22 Little-Known Facts About Coffee


1. The world’s most expensive coffee is pooped out by cats.

“Kopi Luwak,” the world’s priciest coffee, fetches up to $600 per pound. It comes from beans that have been partially digested and shit out by wild cats known as Sumatran civets. Allegedly the cats’ digestive tracts lend the coffee beans an irresistibly mellow flavor.

2. Espresso is weaker than regular coffee.

Don’t let the price fool you—you’ll need three shots of espresso to match the caffeine you get in one single humble regular cup of coffee.

3. Dark roast is weaker than light roast.

When it comes to coffee, the darker the berry, the weaker the juice. Stick to the light blends if you want a caffeine jolt that will rattle your tooth fillings loose.

4. Coffee stays warm longer when you add cream.

It seems to defy all known laws of thermodynamics, but adding cream to your coffee actually keeps it warm for 20% longer than keeping it black. It is truly a miracle wrought by a secret agreement between the coffee gods and the cream gods.

5. Merely smelling coffee can help wake you up.

Scientists have found that merely inhaling a lungful of brewing coffee in the morning can activate your brain and face the horrors of the day.

6. Eighty-two cups in seven hours.

That’s the world record for coffee-drinking, achieved by someone who likely had to be peeled off the ceiling afterward.

7. The largest cup of coffee in world history contained 3,700 gallons.

This preposterously large mega-cup was brewed in South Korea last summer.

8. The word “coffee” comes from an Arabic word meaning “wine.”

Some say the Arabic word qahwah means "wine," while still others insist it means "the wine of Islam." In the West for centuries, coffee was referred to as "Muslim wine." Qahwah became kahve in Turkish, which became koffie in Dutch and finally “coffee” in English.

9. The legend of the dancing goats.

According to legend, a 9th-century Ethiopian shepherd discovered coffee’s magical powers when he observed his goats dancing around hyperactively after they’d eaten berries from a coffee bush. Thus began humanity’s long history of sipping and savoring Nature’s Legal Speed.

10. Due to its mystical powers, coffee has been banned throughout history.

In the 16th century, many Muslim rulers banned coffee because they were suspicious of its stimulating effects on the human brain. Coffee was also condemned as the “drink of Satan” in Christendom for centuries due to its Islamic roots. In the 1700s, even coffee paraphernalia was banned in Sweden. In the late 1700s, Frederick the Great of Prussia formed a special unit of secret police known as Kaffee Schnufflers—”coffee sniffers”—whose role was to sniff out and punish anyone found trafficking in this magical mystical bean. But like the human spirit, coffee continues to rise despite constant persecution.

11. Many famous men drank enough coffee to make your guts bleed.

Famous authors Voltaire and Honoré de Balzac allegedly drank up to fifty cups of coffee daily. Composer Ludwig von Beethoven was also an alleged coffee fanatic who’d hand-count exactly 60 coffee beans before making each cup. US President Teddy Roosevelt allegedly drank a gallon of coffee daily, which may be why he always looked so excited:

12. All the Earth’s coffee is grown within 1,000 miles of the Equator along the so-called “Coffee Belt.”

These lush, oily, intoxicating so-called “beans” need a moist tropical climate to flourish. The only place in the USA that fits this description is Hawaii, where Kona coffee fetches some of the world’s highest prices.

13. Scientists are developing cars that can run on coffee grounds.

In 2010, British scientists devised a car that ran entirely on used coffee grounds. It was known as the “car-puccino” and successfully made the 250-mile trek between Manchester and London using the equivalent of enough coffee to make 11,000 espressos. In 2013, a converted Ford pickup that heated coffee-bean husks in an onbard stove reached a top speed of 65 miles per hour.

14. Coffee is actually a fruit.

So-called coffee “beans” are actually the pit of the berry that grows from the coffee bush. So if you need to get five servings of fruit daily, the quickest and most emotionally satisfying way is to drink five cups of coffee.

15. Not providing your wife with enough coffee used to be “grounds” for divorce in Turkey—pun intended.

In the late 15th century in Turkey, one of the only legal grounds for a woman to divorce her husband was if he did not keep her coffee pot full and percolatin’ at all times.

16. The “Americano” came about because American soldiers in WWII found espresso too strong.

Not used to the fulsome sting of full-blooded espresso, American GI Joes during World War II used to request it be watered down significantly—thus the “Americano” was born. It’s also the origin of the term “cup of Joe.”

17. Japan has a spa where you can swim in a giant vat of coffee.

If you’re a coffee fanatic and dream of swimming around in a giant cup, a spa in Japan has a coffee-filled pool where you can fulfill your dreams. The Yunessun spa resort also allows you two slosh around in vats filled with green tea, wine, sake, and chocolate.

18. The oldest cat who ever lived drank coffee every day.

“Creme Puff,” listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the “oldest cat ever” for living 38 years, was served coffee every morning by her owner—along with bacon and eggs.

19. Coffee has health benefits…

Coffee is packed with nutrients and antioxidants and has been linked with helping prevent diabetes, endometrial cancer, heart disease, liver disease, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. It also helps to burn fat.

20. …and health hazards. You might even overdose or hallucinate!

Drinking too much coffee can cause heart palpitations, headaches, mood swings, and even seizures. It is estimated that it would take 100 cups of coffee to comprise a lethal dose of caffeine—but all that water would kill you before you came close to your hundredth cup. In rare instances, coffee has induced hallucinations among its eager imbibers.

21. The average American worker spends nearly $1,100 yearly on coffee.

Must…maintain…productivity! Americans slurp down around 400 million cups of coffee every day, making them the world’s largest consumers of this illustrious elixir. A full third of the tap water in the USA is used to make coffee. In terms of volume, Americans far outpace the rest of the world, followed by Germany and France. When it comes to per-capita use, Scandinavians out-drink even the Americans. Finland comes in at the top of the list, with a per-capita consumption of a whopping four cups per day.

22. Coffee may help prevent depression in women.

A survey of over 50,000 women found that two to four cups of coffee daily reduced depression by up to 20 percent. Another study found that women who drank two or three cups daily over ten years were 15% less likely to develop depression than women who drank one or fewer cups of coffee weekly.

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