Fun Facts About Coffee

What else…
...could possibly make coffee more enticing? Well learning some fun and cool facts about one of our favorite beverages of course! Coffee is as vivacious and interesting as it is delicious and action-packed with energy. From the stories of its discovery to the perilous and harrowing journeys that took it around the world to everything in between. Let’s learn a bit more about coffee and why it is a truly amazing drink!

#1. There are four main types of coffee beans 
Most folks are familiar with the main two coffee bean varieties; Arabica and Robusta, but there are actually two other main varieties with dozens more minor varieties, cultivars, and strains being discovered and developed every day. The other two are Liberica and Excelsea.

#2. Coffee dethroned beer...as a breakfast drink
Beer was originally the morning and afternoon drink of choice across much of Europe during the Middle Ages and up into later eras. When coffee began to make inroads into Europe during the late Renaissance and Age of Enlightenment, beer started taking a backseat to the exotic new drink. For those who have tried a little "hair of the dog" you might understand why!

#3. Coffee is very healthy for you
Maybe one of the best fun facts on our list, coffee has a load of health benefits. From assisting our hearts and livers to boosting metabolism, to even helping to decrease our risks of developing certain types of cancer, coffee is a real panacea.

#4. The ancestor of most coffee in the Western Hemisphere was plant-napped!
Or maybe stolen is the right word. A group of Dutch traders in the Arabian port city of Mocha stole a coffee plant and smuggled it to France where they presented it to Louis XIV (more on him later). The Sun King had an entire botanica built for the plant and put it under guard. He eventually gave a few of the plant’s seeds to one of his admirals who took it to the French colony of Martinique in the Caribbean. From this one plant’s seeds came an entire generation of coffee plants that persists even today!

#5. More on King Louis XIV…
He was one of the first rulers in Europe to try the drink. Louis was a famous gourmand (more maybe glutton is the right word here too?) and was presented with a cup of coffee and some coffee beans by an ambassador from the Ottoman empire. The ambassador and his cool new drink were a massive hit and elevated coffee to the upper echelons of European society at the time and influenced coffee culture into the modern era.

#6. The whole coffee plant is caffeinated
From the bark to the coffee cherries the beans are found in, the whole coffee plant is a caffeine wonderland. Even the leaves, and in case you thought the beans were the only good part, actually a tea can also be made from the coffee cherries those delicious beans come from. It is called cascara, meaning, “shell” or husk in Spanish, and doesn’t even taste like coffee! Folks who are lucky enough to try this rare tea say it is more similar in aroma and taste to hibiscus or cherry, talk about a range of flavors.

#7. And speaking of coffee “beans”...
...they’re actually seeds, and as mentioned above, they come from red cherries that can also be consumed and turned into a fruity tea.

#8. The grounds are good for your skin and scalp
Some folks like to use their spent coffee grounds as a fertilizer for plants but coffee grounds can also be used as an exfoliate. Yes! You can use it as a scrub on your face and even on your scalp. The caffeine and other enriching vitamins and nutrients are great for skin and the coarse grinds help to scrub away dead skin and dirt.

#9. Discovered by goats
Or at least that’s the story that most folks agree upon. A long time ago, a goatherd in Ethiopia named Kaldi noticed his flock were acting rather strange. Jumping, prancing, and leaping about while they munched on the fruit of a certain tree. Kaldi took the fruits to his local monastery where the abbot brewed a beverage with the fruits. As they tasted the drink they noticed it gave them renewed spirit and vigor. From then on the drink became a staple of the monastery and became renowned around the region, spreading far and wide.

#10. Brazil is a coffee powerhouse and so is Switzerland
Lots of countries produce coffee but none do it like Brazil. Brazil produces about 5,000,000,000 pounds of coffee annually. But the country that consumes the most coffee? That would be Switzerland, with the average Swiss citizen enjoying about 17 pounds of coffee annually!

Sources:

  • “16 Most Interesting Facts to Know about Coffee.” Agiboo, 26 Oct. 2020, www.agiboo.com/16-interesting-facts-about-coffee/.
  • Aunt Messy Aunt Messy Community Member • points posts comments upvotes FollowUnfollow, et al. “30 Coffee Facts That Every Coffee Lover Should Know.” Bored Panda, 1 Jan. 1968, www.boredpanda.com/interesting-coffee-facts/?utm_source=google.
  • Hawkins, Amanda. “Surprising Facts About Coffee.” Good Housekeeping, Good Housekeeping, 5 Dec. 2018, www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/diet-nutrition/a30303/facts-about-coffee/. 

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