Legendary conversations have been had over a cup of coffee. It brings people together, and finds commonality. Coffee has been around for centuries, and its origins are wrapped in stories meant for a campfire. Legend has it that coffee was discovered by a goat herder in Ethiopia whose goats consumed the fruit of the coffee shrub, and ran around wild from the caffeine. The goat herder tried it for himself, and found the same effect. A monk, observing this behavior, took the fruit back to his fellow monks, and they spent the night wide awake.
Many of us cannot function without that hot, smooth cup of joe. Just the thought of the coffee percolating is enough to make us drop what we are doing, and head for the beans. While you make that fresh cup, here are 5 coffee facts to take your mind off the wait.
Coffee Beans are Seeds
Widely called coffee beans, what makes your daily cup of coffee is actually the pit of the coffee fruit. The pit is removed from the coffee fruit, called a coffee cherry, and roasted and ground into what we buy at our local coffee shop.
Coffee Started as a Food
Originally, coffee was used as an additive to fats to create a modern day “granola bar” or energy snack. The fermented fruit was also used to make a beverage similar to wine. It wasn’t until the 13th century that people began roasting coffee “beans”.
Not All Coffee is Created Equally
The most expensive cup of coffee goes for about $50 a cup, and is derived from the partially digested coffee cherry excrement of a cat-like mammal called the Asian palm civet. It is called kopi luwak, and offers a more robust taste for coffee drinkers. Kopi luwak is produced in the Indonesian Archipelago on the island of Sumatra.
The Coffee Boom
By the 1800’s, coffee was a worldwide commodity, and found its way to the cowboys of the west, and into the hands of the miners involved in the gold rush. Perhaps that’s where the visual of a cowboy drinking coffee by a campfire originated. Regardless of the vision a hot cup of coffee invokes, every coffee drinker has their way to indulge in this daily ritual.
Grab Your Cup of “Joe”
There are several theories on why coffee is called a “cup of Joe.” One prevailing thought is from 1914 when then Secretary of the Navy Josephus “Joe” Daniels imposed a ban on alcohol making the strongest drink available on ships a cup of coffee. Angry sailors began referring to coffee as their “cup of Joe.” Another theory is that joe is slang for fellow or chap, and coffee was considered the common man’s drink resulting in the common use of cup of joe.
Whether you like it black, hot, cold, with shots, whipped cream, or flavors, coffee has become a daily time-out for millions around the world.