Coffee – The weird and the wonderful

On September 30, 2012

There are loads and loads of web sites and books that list some of the interesting facts about coffee and the coffee house.

So, we’ve collated some of our favourites below and hope you enjoy.

  • Technically, or should we say botanically speaking coffee beans are not really beans at all, but berries.
  • Coffee is the most popular beverage in the world apart from water and has been consumed for over a thousand years.
  • The first commercial coffee house was opened in Damascus in Syria in the 16th Century.
  • Coffee is grown in over 50 countries of the world but is not grown anywhere in the USA.
  • Coffee is one of the most heavily traded products in the world, second only to oil.
  • In Turkey, husbands were once required during their wedding vows to promise always to provide their wives with coffee and failure to do so could be used as ‘grounds’ for divorce.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven was a big fan of coffee and it is said that he insisted that exactly 60 coffee beans were used to produce every cup he drank.
  • When serving coffee to guests, it is the custom that the oldest person sitting around a table is served first in Turkey and Greece.
  • Edward Lloyd started his coffeehouse in Tower Street in 1688. It later became the world famous Lloyds of London.
  • A coffee tree has a life expectancy of 70 years and it takes five years for a coffee tree to reach maturity.
  • The tradition of ‘tipping’ started in London coffee houses centuries ago. Boxes labelled “To Insure Promptness” were displayed in certain locations where patrons were encouraged insert cash to obtain a quicker service. The resulting acronym TIP has stuck ever since.
  • Soluble instant coffee was invented in 1906 by an Englishman, living in Guatemala who later moved to the USA. Interestingly his name was George Washington.
  • People from different parts of the world traditionally add different ingredients to enjoy their favourite drink. The Ethiopians add a pinch of salt, Moroccans’ add peppercorns, while the Mexicans add cinnamon. Drinkers in the Middle East enjoy the addition of cardamom and spices, whilst Austrians add whipped cream. Egyptian coffee drinkers like it strong and dark and rarely add cream or sugar.

Well, there you go. Interesting I am sure you will agree.

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