In 2017, Americans drank an average of just under two cups of coffee every day. That equates to more than 600 million cups a day nationwide.
It is the second most popular drink in the USA. The only thing that we drink more of than coffee is water. But despite its popularity, how much do we really know about coffee? What is the history of coffee? Where did it come from?
Read on as we learn about the birthplace of coffee and answer 6 more interesting questions.
Ok, so we have to be honest here. No one really knows.
But to be fair, coffee was discovered a pretty long time ago. Centuries ago in fact. And whilst no one knows exactly when or where it was discovered, there is a great story about its discovery that we really hope is true.
The story goes that hundreds of years ago, an Ethiopian goat herder called Kaldi noticed that his goats would become full of energy and stay up partying all night whenever they ate the berries from a certain bush. Kaldi told a local monk, who decided to try making a drink with the berries, which he discovered helped him stay awake through evening prayers.
It seems like the monks weren't obeying a vow of silence as word soon spread about the magical drink and before long the brew had reached the Arabian peninsula. From there it spread to Europe and beyond.
Whether or not the story of Kaldi is true, it was in the Arabian peninsula that coffee as we know it was first recorded.
Once again the exact origin is not completely certain.
But the most likely reason is that the drink was originally called qahwah, possibly derived from the Arabic word qahiya, meaning to lack hunger, as coffee was known to be an appetite suppressant. As the drink spread, it became kahve in Ottoman Turkish. This changed again to become koffie in Dutch. And then finally, it became the English word we know and love: coffee.
Whilst this history is not certain, it certainly makes sense, as the changing name matches the spread of the drink throughout the world. So next time you're feeling peckish, you know which drink you should turn to.
As you might suspect, coffee has been here nearly as long as we have.
Coffee was being drunk in the Arabian Peninsula in the 15th century. By the 16th century, it had spread as far as Persia and Turkey. In the 17th century, it was becoming popular throughout Europe. In 1652, the first coffee house opened in London.
Around the same time, coffee was transported to New Amsterdam, which would eventually become New York. But thanks to the British influence, tea was still the more popular drink. One event did more to change that than any other: the Boston Tea Party. King George III's tax not only ended up losing him a country but also made coffee America's number one hot beverage.
Italy hasn't been mentioned once so far in this history of coffee. So why is the drink so associated with Italy?
It's all thanks to one man, who invented the drink that forms the basis of all the weird and wonderful varieties of coffee you can find at your local coffee shop. And that man was Luigi Bezzera.
Coffee had been drunk in Italy since the 16th century, but everything changed in 1901 when Bezzera discovered a brand new method for producing the perfect cup. He developed a system in which pressurized water is forced through coffee powder, to produce what came to be known as the espresso.
The espresso and espresso bars became a huge part of Italian culture and made Italy the coffee capital of the world. The espresso spread quickly and is at the heart of every cappuccino, latte, and macchiato that you will ever drink.
As we've already seen, coffee is the second most popular drink in the USA. But how does it fare around the rest of the world?
Well despite all the tea in China, coffee is the number one drink worldwide, aside from water. The UK, Russia, China, India, and Egypt all drink more tea than coffee, but in the vast majority of countries, coffee is the dominant drink. It looks like King George III was backing the wrong horse.
And as it turns out, the US is only 26th on the list of biggest coffee drinkers worldwide. Finland comes out on top, drinking nearly three times as much per capita as the average American.
Coffee may be the dominant hot drink in the world now, but there have been some bumps in the road.
In 1511 in Mecca, they decided to ban coffee. It was feared that the stimulating drink might promote radical thinking and perhaps unite the opposition. And this wouldn't be the last time that coffee was banned.
When coffee first arrived in Italy, some priests believed that it may be the work of the devil and banned its consumption. Thankfully Pope Clement VIII stepped in and declared that the drink was so delicious that it should be baptized to cheat the devil.
And less than 250 years ago, Sweden's King Gustav III banned coffee paraphernalia. He even ordered an experiment in which one twin was forced to drink only tea and the other only coffee to determine the effects. Sadly the twins outlived the doctors, so the results were inconclusive.
If the price of a pumpkin spice latte is getting you down, you'll be pleased to know it's not the most expensive coffee you could be drinking.
That honor goes to Kopi Luwak coffee that can sell for well over $100. But its price isn't the only unusual thing about this coffee. The reason it is so expensive is down to how it is produced. The beans used are ones that have been eaten and defecated by the Asian Palm Civet, a small mammal somewhat like a cat.
As the coffee passes through the animal's digestive system, the beans ferment, giving them their special flavor. Tasty, right?
If you're anything like us, learning about the birthplace of coffee just makes us think one thing: I want some coffee!
Thankfully you're in the right place. We've got everything the discerning coffee lover could ever want right here on our website.