Coffee Confessions

“Never underestimate the importance of being properly caffeinated.”  *Unknown

This month, we celebrate International Coffee Day.  It’s not a federal holiday with a ticker tape parade, but it should be.  It’s estimated that 83% of American adults drink coffee every day.  No one is sure what the other 17% are doing, but it’s safe to assume they are asleep.

While the history of coffee is sort of uncertain, legend takes it to ancient Ethiopia and an observant goat herder named Kaldi.  As he cared for his goats, he noticed that after they ate the berries of a particular tree, they had a lot of energy.  After a discussion with a local monk about his observations, the monk made the first energy drink from the berries.  And from that moment on, the world changed.

For those who are true coffee aficionados, coffee is a serious matter.  In fact, politics may be the only topic that yields more opinions than those who have an opinion about what constitutes a perfect cup of coffee. Whether you drink it with cream, sugar, a little of both…  Or you drink it the right way as a plain cup of black coffee – the art of drinking coffee has become an international obsession.

But what do you really know about coffee other than it’s just plain awesome?

  • One tree yields approximately one roasted pound of coffee. That’s a lot of pressure on a single tree, especially since it takes up to five years for the tree to reach maturity.  And coffee trees enjoy a lifespan of up to 100 years.  But it takes approximately 16 trees to supply the annual coffee needs of the average American.
  • Brazil is the largest coffee producer in the world, but 70 countries specialize in growing it (fun fact – they are all located along the equator).

But besides that – there are tremendous health benefits found in your cup of coffee.  And don’t let anyone try to tell you otherwise.  Consider the following:

  • Coffee increases your energy (duh) but also helps burn more fat… probably because you do everything faster. There’s likely a more scientific explanation, but studies do show that coffee can boost the metabolic rate by up to 11%.
  • Those who drink at least four cups a day are 80% less likely to develop cirrhosis of the liver.
  • Coffee can reduce the chance of diabetes and may protect from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
  • And if you’re feeling low on riboflavin, a cup of coffee has 11% of the daily recommended allotment.

And for all you traditional coffee brewing fans (there are a few holdouts to the whole Keurig phenomenon, including the writer of this article!), here are some fun facts just for you:

  • The first coffee percolator was invented on December 26, 1865. The genius behind the invention was James Mason and why we don’t have a national holiday to celebrate him remains a mystery.  Write a letter to Congress to make a pitch for it…
  • But even before that, the first espresso machine was made in 1822, and contrary to what you may think – it wasn’t made in Italy.It was invented in France.
  • And the first automatic espresso machine arrived 111 years later in 1933.

This month and every day, savor your coffee… especially on Saturday, September 29th.  Have an extra cup of caffeinated goodness.  After all, it’s International Coffee Day.



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