Whether you enjoy drinking coffee in your senior living apartment at Hickory Villa in Omaha or sharing a brew with friends after a satisfying meal, there's more to your latte or espresso than meets the eye. Many people rely on a cup of coffee to get their day off to a flying start. Still, even the most enthusiastic coffee aficionados probably don't know some of these interesting coffee facts. Below, we'll share some fascinating (and often surprising) facts about this popular beverage.
For most people, the thought of downing a cup of coffee is highly unappealing — but not Luke Ibbetsen. Ibbetsen, who is from London, achieved the world record for the fastest coffee drinking, chugging down a hot cup of Joe in just 3.66 seconds on December 5, 2020.
Ibbetsen began his career downing hot beverages as a small child, when he says he used to steal his parents' coffee because he enjoyed it so much. His friends and family were impressed with how fast he could consume hot drinks, giving him the idea to take a shot at a world record. According to Ibbetsen, it took his mouth around 10 minutes to recover after his record-breaking feat.
Coffee may have played a part in another impressive world record: the record for the oldest cat ever. Creme Puff, a tabby from Austin, Texas, lived for an astonishing 38 years. To put that in perspective, the average cat lifespan is around 15 years. According to her owner, Jake Perry, Creme Puff drank coffee with cream every day of her life.
However, it's unclear whether her daily cup of coffee was the key to her impressive lifespan. Perry went to extraordinary and unusual lengths to nurture his pet cats, including screening nature documentaries for them in a DIY home cinema and feeding them a tiny amount of red wine every couple of days to "circulate the arteries."
The United States ranks 25th in the top coffee-drinking countries, with the average American consuming 9.26 pounds per year. Despite the beverage's popularity, only Hawaii and California produce coffee commercially. The volcanic soil in the Kona region of Hawaii provides ideal growing conditions, and coffee projects in California are more experimental. Growers there use the protection afforded by avocado trees combined with an innovative irrigation system to produce beans popular with the state's residents.
While it seems logical that adding cream would cool your coffee down, the truth might surprise you. Adding cream will cool the coffee slightly at first, but it will also allow it to stay warmer for longer. This little-known piece of coffee trivia could come in handy next time you decide to take a hot beverage with you for a walk around your senior living community.
Cream helps coffee stay warm for a couple of reasons. Lighter-colored liquids release heat slower than dark-colored liquids. Also, adding cream to your coffee makes it more viscous, slowing down evaporation and hampering heat loss.
The first-known coffee houses were in the Ottoman Empire, where they provided a suitable meeting place for Muslims abstaining from alcohol. While coffee houses were popular with the public, Sultan Murad IV wasn't such a fan.
After two of his family members were killed by infantry units known to spend their time in coffee houses, Murad IV made coffee drinking illegal on pain of death. Some sources say that he went as far as to personally decapitate coffee drinkers, disguising himself as a member of the public for the purpose of catching offenders red-handed.
Most people think of instant coffee as a modern invention, but there is evidence of its existence as far back as 1771 in the United Kingdom. Instant coffee has evolved significantly since then, from a solid cake pioneered in the Civil War to the first commercially available product in 1906.
George Constant Washington invented "Red E Coffee" during his time in Guatemala, a long way from his native land of the United Kingdom. His product was a roaring success in the USA and remained the best-selling instant coffee there for around 30 years.
Brazil tops the leaderboard when it comes to producing the most coffee, growing around 40% of the global supply. In 2018, the country grew 69 million bags of beans, more than double the amount produced by Vietnam, the second-highest producer. Brazil is the most prolific global coffee producer, but its population also consumes more coffee than any other South-American nation.