Are you a fellow coffee addict? Well, most of us probably are so welcome to the club. The problem is, how many of us know where our favorite beverage even came from? Do we even know what coffee looks like in the wild? Are they bushes or trees? Well, up until now, I didn't even know some of these and I have been working in a coffee shop for nearly four years. So, grab yourself a cup of coffee and sit back and relax as I hand to you five free facts that you never knew you wanted to know about your favorite beverage.
Legend has it that coffee was discovered long ago (in the ninth century) by an Ethiopian goat herder. And, just as I have always speculated, it was a complete accident. It all started when one day the Ethiopian goat herder stumbled upon his goats chowing down on some red berries (coffee berries). He noticed that they became unusually energized after eating these berries and so, naturally, he tried the red berries himself (please don't try that at home kids). He discovered that he had a similar reaction to the fruit. Thus, a revolutionary discovery was made!
So, boys and girls, make sure you thank God for that goat herder who saved your high school/college/parent/work careers.
2. Coffee beans come from coffee plants
I already gave this fact above, but the reality is that coffee beans come from a red berry that grows on a plant. When I first started drinking coffee many years ago, I kind of imagined it growing like a potato underground, not a bright and cheery looking plant.
But I think apple picking is finally going to have some competition in my life now. New bucket list goal: Go coffee berry picking.
No, please don't panic, none of the bans happened anywhere near the 21st century. It first occurred in the 16th century in Mecca, then in Europe (England, Ireland and Scotland) in 1675 by Charles II (I knew I didn’t like him for a reason), and then Frederick the Great in Germany in 1677.
Once again, we should be thankful that we live under a government that understands the sheer chaos that would break out if they made our precious illegal. Then again, they could simply be keeping it legal because of the tax money they make off of it ... If that's the case, however, it makes you wonder why they have yet to legalize marijuana which seems less addictive than coffee ... But that's for a whole different discussion.
4. George Constant Washington is at fault for instant coffee
Speaking about legalizing things ... Who on earth allowed this man to make such a horrid thing? As a barista with nearly four years of experience, I can say for a fact that the words “instant” and “coffee” should never be in the same sentence (unless you're bashing it of course). Now, George Constant Washington probably became rich off of this idea but that doesn't excuse poor decisions.
Say no to instant coffee.
5. We spend A LOT of money on coffee every year
Every year, Americans spend $40 billion on coffee. Worldwide, we average about 1.6 billion cups of coffee every day. No wonder Starbucks can afford five shops on every block in New York City.
So, maybe the legend is not true and no goat herder stumbled upon his overly caffeinated goats (I hope it's true), but either way, the money doesn't lie. Coffee has become a competitive and booming industry and as a barista, I hope it stays that way. Enjoy your coffee (not instant coffee) and five free facts about it!