Coffee is grown in more than 70 countries and consumed in over 230 countries and territories each year. It is one of the most popular drinks worldwide, generating billions of dollars of revenue. Coffee is the way many people start each morning, but it is much more than just a jolt to start your day.
- Coffee is actually good for you
At one time, coffee was considered unhealthy. However, according to a blog published in Harvard Health Medicine, moderate coffee consumption (three to four cups per day) has been linked with a longer lifespan, and coffee consumption is associated with an 8% to 15% reduction in the risk of death (with larger reductions among those with higher coffee consumption).
- Many countries have banned coffee throughout history
Coffee has been banned repeatedly over time. Coffee was banned in Mecca in 1511 because it was believed to stimulate radical thinking. Murad IV claimed the Ottoman throne in 1623 and quickly forbade coffee drinking in Constantinople. Sweden banned coffee in 1746 and used it as a means of execution for convicted murderers. Coffee is not a great tool for executing prisoners.
- Adding cream keeps coffee warm
While it may seem surprising, coffee with cream cools about 20% more slowly than black coffee. Adding cream thickens the coffee (adds viscosity), slowing the rate of evaporation. Evaporation causes heat loss. Dark colors also emit heat faster than light colors. By lightening the color of your coffee, you slow its rate of heat loss slightly. Finally, hotter surfaces radiate heat faster, so by cooling your coffee by adding cream, you slow the rate at which it loses heat.
- Coffee was supposedly discovered by a goat herder
No one knows exactly how or when coffee was discovered, but there is a legend that says it was discovered by a goat herder in Ethiopia in the 1500s. He saw his goats eating coffee cherries and observed a change in their behavior. After eating the cherries, they gained a high amount of energy and they didn’t sleep at night. He 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 energizing berries began to spread.
What we do know is that by the 15th century, coffee was being grown in the Yemeni district of Arabia and by the 16th century it was known in Persia, Egypt, Syria, and Turkey.
- Finland has the highest coffee consumption per capita
The US may be one of the largest consumers of coffee per country, but Americans are not even close to Finns when it comes to coffee consumption per person. Finns consume an average of 26.45 lbs (12 kg) of coffee per capita. If you take children out of the equation, that number is even higher. Finland is followed closely by Norway, Iceland and Denmark. Americans drink under 10 lbs per capita.
- Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world
Coffee is the world’s second most traded commodity, right behind crude oil. The global coffee market was valued at approximately USD 102.15 billion in 2019, with worldwide production estimated at over 19 billion pounds.
- Most coffee farms are actually small
Countries like Burundi, Uganda and Ethiopia derive more than half their export earnings from coffee alone, so coffee is big business. At the same time, small-scale family farmers produce 75 percent of the world’s coffee supply, so coffee is rooted in small family-owned businesses.
- Hawaii and California are the only US states that grow coffee
While the US is one of the largest consumers of coffee in the world, it does not grow a lot of coffee. Good coffee growing conditions require high altitudes, tropical climates, and rich soil. Hawaii has been producing coffee from before it was a state, but California only recently began growing coffee.
When you drink your first cup of coffee today, take a moment to savor it and enjoy the health benefits of the drink that was once a very ineffective tool to execute murderers.
At iRely, we have a long history of helping coffee traders and roasters navigate the nuances of coffee trading and procurement.
In fact, more coffee roasters use iRely than use any other CTRM software. Contact iRely today to learn more.