From history to some statistics, here are some fun facts about our favorite morning drink, coffee.
Most of us are “instant humans just add coffee.” We can’t start the day without smelling the aroma and tasting the rich flavor of the bitter drink.
I’m a self-confessed coffee addict and many of you as well. Just like you, I always disregard the weather and will just sip down a piping hot cup of caffeine. So, it’s interesting to know some fun facts about it.
We Owe the World to a Goat Herder
Legend says an Ethiopian goat herder named Kaldi wondered why his goats are energetic and did not want to sleep after eating berries from a certain plant. So, he tried the berries himself and indeed, it gave him energy and even kept him awake even after long hours of prayers.
He reported his finding to a local monastery and shared it with the monks. Later on, the knowledge of the energizing berries began to spread. As the words continue to pass, the beans were transferred around the globe.
There are three known types of coffee beans that we consume today and they are the following:
The Arabica, which is the most cultivated. It’s was first found growing naturally in the Arabian Peninsula, hence, the name. Known to be the most-superior species, this contributes to 70% of today’s coffee beans.
The Robusta, which is about 30% of the coffee bean market, is high in caffeine but lesser in aroma compared to Arabica. Huge companies use this to market instant coffee.
A minority crop, Liberica can par with Arabica in terms of quality. It’s not that popular because of its growing altitude. In the Philippines, it’s called “Kapeng Barako” because of its strong lingering taste and aroma.
There are other species like Excelsa, Bourbon, and Typica. However, they are cultivars from the known species.
Coffee is Super in Demand
Coffee is the second largest commodity in the world. The first is crude oil. Yes, that’s how important coffee is to the world. It’s worth $100 billion worldwide.
Brazil is the largest importer of coffee in the world. In 2016, it delivered 2.5 million metric tonnes of coffee beans and the country held this record for more than 150 years. Coffee plantation covered about 27,000 square kilometers of the country’s land.
Vietnam is second and coffee is a huge part of the country’s economy.
Europeans are Truly Addicts
Many European nations fall into the top 10 consumers of coffee.
According to the World Atlas, Finland consumes 12 kg of coffee per capita, which is considered low because Finnish kids also love coffee. The country loves coffee so much that union laws include coffee breaks as mandatory.
Norway and Iceland follow. Their citizens consume 9.9 and 9 kilograms per capita respectively. The latter hosts an annual coffee-making competition in quest of finding the best brew.
Starbucks and other international coffee shops are not popular with European people. Small but independent coffee shops are scattered around cities offering affordable but high-quality cups of coffee.
The Most Expensive Coffee
Kopi Luwak is the most expensive coffee, which can go up to $500 for half a kilo. It is also known as civet coffee or Alamid coffee and a large percentage of this is produced in the wild places of Southeast Asia like the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
The expensive tag price of this coffee is because of the animal called civet cat.
This cat loves coffee berries but will only consume those high-quality. It will eat the berries whole.
During the digestion process, the pulp will melt exposing the beans and will undergo a unique fermentation process. Thus, giving the beans that earthy flavor. After 24 hours, it will defecate. Then, the farmers will then pick the beans, clean them, and roast them.
The demand for this coffee is high but the supply is low. That’s why it’s expensive. Sadly, some opportunists sell fake Kopi Luwak and they are all over the internet.
Other quick and fun coffee facts
- Hawaii is the only US state that produces coffee for a long time. It’s just recently when California farmers tried planting coffee plants.
- In 1932, Brazilian athletes rode a ship full of coffee bound to Los Angeles so they can participate in the Olympics.
- Leaders in Mecca banned coffee in 1511 because they thought it stimulated critical thinking. During the 16th century, Italians believe it is “Satanic.”
- A research by Harvard concluded coffee lovers tend to live longer.
- Decaf doesn’t mean caffein-free. A cup only has a very small amount of caffeine.
- Coffee can exfoliate the skin.
- Yes, you can still drink coffee if you are pregnant but in a moderated amount. There is actually no scientific evidence linking miscarriage to drinking coffee.
- Coffee ground is a great compost for your garden.
- The owner of Creme Puff, the oldest-living cat, claimed that she used to drink coffee in the morning.
- The first-ever web camera was invented at the Cambridge Universe and its sole purpose is to check the status of the coffee pot.