10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Coffee

By Alyse Borkan  |  Sep 28, 2015
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We’re only as strong as the coffee we drink, so we drink a lot of it. We go to sleep dreaming about it, wake up craving it, and order it from our local barista at least once a day. Despite its popularity, most people don’t know very much about what they’re drinking every morning (noon and night). Our flavorful facts in partnership with Joe Coffee and in celebration of National Coffee Day should shed some light on your favorite dark roast:

1. Legend has it that coffee was discovered by a goat herder.

So, where did coffee come from? The most widely accepted myth is that an Ethiopian goat herder Kaldi discovered the drink by accident. After his goats ate a hoard of ripe coffee beans, he noticed the animals acting more active and jittery. Special shoutout to Kaldi, without whom we would still be in bed right now.

2. Mocha was originally the name of a Yemen port.

Mocha, a port city on the Red Sea coast of Yemen, was the first to spread coffee beans to the rest of the world. It’s said that the local Yemeni beans had a certain chocolate quality to them, a characteristic that now leads chocolatey drinks to be labeled mocha.

3. Coffee actually isn’t bad for you.

Researchers have proved that those who consume a moderate amount of coffee, about three to five cups a day, are at the lowest risk for cardiovascular problems. Those who consumed five or more cups a day had no higher risk than those who consumed none. And this is only in addition to all of the emotional and mental benefits we receive every morning from drinking this hug in a mug.

4. The first webcam in the world was made for coffee. 

In 1991, a group of Cambridge University scientists set a camera on their office’s coffee pot, streaming the footage live on the web. Workers would be able to see if the pot was empty or not, saving themselves the disappointment of a coffee-less trip to the kitchen. Laziness taken to a whole new level.

5. A coffee plant can live up to 200 years.

Now, that’s an investment. Although most of coffee plants life span varies between 50 and 60 years, some species have been known to live for 200 years. When they’re sprouting, the top of the plant resembles a little seed, which in time grows into a thick, bushy plant that can sustain itself in that form for two whole centuries.

6. Coffee beans pooped out by cats are a thing.

Would you believe us if we told you the crappiest cup of coffee is also the one of the most expensive? It’s true. The Asian palm civet, a cat known to eat coffee cherries in the wild, ferments cherries in their digestive tract and poops out incredibly flavored coffee beans. However, the limited availability makes them extremely expensive (we’re talking upwards of $30 a cup). It seems this trend is spreading worldwide; a reserve in Thailand is doing the same thing with elephants, calling it black ivory coffee.

7. The US consumes more coffee than any country in the world.

USA! USA! USA! Although the Netherlands leads the list “Coffee Drank per Capita,” the United States consumes the most coffee overall every year. And the city that is the most obsessed? New York. New Yorkers drink 7x more coffee than any other city in the world.

8. Coffee naps are real. And effective.

You really can have your cake and eat it. Scientists have found that the sleep-deprived need only a 15 minute nap and a cup of joe to feel amazingly refreshed. Right before you crash, down a cup of coffee. The caffeine has to travel through your gastro-intestinal tract, giving you ample time to nap before it kicks in. Even if you only doze, you’ll get what is know as effective microsleep.

9. Coffee is lethal.

But you’ll have to drink a lot. Scientists say the lethal dose of caffeine is roughly 100 cups of coffee. Could you imagine drinking 100 cups? That would cost you approximately $300 at Starbucks and we don’t even want to know how many trips to the bathroom.

10. Coffee loses 70% of its flavor within two minutes.

According to official coffee snob standards, after the initial pour, a fresh cup of coffee stales after just 15 minutes. The four enemies to coffee freshness? Oxygen, moisture, heat, and light. So, drink up and drink fast.


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