If you are like me, a coffee addict (tea addict as well, but that is for next time), then you will understand the great understanding for a freshly brewed, aromatic cup of liquid caffeine.
For many, coffee is the essential bonk on the head you need to roll out of bed each morning.
While you’re brewing your morning sunshine, think about this: more than 1400 million cups of coffee are consumed daily, and coffee is the most traded global commodity after oil.
So, what makes humanity so obsessed about coffee all across the world?
Let’s begin with the ancients, who started it all.
Goats in Ethiopia are believed to have discovered coffee.
A goat-herder in Ethiopia noticed that his goats, after eating ripe coffee berries, were starting to “dance”.
Whether or not they were doing the macarena, the dancing goats surely got the attention of the Oromo of Ethiopia, who made energy bars from ground coffee beans and animal fat sometime in the first millennium. Energy bars in the first millennium… hm. Which leads us to…
Coffee was originally food.
Who would have thought? During the Civil War, soldiers brought coffee beans as ration. But coffee was also…
The First Webcam Celebrity
The world’s first webcam was set up because students at the University of Cambridge wanted to keep watch over an ever-emptied pot of coffee. This coffee pot was also the first to achieve international webcam fame. The webcam, named Trojan, was online from 1991-2001, and yes, millions watched this coffee pot. Keep in mind this was before the internet became “a thingie”.
Coffee loses 70% of its taste within 2 minutes of brewing.
And after 15 minutes, forget it!
Be aware… the grande/medium 16-ounce coffee at Starbucks has the caffeine equivalent of 9.5 cans of coke. Whew.
People in NYC drink 7 times as much coffee as everyone else.
A lot of coffee is psychoactive. You can hallucinate things, and 100 cups of coffee within 4 hours is lethal. To you.
There are two coffee bean types: Arabica and Robusta
About 70% of people in the world consume Arabica, and only about 30% Robusta, which has much more caffeine.
Coffee was the first commodity to be freeze-dried.
Coffee was a favorite staple of the pioneers on the wagon trail back during America’s pioneering age.
Coffee comes from the Arabic ‘qahhwat al-bun’;, which means ‘wine of the bean’… and it used to be called Arabian wine in Europe. The drink was called ‘qahwa’… ‘that which prevents sleep.’
And, talking about not sleeping, the religion of Islam in the early days prohibited drinking, but allowed coffee. The rise of Islam contributed greatly to the popularity of coffee.
The word ‘qahwa’ then became ‘kahve’ when borrowed by the Turks… then borrowed by the Dutch as ‘koffie’ and then became ‘coffee’ for the English.
The first European coffee shops were established by Armenians. The drink became popular in America during the Boston Tea Party.
In Ancient Arab culture, the only means a woman could get a divorce was to prove her husband did not provide enough coffee.
Coffee is grown in the Bean Belt.
This is between the Tropic of Cancer and Capricorn. For everyone else, you’re out of luck!
German composer Johann Sebastian Bach wrote an opera about a woman addicted to coffee.
In the 1600s, a doctor from France suggested putting milk in coffee for patients, which inspired the “cafe au lait”… coffee with milk.
France might also have overdone it. Voltaire was said to have drank 50 cups of coffee a day.
In Italian “espresso” means to “be forced out”.
Such as in, your love of coffee. Espresso is also regulated by the Italian government as a necessity. Which means that the next fact makes that much more sense:
The average age for a barista in Italy is 48, and it is considered an honorable profession.
In comparison, in the USA the average age is your 20s, and more hip than honor.
The ‘lion’ President Teddy Roosevelt was rumored to drink a gallon of coffee daily.
… Supposedly coining the term “Good to the last drop!” that Maxwell House uses.
The year 1956 is the year the coffee house era rose, in areas like North Beach in San Francisco, CA, and Greenwich Village, NY, where intellectuals, poets, jazz enthusiasts, and other revolutionaries of philosophy and politics come together over coffee and espresso.
The rise of coffee houses gave rise to the counter-culture of Beatniks, Bohemians, and other free thinkers who rebelled against tradition, giving way to the cultural, sexual, and political revolutions of the 1960s.
And all because of coffee.
Coffee Aroma and Smell Addiction
Sometimes people love the smell of coffee even more than the taste; and this is because the smell signals to the brain that caffeine is on the way. Researchers have identified 800 compounds in coffee, many of those tied to scent. Humans associate these smells with stimulation, which causes a good mood.
But, other research suggests there are also carcinogenic compounds in some coffees. Moving right along:
A recent study (but there will always be more recent ones, keep in mind) found that drinking 3-4 cups of coffee can reduce risk of cirrhosis by 65%. It can also help you lose weight, as it can increase your metabolism by 11%. It can also help with: depression, type 2 diabetes, breast/endometrial/prostrate/and liver cancers, and for older people, gout. This is not a cure, though! But hey, how nice to know! #drinkscoffee
Coffee is a fruit.
The bean is the pit of red berries, and green until roasted. Actually, even though darker beans are stronger in taste, the darker the roast, the less energy it appears to give you. That is what they mean when they say the Dark Side of the Force.
The world consumes about 1.6 billion cups of coffee every day.
And if that strikes you as a lot, then know that
The average American consumes enough coffee in a year to kill a horse.
But, rest assured, next time you hoard the coffee or need de-motivation to stay away from your daily gallon, know that 20% of office coffee mugs contain fecal bacteria.
It takes about 4,700 oz. (37 gallons) of water to make just one cup of coffee… if you count in the entire process.
The International Olympic Committee banned caffeine in competitions
One (of countless) reasons I’d never make it.
Drinking coffee/caffeine will not sober you up.
But water will.
Drinking coffee can inhibit the growth of the bacterium that causes halitosis (bad breath).
But it does stain the teeth.
How about coffee as a bath lotion?
The Japanese think of everything. This includes the Yunessun Spa Report in Hakone in the Kanagawa Prefecture in Japan that allows you to bathe in coffee, red wine, green tea, and if you are having a fancy day,you can also try soaking in ramen noodles.
Want to celebrate your coffee-ism? These are your worldly coffee holidays:
Costa Rica – September 12
Japan – October 1
Ireland – September 19
And do note that Coffee Day in the United States in September 29. I would like to add please drink responsibly, but how cheesy is that!
There are many more different facts on coffee… but for the time being, I will end this all as it began. With a picture of a goat.
I meant this one:
As a last note, here is a list of how coffee beans may be encountered in everyday life:
Many thanks to these fact universes: