25 Things You Never Knew About Coffee

Who knew? Go grab a Starbucks Doubleshot and learn more about the secret life of coffee.

1. Coffee was originally called Arabian Wine when it was first brought to Europe.

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2. The word “coffee” originated from “qahwa,” the Arabic word for wine.

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Coffee was basically the result of an international game of telephone. It started off as the Arabic “qahwa” which became the Ottomon Turkish “kahve,” which in turn became the Italian “caffè.” Take a quick trip through continental Europe and across the English Channel to Britain and voila, “coffee” was born.

3. Starbucks coffee quality experts taste over 250,000 cups of coffee per year to ensure their customers receive the best cup.

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4. Coffee beans grow in berries!

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5. Here’s what it looks like on the inside of a coffee berry. There are two beans per berry and it takes about 4,000 beans to make a roasted pound of coffee.

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6. According to legend, an Ethiopian goatherder named Kaldi discovered coffee when he noticed his goats became more energetic from eating some red berries.

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Good guy goat gives you coffee.

7. Decaffeinated coffee still retains 1-2% of its original caffeine.

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8. As a response to the heavy tea tax that Britain imposed on the colonies, Americans not only held the Boston Tea Party, they also switched to coffee.

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9. You can paint with it.

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10. Espresso is not a bean or type of coffee blend, it’s a way of preparing coffee by shooting hot, pressurized water through finely ground coffee beans.

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11. Bach wrote “The Coffee Cantata,” a miniature comic opera about an addiction to coffee.

12. Instant coffee was invented by George Washington. No, not the president, but rather an inventor of Belgian descent who discovered the process during a stay in Guatemala.

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13. Coffee was issued as part of the food rations for Union soldiers during the Civil War.

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14. The soldiers loved their coffee so much, that some guns, such as the Sharps military carbine, had a coffee mill built into the stock.

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15. There are over 50 species of coffee worldwide, but only two, arabic and robusta, are used in commercial coffee production.

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16. The French philosopher Voltaire loved coffee so much that he drank on average 50 cups a day.

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17. Brazil grows more coffee than any other country and is responsible for about a third of the world’s coffee supply.

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18. Black coffee with nothing added to it has zero calories.

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19. Kopi Luwak is the most expensive coffee in the world and sells for anywhere between $100-600/lb, with a specialty blend called “Vietnamese weasel coffee” going for $3000/lb.

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Why is it so expensive? It’s because the raw coffee berries are first eaten and digested by weasel-like creatures called civets. The beans are then harvested from the civets’ excrement. (Seriously, we’re not joking.) Farmers claim that special enzymes in the civets digestive system help ferment the coffee beans, thus giving them their “rich” flavor.

20. Americans drink the most coffee in the world. Second is Brazil and third Japan.

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21. Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world, right behind oil.

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22. The American Revolution was plotted in coffee houses.

23. There is a World Barista Championship held annually.

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24. There are more than 87,000 espresso drink combinations at Starbucks.

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25. A team from the BBC built a car, nicknamed the “Car-puccino,” that can run on ground coffee. They’re still working on the time travel part though.

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