Productivity secret of a web developer: Coffee [9 types]
How to increase your productivity in 5 minutes despite working long hours
If you searched for the words programmer or web developer on Google images a few years ago, you will be flooded with pictures of hackers with hoodie working in the dark on the matrix-style screen,
In the last few years, thanks to a lot more freelancing and remote working, the idea of programmers in the world has changed radically.
A treat in common among the majority of the picture online and the image that people imagine when thinking of coder in a bit more indie now.
It almost always includes an Apple Mac, a pair of sunglasses and a cup of coffee.
That is very true,
For us web developer, productivity is a commandment and coffee is the fuel that makes us more productive.
We like to spend hours and hours in front of a screen, always working on some new projects or researching new tools that will make our life easier.
Is not uncommon to rely on caffeine to keep us active and productive all the time.
For this reason,
In this blog post, you will learn all the secret about coffee.
The developer’s favourite beverage
What is coffee?
Coffee has become one of the drunkest beverages in the world, they say that there are about 1 billion people drinking coffee on a daily basis all over the world,
You may be one of them so let’s discover what is the secret of this drink.
One thing that you may not know is that coffee actually grow from a cherry
There are two types of coffee
Even though you will certainly find the mix at a different percentage of coffee there are only two main types of coffee cherries, they are Arabica and Robusta.
Arabica the delicate
Is the more popular of the two, it is much easier to drink due to its smoothness and delicate taste, a downside of this type is that there is less caffeine into it which means you may need to drink more to keep you awake.
The arabicas’ plant are more delicate, prone to disease, it makes the cost of this coffee a bit higher
Robusta the bitter
On the other side of the spectrum we have the robusta type, it has a much bitter taste and for this reason it is quite difficult to drink but it contains a lot of caffeine, this is ideal for an espresso.
Robusta plants are usually very strong and resilient, they need a lot less cure to maintain, thus you will find a robusta package at your shop for less than a typical arabica one.
Adding the flavor to your coffee
Another way for you to select the type of coffee you like is the roast.
The different level of roast does not determine the amount of caffeine on it but each roast has a different flavor.
They go from a light roast (also called ‘half city’) to a darker roast, almost black, called ‘coal’.
During the roasting phase is when the coffee maker adds flavors to the mix, you can find coffee with dried fruit, vanilla, chocolate, etc.
The secret is in the water
The quality of your coffee will be as good as the quality of your water, period.
It is advised to use filtered or mineral water and use the when the temperature is just under the boiling point (90°C or 200°F).
The 2 main ways to make coffee
Using a filter
This is very easy to make, you’ll only need a filter, a cup, and hot water.
The mechanism consists of letting the water pass through the coffee contained in the filter and fill the cup.
This is the Italian style, it contains no oil and due to the less time that the hot water spends in contact with the coffee, the water liquefies only the finest particles of the coffee.
The result is a delicate, light and smooth taste.
This is quite easy to drink
The french press
This method takes advantage of immersion, you immerse the coffee in the hot water and then you let them rest for 5 to 8 minutes so the two melt together, then you just push down slowly and serve.
Coffee made with a french press is quite thicker, richer in taste, and with some oil on top of it, you should not drink too much of it because of the risk of cholesterol.
Why do we drink coffee?
Let’s expose a myth, Coffee does not wake you up,
Caffeine does not have any magical power that let you reflourish from the hibernation.
What caffeine is very good at is to trick your body by letting it think that there is a molecule called adenosine.
Adenosine is the molecule that is in charge of release adrenaline when the sun goes away and let us feel sleepy.
Caffeine is very similar to adenosine is the sense that it binds with the receptor in our brain but when it does binds it does not have the same downside.
Basically coffee cannot make us more awake but it let stop us from feeling tired.
The Benefit of coffee
There have been several studies about coffee and its benefit, let’s start from the more obvious one,
You get more attention, when the receptor in your brain bind with the adenosine cells you start to feel drowsy, this is normal and it is actually good for you body, it a signal that you will need some rest.
However sometimes you do need an extra kick and that is provided from the caffeine,
when we get some caffeine it the receptors detach with the adenosine and bind with the caffeine instead, the result?
Five minutes later you are ready to conquer the world again.
Whether you code using PHP as the main language or you are working on the front-end, being more aware makes the code you are writing cleaner and easy to understand.
Another benefit is to reduce inflammation when you get hurt, coffee beans contain antioxidants that reduce free radical.
Free radical are know to damage cells and increase inflammation.
Studies say that coffee may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer and lower the risk of dementia.
The bad news about coffee
Not everything about coffee is good though,
I agree that for a job like the one of a web developer sometime we may need an extra kick but it is also true that when speaking about caffeine there are several downsides.
Speaking of the healthiness
It is true that it helps increase awareness but at the same time as everything if you assume too much it will have the opposite effect, in this case, we are talking about your level of stress.
Needless to say that too much stress is not good for your code especially near the deadline.
Another point to consider si that is very easy for our body get the habit of cohabiting with caffeine,
Getting the habit of drinking coffee decreases the sensitivity to insulin, which means that it will become very difficult for your body to respond appropriately to blood sugar.
That’s A BIG NO
Lastly, caffeine is not good for your digestive apparate too.
This is a very very acid drink and it may lead to heartburn, dysbiosis, and digestive discomfort.
The goal here is to do not get the habit, not become dependent.
Studies say that it is ok to drink a reasonable amount of coffee, even every day, but in my opinion, 1 cup is enough.
if you still need to hold out against the tiredness a bit more you can opt for some lighter choices like tea (see below).
Discover the types of coffee
We live in a world in which we can choose at least 10 programming languages SPECIFIC FOR THE BACKEND,
We can study PHP, going to some Java or take into consideration some new-age millennial’s stuff like Python or Golang.
Wouldn’t you think to be the same for coffee?
The list of new ‘recipe’ is updated on a weekly basis.
After all, this is one of the drunkest beverage of all time.
Let’s have a look at some of the most popular types available in your favorite cafeteria, and especially let’s see what it the caffeine amount in each of them.
The fastest way to increase your productivity
This is the pure version of coffee, it is only made with coffee beans and water.
In generally is made using specific machines or a Moka.
That is great for programmers as it gives an instant effect and can last several hours.
Cappuccino is a classic,
It is created from an expresso plus a gentle milk foam on top.
it is easy to make and it gives that extra milky taste that helps who does not love the strong taste of coffee, it also helps in cold days.
A long-lasting cup of cappuccino is ideal in the winter evening when it is required to code for several hours in a single session.
In addition, it is usually served with cocoa powder or cinnamon.
Another very easy to make a cup of coffee.
Americano is nothing but a single espresso with a lot of hot water on it.
It is a diluted version of an espresso.
Someone like to add milk, sugar on it to have added a bit of sweetness.
It is not ideal if you are not a fan of the taste of coffee as a cup requires a long time to drink and is less powerful than an espresso.
Coffee does not have to be drunk only in the cold seasons,
In fact, iced coffee is a way to drink coffee during the summer and holidays.
This type of coffee is brewed and is mixed with little milk and then, it is poured over a glass of ice or even better, whipped cream or ice cream.
You can easily understand that it's time to switch from a hot coffee to an iced one for the duration of the activation of your laptop’s fan.
This version of coffee is not the ideal one when working with PHP on an important task or being in front of a screen overall.
The reason is that this is a fancier way to drink coffee,
It requires an espresso shot plus a third of steamed milk and cakes and cookies, you can also add Nutella or caramel on it.
Not only you won't become more productive drinking this you are actually getting more tired and increase your waistline
This is the coffee that needs to be enjoyed in a cafeteria when reading a book or among friends during a party.
Here you will see an ingredient that is not used in any of the other types of coffee.
It is called Lokum or Turkish delight depending on where you live.
Locum is a small cube of starch, sugar, nuts, and fruit.
It is served in a glass to enhance the flavor and it tastes just incredible good.
This multi flavors beverage has distracted several times when programming some new code, can be good on a relaxing refactoring evening though or when upgrading PHP to the newest version.
This is the type of coffee you generally will see when looking for coffee images on google.
It is the one barista use for their coffee arts, and it is actually very easy to make.
Take a cup, fill half of it with coffee, fill the remaining half with milk.
You have just done a cup of flat white.
This type usually contains more coffee that other the majority of the other types why have seen in this post, more coffee means more caffeine.
This is the reason I believe this is a very good option for the web developers that are approaching deadlines.
This is a very elaborate and estrus way to drink coffee, the official instruction is:
2 parts of steamed milk,
2 parts of espresso
1 part chocolate syrup or powder
plus a sweetener of your choice.
Additionally, you can put some whipped cream on top.
The rule is the same as above, generally, the fancier you are drinking the furthest should be the cup from the working desk.
Although, the double part of espresso could suggest otherwise.
There are infinite varieties of this type of coffee, these variations made Irish coffee a coffee beverage, a cocktail, and a dessert.
In this post, we will review the traditional recipe,
The recipe requires sugar (better if brown), coffee (of course), Irish whiskey, and a bit of whipped cream to be gently poured on top of it.
Irish coffee is the perfect drink for a cold winter evening in front of a fireplace working on some light programming maybe after a nice roasted dinner.
Be careful, though, because this drink contains a fair amount of alcohol that can lead to bugs and bad code.
The alternatives to coffee
I am sure that you have seen several colleagues of your having more than a few multi-colored cans of energy drink on their desks.
Energy drinks claim they provide a lot of energy and will give you amazing performance in either the physical and mental part of your body.
There have been a lot of studies in recent years and it actually looks like that these amazing performances are not confirmed though.
On the contrary,
it is not rare to see energy drinks do not disclaim the exact amount of coffee in their can and even worse the percentage of sugar and chemical sweeteners contained.
These beverages taste delicious but most of the time can be dangerous for your health and containing salt and sodium that will not help your brain function in a proper way.
Especially when you have the project manager on your shoulder micromanaging every task you have to complete before the end of the week.
This is considered a war for ages,
As there is a battle between who is better among dogs and cats, which creates the category of dog people and cat people, there is also the battle between people that prefers coffee and the ones that would love a nice cup of tea.
Tea is probably the second or third most popular beverage in the whole world (maybe only after water, beer and Coca Cola),
In fact, almost 3 billion cups of tea are consumed every day,
But since this is not a popularity contest
let’s have a look at some scientific data.
One amazing feature of tea is that it has antioxidant in it with have been linked to INCREDIBLE HEALTH BENEFIT SUCH AS DECREASE THE RISK OF HEART DISEASE AND CANCER.
There have been studies that claim that since you absorb more than just simple water it is actually healthier than water itself.
A downside of tea is that it contains less caffeine than coffee, which, in my opinion, defeat the reason to drink it but at the same time it allows you to drink more of it.
Eventually, it is your choice.
I must say that, if I have got my daily cup of coffee and I do not want to drink any more of it, I love to get some tea during my last programming hours
This section of the post might not seem related to improving your programming skills but I invite you to keep reading.
Continue to read because this is actually the most important part of the article.
Sleeping is the only among all of the above that has no cons, actually, there are countless benefits on a night of 8-hours of continuous sleep, even a 1-hour nap is incredibly helpful for your brain and physique.
Sleep helps our bodies to restore our skin, grow muscle, repair tissue and a lot more.
Meanwhile, our brains are recalculation all the information they intake and elaborate on them, which means we learn more.
There is a debate about how many hours of sleep we need to have and scientist says that an adult programmer needs to get at least 7 hours of sleep at night.
In a time in which we are always busy and we have always a lot to do this seems impossible but for your health it worth to try it.
If you are a web developer, you need to be active, you need to be aware, you need to think fast and code at the best of your capabilities.
This is the only way you can produce scalable code, with fewer bugs and easy to be understood.
In order to do that you may need some external help.
It this post you have just seen some of the most popular choices when talking about productivity.
There is an entire world to explore here, lots of different tastes, you can drink these beverages frozen or just before boiling the water.
Have a look around, find the flavor that suits you the best and goes for it.
And, as the commercials say: Just drink responsibly.