7 Things You Never Knew About Your Cup of Joe

With International Coffee Day fast approaching on October 1st, we’ve got that magical caffeinated bean on our mind. Perhaps it’s the soothing aroma of a freshly brewed carafe wafting through the hallways at our senior community that has us in the java mood, or maybe it’s the familiar murmur of the staff Keurig machine, humming away as it gets its morning workout. To appease our coffee-focused thoughts, we dug up 7 fun facts to share so you can wow your friends this International Coffee Day weekend.

  1. No one knows for sure how coffee was first discovered.
    Sorry to burst your bubble, but there’s no concrete answer to this burning question. According to the National Coffee Association, exactly how or when coffee was discovered remains a mystery, but there are many legends out there. The most common is an Ethiopian tale about the ancient coffee forests on the Ethiopian plateau, where the goat herder Kaldi allegedly first discovered the coffee beans’ potential. They say that after his goats ate the berries from a certain tree, he noticed that they became so energetic they did not want to sleep at night. If it worked for the goats, the people wanted to give it a whirl, too, and voila, the rest is history.
    • Drinking coffee may lead to longer life.
      Studies over the years have proven that drinking coffee can promote various health benefits, including decreasing the risk of diabetes, strokes, heart problems, and some cancers. To follow that up, two recent studies released their findings in the summer of 2017, showing that coffee drinkers in the US and in Europe were less likely than their sans-coffee counterparts to die prematurely.
    • Coffee is a presidential favorite.
      They say that coffee has been a staple in the White House for just about as long as we’ve had presidents. George Washington is known to have imported 200 pounds of coffee in 1770, Thomas Jefferson became notorious for referring to coffee as “the favorite drink of the civilized world,” and experts estimate that Teddy Roosevelt consumed a gallon of coffee per day by way of a mug that was “more in the nature of a bathtub.” (Image credit: History.com)
    • Coffee beans are not beans.
      They are the seed/pit of a fruit. Thrasher Coffee Company explains it like this: “Coffee is a seed—a fruit seed, to be specific. And while all beans are seeds, not all seeds are beans. Beans are actually the seeds of the legume family. The coffee tree does not belong to the legume family. Therefore, the seeds of the coffee tree are not beans.” (Image credit: Katya Austin via Unsplash)
    • The world’s most expensive coffee costs as much as $100 per cup in the United States.
      Say what? It’s true. You too could try the apparently unmatched flavor of Kopi luwak coffee for a pretty penny. What makes it so special? Get ready for this: it’s made from coffee beans that were eaten, digested, and then excreted by a Sumatran wild cat, the civet.
    • Coffee can make older adults happier people.
      Okay, it’s not a magic cure-all, but coffee does make for the perfect focus of a daily social gathering, and socialization is key for the wellbeing of older adults. Find a coffee hour, join one, or start your own, and promote a healthy, active social life for yourself and others.
    • The majority of the US population drinks coffee every day.
      According to US News’ summary of the 2017 National Coffee Drinking Trends Report, 62% of survey participants drink it daily. This is up from 57% in 2016, and the percentage has only budged a few percentage points from year to year since the 1990’s.

    (Image credit: Olga_sbp via Freepik)

    Now, if you’ll excuse us, we have to get back to coffee hour!