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Some Interesting Facts about Coffee

Do you drink coffee every day but don’t actually know much about it? You wouldn’t be the first! Coffee is consumed all around the world and has a fascinating and rich history. We’ll forgive you if you don’t know much about it, but we thought you should, so we’ve brought together some of the most interesting coffee facts! You’ll even learn how to repurpose used coffee grounds.

Many of us rely on coffee to start our day or give us a little boost as the day progresses. Coffee is something that brings us together - just think of all those cafes you’ve been to with friends or coffees you’ve shared with family. If you’ve got a guest in your house, it’s likely you’ve offered them a coffee.

Basically, coffee holds great importance in the world and has so much more to it than meets the eye or mouth. Coffee is culture, not just a beverage. Read on to discover coffee nutrition facts, the origins of coffee, and much more!

Some Interesting Coffee Facts

1. Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world.

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the worldThis shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world, alongside water and tea. Water is - of course - the most consumed drink worldwide, but coffee and tea closely follow. More than 400 billion cups of coffee are consumed worldwide each year.

2. Coffee is the world’s 2nd most traded commodity.

This coffee fact is often disputed as no one has satisfied the claim with sufficient data, so take this with a grain of salt! Not only is it one of the most popular drinks in the world but coffee is also said to be the 2nd largest traded commodity. Many make claims that coffee, as a traded commodity, is second only to crude oil. Coffee is worth over $100 billion worldwide.

Myth or fact? We’re not sure, but we do know that, historically, coffee is one of the oldest traded commodities and is hugely important to many countries' economies. Not the most definitive of our coffee facts, so please let us know if you have the stats to back this up!

3. We have goats to thank for the origins of coffee.

We have goats to thank for the origins of coffee
Well, no one knows for sure who discovered coffee but legend goes that it was a 9th-century goat herder. Named Kaldi, this goat herder noticed his goats were behaving strangely after consuming the Coffea plant. It is said that he claimed the goats were dancing. He chewed on one of these berries himself and felt an amazing energizing effect.

He excitedly brought some of the berries to a local monastery but the monk disapproved and threw them into the fire. The coffee aroma that emerged grabbed the attention of other monks, and they quickly gathered the roasted beans and dissolved them in hot water to make the world’s first cup of coffee.

They spread the word, and coffee was born. While we can’t be 100% sure that this is how coffee really was born, it certainly makes for a lovely story! There are several other accounts floating around about the origins of coffee, but this is our favourite one.

4. Coffee is a fruit.

Coffee is a fruit
Despite being called beans, coffee is in fact made from the seeds of the Coffea plant’s berries. They got called coffee beans due to the fact they resemble beans. Coffee beans are the pit found inside coffee berries, which are red or purple and roughly around the size of a grape or cherry. The pits are extracted from the fruits, dried, milled, and then roasted to become what we know as coffee beans.

5. Drinking coffee was once punishable by death.

OK, this coffee fact is a bit less cheerful, but it’s interesting nonetheless! In 1633, the Ottoman sultan Murad IV felt that coffee drinking in Istanbul was causing social decay. He believed that it had mind-altering effects and could lead to disorder. He decided to ban coffee drinking and punish anyone caught transgressing by sentencing them to death. Though some say it wasn’t a blanket ban, he only targeted the coffee houses that he saw as being potential sources of an uprising.

Murad IV wasn’t the first to try and ban coffee either! Throughout history, there have been multiple instances of leaders and religious influencers trying to crack down on coffee consumption. Most of them shared a belief that coffee could cause dangerous thoughts and lead to rebellion. Most coffee bans, however, were short-lived. So let's take a moment to be grateful that we can freely drink this amazing drink!

6. The most expensive coffees are made from cat poop and elephant dung.

most expensive coffees
Another unexpected coffee fact for many of us: the most expensive coffee in the world is called Black Ivory Coffee which can cost around $1,500 USD per kilogram. Why does it cost so much? Well, it’s produced using coffee cherries that have been part-digested by Thai elephants, then extracted from, wait for it… their feces!

If that wasn’t mind-boggling enough, the second most expensive coffee is called Kopi Luwak and is made from coffee beans that have been digested and pooped out by the palm civet, an animal that is not a cat but often gets called one due to their resemblance. The coffee beans are plucked from the palm civet’s feces (they can’t digest the beans themselves) and produce a smooth, less acidic brew. A cup of Kopi Luwak can cost you up to around $130!

7. You can eat coffee cherries as a food.

You can eat coffee cherries as a food
We can safely eat coffee cherries but it’s unlikely you’ll find them in your local supermarket. They taste sweet but unlike other berries as they have not been grown to optimize their taste. They tend to have tough skins and very little actual flesh inside, as they are typically grown to extract the pits and make coffee. The flesh can stick to the pit, much like mango, so they’re quite tricky to eat too.

Coffee cherries taste like a combination of watermelon, apricot, and raspberry, so if you get the chance to try one, go for it!

8. Brazil grows the most coffee in the world.

According to the International Coffee Organization, Brazil produces around a third of the world’s coffee supply. Second in line is Vietnam, though coffee is grown in over 50 countries in South America, Central America, Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. But Brazil is an absolute powerhouse in coffee production and has been dominating the market for over 150 years.

Coffee plantations in Brazil cover around 27,000 km2 and are mainly in the South-Eastern states where the climate creates the ideal environment. Unlike other coffee-producing countries, Brazil dries its coffee cherries in the sun rather than washing them. Coffee from Brazil has a sweet and smooth flavor that is less bitter than many other coffees.

9. Coffee grounds may be good for the skin.

Coffee grounds
There’s no need to put your coffee grounds in the bin - they will make an excellent exfoliator for getting rid of dead skin cells. The caffeine content is said to potentially improve blood circulation in the skin, which some studies have found could lead to a reduction in cellulite. Other studies have suggested that coffee may help reduce skin inflammation or reduce dark circles under the eyes. More research must be done to reach any solid conclusions about this, but it sounds promising!

To make a luxurious facemask using coffee grounds, mix equal parts coffee grounds and olive oil. Apply the mixture to your face in a gentle circular motion, and leave on for 15-60 minutes. Rinse off thoroughly using warm water.

To make an exfoliating body scrub using coffee grounds, mix ½ cup coffee grounds with ¼ cup coconut oil, ¼ brown sugar, ¼ cup coarse salt, and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Combine well - the scrub should resemble wet sand. Use as a normal body scrub, and store in a sealed jar. You can thank us for this coffee fact when you see your refreshed skin!

9. Coffee nutrition facts.

  • The nutritional information on a cup of coffee depends on how you drink your coffee. Obviously adding milk, cream, or sugar will affect the number of calories, carbs, and fat. But let's look at some of the info the USDA provides regarding 1 cup of brewed black coffee:

    • 2.4 calories
    • 0.1g fat
    • 0g saturated fat
    • 0mg cholesterol
    • 0g carbohydrates
    • 0g sugars
    • 0.3g protein

    As you can see, black coffee is low in calories and suitable for a low-carb or low-fat diet. Coffee also contains a number of micronutrients. This can vary depending on the coffee and water used, but 100ml of medium-strength black coffee contains on average:

  • 92mg potassium
  • 8mg magnesium
  • 0.05mg manganese
  • 0.01mg riboflavin
  • 0.7mg niacin

    10. Coffee’s potential health benefits.
  • Coffee’s potential health benefits

    Aside from waking you up and providing a big old boost, scientific research has found many potential health benefits to drinking coffee. These potential health benefits may be related to coffee’s caffeine content. Studies have found that caffeine may be beneficial for weight maintenance and decreasing body fat. A 2021 study found that drinking black coffee 30 minutes before exercising can increase fat oxidation, leading to greater weight loss.

    Research has found many other potential health benefits to consuming coffee, including making your brain more resilient, improving good cholesterol, and delivering a substantial dose of antioxidants, which can support your immune system and much more. Whilst more research must be done to reach any definitive conclusions, there is a lot to indicate that coffee might have a positive impact on our health when consumed in moderation.

    11. Finland consumes the most coffee in the world, per capita.

    Finland consumes the most coffee in the world, per capita
    Finland consumes more coffee per capita than any other country in the world. People in Finland consume, on average, 8 or 9 cups of coffee a day. Some consume as much as 30 cups of coffee per day, though that is not recommended! It is thought that this came about due to the extremely cold temperatures there for most of the year.

    12. Instant coffee was invented nearly 250 years ago.

    Instant coffee first appeared in Britain in 1771 but it didn’t taste great or last long. The first mass-produced instant coffee was made in the U.S. in 1910 and was called Red E Coffee. The first seriously successful instant coffee was launched in 1938 by Nestle, which continues to rule the instant coffee market today.

    Coffee Facts: Final Thoughts

    Final Thoughts

    Thanks for coming with us on this fascinating journey through the world of coffee. We hope you’ve learned something new! Interesting coffee facts are abundant, and this list is only an introduction. As you can see, coffee is not just a drink, but it is a means of social interaction. People all over the world come together to share cups of coffee and conversation every day.

    There are so many different ways of making and drinking coffee, it differs from country to country. And today, coffee is getting even more creative, with all kinds of flavored lattes and cold brews appearing on the market. We have more choices than ever, and it’s so easy to make barista-quality coffee at home!

    Whether you’re a solid coffee addict or just coffee-curious, we hope these coffee facts have given you something to ponder as you enjoy an aromatic cup of the good stuff. Grab those coffee grounds and make a facemask while you’re at it too!
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