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Facts About Coffee That Will Blow Your Mind

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We all have that one person in our lives who is a know-it-all when it comes to coffee, claims that their way is the only right way to brew it, and can give you the exact science behind what makes a perfect cup of coffee.  But do they know which country drinks the most coffee per capita (it’s not America)?  Next time you strike up a conversation with them, you can repeat some of these lesser-known facts about coffee that might surprise them!

Finland Drinks the Most Coffee Per Capita Consumption

There is no doubt that America loves coffee, but did you know that it does not even make the top ten of top coffee-drinking countries based on per capita consumption?  Finland is the country that takes the number one spot.  Now, based on overall consumption, America is definitely the leading country of coffee consumption, followed by Germany, Japan, and France.

Coffeehouses First Appeared in Mecca, Saudi Arabia

Coffee started as a social drink, with the first coffeehouses appearing in Mecca, Saudi Arabia in the 16th century.  These coffeehouses were also called Kaveh Kanes and soon became places to meet for religious purposes and social gatherings.  Concerned imams who were in power thought that coffeehouses could be a place to meet for political reasons, and they banned coffeehouses from 1512 to 1524.

The World Brewers Cup Competition Is Held Every Year in Melbourne, Australia

Every year, Australia hosts the World Brewers Cup Competition in which competitors demonstrate their manual coffee brewing skills and impeccable service.  In order to compete in Melbourne, the competitors must first win the title in their own country first.  They will then serve a panel of judges three separate beverages.  The current winner is Odd-Steinar Tøllefsen from Norway.

Frederick the Great Banned Coffee in Prussia in 1777

In 1777, Frederick the Great of Prussia tried banning coffee by issuing a manifesto that stated beer as the superior beverage.  He was apparently concerned that drinking coffee was interfering with the beer economy and causing the country to lose money.  However, the ban ultimately failed, as his subjects appeared to enjoy the drink too much to give it up, especially in the morning.

Seoul, South Korea Has the Highest Concentration of Coffee Shops in the World

With more than 10,000 cafes and coffeehouses, you would have a hard time not running into a place to drink coffee in the capital city of Seoul.  Coffee is now deeply embedded in Korean culture, and there are plenty of coffee shops that have themes to make them stand out from other artisanal coffee shops.

In Thailand, Coffee Beans Are Made from the Dung of Elephants

Yes, you read that correctly.  In Thailand, black ivory coffee is made by feeding the beans to elephants, where much of the bitter taste is removed by the elephant’s digestive enzymes.  Once the beans are collected from the dung, they are sold for an exorbitant amount of money.  The high price tag isn’t surprising.  The collection process isn’t glamorous, and the proper care of elephants can’t be cheap.

Latte Art Was Invented in the 1980s

The art of pouring steamed milk into a shot of espresso, also known as latte art, originated in Seattle in the 1980s by coffee shop owner David Schomer.  However, it should be noted that Schomer actually credits Italy with the invention.  His latte art has inspired others to make some amazing designs in their lattes.  If you’re feeling inspired, pick up a French Press from 1st in Coffee and get started on your own design.

The Coffee Borer Beetle Is the Most Damaging Insect Pest to the World’s Coffee Industry

At only two millimeters long, the coffee borer beetle is the most harmful insect pest to the world’s $90-billion-a-year coffee industry.  This little insect is native to Africa and loves to infest ripened coffee berries.  They managed to spread to Costa Rica in 2000 and are now managing to destroy more than half of the coffee berries on plantations in Central America.  Luckily, ecologists believe that introducing insect-eating birds to the area can managed to reduce some of the damage.

Even Famous Geniuses Were Addicted to It

If you want to feel better about your coffee addiction, you can always look to the famous geniuses that mentioned their dependence on the beverage.   Ludwig Van Beethoven took his coffee with 60 beans per cup and counted them by hand, while Voltaire is said to have drunk 40-50 cups of coffee each day (he lived to be in his eighties).

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