9 Surprising Facts You Didn't Know About Coffee

It is said that more 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed around the world each day, and fifty percent of American adults are daily coffee drinkers. With that said, there’s a very good chance you are one of these coffee fanatics.

Here at the Lokoly Coffee Club, we strive to be a one-stop-shop for all of your coffee needs. We invite you to use the following “quick sips” of information to help you improve your brewing game and add to your tool kit of coffee knowledge for your next coffee conversation!

1. The Original Method for Brewing a Cup of Joe

The first method of brewing coffee dates back to the 16th century in Turkey where coffee was made using an ibrik. This brewing method involves mixing finely ground coffee and water into an ibrik, which is a small metal pot with a wooden handle. The coffee and water mixture is slowly heated to near-boiling, taken off the heat, and heated again to near-boiling. The Ibrik Method Is known for producing an intense, dark, and sludge-like cup of coffee.

2. Coffee is Coming in Waves, and It's Only Getting Better

Coffee has been evolving for hundreds of years as the history of the majestic plant dates back to the 15th century. In recent history, however, coffee has seen three distinctive trends, also referred to as waves. When you hear “first wave coffee,” think of Folgers, Maxwell House, and even McCafé coffee. This wave of coffee is known for sacrificing taste and quality for mass production and consumption. In response to the first wave, the second wave of coffee gave birth to more tasteful and meaningful specialty coffee. Think Starbucks and Caribou when you think second wave coffee. The second wave is known for emphasizing origin and the experience of coffee. Finally, the third wave began in the 1980s when roasters started to focus on the art and craft of roasting. This wave of coffee has put emphasis on quality, responsible trade, and coffee education. You can think of our friends at Ross Street Roasting Co. and Windmill Coffee Roasters when you hear third-wave coffee.

3. The Road to Popularity in America

Coffee was first introduced to the United States in the early 1600s, but during that time, tea and other drinks were favored over coffee. It was not until World War I that coffee gained its popularity in the U.S. Harmful impacts of the war made it difficult for many countries to source coffee, and this allowed the United States to lead the way in coffee purchasing. By 1922, Americans were consuming over half of the world’s coffee.

4. Why Origin Matters

Coffee is a plant grown all over the world, and each region in which it grows produces a different taste and flavor profile. The sweetness of the coffee depends on the latitude and longitude of the region where it was grown. For example, Central American coffees, which typically come from Costa Rica, El Salvador, and Guatemala, are known for their chocolate and fruity flavor profiles.  In comparison, Indonesian coffees are known to be darker and bold with lower acidity, making for a great dark roast or espresso.

5. Coffee Equals Happiness

Research has shown that coffee is closely linked to positive emotions, including kindness, satisfaction, and happiness. Additionally, multiple studies have shown that coffee can even reduce the risk of depression.

6. Coffee? A Fruit?

Coffee beans themselves are not literally a fruit, but they do come from a fruit. The fruit is called a coffee cherry, and it looks very similar to the cherries we eat. In fact, coffee cherries are edible! But, we recommend drinking the product of the bean rather than consuming the coffee cherry whole.

7. More than a Drink

There are many alternative uses of coffee in addition to its obvious use. Some common alternative uses include compost for your garden, insect repellent, air freshener, and dye for textiles. Other unique uses include hair dye, skin exfoliator, and scratched wood repair. Coffee can even be used as fish bait!

8. The Massive Industry of Coffee

It’s obvious that coffee is a popular product, but did you know that it is the most widely consumed beverage worldwide? Approximately 400 billion cups of coffee are consumed worldwide every year, and this continues to grow at a rate of 1.3% annually. Coffee sales in the U.S. (dry and liquid) generated over $12 billion in 2019, and it accounts for 1.6% of total GDP. This is the second most traded commodity in the world behind crude oil.

9. Water is Your Best Friend (Brew Tip)

Approximately 98% of your typical cup of coffee is water, which is why water quality is one of the most important factors for brewing. In general, water for the perfect cup of coffee should be clean, clear, and free of chlorine. Getting a little more technical, the SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America) recommends the following targets for brew water contents:

  • Chlorine: 0 mg/L
  • TDS (Total dissolved solids): 150 mg/L
  • Calcium Hardness: 4 grains or 68 mg/L