Coffee is a brewed drink made from dried and roasted coffee beans, typically grown and harvested in Africa, the area of the Americas close to the equator, Southeast Asia and India.
But you knew that.
You probably also know coffee wakes you up in the morning and keeps you going if you have to work or drive into the wee hours.
Coffee, however, hides a few surprises. It’s more than just a hug in a mug. The next time you are sitting with your friends at your favorite coffee shop, use this list of 11 dark roasted facts to show off your OCD (obsessive coffee disorder).
1. Black Ivory Coffee in Thailand is one of the most expensive coffees in the world at more than $500 per pound.
Elephants eat the beans and then poop them out half-digested. The coffee produced has a robust flavor and drinker are willing to shell out the big bucks for the hard-to-find brew.
After it’s cleaned, of course.
2 Almost all the world’s religions accept coffee.
Although Mormonism does not allow caffeinated “hot beverages,” including coffee, and Seventh Day Adventism also eschews the brew.
3. Coffee has a history of being banned.
One attempt was by Italian clerics who tried to ban coffee as the “devil’s drink” in the 16th century. Instead, Pope Clement VII baptized it to cheat the devil because he thought it was delicious.
4. Don’t look for an Espresso Romano in Italy.
Most Italians have never heard of it. But you can make one yourself easy by adding a bit of lemon juice and sugar to an espresso. Rub the rind along the top of the demitasse for added brightness.
5. Starbucks will happily make you a Quadriginoctuple Frap if you are willing to pay around $50 for it.
And if you actually want 48 shots of espresso, soy powder, protein powder, two bananas and a strawberry and salt topping.
6. Hawaii’s gourmet Kona coffee is the only commercially grown coffee by a state in the U.S.
Grown in mineral-rich volcano soil, Kona coffee is on the list of the most expensive coffees in the world.
The U.S. territory of Puerto Rico also grows coffee, but it is not a state.
7. Coffee is highly addictive.
One small cup per day is enough to hook most people. Without a daily cup, 125 million Americans would suffer headaches and 32 million would experience actual symptoms of withdrawal.
8. Coffee can improve your memory.
Studies show when we learn something new, the DNA in brain cells breaks a little. Coffee can help repair these breaks faster. This is particularly helpful as we age and our own neurons’ abilities to repair these breaks slows.
9. Coffee is only slightly diuretic and does not dehydrate you.
You do not lose any more fluids than what you take in when drinking coffee, contrary to popular belief.
10. Coffee consumption is linked to lowered mortality from many diseases.
There is evidence that coffee can even protect against Parkinson’s disease and type 2 diabetes.
11. Coffee’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties are mood boosters.
Chlorogenic acid, ferulic acid, and caffeic acid help soothe inflamed nerve cells that bring on depression, which helps you feel better.
Coffee is chock full of history, and the science on your daily cuppa gets more fascinating by the year. And since it’s fantastic for your health and your mood, the next time the barista asks how you take your coffee, you tell him (or her), “Very seriously.”