Is coffee just a brewed drink prepared from roasted coffee beans?
A love of all things connected with coffee has brought both large and small companies into the world of coffee production and trading. Coffee culture is constantly changing as coffee drinkers seek new ways to enjoy their favorite beverage. People get together for a cup of coffee and a whole cosmos of conversations. In North America and a lot of western European countries, Starbucks and other coffee chains have dominated the market because they are providing to the customers a complete experience around coffee. Coffee and friends, coffee and work, coffee and snacks and coffee to go!
The Irish mix coffee with whiskey and they call it “Irish coffee”. In Italy the espresso and espresso machine were born and made into the favorite whole-day beverage of Italians. In Greece, there is an old fashioned coffee shop for old gentlemen, the “kafenio”, where they drink Greek coffee and exchange political ideas or they play cards and a board game called “tavli”. Also, some countries, like Colombia or Brazil, the whole economy is based in coffee. Although, the majority of coffee is produced in Brazil. It produces 40% of the world’s coffee.
Interestingly enough, the word espresso comes from Italian and means “expressed” or “forced out”. Espresso is made by forcing very hot water under high pressure through finely ground, compacted coffee. Wherein, the cappuccino was named after Capuchin friars because its color resembles the Capuchin robe. Contrary to the popular belief, dark roast and light roast coffee actually have a similar amount of caffeine.
“Coffee – the favorite drink of the civilized world.” – Thomas Jefferson
Historically, the word ‘coffee’ comes from the Arabic word ‘qahwah’ which refers to a type of wine. Before coffee became widely available, the popular breakfast drink was beer. No one knows exactly how or when coffee was discovered, though there are many legends about its origin. It is said that coffee grown worldwide can trace its heritage back centuries to the ancient coffee forests on the Ethiopian plateau. Legend believes, the goat herder, Kaldi, first discovered the potential of these beloved beans.
The story goes that that Kaldi discovered coffee after he noticed that after eating the berries from a certain tree, his goats became so energetic that they did not want to sleep at night. Kaldi reported his findings to the abbot of the local monastery, who made a drink with the berries and found that it kept him alert through the long hours of evening prayer. The abbot shared his discovery with the other monks at the monastery, and knowledge of the energising berries began a journey which would bring these beans across the globe.
Before people learned how to brew coffee, east African tribes mixed coffee berries with animal fat and consumed it as food. It takes a lot to brew the perfect cup of coffee. Some of the best coffee in the world comes from high-quality beans and unique processing methods. Each of these specialty coffees is known for their distinct flavour and aroma, as well as their high price tag. “Kopi Luwak” is the most expensive coffee in the world. It comes from Indonesia and is made from beans digested from the Asian Palm Civet. In other words, it comes from cat poop. It sells for €350 and up per kilo! Another one of the most expensive coffee in the world is Black Ivory Coffee. It can cost up to $1,100 per kilogram. This coffee is produced from part-digested coffee cherries eaten and defecated by Thai elephants.
“Beethoven was such an ardent coffee lover that he’d count 60 beans per cup before making his brew.”
Not only can your daily cup of joe help you feel more energised, burn fat and improve physical performance, it may also lower your risk of several conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. In fact, coffee may even boost longevity. A study by the University of Texas has found that men who drank two cups a day were 42 per cent less likely to suffer from erectile dysfunction compared to men who didn’t. Studies have shown that drinking coffee may lower your risk of depression.
Globally people consume about 2.25 billion cups of coffee every day. Coffee is most effective if you drink it between 9:30 and 11:30 AM. Scientists have now successfully turned ground coffee into bio-diesel, so one day coffee may be fuelling your car.
Historical facts about coffee are almost unbelievable but very true like for example coffee was banned in Mecca in 1511 as it was believed to stimulate radical thinking and idleness. In ancient Arab culture, a woman could only divorce her husband if he didn’t like her coffee. Another strange fact is the Guinness World record holder for the “Oldest Cat Ever,” a 38-year-old cat named Crème Puff; drank coffee every morning her whole life.