10 Facts About Coffee That May Make You Rethink Your Cuppa
If you thought your love for coffee was echoed around the world, you are only partially correct. While many prefer coffee as their daily wake-up cuppa, the world’s most consumed beverage, aside from water, is tea. So while that’s just one interesting fact about coffee, there are plenty more surprising things that may make you look at your coffee a little differently.
Bright Side loves its morning cup of comfort as much as you do, and scoured the internet to find some interesting tidbits about the world’s favorite bitter brew.
1. Taking painkillers with coffee improves its efficacy.
If you have ever managed to stave off a headache with a cup of coffee, you just used caffeine as an effective painkiller, something pharmaceutical companies do as well. If you note the ingredients of popular OTC painkillers, many of them may have caffeine as an ingredient because it increases the efficacy of these medicines by as much as 40%.
2. Finland consumes the most coffee in the world.
Brazil is the world’s largest coffee producer, followed by Vietnam and India. But when it comes to consumption, Finland is the world’s highest coffee drinker, with most Finnish consuming 12.5 kg (27.5 lbs) of coffee each annually. The only other nation to cross more than 10 kg (22 lbs) of coffee per year, is Sweden.
3. Coffee is ancient, and it was discovered by goats.
Legend has it that an Ethiopian goat herder, named Kaldi, discovered coffee when his goats ate berries from the tree and would not sleep at night. Kaldi told this to the abbot of the local monastery who also discovered its energetic properties and so the legend of coffee, and its cultivation. Historically, coffee cultivation and trade began on the Arabian Peninsula, sometime in the 15th century.
4. Many have tried to ban coffee, but failed.
Many leaders have tried to ban coffee many times, calling it rebellious to popular sentiment. It happened in the 16th century in Mecca and also in Italy, but there was always someone in power who loved coffee too much for it to be banned. Sweden also tried to ban it in the 18th century, but nothing worked, and coffee is here to stay.
5. You can overdose on caffeine.
A caffeine overdose is very, very rare, but it’s possible if enough caffeinated drinks are consumed in a short period, equivalent to 30 cups of coffee. That said, more than 400 mg of caffeine can cause jitters, insomnia, and even irritability. To take in that much, you’d need to drink between 4-8 cups of coffee, depending on the strength.
6. Decaf isn’t the same as caffeine-free.
You may love the taste of coffee more than the jolt, but the decaf coffee you prefer may still contain caffeine. On average, a decaffeinated cup of coffee still contains 7 mg of caffeine, as opposed to 70-140 mg of caffeine in a cup of normal coffee. So if you are allergic to caffeine or want to cut it out entirely from your diet, decaf isn’t the ideal, caffeine-free substitutes are.
7. The world’s most expensive coffee comes from poop.
The world’s most expensive coffee, Kopi Luwak, comes from coffee beans extracted from the Asian palm civet’s feces in Indonesia. The animal is partial to only the ripest of coffee berries and passes the partially digested and somewhat fermented beans in its poop, which is then collected, washed, roasted, and ground.
Sadly, while first, this used to be done in the wild, high demand ensures coffee plantations now keep these cat-like creatures in cages, and most do not follow proper animal safety or hygiene.
8. Drinking coffee can prolong your life.
Once, coffee was on the carcinogen list, and thought to cause cancer. Today, studies are proving that people with moderate coffee consumption, 1-4 cups a day, tend to have a longer lifespan. There’s also an 8-15% reduction in death risk, and other studies that prove coffee drinkers have better cardiovascular health.
9. Ground coffee has bugs.
All food that we consume is allowed by most food agencies, including the FDA, to have certain defects. According to the FDA bylaws, coffee powder is allowed to have 10 mg of insect parts or even animal poop or hair, per pound (450 g). About 4-6% of beans, by count, are also allowed to be infested or moldy.
10. Coffee can reduce your breast size.
If you want to reduce your breast size, coffee, or rather the caffeine in it, may be the way to go. A new study shows that caffeine may reduce breast size in women, and the more coffee consumed, the stronger the effect. But this is only true if you have a specific gene for it, so only certain women could reap this unexpected benefit.
Did this article make you reach for another cup of coffee, or aim to drop it entirely? What other coffee facts do you know?