101 Eye-Opening Coffee Facts

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Welcome to the intriguing world of coffee facts. The modest coffee bean has risen to global dominance, ingrained deeply in our cultures, economies, and daily routines. It’s a morning ritual for some, a muse for artists, and many, the much-needed elixir of productivity. Our ‘101 Eye-Opening Coffee Facts’ post promises an unusual journey through the rich tapestry of coffee, from its humble origins to the contemporary coffee culture that connects millions across the globe.

There are thousands of coffee facts, and we can’t cover them all in one post, so we’ve curated a collection of facts that shed light on coffee’s cultural significance and pervasive influence. We’ve also featured some AI art to start each section. Whether you’re a seasoned coffee aficionado or a curious onlooker in the vast universe of this cherished beverage, this post is brewed to perfection with insights that will captivate and educate.

Table of contents

History and Origins of Coffee

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There is a rich tapestry of coffee facts that trace the historical journey of coffee from its discovery to its spread across the world.

An Army to Protect Coffee

A private army was tasked with preventing the theft of the precious coffee plants. Source: The Devil’s Cup By Stewart Lee Allen.

The ‘Patron Saint’ of Coffee?

Al-Shadhili had posthumously been named the patron saint of coffee drinkers, with his tomb becoming a place of pilgrimage for Muslims. Source: The Devil’s Cup By Stewart Lee Allen.

Coffee Replaced Tea in Mocha

Al-Shadhili of Mocha made tea from qat leaves, later replaced with coffee beans by another Sufi in Aden. Source: The Devil’s Cup by Stewart Lee Allen.

The Spread of Coffee in Islam

By the 1400s, coffee from Mocha was being consumed all over the Islamic world. Source: The Devil’s Cup By Stewart Lee Allen.

Evolution of Coffee and Homo Sapiens

Coffee and homo sapiens evolved within 250 miles of each other. Source: inc.com

Coffee’s Transformative Effect on European society

Coffee probably had a transformative effect on European society, replacing beer as a breakfast drink and possibly contributing to a burst of creative thought and enlightenment in Western civilization. Source: The Devil’s Cup By Stewart Lee Allen

Chinese Helped the Spread of Coffee?

Could coffee have become popular in the Arab world because China cut off its tea supply? The story goes that coffee became popular due to Chinese Admiral Cheng Ho’s introduction of tea to the Arabs in the early 1400s. When China cut off contact with the outside world, the Arabs replaced tea leaves, unobtainable in Arabia, with qat or coffee. However, this is little historical evidence for this story. Source: The Devil’s Cup by Stewart Lee Allen.

Mocha a Bustling Coffee Port

In 1606, when the first English trader visited Mocha, over thirty-five merchant ships from as far away as India were waiting to collect coffee bags. The city of Mocha was very crowded and bustling with activity, largely due to the coffee trade. Source: The Devil’s Cup by Stewart Lee Allen.

Bongas Slave Traders and Coffee Avenues

The Bongas were prominent slave traders, annually sending approximately seven thousand slaves to the Arabic markets in Harrar. Many of these slaves were Oromos, known for their habit of chewing coffee beans, who had been taken prisoner during conflicts. Interestingly, it was these captives who inadvertently introduced coffee beans to Harrar. Today, Ethiopian rangers report that the old paths used by the slaves are still lined with coffee trees, a living testament to the discarded remnants of their meals. Source: The Devil’s Cup by Stewart Lee Allen.

First Fair Trade Coffee

The first ‘fair trade‘ coffee. In 1973, Fair Trade Original (NLD) imported the first fairly traded coffee from Guatemala but the move to formally certify ‘fair-trade’ coffee began on 15 Nov 1988. On that date, Solidaridad – a Dutch Catholic aid organization working mainly in Latin America – created the Max Havelaar Foundation to benefit local farmers with plummeting world coffee prices. Source: Guinness World Records 2022

Ethiopia the Origin of Coffee?

The origins of coffee are not definitively known, but the most widely accepted theory is that coffee originated in Ethiopia, not China or Arabia. From Ethiopia, the use of coffee spread to Egypt and Yemen. Source: The Devil’s Cup by Stewart Lee Allen.

First Coffee Drinks?

The origins of the first coffee drink are debatable, but ‘Kati’ and ‘Amertassa’ are strong contenders. Historically, Ethiopians have consumed coffee beans for ages. However, the earliest documented mention of a coffee-like beverage indicates it was made from the leaves of the coffee plant and was known in Arabic as ‘Kafta’. Some experts argue that this early coffee was brewed with leaves from the qat plant, which is narcotic. In contrast, around the early 1400s, the Arab mystic al-Dhabhani observed Ethiopians consuming ‘qahwa’, a liquid form of coffee. This suggests that Ethiopians might have been drinking a coffee leaf concoction known as the semi-mythical ‘Abyssinian Tea’. Adding raw beans to the brew appears to have originated later in southern Yemen, either by the Sufi mystic al-Shadhili from Mocha or by one of his followers. Source: The Devil’s Cup by Stewart Lee Allen.

First Known Coffee Lovers

The Oromos, the first known coffee enthusiast and nomadic inhabitants of the kingdom of Kefa, didn’t consume coffee the way we do today. Instead of drinking it, they consumed coffee by eating it. They would crush the coffee and mix it with fat, then shape this mixture into treats about the size of a golf ball. Source: The Devil’s Cup by Stewart Lee Allen.

Coffee, Kefa, and qahwa

The term ‘coffee’ is believed by some to have originated from ‘Kefa’, while others argue that it is derived from the Arabic word ‘qahwa’, which comes from the root ‘q-h-w-y’, meaning ‘to make something repugnant’. Initially, ‘qahwa’ was used to refer to wine, which was considered to make food repugnant. This term was later applied to coffee due to its ability to make sleep repugnant. Interestingly, Ethiopia stands out as the only country not using a term similar to ‘coffee’ for the beverage. Instead, they use the term ‘buna’, which translates to ‘bean’. Source: The Devil’s Cup by Stewart Lee Allen.

These facts delineate the historical significance of coffee, its roots in ancient cultures, and the sometimes contentious journey it has taken to become a global staple. They reflect the mystique surrounding its discovery and how its stimulating effects captivated the attention of various cultures, leading to its integration into religious and social customs.

Coffee and Health

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This coffee facts blog post segment will explore how coffee interacts with our health, from its antioxidant properties to its role in various health practices. With insights supported by scientific research and historical anecdotes, we aim to shed light on the often-debated topic of coffee’s impact on our health.

Antioxidants in Coffee

A cup of coffee contains more antioxidants than a cup of grape juice. Source: Inc

Coffee and Colorectal Cancer (CRC)

As coffee consumption increases, colorectal cancer (CRC) risk may decrease. Global coffee consumption patterns suggest potential health benefits of the beverage for reducing the risk of CRC. Source: PubMed Central

Coffee and Hydration

Even though caffeine is a mild diuretic, you don’t lose more fluid than you take in by drinking coffee, so it cannot dehydrate you. Source: Bored Panda

Coffee and Prostate Cancer

Men who drink six or more cups of coffee a day seem to have 20% less prostate cancer. Source: Inc

Coffee and Sexual Prowess

Coffee may enhance sexual prowess. While coffee does not directly affect a person’s performance, it is noted that sperm exposed to caffeine swim faster and are more likely to fertilize a woman’s egg, potentially making a man’s “beans” more potent. Source: The Devil’s Cup by Stewart Lee Allen.

Coffee as a Source of Antioxidants

Studies from Spain, Japan, Poland, and France concluded that coffee is the biggest dietary source of antioxidants. Source: Healthline

Coffee Enema

A coffee enema cleans the bowel before a video capsule endoscopy. Source: National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)

Prostate Cancer

Men who drink six or more cups of coffee a day seem to have 20% less prostate cancer.

This coffee fact appears to be valid according to several studies. A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that men who consumed six or more cups of coffee per day had an 18% lower risk of prostate cancer compared to men who did not drink coffee [1].

Similarly, a study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that men who consumed the most coffee (six or more cups daily) had nearly a 20% lower risk of developing any form of prostate cancer [2].

This finding is also supported by research from Baptist Health and WebMD, which both report that men who consumed six or more cups of coffee per day had a nearly 20% lower risk of developing prostate cancer [3][4].

A systematic review and meta-analysis published in BMJ Open also suggests that a higher intake of coffee may be associated with a lower risk of prostate cancer [7]. Therefore, the statement is supported by multiple scientific studies.

However, it’s important to note that these studies show an association, not a cause-and-effect relationship, and more research is needed to understand the underlying mechanisms. Another study also showed no causal effect between coffee and prostate cancer [8].

Sources:

  1. Coffee Consumption and Prostate Cancer Risk and Progression in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study1
  2. Coffee may reduce risk of lethal prostate cancer in men2
  3. Coffee Consumption and Risk of Prostate Cancer – Baptist Health3
  4. Can Coffee Help Prevent Prostate Cancer?
  5. Can Coffee Lower Prostate Cancer Risk?
  6. Higher coffee intake may be linked to lower prostate cancer risk
  7. Higher coffee consumption associated with lower risk of prostate cancer
  8. Coffee Consumption and Prostate Cancer Risk: Results from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2010 and Mendelian Randomization Analyses

Coffee Psychopaths

People who drink black coffee are more likely to be psychopaths. Source: Quite Interesting (QI)

This statement is based on a study conducted by the University of Innsbruck in Austria, which found a correlation between a preference for bitter tastes, such as black coffee, and certain personality traits like psychopathy, sadism, narcissism, and aggression [2][4]. The study surveyed nearly 1,000 adults about their flavor preferences and administered four personality tests [2][4].

However, it’s important to note that this study does not definitively prove that people who drink black coffee are psychopaths. The correlation found in the study does not imply causation. The study found that these people had psychopathic tendencies but did not identify them as actual psychopaths [1]. Furthermore, the study found a general preference for bitter tastes, not just black coffee, was associated with these traits [6].

Moreover, some experts have criticized the study, arguing that the link between psychopathy and a general penchant for bitter things is weak and negligible compared to other, more well-established factors [6]. The research linking taste preferences to personality traits is still in its early stages, and evidence is generally scarce [6].

In conclusion, while the study suggests a possible correlation between a preference for black coffee and certain personality traits, it does not provide conclusive evidence that people who drink black coffee are more likely to be psychopaths. It’s also important to remember that psychopathy is a complex trait that falls along a continuum and cannot be determined solely based on one’s coffee preferences [6].

Sources:

  1. Finally, validation that people who drink black coffee are psychopaths
  2. Bad News, Coffee Drinkers: You Might Be a Psychopath if You Like Your Coffee Black
  3. Great News: Drinking Black Coffee Does NOT Actually Make You A Psychopath
  4. How you drink your coffee ‘could point to psychopathic tendencies’
  5. People Who Prefer Black Coffee Are More Likely To Have Psychopathic Or Sadistic Traits, Study Finds
  6. Psychopaths take their coffee in one certain way, study finds

Coffee Industry Innovators and Pioneers

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All aspects of coffee today result from someone’s vision and imagination. Many unsung heroes and well-known individuals have played a part in shaping the coffee industry Coffee.

Alan Adler

The AeroPress, a popular coffee brewing device, was invented in 2005 by Stanford engineer Alan Adler. Adler began developing the AeroPress in 2004 to reduce acidity and bitterness in his daily cup of coffee. The AeroPress is a simple device that allows for quick brewing of a full-bodied coffee, inspired by espresso machine technology. 

Alice Foote MacDougall

Alice Foote MacDougall was an American entrepreneur who established a coffee roasting business in New York City in 1907 and became a prominent figure in the coffee industry [3].

Angelo Moriondo, Luigi Bezzerra, and Desiderio Pavoni

Angelo Moriondo, Luigi Bezzerra, and Desiderio Pavoni were Italian inventors responsible for developing the modern version of the espresso machine, greatly influencing the modern coffee industry [1].

Erna Knutsen

Erna Knutsen: A Norwegian-American coffee trader who coined the term “specialty coffee” in 1974 and played a crucial role in promoting high-quality coffee[3].

Francisco de Mello Palheta

Francisco de Mello Palheta was a Brazilian military officer who smuggled coffee seeds from French Guiana to Brazil, establishing Brazil as a major coffee producer [1].

George Howell

George Howell is an American coffee pioneer who founded The Coffee Connection in 1975 and later created George Howell Coffee, which specializes in single estate coffees and raising quality coffee standards [6].

George Washington

The inventor of instant coffee was named George Washington.

George Washington invented instant coffee, but it’s important to clarify that it’s not referring to the first President of the United States but to George Constant Louis Washington. George Washington was a Belgian inventor and businessman best remembered for improving an early instant coffee process and for the company he founded to mass-produce it, the G. Washington Coffee Company. Source: Wikipedia.

Gottlob Widmann

In 1954, the Wigomat, invented by Gottlob Widmann, was patented as the first electrical drip brewer. This device heated water and poured it over coffee grounds, dripping filtered coffee into a glass container kept warm by a ceramic hot plate.

Jabez Burns

Jabez Burns, an innovator in the coffee industry, invented the coffee bean roaster in about 1860’s.

James Folger

Folger’s innovation lay in recognizing the potential of pre-roasted coffee. Before his time, most coffee prepared in the home was purchased as green coffee beans and roasted at home. Ground coffee was virtually unheard of at the wholesale level. Folger partnered with the owner of The Pioneer Steam Coffee and Spice Mills, which had inaugurated the production of ready-for-the-pot coffee. Eventually, he bought the company and renamed it J.A. Folger & Co. Source Wikipedia.

John and Charles Arbuckle

John and Charles Arbuckle, two brothers from Pittsburgh. They made history by becoming the first to sell pre-roasted coffee in paper bags, a concept initially targeted at American cowboys.

King Louis XIV

King Louis XIV played a significant role in coffee adoption in the West by promoting its cultivation in the French colonies, although his greed limited France’s coffee farming potential [1].

Melitta Bentz

Melitta Bentz: A German housewife who invented the paper coffee filter in 1908, revolutionizing the way coffee was brewed and leading to the creation of the Melitta company [1][7].

Peet’s Coffee

Alfred H. Peet (1920-2007) was a Dutch-American entrepreneur widely recognized as a pioneer of the specialty coffee movement in the United States. Source: Wikipedia.

In 1966, Peet founded Peet’s Coffee & Tea in Berkeley, California, introducing a new perspective on coffee to the United States. His approach involved using high-quality beans and a manually controlled roasting system to produce coffee unlike anything available in local diners and coffee shops at the time. Source: Wikipedia.

Starbucks

Alfred Peet taught his style of roasting beans to Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegl, and Gordon Bowker, who, with his blessing, took the technique to Seattle and founded Starbucks in 1971. For the first year and a half, Starbucks bought beans directly from Peet’s to sell in its Seattle store.

Sir Benjamin Thompson

Sir Benjamin Thompson invented the percolating coffee pot in the early 19th century, which allowed coffee makers to set it and forget it. 

Sources

  1. History of Coffee: Top 5 Most Influential People
  2. 5 Historical Figures Who Loved Coffee
  3. Women in Coffee History | Trade Coffee | Trade Coffee
  4. 9 Famous Geniuses Who Were Also Huge Coffee Addicts
  5. New 1850 Brand Coffee and Alexis Ohanian Invite Entrepreneurs to Harness Their Passions and Live Boldly with the Bold Pioneer Campaign
  6. George Howell
  7. Melitta Bentz
  8. The History Kitchen: History of Coffee

Cultural Significance of Coffee

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The Cultural Significance category of coffee facts encapsulates a range of coffee facts highlighting the deep-rooted traditions, religious connections, and societal roles coffee plays across various cultures.

Patriotic Duty to Drink Coffee!

After the Sons of Liberty poured several tons of tea into the Boston Harbor to protest the Tea Act in 1773, drinking coffee became the patriotic duty of American colonists. Source: Energizing America: Coffee Brewing Innovations Over the Course of U.S. History.

Coffee, frequently mentioned in Civil War soldiers’ diaries

In the diaries of Civil War soldiers, the word “coffee” appears more frequently than terms such as “war,” “slavery,” or “Lincoln.” This beverage was often the last comfort soldiers enjoyed before entering battle and the first sign of safety they encountered afterward. Coffee was a cherished luxury that bolstered morale, comforted, and gave soldiers the fortitude to continue their march [1].

A notable instance of coffee’s significance during the Civil War involves future President William McKinley. During the Battle of Antietam, known as the bloodiest single-day battle in American history, McKinley, then a commissary sergeant, bravely served coffee to soldiers amidst the fighting. This act of courage and care earned him the nickname “Coffee Bill” [2][6]. In recognition of his actions, a monument was dedicated to McKinley, highlighting his brave service of providing hot coffee and warm food to every man in his regiment under fire [4][6].

Sources

  1. Coffee and the Civil War Soldier
  2. The Monday After: McKinley was ‘Coffee Bill’ during war
  3. If War Is Hell, Then Coffee Has Offered U.S. Soldiers Some Salvation
  4. Antietam National Battlefield – Monument to McKinley
  5. How Union Soldiers’ Love of Coffee Shaped the Civil War
  6. A Story of Heroism…and Coffee

Oromo Coffee Rituals

A ritual practice among the Oromo, where coffee fruits, symbolizing sexual acts, are husked and then cooked in butter. As the beans are being stirred, prayers are recited until the beans open with a ‘Tass’ sound, symbolic of childbirth and death.

According to anthropologist Lambert Bartel’s research, there is a coffee ceremony known as ‘bun-qalle’, which is deeply symbolic of sexuality in the Oromo culture of western Ethiopia. Source: “The Devil’s Cup” by Stewart Lee Allen.

Coffee and Sexuality

The ‘bun-qalle’ ceremony draws a parallel between the opening of coffee beans and a woman’s sexual organs, carrying significant sexual connotations and is customarily preceded by a night of abstinence. Source: “The Devil’s Cup” by Stewart Lee Allen.

Coffee as a Sanctified Intoxicant

Coffee is believed to have been used in Sufi religious ceremonies in the holy city of Mecca around 1480, where it was consumed as an intoxicant ritualized. Source: Inc.com

Historical Coffee Ban Attempts Due to Cultural Reasons

In the 16th century, Muslim and Christian leaders tried to ban coffee drinking.

Drinking coffee in the Ottoman Empire of the 17th Century was punishable by death. Source: Inc.com

These facts show that coffee is not just a beverage but a significant element in various cultural rituals and historical narratives. The traditions surrounding coffee, from the Ethiopian coffee ceremony to the Oromo rituals, show how coffee has intertwined with the fabric of society, embodying both sacred and social dimensions. The facts provided reflect the depth and breadth of coffee’s cultural significance worldwide.

Coffee And Religion

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The influence of coffee in religion is a fascinating and multifaceted topic, tracing back centuries. Coffee’s introduction to various cultures often intersected with religious practices and beliefs, leading to a range of responses from acceptance to prohibition.

However, the introduction of coffee was not always met with approval. In some religious contexts, coffee faced opposition and was even banned temporarily.

The role of coffee in religion is not just historical but continues today. It facilitates social interactions in religious communities as a focal point for gathering and discussion. Many churches, mosques, and synagogues use coffee to foster community and conversation among their congregants.

The journey of coffee through various religious landscapes highlights its role as a catalyst for social interaction, spiritual practice, and even theological debate. Its widespread acceptance across different faiths underlines the universality of its appeal and its ability to transcend cultural and religious boundaries.

Coffee’s Legality in Islam

Coffee has religious implications, particularly in Islamic jurisprudence. The argument for keeping coffee legal was based on the Hanafi principle of al-ibaha al-asliya, which stipulates that whatever is not explicitly forbidden in the Koran is allowed. Coffee lovers pointed out that, although the cup did have psychological effects, so did garlic, and that the traditional Islamic definition of intoxication was “when one is incapable of distinguishing man from woman, or heaven from earth” Source: The Devil’s Cup by Stewart Lee Allen.

Coffee Enhances Muslim Worship to Allah

Muslims consumed coffee to enhance their worship to Allah, as it was believed to add life to their life and strengthen them for their religious observance and worship. Source: Coffee and Islamic Society in the Fifteenth Century: The Beverage Used to Enhance Religious Worship | Amaliah

Coffee and Cannabis

The 16th-century orthodox clerics, wary of coffee’s potentially narcotic and intoxicating properties, equated coffee with hashish (cannabis) and alcohol. Source: Early Modern Coffee Culture.

Christians Prohibited from Drinking Coffee

Historically, Ethiopia has been predominantly Christian, while coffee is often linked with Islam. This association has previously resulted in Ethiopian Christians being prohibited from consuming coffee. Source: The Devil’s Cup by Stewart Lee Allen.

Muslim and Christian Leaders Wanted to Ban Coffee

In the 16th century, Muslim and Christian leaders tried to ban coffee drinking. Source: Inc.com

The Christian church in Europe initially greeted coffee with suspicion, associating it with Muslim culture. It was sometimes referred to as the “bitter invention of Satan.” This perception changed dramatically after Pope Clement VIII tasted coffee and approved it, leading to its widespread acceptance in Christian communities.

Jewish Communities Welcomed Coffee

In the Jewish community, coffee was quickly integrated into social and religious life. Rabbis debated its status in religious law, particularly in the context of fasting and dietary restrictions. Eventually, coffee was deemed permissible, and it played a role in social gatherings and religious ceremonies, such as the Passover Seder. Source: Project Muse

Sufi Religious Ceremonies

Coffee is believed to have been used in Sufi religious ceremonies in the holy city of Mecca around 1480. The Sufis used coffee as an intoxicant, passing the drink hand to hand from their sheykah, or priest, symbolizing its role as a sanctified intoxicant. The Sufis even had a term for the religious high associated with coffee, marqaha. The Devil’s Cup by Stewart Lee Allen.

Coffee’s Role in Ethiopian Christianity

Historically, Ethiopia has been predominantly Christian, while coffee is often linked with Islam. This has previously resulted in Ethiopian Christians being prohibited from consuming coffee. Source: Inc.com

Production and Trade of Coffee

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The ‘Production and Trade’ category contains facts about coffee’s growth, distribution, and economic impact.

Coffee Trees Live up to 100 Years Old

Coffee plants can live up to 100 years but are most productive between the ages of 7 and 20 [3]. The tree of Coffea arabica will grow fruits after three to five years, producing for an average of 50 to 60 years, although up to 100 is possible [4]. The average lifespan of a coffee tree is often cited as around 20 years [1][2]. However, this can vary depending on the variety of the coffee tree and the conditions in which it is grown.

Sources:

  1. The Life Story of the Coffee Bean
  2. The Lifespan of a Coffee Plant
  3. The Average Life Cycle of Coffee Trees | ehow.com
  4. What is Coffee? – National Coffee Association
  5. Coffea – Wikipedia

Global Coffee Cultivation

Almost all of the world’s coffee is grown between twenty-five degrees north and twenty-five degrees south of the equator, often called the ‘coffee belt’. Source: Today I Found Out

Coffee as a Major Commodity

Coffee is the world’s most widely traded tropical commodity, produced in over 50 countries, accounting for up to 50% of some nations’ export earnings. It supports 120 million people worldwide, most of whom are smallholders in developing countries (as of 2013).

Coffee is the world’s second-largest commodity after oil. Source: International Coffee Organization

Economic Impact and Employment

The coffee industry employs approximately 25 million people, mostly farmers. Source: Inc.com

Coffee Exporting and Importing Nations

The main coffee exporting countries are in Middle America, South America, Africa, and South East Asia.

The main coffee-importing countries are the USA and Europe. Source: International Coffee Organization

Fair Trade Movement in Coffee

The first ‘fair trade’ coffee was imported by Fair Trade Original (NLD) from Guatemala in 1973. Solidaridad, a Dutch Catholic aid organization, created the Max Havelaar Foundation on November 15, 1988, to certify ‘fair-trade’ coffee and support local farmers affected by declining world coffee prices. Source: Guinness World Records 2022

These facts shed light on the extensive coffee production and trade network that spans the globe. They highlight coffee’s significant role in the economies of numerous countries, especially within the equatorial region where the conditions for growing coffee are ideal.

Coffee is an Annual Crop

Coffee is an annual crop similar to wine, it’s a different crop every year even if grown in the same place. Source: Coffee for Dummies by Major Cohen

Coffee isn’t Easy to Grow

Coffee isn’t easy to grow, requiring specific environmental conditions and careful handling. Source: Coffee for Dummies by Major Cohen

Coffee is a Shade-Loving Tree

Coffee is a shade-loving tree that grows under the forest’s canopy and needs little direct sunlight. The trees grow best in rich soil, with mild temperatures, frequent rain, and shaded sun. Source: NCAUSA. Coffee is often said to be about 50% shade in coffee-producing areas. Source: Gregalder [4].

However, the claim that slower ripening leads to higher-quality coffee may not be accurate. While it’s true that the conditions under which coffee is grown can affect the quality of the beans, the relationship between ripening time and quality is complex and can be influenced by many factors, including the specific variety of coffee and the local climate.

How Coffee is Processed Determines Flavors

Different methods of processing coffee cherries, like washed, semi-washed, natural, and honey processing, result in different flavors and characteristics of the final product. Source: Coffee for Dummies by Major Cohen

A Coffee Berry May Contain Only One Seed

A typical coffee cherry contains two seeds (or beans), but sometimes, a cherry will develop with just one seed. When this happens, the single seed fills the cherry and develops into a round, pea-like shape, hence the name “peaberry”.

Peaberries are relatively rare, accounting for only about 5-10% of all coffee beans. They are often separated from regular beans and sold as a specialty product, as some believe they have a more concentrated flavor. Source: coffeehit

Coffee Curiosities

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This section delves into the lesser-known, intriguing aspects of coffee that go beyond your morning cup. This space is dedicated to exploring the unique, sometimes bizarre, and always fascinating stories surrounding one of the world’s most beloved drinks.

Shepard Discovered Coffee?

Coffee was discovered when shepherds noticed their goats were “dancing” after eating coffee cherries (Probably a myth).

Coffee is a Zero-Calorie Drink

Coffee, taken black with no additives, is naturally a zero-calorie beverage. Source: Today I Found Out.

Note: It is not entirely accurate; it contains two calories due to coffee’s natural fats and oils.

Drink Coffee and You Die

Drinking coffee in the Ottoman Empire of the 17th Century was punishable by death. Source: Quite Interesting (QI)

Ethnobotany and Coffee

Ethnobotany is the study of how plants affect societies and cultures. Coffee as a psychoactive drug may well have an impact on historical events and societal development. Source: The Devil’s Cup by Stewart Lee Allen

Coffee, Champagne, and Mustard

Frederick the Great of Prussia drank coffee mixed with champagne and mustard. Source: Quite Interesting (QI)

$14 million Coffee Taster’s Tongue

Gennaro Pelliccia, a master coffee bean taster at Costa Coffee in the UK, has a tongue insured for an impressive 10 million pounds (approximately $14 million). This insurance policy, reported by Lloyd’s on March 9, 2009, highlights the value of his highly discerning taste buds. In his role at Costa Coffee, Gennaro personally tastes every batch of beans produced for their stores. Guinness World Records 2022

Bach Wrote an Opera About Coffee Addiction

German composer Johann Sebastian Bach wrote a mini-opera ‘Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht’ (Be still stop chattering) about coffee addiction. Bach was addicted to coffee and drank up to 30 cups a day. Source: Ripleys Believe it Or not – out of the box

Women Forbidden to Drink Coffee in Public?

Were women forbidden to drink coffee in public during 17th Century England? Coffeehouses in 17th-century England were primarily male-dominated spaces, but there is no clear evidence of a formal, legal prohibition against women drinking coffee in public. Sources: Wikipedia, Smithsonianmag

Coffee Doping World Cup

In the 1966 World Cup the Brazilians drank so much coffee they were worried they would be banned for doping. Source: Quite Interesting (QI)

Coffee Rations in World War II

During the war, coffee was considered an essential element of the troops’ diet as it lifted their welfare and morale. The U.S. Army requisitioned significantly more coffee in 1942 than in 1941, before Pearl Harbor. Maxwell House instant coffee was chosen to fill the ration kits of American soldiers departing for World War II.

Sources

  1. U.S. Coffee Rationing in World War II – Coffee Crossroads
  2. Coffee Rationing During World War II
  3. U.S. Coffee Rationing in World War II • Spotter Up

Kierkegaard’s Philosophy of Coffee?

Nineteenth-century Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard had 50 sets of cups and saucers for coffee. Each day, his secretary would be required to decide which set to use and explain the reasons behind her decision. Source: Ripleys Believe it Or not

Drink Cat Poop Coffee

One of the most expensive coffees in the world is coffee, where the berries go through the digestive tract of the Kopi Luwak (a small cat-sized Indonesian animal).  The coffee beans are harvested from the animal’s waste, cleaned, roasted, and sold.  This coffee costs $100 to $600 per pound.  Are you essentially paying for poop? Source: Today I Found Out

Drink Elephant Poop Coffee

The world’s most expensive coffee is made from Thai elephants’ dung. Source: Quite Interesting (QI)

Black Ivory Coffee, also known as elephant dung coffee, is produced in northern Thailand from Arabica coffee beans consumed by elephants and collected from their waste. The taste of Black Ivory coffee is influenced by the elephants’ digestive enzymes, which break down the coffee’s protein. This coffee is among the world’s most expensive, costing around US$2,000 per kilogram. It is sold primarily to select luxury hotels and can be purchased online – Black Ivory Coffee.

Revitalize Plants With Coffee

Putting coffee grounds into ailing houseplants’ soil will help revitalize the plants. Source: Today I Found Out

Coffee House Insurance

Some of the world’s most powerful businesses, including Lloyds of London and the New York Stock Exchange, started as coffee houses. Source: Today I Found Out

Coffee Portraits of Celebrities

Spanish artist Nuria Salcedo creates stunning portraits of Hollywood celebrities, such as Eddie Redmayne and Jared Leto, by painting with coffee. Initially, she began drawing with traditional pencils but discovered that coffee was a more suitable medium for her art. To achieve various shades of brown in her artwork, she adds multiple layers of coffee. Source: Oddity Central.

Cappuccino Coffee And Monks

The cappuccino was named after Capuchin friars because its color resembles the Capuchin robe. Source: Bored Panda

The First Webcam Coffee Pot

The first ever webcam was developed by scientists as Cambridge University to watch the level of coffee in a coffee pot. Source: BBC

King Tut’s Coffee Death Mask

The Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza created a mosaic portrait of the death mask of Pharaoh Tutankhamun, a.k.a King Tut, with 7260 cups of coffee. By combining more than 140 Lb (65 kg) of coffee and 265 gal (1,000 l) of milk, organizers achieved various shades to recreate the boy king’s likeness. The project took 12 hours to complete and covered an area of 646 sq ft (60 sq m). Source: Guinness World Records 2022

Longest Lived Cat Drank Coffee

The Guinness World record holder for the “Oldest Cat Ever,” a 38-year-old cat named Creme Puff – drank coffee every morning her whole life. Source: Guinness World Records 2022

Largest Cup of Brewed Coffee

The largest “cup” of coffee brewed was 3,700 gallons or roughly 60,000 regular cups. Source: inc.com

Elvis Presley’s Coffee Face

The late American singer and actor Elvis Presley’s face, was created with a coffee cup mosaic which consisted of 5,642 cups of coffee with a total area of 37.24 sqm. Source: Straits Times.

Grow Coffee On Graves

The Oromo tribe in Africa plants coffee trees on the graves of sorcerers. Source: inc.com

The First Baristas?

The people of Kefa introduced the world to the first baristas, a group known as the Tofaco. The Tofaco not only brewed coffee for the king but was also responsible for pouring it down his throat. The Devil’s Cup by Stewart Lee Allen

Coffee House

The phrase “coffee house” in Turkish means “school for the wise.” Source: inc.com

Don’t Roast Your Coffee Beans in the Marketplace

The saying: ‘Don’t roast your coffee beans in the marketplace’. Is an old Oromo nomad quote that infers you, ‘Don’t tell secrets to strangers.’ The Oromo people are a Cushitic ethnic group native to the Oromia region of Ethiopia and parts of Northern Kenya. The Devil’s Cup by Stewart Lee Allen

Cup of Joe Origins

There are two stories about the term “cup of Joe. One says that the term stems from American soldiers in World War II, “G.I. Joes” were known to consume a large amount of coffee, as Maxwell Instant Coffee was included in their rations. The other story is that the term comes from US sailors. On June 1st, 1914, then-Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels, issued General Order 99 prohibiting alcohol aboard any US Naval vessel. This led sailors to drink more coffee, naming it “Cup O’ Joe.” despite Josephus (Joe) Daniels. Which is true? Are they both true?

Give Yourself A Coffee Break

The Pan-American Coffee Bureau launched an ad campaign urging consumers to “Give Yourself a Coffee-Break – and Get What Coffee Gives to You” Source: Quenchwater

Coffee Statistics and Trivia

Coffee statistics and trivia
AI Art by GoodCoffeePlace with Leonardo.ai

Billion Cups of Coffee

Approximately 500 billion cups of coffee are brewed and consumed each year. Source: Carbon Footprint of Different Methods of Coffee Preparation.  

Coffee is the world’s most widely traded tropical commodity

Coffee is produced in over 50 countries, and accounting for up to 50% of export earnings of some of these, it supports one hundred and twenty million people worldwide, the vast majority of whom are smallholders in developing countries (in 2013) Source: ico.org

Coffee is NOT the world’s second-largest commodity after oil

While coffee is a major global commodity, it is not the second most traded commodity in the world. According to MIT’s Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC), coffee is the 98th most-traded product, with green coffee at 114th and roasted coffee at 301st. Coffee is not the second-most traded agricultural product, as wheat and soybeans rank higher. Source: Perfect Daily Grind

Four out of five Americans start their day with a cup of coffee. True or False?

The statement that four out of five Americans start their day with a cup of coffee is not entirely accurate. According to a blog post on Joe’s Garage Coffee, 63% of Americans have coffee daily [4]. This is more than half of the nation, but it is not as high as four out of five (or 80%). Therefore, while many Americans start their day with coffee, the exact figure is lower than stated in the claim.

Sources:

  1. About Coffee Crossroads – Coffee Crossroads1
  2. History of Coffee in the 1900s: Starbucks, Peet’s, & More2
  3. Topic: Coffee market in the United States3
  4. Coffee Drinking Statistics4
  5. U.S. Coffee Rationing in World War II – Coffee Crossroads5

Coffee is Buna, and Buna is Coffee

In Ethiopia, coffee is known as buna. The Devil’s Cup by Stewart Lee Allen.

Kettles Lose Sales to Coffee Machines

Kettles lose sales because coffee machines are more popular. Source: Quite Interesting (QI)

How Many Coffee Beans From Coffee Cherries?

It takes about 4-5 kg of coffee cherries to produce 1 kg of green coffee beans. Source: Coffee Trees

Fins Drink a Lot of Coffee

According to the World Population Review, the average Finn drinks nearly four cups a day. Another source, Insider, states that it’s normal in Finland to drink eight cups daily, predominantly light-roast filter coffee.

Americans Drink Over 68 Gallons of Coffee Per Year

The average American coffee drinker consumes just over 3 cups per day. Considering a year to have roughly 365 days would equate to approximately 1,095 cups per year. If each cup is about 8 oz, this is 8750 oz per year or about 68 gallons (259 litres) of coffee.

The coffee industry employs approximately 25 million people, mostly farmers.

The statement that the coffee industry employs approximately 25 million people, mostly farmers, is valid. Coffee is the most widely traded tropical product, with up to 25 million farming households globally accounting for 80 percent of the world’s production [5]. Around 125 million people worldwide depend on coffee for their livelihood [4]. The coffee industry is a significant source of employment and income for millions of people, particularly in developing countries where most coffee production occurs [5].

Sources

  1. India: daily employment on coffee plantations 2022 | Statista
  2. Coffee – Crop Trust
  3. Topic: Coffee market in the United States – Statista
  4. Coffee farmers – Fairtrade Foundation
  5. Is Coffee the most traded commodity in the world after Oil? – Skeptics Stack Exchange

Coffee Is Important to The Economy

The economic relevance of coffee is underlined by the fact that it generates significant income throughout the supply chain, representing a gross added value of over US$ 458 billion annually (in 2013). Source: ico.org

13 Billion Coffee Trees In Brazil?

We estimate that there could be over 13 billion coffee trees in Brazil. How did we estimate this?

The total hectares dedicated to coffee in Brazil across the six states are:

  • Minas Gerais: 1,220,000 hectares
  • Espírito Santo: 433,000 hectares
  • São Paulo: 216,000 hectares
  • Bahia: 171,000 hectares
  • Rondônia: 95,000 hectares
  • Paraná: 49,000 hectares

The total land dedicated to coffee in Brazil is 2,184,000 hectares.

The density of coffee trees can vary based on the type of coffee plant and the farming techniques used. A common range is 2,500 to 10,000 trees per hectare. Let’s estimate a median value of 6,250 trees per hectare.

Multiply the total hectares by the average number of coffee trees per hectare and we get 13.65 billion coffee trees.

How To Fatally Overdose on Coffee

To fatally overdose on coffee, you’d need to drink about 21 shots or 630 ml (21 fl. oz) of espresso in one go. We assume that each espresso contains about 93 mg of caffeine and your weight is 70 kg.

The lethal dose depends upon the caffeine content of your coffee, your weight, and the human equivalent dose (HED) of the LD50 of coffee. Source: Caffeine Calculator

Arabica and Robusta Rule the Coffee World

Coffee is cultivated in approximately 80 countries worldwide, with Coffea arabica and C. robusta accounting for 80% and 20% of the world’s coffee production, respectively. Source: Croptrust

125 million Coffee Farmers Worldwide

Over 125 million farmers worldwide produce coffee beans, with 90% of them in developing countries. Source: Croptrust.

Brazil Produces the Most Coffee

Brazil is the world’s leading coffee-producing nation, producing over 2.5 million metric tons of beans in 2016. Source: Croptrust

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