Coffee Queries is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn More
You might know coffee as anyone’s favorite morning beverage and an amazing source of instant energy and caffeine. However, coffee has so much more up its sleeve. While the beverage has become very common, there are still lots of things about coffee that can make you gasp in surprise and wonder. Now that we finally have your attention, we present to you the most comprehensive list of interesting things to know about coffee.
Interesting Things to Know About Coffee
Coffee’s Name Comes From Arabia
The drink was first called Qahwah in Arabia. In Turkish, the drink got the name kahveh, and finally, in Dutch, the drink was called koffie. It is from the Dutch name koffie, that we get “coffee”.
The Drink Is 552 Years Old
Oh yes. People have loved a good cup of coffee since 800 A.D when it was first discovered. The coffee beans were discovered by a goat herder who saw his goats acting so energized they seemed to be dancing after eating these fruits. He brought the beans to the local monastery, and the monks were the first ones to brew the beans. If you’re interested in knowing more, you can read further on the history of coffee here- History of Coffee.
Coffee Beans Aren’t Beans
Beans belong to the legume family and grow in pods. Coffee “beans” are seeds because they are obtained from inside the fruit of the plant, which is usually called a coffee cherry. The seeds are called beans because of their resemblance to the legumes. This is one of the most shocking realities of coffee everyone should know.
The Type of Cup You Use Makes a Difference
Not just the type, but the size, shape, and even color of the cup make a difference in the way we experience the coffee. It doesn’t taste different, we just experience it differently.
Light Roast Has More Caffeine
The more you roast the beans, the more caffeine they lose. That’s a coffee fact not everybody knows, and most people still think the darker the beans, the more caffeine they contain.
Fresh Coffee Isn’t Always a Good Thing
You might think fresh coffee would taste best, and it’s true, but if the coffee is too fresh it will taste sour.
The Acidity of Coffee Does Not Relate to Its PH
In truth, acidity refers to the flavor of the coffee and has nothing to do with the pH.
Bananas and Coffee Have Almost the Same PH
Bananas and Coffee both have a pH of about 4.50 and 5.20. That is one of the most interesting things to know about coffee. Coffee is so often associated with acidity, it can be shocking to find out it is only as acidic as a banana.
People Eat the Coffee Cherry
The pulp of the cherries is mixed with fat to make little balls. These balls are then eaten and were once very popular in a lot of cultures and places around the world. Nowadays, you might not see the pulp being used this way.
Coffee Was Chewed Before It Was Brewed
People would chew the coffee berries so that they could benefit from their properties before brewing became coffee.
Cherry Pulp Is Used to Make Drinks
You can ferment cherry pulp to make a pretty flavorful drink, and this method used to be pretty popular with people too.
Coffee Has 2 Dominant Types
Coffee beans can be divided into 4 types, Arabica, Robusta, Liberica, Excelsa. Out of these 4, Arabica Coffee beans and Robusta coffee beans are the ones commonly used and known.
Coffee Is the Second Most Traded Commodity in the World
Did you know this coffee fact? If you didn’t, well, now you do. After crude oil, coffee is the thing that is traded most in the world. Your favorite beans have a global net worth of $100 billion. That’s a coffee fact worth billions, literally!!
Brazil Is the Biggest Producer of Coffee
Brazil alone produces most of the coffee produced in the world. According to Investopedia, Brazil was predicted to produce about 8 million 60-kilogram bags of coffee in 2019-20. The country has about 300’000 coffee farms.
Only 2 States in America Produce Coffee
Pout of these two states, Hawaii has been in the coffee industry for a long time. California on the other hand is just establishing itself as a coffee producer.
Small Farms Produce Most of the World’s Coffee
As reported by BBC News, 80% of the world’s coffee is produced by about 25 million smallholder farms.
Coffee Is an Entire Industry
According to the Fairtrade Foundation, almost 125 million people depend on coffee for their livelihood.
There Are 4 Big Global Coffee Buyers
Nestle, Kraft, Sarah Lee, and the P&G companies buy most of the world’s coffee.
Europe Is the Biggest Importer of the World
The continent imports more coffee than even America. According to the CBI, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Europe consumes about 3.244 million tons of coffee.
Coffee Helped Brazil Compete in the Olympics
In the 1932 Olympics. Brazil couldn’t afford to send its athletes to Los Angeles where the games were being held. The solution was to send the athletes in a ship laden with coffee. The coffee was sold along the way to fund the trip.
The Most Expensive Coffee in the World
The black ivory coffee comes from elephant droppings and can cost about $1500 per pound.
The Second Most Expensive Coffee in the World
The most expensive coffee in the world comes from cat feces. The palm civet, which is found in Asia, is fed the coffee cherries whole. The feline can digest the cherry but excretes the pit out. These pits are coffee beans, which are collected and then later brewed. The coffee is called kopi luwak, which tastes smoother, and has a less acidic taste.
A Pound of Coffee Kopi Luwak Coffee Costs $600 for a Pound
The price tag of the coffee fully justifies its name. The reason for such an exorbitant price is that the beans have to be fed to the cats and then carefully collected from the feces. Palm Civets are only found in Asia, which makes the coffee difficult to source. Recently, animal activists are also trying to ban kopi luwak on grounds of mistreatment of animals.
The Finnish People Love Coffee the Most
According to BBC News, an average adult in Finland drinks about 12.5 kg of coffee annually.
Coffee Was Banned in Mecca
The drink was said to be intoxicating in the 16th century, and so was banned. However, the drink was soon returned to the public.
Coffee Was Banned in Italy Too
In the 16th century, Italian clergymen banned the drink. However, the pope loved the brew so much, he had the ban removed.
The Largest Serving of Coffee Is Over 20,000 Liters
In 2021, the record for the biggest swerving of coffee was made, and the cup had an estimated 22,739.14 liters of coffee.
Black Coffee Has the Least Calories
A cup of black coffee without any additives has only 1 calorie. Amazing, isn’t it?
Starbucks Is the Biggest Chain of Coffeehouses in the World
The chain opens about 2 stores a day. Surprised? Well, it’s true. Starbucks has opened 49’000 stores in the 47 years of its existence.
Costa Rules the European Coffee Market
The coffee giant had about 2755 outlets in the UK till 2017.
Dunkin’ Comes Second in the Us Market
After Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts is the biggest seller of coffee in the United States. The brand has 8’828 outlets across the country.
Dunkin’ Sells a LOT of Coffee
It might be easy to overlook Dunkin’ because of Starbucks, but the brand sells a lot of coffee too. It sells over 2 billion cups a year globally. Insane, isn’t it?
The Latte Is the Most Popular Beverage Made From Coffee
As reported by BBC News, more than 900 million units of Latte were sold in the UK. This defeats Cappuccinos, which come second with about 800 million units sold in a year.
Decaf Coffee Isn’t Caffeine Free
Yup, decaf coffee has caffeine like a normal cup of coffee. What’s the difference you ask? Well, decaf coffee has caffeine in extremely small amounts. An eight-ounce cup of coffee has 95 to 200 milligrams of coffee. The same amount of decaf coffee has anywhere from 4-14mg of caffeine. Was this one of the facts about coffee you knew already?
The Boston Tea Party Made Coffee Famous
When people in America started to fight against the British, boycotting tea and choosing coffee became something of a trend. This introduced coffee as a beverage to the people and ended tea supremacy.
You Can Get Addicted to Coffee
Coffee has caffeine which provides you with the sudden boost of energy you get. However, it is possible to get addicted to caffeine.
You Can Overdose on Coffee
This is highly unlikely, however, it is possible. You just need to drink an insane amount of coffee, about 30-70 cups in a day to overdose on the caffeine.
Coffee Causes Withdrawal Symptoms
When you give up coffee, you can experience fatigue, restlessness, depression, anxiety, sadness, and a lack of appetite.
There Are More Than 100 Coffee Species
There are over 100 coffee species, out of which Arabica and Robusta are the most popular.
You Can Make 58.9 Billion Single Espressos in a Year
As reported by BBC News, the amount of coffee produced across the world in a year is estimated at 560,900 tons. If you made nothing else but espresso from this coffee, you could make 58.9 billion single shots of espresso.
Coffee Is Most Expensive in the UK
In the UK you can pay more than 16$ for a pound of coffee. Malta comes second, with a pound of coffee costing over 13$.
Beethoven Loved Coffee
Not only did Beethoven love coffee, but he was also a nightmare for baristas. He counted 60 exact coffee beans for his coffee and was very particular about its flavor and preparation.
You Can Buy an iPhone X if You Stopped Drinking Coffee
An average person spends 20$ a week on coffee. This is about $1,092, which is also the price of the coveted iPhone.
Espresso Beans Do Not Exist
Espresso is a method of making coffee by pushing water through coffee grounds at high pressure.
Cream Helps Keep Coffee Warmer
If you add cream to your coffee, it will keep it 20% warmer than coffee without cream.
A Woman Can Divorce Her Husband Over Coffee in Saudi Arabia
Surprised? Well, in ancient Arabic culture, and even today, a woman can divorce her husband if he fails to provide her with fresh coffee in the morning.
Teddy Roosevelt Drank a LOT of Coffee
He is said to have consumed almost a gallon of coffee every day.
Albania Has More Cafes Than Any Other Country in the World
Contrary to what most people believe, it is Albania and not America that has the most cafes in the world per capita.
Coffee Gave Birth to Revolutions
The French Revolution and the American Revolution were both plotted in coffeehouses. The coffeehouses were hot spots for political discussions.
Cold Brew Is More Acidic Than Hot Coffee
The next time someone tells you cold coffee is an easy drink, tell them to get their coffee facts straight.
We’ve tried to bring you the best coffee facts we could find. However, the truth is there is so much about coffee that is still to be discovered. There are so many surprises that hide in coffee’s long history, and its effects on civilizations over the ages. For coffee lovers, it’s never good enough until they know everything about their favorite brew. Still, we hope you liked our list of all the interesting things to know about coffee.