Coffee is easily the world's favorite beverage. Millions of cups of coffee are consumed each day and the demand for coffee is only rising. As interest in coffee grows, so does the interest in knowing more coffee facts. But how much do you truly know about the coffee you love?
The story of coffee is full of interesting tidbits, from fun facts about coffee beans to unique cultural coffee facts. Coffee facts are best enjoyed like coffee itself: regularly but in small doses. Here are 10 fun coffee facts you may not know:
1. The first food to be freeze-dried was coffee
You’d recognize freeze-dried coffee as instant coffee. The technology for freeze-drying was first tried out on coffee which gave us coffee that could be made by just adding hot water. This was a huge leap forward not only for coffee but the instant food market as a whole.
2. Finland consumes the most coffee
One of the most commonly known coffee facts is that Scandinavian countries are famous for their love of coffee. It should be no surprise that Finland tops the list for the highest per capita consumption of coffee. The average consumption of coffee per person in Finland comes in at a whopping 12.5 kgs per year. The other Scandinavian countries like Sweden, Denmark, and Norway follow close behind.
3. Coffee has been banned multiple times
This fun coffee fact may seem strange in modern times but coffee wasn’t always widely accepted. Many empires and nations have tried to ban coffee over the centuries starting with Mecca, where coffee was banned due its stimulating effects. Coffee was also banned in 16th century Italy for being ‘satanic’ but the ban was eventually lifted. Coffee bans existed as recently as during the industrial revolution.
4. Drinking coffee can help you live longer
Here’s a coffee fact that could actually improve your health. Drinking 3-4 cups of coffee per day has been linked to numerous health benefits including reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, and neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.
5. Coffee is the second most traded commodity worldwide
This may be a surprising fact for some, but coffee is the second most commonly traded commodity globally. It’s second only to crude oil. Coffee is a vital part of the global economy with millions of people involved in growing, processing, trading, and selling coffee and coffee products. The global coffee trade generates $100 billion dollars per year.
6. Coffee can help you level up your fitness
Coffee is a stimulant that also accelerates your metabolism and improves physical performance. It helps burn fat, making it a great addition to your diet if you work out a lot or need an extra boost to help you exercise. For the best results, drink a cup one hour before you exercise.
7. Coffee beans are actually berries
Despite being called a bean, scientific classification positions coffee as a berry. This may be confusing if you only see processed coffee, which is the seed of the coffee berry. These coffee berries or cherries are picked, the flesh of the fruit is removed, and the inner bean or seed is roasted to make the coffee you’re familiar with.
8. Coffee waste could be the fuel of the future
The oil from discarded coffee grounds could be used as a type of biodiesel. Research in this area is ongoing but promising. This is a two-pronged solution that provided alternative fuel while also reducing coffee waste and pollution from traditional fuel.
9. Decaf is not caffeine-free
Decaf or decaffeinated coffee isn’t entirely caffeine-free. Regulations around what can be called decaf coffee vary, but in most cases, decaf coffee is only about 90-95% caffeine-free. Decaf coffee is still a good alternative for those that want to avoid some of the side effects of full-strength coffee. It’s possible to find 100% caffeine-free coffee, but the taste is not always the best.
10. Fairtrade policies are contributing to higher coffee quality
Fairtrade in coffee aims to ensure that farmers are adequately compensated for the work they put in to grow coffee. Coffee cultivation is very difficult, with the plants taking years to mature and being very susceptible to climate change, pests, and diseases. Fairtrade policies have helped provide farmers with the monetary compensation to improve their farming techniques which have directly led to higher-quality coffee available.