15 Things Worth Knowing About Coffee
It all started with.
- Dancing goats. Legend has it... Ethiopian shepherds first noticed the effects of caffeine when they saw their goats appearing to become frisky and "dance" after eating coffee berries.
- Originally, coffee was eaten. African tribes mixed coffee berries with fat which formed edible energy balls.
- The rise of Islam contributed greatly to the popularity of coffee. The religion prohibited drinking alcohol, but coffee was considered an acceptable drink.
- All coffee in the world grows in the "Bean Belt". The "Bean Belt" is the area between the Tropics and Capricorn. Hawaii is the only state in the US that grows coffee.
- No coffee drinking. In 1675, the King of England banned coffee houses, claiming they were places where people met to conspire against him.
- Coffee grows on trees. They can grow to be up to 30 feet tall, but are cultivated to be around 10 feet (3 meters) tall for easy picking ("This tree is ridiculous. I can't even reach it.", "Much better, thx").
- The bean is actually a seed inside a bright red berry.
- Coffee is the second most traded commodity on earth ("Chug, chug, chug!").
- Oil is the first. Clearly humanity has a thing for black drippy liquids.
- Coffee berries are picked, dried, and stripped down until all that's left is a green bean.
- Once shipped, the beans are roasted at around 500F. After a few minutes, the bean will "pop" and double in size. A few minutes after that, the bean will "pop" once more. The second pop means the bean is done ("Pop!"). The ean is now ready to fulfill its destiny ("Pop!", part 2).
- George Washington invented instant coffee! "No, I didn't. Don't just skim, read the damn details. Do it or I'll cross the Delaware and crane kick you in the mouth.". A Belgian man living in Guatemala by the name of George Washington invented it in 1906.
- Espresso: |e-spes-oh|. It's not a particular type of bean, roast, or blend. Espresso is just a way that coffee is prepared: shooting pressurized, hot water through finely ground coffee.
Caffé latte (foam, ton o' milk, espresso).
Mocha (whipped cream, milk, chocolate syrup, espresso).
Cappuccino (tons o' foam, milk, espresso).
Americano (water, espresso).
Breve (foam, half & half, espresso).
Espresso (espresso and nothing else! This is hardcore).
- Americano. The term "Americano" comes from American GIs during WW II. They would order espresso with water to dilute the strong flavor. Furthermore, the term "cup of joe" comes from American serviceman (GI Joes) in WW II being seen as big coffee drinkers ("I'm a war machine! But please don't make my coffee too strong").
- Caffeine. How it works: In your brain there's something called Adenosine and it only wants to hang out with certain receptors. When these two get together, you get drowsy ("Sup mang. Let's party!" - Adenosine, "I got my party hat on. Let's rock this casserole" - Adenosine receptor). When caffeine shows up, it attaches to the receptors so that Adenosine cannot ("Forget that guy, he's a total square" - Caffeine, "I never liked him anyway" - Adenosine receptor, "I'm so lonely" - Adenosine). You pituitary gland sees this and thinks there's an emergency, so it tells the adrenal glands to produce adrenaline. In addition, caffeine bumps up your dopamine levels ("I dunno WTF is going on up there, but it's a big deal for sure. Imma give u an adrenaline sandwich m?" - Pituitary gland).
- The result? A caffeine high.
Written & drawn by The Oatmeal