Surprising Facts About Coffee and Caffeine
Do you know which country consumes the most coffee? Or what are the unexpected benefits of drinking coffee for the body? Do you know who first discovered coffee? Or did you hear that in the past you could be sentenced to death for a cup of coffee?
Here are 10 extremely interesting facts about coffeee that you definitely did not know.
Coffee is a Fruit
When you think of coffee, you probably imagine a fine, brown powder or some brown beans that smell extremely good, but you certainly don’t think about the fact that what ends up in our cup as an aromatic liqueur with wonderful properties for organism, begins life as a fruit. The coffee plant produces small (berry-like) red fruits called coffee cherries. The seeds inside these cherries are what we call coffee beans – they’re roasted and ground to produce our beloved beverage.
Brazil Takes the Crown in Coffee Production
Ever wonder where your morning pick-me-up comes from? Most likely from Brazil. This South American country is the largest producer in the world, recording a production of 51 million bags (of 60 kg each) between 2017 and 2017. To put this into perspective, 1 kg of coffee beans provides approximately 120 double espressos.
The Coffee Plant is Also Used for Tea
You read that right! Cascara or coffee cherry tea is an infusion made from the dried peel of the coffee fruit. The caffeine content is low and the taste is comparable to a fruit infusion rather than herbal or leaf tea.
Coffee Has a Long History
The exact time when coffee was discovered is uncertain, because it happened many years ago. But the favored story dates back to around AD 850. An Ethiopian goat herder noticed that his animals became energetic after feeding on the ripe beans of an arabica bush. Kaldi, the goat herder, then tasted the berries and noticed the effect of caffeine on his skin.
The First Cafes
Coffee was unique among other beverages because it was drunk in public coffeehouses in Middle Eastern and African cities. People came here for entertainment, socializing and getting the latest news. By 1675, these coffeehouse-type places appeared in England and bore names such as the Turk’s Head, The Jerusalem Coffee House and The Sultaness.
Drinking Coffee was Once Punishable by Death
Unlike other people in other countries, the Ottoman Sultan Murad IV did not like coffeehouses because he believed that people were plotting against him there. In 1633 he passed a law making drinking coffee punishable by death in Istanbul. But he was neither the first nor the last leader to disapprove of coffee. Throughout the 16th to 18th centuries, numerous European and Middle Eastern rulers attempted to ban it.
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Cappuccino Name can be Traced Back to the Capuchin Monks
The Capuchin monks weren’t big coffee drinkers, but the brown color of the milky coffee reminded 19th-century Viennese coffee makers of their robes. Kapuziner, coffee with milk, was made here for the first time. The modern cappuccino with frothy lid came later and was an Italian creation.
Finland Tops the List of Coffee Drinkers
You may be surprised to learn that top coffee consumers aren’t found in Ethiopia, Brazil, the United States, or even espresso-loving Italy. In fact, it’s Finland that takes the crown for the highest coffee consumption, with each person downing an impressive 12.5 kg per year.
Coffee Makes You Run Faster
Looking to shatter your personal record? Olympic gold medalist Mo Farah has a secret weapon: he drinks coffee before every race. Plenty of research backs up caffeine’s positive impact on athletic performance, even showing that it can make you run faster. One study pitted habitual caffeine drinkers against decaf enthusiasts in a 1500 m race, with the caffeine crowd clocking in an average of 4.2 seconds faster.
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Climate Change Poses a Risk to the Coffee Industry
As global demand for coffee and related beverages increases, so do concerns for the industry’s future due to climate change. Fluctuating temperatures and unpredictable weather take their toll on heat- and rain-sensitive crops like coffee plants. By 2050, Brazil— a major coffee producer—may see a staggering 25% reduction in its suitable coffee-growing land. The consequences? Countless farmers left jobless. In light of these sobering facts, maybe it’s time for all of us to consider small steps we can take towards lowering pollution and protecting our cherished caffeinated mornings.
To conclude, coffee is much more than just a beverage. It’s a fascinating part of our history, culture, and daily lives. From its humble beginnings as a fruit to its pivotal role in shaping social gatherings and even athletic performance, coffee has woven itself into the fabric of our world.
As we savor each cup, let’s also remember the delicate balance it faces with climate change. Our responsibility is not only to enjoy its rich flavors but also to ensure a sustainable future for the coffee industry. So, next time you take that aromatic sip, consider the journey of that humble coffee bean, from the tropical farms to your cup, and appreciate the remarkable stories and facts that make coffee more than just a morning ritual.