Coffee is one of the most beloved drinks around the globe, and millions of people consume it every day. Coffee isn’t just a beverage—it’s a culture, a ritual, and a passion for many enthusiasts. As such, it’s only natural that you’d want to know as much about it as you can. Here, we’ll dive into some interesting facts you didn’t know about coffee, such as its history, where the best coffee comes from, and the various types.

Coffee Beans Are Actually Seed Pods

One of the first things to know about coffee beans is that they aren’t beans at all. They’re really seed pods that grow inside the small, berry-like fruits of the coffee plant—also known as coffee cherries. Each seed pod contains two seeds, or coffee beans, which undergo harvesting and roasting to create the rich, flavorful coffee we all love.

There’s a High Cherry-to-Coffee Ratio

Since coffee cherries are so small, it takes a lot of them to produce a small amount of coffee. More precisely, it takes around 1,500 cherries to produce just 2.2 pounds of green coffee beans. That’s a lot of work for a small amount of coffee, but it’s worth it to craft a caffeinated treat anyone can enjoy.

There Are Over 100 Types of Coffee Beans

Shockingly, there are hundreds of different sub-species of coffee beans. However, only a handful of them ever make it onto store shelves. The two main varieties are arabica and robusta. Known for their rich, sweet flavor, arabica beans account for around 60 percent of the world’s coffee production. Robusta beans, as their name suggests, are more robust and bitter, making them better for espresso blends. Other popular types of coffee beans include Liberian and excelsa, which are grown in smaller quantities.

Liberica Coffee Is the Rarest Variety

Native to parts of Asia, Liberica beans are harder to come by and, therefore, are the rarest to find on the market. They’re often called the “forgotten beans” due to their scarcity. The unique roasting process of Liberica coffee results in floral and fruity notes along with a slightly smoky flavor. Because of all these factors, these beans are a delicacy among coffee enthusiasts, often fetching a hefty price. So if you want some of your own, prepare yourself for a higher price tag.

Ethiopia Is the Birthplace of Coffee

Today, coffee production occurs all over the world, but it originated in Ethiopia. Wild coffee plants were first discovered there in the Kaffa Province. Local legend has it that a goat herder discovered that his goats became livelier after eating the berries of a local shrub. The herder tried the berries for himself and found they had a stimulating effect. This eventually led to experimentation with the berries and, eventually, coffee. The discovery soon spread to the rest of the world.

Brazil Is the Top Coffee Producer

Brazil is the top producer of coffee today, accounting for around 40 percent of the world’s coffee production. Brazil produces mainly Arabica beans, and it has been a major player in the global coffee market for centuries. Other countries that produce significant amounts of coffee include Vietnam, Colombia, and Indonesia. The climates and terrains in these regions are ideal for growing coffee, resulting in high-quality beans.

Coffee Was Once a Currency

Believe it or not, people once used coffee as currency in parts of Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. In some cultures, coffee was so valuable that many people traded it for goods and services. It had a similar bargaining power to those of gold and silver, except it was more lightweight and much easier to carry. Once people began brewing coffee grounds into tasty beverages more regularly, this currency fell out of practice. Today, coffee is still a valuable commodity, but thankfully, we don’t have to trade it for other items anymore.

Different Regions Have Various Coffee Specialties

French and Italian roasts are some of the most popular in the United States, but they aren’t the only options available. As we mentioned, coffee beans come from many different regions, with each region producing its own unique flavor profile, depending on the mineral concentration of the soil. Beans from Ethiopia have fruity flavors such as blueberry or lime, while beans from Brazil have nutty and chocolaty notes. You can also try beans from Costa Rica or Colombia for different flavor experiences. Broadening your horizons is easy if you’re open to trying products from a multitude of different roasting companies.

Cold-Brew Coffee Has Less Caffeine

Another interesting fact you need to know about coffee is that certain types of brews have less caffeine than others. The cold-brewing process, for instance, involves steeping the coffee grounds in cold water overnight, which removes some of the beans’ natural caffeine. The resulting coffee is sweeter, smoother, and less bitter than regular coffee. Additionally, cold-brew coffee is less acidic and therefore gentler on the stomach. For those of us who love coffee but can’t handle its strong acidity, cold-brew coffee is an excellent alternative.

Coffee Trees Can Live for Over 50 Years

Coffee trees are evergreens, which means they never lose their leaves. They also have long life spans, with some trees living for over 50 years if they’re well-cared-for. Coffee trees require a lot of attention and maintenance, including regular pruning and fertilization, to produce high-quality coffee beans. Therefore, coffee farmers spend a lot of their time inspecting and performing the necessary care on their trees in preparation for harvesting season. However, these efforts are always worth it for access to consistently delicious beans.

There’s a lot to know about the world’s favorite beverage, and these facts barely even scratch the surface. Fortunately, you don’t need to know everything about coffee to enjoy it. In addition to educating our customers about the wonders of coffee, we at 11th Street Coffee also supply a diverse range of products from all over the globe. Our light-roast Keurig K-Cups come from the industry’s top roasters, ensuring the perfect combination of flavors in every mug. Browse our selection today to find the perfect coffee for your routine and tastes.

10 Interesting Facts You Didn’t Know About Coffee
January 11, 2024 — DigitlHaus Agency