough in vestigaton of the various methods of cultiva tion and manufacture in use in the tea dis tricts of China and India. It is now known, therefore, that while there are many variations in the tea plant the varieties are all the same plant cultivated under different conditions, while the two distinctive varieties, the green and the black tea, are the results of different methods of manufacture. Green tea, for example, is pre pared by steaming the leaves before they have been rolled and dried, a niethod of procedure which produces a greater quantity of tannin.
As the flavor of tea as a beverage depends as much upon the quality of the water in which it is infused as upon the method of infusion, care should be talcen to see that the water is neither too soft nor too hard, and that it has been well boiled before it is poured over the tea. The period of infusion, which is then con tinued at a lower temperature, should not last more than a few minutes, for the longer the infusion the greater the quantity of tannin that will be extracted.
Like coffee, tea. has its good and evil effects, If infused too long it becomes bitter unwhole some and indigestible. If drunk too freely it not only induces insomnia and kindred nervous disorders but irritates the stomach, producing a serious kind of catarrh. At the same time it is a mild stimulant which refreshes the body and prepares the brain for intellectual energy. It is also beneficial in aiding one to withstand the ill effects of cold, fatigue and hunger. By producing perspiration it cools the body when heated, and, by means of its action upon the heart, it warms the body when cold.