Are you ready for a pick me up? Whether you like it hot or iced, pour yourself a cup of java and dive into these fun facts about coffee!
Waking up can be hard sometimes, but what helps so many people get their day started is the promise of that first sip of delicious coffee. In fact, we’ve been drinking coffee for centuries!
Whether you like your coffee brewed strong and served black, or poured over ice with hazelnut cream, or any of the other thousands of ways to prepare it, coffee has become a very important part of our daily lives.
In fact, coffee is a $500 billion-a-year industry in the United States alone! And this was just one of the many fun facts about coffee that surprised us.
We have cultivated some of the craziest, interesting and most surprising coffee facts that we could find – and you better believe we were drinking coffee while doing it!
Read on to discover how the cappuccino got its name, what country drinks the most coffee, and the story of a famous coffee-drinking cat named Creme Puff. Now we know you’re intrigued!
Okay, put on a fresh pot, throw in a pod (and pray for the environment) or go to your local coffee shop and get a cup of your favorite brew, because we’re ready to get this coffee journey started.
23 Fun Facts About Coffee
1. Chewing the beans
Believe it or not, before coffee was filtered through water, it was chewed. African tribes grinded coffee berries together with animal fat to create little coffee treats that gave them a boost while hunting and gathering. It was basically the first energy boost pill.
2. Feeling hot, hot, hot
In order to grow coffee you need to be close to the equator. In fact, anywhere between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn can grow the coffee plant successfully.
There are three main coffee regions in the world who produce distinctly flavored brews: Central/South America, Africa, Middle East/Asia. Which one is your favorite?
3. Worldly coffee beverages
Coffee has taken over in so many places around the world, leading to some truly unique and delicious variations on the simple cup of black coffee.
There’s the cinnamon dream of Mexico’s Café de Olla. Portugal’s iced lemon coffee, Mazagran. The sweet and potent Cà phê đá from Vietnam. And of course, the classic Italian espresso.
4. Arabica vs Robusta
Have you ever wondered why so many companies advertise that their beans are 100% Arabica? Well, there are two main types of beans with some huge differences.
Arabica is smoother and sweeter with subtle flavor notes. Robusta, the less desirable of the two, is known for a stronger, more bitter taste.
5. More than just taste
Just like wine, chocolate or cheese, coffee has its own connoisseurs who can taste the subtle differences in each brewed cup.
If you want to impress your friends at your next brunch, remember these tips: first explore the sweetness, then feel the weight on your tongue, then scan your tastebuds for the level of acidity.
6. The first cup of coffee
One of the most disputed coffee facts is where the first cup was brewed. Most trace coffee’s roots to 15th century Yemen, where Sufi monks brewed the brown stuff in the town of Mocha. After this, coffee drinking spread outwards through the Middle East and Africa.
7. Countries who drink the most coffee
Italy, France, Colombia, Brazil, The United States. These are just some of the countries that come to mind when we think of coffee. Prepare yourself to be surprised.
The country that drinks the most coffee per day is… Finland! That’s right, the people of the Nordic nation drink on average 4 cups of coffee each day. We bet you wouldn’t have guessed that!
8. Coffee is good for you!
While some of coffee’s attributes are obvious, such as an energy boost, there are other health benefits that may make the case for having a second cup.
In numerous studies, drinking moderate amounts of coffee daily was discovered to lessen the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, improve heart health, and improve fat burning during exercise.
9. Wait, coffee is bad for you?
We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but research says coffee may not be great for our health after all.
Coffee is known to cause anxiety or panic in some people. It can also raise blood pressure. And for pregnant women, too much coffee can hinder a baby’s growth and development.
10. The cool place to hang out
Seattle, Washington and New York City are two of the most coffee-crazed cities in the world. It’s no surprise some of TV’s most iconic shows are set in coffee shops in these cities.
First there was Frasier and Seattle’s Cafe Nervosa, and then of course, Friends at New York’s Central Perk.
11. Flat white vs Latte
What’s the big difference between these two seemingly similar drinks? Well, a latte consists of espresso, steamed milk and a thin layer of foam. A flat white consists of stronger espresso, steamed milk, and a thinner layer of foam.
There you have it! We imagine it causes headaches for baristas all over the world!
12. Calories in coffee
Coffee is a zero calorie beverage. However, we’re talking black coffee with no add-ons.
The minute you start sprucing up your brew with milks, sugars, drizzled chocolate and whipped cream, your coffee becomes a vessel for absolute indulgence. In fact, a Starbucks Venti Mocha Frappuccino has over 500 calories!
13. The smell of coffee
Is there anything better than smelling the delicious roasty toasty notes of freshly ground coffee? The reason it smells so good is because of its complexity.
Combining sweet, spice, fruit, floral and smoke, it’s no wonder that coffee is often ranked as people’s favorite smell of all-time.
14. One huge coffeehouse
If you want to visit the largest coffee shop in the world, then pack your bags for Saudi Arabia. The Al Massa Cafe in the capital Riyadh, opened in 2014, can seat up to 1,050 coffee drinkers.
15. Coffee as a cash crop
Coffee is absolutely big business. Here’s one of the coffee facts that left us stunned. Coffee is the second-most traded commodity in the world, only beaten out by crude oil!
Brazil is the world’s largest coffee exporter, followed by Vietnam. In Colombia, coffee is so important that it accounts for 8% of the country’s GDP.
16. Pollution of the pods
While a single serving pod for coffee is one of the most convenient ways to get your morning fix, it’s absolutely terrible for the environment.
The capsule pods are not biodegradable, and billions of pods each year are dumped into landfills or incinerated, sending pollutants into the air. This is why we recommend using ground coffee and getting rid of the pods.
17. Giving up coffee?
What would you sacrifice to get your morning coffee? According to a 2018 poll, people would give up a lot!
25% would rather go without a shower for a week. And 29% would abandon loved ones for a week rather than go without java!
18. The price of takeout coffee
Is your wallet feeling a little lighter lately? Maybe it’s all the coffee you’ve been buying!
The average American spends between $1,000 to $2,000 on take out coffee each year. Maybe it’s time to brew at home and avoid those Venti Starbucks orders!
19. What’s in a name?
The Capuchin monks of Italy, founded in 1528, were known for their brown-colored robes with a white cincture tied around the waist.
This color combination resembled coffee mixed with frothed milk – leading to the name of the ever popular and posh coffee beverage, the cappuccino.
20. Shipping coffee
Here’s an incredible story of Olympic spirit and out-of-the-box thinking. In 1932, Brazil couldn’t afford to send their Olympic team to Los Angeles.
To make sure they could get there and compete, the team was loaded onto a ship with bags of coffee beans, which they sold along the way to finance their trip!
21. An Italian espresso
Probably the most famous of all the coffee beverages, Italian espresso is the basis for most specialty coffee drinks around the world.
The name espresso, is from the Italian for ‘forced out’. This relates to the very hot water that is forced through ground coffee at high pressure to create the creamy and delicious espresso.
22. Kitty likes coffee
Hands down this is the strangest of the coffee facts we uncovered. Creme Puff, the world’s oldest cat who lived until 38 years old, drank coffee every morning of her life!
Maybe Creme Puff discovered the secret to longevity. Drink more coffee!
23. Coffee bans worldwide
There are a few moments in history where coffee was outlawed. In the 1500s, Mecca believed the drink encouraged radical thinking. Later that century, Italian clergy outlawed “satanic” coffee.
And in 1700s Sweden, the government banned coffee for its ties to rebellious sentiment. We think if coffee was banned nowadays there would be a total revolt!
Who wants more fun facts?
If you’re looking for some recommendations, these are a few of our favorite fact books to buy. We use these when planning fun trivia nights with family and friends!
Are you feeling energized after these facts? Or did these fun facts about coffee make you feel like you were drinking decaf? Let us know what’s your favorite brew in the comments below!