History of Coffee - Amazing Facts About Coffee and Caffeine
It's hard to imagine a world that isn't fuelled by coffee. Not only does this industry provide over 1.6 million jobs in the USA alone, but it's been around for over a thousand years.
Grab a cup of your favorite brew, put your feet up, and check out these astonishing facts about coffee and caffeine.
Goats Were the Original Coffee Connoisseur
If you think the original coffee lover was a king or some adventurous explorer who stumbled upon the plants in the jungle, you're wrong. The first coffee fans, and the creature we have to thank for introducing this brew, was a group of cheeky goats.
A farmer noticed that his goats were acting strangely. They were lively, up at all hours of the night, and kept gravitating toward a specific tree. Intrigued by the berries that seemed to be the source of all the fuss, the goat herder decided to try some for himself. The rest, as they say, is history.
Coffee Was Illegal and Immoral
While it's estimated that the delightful coffee berries were discovered sometime before the year 1000 A.D., they didn't reach Europe until the 17th century. While coffee houses were typical in countries like Turkey and Egypt, it was new and foreign to Europeans at the time.
Like everything else that was misunderstood in medieval Europe, coffee was viewed as a product of the devil. Eventually, the Pope stepped in and tried it himself, and more or less declared coffee a gift from God. Despite other attempts to make coffee illegal, it never stuck.
Coffee is Technically a Fruit
When we consume coffee beans, we're technically consuming the stone of a fruit. Coffee is a cherry-like berry that grows on trees. The fruit is processed through drying, pulping, and roasting to give us coffee beans as we know them.
According to Coffee or Bust, roasting didn't enter the picture for hundreds of years after coffee was discovered. Before then, it was just plucked and boiled in water or chewed.
Caffeine is a Natural Defence Mechanism
So now that you know a bit more about coffee, you might be wondering why caffeine exists. Believe it or not, caffeine does serve a purpose in nature. The coffee berries emit this drug as a defense mechanism against bugs.
This tidbit of history has been spun out of proportion over the years. While it works in nature, this doesn't mean that it works in modern practices. Coating yourself in natural coffee bug repellent or putting grounds in your garden won't necessarily deter pests.
Caffeine Absorbs Through Skin
Caffeine is an incredible stimulant that can assist with energy levels and even weight management. Caffeine also has an anti-inflammatory effect that could be used to reduce dark circles and rejuvenate the skin when applied topically.
Most people don't know is that it can also be absorbed through the skin. It's not uncommon to find caffeine in beauty products, and repurposing old coffee grounds to make a body scrub is a great way to exfoliate. However, avoid using your coffee scrub at night if you want to sleep.
Now you know some interesting insights into the world of coffee and caffeine. Use these fun facts as your next conversation starter, perhaps over a cup of coffee.