About 700 years ago, mankind made a close acquaintance with coffee. Since then, invigorating nectar has become the most popular beverage in the world. They bring him to bed, they “charge” him in the office. For those whose morning begins with the dizzying scent of a freshly brewed elixir, we’ve put together some amazing, funny and unknown facts about coffee.
Where did coffee come from
There is a legend that goats are the pioneers of coffee. An Ethiopian shepherd who lived in the 9th century noticed that after eating unknown dark red berries, his four-legged wards became extremely energetic and playful. The perplexed peasant took the fruits to the monks, who prepared an invigorating broth, which today ranks second in the ranking of the most popular goods in the world.
Until the middle of the 16th century, savoring the wonderful nectar was the prerogative of the inhabitants of the East. Europe learned about coffee in 1615 when the Venetian merchants first brought brown beans to Italy. The attitude to the unprecedented bitter liquid was ambiguous. The priests called it a Muslim potion that denigrated the blood of Christians. Pope Clement VIII spoke up in defense of coffee, saying: “This drink is so delicious that it would be a shame to leave it unbelievers.”
Among the surprising facts about coffee, the bans on its use stand apart. So, in 1623, the Ottoman Sultan Murad IV introduced severe penalties for drinking the drink. And 154 years later, the ruler of Prussia, Frederick the Great, issued a manifesto on the superiority of beer over brown elixir. According to the decree, the inhabitants of the kingdom should start the morning with a good mug of foam.
In 2003, pharmacists from Naples sued for coffee! The reason was the alleged negative effect of the aromatic drink on the nervous system. The lawyer cited numerous facts proving the positive effect of caffeine on the body. The accused was fully acquitted.
Caffeine stimulates brain activity by increasing dopamine production. This “hormone of happiness” is not only responsible for high spirits, but also motivates to creativity. And coffee, by blocking the inhibitory neurotransmitter adenosine, gives a boost of energy and improves concentration.
The daily dose of caffeine should not exceed 400 mg per day. To prevent a miracle drug from turning into poison, limit yourself to 2-4 servings.
Coffee rejuvenates. Among the active substances contained in the grains, polyphenols and hydrocinnamic acid, powerful antioxidants that neutralize free radicals, take pride of place. These “elixirs of immortality” remove toxins, prevent tissue damage, protect against aggressive ultraviolet radiation and slow down aging.
Caffeine reduces the risk of heart attack. This fact was proved by scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health. According to research, people who drink 2-3 cups of coffee daily suffer from cardiovascular diseases almost 3 times less than fans of other drinks.
Famous coffee lovers
Interesting facts about coffee are associated with prominent historical figures, which proves once again that the drink stimulates creativity and increases efficiency. Thus, Voltaire, who lived to be 84 years old, claimed that he owed his success and longevity to fifty daily portions of a fragrant elixir. And Victor Hugo not only drank coffee, but also used it as ink for painting.
Peter I is known as the coffee trendsetter in Russia. In 1697, the reformer king visited Holland, where he became addicted to invigorating ambrosia. Returning to his homeland, the emperor issued a decree obliging all subjects to drink coffee at home and at assemblies.
Catherine II was even more fond of fragrant potions. Every day, the mistress drank up to 5 cups of the strongest drink made from 400 g of ground grains (about 4 tablespoons per serving). By the way, during the reign of the great empress, coffee was one of the most expensive goods. They asked for 40 kopecks per pound.
Little-known fact: fortune-telling on coffee grounds became popular under Paul I. There is a legend that in 1799 the monarch received a gypsy woman, a “coffee pot,” who saw the imminent death of the sovereign in a cup with brown contents.
Guarding technical progress
According to statistics, humanity drinks 590-600 billion cups of coffee a yearand this number is constantly growing. This fact became the reason for the development of robotics in the coffee industry, because the increase in sales requires process improvements. One of the first to take the path of automation was the Tokyo Henna Cafe, where the Sawyer robot works. The electronic barista serves up to 5 customers at the same time, spending 4 minutes preparing a portion.
The invention of another technological achievement, the webcam, is directly related to coffee. The first ever device capable of capturing images in real time was installed in 1991 in a Cambridge University coffee machine. Thanks to the device, employees could, without leaving their offices, find out about the readiness of the drink.
In November 2012, a record appeared in the Guinness Book of Records about the largest mug of coffee on the planet. The De’Longhi giant, 2.9 m high and 2.6 m wide, contained 13,000 liters of aromatic nectar, equivalent to 216 standard espresso.
The glory of the Italians did not give rest to coffee lovers from Croatia. Their achievement was a giant cappuccino cup with a diameter of 1.8 m. To prepare 2,012 liters of the drink, baristas from Zagreb used 22 coffee machines installed in the city’s central square.
The most expensive type of invigorating elixir is the Thai Black Ivory. And don’t be amazed by the fact that a drink worth about € 1,100 per kilogram is produced with the help of … elephants. Ripe coffee berries absorbed by representatives of the order of proboscis, passing through the digestive tract, undergo fermentation and leave the body of the giants in a natural way. Then the fruits are collected, washed, dried and processed.
The second position is occupied by Kopi Luwak, a kilogram of which can be bought for € 850-1,000. Surprisingly, the silver medal holder also does not differ in the standard manufacturing method. Soft coffee with a chocolate-nut flavor is born after processing berries that have passed through the digestive system of luwak (Indonesian civets).
Coffee unconditionally conquered the world, and the number of its varieties has long exceeded one thousand. And no wonder that the invigorating potion, beloved by millions, has earned its own official holiday – International Coffee Day, which is celebrated on October 1.