STOKES BLOG Do you know your coffee facts?

We love some good fact-finding here at Stokes, so we’re giving you some big coffee facts to keep you on your toes – did you know…

  • In the last 200 years, researchers into the origins of coffee have come to some curious conclusions. One writer believes that coffee existed in the time of Homer, and that it was the ‘wondrous drink’ that Helen took with her from Sparta to Troy.
  • There are many different species of coffee, but they can be small shrubs or tall trees more than 32 feet high.
  • Most species of coffee plant will die if the temperature falls below freezing.
  • The coffee business is the second most valuable on earth after oil.
  • Over 6 million tons of coffee are produced every year from origins all over the world.
  • In 1675, the King of England banned coffee houses, claiming they were places where people met to conspire against him.
  • George Washington invented instant coffee (no, not that George Washington). A Belgian man living in Guatemala – by the name of George Washington – invented it in 1906.
  • The term ‘Americano’ comes from American GIs who served in the Second World War. They would order espresso with water to dilute the strong flavour. Furthermore, the term ‘cup of Joe’ comes from the fact that GI Joes at the time were seen as big coffee drinkers.
  • A French doctor in the 1600s suggested cafe au laits for patients, which inspired people to start adding milk to their coffee.
  • In the ancient Arab culture, there was only one way a woman could divorce her husband, and that was if he didn’t provide enough coffee.
  • Johan Sebastian Bach wrote an opera about a woman who was addicted to coffee.
  • To make a roasted pound of coffee it takes around 2,000 Arabica coffee cherries. With two beans per cherry – this means around 4,000 beans are in a single pound of coffee.
  • It takes 42 coffee beans to make an espresso.
  • When shopping for perfume, beauty experts advise you to take some coffee beans with you in your bag and have a good sniff in between smelling each perfume to refresh your nose! Now there’s a sweet-smelling coffee fact.
  • Voltaire loved coffee, and made his way through 50 or so cups every day. So, the next time somebody says that coffee is bad for you, point out that in an era when medical experts still turned at times to bleeding, or even a leech or two, Voltaire managed to live to the ripe old age of 83. Not that we would recommend that you follow his example to the cup… 49 is a much more sensible number.
  • During the eighteenth century, coffee houses were often referred to as ‘penny universities’. Instead of paying for drinks, people were charged a penny to enter a coffee house. In a society that attached enormous importance to class and economic status, the coffeehouses were unique. People from all levels of society could come inside and talk as equals. Once inside, the patron had access to coffee, the company of others, intelligent discussions, pamphlets, bulletins, newspapers and the latest news and gossip. And students, it seems, often spent a great deal more time there than at their real universities!
  • Coffee is a fascinating thing, but you know that already… are you a coffee expert? Next time you’re in one of our cafés tell us your favourite coffee facts, we’d love to hear something new.