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30 Interesting Coffee Facts

by Sankalan Baidya
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30 Interesting Coffee Facts

‘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.

30 Interesting Coffee Facts

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.

Interesting Coffee Facts: 11-20

11. DEVELOPING Vs. DEVELOPED: 90% of world coffee farming takes place in developing countries while the developed countries consume most of the produced coffee. This helps is a financial funnel where money from developed countries flow into developing countries through trade relations.

12. THE COFFEE SPA: In Japan there is a spa where you can bathe in coffee. Actually that spa also allows people to bathe in wine and tea.

13. DON’T ROAST TOO MUCH: If you like more caffeine that is precisely what you need to do. You should not roast your coffee beans too much. A bold and dark cup of coffee has less caffeine than a lighter roasted variant. This happens because the more you roast, the more caffeine the coffee loses.

14. SMELL ≠ TASTE: There is a huge difference between the taste and smell of coffee. The moment you drink your coffee, your saliva takes off half the flavor of the coffee.

15. THE UNKNOWN COMPONENT: People drinking coffee have been found to be at lower risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease and other health problems. Scientists are still baffled with this because there is an unidentified element that interacts with caffeine and reduces the risk of the aforementioned diseases significantly.

16. THE CAT CAFES: Love to enjoy your cup of coffee along with the purr of your cat? You need to visit the Cat Cafes in Japan where you are allowed to hang around with your cat and enjoy coffee.

17. ANOTHER BAN! In 1511, Mecca banned coffee on the grounds that this beverage allows people to hang out and think radically.

18. MILK = SLOW EFFECT: Add milk to your coffee and the caffeine’s effect is weakened. This happens because the milk fat prevents the faster absorption of caffeine in body.

19. THE SALT COFFEE: Turks have a weird wedding custom. The bride will usually add salt to the groom’s coffee. If the groom gulps it down without complaining, he is considered to be a keeper.

20. IN BILLIONS: Do you know how many cups of coffee are consumed every single year globally? The number is a staggering 400 to 500 billion cups!

Interesting Coffee Facts: 21-30

21. WHEELS ON COFFEE: Scientists say that one day when fossil fuels are all consumed by us, we will look at coffee for help! They have found out that coffee beans are combustible and have the potential of replacing fossil fuel in near future. As a matter of fact, Brit engineers designed a car in 2011 that ran on coffee bean fuel and it actually broke the fastest speed record of all cars running on organic fuel!

22. ENERGY BALLS: Back in time (we don’t really know how back we need to go) African tribes used to eat coffee and not drink it. They used combine fat and coffee beans to produce, what we have named as, energy balls and ate them. Probably they weren’t as delicious as a cup of espresso but they did the trick and managed to give the tribal people the much needed energy boost.

23. GEORGE WASHINGTON! What if someone says that it was George Washington who invented instant coffee, will you believe that? Hell yes! It is truly hard to digest but that’s the truth. However, there is a catch! This George Washington is not the person you are thinking him to be. He was actually an American/Belgian inventor by the same name.

24. 50 CUPS A DAY! Can you ever imagine someone drinking 50 cups of coffee a day? That’s actually half the lethal dose! However, it is being said that energetic and somewhat eccentric French Philosopher named Francois Marie Arouet aka Voltaire used to drink 50 cups of coffee a day! Now that’s living on the edge!

25. TALL, VERY TALL: We know that coffee is actually a fruit. This means that it grows on trees. Coffee trees can normally grow very tall and reach the height of 30 feet. However, for the purpose of easy picking, they are allowed to grow only 10 feet.

26. HEAT, POP & POP = READY! Do you know how coffee beans are made? Okay, we mean ready for destined use! Well, the berries are picked and dried and then peeled to get the green bean-shaped pits. Then they are heated at 500°F when they will pop once and double in size. Heating is then continued until they pop for the second time and voila, they are ready!

27. 1 GALLON A DAY! Teddy Roosevelt was, what we prefer calling, a maniac coffee drinker! 1 gallon a day was his daily quota of coffee. Don’t try at home, it can be fatal.

28. SUCCESSOR BEER: The coffee boom in US took place in 1700s and became most widely preferred breakfast drink. Beer was its successor before that.

29. THE BEAN BELT: Most of world’s coffee is produced in what is known as Bean Belt that covers most of the developed nations in world. The belt is actually an area between Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn.

30. THE WEBCAM: You may think that there is absolutely no relation between a webcam and a coffee but you are wrong. The University of Cambridge invented the webcam and the sole purpose of this invention was to let others know whether the coffee pot was empty or full. That’s weird!

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

Image Credits: 1, 2

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