At first glance, the coffee machine looks pretty normal. On close inspection, it’s missing something important. There’s no place to insert money. The only currency it accepts is yawns!
Facial-recognition software built into the machine looks for people standing in front of it. It maps their faces and waits for the telltale signs of a yawn. A yawn triggers a hot cup of coffee.
The coffee company chosed the airport as a prime place full of weary passengers and plenty of yawning. Over the course of the marketing stunt, the machine reacted to 210 yawns.
With more than 2.25 billion cups enjoyed worldwide every day, coffee is the planet’s single most valuable traded food commodity.
Its effectiveness as high-performance brain fuel makes it liquid gold, and it’s not surprising that coffee’s primary active ingredient, caffeine, is the globe’s most commonly used psychoactive drug.
The fact is that 85% of the US population consumes caffeine every single daySally Greenberg, National Consumer League’s executive director
Ironically, the world’s favorite stimulant is actually the coffee plant’s defense mechanism. Caffeine’s bitter taste is meant to deter hungry herbivores, pests, and disease. It’s also a “no trespassing” sign to other territory-stealing plants.
Some animals can get over the bitter taste, though, and those that do tend to love both coffee and caffeine. Humans are a great example. Interestingly, so are bees. The bees get a stimulant effect from caffeine that’s similar to the one you experience. The bees love it, and it works well for the coffee plant, too: bees pollinate coffee plants like crazy.
Your brain on caffeine
When caffeine hits the brain it suppresses a neurotransmitter called adenosine. Adenosine influences attention, alertness, and sleep. It builds up in your brain as the day goes on, like mercury rising in a thermometer. When adenosine hits a certain level, your body decides it is bedtime.
Caffeine blocks adenosine, stimulating brain chemicals like glutamate and dopamine join the party and flow more freely — giving you a surge of energy, improving mental performance, and slowing age-related mental decline. Caffeine also increases serotonin, a major mood influencer. The boost makes you feel more positive, and it’s strong enough to measurably affect depression.
That’s right: a morning cup of coffee can make you a happier person.
Studies also show that caffeine improves learning by up to 10%. Caffeine can even relieve headaches and migraines by constricting blood vessels in the brain that are opening too wide. That makes drinking coffee one of the easiest brain performance hacks ever.