Coffee and espresso are two of the most popular drinks around the world. While they may seem like ordinary beverages, there’s much more to them than meets the eye. So, we thought we’d have a little fun and share some coffee trivia and facts.
Why? Because a few are really fascinating (pay attention to #8). And you’ll say you learned something new today!
#1 – Espresso “Beans”?
While espresso is often used interchangeably with beans, it’s actually a brewing method. The procedure requires intense pressure to extract hot water from tightly compressed grounds (usually dark roasted beans).
#2 – Coffee is Hot, Hot, Hot!
Coffee is one of the top 20 most traded commodities in the world.
A veritable buzz of activity circles the coffee belt. That’s because coffee drinkers enjoy an estimated 2.25 billion cups daily around the globe! From its largest producer Brazil to over 70 other countries growing beans for this beloved beverage, it’s no wonder coffee consistently makes the list.
#3 – Coffee Trivia and Fact That Started Everything
No one actually agrees on the exact origin of coffee. But, as a famous story goes, a local shepherd in Ethiopia discovered the energizing effects of coffee berries after eating them. He shared his discovery with other villagers. By the 16th century, coffee was enjoyed in Persia, Egypt, and Turkey.
The early brews were made by roasting and grinding the coffee beans and then adding hot water. And coffee has since become an essential part of many cultures worldwide. It’s a staple of the global economy that started with a simple discovery by a local shepherd in Ethiopia centuries ago.
#4 – No Filters Needed in Turkey
In Turkey, a traditional way of brewing coffee called “Turkish Coffee” is different than in most parts of the world. Turkish Coffee is finely ground coffee powder boiled with water and sugar in a cezve (or ibrik). Because the coffee has a powder-like consistency, it dissolves – so no filter is needed.
# 5 – What ARE Coffee Beans?
Coffee beans are seeds from a cherry-like fruit called Coffea, cultivated in over 70 countries worldwide. The Coffea produces cherries of red or purple that contain a single pip inside – just like regular cherries! Then, once harvested and processed, these pips become what we know as coffee beans.
#6 – A Venti Plus, Plus, Plus, Plus…
The current world record for the largest cup of coffee was set in December 2022 by the Tonic World Center S.A. de C.V. in Mexico.
A 3.5 x 3.1-meter container held 7,116 gallons of caffeinated goodness.
Hmm? What size would that be at Starbucks?
#7 – Espresso is Relatively New
While espresso machines were around in the 1800s, today’s high-pressure machines were a post-world war II era innovation.
After WWII, Milanese café owner Achille Gaggia revolutionized the coffee world by inventing the lever-driven countertop espresso machine. This groundbreaking technology introduced high-pressure extraction for sublime crema production – the hallmark of a delicious shot! Trendsetting baristas then began ‘pulling shots’ and brought to life this beloved form of caffeinated expression that’s been embraced around the globe ever since.
Spillin’ the Beans Espresso Making Alternatives
#8 – Thank Elephants for One of the World’s Most Expensive Coffee
One of the world’s most expensive coffee is $2,500 for a kilogram! Black Ivory Coffee is produced in Thailand’s northern provinces and made from coffee cherries digested by elephants. Yup – you read that correctly!
Carefully selected Arabica beans, harvested high up on the mountainside, are given to these majestic animals who process them using their natural digestion. Every 33 kgs of raw cherries result in 1 kilogram of finished product cared for by elephant caregivers and local students.
Taste of Black Ivory Coffee
Are you curious about the taste of Black Ivory? You can expect chocolatey notes alongside warm spices without any bitter aftertaste. And if that’s enough to whet your appetite, the rare brew is served at exclusive five-star hotels and Michelin-star restaurants.
#9 – Decaf Wasn’t Always Appealing
Did you know that decaffeinated coffee was invented in 1903? At the time, benzene was used as a chemical solvent to dissolve the caffeine.
Benzene? Yup. It’s a carcinogen—no worries, though, as it’s long gone and replaced with three new methods.
- Safer chemicals like dichloromethane and ethyl acetate,
- Swiss water process using a carbon filter
- High-pressure CO2
#10 – The French Press is… Italian??
There are various origin stories. But most people think the French Press was invented in France – hence the name! However, the first patent went to Italians Attilio Calimani and Giulio Moneta. They called it “caffettiera a stantuffo.”
A Refill on Coffee Trivia and Facts
There are many more fascinating bits of coffee trivia and facts. So, check back, as we’re always brewing up fresh content.
But, in the meantime, you might appreciate the following: