Coffee seems like a straightforward and humble drink, but with such a rich history and so many cultures that can’t seem to live without it.
There’s so much more to this beverage than you may realize. From interesting inventions, historical hijinks, and fun facts, there’s a lot to explore when it comes to coffee.
Read on and see how many of these amazing facts about coffee you’ve never heard before!
40 Fascinating Facts About Coffee
We have put tone of time and research into these 40 fascinating facts about coffee and we hope you find them as interesting and fun to read as we did researching them!
1. There Have Been Several Government Attempts to Outlaw Coffee
Coffee has been banned several times throughout history, usually due to fears that it would lead to unrest or political dissent. In 1674, for example, the Sultan of Syria outlawed coffee after he heard that people were using it to stay up all night and plot against him.
In the early 1600s, coffee was banned in England because it was thought to be “un-Christian”. And in 1746, the city of Venice banned coffee houses after they became hotbeds of political debate.
So next time you’re enjoying a cup of coffee, spare a thought for all the people who had to fight for your right to do so.
2. Coffee “Beans” Are Actually Berries
If you’ve ever wondered why coffee is called “beans,” the answer may surprise you— coffee beans are actually fruit pits.
That’s right, coffee beans are not beans at all. The coffee fruit is a red or purple berry that grows on bushes in tropical climates.
Inside the coffee fruit is a pit, and it’s this pit that we know as a coffee bean. The next time you’re sipping on a cup of joe, remember that you’re actually drinking fruit juice!
3. Coffee Is Actually Most Effective In the Late Morning
If you’re feeling sluggish in the morning, don’t reach for a cup of coffee right away. Coffee is actually most effective in the late morning, according to a new study.
The study found that coffee is most effective at improving cognitive performance when it is consumed three to four hours after waking up, which is between 10 am and noon for many people.
This is because your body is already producing cortisol to wake yourself up, so coffee is most effective after the cortisol wears off.
4. Decaf Coffee Powers the Soda Industry
Ever wonder what happens to the caffeine after coffee beans are put through the decaffeination process?
Turns out that caffeine is used by major beverage companies like Pepsi-Cola and Coke to add to their sodas.
While decaf coffee is being made, the caffeine is extracted from the coffee beans and refined into a concentrated powder that is then sold on to soda companies.
5. Finland Drinks the Most Coffee Per Capita of Any Country In the World
If you’ve ever been to Finland, you know that the Finnish people love their coffee. In fact, they drink more coffee per capita than any other country in the world.
So what’s the secret to Finland’s coffee success? We’re not quite sure, but we suspect it has something to do with the fact that the country is always cold and dark.
And what’s the best way to warm up on a cold day? With a hot cup of coffee, of course!
Want to know which Countries drink the most coffee?
Head over to our new guide where we share the surprising stats that uncover the 50 Countries that drink the most coffee…
6. The First Ever Webcam Was Invented Because Of An Empty Coffee Pot
In 1991, a team of scientists at Cambridge University developed a way to monitor the coffee pot in their office so they would know when it was time to make a fresh pot.
And thus, the webcam was born. Today, there are millions of webcams in use all over the world. And while most of them are used for things like video conferencing and security, there are also plenty of people who use them for more creative purposes. But it all started with a pot of coffee!
7. Decaf Does Not Always Mean Caffeine-Free
Coffee lovers beware: Just because a coffee is labeled as decaf doesn’t necessarily mean it’s caffeine-free. In fact, there can be quite a bit of variation in the caffeine content of decaf coffees.
This is because the decaffeination process is not 100% effective. Some of the caffeine always remains in the coffee, even after it has been decaffeinated.
The amount of caffeine that remains depends on the type of decaffeination process used and the quality of the coffee beans. So if you’re trying to avoid caffeine, be sure to check the label carefully.
8. Brazil Is the World’s Largest Coffee Producer
Coffee is one of the world’s most popular beverages, and Brazil is the world’s largest coffee producer. In fact, Brazil produces so much coffee that it’s sometimes called “the coffee capital of the world.”
But what makes Brazil such a great place for coffee production? There are a few factors, including the country’s climate and soil.
But all that coffee comes at a price – the country’s coffee farmers have to contend with fierce competition from other countries, volatile prices, and unpredictable weather.
9. Caffeine Naps Are an Effective Way to Stay Alert
We all know how tough it is to stay awake during those long meetings or lectures. But did you know that there’s a secret weapon that can help you fight off the sleepies? Caffeine naps!
To properly take a “caffeine nap”, drink a small cup of coffee and then immediately lay down for a 20-minute nap.
The caffeine will kick in right as you wake up from your nap, and you’ll be feeling refreshed and ready to go. So next time you’re struggling to stay awake, try a caffeine nap and see how it goes.
10. Coffee Has Varying Effects On Your Mental Health
A recent study by Dr. Alan Leviton of Harvard University has shown that the caffeine in coffee can be a powerful treatment for depression.
But there are two sides to this coin—too much caffeine can increase anxiety and cause insomnia, which can lead to a decline in mental health.
So be sure to strike a balance with your caffeine intake. A cup or two in the morning is fine, but don’t overdo it!
11. There’s a Volkswagen Car That Runs On Coffee
If this story sounds too good to be true, it gets even better—it was called the “Carpuccino”! In 2010, a 1988 Volkswagen Scirocco was converted to run on waste coffee grounds.
It used up about 56 cups of coffee per mile, and was able to make a 200-mile trip on coffee alone.
So we’re not anywhere near the point where we can run our cars on coffee, but it’s a great start towards a more sustainable future!
12. South Korea Holds the World Record for the Largest Iced Coffee
Many countries claim to love coffee, but South Koreans certainly proved it when they got into the Guinness Book of World Records for the Largest Iced Coffee!
In 2014, a coffee shop called Caffé Bene located in Yangju, South Korea built a giant iced coffee cup that can hold a whopping 14,228.1 liters of coffee (that’s over 3,700 US gallons!).
The cup measured 3.3 meters tall and 2.62 meters wide, and it was filled with iced Americano.
13. Americans Spend About $1100 Per Person On Coffee Every Year
It’s no secret that Americans love their coffee. In fact, we spend about $1100 per person on coffee every year.
That’s a lot of money for something that most of us could make at home for a fraction of the cost.
But why do we spend so much on coffee? Is it because we need caffeine to function? Or is it because we just can’t help but indulge in a delicious iced coffee on a hot summer day?
Whatever the reason, it’s clear that we Americans love our coffee. And we’re not alone – coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world.
14. According to Legend, Coffee Was Discovered by Goats
The story goes that a goat herder in Ethiopia noticed that his goats were acting strangely after eating the berries from a certain type of bush.
They were more energetic and alert than usual, so he decided to try the berries himself. And the rest, as they say, is history.
And while there’s little to no evidence that this story is true, it’s a fun way to think about how coffee came to be.
So the next time you’re enjoying a cup of coffee, remember the goats and their contribution to your morning pick-me-up.
If you want to learn all about the history of coffee in under 5 minutes then head over to our History Of Coffee Post Here…
15. Coffee Is the 2nd Largest Traded Product In the World
To say that people drink a lot of coffee is a bit of an understatement. In fact, coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world, behind only crude oil.
It’s estimated that over 500 billion cups of coffee are consumed each year., and the coffee industry as a whole is worth over $100 billion. That’s a lot of coffee!
16. Coffee Stays Warm for Longer If You Add a Bit of Cream to It
Are you tired of your coffee getting cold before you can finish it? If so, then you need to add a bit of cream to your coffee.
This may sound counterintuitive, but cream can actually help to insulate your coffee and keep it warm for longer, so you can enjoy your coffee at just the right temperature.
Of course, you don’t want to add too much cream, or you’ll end up with a coffee that’s too rich and creamy. Just a small amount will do the trick.
17. More Than Half of Americans Drink Coffee Every Day
Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, and it’s no surprise that so many Americans start their day with a cup of joe.
This is according to a new study by the National Coffee Association, which found that more than half of Americans drink coffee every day.
The study also found that coffee consumption is on the rise, with more people drinking it than ever before.
18. A Single Coffee Bean Requires 37 Gallons of Water to Grow
People around the world consume more than 500 billion cups of coffee each year. That means that the coffee industry uses a lot of water – about 9.5 trillion gallons per year.
And it takes over 37 gallons of water just to grow one coffee bean! Of course, this all depends on where the coffee bean is grown.
If it’s grown in a water-rich area, then it won’t require as much water to grow. But in a water-poor area, that coffee bean is going to need a lot of H2O to reach its full potential.
19. A Cup of Drip Coffee Contains More Caffeine Than an Espresso shot
A cup of drip coffee can contain anywhere from 95-200mg of caffeine, while an espresso shot usually has around 60-80mg of caffeine.
While espresso has more caffeine than standard coffee by weight, espresso is usually served in small 2-ounce shots, while drip coffee is generally served at 8-12 cups.
But don’t worry, espresso is still a great way to get your caffeine fix. You’ll just need a double shot to get the same amount of caffeine or more as a regular drip coffee.
So if you’re looking for a quick pick-me-up, an espresso is a perfect choice.
20. Hawaii and California Are the Only American States That Produce Coffee
That’s right – if you want to get your hands on some American-grown coffee, you’ll have to get it from Hawaii or California.
These two states are the only ones in the country that produce coffee because most of the country’s climate is too temperate for tropical coffee plants.
Hawaii is known for its Kona coffee, and California’s coffee scene is just starting to make a splash in the industry.
So if you’re looking for a truly American cup of coffee, you know where to go.
21. Light Roast Coffee Contains Slightly More Caffeine Than Dark Roast
Sure, coffee is usually loaded with caffeine no matter which kind you get, did you know that the type of coffee you drink and the roast level of the beans can affect the amount of caffeine you’re getting? It’s true!
Light roast coffee contains slightly more caffeine than dark roast. Of course, other factors affect the caffeine content of coffee, such as the type of bean and the brewing method.
But if you’re looking for the coffee with the most caffeine, a light roast is your best bet.
22. The Shape of Your Coffee Cup Affects the Taste
We all know things like roast level, brewing method, and water temperature can affect the taste of your coffee, but did you know that the shape of your coffee cup can actually change the way your coffee tastes?
Cups with a narrower shape create a sweeter taste, while wider cups are associated with a more bitter taste. So, the best shape for your coffee cup is the one that you think gives you the best results.
23. Coffeehouses are Breeding Grounds for Revolutions
There has long been a link between coffeehouses and progressive political movements throughout Europe and beyond, much to the irritation of the ruling classes.
In the 17th century, Englishman Richard Steele described the use of coffeehouses as: “…deposing princes, settling the bounds of kingdoms, and balancing the power of Europe with great justice and impartiality”.
24. The World’s Most Expensive Coffee Is $500 a Pound
We all love to get a good bargain on our coffee beans, but if you’re really looking to splurge, check out this luxury coffee! It’s called Black Ivory Coffee, and it’s processed in Surin, Thailand.
What makes this coffee so special? The beans are eaten, digested, and then “deposited” by elephants!
After the elephants have processed the beans, they’re hand-picked, cleaned, raked, and dried, before being taken to roast.
Since there’s only a very small amount of these beans at any one time, the coffee is some of the pricest in the world!
25. Coffee Beans Can be Eaten As a Food, Too
Yep, coffee isn’t just for drinking; you can also eat the beans! However, just because you can eat coffee beans, doesn’t necessarily mean you want to.
Raw, unprocessed coffee berries are safe to eat in reasonable quantities, but they don’t have a particularly delicious taste or texture.
However, one popular way to eat coffee beans is to eat them roasted and covered in chocolate. It’s a delicious and caffeinated snack when you’re in the mood for your coffee fix!
26. President Teddy Roosevelt May be Responsible for Maxwell House’s Slogan
While it’s unlikely that the president actually coined the popular slogan, “good to the last drop”, Teddy Roosevelt’s visit to Nashville, Tennessee in 1907 and his stay at the Maxwell House Hotel were aggressively used in marketing campaigns since.
It’s alleged that he did sip a cup of coffee and declare, “This is the kind of stuff I like to drink, by George, when I hunt bears,” according to a Banner article of at the time.
Whatever the truth, it’s true that Roosvelt’s fateful visit to the hotel was a key feature in Maxwell House marketing for years to come.
27. Drinking Coffee May Help to Decrease Muscle Pain
It’s true; if you’re looking to decrease post-workout pain, coffee may be your best bet. According to a University of Georgia study, caffeine may actually cut post-workout pain by up to 50%!
This is good news for anyone looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle, especially if muscle pain and soreness may discourage you from exercising.
Try it for yourself— see if a cup or two of coffee before your next workout helps you get through it pain-free!
28. Coffee Didn’t Become Popular In America Until After the Boston Tea Party
It may seem hard to believe, but Americans didn’t always have the love for coffee that they do today.
In the early days of the country, back when it was still made up of British colonies, tea was the beverage of choice. But that changed after the Boston Tea Party, when Massachusetts citizens protested British taxes by dumping tea into the Boston Harbor.
After that, drinking coffee became a political statement in support of independence, and the American love of coffee was born!
29. Coffee Wasn’t Always “Coffee”
In fact, around the world, there are many different names for the beverage, and the word “coffee” has roots in other languages all over the globe.
In Yemen, coffee was called qahwa, which was a term originally used for wine. Later, the term evolved into the Turkish word kahveh, then as coffee became more popular in Europe, the Dutch called it koffie.
The word “coffee” finally entered the English language around the 16th century.
30. You Actually Can Overdose On Coffee
There are many coffee lovers out there that wish they could inject coffee straight into their veins, but it’s important to know that you really can overdose on too much coffee.
So how much coffee is enough to overdose on? According to the Cleveland Clinic, a healthy adult should consume under 400 milligrams of caffeine per day.
Anything more than that can lead to serious health complications.
31. Johann Sebastian Bach Composed a Musical Piece About Coffee
During the middle part of his career when he was serving as a Cantor of Saint Thomas Church in Leipzig, Germany, Bach composed a musical piece where coffee plays a major role.
The original name of the piece is Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht (which literally translates to “be still, stop chattering”), but the piece is better known as the Coffee Cantata.
It’s essentially a short comedic opera about a father who is annoyed with his daughter, who he believes consumes too much coffee.
32. Before Coffee, Beer Was a Popular Morning Beverage
Coffee wasn’t always the morning beverage of choice, especially not in many European countries.
Back when safe drinking water was not as common to get as it is now, beer was the most popular beverage to get people going in the mornings.
It may sound strange now, but it’s true! The beer at the time had a much lower alcohol volume percentage, about 2.8%, which generally wasn’t enough to get people drunk.
Coffee replaced this habit in the 16th century, as coffeehouses all across Europe sprang up.
33. Every Day, People Drink About 2 Billion Cups of Coffee Worldwide
Coffee has long been one of the most popular beverages in the world, but just how popular is it? It may seem hard to believe, but the world has a serious love of coffee.
In total, it’s estimated that over 2 billion cups of coffee are drunk per year! And while the kind of coffee may differ between countries and personal tastes, we’re sure that this worldwide coffee addiction isn’t going away anytime soon!
34. The Most Popular Coffee Drink In the U.S. Is a Simple Latte
With all the coffee beverage options out there, you may be surprised to learn that the latte is actually by far the most popular in the United States.
According to a survey run by the Specialty Coffee Associationbetween June 2017 and June 2018, Americans bought lattes more than any other coffee beverage, and they bought over 67 million of them! That’s a lot of lattes!
35. The “Oldest Cat Ever” Drank Coffee Every Day
The “oldest cat ever” was a cat named Creme Puff who was born in 1967 and lived to be 38 years old.
Creme Puff’s owner, Jake Perry, fed his cat a diet of fresh liver, bacon, broccoli, and eggs, and Creme Puff also enjoyed a daily cup of coffee.
It’s been speculated that the caffeine intake helped the cat live longer than the average 14-20 year feline lifespan.
And funnily enough, Creme Puff is the second cat owned by Jake to break the Oldest Cat Ever record—the other was in 1998 with his furry friend named Granpa Rexs Allan.
36. You Can Bathe In Coffee at a Japanese Spa
Looking to relax and rejuvenate? Then you might want to consider visiting a Japanese coffee spa, where you can bathe in coffee.
The Hakone Kowakien Yunessun Spa, located in the Ashigarashimo District, uses coffee to help people relax and rejuvenate along with a number of other benefits.
Coffee baths are said to improve circulation, help with cellulite, and even give your skin a healthy glow. And if you’re a coffee lover, then this is definitely the ultimate way to relax.
37. The CIA Headquarters Has Its Own Starbucks Location
You might think that the CIA is all about secrecy and covert operations. But did you know that the CIA also has its own Starbucks location?
And it’s not just any Starbucks – it’s a top-secret Starbucks, affectionately known as “Stealthy Starbucks“.
The coffee shop is located in the lobby of the CIA Headquarters and is only accessible to employees and visitors with top-level security clearance.
It’s a popular spot for interviews, meetings, and a small break from the demands of being a CIA operative.
38. Cappuccinos Are Named After Capuchin Friars
It’s true! Cappuccinos are named after Capuchin friars, who are members of a Franciscan order of monks dating back to 16th century Italy.
The friars wear brown robes with a hood in a color similar to the coffee drink. And the word ‘cappuccino’ actually comes from the Italian words for ‘little hood’ or literally, ‘small Capuchin’.
So next time you order a cappuccino, remember that you’re drinking a coffee that has a long and rich history.
Ever wondered exactly what the difference is between a cappuccino and a frappuccino? Check out this post where we share the many surprising differences between cappuccinos and frappuccinos…
39. Beethoven Loved Coffee—and He Had His Own Recipe
Beethoven was one of the greatest composers of all time—and he was also a big fan of coffee. In fact, he even had his own recipe for the perfect cup of coffee.
Beethoven’s coffee recipe called for exactly 60 beans per cup, which he would then grind himself. He would then add boiling water and let the coffee steep for 24 hours before drinking it.
So if you’re looking for a new way to make your coffee, why not try making it the Beethoven way? Just be prepared to grind a lot of beans.
40. Drinking Coffee Just Might Help You Live Longer
We all know that drinking coffee can help us wake up in the morning and get us through the day. But did you know that drinking coffee may also help you live longer?
That’s right – according to a recent study, people who drink coffee are less likely to die prematurely than those who don’t. So there you have it, coffee lovers!
Drinking coffee is not only delicious and energizing, but it may also help you stay alive for a longer period of time. So go ahead and enjoy that cup of joe guilt-free!
Who knew there was so much to learn about coffee? From new scientific discoveries linking coffee to our health to fascinating inventions utilizing coffee, it’s clear that there’s no end to the amazing things that coffee (and coffee lovers) can do!
How many of these facts did you know already? And which ones were new to you?