A beverage known to stir proactive thoughts, coffee is a familiar element of daily life for millions of people around the world. For many, coffee isn’t just a favorite drink – it’s an essential component of their morning routine. You might even drink it throughout the day to perk yourself up at work or at home. If you’re a regular coffee drinker, you know what you take in your delicious brown beverage, but how much do you really know about that coffee you’re sipping?
The Beginning of the Bean
To clarify, coffee is technically a fruit, not a bean. What you commonly think of as a coffee bean is actually the pit of a berry, similar in appearance to a cherry, that grows on a bush. When harvested, the berries are picked, dried, and stripped down until all that remains are green seeds, which are roasted to achieve the brown color commonly associated with coffee beans through caramelization. By altering the physical and chemical properties of the so-called bean, the roasting process changes the aroma, flavor, and body of the coffee. Lighter roasts provide stronger and more complex flavors due to the presence of aromatic oils and acids, which can be burned away when the beans are roasted for a longer period of time. This is why darker roasts usually contain a bolder, sweeter flavor. While roasting doesn’t change the amount of caffeine, the process expands the beans the longer they are roasted and, as a result, lowers the caffeine content when measured by volume.
Choosing The Right Coffee Mug
To truly enjoy your ritualistic cup of coffee, finding the right mug is of paramount importance. The search can be a celebration – an adventure, even. There’s nothing quite like savoring your morning coffee in the perfect cup. Choosing a mug that has some meaning to you turns your daily beverage into a more pleasurableexperience and an expression of your soul. You spend plenty of time with it on a day to day basis, so a good mug should fit naturally, nestled snugly in your hands. If espresso or cappuccino is more your speed, visit My Demitasse for information on a great selection of cups.
If you’re a fan of coffee, here are a few facts that may make your next coffee experience a little richer. So, go ahead, pour yourself a cup of Joe to perk up your day and slurp down these interesting tidbits about your favorite habit.
- The word coffee can be traced back to the Arabic word qahwah, which traditionally referred to a type of wine that suppressed hunger, as coffee is known to do. Qahwah became kahve when the Ottoman Turks borrowed the term, and then the Dutch interpreted it as koffie before “coffee” entered the English language in 1582.
- There are two types of coffee beans: robusta, which is bitter with a better body, and arabica, which is more highly regarded due to its superior flavor. Because robusta strains have more caffeine, they are often utilized as a cheaper substitute in commercial coffee blends.
- Second only to water, coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages on the planet. Of the estimated 2.25 billion cups of coffee that are consumed daily across the globe, Americans are responsible for about 450 million, making them the world’s leading coffee drinkers.
- Coffee is also the second-most traded commodity in the world after crude oil, with approximately 25 million farmers in over 50 countries involved in the production of the precious java.
- In the 16th century, there was a debate over whether or not Catholics were allowed to drink coffee and it was banned due to its “Satanic” nature. Luckily, Pope Clement VII was such a coffee nut that he rescinded the ban and went so far as to baptize coffee in 1600.
- A thirst for caffeine led to the world’s first webcam. The coffee cam was created by a team of research scientists at the University of Cambridge in 1991 to keep an eye on the level of the coffee pot from their desks and avoid wasting time going to refill their cups if it was empty. With the advent of the internet, the coffee cam first went online in 1993.
The Dawn of Coffee
Although the first credible evidence of preparing and drinking coffee comes from the 15th century, the roots of this magical bean may stretch back even further. According to legend, the origin of coffee can be traced back to 850 AD and a goat herder from Ethiopia by the name of Kaldi. Many centuries ago, Kaldi observed the odd and unusual behavior of his goats after they had ingested the fruit of the coffee shrub. His goats seemed to be having a ball as they bounced, jumped, and danced around. It is said that Kaldi sampled the substance himself and received a burst of energy, so he reported his findings to the local monastery. Disapproving of its use, the monks discarded the devilish fruit into a fire, but the enticing aroma that resulted convinced them to retrieve the roasted beans from the fire and dissolved them in hot water. As the story goes, the original cup of coffee was born. So, the next time you take a cup in hand, give thanks to Kaldi and his hyperactive goats.