There’s really nothing better than that first delicious sip of coffee in the morning. This dark, some say bitter, caffeine riddled, flavorful and aromatic bean juice is thought to have originated from Ethiopia. According to Ethiopian legend, a goat herders’ tribe (a group of goats) would become hyperactive and unable to sleep after eating the fruit off the Coffea plant. The goatherd reported his findings to a local monastery where the monks started to investigate. It’s thought that here the monks bathed the hard seeds of the Coffea plant in boiling water to soften them up, which resulted in a dark brew that after drinking kept them awake for hours. From here the news spread like wildfire and coffee started its journey through the Middle East and into Europe. Below are some more coffee facts to enjoy with your morning cup.
1. The U.S., France, and Germany consume 65% of the world’s coffee
If you look at consumption rates per capita, the people of Finland consume 26.8 pounds (12.16 kg), whereas the U.S. consumption is around 9.7 pounds (4.4 kg). We gotta step up our game America!
2. George Washington invented instant coffee
I’m not talking about the wooden toothed, military general, who helped found America. George Constant Louis Washington was an American businessman from Belgium and the inventor of instant coffee. He started selling instant coffee in 1909 and to keep the troops awake during World War I, his company became a huge supplier for the U.S. military.
3. The purpose of the first webcam was to watch a coffee pot
We, scientists, need a good dependable flow of caffeine. This need was what sparked computer scientists at the University of Cambridge to fix a critical issue. Sometimes when they would go to get another cup, they would find the pot empty! Blasphemous! Dr. Quentin Stafford-Fraser and Dr. Paul Jardetzky rigged up a camera to watch the coffee pot over the internet, and the webcam was born!
“I sometimes think nothing else I’m ever involved in again in my life will get this much coverage and it was just one afternoon’s crazy idea”Dr Stafford-Fraser
4. Spy related coffee facts: The CIA has a Starbucks
At the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency, in Langley, Virginia, lies… a Starbucks. Called Store Number 1, this Starbucks fuels the employees of the CIA. Rumor has it that no names are used on cups and that even the baristas have to undergo an extensive background check before employment.
5. Irish coffee was invented for cold Americans
The popular Irish coffee was invented by Joe Sheridan. This bartender/chef was asked to warm up passengers who were flying on a boat flight to New York. What better way to warm them up than with some whiskey? It all started when the passengers asked if he had used Brazilian coffee, to which he replied, “No, it was Irish coffee”.
6. Teddy Roosevelt drank about a gallon of coffee every day (other coffee facts aside, that’s just plain impressive)
The 26th president of the United States, drank more than a gallon of coffee every day! Theodore Roosevelt has got me beat by a long shot. In fact, he was the one who helped Maxwell House come up with the slogan “Good to the last drop”.
7. Coffee beans are actually seeds
Like the story of its origin suggests, coffee beans are seeds from the Coffea plant. Very similar to the pits of a cheery, they are extracted and become the coffee beans we know and love.
8. Brazil grows the most coffee in the world
Brazil makes about 30% of the world’s coffee (3.05 million metric tons)! In comparison, Brazil makes nearly double the amount of the second nearest grower, Vietnam.
9. Humans drink more than 500 billion cups of coffee each year
After oil, coffee is the most traded commodity on Earth. This estimates to around 67 cups per person per year. Coffee facts aside, that’s a lot of cups!
10. The Boston Tea Party helped coffee in America
As the revolutionary war gained traction, it was patriotic among Americans to sip on some java rather than the king’s tea. It also helped energize and keep the troops awake, which I’m sure was a benefit.