Coffee is the world’s second most traded commodity, after oil. It’s worth over $100 billion worldwide. That’s 500 billion cups of coffee per year. Coffee may have originated in North Africa. Legend has it that an Ethiopian farmer noticed that coffee made his goats go crazy and decided to try it for himself.
Here are 20 more awesome facts about coffee to help you start your day.
1. Americans drink 450 million cups of coffee per day. That’s 150 billion cups a year.
2. You can grow your own coffee plant.
All you need is a pot of fast-draining soil and a temperature between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit and water it frequently.
3. The first coffee house in the U.S. was established in Boston.
One hundred years before the Boston Tea Party, Dorothy Jones established a coffee house in Boston.
4. Bees love a caffeine buzz.
Recent research has found that caffeine attracts honeybees. Coffee trees have evolved to have blossoms with just the right amount of caffeine for bees’ taste.
5. Louis XIV grew France’s first coffee tree.
The tree was a gift by the Dutch, who were growing coffee in Java. The “Noble Tree” flourished in its greenhouse.
6. American coffee was grown from seeds from Louis XIV’s “Noble Tree.”
The seeds were smuggled into Martinique by naval officer Gabriel Mathieu de Clieu. His trees eventually seeded the New World.
7. Coffee houses sheltered French and American revolutionaries.
King Charles II was probably right in trying to ban coffee houses in England in 1675. It didn’t work.
8. Decaf coffee contains caffeine.
Not as much, but drinking five cups of decaffeinated coffee will give you the caffeine buzz of one cup of regular.
9. The New York Stock Exchange started as a coffee house.
The New York Stock and Exchange Board built the Tontine Coffee House on Wall Street in 1793 to have a place to meet.
10. The darker the roast, the less caffeine.
This seems counter intuitive, but it’s true. French roast has less caffeine than a medium roast breakfast blend.
11. The first live Internet site featured a coffee pot.
Way back in the early days of the Internet, some geeks invented a way to hook up a video camera to a website. They decided to use their knowledge to keep track of their coffee availability. Their 24/7 live feed of the lab’s coffee pot was historic.
12. Scandinavians are the biggest coffee drinkers.
Finland wins the title of heaviest coffee consumption. The Finnish average a little over four cups of coffee a day each.
13. Coffee is a fruit.
Coffee is made from the berries of the coffee plant, which is a shrub or tree that can grow quite tall. It’s usually trimmed to ten feet, though, to make picking the coffee berries easier.
14. Coffee can kill you — if you drink 100 cups in a row.
The record for drinking the most coffee in one day is 82 cups in 7 hours. Don’t try this at home.
15. George Washington invented instant coffee.
George Washington, a Belgian chemist, invented instant coffee in Guatemala in 1906. Washington subsequently immigrated to the U.S., where decades later Nescafe perfected an instant beverage. Nescafe was provided to soldiers in World War II.
16. One-third of North America’s tap water goes into brewing coffee.
Coffee is not the most popular drink in the world — water is. But coffee is up there with tea, beer and soda pop as one of the world’s favorite ways to quench thirst, get energized or just socialize with people.
17. The U.S. grows coffee in Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
Hawaiian Kona coffee, grown on the western slopes of the Hualalai and Mauna Loa volcanoes, is some of the finest in the world. Scientists don’t know why some areas produce better coffee.
18. Brazil is the biggest coffee grower.
Brazil grows one-third of the world’s coffee. Vietnam is next, but it produces half of what Brazil does.
19. The U.S. is the biggest coffee importer.
North America imports one-third of the coffee produced in the world today. Seattle, the rainy city has an astonishing number of coffee shops per capita.
20. Coffee won’t sober you up, but it may save your liver.
Coffee is a stimulant, so it makes your brain feel like it’s sobering up. Scientific studies have shown, however, that this is a delusion. So give those keys away; coffee won’t help. On the other hand, scientists have found that people who drink coffee are somewhat less likely to develop alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver.