Print Thread
A few coffee facts??
Someone sent me this list of facts...



* Germany is the world's second largest consumer of coffee in terms of volume at 16 pounds per person.

* Over 53 countries grow coffee worldwide, but all of them lie along the equator between the tropic of Cancer and Capricorn.

* An acre of coffee trees can produce up to 10,000 pounds of coffee cherries. That amounts to approximately 2,000 pounds of beans after hulling or milling.

* The percolator was invented in 1827 by a French man. It would boil the coffee producing a bitter tasting brew. Today most people use the drip or filtered method to brew their coffee.

* With the exception of Hawaii and Puerto Rico, no coffee is grown in the United States or its territories.

* Up until the 1870's most coffee was roasted at home in a frying pan over a charcoal fire. It wasn't until recent times that batch roasting became popular.

* Each year some 7 million tons of green beans are produced world wide. Most of which is hand picked.

Coffee wasn't originally consumed in the form we know it today; as a hot beverage made from boiling water. That practice began around 1000 A.D. Until that time use of the drink was largely linked to medicinal or religious purposes by the Arabs. Soon the feeling of exhilaration from the caffeine of the drink became a sought-after side effect. A popular Arab legend tells of Sheik Omar, who experimented with brewing some coffee from raw wild coffee berries he found in his travels during his exile from Mocha. Thanks in part to the beneficial effects of the caffeine, the Sheik survives his exile and upon his return to Mocha, introduced his new way of preparing the drink.

The Arabs refined their methods of preparing the drink over many years. For over 300 years, coffee drinkers drank the grounds right along with the boiled water. Then, they began drinking the liquid alone, leaving the grounds to settle at the bottom of the cup. As methods for preparing coffee became more refined, the popularity of the drink spread first through coffee houses, known as qahveh khaneh, and then into the home where elaborate ceremonies became associated with consumption of the drink. Soon coffee had became such an important part of the lives of the Arabs that in Turkey a husband who refused to provide his wife with the drink could be divorced by her!

Coffee had been a part of Arab culture for centuries but not so in the western European world. Venetian fleets sailed the known world trading spices, silks, and perfumes with the East. It is believed that coffee come to Venice from Constantinople as part of this trade. There was only one problem. When the drink reached Rome the priest attacked it and forbid it consumption.

The priests believed that the coffee was the drink of the devil. That Satan had invented the drink for the Moslem infidels as a substitute for the wine they were forbidden to drink. Since wine in the Western Christian world was sanctified by Christ and used in Holy communion, coffee must then be of the Anti-Christ. If a Christian drank this devil brew they would risk eternal damnation is how the argument went.

It wasn't until the late 1500's that Pope Clement VIII settled the dispute. He asked that the brew be brought before him. Intrigued by its powerful aroma, he sipped the coffee. It was delicious. The Pope blessed the coffee, and baptized it on the spot. He reasoned that banishing this drink from the Christian world would be a larger sin. With the Pope's blessing, imports of coffee to Italy and the Western world came flooding in paving the way for the first western coffee houses.

The English word "Coffee" comes from the Latin name of the genus Coffea. The genus Coffea is a member of the Rubiaceae family which has over 500 genera and 6,000 species that are largely tropical trees and shrubs. All species of Coffea are woody and range in size from small shrubs to trees over 30 feet tall. The species Coffea arabica gives us the arabica beans known the world over. Arabica beans are largely drunk on their own where as the Coffea robusta is usually a lower grade bean used primarily as a blend with arabica beans to make them go farther.

The coffee houses that sprung up in France, England, and eventually the Americas proved to aid the spread of new and sometimes radical political opinions. In 1675 Charles II issued a "Proclamation for the Suppression of Coffee Houses" in an attempt to quell the liberal ideas being discussed by the patrons. All parties rebelled, and eleven days later the coffee houses reopened. The Parisian coffee houses are credited as a testing ground for the ideology that led to the French Revolution.

Across the ocean in Boston, the Boston Tea Party was planned in the now famous Green Dragon coffee house in 1773. And, in New York the Merchants coffee house was site of the Government headquarters in the days following the outbreak of the American Revolution. Later, as American soldiers forged into battle in the Mexican War and the Civil War, they protected their coffee beans as their most precious rations.

* 27% of U.S. coffee drinkers and 43% of German drinkers add a sweetener to their coffee.

* The world's largest coffee producer is Brazil with over 3,970 million coffee trees. Colombia comes in second with around two thirds of Brazil's production.

* Hard bean means the coffee was grown at an altitude above 5000 feet.

* Arabica and Robusta trees can produce crops for 20 to 30 years under proper conditions and care.

* Most coffee is transported by ships. Currently there are approximately 2,200 ships involved in transporting the beans each year.

* The popular trend towards flavored coffees originated in the United States during the 1970's.

* October 1st is the official Coffee Day in Japan.

* The first coffee tree in the Western Hemisphere was brought from France to the Island of Martinique in the 1720's.
Finland has the largest coffee consumtion per capita and year in the world.

In 2003, Finland consumed 11,4 kg of raw coffee (be it beans or preground) per person.
The US consumtion was a mere 4,2 kg per person that same year.
Found this today on the SM list:

"By the early seventeenth century, visiting Europeans were commenting on the widespread popularity of coffeehouses in the Arab world, and their role as meeting places and sources of news. ... They were also popular venues for chess and backgammon, which were regarded as morally dubious. ... George Sandys, an English traveler who visited Egypt and Palestine in 1610, observed that 'although they be destitute of Taverns, yet they have their Coffa-houses, which something resemble them. There they sit chatting most of the day; and sippe of a drink called Coffa in little China dishes, as hot as they can suffer it; blacke as soote, and tasting not much unlike it.' "

Tom Standage, A History of the World in Six Glasses, Walker, Copyright 2005 by Tom Standage, pp. 137-140.


Jump to Forum: