Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages in our society. It has become a daily staple for many people, who enjoy the smell, the taste and the energy and alertness that it brings. Coffee has a very rich history associated with it. From the coffee beans themselves, to the way that each specific drink is made, to where their interesting monikers came from. Coffee is one of the great drinks of our time, enjoying it can easily be translated to a morning, date or even evening activity. With so many different varieties and options to choose from, it’s not hard to find an option and taste that fits most people’s pallet. Included below are the top 10 weird facts about coffee that most people don’t know.
10. It’s Potentially Dangerous
Some people are naturally sensitive to caffeine. Their bodies just don’t react well to it and they potentially experience unsavory side effects, such as feeling jittery, anxious or unable to fully concentrate. It turns out that this is because coffee is actually a potential psychoactive. Which means that if you consume high doses of it, you may start to see things that aren’t there, and it can, in very rare circumstances kill you. You would, of course, have to ingest a very huge amount of coffee for anything fatal to occur. It would take roughly 70-100 cups of coffee to actually kill you. Though anywhere between 10-20 cups would cause very uncomfortable and annoying side effects. People who already suffer from issues like insomnia, anxiety or bad nerves, are recommended to stay away from coffee and caffeine in any form. So while coffee makes a great daily dose for some people, doses should be controlled and those sensitive to caffeine should steer clear of it all together.
9. It was Originally Eaten
Coffee beans have been around for centuries. So before it became the different drinks that many of us enjoy today, it was used in a myriad of different ways. In the country of Ethiopia, a farmer noticed that his goats would act rather suspiciously after they’d eat from a specific bush. Upon further investigation, he found that what they were eating from were coffee plants. He ate some of the berries himself and found that they gave him a great energy and vitality. In the coming years, coffee was actually eaten regularly. African tribes would mix the coffee berries with fat and create energy balls that they would eat once or twice a day, when they needed a boost of energy. So coffee was not always consumed via the liquid form. It was only until later years that it being ground and brewed, became the common method of preparing and enjoying it.
8. Coffee Experienced A Big First
Now many of us know that being the first to do anything always sets a big precedent. When anything experiences or does something first, before all other options, it becomes special, original and a pioneer in some ways. Well coffee has this claim when it comes to something very specific. It seems that coffee was the very first food to be freeze dried. This happened in the year of 1938, when the coffee company Nestle invented the freeze dried coffee. It was a milestone that was unprecedented and set a whole new standard for how food could be packaged and sold. This new type of coffee was convenient for so many different reasons and it really allowed consumers the choice in how they wanted to buy their coffee.
7. Second Most Traded Commodity on Earth
There are many different grains, materials, and products that are traded at a high rate amongst countries in this world. The import and export businesses that different countries take part in, is essentially what keeps certain countries thriving and growing. The truth is that many countries have struggling economies that are only aided, and held together by the commodities that they trade to other countries that consume them at a high rate. Coffee is so popular and in such high demand that it is actually the second most traded commodity on earth, only behind oil. This means that other than oil, which countries need for transportation purposes, coffee is the entity that is traded the most. That definitely gives us an idea of just how popular and vital this bean is to certain parts of the world. Some people really can’t do without their coffee fix, they just have to have it. Their days just aren’t complete or run as smoothly if they don’t have that morning cup of joe.
6. The World’s Most Expensive Coffee
Even though coffee is a bit of a common thing in most of our lives, there are specialty type coffees that are available that most of us couldn’t afford. The most expensive coffee in the world can cost up to $600 per pound and it goes by the name of Kopi Luwak. What’s more interesting and bizarre about this specific type of coffee is where the beans come from. They actually come from an animal. Yes, that’s right. The excretion of a Sumatran wild cat makes these coffee beans wildly expensive and sought after. The wild cat does not digest the coffee beans correctly, what happens to them while they are in the stomach of the cat causes them to come out in prime condition for brewing. It sounds gross and completely unbelievable, but it’s the truth. It’s so highly regarded that it’s currently the most expensive coffee found anywhere in the world. I don’t know that I’d pay hundreds of dollars to drink remnants of animal poo, but different strokes for different folks.
5. Where Do The Beans Grow?
Every type of crop grows in a very specific way. Not all types of natural beans, seeds, fruits or vegetables flourish in similar atmospheres. Everything needs its own elements that help it grow and prosper. Coffee beans are no different. Coffee beans grow on a bush. The buds are actually very unique looking and if you are looking for something that resembles a coffee bean that you’re used to seeing in coffee shops, you’d surely walk right past it. No, coffee beans that are still attached to their bushes actually resemble grapes more than anything else. They have an either green, red or purple hue and they’re much larger than the coffee beans that you’re used to seeing are. The surrounding leaves are generally dark and waxy. They are also incredibly durable and sustainable plants. Depending on the care, a coffee bush can live up to 20-30 years. That’s long enough to keep your caffeine high going for years on end.
4. Coffee Beans are Actually a Fruit. Kind of.
Some people have a hard time understanding what exactly a coffee bean is or where it comes from. Coffee beans are actually technically the pit of a berry. So they are actually a seed that comes from a fruit. This is a fascinating discovering when we think about the fact that most people assume that the coffee bean is actually a bean. But no, it is a seed, that comes from a fruit. So arguably, the fruit that the coffee seeds come from would have a similar effect on your body and your energy if you were to eat them whole. Interestingly enough, no one really suggests that. It seems that the coffee bean itself (or the seed, rather), has become so popular, as it’s blended and brewed, that the original state of the seed, whether attached to the berry or not, does not often enter into the equation. It would be interesting though, if those who don’t enjoy the actual taste of coffee, could opt for a smoothie with the berries that the coffee bean comes from. But then again, caffeine is available in many other forms so maybe it’s an unnecessary idea.
3. Want Good Turkish Coffee? Get an Ibrik
While there are many different ways to properly make all the varying types of coffee that are available, some more old fashioned and archaic ways really are the best. They may not necessarily be efficient in terms of time, but they will make a remarkable cup of coffee. The ibrik is a historical coffee pot that makes luxurious Turkish coffee. It is a bit small in size, so it doesn’t make a lot at a time, but the process that it goes through to make the perfect tasting coffee, is slow and deliberate. Even the way that the pot is structured, adds to the overall effect that it has on the coffee. Along with being small, the neck of the pot is narrower than the bottom; this is a key element that allows the coffee to turn out the way that it does. If you’ve got the time, invest in one. Why not go for a uniquely cultured coffee experience?
2. Coffee Grounds = Possible Fuel Option?
Well it seems that some people think that this could be a viable option in the future. The American Chemical Society did a study that showed the inherent power within used coffee grounds. It is estimated that coffee grounds hold anywhere between 11-20% oil by weight. It seems that we may have a great option for alternative fuel on our hands. These researchers see and understand the ongoing issues it seems that we are having obtaining oil, at a reasonable cost on a regular basis. With gas prices going up and down with no conceivable end in sight, any form of alternative energy would prove to be a welcome sight and may even help pad our wallets a bit and save us money. We are definitely a long way away from saving our own coffee grounds to gas up the car, but this experiment gives us a positive outlook for the future.
1. A Ban On Coffee?
Not everyone throughout history has actually taken a liking to coffee. While there are some people now who don’t drink it, or prefer decaf because of the caffeine, in the 16th century it was actually banned by Muslim rulers. Alcohol was also something that was banned in the same communities. But coffee was prohibited after those who were drinking it started to exhibit certain and specific side effects. The Muslim rulers felt that the stimulating effects that coffee had on its drinkers was unsavory. Though the ban didn’t last very long, it showed that coffee is a very powerful stimulant that can have noticeable effects. Some that are desired and maybe some that are a bit troublesome. But hey, if it gets you through the day, right?