10 things you probably didn't know about coffee
Everyone knows what coffee is and have enjoyed this beverage many a times. But this magnificent brew has so many interesting stories that will make you fall in love with it even more.
- The real origin of the word mocha
Mocha is what we call the sweet and chocolatey coffee that we enjoy on cold days. It is a latte with chocolate syrup or sauce added. However, mocha had another completely different meaning in the coffee world. Originally mocha was the term used to describe coffee from Yemen, since they were shipped from a port called mocha (Al Mokha). These beans also had a chocolatey quality to them, which further helped coin the term.
Coffee is still exported from Yemen to other parts of the world, but today it is widely known as Arabia Mocha.
- Coffee is actually a fruit
Yes, when we think of coffee, the image that comes to mind is of a nice brown coffee bean. But this bean starts out as a fruit, to be more precise this bean is actually the pit of the coffee cherry fruit. These pits which are green (beans) are then roasted to get them to the shiny brown colour that we are accustomed to seeing.
- The coffee plant can also make tea
You read that right, one can make tea, from the coffee plant. Cascara or coffee cherry tea is by product in coffee processing. The word "cascara" means husk in Spanish. This tea is an infused herbal beverage made from the dried skin/ husk of the coffee fruit. The caffeine content is very low, and it almost tastes like an infused fruit drink.
- Helped invent the world’s first web cam
As if coffee hadn’t helped mankind enough, it actually played an important role in a real invention. Webcams are a big industry now but it all began in the year 1991, when researchers at the University of Cambridge in England were tired of finding the coffee pot empty every time, they went to get coffee. They set up a camera feeding a live picture of a coffee machine so employees could see whether or not the pot was full.
- Most expensive coffee is made from poo
Every point keeps getting exciting right? We know this sounds a bit gross but this coffee is one of the most expensive coffees in the world. Originating in Indonesia, Kopi Luwak is one of the most desirable coffees in the world. It’s produced with the help of the palm civet who eats the coffee cherries and then passes the beans in its poo. The unique fermentation process that occurs as the beans travel through the civet’s digestive tract gives a smooth texture and very distinctive flavour to the final brew. This not only is a strange method of making coffee, but at $600 a kilo, Kopi Luwak is also one of the most expensive coffees in the world.
The next exotic coffee is Black Ivory Coffee, which is got from elephant dung. Yes, from poo again! Similar to the civets, the beans are digested and refined by Elephants to give us naturally fermented and sweet coffee beans. This coffee which originated in Thailand is slowly becoming more popular than the former and is way more expensive at $1100 per kilo.
- Is it Expresso or Espresso?
One might say, potato, patata, but coffee lovers cringe when they hear someone calling their beloved beverage an “expresso”. The correct pronunciation is “espresso”, which refers to a type of coffee that is brewed with hot, pressurized water and finely ground coffee beans in a machine.
Because of the similarly of the English word “express”, with how quick an espresso is actually brewed with a coffee machine, people often make this mistake.
- Decaffeinated/Decaf Coffee
Sorry to burst your bubble, but decaf coffee is not completely caffeine free. Anyone feeling betrayed? Well, you don’t have to, the decaffeination process removes 95-98% of caffeine, the rest is just impossible to get rid of. Decaf coffee is coffee made from coffee beans whose majority caffeine quantity is removed before the process of roasting. It is perfect for those who don’t want to consume a lof caffeine.
- Your saliva makes coffee less awesome
Alas, we will never be able to experience all the flavours of coffee because our saliva gets in the way. Everyone will surely agree that coffee smells way better than it tastes, this is because of our saliva. Most of the chemicals that make up the complex aroma of coffee are wiped out before you can swallow your favourite brew.
- Coffee may fuel your car one day
We know it’s a long shot but this will be possible one day. Used coffee ground have already been converted as biodiesel. Scientists claim that oil can be extracted from coffee grounds by soaking them in an organic solvent before using a special process to transform them into biodiesel.
If you have interesting facts like these about your favourite brew that you would like to share, tell us in the comments below.