Why do we finish off a dinner party or a meal at home or in a restaurant with Coffee and Chocolate?
The obvious synergy of Coffee and Chocolate with human social gatherings is more complex than you might think, smell and taste obviously play a part but it goes deeper than that. Take the dinner party scenario, it’s late, we are feeling the effects of the food and wine, the natural tendency of our bodies is to wind down while we digest our food, we feel relaxed, lethargic and drowsy. But, along come the coffee and chocolates and in a very short time people become more alert and animated, but still relaxed, almost euphoric in fact. The reasons for this seemingly contradictory change in behaviour lie in the natural chemical compositions of both coffee and chocolate.
Coffee is easy to explain, most people know Coffee contains substantial amounts of caffeine which is a natural stimulant, harsh in it’s effects so, you would expect it to wake you up. But keep you relaxed and euphoric at the same time?
Chocolate on the other hand has some real surprises up it’s sleeve. It’s a very complex food which besides a minuscule amount of Caffeine, contains mood changing substances called Phenylethylamine and Serotonin, both of which are also found in the human brain. Phenylethylamine and Serotonin are released into the system by the brain when feelings of physical attraction such as love, lust or passion are present, causing a rise in blood pressure and increased heart rate, inducing that feeling of euphoria and well being so familiar to lovers. Eating Chocolate has the same effect because it also releases Phenylethylamine and Serotonin into the system, actually inducing those same ‘lovers’ feelings of well being, euphoria and of passion or being in love!
So you see, chocolate and coffee really do have a complimentary effect on us, Caffeine in the Coffee livens us up making us more alert and attentive while Chocolate mellows the harsher effects of the Coffee with feelings of well being and euphoria, actually mimicking the experience of physical attraction and love.
This probably explains all that flirting that goes on over the coffee and chocolates, well, that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!
Brewing that perfect cup of gourmet coffee is not so difficult either, just click here, How To Make Fine Coffee and follow the steps…