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Coffee Fun Facts - Questions and Answers

Did you know that a 20-person office drinks 62 cups of coffee a day? The popularity of coffee may not come as a surprise to you, but some of these facts might. We take a look at some of the most interesting coffee facts, from where it was first discovered, to how many cups you need to drink for it to kill you.  

According to legend, where was coffee first discovered?

Legend has it that coffee was first discovered in Ethiopia circa 800 A.D. by a goat herder named Kaldi who noticed the effect that eating coffee berries was having on his goats. The goats appeared to be dancing, full of energy and hyperactive. He found that the berries had the same effect on him when he tried them.

He went on to report his findings to the abbot of the local monastery. While the monk initially scolded Kaldi for eating “the devil’s fruit”, he soon found that when consumed as a drink, it helped to keep him alert through the long hours of evening prayer. He went on to share this discovery with the other monks, and quickly news of the energizing berries spread.

Did people always drink coffee?

No, initially coffee was eaten. African tribes took coffee berries and mixed these with animal fat to make edible energy balls. Think of them as the original PowerBars. The berries were also drunk, but not in the form we think of today. Back then, they would consume coffee as a wine made from the pulp of the berries.

What was the original definition of coffee?

The definition of coffee

Because people didn’t always drink coffee the way they do today, it probably comes as no surprise that the original definition of the word meant “wine.” The original name came from the Yemen term for wine, qahwah. The English word coffee comes from the Dutch word, koffie.

Is it expresso or espresso?

If you claim to be a coffee lover, then you had better know the answer to this one. Technically speaking, you should pronounce espresso with a ‘s' and not an ‘x.' So, the correct pronunciation is |e-spres-oh|.

This pronunciation stays faithful to the Italian origin of the word; caffè espresso, which means “when something is forced out.” When you consider how you make an espresso, it is no surprise – boiling water is forced through finely ground coffee to deliver maximum flavor.

Can you overdose on coffee?

Yes, you can. The recommended amount of caffeine per day is about 400 mg for a healthy adult. Before you get the life-threatening symptoms, you will know you have drunk too much caffeine if you feel tremors or shaking throughout your body. However, you would need to consume about 70 cups to ingest a lethal dose of caffeine.

How much do people spend on coffee?

The average American spends nearly $1,100 a year on coffee, which works out at about $20 a week.

Who drinks the most coffee?

Coffee is the second most traded commodity on earth, after oil. But, who in the world drinks the most coffee? Well, that title goes to Finland, which is the world's most caffeinated country. Here, the average adult drinks the equivalent of four or five cups of coffee a day.

Next on the list of top 10 coffee consuming countries is Norway, followed by the Netherlands, Slovenia, Austria, Serbia, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, and Brazil. Brazil’s place on the list may come as a surprise to those who know that the country produces 40% of the world’s coffee. Interestingly, those in New York consume nearly seven times as much coffee as the rest of the United States.

Where does the most expensive coffee come from?

The most expensive coffee in the world comes from Indonesia. The Kopi Iuwak earns its high price thanks to how you produce the coffee. You take coffee beans that the Indonesian animal palm civet or civet cat, a cat-like animal, first digests. For this reason, the coffee is also known as civet cat coffee or cat poop coffee. Delicious.