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It’s said that coffee was discovered by goats of an Ethiopian goatherd named Kaldi who observed his animals acting unusually frisky after eating berries from a bush.
Coffee is a green bean hidden in the red cherry of the coffee tree. Coffee beans are actually seeds.
Coffee was first cultivated after being transported from Ethiopia, where it was discovered, in what is today the country of Yemen.
The two main types of coffee trees, Arabica and Robusta, can produce crops for 20-30 years under proper conditions and care.
More than 53 countries grow coffee worldwide, but all of them lie along the equator between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn
Starting in the 15th century, coffee traveled to Turkey, and then on to Europe. Migrating up from Italy, it arrived in Paris in 1686 when the first French café was opened.
With the exception of Hawaii and Puerto Rico, no coffee is grown in the U.S. or its territories.
The world’s largest coffee producer is Brazil, with upwards of 3,970,000,000 coffee trees.
One coffee bush yields slightly less than one pound of coffee per year.
Coffee ripens unevenly, hence gourmet and specialty coffee must be picked by hand.
In 1720, a French lieutenant traveled with a coffee plant he’d received as a gift. He planted it on the island of Martinique and plantations soon grew from French Guyana to Brazil and Central America. Almost all the coffee in Latin America descends from that single Martinique plant.
Today, coffee is a giant global industry employing more than 25 million people worldwide.
Most coffee farmers have never tasted their own coffee.
Coffee ranks second only to petroleum in terms of dollars traded worldwide.
For every pound of specialty coffee sold, a coffee farmer may receive between 12 and 25 cents. Only one cent of the price of a $2 cup of coffee goes to the grower.
Espresso came from Neapolitan impatience: they simply couldn’t wait for coffee to be brewed. The French introduced the first espresso machine in 1822, but the Italians perfected and distributed it.
Espresso has roughly 1/3 the caffeine as a regular cup of coffee.
Ninety percent of Americans consume caffeine in some form every day.
Decaffeinated products still have caffeine in them. In the U.S., “decaffeinated” means that a product contains no more than 2.5% caffeine.
Instant coffee was invented in 1906 by Mr. G. Washington, an Englishman living in Guatemala.
With more than 500 billion cups consumed every year, coffee is the world’s most popular beverage.
You snooze, you lose.
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