Coffee is a drink that has legions of fans and is one of the most consumed beverages in the world. A huge amount of coffee is drunk every day and in Europe and North America this amount is equal to a third of the total volume of tap water that we drink. However, whilst you might love the taste, the smell, and the energy of drinking coffee, there are probably a few things that you didn’t know about it…
1. Berries not beans
In its raw form, coffee is found in berries and not in beans. These are hand picked at the peak of their ripeness and then the flesh of the berry is removed. Inside this is the coffee seed and it is this that is commonly known as the ‘coffee bean.’
2. Flavour of Finland
The biggest coffee drinkers in the world are not the Italians, the French, the Americans or even the British. It’s actually Finland where the most coffee is drink per capita.
3. Coffee makes the world go round
The popularity of coffee means that it is the second most traded commodity in the world. The only commodity that is traded more than coffee is oil.
4. Origins of instant coffee
Instant coffee was invented by one George Washington! However, this is not the George Washington of presidential fame but a little known Belgian man who was living in Guatemala when he invented it in 1906.
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5. From Ethiopian goats to Moccachino
Africa has been central in the discovery and development of coffee as we know it today. It was Ethiopian goats who first consumed coffee (although obviously not in its current form…), and its energising effects were then noticed by the shepherds when the goats became pretty lively after eating it. Also in Africa, it was local tribes here who first consumed coffee, mixing it with fat so that it made solid balls and then eating it for energy.
6. Don’t over-do it!
It’s actually possible to be addicted to caffeine and also to overdose on it. Symptoms of a caffeine overdose include heart palpitations, a cold sweat, shaking and feeling like the world is about to end! If you are a serious coffee addict and you try to give up, you might experience withdrawal symptoms such as headaches and irritability.
7. Deceptively light
There are three different types of coffee roast – light, medium and dark – but it’s actually the light roast, which has the more caffeine in, not the dark.
Coffee has been declared illegal three times, in Mecca, in England by Charles II, and also in Germany in 1677. The reasons for coffee being banned have not always stemmed from the effects of drinking it – Charles II banned it because he thought coffee houses were being used to plan a rebellion against him.
9. Coffee powers the modern world
There are more than 500 billion cups of coffee consumed each year – how many of those belong to you…?
10. What’s your flavour?
Most of the coffee drinkers of the world (70%) drink Arabica coffee, with Robusta being the second most popular type. Robusta is much more bitter than Arabica and has 50% more caffeine.
So, there are 10 unusual facts about coffee that you can think about next time you order your latte, Americano or espresso. If you’re a true coffee devotee, then just reading about the fragrant aroma and rich taste of this much loved beverage has probably got your taste buds tingling…
John wrote this guest post for Russell Hobbs who produce a great range of coffee machines so you can enjoy a perfect cup of coffee at home, everyday. See his recent post on the health benefits of coffee for more fabulous facts about the dark stuff.