32 things you didn't know about coffee

August 12, 2018

32 things you didn't know about coffee

1.  Shepherds discovered coffee in Ethiopia circa 800 A.D. 

Legend has it that 9th century goat herders noticed the effect caffeine had on their goats, who appeared to "dance" after eating coffee berries. A local monk then made a drink with coffee berries and found that it kept him awake at night, thus the original cup of coffee was born.

2.  Coffee is the second most traded commodity on the planet

According to the Global Exchange, there are approximately 25 million farmers in over 50 countries involved in producing coffee. The number 1 commodity is oil.

3.  There are two types of coffee beans

Arabica and Robusta.  70% of coffee beans are Arabica. Robusta is slightly more bitter and has twice as much caffeine.

4.  There are two major coffee markets in the world

One is in London, which deals with the buying of Robusta coffee. The other is the 'C' contract market, known as Coffee, Sugar and Cocoa Exchange (CSCE), which is in New York. It handles the trade of Arabica coffee.

5.  In 1822 the French were the first to innovate a crude espresso machine

The Italians then perfected this machine and became the first to manufacture it. In Italian ‘espresso’ means ‘when something is forced out.' This refers to the way espresso is made — forcing boiling water through pressed coffee grounds. And, although espresso has more caffeine per volume than coffee, because it's consumed in smaller quantities, it actually has about 1/3rd the amount of caffeine as a regular cup of coffee.

6.  The name ‘cappucino’ comes from the resemblance of the drink to the clothing of the Capuchin monks.

7.  Coffee was originally known as 'wine'

Coffee’s original name, qahwah, came from the Yemen term for wine (coffee was first known in Europe as Arabian wine). In Turkey it was called kahveh, until the Dutch referred to it as koffie, where we get the English coffee.

8.  Coffee was the first food to be freeze-dried

The process of freeze drying — when fresh foods are placed in a dryer where temperatures drop to negative 40F degrees - first started during World War II to preserve foods.

9.  The majority of coffee is produced in Brazil

Brazil produces 40% of the world’s coffee, which is twice as much as 2nd and 3rd place holders, Colombia and Vietnam.

10.  Hawaii is the only state in the U.S. that commercially grows coffee

Kona coffee is the United States' gift to the coffee world. Because coffee grows best in climates along the equator, Hawaii's weather is optimal for harvesting coffee beans.

11.  Coffee was originally a food

Coffee berries were mixed with fat to create an energy-rich snack ball. It was also consumed as a wine when made from the pulp of coffee berries.

12.  Coffee is actually a fruit

Coffee beans as we know them are actually the pits of a cherry-like berry that are grown on bushes. Even though coffee is actually a seed, it's called a bean because of its resemblance to actual beans.

13.  There have been 5 attempts to ban coffee throughout history

Coffee was first banned in Mecca in 1511 because leaders believed it stimulated radical thinking.

16th century Italian clergymen tried to ban coffee because they believed it to be "satanic." However, Pope Clement VII loved coffee so much that he lifted the ban and had coffee baptized in 1600.

Ottoman leader Murad IV took it even further when he ascended the throne in 1623 by creating the first punishments for drinking coffee, which included beatings and being thrown into the sea.

In 1746, the Swedish government made it illegal to even have coffee paraphernalia, including cups and dishes.

And finally, in 1777, Frederick the Great of Prussia issued a manifesto declaring beer's superiority over coffee because he believed it interfered with the country's beer consumption.

14.  You can overdose on coffee

However, you would need to drink over 100 cups to consume the lethal dose of caffeine.

15.  The largest consumers of coffee in the world, per capita, are Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark

In Finland, the average adult consumes the equivalent of 4 or 5 cups of coffee a day.

Japan is now the 3rd largest consumer of coffee.  They try to improve their skin and reduce wrinkles by bathing in coffee grounds that were fermented with pineapple pulp.

New Yorkers drink almost 7 times as much coffee as the rest of the U.S.

16.  Coffee drinkers have a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease

Researchers found that older patients with high levels of caffeine in their blood were more likely to avoid Alzheimer's. Studies have also shown that caffeine has positive effects on type 2 diabetes and Parkinson's disease. It has also been shown to protect against skin cancer in women.

17.  Coffee stays warmer when you add cream

Coffee with added cream cools about 20 % slower than plain black coffee.  When you add milk, it weakens the effects of caffeine. Our bodies absorb coffee much slower when it has added fat milk content, which decreases the stimulants.

18.  The largest cup of coffee ever was brewed in July 2014 in South Korea

It was over 14,000 litres. The largest iced coffee was brewed in Las Vegas in 2010 and was 5,678 litres - ice not included.

 19.  George Washington invented instant coffee

Not that Washington. Chemist George Constant Washington experimented with dried coffee before he created Red E Coffee - the first brand name instant coffee.

20.  Just smelling coffee can wake you up

A group of scientists reported that simply inhaling the aroma of coffee can alter the activity of some genes in the brain, reducing the effects of sleep deprivation. And when you do drink that cup of coffee, caffeine reaches your blood fast, like 10 minutes fast.

21.  Dark roast coffees have less caffeine than lighter roasts

Even though the flavour is often stronger, roasting actually burns off some of the caffeine.

22.  Decaf does not mean caffeine-free

A 250 ml brewed cup of decaf coffee actually has 2 – 12 mls of caffeine. In comparison, a cup of coffee has anywhere from 95 to 200 mls. (A can of coke has 23-35 mls).

23.  In the United States, 80% of adults consume caffeine every day

According to the Food and Drug Administration, the average intake is 200 mls, or about 2 cups of coffee.

24.  Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee per day

This is the equivalent to 146 billion cups each year, making the U.S. the leading consumer of coffee.

25.  Caffeine is on the International Olympic Committee list of prohibited substances

Athletes who test positive for more than 12 micrograms of caffeine per ml of urine may be banned from the Olympic Games. This level may be reached after drinking about 5 cups of coffee.

26.  Turkish bridegrooms were once required to make a promise during their wedding ceremonies to always provide their new wives with coffee

If they failed to do so, it was grounds for divorce!

27.  Beethoven,who was a coffee lover, was so particular about his coffee that he always counted 60 beans for each cup when he prepared his brew 

28.  Bach wrote a coffee cantata in 1732

29.  In 1785, the coffee revolt broke out in Prussiabecause coffee consumption was restricted to the nobility, the clergy and high officials.

30.  Coffee was brought to New Amsterdam (present day New York City) in the mid-1600s. However, it didn't become popular until the heavy tea tax imposed on the American colonies in 1773 (which caused the 'Boston Tea Party') resulted in America switching from tea to coffee.  Drinking coffee was an expression of freedom.

31.  The average age of an Italian barista is 48 years old 

A barista is a respected job title in Italy.

32.  In Greece and Turkey, the oldest person is always served their coffee first

 

Thank you to iheartdogs for the photo