Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world. It has a long history and coffee trivia facts are plentiful, which makes coffee an interesting topic to discuss at any social event!
From the types of coffee plants to the interesting science behind coffee, here are 23 trivia facts that will make you the life of any social event.
1. The word “coffee” comes from the Arabic word for “wine.”
The verb Khaqah was eventually translated into Turkish as Kahve, and Dutch as Koffie. In English, the word coffee is derived from the name of this drink.
2. Coffee is one of the most traded commodities in the world
Only second to oil, coffee is worth an annual average of $14 billion (USD) and is consumed by over 400 million people per day. In the 16th century, nations began trading coffee as a commodity on international exchanges, which led to more trade wars than any other product in history!
3. It takes about two years for a coffee tree to produce its first crop of fruit
And then it takes about ten years for coffee trees to produce a full yield of coffee cherries! Coffee plants can grow up to 15 feet (4500 mm) in height and only bear fruit after five or six years. Each flower has its own individual stem with no leaves.
4. At one time women weren’t allowed in coffee shops
During the European Renaissance, coffee shops were considered to be “schools of scandal” and women weren’t allowed inside. It was only until the 18th century that men began inviting ladies into their favorite cafes for the popular breakfast drink!
5. Coffee beans have been a part of the world’s culture for over 5,000 years.
The first record of coffee consumption comes from the Sufi monasteries in Yemen, where coffee beans were used as a spiritual stimulant. From there, coffee spread to North Africa, Turkey and Europe. It wasn’t until the 1700s that it made its way to America!
6. In 1953 the coffee cup lid was invented by Delbert E. Phinney.
Delbert E.Phinney was a Seattle based inventor who patented the coffee cup lid in 1953. His invention was made out of paper and helped to keep coffee from spilling while drinking. Coffee drinkers of the world will be forever greatful.
7. The first espresso machine was created in 1884 by Angelo Moriondo.
Angelo Moriondo, an Italian mechanic, invented the first espresso machine in 1884. The machine used steam to force water through the coffee at a very high pressure, causing it to drip into a cup. Most people use special espresso coffee beans to create their favorite brew. The modern automatic espresso machine still uses the same basic technology.
8. The first modern espresso machine by Gaggia in 1949!
Gaggia is an Italian company that invented the first modern day espresso machine geared towards home use. The invention has been credited as “the most important advance since man started to make coffee.” Gaggia espresso machines are a great way to start your day.
9. Coffee beans are actually green when they are harvested
They are then roasted to their desired darkness, which changes the color to a rich brown or black. The green color of the coffee beans is caused by the chlorogenic acid, which dissipates when they are roasted.
10. Instant coffee was invented in 1890
It was David Strang of Invercargill, New Zealand who invented instant coffee. Strang was a chemist who created the freeze drying process to dehydrate soluble coffee extract into an easy form that could be re-constituted with hot water later on! Great for cups of coffee on the go.
11. Only two U.S. states produce coffee: Hawaii and California.
Coffee requires a specific environment to survive. It needs ample rainfall, shaded areas, and rich soil in order to grow. This is why it’s mainly found in tropical climates near the equator! Kona coffee is grown in Hawaii and known for its smooth and rich flavor.
12. Brazil is the world’s largest coffee producer
Brazil can produce coffee beans to supply about one-third of the world’s coffee needs! The Brazilian state of Minas Gerais alone produces more than twice as much coffee as any other country.
13. Coffee can be used as a natural dye for clothing
When mixed with other ingredients such as tea and tumeric, coffee can be used as a natural dye to color fabrics. The browns, blacks, and oranges produced by the dye are similar to those found in traditional coffee dyes!
14. There are over 15 different common species of coffee plants
The coffee plant is quite diverse and can be found in regions around the world. There are over 15 different species, with hundreds of subspecies and cultivars! However, the two most commercially viable types are called Coffee Arabica and Coffee Robusta. Arabica beans represents 70% of the world’s production while Robusta beans makes up most of the rest!
15. Coffee beans are actually seeds from coffee cherries
Not beans or nuts! The seeds of the coffee cherry are extracted and laid out to dry in the sun. The process is known as “pulping,” and after they’ve been washed and dried they are bagged up green and sold to roasters around the world.
16. The first coffeehouse opened in Constantinople
In modern day Turkey around 1475. The coffeehouse was called Kiva Han and it served a drink made from Arabic coffee beans mixed with sugar and spices.
17. The average cup of coffee has about 95mg of caffeine in it
Coffee has more than twice as much caffeine compared to sodas, which have around 35-45mg of caffeine. However, it’s less than an energy drink like Monster or Red Bull, which has around 160mg!
18. Espresso comes from the word “express”
This is because it is brewed under pressure for a short amount of time. This produces a more concentrated and intense coffee drink! Making it great for those who love a good latte or iced coffee drinkers. The espresso beans used to make this brew are as unique as the people who enjoy them.
19. A coffee break originated in the mid 20th century
J.B. Watson’s Ad for Maxwell House Coffee featured the slogan “Take a break” and the coffee company promoted the idea that people should have a break in their workday specifically for drinking coffee. This was called a “coffee break!”
20. The Boston Tea Party helped elevate coffee to its popularity in America
Before the Boston Tea Party, tea was the most popular drink in America. After, coffee took over because it was considered “more patriotic” to drink coffee instead of tea!
21. One cup of black coffee only has one calorie.
Black coffee only contains one calorie when it doesn’t contain any sugar or cream! This means it is often referred to as a “zero calorie beverage.” Still, don’t let this fool you into thinking that drinking coffee can help with weight loss. There are a plenty of other coffee health benefits though.
22. The world’s most expensive coffee is Kopi Luwak
Kopi Luwak Coffee, also known as “cat poop coffee,” is made from the beans of coffee berries that have been eaten by civet cats and then passed through their digestive system. The process is said to add a unique flavor. The coffee beans are then collected, cleaned, and roasted. Kopi Luwak is known as the most expensive coffee in the world.
23. The largest cup of coffee ever was made in Columbia
Created by Alcaldía Municipal de Chinchiná (Colombia) and contained 22,739.14 litres (5,001.91 UK gal; 6,007.04 US gal) on on 15 June 2019. They are the current Guinness World Record holder.
Final Thoughts on Coffee Trivia
There is so much coffee trivia to learn and we only scratched the surface! These are just a few of the interesting facts about everyone’s favorite morning drink. Did any of these surprise you? The next time you pull out a coffee pot at work and add coffee grounds, feel free to let a few of these coffee facts flow through your head. And if you’re feeling really coffee-savvy, share one of these facts with a friend the next time they order an espresso!