Is Eating Coffee Beans a Healthy Habit or a Harmful Hazard?

We all know that coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world. However, how many of us are aware of how people used to make use of the plant before they decided to brew it into a drink? Historical accounts tell us that by eating coffee beans (or the fruit), people in the past were able to experience the energizing effects of the plant.

ripe red coffee beans growing on a coffee plant

The History of Eating Coffee

The early history of coffee is an amalgamation of verifiable facts and debatable legends. However, one thing is certain, this plant – which is now cultivated globally – originated in tropical Africa. In fact, coffee’s native range in the past coincides with areas of modern-day Ethiopia.

One historical account states that Kaldi, an Ethiopian goat-herder, noticed that his animals were more energetic after eating a specific set of red berries. So, he tried the fruit for himself.

Ethiopian history also highlights the fact that eating coffee beans was a common practice among hunters. When they were hunting and tracking animals over several days, these hunters would snack on coffee to give themselves more energy and also suppress their hunger.

So, does all of this automatically mean that it’s safe to eat coffee beans? As we all know, there are many things that people used to make use of in the past that have now been deemed unsafe as more studies have been carried out. These range from heroin cough syrup to using lead-based paint in homes.

Does the same logic apply to the practice of eating coffee beans?

roasted coffee beans

So, Is Eating Coffee Beans Okay?

Short answer – yes.

Countless studies over the years have all come to the same conclusion; eating coffee beans is perfectly safe. Of course, like so many other things that can be eaten, moderation is necessary if you want to remain healthy.

A single cup of coffee is made using dozens of coffee beans. In fact, the renowned composer Beethoven would often make his cup of coffee with exactly 60 beans. While it is safe to drink multiple cups of coffee in a day, it isn’t recommended that you eat that same quantity of beans.

The Differences Between Drinking Coffee and Eating Coffee Beans

Taste and appearance aside, if you make juice from a fruit, it’s not going to have the same nutritional benefits that you would get if you just ate it. One difference is that most fruit juices don’t contain the fiber that the whole fruit would have.

Similarly, there are noticeable differences between drinking coffee and eating coffee beans. This ranges from nutritional differences to differences in taste.

What Taste Can You Expect If You Eat Coffee Beans?

The taste of your cup of coffee varies depending on what kind of beans you choose. So, if you’re going to be eating coffee beans, the overall taste is going to vary depending on the type of bean. However, there are some noteworthy constants.

If you bite into a green coffee bean, then you are going to be met with an exceptionally acidic taste and a woody or earthy flavor. Overall, this is going to be unpleasant for most people.

Compared to this, if the coffee beans are roasted, then there will be a significant decrease in the acidic taste but the flavor will still be relatively intense. The level or intensity of the roast will also obviously affect the taste when eating roasted coffee beans.

The most common way that coffee beans are eaten nowadays is when they are chocolate-covered. The taste is still noticeably stronger than a brewed cup of coffee; however, the chocolate does make the overall flavor more pleasant by offsetting the bitterness.

Is There a Noticeable Nutritional Difference?

There are clear cut nutritional differences if you compare drinking a cup of coffee to eating beans.

Firstly, eating coffee beans allows the caffeine’s effects to impact your body faster. This is primarily because it is being absorbed through the lining of the mouth.

In addition to this, some studies have highlighted that coffee beans contain a significant amount of antioxidants like chlorogenic acid. These antioxidants can decrease inflammation and reduce a person’s risk of diabetes.

Is There a Safe Limit When Eating Coffee Beans?

The amount of caffeine that a cup of coffee contains will vary from person to person and from cup to cup. However, the estimated average is somewhere between 80 mg and 100 mg.

Different beans also have varying caffeine contents but if you have a handful of a dozen coffee beans, then you’re most likely holding more caffeine than your average cup.

Both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) have listed 400 mg of caffeine as the recommended safe amount for adults on a daily basis.

There is an estimated 12 mg of caffeine in just a single chocolate-covered coffee bean. If we use the aforementioned 400 mg as a guideline, then just 33 chocolate-covered beans will give us that amount of caffeine.

Eating Coffee Beans: What are the Benefits and Dangers?

Eating coffee beans and drinking coffee share many of the same benefits and dangers. However, since the effects of the beans are more concentrated when eaten, several of these shared benefits and dangers are more intense.

Benefits

  • A faster rate of absorption.
  • Reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  • A great source of antioxidants (especially raw beans).
  • Reduces the risk of heart disease and brain disorders.

Dangers

  • Upset stomach and heartburn from increased levels of stomach acid.
  • Nausea, bloating, and diarrhea.
  • Disrupted sleep schedules.
  • Aggravated or intensified anxiety symptoms.

The Final Verdict

Go ahead and eat those coffee beans!

However, as mentioned before, it is necessary that you practice moderation. Coffee (and caffeine) has a wide range of benefits but eating or drinking too much can cause heath issues.

In addition to this, chocolate-covered beans may taste great but remember the chocolate also contains a significant amount of sugar and fat. Also, while coffee contains little to no calories, chocolate isn’t that lucky.

Jacqueline S.

Author at Caffeinefiend.co

Jacqueline is a trained teacher with almost two decades of teaching experience under her belt. However, her friends and family would tell you that her true passions are writing, DIY projects, eating good food, and of course, listening to “Weird Al” Yankovic.

Is Coffee Acidic? Here’s How It Compares To 8 Common Drinks

Is coffee acidic? Short answer – yes.

However, orange juice and some bottled water are acidic. So the real question should be – “How acidic is coffee?”

If you’ve ever read a coffee review then you’ve probably seen the author describe the acidity of the coffee by using a diverse selection of words. Sharp, fruity, lively, energetic, and tangy are just a few of these words.

However, if you’re new to the world of coffee, all of these varied descriptive words may seem confusing. After all, your chemistry teacher in high school never used “fruity” or “lively” when they were talking about hydrochloric acid.

What Does Acidity Mean in The Culinary World?

If you’re talking about the food in your kitchen or your talking about chemical compounds in a lab, the term acidity will generally have the same meaning. This is why substances like drain cleaner and battery acid can be ranked on the pH scale along with foods like tomatoes and coffee.

What Exactly Is The pH Scale?

This is a gradated scale that is used to classify just how basic or acidic a water soluble substance truly is.

The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14; with 0 being the highest acidic rank and 14 being the highest basic rank. With a pH of 7, pure water straddles the line between these two extremes.

So, Is Coffee Acidic?

No two types of coffee taste the same; that is one of the reasons why the coffee market is oversaturated with an innumerable amount of coffee varieties.

The acidity of coffee is also something that varies between both brews and beans. Still, if someone asks you “Is coffee acidic?”, you can just tell them that it has an average rank of 5 on the pH scale (more specifically between 4.85 and 5.13).

But What Makes Coffee Acidic?

A modest cup of black coffee may seem simple compared to the wide array of coffee concoctions that people have been creating over the years; however, on a chemical level it is actually relatively complex.

Even it its most basic form, brewed coffee is a complex mixture that is made up of over 800 compounds. More than a few of these compounds are acids, with the major ones being (from lowest to highest concentration):

  • Palmitic acid
  • Linoleic acid
  • Phosphoric acid
  • Malic acid
  • Lactic acid
  • Acetic acid
  • Citric acid
  • Quinic acid
  • Chlorogenic acid

Why Are Some Types of Coffee More Acidic Than Others?

There are several factors that contribute the overall acidity of a particular coffee bean.

Two of the primary factors are the species and variety (cultivar) of the coffee. Although there are well over 100 recorded species of the coffea plant, just two species make up the majority of the world’s coffee consumption. These two species are Arabica (Coffea arabica) and Robusta (Coffea canephora).

Arabica is considered by many to be more acidic. Also, the highest estimates state that Arabica makes up around 80% of the global coffee market.

Still, even specific varieties within these species have varying levels of acidity. This is a blend of both genetics and the overall growing conditions. Speaking of which…

Soil, Elevation, Climate and More

If you’re growing coffee, then you’re going to need some dirt to plant it in. However, did you know that the soil actually contributes to the taste of the coffee.

The soil in two different countries, cities, or gardens will have different levels of acidity. In addition to this, farmers and gardeners will often tweak the acidity of their soil to their liking.

Many coffee growers (like those in the Blue Mountains) will often boast about factors like elevation and climate. One of the main reasons why these two factors are something to brag about is because they mean the coffee is likely grown in a cooler temperature.

Coffee ripens slower when the temperature is colder and many experts agree that this produces more elaborate flavors. Coffee that is brewed from these beans also tends to be more acidic.

The Battle of Acidity – Coffee vs. Other Drinks

We’ve already established that coffee ranks at a 5 on the pH scale but in order to put this into perspective we need something to compare it to. Pure water is a 7 on the pH scale, which makes it neutral, so what about other beverages.

According to the American Dental Association (ADA) the pH of some common commercially available beverages are:

  1. Dr. Pepper – 2.88
  2. Sprite – 3.24
  3. Tomato Juice – 4.01
  4. Coca Cola – 2.37
  5. Lemon juice – 2.25
  6. Aquafina water – 6.11
  7. Pepsi – 2.39
  8. Gatorade Orange – 2.99
  9. Redbull – 3.43
  10. Starbucks Medium Roast – 5.11

Remember, a lower pH means higher acidity. For example, battery acid has a pH of around 0.7 and your stomach acid ranges from 1 pH to 2 pH.

Coffee’s pH of 5 seems tame in comparison to most of the beverages that are listed above. Instead of asking “Is coffee acidic?”, people should be asking about sodas, energy drinks, and even fruit juices.

How Can I Make My Coffee Less Acidic?

Remember when we said that factors like variety, soil, and temperature can affect a coffee’s acidity? Well, there are other factors that you can consider – both in the store and in your kitchen – if you want to make your cup of coffee less acidic.

Stop Grinding So Fine

Believe me, I understand the satisfaction that comes from having an even and fine grind. However, studies have shown that during the coffee brewing process, more acid is extracted if your grind is finer.

Brew Up Something Colder

If you’re a hot coffee fan that is concerned about acidity, it may be in your best interest to try and get a taste for cold-brewed coffee. This is because cold-brewed coffee has a significantly lower level of acidity compared to its hot counterpart.

Remember the Roast

When it comes to roasting, there are two factors to consider; the roasting temperature and the roasting duration. If you choose beans that have been roasted at hotter temperatures and for longer periods, then you’re going to have coffee that is less acidic.

Add Some Milk

Remember, most people aren’t simply drinking black coffee when they pour themselves a cup. BY adding milk or cream to your cup you are already altering the pH levels of your beverage – making it less acidic.

Jacqueline S.

Author at Caffeinefiend.co

Jacqueline is a trained teacher with almost two decades of teaching experience under her belt. However, her friends and family would tell you that her true passions are writing, DIY projects, eating good food, and of course, listening to “Weird Al” Yankovic.

Does Coffee Have Calories? Weight Watchers & Health Nuts Need to Know

If you want to lose a few pounds, should you cut coffee out of your diet? Does coffee have calories or is it the perfect beverage for a low-calorie regime?

I’m not ashamed to say that I drink more coffee than the rest of my friends. After all, I have some friends that never skip Taco Tuesday (or Taco Thursday) and some that have a talent of finding the perfect wine to pair with any dinner.

Whenever someone asks me if coffee is unhealthy, I present them with my cheeseburger analogy. Beef isn’t inherently bad for you (just don’t overindulge) but that cheeseburger is certainly not the healthiest thing on the menu.

So, does my overused analogy have a leg to stand on? Does coffee have calories? Is coffee good for you?

Let’s find out.

So, Does Coffee Have Calories?

First, let’s add a little perspective.

A can of soda can contain 150 calories or more. A medium chocolate milkshake from your favorite fast food chain can contain up to 380 calories.

If coffee does contain calories, how does it compare to these other beverages? Well, according to the USDA, a cup of black coffee that is brewed and prepared with only tap water contains only 2 calories, which is a negligible amount.

Maybe I was onto something with my cheeseburger analogy after all. Since once you start to add more things to the coffee – like sugar and milk – the caloric value skyrockets.

How Much Calories Are We Putting into Our Own Coffee?

Black coffee doesn’t have enough calories to make a dent in even the strictest of diets. However, what about other types of coffee?

If you add just a tablespoon of light coffee cream, then you are adding about 30 extra calories to your coffee. At just 20 calories, a tablespoon of half-and-half is a bit better. However, a tablespoon of heavy cream can add over 50 extra calories to your cup of coffee!

Just one tablespoon of sugar can have 48 calories or more. Honey may seem like a safer option at first glance; however, just one tablespoon of this sweet stuff contains approximately 64 calories!

So you see, if you drink black coffee then you don’t have to worry about calories – but the sweeter and creamier you make it, the more calories come into play.

How Much Calories Does Starbucks Coffee Have?

Starbucks – some coffee connoisseurs can easily go without purchasing a beverage from them, while other coffee lovers can’t get enough of the franchise’s tasty drinks. So, does coffee have calories – that put your home brew to shame – when it’s made at Starbucks?

Well, let’s start with the good. A Caffè Americano at Starbucks only has 15 calories – not bad, right? Well, the (Grande) Chai Crème Frappuccino ups the ante into the “bad” territory with a whopping 360 calories.

The Peppermint White Hot Chocolate may look pretty on the outside but it’s a strong contender for king of the “ugly” category, with a terrifying 520 calories!

That’s over 30 times more calories than the Americano and 260 times more calories than a cup of black coffee.

What’s Good About Coffee?

We’ve already established that black coffee doesn’t have a significant amount of calories. It’s the sweeteners and flavorings that add the add the calories.

In addition to this, coffee has negligible amounts of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. So, it’s not particularly filling unless you fill it up with stuff. However, coffee does contain small amount of some micronutrients.

100 ml (3.4 fl oz.) of black coffee contains:

Coffee Could Potentially Boost Your Metabolism

Caffeine is the primary active ingredient that is found in coffee. Although most of us commonly drink it to get a boost of energy or satisfy our cravings, studies have shown that caffeine can actually increase our metabolism.

However, it is worth mentioning that it would take significant amounts of caffeine to cause significant changes. This is why caffeine is only one of many compounds that is present in weight loss supplements.

Still, your daily cups of coffee could help you shed a pound or two if you aren’t filling them with tons of sweeteners. Once caveat that these studies did highlight is the fact that the effect that caffeine has on metabolism diminishes with higher weights. When obese people and lean people were compared, caffeine was shown to be almost three times less effective.

The Final Verdict

Does coffee have calories?

On its own, no. However, all of those sweeteners and flavorings that you or your favorite coffee shop are adding aren’t doing you any favors.

If caloric intake and weight gain are issues that you’re concerned about then don’t worry, you don’t have to go cold turkey from coffee. However, you should consider sticking to the stuff you make at home and using healthier sweeteners.

Jacqueline S.

Author at Caffeinefiend.co

Jacqueline is a trained teacher with almost two decades of teaching experience under her belt. However, her friends and family would tell you that her true passions are writing, DIY projects, eating good food, and of course, listening to “Weird Al” Yankovic.

Does Coffee Stunt Your Growth? Here’s What Science Says

Does Coffee Stunt Growth in Kids (or Teens)?

Adults drink coffee and kids drink hot chocolate; those were the rules when I was growing up. Even so, the amount of hot chocolate that my mom would drink during winter almost rivalled her coffee consumption. That still didn’t mean that her kids were allowed to break the rules.

One of the main reasons why I and so many other kids weren’t allowed to drink coffee was because it was believed that it could stunt our growth.

So, just how much truth is there to this claim? Does coffee stunt growth in kids?

Short answer: no.

Decades of research have been focused on this “fact” and the unanimous verdict is that it is false. So, how exactly did this urban myth get started?

Coffee, Caffeine, and Calcium

The main reason why this question – “does coffee stunt growth?” – sparked debates in the first place was because coffee contains caffeine. Early research, which was focused on the effects that caffeine had on the body, indicated that there was a direct relation between caffeine consumption and reduced calcium absorption.

As we’ve all learned from 6th grade science and TV commercials, calcium is necessary for the development of strong bones. However, if calcium is necessary for developing strong bones and caffeine reduces calcium absorption, then why is it okay for adults to drink coffee?

Caffeine’s Classification

You know what caffeine is, right? It’s the thing in coffee that wakes you up, keeps you alert, and gets you energized. Yet it isn’t only found in coffee – it can be found in soft drinks, energy drinks, chocolate, and even some teas.

Technically, caffeine is classified as a psychoactive drug (or psychoactive substance), since it alters brain function and can affect cognition and perception. Caffeine has some extremely notorious family members in the psychoactive substance household – like cocaine, MDMA, and heroin – but that doesn’t mean that it is inherently threatening.

Don’t just take my word for it. The much smarter brains at the US Food and Drug Administration have deemed it as GRAS (generally recognized as safe).

Baby Bones and an Adult Advantage

Well, if inadequate bone strength and density are the fears, then the fact that a child’s bones aren’t as fully developed as an adult’s would rationally validate those fears. We all know that the adult body has 206 bones (another bit of knowledge that we can thank 6th grade science for) but a baby’s body has almost 100 more bones. These bones develop rapidly as the years go by and many of them end up fusing together to form the 206 that we have as adults.

How Severely Does Caffeine Affect Calcium Absorption?

We know that a child’s bones are undergoing significant development and that calcium is important for this process – so how badly is caffeine affecting all of this?

Well, studies have shown that the effect that the average 6 oz. (180 ml) cup of coffee has on calcium absorption can be countered by just drinking 2 tablespoons of milk. That doesn’t mean that your kids should go and drink half dozen cups of coffee because they’ve drank a glass of milk beforehand.

There are still a few reasons why young kids should hold off from drinking coffee and maybe teenagers should practice some extra moderation.


Health Issues That Are Actually Related to Coffee

So, does coffee stunt growth? No.

Coffee isn’t just a tasty drink that keeps you awake, it actually does have a considerable amount of recorded benefits. However, there are a few health issues that you should be aware of before you give your kids free reign with your coffee maker.

Drinking Coffee Can Ultimately Disrupt Sleep Patterns

We’ve already touched on what caffeine – the active ingredient in coffee – does to your brain. It is a stimulant that wakes you up and energizes you. As an adult, if you drink a cup of coffee in the morning and then another one in the afternoon, it’s likely that you’ll still be able to sleep comfortably at bedtime.

Kids’ Bodies Are Still Learning How to Handle Caffeine

Results will differ if a young child or even a teenager consumes a considerable amount of caffeine (coffee, soft drinks, etc.) during the day. This is because caffeine stays in a child’s body much longer than it would in an adult’s. It takes their body longer to process it and so its effects take more time to wear off – leading to disrupted sleep patterns and sleep deprivation.

Sleep is Needed for Heart and Mind

Of course we don’t want our kids to be sleep deprived, since this can increase the risk of heart-related medical issues. In addition to this, a lack of sleep directly affects cognitive processes; like reasoning, attention, problem solving, and alertness.

Coffee Drinks Usually Have High Sugar Content

Unless you happen to give your kids black coffee and they absolutely love it – which is extremely unlikely – chances are that they would opt for something with more sweetness. Chances are that they would not have to look far, since you’re bound to have sugar or another sweetener in your cupboard. In addition to this, we all know that Starbucks isn’t planning to cut sugar from their drinks anytime soon.

How Sweet Should Kids Be?

By now, we all know the dangers of consuming too much sugar. Heart disease, obesity, and diabetes, are just a few of the friends that oftentimes follow closely behind sugar. In fact, the American Heart Association strongly recommends that a child’s added sugar intake should not exceed 6 teaspoons each day.


The Verdict

The answer was right there from the get-go. Does coffee stunt growth in kids? No.

However, there are still several other reasons why you should probably hold off on giving your kids free reign to drink as much coffee (and other caffeinated beverages) as they please. Coffee won’t be weakening their bones but an overindulgence just might weaken their mind, their heart, and their body.

Jacqueline S.

Author at Caffeinefiend.co

Jacqueline is a trained teacher with almost two decades of teaching experience under her belt. However, her friends and family would tell you that her true passions are writing, DIY projects, eating good food, and of course, listening to “Weird Al” Yankovic.

Coffee Memes: The Ultimate Collection [40+ MEMES]

If you’re on this page it’s because you love the coffee and love the internet. Nowhere do both of those topics intersect more beautifully than in a meme. Able to adequately and humorously describe a particular situation absolutely perfectly, memes have become one of the fastest ways in which we share information.

So with that in mind, we’ve scoured the internet and put together a list of some of the best coffee memes and caffeine-packed lulz we could find.

funny coffee summoning meme

How to Summon Me on A Monday Morning

Tears, blood, sweat, and lots of caffeine. Combine them and say the magic incantation to get me out of bed.

bulletproof fusion coffee meme

Fusssssionnnnn – HA

Butter and coffee make for a super-saiyan strong cup of Joe.

when you have coffee for the first time

So That’s Coffee

Ah coffee… I remember my first time. My parents always warned me that it would keep me awake at night, little did I know how strong the effects would be.

grumpy cat coffee meme

Don’t Talk to Me Until I’ve Had my Morning Coffee…

You ever have those days where you need at least three cups of coffee before you can even string together a couple of syllables? We call them weekdays…

I’m Worried That If I Ever Give Up Coffee I’ll Take Up Murder

Yikes. Thank God for caffeine and its restraints!

How Does Moses Make His Coffee? Hebrews It.

Proof that coffee is a miracle. Even Moses makes his coffee the old fashioned way.

You’re Talking to Me Before I’ve Had my Coffee…

Some people enjoy taking risks, like speaking to someone before they’re ready to deal with the world and have had their first or fifth cup of coffee.

A New Study Links Drinking More Coffee to a Longer Lifespan

If overpopulation wasn’t a problem it’s definitely going to be one now, especially as the number of coffee drinkers all over the world continues.

All That Is Keeping Me From Killing You Is My Coffee

Coffee might be the only thing keeping a lot of people from going to jail sometimes.

I Need Coffee… NOW

No explanation needed. We feel you, little guy.

Star wars coffee meme

Help Me, Caffeine… You’re My Only Hope

Sorry they turned you into a coffee meme, Princess Leia

The Coffee’s Done!

Praise the Lord, Jesus, Odin, Thor and every other known God in the universe – it’s coffee time!

First I Drink the Coffee

Ah coffee, the precursor to doing… well, anything and everything.

What Do You Mean There’s No Coffee?

Here’s Johnny… with the bad news. No coffee today!

Coffee… Because Crack is Bad For You

Honestly why would anyone ever considering doing harder drugs when you can buy coffee at any grocery store worth its salt?

How Coffee Makes Me Feel

Coffee, the great revivor. Bringing people back from the dead for the last two thousand years.

I Drink a Ton of Water

Two litres a day keeps the doctor away!

Coffee – I think It’s Kicking In

Sometimes it hits you hard.

No Speaking

The first thirty minutes after waking should be quiet time by law… or at least until the first cup of coffee has been ingested.

Do You Need Coffee?

The first algorithmic coffee meme on this list.

Listen, Before I Had My Coffee…

Coffee, the drink with the power to take days from 0 to 100 almost instantly.

Drink Coffee, Do Stupid Things

Riding that shopping cart down the hill never seemed like such a great idea until after espressos.

The First Sip…

There’s nothing as satisfying as that first sip of coffee to help you face the onslaught of a Monday Morning.

The Benefits of Drinking Coffee

Honestly is there anything coffee can’t do?

Coffee Doesn’t Ask Stupid Questions

Coffee is always there for you no matter what the situation.

There’s a Time and a Place for Decaf Coffee

Trust people who order decaf about as far as you can sling a piano.

I Don’t Drink Coffee to Wake Up

Whatever your reasons for waking up, coffee is always there for you.

Not the Coffee!

Withholding coffee from someone who needs it amounts to abuse.

They May Take Away My –

We will defend our coffee to the death!

Coffee: Because Anger Management is too Expensive

Where needs therapy when a hot americano is waiting for you every morning?

A Poem for Mornings

Roses are red.

Yearnings are silent.

Get me my coffee.

Or I might get violent.

Still Not Enough

Can we get some bigger cups over here, please?

When That First Cup of Coffee Touches Your Soul

Gentler than the caress of an angel.

Decaf Coffee?

It’s like normal coffee but without the joy.

Decaf – The Taste of Betrayal

Serve hot and to your enemies… and in-laws.

Before Coffee – After Coffee

From the ugly duckling to beautiful swan in just one cup of pour over.

Half the Day I Wonder

Can we not meet half way and just drink espresso martinis for lunch?

How Do I Take my Coffee?

Coffee is no joke.

A Day May Come

That day is far on the horizon.

Coffee – I Need More Coffee!

Maybe the Grinch just always drank decaf?

I Didn’t Choose the Mug Life

East side? West side? Mug side.

Only One Cup Please

This should be the standard size on offer at all cafes.

I Don’t Really Have a Plan

The only plan I have revolves around getting my morning coffee, after that I’m completely lost.

Martin Stokes

Martin Stokes

novelthings

Martin Stokes hails from Johannesburg, South Africa. He enjoys writing about all manner of things and can quote lines from films like nobody’s business. He moved to Berlin in 2015 and is working tirelessly at broadening his repertoire of bad jokes.

Coffee Research: 72 Facts and Figures About Coffee [Updated 2019]

We put our heads together and collectively pooled our caffeined knowledge in order to spill the beans about some of the most interesting coffee facts around the world. We searched far and near, scoured countless websites and books, and watched at least two YouTube videos to bring you the exhaustible list you’re about to read.

So grind those beans and turn on the kettle, you’re going to need something hot, strong and caffeinated for this long list of coffee facts and figures.

General Coffee facts

General Coffee Facts

  • Coffee wasn’t always consumed as a beverage. In fact, according to some historians, the first tribes to consume coffee ground the berries together, added animal fat and chewed on them for energy. 
  • Instant coffee has been around for as long as 250 years. The first instant coffee showed up in England around 1771, but wouldn’t be patented in the US until over 130 years later.
  • There have been several attempts to ban coffee as a beverage. Apparently it encouraged “radical thinking” and in 1746 Sweden outlawed by coffee and coffee paraphernalia such as mugs and saucers.
  • The Guiness World Record for the oldest cat alive is held by a 38-year-old kitty called Creme Puff. It’s long life is attributed to coffee as it drank some every morning of its life (the cat that Creme Puff beat was 34 years old and had the same owner and diet).
  • The world’s most expensive coffee is made from animal poop. Kopi Luwak is harvested from the droppings of a small Indonesian weasel after it eats and digests coffee berries. 
  • Caffeine can kill you – although you would need as much as 70 cups of coffee drunk in quick succession in order to kill someone weighing around 150 pounds.
  • In 1932 Brazil couldn’t afford to send its athletes to Los Angeles to compete in the Olympics. The team loaded its ship with coffee and sold it along the way to pay for their journey.
  • Coffee companies that produce decaffeinated coffee don’t just get rid of the excess caffeine – they sell it on to soda companies that use it as a main ingredient in their drinks. 

The Property of Coffee

Coffee Facts about the property of coffee
  • Coffee beans are technically seeds, but are most people call them beans because of their likeness to legumes.
  • There are two main types of coffee – Arabica and Robusta. Arabica accounts for around 60% of global coffee production with Robusta making up the other 40%.
  • Coffee grounds are powerful exfoliators that can lift dead skin and make skin appear clearer and brighter. It’s for this reason that they’re used in multiple different skin products.
  • Coffee is one of the world’s most powerful antioxidants, and has an antioxidant capacity ten times the amount of similar beverages such as tea.
  • Coffee’s original name came from the Yemeni word for wine. In Turkey the word was “kahveh” which the Dutch translated to Koffie. It was from this word that the word “Coffee” was derived.
  • 100g of coffee contains about 40mg of caffeine, and the average caffeine content of an 8-oz cup of coffee is around 95 mg.
  • Widely known for its many health benefits, coffee may help curb certain cancers such as liver, colon, breast, prostate and rectal cancers.
  • Depending on the variety, it will take approximately three to four years for a newly grown coffee plant to bear fruit. 

Coffee and Health

  • Coffee is full of caffeine – a stimulant which increases alertness and staves of mental and physical fatigue.
  • Not just used for staying up late and cramming for exams the next day, coffee is also used to medically to prevent Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and cognitive decline.
  • Due to coffee’s high caffeine content, it’s also used as a fat burner. Caffeine can boost your body’s metabolic rate, making coffee one of the few natural fat burners available.
  • Coffee increases your physical performance by stimulating your nervous system, increases adrenaline levels in the blood, and breaking down fat to use as fuel.
  • A single cup of coffee contains essential nutrients such as vitamin B2, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, magnesium and potassium.
  • Coffee can help stave off a condition called cirrhosis, where the liver is largely replaced by scar tissue. It was found that people who drink 4 or more cups of coffee a day have an 80% lower risk of contracting the disease.
  • Coffee can help fight depression. A study by Harvard found that women who drank 4 or more cups of coffee a day had a 20% lower risk of depression.
  • For those who consume a standard Western diet, coffee is likely their biggest source of antioxidants, providing more than fruit and vegetables combined.

Coffee Facts About Starbucks

Coffee Facts about Starbucks
  • Starbucks’ founders were two teachers (Jerry Baldwin and Zev Siegl) and a writer (Gordon Bowker) that had attended university together. 
  • The original names of the store were between “Cargo House” and “Pequod.” Eventually they settled on the name Starbucks, however, as Starbuck was the ship Pequod’s first mate in the famous book Moby Dick.
  • Starbucks is the largest coffee retailer in the world, with more than 20,500 locations in over 40 countries throughout the entire world.
  • Harold Schultz shifted the business plan from selling coffee beans to brewed coffee when he took over the company. Before 1987 Starbucks sold only roasted coffee beans and coffee brewing equipment.
  • The round tables at Starbucks are very carefully designed to make customers feel less lonely and encourage interaction and conversation.
  • Between 1987 and 2011, Starbucks opened an average of two stores per day. That’s almost 800 stores per year!
  • While the menu at Starbucks may not seem overly large, there are actually over 87,000 possible drink combinations. 
  • Starbucks’ largest size drink, the Trenta, has a capacity of 916 milliliters. This is slightly bigger than the average human stomach, which has a capacity of 900ml.

US Coffee Consumption

  • 64% of American adults consume coffee every day. That’s just less than 210 million people.
  • An average American drinks 3.1 cups of coffee per day. That’s less than the recommended maximum amount of coffee which is 4 cups per day.
  • Between all of the coffee drinkers in America, they collectively consume about 400 million cups of coffee every day.
  • When you add this together this means that Americans drink about 146 billion cups of coffee annually, making America the leading consumers of coffee in the entire world.
  • Coffee drinkers in New York consume more than 7 times the amount of coffee as citizens in other states. 
  • Despite its voracious appetite for anything coffee-related, Hawaii is the only US state that can actually produce coffee owing to its favorable climate. 
  • The average American worker spends approximately $20 on coffee per week. Regardless of whether this is a latte from Starbucks, beans for a home roast, or freeze-dried instant coffee.
  • The annual coffee retail sales in the US are about $5.2 billion, and the US imports about $4 billion worth of coffee each year.

Coffee Facts About China

  • Traditionally a tea-drinking culture, coffee is rapidly becoming the go-to drink in China as its middle class expands.
  • China’s coffee marketing is expanding at a rate of 4% a year – compared with the rest of the world which only grows at 2% a year.
  • Only 15% of coffee is consumed outside of the home and the office, but this number is changing with the growing number of coffee shops.
  • This growth has made coffee the second-most sought-after commodity on the planet.
  • Starbucks plans to open 3000 new stores in China within the next 10 years.
  • China was first exposed to coffee when a French missionary introduced the plant to the fertile Yunnan province in the southwestern region of the country.
  • Today the coffee plantations in Yunnan account for more than 90% of China’s coffee supply, with Arabica beans being the main cultivar.
  • Drinking coffee is relatively expensive in China with an average cup of coffee costing between 18-40RMB, or 3 – 6USD – the same price as a whole meal.

Coffee Facts About Brazil

  • Brazil is the biggest producer of coffee in the world, being responsible for about 30 percent of the planet’s coffee production.
  • Brazil has over 290,000 coffee growers and there are about 6.7 million acres of land devoted to coffee production throughout the country.
  • Minas Gerais, in the southwestern part of the country, is Brazil’s largest coffee-producing state – with more than 2.5 million acres of coffee plants, just less than half the country’s total coffee harvest.
  • But coffee is grown in more than 2000 jurisdictions across 16 states throughout the entire country.
  • Coffee beans made up about 10 percent of Brazil’s total commodity exports in 2013.
  • The coffee industry provides around 8 million jobs for Brazil – that’s about 3.8% of the population directly related to growing coffee.
  • Coffee was introduced in Brazil in 1727 by Lt. Col. Francisco de Mello Palheta. By 1820 coffee had become Brazil’s chief export.
  • It’s estimated that more than 98% of Brazillian households consume coffee.

Coffee Facts About Vietnam

  • Vietnam is the second largest coffee producer after Brazil, with Robusta coffee accounting for 97 percent of the total coffee harvest.
  • Coffee was introduced by the French in 1857, who discovered that the highlands in the center of the country provided optimal growing conditions for the plant.
  • Small scale production gave way to plantations, but the growth of this industry was stalled due to the start of the Vietnam War.
  • Vietnamese filter coffee utilizes a tiny steel coffee filter called a Phin which sits on top of a glass and allows coffee to filter down.
  • Due to a shortage of milk in the early 20th century, condensed milk was used as a substitute. Because of this, most variations of the drink within Vietnam are incredibly sweet.
  • Vietnam’s most popular drink is called cà phê đá – filter coffee served over ice and condensed milk.
  • Perhaps the strangest drink in Vietnam is called egg coffee, and it’s exactly what it sounds like. Sugar, coffee and eggs are all whipped together for a delicious drink with the consistency of marshmallow.
  • Only 10 percent of Vietnamese coffee farms adhere to sustainable farming standards, but measures are being put in place to ensure that number rises to 80% by 2020.

Coffee Facts about Africa

  • Ethiopia and Kenya are the largest two African coffee-producing countries, and their coffee is exported all over the world.
  • Ethiopia has an extremely long history with coffee – the very first Arabica coffee plant has been dated back to the ninth century.
  • Ethiopia is the single largest producer of coffee in Africa. In 2016 alone it produced about 384 000 metric tons of coffee, making up around 26% of Ethiopia’s exports.
  • Kenyan Arabica coffee is grown on volcanic soil rich in nutrients and is found between 1400 and 2000 meters above sea level. 
  • Most of the coffee farms in Kenya belong to smallholders and are only a couple of hectares large; only around 330 farms have more than 15 hectares of land.
  • Kenyan coffee has a very different flavor profile to Ethopian coffee and contains a much higher level of acidity.
  • Because coffee is such a large part of the economy, Kenya has its own unique grading system – Keyan AA is the largest bean, where as AA+ indicates that it was grown in an estate.
  • While Ethiopia and Kenya are the most well-known producers, other African countries which produce coffee include Angola, Burundi, Cameroon and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Martin Stokes

Martin Stokes

novelthings

Martin Stokes hails from Johannesburg, South Africa. He enjoys writing about all manner of things and can quote lines from films like nobody’s business. He moved to Berlin in 2015 and is working tirelessly at broadening his repertoire of bad jokes.