Coffee is almost the national American drink. I think I'm the only one in the family who does not drink it. I lived in Australia as a teenager and learned to drink tea, so when I hit college, it was tea I went for and not coffee.
So where did coffee come from? Why is it grown in so many places. My parents have always loved the 100 percent Kona grown coffee and prefer it. They say the stuff with 10 percent is not quite the same.
It is thought that coffee originated in Ethiopia many, many years ago. The earliest evidence of coffee is from a fifteenth century Sufi monastery in Yemen. There is a local legend that states the goat herder Kaldi noticed how energetic the goats became after eating the coffee beans. He reported it to the abbot of the local monastery and the abbot brewed a cup of coffee from the beans. The brew made the abbot energetic and alert so he shared it with those who lived in his monastery and then shared it with others.
It appears coffee started in the highlands of Ethiopia, expanded out to the Arabian Peninsula before spreading to the Middle East. It spread to Europe by the 17th century and was quite popular although some people called it the "bitter invention of Satan". Due to the controversy associated with coffee, the Pope ended up tasting it and declaring it was good in order for certain people to accept it.
Around this time, coffee houses sprung up and pretty soon coffee replaced beer and wine as the choice of drink at breakfast. Its interesting that tea was the favored drink in the colonies until the Boston Tea Party when people switched to drinking coffee. As the demand for coffee increased, people "obtained" seeds and plants to grow coffee elsewhere and broke the monopoly Arabia had on growing coffee.
Right now, coffee is the second most exportable item after oil due to demand. Now for the interesting facts about coffee.
1. Coffee contains lots of antioxidants which can help health overall but coffee drinkers are also more likely to be smokers, drink alcohol, and eat red meat.
2. Coffee is nutritious, it contains 11% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin B2, 6% of vitamin B5, 3% of Manganese and Potassium, and 2% of
Niacin and Magnesium.
3. Coffee can increase your metabolism between 3 and 11 percent.
4. Black Ivory Coffee is the most expensive type of coffee because it is made from elephant poop and costs around $50 per cup. Luwak, another expensive coffee, is made from feeding coffee beans to mongooses and using the ones found in their poop. It is only $160 per pound.
5. In 1675, all coffee houses were banned because King Charles II thought that was where the conspirators met to plan against him.
6. The name cappuccino came from the resemblance of the drink to clothing of Capuchin monks.
7. The word espresso is Italian for "something forced out".
8. Coffee was the first freeze dried food.
9. Arabica varieties such as Java and Mocha are named after the ports of origin.
10. A pound of coffee requires 2,500 gallons of water which means it requires a lot of water to grow.
11. A coffee plant can live for up to 200 years.
Wow so much I didn't know about coffee. Up to this point, I only knew one thing about coffee. Don't get between a person and their coffee first thing in the morning!