If you’re a coffee fanatic, then maybe you should know a little bit more about your favorite drink. We’ve assembled some interesting facts for you, so read on and learn a little bit about the dark stuff that keeps you going.
1. Its Only Been Around for 500 Years
Coffee’s origins go back to the early 15th century. At least, that’s where the solid records begin. They show people exporting coffee out of Ethiopia.
As you’d think, there are a lot of myths about coffee. One of the myths places the original use with a shepherd in Ethiopia who went for it after observing his livestock acting lively once they ate some of the beans. That particular myth may be part of how coffee was found, but it’s impossible to verify if the commonly accepted 500AD date was actually the first human use of the bean.
The history of coffee has actually been quite spotty. It was called out repeatedly and its introduction to the western world was quite controversial. It’s an amazing subject if you care to look into it.
While it’s commonplace today, that’s a recent development.
2. Coffee Beans Are Seeds
While many people think of coffee fruit as beans, the truth is a little more complicated than that. More accurately, they’re the pit of the berry and not a bean at all.
Beans are their own thing. The berries which grow on the coffee tree have a stony inner portion like an apricot. This is what we use to make our coffee.
The seeds we usually consume in our coffee come from ripe berries. As the berry matures, the chemical constituents of the coffee change. Green coffee beans from immature berries are sometimes used to create supplements but aren’t generally sold as coffee.
3. Decaffeinated Coffee is Still Coffee
Many people aren’t quite sure what decaf really is. Coffee fanatics often wonder if it’s just a pale imitation of the real thing.
The truth is that decaffeinated coffee is still made from coffee, it’s just been subjected to one or another of the various decaffeinating processes. The taste difference is due to the fact that 100% selective chemical removal is almost impossible.
And many people don’t care for the taste difference in the slightest.
That said, it’s a great option for those who aren’t able to drink regular stuff anymore. There’s still a very minor amount of caffeine left in the beans, but it’s not enough to affect most people.
It’s not the first pick of most people, but the fact remains that decaffeinated coffee is still derived from the same place.
4. Brazil Produces More Coffee than Anyone
South America produces roughly 45% of the coffee in the world. Brazil is the largest exporter of coffee and has a large portion of the market share.
Turns out bringing the beans across the Atlantic was a great idea. Coffee thrives in the tropical client of South America, creating huge harvests. Most of the leading exporters in the world come from that region.
The second-largest single exporter is Vietnam, another tropical region that received the coffee plant relatively late.
Coffee comes from the tropical belt all over the globe. At the current time, however, the top three exporters are Brazil, Vietnam, and Colombia. It’s a pretty amazing spread for a plant that originally showed up in Africa.
5. Coffee Has More Caffeine than Espresso
Most people think of espresso as the strongest form of coffee.
And they’re not wrong. Ounce for ounce espresso has a bit more caffeine. A standard “shot” is 2oz of fluid, and contains roughly 80mg of caffeine.
On the other hand, coffee is usually measured in 12oz cups. A 12oz cup of coffee has around 120mg. So, the truth is that most people going for a cup of coffee in the morning will find it more to their benefit to use the simpler drip machine.
Of course, you can always add them together as well. It really does gives us a lot more variety in our caffeine choices, however, which is the most important part of the process.
6. Coffee’s Modern Use Has 3 Distinct Waves
Coffee has been through three main waves in modern use.
The first was in the 1850s onwards. Coffee was considered a standard good in many places. The roasting process was nearly identical and strong cups of black coffee were the norm. It was a utilitarian time and it was a utilitarian drink.
Eventually, cafes took over with a focus on creating the various drinks that we have today. Iced coffee, cold brew, lattes, and other coffee-based drinks became the norm. The focus was still on the drinks, however, rather than the original beans.
Nowadays there’s a lot of focus on the origin and process of different beans. This “artisanal coffee” trend is quite new and shows a massive rebranding of coffee in the last few decades.
Still, anything for a better cup right?
Satisfy Your Roasted Curiosity
Coffee has a fascinating history, incredible chemistry, and an even better effect. Learning more about it should be at the top of any true enthusiast’s list. This is only a sampling of the strange information that abounds around our favorite drink, however, and there’s always more to learn!