Unsual Facts About Coffee

Here is a compilation of interesting and unusual facts from the world of coffee.

Botanically speaking coffee beans are not really beans at all, but berries.

Contrary to popular belief, darkly roasted coffees contain less caffeine than lightly roasted blends. Caffeine is burnt off during the roasting process, so consequently the longer roasted dark blends have less caffeine.

It takes between 4000-5000 coffee cherries to produce a single kilogram of freshly roasted coffee.

Coffee is grown in over 50 countries of the world but is not grown anywhere on the mainland United States.

Coffee is one of the most heavily traded products in the world, second only to oil.

A coffee tree has a life expectancy of 70 years and it takes five years for a coffee tree to reach maturity.

In Turkey, husbands were once required during their wedding vows to promise always to provide their wives with coffee and failure to do so could be used as grounds for divorce.

Ludwig van Beethoven loved coffee and it is said that he used to insist that precisely 60 coffee beans were used to produce each cup of beverage he consumed.

When serving coffee to guests, it is the local custom that the oldest person sitting around the table is served first in Turkey and Greece.

Rather unusually, the terms 'supremo' and 'excelso' are used to indicate the large physical size of the coffee bean and not its quality as one might expect.

The first commercial coffee house was opened in Damascus in Syria as long ago as 1530.

The tradition of 'tipping' originated in London coffee houses. Boxes labelled "To Insure Promptness" were displayed in certain locations where patrons were encouraged insert cash to obtain a quicker service. The resulting acronym TIP has stuck ever since.

The human body will only be affected by caffeine up to a certain level when coffee is drunk. This level depends upon the individual. After a certain number of cups of coffee have been drunk (typically 4 in quick succession), consuming further cups will provide no further stimulation as the rest is not absorbed.

Coffee is the most popular beverage in the world apart from water and has been consumed for over a thousand years.

Soluble instant coffee was invented in 1906 by an Englishman, living in Guatemala who later moved to the USA. Interestingly his name was George Washington.

People from different parts of the world traditionally add different ingredients to enjoy their favourite drink. The Ethiopians add a pinch of salt, Moroccans' add peppercorns, while the Mexicans add cinnamon. Drinkers in the Middle East enjoy the addition of cardamom and spices, whilst Austrians add whipped cream. Egyptian coffee drinkers like it strong and dark and rarely add cream or sugar.

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