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Bizarre Food Facts: 10 Little-Known Facts About Coffee

By admin | August 29, 2011

Photo: Joe Lencioni

By: Dylan Rodgers

It’s Monday! Many of us need a special something to help us wake up today and get our week going (you know who you are), and what better way to do so than with coffee? Coffee is a, if not the, remarkable-tasting beverage with the capability of pulling people from catatonic states in the morning.  In my lifetime, I have been lucky enough to see the birth of a new methodology of coffee permeating the entire spectrum from cultivation to the brew.  Coffee has recently (within the last 10 years or so) been treated with the same scrutiny and expectations as wine, and because of this, coffee lovers like myself can indulge in its complexity in flavor, texture, and body.

Coffee, I salute you!  So in celebration of coffee’s excellence, here are some bizarre facts you may not have known:

  1. It was invented by evil Ethiopian goats:  A goat herder in Ethiopia supposedly saw his goats jumping around after eating coffee berries.  He took the berry-beans to a holy man who disapprovingly tossed them into the fire, unleashing coffee’s evil aroma onto the world.  The beans were later ground up and added to water transposing them into a holy beverage.
  2. It is more popular than July 4th:  Costa Rica, Ireland, and Japan all celebrate “Coffee Day”
  3. George Washington invented instant coffee: I know what you’re thinking:  How did George Washing have time to invent instant coffee and simultaneously invent America?  Well he didn’t… invent instant coffee, I mean. George Constant Washington, an English chemist, created instant coffee in 1909 called “Red-E-Coffee”
  4. It is great for weight-loss:  It has no calories when it’s taken black, it acts as a hunger inhibitor by removing some of the desire to eat, and it is a great laxative.  Pair it with apples and you could look like Christian Bale in The Machinist!
  5. Coffee vs. Miracle Grow:  It may not make your pumpkins big enough to boat in, but coffee can seriously help the growth of healthy plants.  Just pour cold coffee onto plants or mix the grounds into soil and watch it totally wash the droop away.
  6. Oil is to cars as coffee is to people:  Coffee is the second most used product in the world following just behind oil.
  7. It helped plan America:  Both the French Revolution and the American Revolution were planned in coffee houses over a few cups’o'joe.
  8. It can cleanse your nasal palate for perfume purchases:  When shopping for perfume, take ground coffee in a bag and smell it between perfume tests.  It will help distinguish each one better so you can make a truly informed decision.
  9. Turkish women love their coffee:  In 16th century Turkey, women could divorce their husbands if he failed to keep his family’s pot full of coffee.
  10. The best coffee in the world is found in stanky, little piles:  The Asian Palm Civet, a small creature that looks like a mix between a ferret and a cat, loves to eat coffee berries, and people love to take its stinky remains and make coffee with it.  It tastes like caramel and chocolate with almost no bitterness and is considered the possibly the best coffee on the planet.

Photo: Joe Lencioni

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