‘Hey, do you want some coffee?’; ‘Grab me a cup of coffee please’… Aren’t these the usual words you come across every single day at your work place or at home? Almost every one of us drink coffee or at least we have tasted this very popular beverage once. Did you ever ponder on questions like where did this coffee comes from or how it affects our brain? If not, it is time you ride along us on this incredible journey and learn 30 interesting coffee facts that will make you say – ‘really?’ So, let’s get started.
Interesting Coffee Facts: 1-10
1. THE LEGEND: People say that the credit of discovering coffee goes to GOATS! It is widely believed that in 9th century, an Ethiopian goat herder suddenly saw that his goats were behaving strangely after munching berries from a plant. The goat looked more energetic. So, he decided to try them and voila! Coffee was discovered.
2. THE FRUIT: If the goats ate berries, how come they discovered coffee? Well, coffee is actually a fruit. In fact coffees are berries – bright red berries. The coffee beans that we usually call as coffee are actually the pits of those berries. These berries are edible and pits resemble beans in appearance and that’s precisely why we call them coffee beans.
3. PSYCHOACTIVE: Coffee is a psychoactive beverage. Drink more and you will start seeing things. Drink too much and you will get yourself into trouble. Continue drinking all the way up to 100 cups and it can kill you! Beware! Drink responsibly!
4. DIVORCE: We don’t really know how true this is but it is being said that in ancient Arab culture, if a husband failed to provide enough coffee to his wife, the woman could legally divorce him.
5. NAME: The current word ‘coffee’ is actually a very late addition. The first known name of coffee was ‘qahhwat al-bun’ which is the Arabic for ‘wine of the bean’. Later the Arabic name was shortened to ‘qahwa’. This name moved to the Turks who twisted it to ‘kahve’. Then the Dutch gave some treatment and the name became ‘koffie’. Finally, the English men took up the name ‘coffee’.
6. BANNED! Coffee was banned in 17th century England. In mid 1660s, there were 82 coffee houses in London. In those days, a group of women were not really very happy about the virility of their men and they had to blame this on someone or something and coffee was the target. So they claimed, “Coffee made men as unfruitful as the deserts.” This actually took the shape of a campaign involving thousands of Buxome Good-Women who started calling themselves as ‘Languishing in Extremity of Want’. As a result, King Charles banned drinking coffee in 1675.
7. UNBANNED: Banning coffee wasn’t really a good idea at all and people quickly became unhappy about this. So, the ban was lifted and coffee houses soon became popular among literary and scientific scholars in those days that included names like Alexander Pope, Samuel Johnson, Robert Hooke and Sir Isaac Newton.
8. WHAT A WASTE: Of a typical coffee bean only 20% is usable and adds to aroma and flavor. The rest is pure garbage in the sense that it is nothing more than mere plant fiber with zero taste! Hundreds and thousands of tons of these wasted leftovers are becoming growing concerns for scientists who are sweating head to toe to find out some good use of the leftovers.
9. TWO BREEDS: Coffee beans are of two types – the Robusta and the Arabica. The latter is far more popular than the former and constitute 70% of the global coffee consumption. Robusta on the other hand makes up 30% of the world coffee drinkers and has a different flavor and aroma. Robusta usually grows in Indonesia and Africa. Robusta is 50% more bitter-tasting than Arabica.
10. SECOND IN TRADING: Those who love to trade in stocks and commodities know that coffee is one of most popular commodities to trade in. In fact, it is actually world’s second most traded commodity. Oil takes the first spot.