10 Coffee Facts You've Never Heard Before

By Shannon Sweeney — / Coffee Talk

There are thousands of reasons to love coffee—its taste, its health benefits, its ability to wake you up from the dead. But beyond the obvious reasons, there are hundreds of facts about coffee that you might not know. And to be honest, some of them are mind blowing. 

Below are 10 coffee facts that even we didn't know before researching. So the next time you're staring at your coffee mug thanking it for keeping you alive, remember these awesome facts to go along with it. 

1. Coffee is the reason why webcams were invented. In 1991, students at Cambridge University in England were sick of making trips to the local coffee maker to find out it was empty. The fix? Set up cameras to keep an eye on coffee levels. Also, side note, if you drink the last of the office coffee, MAKE MORE. See the photo above for images from the original webcam.

2. Other than crude oil, coffee is the most widely traded global commodity. Followed by natural gas, gold, Brent crude oil, silver, sugar, corn, wheat, and cotton.

3. Four out of five Americans start their day with coffee. And it is widely known that the one person who doesn't is sad.

4. Johann Sebastian Bach wrote a cantata inspired by coffee addiction. He was apparently a coffee enthusiast and wrote the short comic opera in 1735 for a musical ensemble called The Collegium Musicum based in a coffee house in Germany.

5. Approximately 500 billion cups of coffee are brewed and consumed each year. That breaks down to about 1 million cups brewed A MINUTE. 

6. The Oromo tribe in Africa plant coffee trees on the graves of sorcerers. The Oromo tribe is based in Ethiopia, which is the known birthplace of coffee. They're said to do this because they believe the first coffee tree sprang up from tears that the God of Heaven shed over the corpse of a dead sorcerer. 

7. The phrase for "coffee house" in Turkish means "school for the wise." Those who drink coffee are obviously smart. 

8.  A third of all tap water Americans drink is first brewed into coffee. Without water, there is no coffee. Without coffee, there is no life. 

9. The word "coffee" comes from the arabic word "qahwah" which refers to a type of wine. The translation dates back to when medieval Arab lexicographers gave the meaning of "qahwah" to the meaning of dark wine. The word is also linked to the common use of the word "qahwah" to describe one's desire for something — because who doesn't desire coffee? (1 in 5 Americans, I guess.)

10. Before coffee became widely available, the most popular breakfast drink was beer. For hundreds of years before the 1800s, the English drank beer for breakfast until coffee was more widely available. Now that BOTH are widely available, why not just have both?

Related: Here are the reasons why coffee is good for you

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