For centuries there has been a beverage which has traveled the world and aided people in beginning their day. Today it is one of the most popular beverages in North America and can be found in countless restaurants, stalls, and homes. It has inspired numerous brands and even its own shops. It’s Coffee and there’s a lot of interesting tidbits of information around the drink. So here are 10 facts about that drink that many claim they can’t begin their day without:
- Coffee is Canada’s most consumed beverage amongst adults – even more than tap water. The Coffee Industry in Canada is a $6.2 billion industry, with $4.8 billion sales in Foodservices, and $1.4 billion sales in Grocery/Retail Sales.
- In 2015, out of 80 countries, Canada ranked No. 1 when tallying up how many litres of coffee per capita at food service joints like cafes. The country also scored third highest for the total amount of brewed coffee we consumed both inside and outside the home — an average of 152 litres per person.
- According to a 2017 Survey published by Maclean’s Tim Hortons was NOT Canada’s preferred coffee retailer, but McDonald’s was, followed by Second Cup and Starbucks.
- There are 124 species of coffee, but only two — Robusta and Arabica — are consumed today. Robusta is strong and hardy, but Arabica has a sweeter, softer taste. Two-thirds of the world’s production of coffee today is Arabica.
- According to legend, an Ethiopian goatherd named Kaldi made a startling discovery. One day, his goats wandered off, and by the time Kaldi found them; they appeared to be “dancing” after they’d been nibbling on bright, red berries, known as coffee cherries. He brought some to show a Sufi monk, who promptly threw them into the fire. Soon a tantalizing aroma began to fill the room. The beans inside the cherries were roasting in the flames. Then the other monks collected the beans from the embers, ground and brewed them, making the original drink of coffee.
- No one knows exactly when, but centuries ago, coffee seeds were carried from Ethiopia to nearby Yemen, where the seeds were planted. The Yemeni began cultivating Arabica coffee for the very first time. By the 16th century, drinking it was spreading throughout the Muslim world. By the 17th century, Europeans were drinking it too. In the 18th century, the Dutch and French planted coffee from Indonesia to the Caribbean to Latin America. By the 19th century, the British were cultivating it in India and Ceylon, now Sri Lanka. Eventually the Europeans would bring it to the Americas.
- It wasn’t until the 17th century when Sugar and milk were added to coffee in Europe to temper the bitter taste. That’s how the cafe au lait was created.
- Epidemics of coffee leaf rust began in Colombia in 2008, then in 2012 in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Mexico; and in Peru and Ecuador in 2013. The disease remains an ever-present danger, along with pests like the vicious coffee borer beetle that drills its way into the coffee cherry, destroying the fruit. Farmers sometimes have had to move to higher altitudes to defeat higher temperatures which has been ever more necessary due to climate change.
- Coffee has been banned more than a few times over the years for the supposed impact it has on those who drink it. In 1511, the governor of Mecca believed coffee stimulated radical thinking and outlawed the drink. Some 16th-century Italian clergymen also tried to ban coffee because they believed it to be satanic. However, Pope Clement VII is said to have loved coffee so much that he lifted the ban and had coffee baptized as a Christian beverage in the 1600s. Even as recently as the 18th century, the Swedish government made both coffee and coffee paraphernalia (including cups and dishes) illegal because of its supposed ties to rebellious sentiment.
- Coffee is such a huge industry it is curious to know where it comes from so here are some of coffee’s biggest producers – Brazil leads the world, producing about one-third of the world’s supply, according to the International Coffee Organization, about twice as much as the second-place holder, Vietnam. Brazil supplies the coffee that appears in supermarkets.
Hopefully this interesting information has given you something new to think about while you prepare and enjoy your cup of coffee this morning!