What are some interesting facts about coffee?


Quick Answer

Coffee supplies antioxidants that potentially reduce the risk of such diseases as Parkinson's Disease, Alzheimer's, dementia, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. It is also the second-most traded commodity on earth, behind oil.

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Full Answer

In first century Ethiopia, shepherds discovered the effects of caffeine after feeding coffee berries to their goats, who subsequently reacted to the stimulant and jumped around. Coffee berries are a fruit, and the dried, roasted pits are the "beans." Hawaii is the only U.S. state that commercially produces coffee. Brazil produces most of the world's coffee, which falls into two categories of beans: Robusta and Arabica.

Robusta hails primarily from central Africa and parts of the South Pacific, from a series of regions collectively called the Coffee Belt.

Robusta has twice as much caffeine as Arabica and is more bitter. Consequently, Arabica is far more common and constitutes approximately 70 percent of the coffee beans and coffee products in circulation.

The first food to be freeze-dried was coffee, during World War II. Coffee lends itself well to freeze-drying because caffeine is naturally crystalline in its wet and dry states. Coffee was also the subject of the first live webcam stream, when in 1991 Cambridge University scientists streamed live footage of their coffeemaker on the Web, mostly to determine when the pot was empty so that they could know when to brew more coffee.

While stronger in flavor, dark roast coffees have less caffeine than medium roast coffees. Roasting beans for long periods destroys some of the caffeine.

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