Coffee is arguably the most popular and beloved brewed beverage across the globe. In the U.S. alone, 83 percent of adults drink at least one cup of coffee each day, with some drinking as many as five cups. On average, Americans consume 587 million cups every day!
Interestingly, most coffee lovers only know about the delicious taste, intoxicating aromas, and rejuvenating powers of this sultry drink. Few know about its origins or unique characteristics.
With that in mind, we’ve rounded up several interesting coffee facts that may surprise you and possibly enhance your future coffee experiences.
Coffee was originally known as the “Wine of Arabia”
Coffee’s journey started to flourish when the Ottoman Empire ruled over the Arabian Peninsula during the 16th century. The religious prohibition of alcohol at the time gave coffee a big lift in consumption and distribution as a kind of substitute for wine. Coffee was ultimately given the name “kahve” which is literally translated to “wine of Arabia.” This word came from the Arabic term “oahwah” which means “action of feeling sated.”
All coffee is grown from an area called the “Bean Belt”
Coffee plants need special environmental conditions to grow and flourish: rich soil, mild temperatures, and lots of moisture. These conditions are found in the middle of the globe near the equator, between The Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. All of the world’s coffee originates from this area, known as the “Bean Belt” (aka “Coffee Bean Belt” or “Coffee Belt”). It includes over 50 countries, including Cuba, Madagascar, Mexico, Ethiopia, Yemen, Vietnam, Indonesia, Columbia, Peru, and Brazil.
Dark Roast has less caffeine than Light Roast
You may be surprised to know that light roast coffees pack more of a caffeine punch than dark roast coffees. Roasting actually burns off caffeine, so although dark roasts have a stronger taste, they deliver less of a jolt. Similarly counterintuitive is the fact that espresso has less caffeine than regular coffee. One 2 oz double espresso shot has about 80 milligrams of caffeine, whereas a 12 oz brewed regular coffee has about 120 milligrams.
The world’s most expensive coffee is $600 a pound
You’ll never believe it but this coffee (Kopi Luwak) comes from the feces of a Sumatran Wild Cat (called a luwak). First, the coffee beans (grown from a coffee tree in tropical Africa and Asia) are eaten by the cats. As the seeds make their way through the cat’s digestive system the cherries and pulp are removed but the coffee bean remains intact (luwaks are unable to digest coffee beans). During this process a unique type of fermentation occurs and after 24 hours the beans have made their way through the cat. These beans are then washed (hopefully many times!), dried and pounded to remove the skin, and eventually sorted and roasted.
- A regular cup of coffee can cost $1 - $5
- A cup of Kopi Luwak can cost $35 - $100
You’ll need a clean machine to get the best tasting coffee
Another often overlooked fact about coffee is that it needs to be brewed from a clean machine. To bring out the pure tastes and aromas, to make coffee that isn’t bitter and brews hot consistently, it’s crucial that you clean your machine properly and thoroughly. We’re not just talking about washing the pot with soap and water after every use. And vinegar won’t do the complete job either. To get a truly clean coffee machine, you’ll need specialized products that both clean and descale your machine (try our CleanCup ™ cleaning and descaling kits for drip coffee makers or single cup coffee makers). To read more on this, click here.