Coffee Is Made from the Coffea PlantThe first of our coffee facts teaches us that coffea is a flowering shrub or small tree from which we get coffee beans. It’s native to warm climates like the tropical parts of Asia and Africa. Coffea arabica is the most common type of coffee plant and produces up to 80% of the world’s coffee.
Coffee Beans Are Green
When harvested, coffee beans are extracted from the berries of the coffea plant. They are essentially the seeds within the berries and are naturally green in color. In order to be sold, these green coffee beans must first be dried. The dried green coffee beans are then sold to roasters on the commodities market.
Roasting Gives Color and Taste to Coffee Beans
After being sold as green coffee beans, coffee beans are roasted. Roasting is what turns the coffee beans brown. The method and length of roasting gives the coffee beans their distinctive flavor and color. The sugar in the beans turns them brown as they roast. Coffee facts indicate that darker beans are considered bolder, and lighter roasts more strongly flavored.
The Coffee Bean Is Not a BeanPerhaps surprisingly, the coffee bean is not a bean in the traditional sense – it is actually a seed! Inside each berry of the coffea plant, there are one or two seeds. One is the coffee bean and the other is called a peaberry.
Two Legends Harken the Origins of Coffee
Like many cultural staples, coffee has a number of legends surrounding its origin. One story is that Kaldi, an Ethiopian goatherd in the 9th century, noticed his goats became excited after eating berries from a certain plant – the coffea plant. Kaldi’s discovery of coffee wasn’t written about until the late 17th century and has never been corroborated.
Coffee facts tell us a second legend surrounds Sheikh Omar. Exiled from Mocha, Yemen, Sheikh Omar was starving and living in a cave. In desperation, he tried some berries from a bush. He found the berries bitter, so he tried to roast the seeds to see if it would change their flavor. The seeds became hard, so Omar attempted to boil them. This produced a brown liquor. Omar drank it and found that he had energy and was able to live for days on the liquid.
Coffee Was Most Likely Discovered in Yemen
It is believed that coffee was first discovered in Yemen in the 15th century. Records show that Sufi Muslim monasteries brewed the dark beverage in the town of Mocha. Coffee drinking then spread through the Middle East and Northern Africa. Coffee facts inform us that though legends concerning coffee’s origins persist, the Yemeni monasteries were the most likely birthplace of this popular beverage.
Brazil Leads the World in Coffee ProductionBrazil produces over 2.8 million tons of green coffee beans yearly. It leads the world in coffee bean production, even though coffee wasn’t introduced into Brazil until the 18th century. The second largest coffee bean producer is Vietnam, with over 1.3 million tons of green coffee beans produced yearly. Coffee facts show that Brazil produces more coffee beans than Vietnam, Indonesia, Colombia and Ethiopia combined.
A Tea Importer Popularized Coffee in Britain
It seems funny now, as tea and coffee are often pitted as rival beverages, but a tea importer actually helped bring the caffeinated drink to Britain. Coffee facts indicate the British East India Company, which traded with India and China, brought tea, salt, and silk, among other items, to Britain. The company began importing coffee and, through their work, the energizing drink became popular in Britain.
Fat and Coffee Are Main Ingredients in the Bulletproof Coffee Diet
Dave Asprey is the inventor of the Bulletproof Coffee Diet. This coffee diet is based on a Tibetan yak butter tea. Made with two tablespoons of unsalted butter, one to two tablespoons of medium-chain triglyceride oil, and brewed low-mold coffee beans, bulletproof coffee can have over 450 calories a cup. Asprey believes the coffee can help suppress hunger and improve brain function. No studies have been done to prove his claims.
Coffee Accelerates Metabolism
Coffee naturally contains caffeine, which is a stimulant, and temporarily increases the metabolism. Some fitness trainers even advise drinking coffee before a workout to maximize fat-burning potential.
There Are Several Ways to Brew Coffee
There’s no shortage of ways to brew coffee. Many people opt for the simplicity of coffee machines, which can range in price from 20 to several hundred dollars. You can also use a percolator, a French press, an aeropress, a vacuum pot, or a coffee cone to brew your favorite beans. You can also brew coffee grounds in a regular pot, as is done with Turkish coffee. With the popularity of coffee, there are sure to be even more ways to brew a cup of joe over the next few years.
There Are Two Main Coffee Strains
Most coffee comes from either the coffea arabica plant or the coffea canephora plant, which is known as robusta. If you take a look at a bag of coffee beans, it may even specify which variety of the coffea plant the beans come from. The most obvious difference between the two types of coffee is taste. Robusta is considered to have a more bitter flavor. This may be due to its higher caffeine concentration. Arabica, on the other hand, has more fat and sugar in the beans. Robusta is easier to grow and less prone to insects, so it is often cheaper than Arabica, though Arabica remains the popular choice
The Pope Called Coffee a Christian Beverage
When coffee was first widely introduced into Europe, much of the Christian population was hesitant to try it, and viewed the dark elixir as a Muslim beverage. Coffee facts tell us Pope Clement VIII declared coffee a Christian drink in 1600, giving it more of a foothold in Europe.
Flavored Coffees and Specialty Coffees have Increased ConsumptionCoffee can be individualized in many ways. Some people enjoy a basic shot of espresso, or add hot water to it to make a Caffè Americano. Caffè latte is made by adding steamed milk to a shot of espresso. A cappuccino is made by adding milk froth and steamed milk to a shot of espresso. Adding ice, sugar, or cream can greatly change the character of the drink. There are also many flavored syrups – including caramel, vanilla, chocolate, and hazelnut – that can be added to make a unique coffee beverage. With so many different ways to drink a simple brew, its no wonder coffee continues to grow in popularity.
Instant coffee Makes a Fast Cup of Joe
Instant coffee was invented in 1907. It is made by dehydrating coffee, and can be purchased as a powder or freeze-dried granules. It’s faster to make than regular coffee. Instant coffee became more popular after World War I. At the time, Nescafe was the predominant brand. Nowadays, even Starbucks sells its own instant coffee.
Wild Civets Help Make World’s Most Expensive Coffee
The world’s most expensive cup of coffee is made from the droppings of the wild civet. This coffee can sell for between $100 and $600 a pound. Kopi luwak is brewed from beans excreted by the Indonesian civet after the mammal ingests the coffea berries. Controversy has surrounded this cup of joe since BBC reporters investigated its production and found that some providers were caging civets and treating them inhumanely. These same providers would then sell the excreted beans as if they were gathered in the wild. Kopi luwak has become popular not just because of its high price tag and interesting production, but also because of its unique flavor. It is said to be less bitter than regular coffee.
A Cup of Joe Is Named for the Average Man
While one theory suggest the phrase “cup of joe” originated after US Secretary of the Navy, Josephus Daniels, outlawed alcohol on navy ships, it is more likely the phrase is a reference to the idea that coffee is a plain, universal beverage consumed by the average man, also known as an average joe.
Achille Gaggia Invented the Modern Espresso Machine
Thanks to Achille Gaggia, who in 1945 invented the modern espresso machine in Milan, Italy, the art of coffee was made simpler for coffee shops and restaurants throughout Italy. Europe and North America quickly adopted the new technology and now many restaurants and coffee houses sport the ingenious invention.
Coffee Preparation Affects Caffeine Level
While an average cup of coffee contains 95 milligrams of caffeine, coffee can have a different amount of caffeine depending on how it is prepared. For example, a regular brewed cup can have 80-135 milligrams of caffeine, but a drip cup can have from 115 – 175 milligrams of caffeine. Espresso shots have a high concentration of caffeine, with 45-60 milligrams of caffeine in just a 1.5 to 2 ounce shot.
Coffee Is Intoxicating
Coffee is so popular, it has even found its way into alcohol. Not only can you top up your cup of joe with some whiskey, but you can also use coffee liqueurs like Kahlua or Tia Maria to make a fun coffee-flavored alcoholic beverage. Coffee facts tell us that coffee has also been used to help brew darker beers like stouts and porters.
Coffee Facts – Facts about Coffee Summary
Coffee is a popular beverage that is made by brewing ground, roasted coffee beans from the berries of the coffea plant. Coffee beans are naturally caffeinated. When harvested, coffee beans are green. They are then roasted to achieve a certain flavor and boldness. Brazil is the largest producer of coffee, which grows best in warm, tropical climates. Coffea arabica is the most widely grown variant, accounting for about 80% of the world’s coffee. Coffee can be brewed and prepared in various ways, which goes some way towards accounting for its widespread popularity.