It’s hard to over-exaggerate the effect coffee has had on the modern world. It’s the second most traded commodity in the world, with around 83% of American adults drinking it. So the next time you meet a coworker at the water cooler for a five minute chat, drop one these facts about that wonder drink we call coffee, thanks to Quiet Corner:
1. Most of the world’s coffee comes from one country
Brazil is by far the largest producer of coffee in the world. Brazil kicks out roughly a third of all the coffee drunk in the world, followed by Colombia and Vietnam.
2. Coffee is really a fruit
Turns out that coffee beans are not beans at all; they are the pits of a fruit. Coffee comes from cherries and they are only called beans, because of the visual cues to other beans.
3. There is only one state in the US that grows coffee
Coffee must be grown in equatorial climates and the only state in the USA that coffee can be grown in is Hawaii, where they have the perfect climate for growing Java beans.
4. New Yorkers drink seven times as much coffee, as people do in the rest of the world
On average, people who live in New York, drink seven times as much coffee as people do in the rest of the world. City that never sleeps, huh?
5. Coffee is the second most popular drink on earth
Another interesting fact is that coffee is the second most popular drink on earth. The number one is water itself, which really shouldn’t surprise me as much as it does…
6. Why is it called an Americano?
The ‘Americano’ – a watered down espresso – was invented for American GIs in World War Two. They found the European espresso too strong, so they asked for hot water to be added.
7. It was eaten, before it was drunk
The first people that are known to have consumed coffee came from Africa. Rather than making a drink, they ground the beans with fat and ate it.
8. Lack of Coffee was grounds for divorce in Turkey
The Turks drink a lot of coffee and as such it used to be the case that if a husband was not able to provide his wife with coffee, then it was grounds for divorce. Get it? Grounds? Nailed it.
9. Coffee drinkers are less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease
In a 2009 study, it was found that people who drink three to five cups of coffee a day are less likely to develop dementia or Alzheimer’s disease when they get older.
10. It used to be called ‘Arabian Wine’
When coffee first came to Europe, it was known as Arabian Wine. The name originates from the Arabic for ‘Wine of the Bean’ and, after a number of re-translations through several languages, it became known as “kahveh” in Turkey, “koffie” in the Netherlands and “caffe” in Italy.
11. Instant coffee has artificial coffee aroma added to it.
That burst of coffee aroma that you get, when you first open a jar of instant coffee, is artificial. Sorry. It’s put in the jar before it’s sealed and doesn’t have any bearing to the actual coffee inside.
12. Nature made coffee for the bees
Scientists believe that caffeine evolved in coffee, because it affects the brains of bees. It is believed to enhance the bees memory, making it easier for them to remember where a coffee plant is.
13. It was originally discovered by dancing goats
Legend has it that coffee was first discovered by Ethiopian goat herders. They decided to try coffee for themselves, after they had found their goats dancing around, having eaten some coffee beans.
14. Too much coffee can make you ill
While coffee can kill you, it would take about 100 cups of coffee to do it. If you are not used to it, it can have some pretty unpleasant side effects, especially if you drink too much of it too fast.
15. It can be good for the liver
Drinking coffee has been found to reduce the risk of developing alcohol related disease of the liver. Researchers found that for each cup of coffee drunk, the risk is reduced by about 25%.
16. A cup of espresso contains less caffeine than a cup of regular coffee
Due to the smaller serving size, an espresso actually contains less caffeine than a full size cup of coffee.
17. Coffee is causing a crime wave in Kenya
In Kenya, where a kilo of dried coffee beans can be worth a week’s wage, armed gangs have been raiding coffee fields to steal the crop. The problem is so great in the country that a special police task force had been set up to combat the criminal coffee gangs.
18. It could be used as a fuel
Scientists in England built a car that ran on coffee beans and some are now predicting that coffee could, one day, replace fossil fuels, as a source of energy for the world.
19. Free coffee is available in some coffee shops
In some coffee shops you can buy a ‘Caffè sospeso’, which means a suspended or pended coffee. The term originates from an Italian tradition which is basically paying it forward. You buy one coffee and have it held until someone comes in that can’t afford a cup, or gift it to the next customer with the idea that they put the coffee they would have bought on hold for the next person, creating a chain.
20. Instant coffee was invented by George Washington
Well, it wasn’t invented by the George Washington but the guy who invented the first mass produced instant coffee, in 1901, was called George Washington. Apparently, the coffee tasted awful, but it was much appreciated when it was sent to the troops during the First World War.