Interesting Coffee Facts
When you drink coffee, have you ever stopped to think about anything related to coffee itself, like its history or any interesting trivia about it? If the answer to that question is "yes," then this article is for you. Here is a series of interesting tidbits, history, facts and information about coffee.
It is commonly believed that the Oromo people of Ethiopia first discovered the energizing effects of the coffee bean. Legend has it that a 9th century Ethiopian goat herder named Kaldi was the first to discover the coffee plant.
Coffee spreads around the world
The first documented evidence of coffee consumption by Sufi Muslims occurred in the middle of the 15th century in southern Arabia. Forbidden by their religion to drink alcohol, the drink was popular among caravan travelers who needed to stay awake. By the 16th century, it spread to the entire Middle East and North Africa; eventually, it spread westward to Italy, then to the rest of Europe. The Dutch word "koffie" eventually became the English word "coffee." Gabriel De Clieu, who brought seedlings to Martinique in the 1720s, brought the plant to the Americas. From there, it spread to San Domingo (now Haiti), Mexico, and eventually Brazil. When Brazil gained independence from Portugal in 1822, it turned into a major producer of coffee.
Who is Juan Valdez?
In 1959, the National Federation of Coffee Growers of Colombia hired an American advertising agency to promote the superiority of coffee from 100 percent Colombian beans to coffee blended from beans from many different countries. They created a character named Juan Valdez, a mustachioed coffee grower, with a mule named Conchita; he is one of the most famous advertising characters of all time. Ironically, Colombians do not drink nearly as much coffee as Americans and Europeans; fancy drinks like espressos and cappuccinos are unknown to them.
Pop goes the weasel
Kopi Luwak is a very valuable type of coffee made from beans that are digested and excreted by the Asian Palm civet; the stomach acids in the beans are said to enhance the flavor. After the excreted beans are collected, they are thoroughly washed, dried, lightly roasted and brewed. This is said to reduce the bitter aftertaste. It is mainly produced in Indonesia, Java, Sumatra and other Southeast Asian islands. One pound of this coffee can cost between $100 to $600 per pound in the United States.
Now that you know these coffee facts, you can appreciate the centuries of history in every drop of your favorite drink.