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Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Coffee

  1. Science confirms: the more coffee you drink, the longer you will live! – Did you know that coffee is a major source of antioxidants?  There are also major studies that show coffee drinkers have a lower risk of dying from total and cause specific mortality.  A study in the New England Journal of Medicine states, “… after adjustment for tobacco-smoking status and other potential confounders, there was a significant inverse association between coffee consumption and mortality.”  I love this image from AuthorityNutrition.com:
    From the looks of it, the magic number of cups a day is 4-5 for both men and women. 🙂
  2. Lighter roasted coffee has more caffeine that darker roasted coffee – According to Wikipedia (and other sites as well), Caffeine diminishes with increased roasting level: light roast – 1.37%, medium roast – 1.31%, and dark roast – 1.31%.
  3. Coffee is a fruit!  That is right, it is not really a bean, it is a fruit.  What we call coffee beans are actually seeds of this fruit that somewhat resembles a cherry.  Among other things, the seeds are separated from the fruit, and the seeds are dried, which gives us what is known as a green coffee bean.  Now, the next time someone says you have had too much coffee, just remind them that you are getting your daily fruit intake.
  4. You can thank coffee for the webcam.  No, coffee didn’t invent the webcam, but an empty coffee pot (the Trojan Room Coffee Pot) inspired it. Coffee drinkers at the University of Cambridge were tired of walking to the coffee pot to only find it empty, so the webcam was invented to monitor the coffee pot.
  5. Civet Coffee has been called the most expensive coffee in the world.  At $700 a liter, that is not hard to believe.  It is not a type of coffee though, but instead it is coffee that has been specially processed.  Civet coffee is made from coffee beans that have been eaten and excreted by the Asian Palm Civet, a wild cat from southeast Asia.  Yes, you read right.  People actually pay for coffee that comes from beans dug out from the dung of a cat.  SIGH.  No thank you.
  6. Apparently it is just a rumor that Civet Coffee is the most expensive.  Black Ivory Coffee actually takes the award.  It is not fished out of cat dung, but instead, it is fished out of elephant dung!  EWWWW!  Get this: it sells for $1100 a liter!  Again, SIGH.  No thank you.
  7. Over 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed in the world every day.  Just for comparison’s sake, there are 12.7 billion cups of oil consumed in the US daily (18.89 million barrels a day x 672 (the number of cups in a barrel)).  That means coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world, behind oil.
  8. Coffee can protect against Alzheimer’s and Type 2 Diabetes.  Like I need another excuse to drink a cup!
  9. You may have heard of The Bible Belt, but did you know there is a Bean Belt?  All of the world’s coffee is grown between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, otherwise known as the Bean Belt.
  10. Though coffee snobs, of which I am one, mostly think of the region that the bean comes from, there is another consideration.  The type of bean.  Most coffee sold is Arabica, but there is another common bean: Robusta.  According to www.thekitchn.com, Arabica tends , “to have a sweeter, softer taste, with tones of sugar, fruit, and berries.”  Robusta has, on the other hand, ” [a] stronger, harsher taste, with a grain-like overtone and peanutty aftertaste.”  Oh, and Robusta has twice the caffeine.  Even so, I, for one, prefer Arabica.

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