Here at CRU we are just as passionate about the art of conversation as we are about the coffee in our cup. So to help stir conversation when next catching up with a friend, or perhaps to fill that awkward silence during a first date, we've put together a list of 7 interesting facts about coffee for you to use.
1. The original definition of coffee could mean "wine."
One theory is that the original name for coffee came from yemen, qahwah, which means wine. In Turkey it was called kahveh, until the Dutch referred to it as koffie, where we get the English coffee.
2. Just smelling coffee could wake you up.
A group of scientists at Seoul National University reported in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry that simply inhaling the aroma of coffee can alter the activity of certain genes in the brain, reducing the effects of sleep deprivation.
3. Coffee drinkers have a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease.
We recently published an article on whether coffee could be a superfood. To summarise this article: studies have shown that, in some cases, coffee has decreased the incidence of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cognitive impairment and Parkinson’s disease. A component in coffee - unrelated to caffeine - has been linked to protection against the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and improved insulin sensitivity.
4. Coffee is actually a fruit.
Coffee beans as we know them are actually the pits of a cherry-like berry that are grown on bushes. Even though coffee is technically a seed, it's called a bean because of its resemblance to actual beans.
5. The majority of coffee is produced in Brazil.
Brazil produces 40% of the world's coffee, which is twice as much as 2nd and 3rd place holders, Colombia and Vietnam.
6. Coffee is the second most traded commodity on earth.
According to globalexchange.org, there are approximately 25 million farmers and coffee workers in over 50 countries involved in producing coffee. An estimated 11 million hectares of the world's farmland is dedicated to coffee cultivation. As for the number one commodity? Oil.
7. The name "Cappuccino" comes from monks.
More specifically it refers to the colour of the clothing of Capuchin monks, and in this context referring to the colour of the beverage when milk is added in small portion to dark, brewed coffee (today mostly espresso).