15 Things You Didn't Know About Coffee

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15 Things You Didn't Know About Coffee
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15 Things You Didn't Know About Coffee

Want to find out how coffee was discovered, or how much the world's most expensive brew costs? Read on to learn about the history and fun facts behind this energy-boosting brew.

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Decaffeinated coffee is not caffeine-free

Scientists have determined that consuming five to ten cups of decaffeinated coffee can reach the same level of caffeine as one or two cups of regular coffee.

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How is coffee decaffeinated?

The most common method of removing caffeine from coffee is water extraction, where hot water leaches out caffeine. The solution goes through a carbon filter to remove the caffeine, and then the water is reabsorbed by the beans for flavor and oils.

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How was coffee discovered?

Legend has it that coffee’s energizing effects were discovered in the Ethiopian highlands where a goatherd noticed his goats dancing around a shrub of wild red coffee berries.

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What does coffee grow on?

Coffee cherries are harvested from trees that can grow taller than 30 feet high and have dark green waxy leaves. Each coffee cherry contains two seeds.

Image Credit: AFP/Getty Images/Tony Karumba

What varieties of coffee exist?

There are two commercial varieties of coffee that determine the world's supply: Arabica, which bring in higher prices and accounts for 70% of the world's production, and Robusta, which is primarily used in blends for instant coffee.

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How's the weather in Brazil?

The most influential factor that determines the price of coffee around the world is the weather in Brazil. Bad weather like droughts and frost can indicate a future shortage in coffee, and the price increases.

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How much does the average cup cost?

The average cup of joe costs $1.38, and the average price of an espresso-based drink is $2.45.

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Is coffee good for me?

A slew of recent health studies suggests that coffee can improve your athletic performance, lower your risk of diabetes, protect your brain in old age and decrease your risk of death. However, moderation is key as too much caffeine can cause undesirable symptoms.

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We get most of our antioxidants from coffee

According to a research study from the University of Scranton, coffee is the leading source of antioxidants in the U.S. diet. Americans consume on average 1,299 mg of antioxidants from coffee daily. Tea is a distant second with 294 mg of antioxidants.

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Coffee Breath is Better Than Bad Breath

In 2009, researchers from Tel Aviv University discovered that certain components in coffee inhibit the growth of bacteria responsible for bad breath.

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Elixir of Enlightenment

French writer and philosopher Voltaire was rumored to be a coffee fiend, and most experts believe that he consumed at least 50 cups of coffee a day!

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Can too much coffee kill me?

Toxicity from caffeine overdose can produce symptoms that range from restlessness and nausea to irregular, rapid heartbeat and seizures. Death from extreme overdose of caffeine is a rare occurrence. The lethal dose, which varies from person to person and depends on tolerance, is 170 mg/kg for the average adult male, or about 80-100 cups of coffee within a short period of time.

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Is Elephant Dung Coffee the Next Big Thing?

Canadian businessman Blake Dinkin thinks so. Dinkin harvests naturally hulled beans from the dung of Thai elephants, which snack on coffee cherries at the Golden Elephant Triangle Foundation in northern Thailand. During the slow digestion process, enzymes break down coffee protein and fermentation takes place, producing a bean that brews less bitter and with caramel notes

Image Credit: David Rogowski

Black Ivory Coffee is the world’s most expensive cup of joe.

Dinkin’s Black Ivory Coffee is so rare that only 220 pounds have been made, and the coffee sells for $50 a serving. It is currently sold at select five star hotels in the Maldives, Abu Dhabi, UAE and in Thailand. It’s even more expensive than Kopi Luwak, which is coffee harvested from Asian Palm Civet poop that sells for $100-$600 per pound.

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Only the Best...

Perhaps the world’s most expensive coffee would be best served from the world’s most expensive coffee set – a Rococo silver jug fashioned by Paul de Lamerie, who is declared the “greatest silversmith working in England in the 18th century” by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The much sought after collector’s item is set to fetch up to £4.5 million pounds when it goes up for auction at Christie’s in London this June.

Image Credit: Christie's

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What would Monday mornings be like without a cup of coffee? We'd rather not know. Americans have been hooked on this caffeinated concoction since colonial times; the drink skyrocketed in popularity after the Boston Tea Party in 1773, and we haven't looked back since.

There are approximately 100 million daily coffee drinkers in the United States, and the average coffee drinker consumers 3.1 cups of coffee daily. A recent survey found that American workers spend about $20 per week on coffee (totaling more than $1000 a year), and America spends $4 billion importing coffee each year. It is the second most traded commodity after oil.

Want to find out how coffee was discovered, or how much the world's most expensive brew costs? Check out the slideshow above to learn more about this morning pick-me-up.

To learn more fun facts about your favorite foods, try these related links below:

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