by Kate Schmidt
True, Martin's the director of Vanderbilt's Institute for Coffee Studies, which is funded by the likes of Kraft, Nestle, Starbucks, and various international coffee consortia. But a study published earlier this year in the New England Journal of Medicine showed a "significant inverse association between coffee consumption and mortality" when adjusted for smoking. In other words: drink more coffee, live longer (maybe). More specifically, a recent meta-analysis suggests that the optimum dose for lowering the incidence of heart failure is four cups a day.
Which brings us to the Finns.
Finland leads the world in coffee consumption per capita, with the other Scandinavian countries right behind. Most Finns drink at least four cups a day, egged along by institutionalized coffee breaks in the midmorning and midafternoon. Special occasions are celebrated with coffee parties, which traditionally consist of four courses' worth of cakes, cookies, and pulla, a yeasted sweet bread flavored with cardamom.
But, wait a minute, you say. Are Finns healthier? Sounds like a job for the Institute for Coffee Studies.
In the meantime, pulla.