Coffee is a unique beverage in that you either love it or you hate it. Some people swear by it as a means to wake up in the morning. Others drink coffee throughout the day to keep them going. However, whether you love it or hate it, there are some things that you may not know about coffee. Here are some interesting facts for you to ponder.
1. Where Does Coffee Come From? Coffee only grows in certain climates, namely the ones nearest the equator along what is known as the “Bean Belt.” Hawaii is the only state in the U.S. that grows coffee, known as Kona coffee, while Brazil produces 30% of the world’s coffee. The second leading producer of coffee is Columbia. However, more than 53 countries grow coffee worldwide.
2. The Coffee Plant. It is arguable whether to call what coffee grows on a bush or a tree, but either way, the coffee bean does not just grow off a branch by itself. It is actually a green seed inside a berry. The seed is removed, roasted and then packaged as coffee beans. The berry from which a coffee bean comes from is comparable to a cherry. The two species of coffee plant that are used for consumption are the Arabica and the Robusta. One coffee tree yields approximately one pound of coffee each year.
3. How Many Calories Are You Consuming? Black coffee has no calories. That’s right! No calories! The way calories add up is what you put in with your coffee. With the options of cream, sugar and syrups, the calories can add up quickly. Keep that in mind if you are trying to cut down your calorie intake. You don’t need to stop drinking coffee altogether, just hold back on the extras you put into it. Thirty million people in the U.S. purchase specialty coffee drinks each day.
4. Caffeine: Good or Bad? Caffeine is one of the defining characteristics of coffee. For those of you who have heartburn problems, you might want to cut down on your coffee intake or switch over to decaf, because caffeine is known for increasing heartburn symptoms. However, beware of decaf because it is not completely caffeine free, it’s more of a reduced level of caffeine that can still add up if you drink too many cups of it. On the other hand, the caffeine is also cited as being beneficial for increased thought flow.
5. National Coffee Day. National Coffee Day is held on September 29. On that day, some businesses give away free or discounted cups of coffee. Some greeting card companies have even gone so far as to create National Coffee Day cards you can send to your friends or coworkers who are as addicted to coffee as you are.
6. How Many Cups Do We Drink? More than 400 billion cups of coffee are consumed every year. Seattle is known for its coffee enthusiasts and the people who live there consume more coffee per capita than in any other city in the United States. The coffee industry makes approximately 60 billion dollars annually worldwide.
7. Coffee vs. Water. Coffee is the second largest world commodity. The first is oil. It is also the second most popular drink in the world after water. More than half of the U.S. population over the age of 18 consumes at least one cup of coffee every morning. Women state that they drink coffee to relax and men tend to say that coffee helps them get their work done.
8. Coffee-Scented Stamps. In 2001, Brazil produced a coffee-scented stamp to promote its commodity. It is said that the smell lasts between 3 to 5 years.
9. To Freeze or Not to Freeze? Freezing coffee has been said to be a good way to keep it fresh, but as it turns out, the coffee bean easily extracts the flavors of things around it, making it susceptible to changing taste when stored in the freezer. Coffee grounds stay fresh for approximately two weeks outside of the freezer if stored in an airtight container. If stored next to fish or other smellier foods in the freezer, the coffee will adopt that taste, so even if it remains fresh longer, it won’t seem like it with the taste being skewed in that way.
10. Can I Drink Coffee When I’m Pregnant? There has been research for and against the consumption of coffee during pregnancy. The current recommendation is to consume no more than 300 mg of caffeine each day, and that doesn’t just include coffee, but all sources of caffeine. Whether you are pregnant or not, caffeine intake should be limited. The fatal level of caffeine is the equivalent of 100 cups of coffee at approximately 100 to 200 mg per cup.