9 LESSER KNOWN FACTS ABOUT COFFEE AND THE STORIES BEHIND THEM

Coffee is America’s darling beverage and is world’s 2nd most traded commodity. With the popularity of brands like Nescafe during WWII, coffee became a staple in USA and UK. Now, with the emergence of instant coffee machines like Nespresso, it has become even more popular and thus become a cheap and yet delicious everyday beverage.

These are all known things,  But there are some facts about coffee that you probably don’t know. Here are a few of them :

  • Tea Was Discovered Way Before Coffee

While coffee was discovered by shepherds of Ethiopia in 9th century, legends say that tea had been discovered near 2737 B.C. Both the discoveries were accidental. Tea was discovered by a Chinese emperor when a few leaves accidentally fell into his pot of boiling water. The aroma created convinced him to try the drink, while coffee was discovered by shepherds when their goats ate coffee and “appeared to be dancing” as an affect.

  • First freeze dried food

Coffee was the first freeze dried food. Yes, you heard it right! Coffee was considered a food and was eaten before it became a beverage by roasting and grinding the seeds of coffee berries. After the process of freezing food was invented, during World War II, coffee was the first to be preserved via the process and it was presented by Nescafe as Nescafe Gold.

  • Banned many a times

There have been multiple attempts in history to ban coffee. In 16th century, coffee was banned in Mecca on the grounds that it promoted radical thinking.

Later, in the same century, Italian clergymen banned it calling it a ‘satanic drink’. However, in 18th century Pope Clement tried coffee and according to legends, loved it from the first sip so he lifted the ban and baptized coffee.

It was also banned in Ottoman empire and the emperor declared the offenders to be punished by throwing them in the sea.

Frederick the great, king of Prussia also banned coffee under his rule in order to increase beer consumption in the nation.

  • Richest source of Antioxidants

Coffee is the richest natural source of antioxidants. It has even more antioxidants than grapes, blueberries, raspberries, yogurt and even green tea. These antioxidants make coffee helpful in curing headaches, prevent diseases like cancer and improves metabolism as well as mood.

  • Decaf isn’t really uncaffeinated

While the name says otherwise, a decaf coffee isn’t actually free of caffeine. A standard cup of decaf coffee has about 20 to 40 mg caffeine. However, a cup of normal coffee has about 100 to 200 mgs of caffeine. In comparison, decaf has inconsiderable caffeine, hence the name decaf. 

  • More than 100 species of coffee

The genus ‘Caffea’ has more than 100 species. However, only few of them are commercially used and even fewer popular. The coffee family, i.e, Rubiacea has more than 6400 species and more than 440 genera. Arabica and Robusta are the most commonly used species of coffee.

  • Developing countries serve, developed countries sip

 Most of the coffee producing countries are developing or least developed countries while the consuming countries are developed western countries with Brazil, Vietnam and Colombia as  biggest exporters of coffee while Finland, USA, Germany and France as the largest consumers. In terms of per capita, Finland consumes most coffee and thus called the caffeine capital of the world.

 Majority of coffee consumed in US is imported. There’s only 1 state in US that grows coffee commercially and that is Haiti. Within US, New York has highest coffee consumption.

  • Coffee can be used as a fertilizer

Other than as a beverage, coffee can also be used as a fertilizer. Some coffee powder around your plants stops snails and some other pests from destroying the plants.

Coffee is also said to be beneficial for skin. Japanese people believe that bathing in coffee makes skin younger. It is a great moisturiser and can be used as a facepack too. 

  • Women once revolted against coffee

In around 18th century, women in Britain organised and formed a group named “Women’s Petition Against Coffee” and demanded coffee to be banned for people under 60 years of age. They claimed that it made their husbands into ‘useless corpses’ since they spent most of their time in coffee bars and came home only to rest.

With different types and increasing varieties, coffee is one of the most consumed beverages of the world following water and tea. Different regions have different coffee cultures. Some predominantly use ground coffee while others use beans and are big on home roasted coffee. But if there’s one thing they can all agree on, it’s that a good cup of coffee can instantly make your day better.

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