The best thing since sliced bread…
Whether dark or light, served roasted and piping hot or chilled to perfection, coffee is a necessity for people all over the world to help kick start their mornings. Contrary to popular belief, coffee doesn’t just automatically come in those white cups with your favorite establishment’s logo on the side of it…the beans have to come from somewhere before it can become that perfect ‘Pumpkin Spice Latte’ you just can’t wait to post on Instagram. Coffee’s history of trade and status as being a staple in many countries’ economic well-being is as rich and warm as a Trenta size of the good stuff. Here are 13 facts, from Reader’s Digest and Spot On, that you might not know about your favorite cup of Joe:
3. The name Cappuccino was inspired by the brown cowls worn by the Capuchin monks whom mostly inhabited Rome in the 1500’s. Cappucio, in Italian means ‘hood’ or something that covers the head and the derivative ‘cappuccino’ reads as ‘small capuchin.’ The beverage’s name doesn’t get it’s name from the hood itself, but the color of the hoods aka reddish-brown hue.
4. Coffee beans grow on small trees (usually 5-7 ft tall) that resemble small Christmas trees. The berries on the trees, which resemble red berries such as Cranberries or cherries, are actually the coffee berries. Most people expect them to be brown like coffee beans.
5. The word ‘Espresso‘ literally means “forced out” in Italian. Espresso is a concentrated beverage that is brewed by forcing a small amount of boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans. The pressurized system of brewing gives the beverage a taste that is more highly concentrated than other brewed coffees.
6. Kopi Luwak, the world’s most expensive coffee (up to $600 per pound, $50 per cup) is made from the coffee beans eaten and then excreted by a Sumatran wild cat/weasel animal, the Common Palm Civet. ‘Kopi‘ is the Indonesian word for coffee and ‘Luwak‘ is the local’s name for the animal. The Civet eats the raw red coffee beans and can digest the soft, outer part of the coffee cherry but can’t digest the inner beans so it excretes them. During digestion, a unique flavoring is supposedly replaced by the bitterness, making the overall taste of the coffee that much more desirable….yikes!
7. An Ibrik is a long-handled copper pot for making Turkish coffee. Turkish coffee has a more stronger, more flavorful taste than traditionally brewed coffee. Traditionally, the pot was placed on the hot sands of the Mediterranean and the coffee would be brewed from the heat produced through the sands and water. Today, those who still use the Ibrik can easily achieve desired results by placing it over a gas stove.
8. Most coffees are a blend of Arabica and Robusta beans. Arabica’s tastes usually range from sweet and soft to sharp and tangy. Unroasted, the Arabica beans have an aroma similar to blueberries. Roasted, their smells have sugary & fruity notes. Robustas tastes range from neutral to harsh. Robustas are very expensive on the market and when used in espressos, are considered the best of the best as far as taste, texture, refinement and quality.
9. To grow the coffee beans needed to produce just one cup of coffee, it takes approximately 140 liters (37 gallons) of water. That may seem like a huge amount of water, but compared to one egg– that needs 454 liters (120 gallons), it’s nothing.
10. Coffee is the world’s second most traded product right behind oil. Over 500 billion cups of coffee are consumed around the globe in one year. The biggest consumers of coffee around the world are Americans and Europeans. Not only are the roasted beans traded, but so are the red cherries from the coffee plants which are processed later. Guess the world truly does run on coffee.
11. Coffee has been considered illegal in different cultures all over the world throughout history. In the 16th century, Muslim rulers banned coffee because of its “unusual stimulating effects.” In 1675, the King of England prohibited drinking drinking coffee and classified it as a crime and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church banned consumption until 1889. Coffee was also once banned from the Olympic games because it was believed that if one drank 5 or more cups, the ‘after effects’ such as ‘hyperactivity’ could act as some sort of a steroid or performance enhancing supplement….
12. Arabica varieties such as Java and Mocha are named after their ports of origin. Arabica shares 70 percent of the total consumed coffee while Robusta is just consumed by 30% of the world. Arabica grows in mild climate while Robusta grows in warmer climate. Some of the coffee varieties are benghalensis, fadenii, mogeneti, bridsonaie, etc, i.e. different ports.
13. September 29 is National Coffee Day! Don’t forget to mark this date in your calendars! Coffee chains and local shops within your area are sure to have deals and specials going on to celebrate the liquid love shared by billions!
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