Thursday, April 12, 2012

Today's Trivia – All About Coffee

I always start my day with a cup of coffee. I can’t imagine life without it. Really. This week’s useless but interesting trivia shares some information about this extremely popular beverage.

- Coffee originated in Europe where it was known as Arabian wine.

- A French doctor in the 1680s first recommended café au lait be used for treating patients. It was after this that people started to add milk to their coffee.

- The first café opened in Paris in 1689. It was opened specifically to serve coffee.

- In 1760, Venice boasted over two hundred coffee shops.

- During The Revolution, the founding fathers of the United States held their strategy meetings in coffeehouses.

- In total Italy has over 200,000 coffee houses.

- It is Greek and Turkish tradition to serve the oldest person at the table their coffee first.

- In Africa coffee beans are considered to be candy. They are soaked in water and spices are added to them.

- Since the 1700s, ninety percent of people living in the Western world have switched from drinking tea to drinking coffee.

- Of all the caffeine consumed in the United States, coffee makes up the majority with a whopping seventy-five percent.

- The British drink instant coffee ten times more than they drink freshly brewed coffee.

- In rankings for coffee consumption throughout the world, Japan ranks number three.

- The Japanese will bathe in coffee grounds that have been fermented with pulp from a pineapple. This is thought to reduce wrinkles and improve skin’s appearance.

- Coffee is the most popular drink throughout the entire world. Four hundred billion cups are consumed every year.

- The Arabica is the original coffee plant. It still can be seen growing wild in Ethiopia.

- It takes approximately 4,000 Arabica coffee beans to make one pound of roasted coffee beans. This takes 2,000 Arabica cherries as there are two beans in every cherry.

- Over 600,000 beans are used to fill a sack of coffee. These sacks are made from hemp and weigh approximately 132 pounds when they are full.

- Coffee beans are green before they are roasted.

- Up until the late 1800s, coffee was roasted by the consumer in their own home. Generally, popcorn poppers and frying pans were used for this.

- Chocolate was first added to coffee in the 1600s by the Europeans.

- Meslitta Bentz can be attributed to helping make the world’s first drip coffee maker. She did so by making a filter out of one of her son’s notebook papers.

- People judge coffee more by its smell than any other sensory sensation.

- Turkish Coffee is prepared by finely grinding coffee beans and then boiling those grinds. If you want to try this special preparation, it’s mainly served in Turkey and Greece.

- The first coffee plants to be commercially grown and harvested were in the Arabian Peninsula. They were grown in a port called Mocha.

- Coffee drinking first became popular in the Orient in 1600 A.D.

- Europe was first introduced to coffee in 1615. The Venetians told the Europeans about the beverage.

- The famous Lloyd’s of London first started as Edward Lloyd’s coffeehouse.

- The first coffee mill to manufacture coffee in London started in the 1600s.

- A Boston woman, Dorothy Jones, was the first American coffee trader. She obtained her license in 1670.

- William Penn bought a pound of coffee in 1683 from a New York merchant for $4.68.

- The French monarch, King Louis XIV, started the tradition of putting sugar in coffee in 1715.

- The first marketing of coffee shops happened in 1716. This is when Venetian coffee shops started handing out flyers praising their newest product.

- The Arabs get all credit for the espresso carts that can be found all over Europe today. It was in this fashion that coffee was originally sold before the first café was opened in the 1700s.

- Today, most coffee comes in vacuum packs to preserve the freshness of the beans or grinds. This originated in 1898.

- Voltaire, a famous French philosopher, is known to have drunk up to fifty cups of coffee a day. (I think my husband may be doing the same thing now that he works from home.)

- Coffee retailers routinely find that they have a drop in caffeinated coffee sales and an increase in decaffeinated coffee sales every January. This is due to many people making New Year’s resolutions to lessen the amount of caffeine they consume.

- Coffee trees are evergreens and can grow up to fifteen feet. They are usually pruned to about eight feet high to make it easier to harvest them.

- These trees produce flowers that have a very short life span but possess a beautiful fragrance. The fragrance is a blend of jasmine and orange. The flowers produce small coffee cherries and it generally takes approximately four or five years for a tree to produce a commercial harvest.

- Brazil is the largest manufacturer of coffee today. They produce over 1/3 of the coffee in the world, which accounts for approximately 3 1/3 billion pounds of coffee.

- There are forty-five countries in the world that currently manufacture coffee.

- Only one state in the United States grows coffee for commercial purposes. That state is Hawaii.

- Every year, Hawaii holds a coffee picking contest called the Kona Festival. The winner is a state celebrity for that entire year.

- The months to harvest coffee in Hawaii are November through April.

- Brazil employs approximately five billion Brazilians to make coffee. Of those five billion, most participate in harvesting and cultivating over three billion coffee plants.

- Coffee beans are not always processed right away. Some beans are stored for many years while they are still green and some are actually believed to become better tasting with age.

- Coffee that is purchased by the average consumer is generally a blend of many different types of coffees.

- The average temperature for roasting coffee is between four hundred degrees Fahrenheit and forty hundred and twenty-five degrees Fahrenheit. Dark roasts come from being roasted longer than average roasts. It usually takes ten to twenty minutes to roast coffee beans.

- Roasting coffee beans also gives them their unique aroma. This aroma is generated from 700 chemicals that are released as the beans are being cooled from roasting.

- If coffee beans are roasted for too long, they become very flammable while they are roasting.

- It used to be that when coffee manufacturers created decaffeinated coffee, they would throw the caffeine away. Now, instead of doing that, they give it to pharmaceutical companies.

- Coffee beans can come in certain flavourings. To add the flavouring, the coffee beans are first roasted and then cooled to approximately one hundred degrees. This is the optimal time to add the flavouring as the pores of the bean are open and more susceptible to becoming infused with the flavour.

- Studies show that the human body only has the capacity to absorb three hundred milligrams of caffeine at one time. Any caffeine taken after that is waste and will not provide the standard of caffeine.

- Roasted coffee beans start to lose their flavour within two weeks. Ground coffee only takes one week to lose its flavour and espresso’s flavour starts to diminish within minutes.

- The Arabs used to use flavour their coffee with spices while it was being brewed.

- Japan was the first to make iced coffee popular. They started doing this in 1945 and continue to sell it in cans today.

- The most popular coffee flavourings are hazelnut and Irish cream.

- The word “latte” means milk in Italian. If you are to ask for a latte in Italy, you will get a glass of milk.

- A Frenchman once wrote about his travels through Arabia. The book was called ‘Trip Through Happy Arabia’ and was the first documentation provided for the history of coffee.

- In England in the 1600s, coffee was used for medicinal purposes. The sick would receive treatments of a blend of coffee, heated butter, honey, and oil.

- A Harvard researcher found that those who drink coffee on a regular basis are one third less likely to experience asthma symptoms than those who do not drink coffee.

- Australians are known to drink sixty percent more coffee than tea. This number has increased by six times since 1940.

- The Arabs are generally believed to be the first to brew coffee.

- Milk as an additive to coffee became popular in the 1680's, when a French physician recommended that cafe au lait be used for medicinal purposes.

- The first Parisian cafe opened in 1689 to serve coffee.

- Bach wrote a coffee cantata in 1732

- In the year 1763, there were over 200 coffee shops in Venice.

- The heavy tea tax imposed on the colonies in 1773, which caused the "Boston Tea Party," resulted in America switching from tea to coffee. Drinking coffee was an expression of freedom.

- In early America, coffee was usually taken between meals and after dinner.

- In the year 1790, there were two firsts in the United States; the first wholesale coffee roasting company, and the first newspaper advertisement featuring coffee.

- By 1850, the manual coffee grinder found its way to most upper middle class kitchens of the U.S.

- The Civil War in the United States elevated the popularity of coffee to new heights. Soldiers went to war with coffee beans as a primary ration.

- In 1900, coffee was often delivered door-to-door in the United States, by horse-pulled wagons.

- The prototype of the first espresso machine was created in France in 1822.

- The first commercial espresso machine was manufactured in Italy in 1906.

- In Italy, coffee and espresso are synonymous.

- The average age of an Italian barista is 48 years old. A barista is a respected job title in Italy.

- Italians do not drink espresso during meals. It is considered to be a separate event and is given its own time.

- In Italy, espresso is considered so essential to daily life that the price is regulated by the government.

- Italy now has over 200,000 coffee bars, and still growing.

- In Greece and Turkey, the oldest person is most always served their coffee first.

- In the ancient Arab world, coffee became such a staple in family life that one of the causes allowed by law for marital separation was a husband's refusal to produce coffee for his wife.

- Raw coffee beans, soaked in water and spices, are chewed like candy in many parts of Africa.

- In the last three centuries, 90% of all people living in the Western world have switched from tea to coffee.

- Coffee represents 75% of all the caffeine consumed in the United States.


  1. I am not much of a coffee drinker myself. Though I am known to drink a cup now and then in the dead of winter. I prefer a nice cup of hot chocolate. :)

  2. I'm a coffee drinker, but I typically only drink it in the morning. Can't start my day without it!

  3. and the largest-ever study of the relationship between coffee consumption and health suggests that Zoomers who drink three cups of coffee or more daily might lower their risk of dying from common causes by at least 10 per cent...

    Great topic Martha...I belong to the regular coffee drinkers as well...

    1. I do, too. I typically drink about three cups a day, sometimes four. I always start my day with it!