Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About Coffee

Having become a regular part of our daily life, coffee has not been given much thought except for people wondering every now and then about the health benefits that it has on them. But there’s more to just the great taste and the caffeine rush we get with every cup of our favorite coffee. Here are some interesting facts about coffee that you probably did not know:

Coffee is . . .

  • The second most widely used product in the world next to oil
  • The second most popular drink next to water
  • Grown in 65 countries around the world
  • The means of living for 25 million families around the world
  • Consumed at the rate of 1.4 million cups every day
  • Produced largely in Brazil, Indonesia, Columbia, India, Mexico, Vietnam, Uganda
  • Consumed largely in the US, Brazil, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom

Coffee was . . .

  • First discovered by a young goat herd in the highlands of Ethiopia in the ninth century
  • Originally used by the Arabs as a form of medicine and for religious purposes
  • Forbidden in Rome when a priest prohibited the people to drink the beverage because it was believed to be the drink of the devil
  • First commercially harvested in the fourteenth century from the Arabian Peninsula
  • First imported on a large scale by the Dutch
  • First mass-produced by George Constant Washington, an English chemist in 1906
  • First known as “Arabian wine” when it was introduced in Europe

Coffee . . .

  • Beans are actually berries, which contain two beans known as “pips”
  • Farmers get a mere 4 cents for every pound of coffee that they pick by hand
  • Is celebrated in Japan every first of October, which they have officially marked as Coffee Day for the entire country
  • With flavor originated in the 1970s in America
  • Ships are used to transport beans around the world (approximately 2,500 ships every year)
  • Plants can produce coffee beans up to 30 years under proper care and good conditions
  • The “coffee belt” refers to the regions in the equator where most coffee trees are grown
  • Is not produced in the United States of America (not counting Hawaii and Puerto Rico)

The first . . .

  • Coffee berries were boiled before they were marketed because the Arabs did not want the plants cultivated outside their territories
  • Coffee houses were called “penny universities” as every cup of coffee would only cost you a penny
  • Coffee-serving cafe (Le Procope) opened in Paris in 1968 and is still in business today
  • Instant coffee was invented by Satori Kato, a Japanese-American chemist in 1901
  • Freeze-dried coffee Nescafe was invented by a Nestle company in Switzerland in 1938
  • Coffee filter was invented by a housewife from Germany, Melitta Bentz

From its origin to production and to the many changes that it has undergone up to this date, coffee continues to remain a significant part of our everyday living. That shouldn’t come as a surprise, not with the great stories that come with every cup we have. Coffee is an integral part of many societies and economies around the world.

So, have you learned anything about coffee?