10 Fascinating Facts About Coffee

According to history, coffee was either perceived as the nectar of the gods… or the devil’s brew. Read on to discover some delicious, delightful, and downright damning facts about coffee!

10 Fascinating Facts About Coffee

1. Polly Wants Some Coffee

The famous German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt described coffee as “concentrated sunshine” for its euphoric effects. Humboldt’s parrot, Jacob, could utter only one phrase: “more coffee, more sugar!”

2. Coffee on Trial

In 1511 in Mecca, a vat of coffee was put on trial for its “dangerously intoxicating” properties, but the sultan of Cairo overturned its conviction.

3. Tricks of the Trade

Coffeehouses arrived in England in the 1600s, as spaces to gather for intellectually nourishing dialogue. In fact, the London Stock Exchange stems from early trades conducted at Jonathan’s Coffee-House. 

4. The G.O.A.T.

The coffea arabica plant, originating first in East Africa and southern Arabia, is believed to have been discovered in Ethiopia around AD 580. According to local legend, goat herder Kaldia noticed that his goats stayed awake and energized after eating the coffea arabica plant’s red berries. Based on Kaldi’s observations, he brewed a drink with the berries and discovered their stimulating effects.

5. Presto!

Espresso means “pressed out” in Italian, due to the way that espresso is made by forcing boiling water through ground coffee beans. 

6. Carnal Appetite

In 1674, a petition circulated throughout England entitled: “The Women’s Petition Against Coffee: Humble Petition and Address of Several Thousands of Buxome Good Women, Languishing in Extremity of Want,” in which women complained that the “enfeebling liquor” of coffee thwarted men’s sexual appetites, rendering them “as unfruitful as those Desarts whence that unhappy Berry is said to be brought.” Men contested this claim with their own pamphlet, which argued that the “Harmless and healing liquor” of coffee “makes the erection more Vigorous, the Ejaculation more full,” and “adds a spiritualescency to the Sperme.” 

7. Holy Spirits

Pope Clement VII was so fond of coffee that he lifted a temporary ban on coffee, and then went so far as to have coffee baptized in 1600.

8. Dispel the Gloom

French historian and writer Jules Michelet described coffee as an almost supernatural beverage: “the mighty nourishment of the brain, which unlike other spirits, heightens purity and lucidity; coffee, which clears the clouds of the imagination and their gloomy weight; which illumines the reality of things suddenly with the flash of truth.” 

9. Beauty is Skin Deep

Many beauty products use coffee grounds as physical exfoliators that remove dead skin cells, giving skin a brighter and smoother appearance. 

10. Worth its Weight in…

The world’s most expensive coffee, Kopi Luwak, is generated through animal feces. This coffee comes from Indonesia, where the beans are collected from the droppings of the Asian palm civet after it has consumed red coffee berries. Kopi Luwak coffee is sold for up to $600 per pound. 

Enjoy centuries of innovation by sipping on your favorite coffee drink at Conwell Coffee Hall… we’re waiting for you.