It’s no surprise to the Food Facts Blog that the world’s most popular beverage – coffee – has an interesting and intriguing history. There is a treasure trove of information about this amazing drink that helps to explain why it is so popular. Some of these facts may ring a bell; some of them may be things you have never heard of before. All of them, though, are sure to provide some interesting tidbits and nuggets of information about coffee and how it came to be the world’s favorite drink.
Interesting Facts About Coffee: The Origins
How coffee came about is actually very interesting, even if it is a legend and didn’t really happen. The story goes like this: A shepherd in Africa was herding his sheep one day when he noticed them acting very strangely. They appeared jittery and energetic (which must be quite odd, coming from a sheep).
Upon further investigation, the shepherd saw that they were eating coffee beans from coffee plants. The rest, they say, is history.
Oh, and the word “mocha”? It comes from the port of Mocha, in what is now Saudi Arabia, one of the original distribution hubs for coffee.
Interesting Facts About Coffee: Coffee Holidays
Coffee is so popular that it even has its own holidays. Costa Ricans celebrate coffee on September 12th, while the Irish celebrate coffee on September 19th. A few days later, on October 1st, Japanese people celebrate “Coffee Day”.
Interesting Facts About Coffee: Nice And Slow
While drinking coffee may perk you up, watching a coffee tree grow certainly won’t. Your average coffee tree typically takes five years to mature. On top of that, each tree produces only about 1-2 pounds of coffee annually. So, if you are planning on harvesting your own homegrown coffee, you may have to wait a while.
Interesting Facts About Coffee: Drinking A Nice Cup Of Joe
Have you ever heard of the phrase “cup of joe” when referring to coffee? If you have, you may have wondered what the in world it means and how it came to mean drinking coffee. The phrase was created due to World War II. American soldiers – called “G.I. Joes” – were issued rations regularly with Maxwell Instant Coffee in them. These proved to be so popular – especially with the locals, who often obtained this instant coffee from American solders passing through – that drinking coffee began to be known as drinking…you guessed it…a cup of joe.
Interesting Facts About Coffee: An International Commodity
Coffee is actually the second most widely-traded commodity in the world, behind oil. (It tastes a lot better than oil, too.) Over 65 countries around the world grow coffee along the Equator, including Brazil – which supplies 40% of the world’s supply. Curiously, even though the United States consumes a huge amount of coffee every year, the only two places where it is grown are Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
Interesting Facts About Coffee: Breakfast Of Champions
Over 90% of the cups of coffee consumed daily of are consumed at breakfast. And since coffee is a zero-calorie beverage (when taken black, without sugar or cream), then those who are on a diet frequently drink the beverage for their entire breakfast.
Coffee also has other health-related value. Coffee contains antioxidants, which help prevent harmful substances called free radicals from inflicting damage on your body. The drink also increases the benefit of pain-killers, could potentially help with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, temporarily increases cognitive performance including alertness, recall, and multitasking, and can even serve as a laxative.
Interesting Facts About Coffee: Consumption
Over 1 billion cups of coffee are consumed daily. Your average coffee drinker will drink 2-3 cups of coffee per day. Also, while additives (like sugar, cream, milk, etc.) are popular, more people enjoy drinking coffee black (without additives) than they do with additives of any kind. What you like to drink also depends on where you live. Espresso reigns supreme in Italy and France, while people in the Middle East prefer spiced coffee. Flavored coffee is becoming very popular in the United States and South America, while older generations all over the world tend to prefer black coffee.
Interesting Facts About Coffee: Arabica Coffee Beans
There are actually two types of coffee consumed today: coffee made from Arabica coffee beans and coffee made from robusta coffee beans. Of the two, arabica coffee beans are definitely preferred by most people in terms of flavor and taste. Arabica has a smooth, rich taste, compared to the more earthy taste of robusta coffee. The coffee in your supermarket is mostly robusta, while the higher-end coffee in your supermarket – along with that sold in most cafes, coffee houses, and restaurants – is arabica. Each type has its own advantages, but many prefer arabica because of its taste and texture. (Plus, it has less caffeine than robusta.)
You may have become thirsty for some coffee while reading these. If so – go and grab a cup. What are you waiting for?
The article is courtesy of Chen from Gourmet Coffee Beans.
Image: Planet Coffee