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Tuesday 23.05.2017 | Name days: Leontīne, Ligija, Lonija, Leokādija

Thirteen surprising and strange facts about coffee

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUHave you ever thought about the size of a coffee dose a person has to drink for it to be lethal? Did you know that it was George Washington who invented instant coffee? Do you really think there is no caffeine in decaffeinated coffee? There are a lot of curious facts and stories about coffee in the world.

Manager of ‘Kafijas draugs’ Andris Leitis presents some of the most surprising and strange facts about coffee:

Coffee was once used as food

A long time ago, people would mix coffee berries with fat to make an energy snack. Another interesting fact is that coffee berries were also used in wine production.

Five historic attempts to ban coffee

The first time coffee was ever banned in the world was 1511 in Mecca. At the time, people believed coffee somehow stimulated radical thinking. Italian priests tried banning coffee in XVI century. They believed it to be a satanic drink. Pope Clement VIII, on the other hand, found coffee to his liking, and so he did not support this initiative. The Pope had even blessed coffee in 1600 to make it legal.

The ruler of the Ottoman Empire had played a major role in an attempt to ban coffee. As soon as he took the throne, he promised severe punishments to all coffee lovers.

In 1746, a Swedish governor had not only banned coffee but also banned dishes meant for preparing coffee and drinking it. Witnessing how coffee was slowly becoming more popular than beer, Prussian ruler Frederick the Great ordered beer to be produced in larger volumes than coffee.

Coffee overdose is possible

It is true – to reach a lethal dose of caffeine, a person has to drink approximately 100 cups of coffee.

Coffee is actually a type of fruit

What we know as coffee is actually seeds of a coffee bush. We call coffee beans as such because they resemble beans.

Coffee drinkers have low risks of getting Alzheimer’s disease

Research shows that people who have relatively high levels of coffee in their blood have a good chance of avoiding Alzheimer’s disease, sugar diabetes and even Parkinson’s disease. Coffee also helps protect skin from cancer and has other positive effects.

Coffee retains heat for longer if you add sweet cream

Coffee with sweet cream cools down 20% slower than regular black coffee.

Adding milk helps reduce caffeine influence

The human body absorbs caffeine slower and at smaller dosage if fatty milk is added.

The largest coffee mug in the world was manufactured in South Korea

This coffee mug can hold more than 14,000 litres. The largest mug of cold coffee (5.600 litres) was produced in Las Vegas in 2010.

Instant coffee was invented by George Washington

It wasn’t the first President of the United States of America, mind you. The inventor was a chemist with the same name. Following extensive experiments with dry coffee, he invented Red E Coffee – the first brand of instant coffee.

The smell of coffee can help wake up in the morning

Researchers have come to the conclusion that the smell of coffee in the morning helps stimulate brain activity and blood circulation, as well as reduce stress. Coffee ends up in the blood very quickly, possibly within ten minutes after drinking it.

Dark roasted coffee contains less caffeine than light roasted coffee

Although dark roasted coffee has a stronger aroma, what this means is that part of caffeine contained within is destroyed during the roasting process. The longer coffee beans are roasted, the more caffeine is lost.

Decaffeinated coffee doesn’t mean there is no caffeine in it

200 grams of decaffeinated coffee contains roughly 12 milligrams of caffeine. As a comparison, the same amount of regular coffee contains around 200 milligrams of caffeine.

‘Coffee’ actually means ‘wine’

The original name for coffee is ‘qahwah’, which comes from the ancient Yemeni language, where this word means wine. In Turkey, this drink was called ‘kahveh’. Germans then called it ‘koffie’. The English were the ones to finally call is ‘coffee’, said Leitis.

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