September 29, 2011 11:14 am

Ten things you didn’t know about coffee

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TORONTO – Java drinkers of the world, unite! Today is International Coffee Day, an annual event dedicated to one of the world’s oldest beverages. In honour of the beloved brew’s big day, Global News brings you ten fascinating facts about coffee.

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• While it’s not certain where the slang phrase “cuppa Joe” came from, one popular theory suggests the phrase originated in the 1900s with Joesphus Daniels, who was appointed Secretary of the U.S. Navy in 1913. Daniels abolished wine from the officers’ mess, thereby elevating coffee as the strongest beverage available aboard Navy ships. 

• There are two types of coffee, Arabica and Robusta. Arabica is grown at high altitudes in Latin America and Africa. It accounts for about two-thirds of global output. Human cultivation of this type of coffee reportedly began after goats in Ethiopia were seen acting uncommonly energetic after eating the leaves and fruit of the coffee tree. 

• Mocha (a.k.a. Mokha or al-Mukha) is a town in Yemen famed for its coffee roots. Mocha was the main centre for Arabia’s coffee exports from the 15th to 17th century. Legend has it the coffee bean originated in Mocha and spread through Egypt, Africa and Europe by merchant travelers passing through the port city. 

• After oil, coffee is the most widely used product in the world.

• In moderation, caffeine from coffee can be beneficial to your health. Coffee berries and seeds are rich in antioxidants. Men who drink four cups of caffeinate coffee a day are half as likely to develop Parkinson’s disease, compared to those who skip their daily cup of Joe, according to a Harvard University study.

• Coffee may help lower risk of depression in women. According to a new study by researchers at Harvard University, women who regularly indulge in a java jolt, four or more cups a day, reduce their risk of depression by 20 per cent. 

• Espresso coffee contains about one third the amount of caffeine as regular coffee. It takes about 40 coffee beans to make an espresso.

• 35 per cent of American coffee drinkers prefer their coffee black. Black coffee contains zero calories.

• The word ‘cappuccino’ is derived from the Italian word ‘capuchin,’ which means small cap. It’s a reference to the beverage’s brown colour, which resembles the brown hoods of the Capuchin Friars, an order of friars in the Catholic Church dating back to the 16th century. 

• Starbuck’s Coffee is the world’s largest coffeehouse company, with more than 17,000 shops worldwide. The company’s name comes from Starbuck, a devoted coffee-drinker and Captain Ahab’s first mate in the 1851 Herman Melville classic novel, Moby Dick. The logo is based on a 16th century Norse woodcut of a mermaid, reflecting the maritime history of early coffee traders.

 

 

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