Coffee Trivia pg 1


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If you like your espresso coffee sweet, you should use granulated sugar, which dissolves more quickly, rather than sugar cubes; white sugar rather than brown sugar or candy; and real sugar rather than sweeteners which alter the taste of the coffee.

"Cowboy coffee"? It was said they made their coffee by putting ground coffee into a clean sock and immerse it in cold water and heated over campfire. When ready, they would pour the coffee into tin cups and drink it.

Caffeine is on the International Olympic Committee list of prohibited substances. Athletes who test positive for more than 12 micrograms of caffeine per milliliter of urine may be banned from the Olympic Games. This level may be reached after drinking about 5 cups of coffee. Ouch! Any coffee athletics out there?

The word "coffee" was at one time a term for wine, but was later used to describe a black drink made from berries of the coffee tree. This black drink replaced wine in many religious ceremonies because it kept the Mohammedans awake and alert during their nightly prayers, so they honored it with the name they had originally given to wine.

The word 'cappuccino' is the result of several derivations, the original of which began in 16th century. The Capuchin order of friars, established after 1525, played an important role in bringing Catholicism back to Reformation Europe. Its Italian name came from the long, pointed cowl, or cappuccino, derived from cappuccino, "hood," that was worn as part of the order's habit. The French version of cappuccino was capuchin, from which came English Capuchin. In Italian cappuccino went on to describe espresso coffee mixed or topped with steamed milk or cream, so called because the color of the coffee resembled the color of the habit of a Capuchin friar. The first use of cappuccino in English is recorded in 1948 in a work about San Francisco.

There is also the story line that says that the term comes from the fact that the coffee is dark, like the monk's robe, and the cap is likened to the color of the monk's head.

Both the American Revolution and the infamous French Revolution were born in coffee houses. The American Revolution grew from roots planted by patriots in the Green Dragon (some say it was the Green Lion) Public House in the Lloyd's District of London. The infamous French Revolution happened in 1789 when the Parisians, spurred on by Camille Desmoulins's verbal campaign, took to the streets and two days later the Bastille fell, marking the overthrow of the French Government and changing France forever.

When the beans reaches the temperature of 400F during the roasting process, the beans "crack." The bean develop oils in a process called pyolysis. The outer part of the beans darkens. When the beans "crack" a second time, the hot beans are then dumped from the roaster and cooled immediately, usually with cold air. During the process of roasting coffee beans, coffee oil gathers in pockets throughout the bean. This substance is forced out to the surface of the beans of darker roasts, as moisture is lost. Hence the bean has this oily appearance.

Coffee beans are graded in various ways. Example: Kenya coffees are graded as A, B and C. AA is the best coffee. In Costa Rica, coffees are graded as Strictly Hard Bean, Good Hard Bean, Hard Bean, Medium Hard Bean, High Grown Atlantic, Medium Grown Atlantic, and Low Grown Atlantic. Those coffee beans from Colombia are labeled as "Supremo" "Excelso", "Extra" and the lowest grade, "Pasilla".

Turkish bridegrooms were once required to make a promise during their wedding ceremonies to always provide their new wives with coffee. If they failed to do so, it was grounds for divorce! (Ouch!)

The Italians drink their espresso with sugar, the Germans and Swiss - with equal parts of hot chocolate, the Mexicans - with cinnamon, the Belgians - with chocolate. Moroccans drink their coffee with peppercorns, the Ethiopians - with a pinch of salt. Coffee drinkers in the Middle East usually add cardamom and spices. Whipped cream is the favourite amongst Austrians. The Egyptians are extremely fond of pure and strong coffee. They seldom add sugar to it, nor milk nor cream. They serve unsweeteened coffee to mourners and sweetened coffee at weddings. The Italians are the unrivaled World Masters of Espresso.

Special studies conducted about the human body revealed it will usually absorb up to about 300 milligrams of caffeine at a given time. About 4 normal cups. Additional amounts are just cast off, providing no further stimulation. Also, the human body dissipates 20% of the caffeine in the system each hour.

In Yugoslavia, small coffee places are known as kafano, where the owners takes your order, brew and serve you coffee. It is usually served in a long-handled open pot known as devza (that should be cezva, pronounced "keffa." In Turkey it's called an Ibrik), and the coffee is poured into tiny demitasse-type cups. This is like an espresso, but it has the full impart of caffeine. Done right, it rewards the drinker with a remarkable coffee experience.

Espresso has 1/3 of the caffeine of a regular cup of coffee.

One time in Germany, the government hired a special force known as Kaffee Schnufflers, to sniff out illicit coffee roasters and smugglers. It was an intense campaign brought about by King Frederick who did not believe that coffee-drinking soldiers can be depended upon. Fortunately he failed for he too loved coffee.

During the American Civil War the Union soldiers were issued eight pounds of ground roasted coffee as part of their personal ration of one hundred pounds of food. And they had another choice: ten pounds of green coffee beans.

Cafe Procope was the first true Paris coffeehouse. It was opened in 1689 by a former lemonade vendor, Francois Procope. The cafe faces the Theatre Francais, where it drew the artists and actors of the day.

At one time in England, certain merchants were angered when coffee was introduced. Those selling ale and wine felt threatened when coffee became more popular. They even launched a campaign to persuade Charles II to issue an order to suppress coffeehouses. Fortunately, public outcry forced the order to be retracted. That was on January 8, 1675.

Kolschitzky, a Polish, opened Vienna's first coffeehouse, the Blue Bottle. He even saved the beans from the flames when the Turkish troops who left them were fleeing from the city.

In the homes of the Bedouins, coffee is generally served plain with ginger or cardamom. It gives off a yellow color and a very sweet taste. Sometimes ginger is added instead of cardamom. The Bedouins would greet the guest in honour with "Allah wa Sablan", meaning, "My home is your home".

Ugandans mix green beans with sweet grasses and various spices, dry them, and then wrap these in grass packets, which were then hung in their homes. It serves as talisman and as decoration.

Coffee most exacting rite of passage is known as "cupping" or cuptasting. It is the act of assessing the qualities of a particular batch of beans by freshly roasting, brewing, and tasting it. It is the work for serious and talented professionals.

Coffee berries start as green berries in early stage of growth, turns yellow, red, then dark crimson when it is finally ripe and yields the best coffee. In fact, according to the rule of "FIVE": Arabica coffee plant takes about "FIVE" years to mature and produce its first crop. A healthy coffee tree will produce only about "FIVE" pounds of green beans per year, but only about "ONE-FIFTH" of a pound meets the rigid sorting standards to be sold as "Specialty Coffee."

We say coffee beans although they are really berries.

Dorothy Jones of Boston was the first American coffee trader. It was in 1670 that she was granted a license to sell coffee.

Japan is now the third largest consumer of coffee. They even know to improve their skin, and reduce wrinkles, by bathing in coffee grounds that were fermented with pineapple pulp. Amazing! Beats mud-bathing.

Crema is a golden-browish foam that covers a freshly brewed cup of espresso. It is only made by a high-pressured method of extraction. An even thicker layer of crema also helps keep the heat and aroma of espresso. Enjoy!

"Expresso is not a word; it comes from the same root as "express" as in "The Express Train." The term is ESPRESSO. It comes from the Latinate root for "Press", or "Under Pressure". In many places if you order "expresso", you will be politely ignored.

In Greece and Turkey, it is the custom that the eldest is served coffee first.

Espresso macchiato is a cup of espresso "marked" with a spoonful of the foam from steamed milk, whereas latte macchiato is a cup of steamed milk "marked" with a small dash of espresso.

During the American Civil War, when coffee was scarce, the citizens of New Orleans used chicory as substitutes. Today, they would have their coffee with chicory, which is mixed with quantity of strong black coffee and hot, rich milk.

There is a difference between the strength and body of the coffee? The strength of the coffee refers to how much coffee is there in the brew, whereas the body is a measure of the richness (or heaviness) of the coffee taste.

In the coffee world, "excelso" or "supremo" do not indicate the quality of the beans, but rather, the size of the beans.

Vacuum pot brewer was invented by a Scottish engineer, Robert Napier, in about 1840. It has two glass or metal globes that fit together to make a seal. A plug, often attached to a spring seats in the upper globe.

In the old days in Constantinople, the first coffeehouses were called qahveh khaneh (schools of wisdom) because they were the meeting places of men of arts and literature.

A kahveci is a person who is skilled in preparing Turkish coffee.

In 1690 the Dutch founded the East India Coffee trade when they introduced coffee in Java (Indonesia).

At one time there was a group of women who formed Women's Petition Against Coffee (WPAC). That was in London in 1674. They complained that their men were always at the coffee houses, and not being at home as needed during domestic crises.

Turkish coffee is traditionally brewed in a circular brass pot known as an ibrik. It is used to brew a cup that is thicker and sweeter than the usual coffee that we are accustomed to.

Coffee was brought into Costa Rica from Cuba by a Spanish traveller, Navarro, in 1779. Hence it is not their native plant.

According to Scheha Beddin, an Arab author, Mufti of Aden were the first people to drink coffee (who lived during the beginning of 9th century.)

Will's in Covent Garden became a favourite meeting place for writers and poets. Many famous people, including Dr. Johnson, who compiled the first English Dictionary, visited the Turk's Head Coffee House.

The requirements for making of good espresso is summarized by the 4 "M"s: Macinazione (the correct griinding of coffee blend), Miscela (coffee blend), Macchina (the espresso machine) and of course, Mano (barista).

Beethoven who was a coffee lover, was so particular about his coffee that he always counted 60 beans each cup when he prepared his brew.

Luigi Goglio invented a one-way valve that could be laminated onto layered, oxygen-permeable packaging material.

Louis XV was rumoured to have spent USD15,000/- per year on coffee for his daughters. And Voltaire supposedly drank 50 cups a day.

The French was the first to innovate a crude espresso machine. The Italians then perfected this machine and became the first to manufacture it.

The first coffee advertisement was a handbill distributed in 1651. It read: "The Virtue of the coffee drink first publicly made and sold in England, by Pasqua St. Michael's Alley the Signe of his own head." It is now housed in the British Museum.

In 1511, Khair Beg, Mecca's corrupt governor, attempted to ban the coffee drink, fearing that it might foster public opposition to his rule. He even summoned experts from every walk of life to testify against coffee.

It was a locksmith who, in 1665, first invented a coffee mill in London.

It was in 1530 that the first coffeehouse was opened in Damascus, Syria. Istanbul, Turkey opened its first coffeehouse in 1554.

Mr. Jacobs opened England's first coffee house in Oxford in 1650. It was two years later that another coffee house was opened in London by a Greek, Pasqua Rosee, in partnership with Daniel Edwards, an Englishman. By 1700 some two thousand such coffee shops were established.

The Turks brought coffee to Austria when their army surrounded Vienna in 1683, laying siege to the city.

In 1785, the coffee revolt broke out in Prussia because coffee consumption was restricted to the nobility, the clergy and high officials.

Before coffee was introduced as a stimulant, it had been a social custom in Aden to chew the fresh leaves of "qat", as it had a mild narcotic effect.

The three biggest coffee drinkers in the world are the Americans, the French and the Germans. They consume some 65% of the total world's consumption of coffee.

The coffee bean is called "bunnu" in Arabic.

It was the Dutch who literally brought the coffee plant to the rest of the world. They brought the first coffee plant from Mocha in Yemen to Holland in 1616. Their first cultivation was in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) in 1658.

A good cuptaster has not only got to have a good tongue and nose, but a good mouth and good health as well.

Nicaragua Margogipe is the largest of coffee beans.

Mr. G. Washington, an Englishman who lived in Guatemala, invented instant coffee. He discovered soluble coffee in 1906 and three years later was able to put his products on the market.

Dr. Satori Kato, a Japanese chemist, was among the first to develop an instant coffee powder.
Coffee in Kenya came from the Isle of Bourbon (Reunion) with the Roman Catholic missionaries as late as 1893.

1 kilogram of roasted coffee requires 4,000 - 5,000 coffee beans.

The original Cappuccino machines were true works of art in the inimitable Italian style. Massive, ornate, and impressive steam machines designed to brew coffee and foam milk in a stimulating and entertaining ritual. Much of the enjoyment of this exotic Italian classic was watching the server make it in the elegant Cappuccino machine, with skill and showmanship.

The inventors of Cappuccino decided that it's preparation should be as dramatic as it's distinguished taste and appearance. So they designed an appropriately impressive Cappuccino machine.

Early in the history of revolutionary America, coffee played an important role, and today it has experienced an unprecedented and exponential rise in popularity and consumption, with Cappuccino setting the pace.

Infidels only consumed this delightful beverage until Pope Clement VIII found it to his taste and lifted the ban which had long denied Christians the enjoyment of this pleasurable and stimulating beverage.
Frederick the Great formed his own Gestapo-like organization to ferret out and punish anyone in his army who used coffee.

In the 17th century, for unknown reasons, an English king forbade his subjects to congregate anywhere coffee was sold.

Coffee has been around for over 11 centuries and is currently the most widely consumed beverage in the world. Cappuccino has become the popular choice of exotic coffee lovers everywhere. This was not always so however.

It is a well-known fact to coffee drinkers everywhere that Honoré de Balzac, famous nineteenth-century French writer (remember Père Goriot?), drank up to 40 cups of coffee per day!

When coffee supplies became scarce during the American Civil War, soldiers desperate for a cup of coffee used roasted sweet potato and Indian corn as a substitute!

Dark roasted coffees actually have LESS caffeine than medium roasts. The longer a coffee is roasted, the more caffeine burns off during the process.

The word "tip" dates back to the old London coffeehouses. Conspicuously placed brass boxes etched with the inscription, "To Insure Promptness," encouraged customers to pay for efficient service. The resulting acronym, TIP, has become a byword.

Until the tenth century, coffee was considered a food. Ethiopian tribesmen would mix the coffee berries with animal fat, roll them into balls, and eat them on their nomadic journeys!

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