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Coffee, if you need it: A brief look at the national and local love of coffee

Cup of coffee, photo by Anne Jacobson/ RiverTown Multimedia1 / 4
Coffee beans, photo by Anne Jacobson/ RiverTown Multimedia 2 / 4
The sign outside of Mandy's informs passersby that they can stop in for a caffeinated beverage. Rachel Fergus/ RiverTown Multimedia3 / 4
Hanisch Bakery and Coffee Shop mixes both sweets and java. Rachel Fergus/ RiverTown Multimedia 4 / 4

Fifty-four percent of adults in the United States drink coffee every day, according to the National Coffee Association. The magazine Food & Wine published a list this week of the 10 cities that have the most coffee shops per resident.

Minneapolis, which came in at number seven, has a coffee shop for every 2,427 people. Berkeley claimed that top spot with a coffee shop for every 2,073 people.

The United States loves coffee. Red Wing is no different.

Red Wing has six coffee shops that specialize in coffee beverages: Mandy’s, Hanisch Bakery, the Red Wing Confectionery, Caribou, Clara’s Gifts and Coffee, and Starbucks. Based on the 2017 census data, there is a coffee shop for every 2,735 residents of the city. This does not include the restaurants that serve pots of coffee, such as Bev’s and Liberty’s. For the tea drinkers, there is Wisteria Twig Cafe.

The high volume of coffee shops and their wide variety of beverage options seems to have an impact on what kind of coffee people consume. According to the National Coffee Drinking Trends, 59 percent of the coffee that is consumed each day is considered “gourmet,” which means it is something other than coffee with a little cream and sugar. Mochas, lattes, cappuccinos, espresso, americanos, macchiatos, coffee coolers and more can be picked up on the way to work. Often, thanks to drive-through windows, coffee consumers do not even need to leave their car to get a caffeine boost.

Recent studies have suggested that regular consumption of caffeine may benefit the consumer’s health. An article published on Harvard’s website states that “recent scientific studies suggest moderate consumption may help reduce some disease risks.” This list of diseases includes type 2 diabetes, liver cancer and cirrhosis, gallstones and Parkinson’s disease. This list also states that “recent studies suggest that drinking coffee does not have a harmful effect on heart disease or stroke.”

While coffee might have positive impacts on health, there are some unwanted side effects of the beverage. The Mayo Clinic says that up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day should be safe for the majority of adults. This means that, according to the caffeine index in the Harvard article, one 16 oz. coffee from Starbucks is fine and up to three, 8 oz. cups of coffee brewed at home is safe for most adults to drink.

However, drinking two cups of coffee from Starbucks or four cups of home brewed coffee goes beyond the 400 milligram threshold. Some adults (especially, it seems, college students) can drink more than that amount and feel fine. However, according to Mayo, the body often informs the coffee-drinker if they need to cut-down through a variety of side effects such as: migraines, the inability to sleep, being nervous or restless, stomach pain or an upset stomach and a fast heart beat.

One of the main downsides of coffee that is not always obvious is the extra caloric intake. Black coffee has fewer than 5 calories per cup. However, the additions that make gourmet drinks gourmet can be high in sugar, fat and calories. A 16 oz. white mocha from Starbucks, for example, has 430 calories and 50 grams of sugar.

Even making coffee at home can increase the caloric intake of coffee drinkers. One tablespoon of plain half-and-half has 20 calories.

Ideal coffee consumption for one’s health is 400 mg or less of black coffee per day. However, for those who cannot stand the bitter taste of straight coffee, or who like a little fluff in their drink, a specialized drink once in a while or a dash of cream should be fine.

Like with everything else in life, whether at a bakery, confectionery or making coffee at home, moderation is key.

Grab a cup of joe

Caribou

Red Wing’s Caribou is one of over 280 in the state.

Hours: weekdays 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Clara’s Gifts and Coffee Shop

Nestled in the St. James Hotel, this shop offers a place to rest between shopping spurts.

Hours: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Hanisch Bakery

Has been voted “Best donuts in Minnesota” by WCCO.

Hours: weekdays: 5:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday 5:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Mandy’s Coffee and Cafe

A spot for soup and sandwiches as well as a variety of coffee.

Hours: weekdays 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Saturday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Red Wing Confectionery

Along with coffee there is ice cream and a wide variety of candies and fudge.

Hours: Monday through Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Starbucks

There is a rumor that Starbucks, located at Target in Red Wing, has a secret menu that includes a variety of colorful drinks.

Hours: Monday to Saturday 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Sunday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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