At Science of Coffee, we are obsessed with coffee – where it comes from, what it takes to make it, and how to share our best finds with other coffee lovers. We could talk about great coffee for all day (and we do!) and we love learning new and interesting things about this fascinating beverage.
Whether you’re a coffee aficionado or just starting out on your coffee appreciation journey, we thought we share some fascinating facts about your favourite cup of get-up-and-go.
Ten perk-me-up coffee facts
1. Although there are over 124 species of coffee, we only commercially grow and use two – Coffea Arabica (originating from the Ethiopian/Sudanese highlands) and Coffea Robusta (originating in the Congo basin). Arabica is more popular and aromatic (and is considered to be of a better quality) while Robusta is more bitter and is most often used in instant coffee – which has 50% more caffeine!
2. It’s the second most traded commodity on earth, following right on the heels of crude oil. Europe and the USA are the biggest consumers of coffee worldwide, while most of the production comes from South America and Africa.
3. Brazil is the world’s biggest coffee producer. Brazil has held this position for the past 150 years and the Brazilian economy depends heavily on its coffee crops. It is also one of the only countries in the world that grows both Arabica and Robusta beans.
4. Coffee supports the livelihood of over 100 million people worldwide, including approximately 25 million coffee workers. There is also 11 million hectares of farmland worldwide dedicated to coffee production.
5. The world consumes close to 1.6 billion cups of coffee every day. Seems to be a world favourite. What more can we say?
6. Coffea charrieriana, found in Cameroon, is one of the only two naturally decaffeinated coffees in Africa - the other being C. pseudozanguebariae found in East Africa.
7. It’s good for your health. Coffee is packed with antioxidants which protect your cells against ageing and have been shown to help protect your body against cancer and heart disease, as well as boosting your immune system. We’ll drink to that!
8. It reduces stress. Studies show that even the smell of coffee, let alone the taste, instantly relaxes and de-stresses the mind, by changing the brain proteins linked to stress. So, next time you make a cup, be sure to take a big, deep breath in and out.
9. There have been five historical attempts to ban coffee – examples include Mecca in 1511 as it was believed to stimulate radical thinking and Europe in the 16th century where clergymen were determined to ban this new arrival as evil but the Pope declared it delicious and therefore acceptable.
10. You can pay it forward with coffee thanks to the Italian tradition of caffè sospeso, (the “suspended coffee"). This tradition originated in Naples and involves paying for an extra cup of coffee for a future customer who might be in need. People who can't afford a cup of coffee can go to a coffee shop that observes this practice and ask if there are any sospesos available.
Now that you know a little bit more about this dark and delicious drink, you’re sure to want an extra cup! Want to buy top quality coffee beans online? Or brew your own? We’ve got speciality coffees and the perfect brewing equipment to satisfy the biggest coffee lovers around. See our specialised blends and select brew equipment ranges.