BY Cheng Ma 

You might drink it every day, but how much do you actually know about coffee? Check out these facts about the popular hot beverage. 

1. The Drink Dates Back to 800 A.D. 

Legend has it that goat herders in the 9th century noticed caffeine from the Coffea plant prevented their goats from sleeping, keeping them energetic and active in a ‘dance-like’ state throughout the night. As a result, a local monk made a drink using this plant to experiment, with his first cup of coffee keeping him awake throughout the night. He decided to share the drink with the rest of the monastery. From there, knowledge of these energy berries spread from the Arabian Peninsula to the rest of the world.  

2. Coffee Has Been Banned Multiple Times 

Throughout history multiple individuals have tried to ban coffee due to its uncanny ability to stimulate creative and individual thought arising from its mysterious ability to enhance people’s energy.  

Leaders in Mecca believed it stimulated radical thinking and outlawed the drink in 1511. Italian clergymen tried to ban coffee because they believed it to be satanic, however Pope Clement VII loved the drink so much that he stated it would be sinful to let only the non-believers drink it and baptised the beverage in the 16th century. The Ottoman Empire enforced that drinking coffee was punishable by death in the 17th century. Coffee was also banned in Sweden on five separate occasions arguing that it was detrimental to one’s health. 

3. Cat Cafés Are A Thing 

In Korea and Japan there are cat cafés that let you relax with coffee, music and cats for countless hours. But don’t despair if you haven’t got plans to visit to either of these countries - a Google search shows multiple hits for cat cafes in Sydney as well. ‘Catmosphere – Sydney’s Original Cat Café’ has 1-hour tickets at $22 a pop. Be sure to check this out if you like coffees and want some animal companionship to help you de-stress. 

4. Coffee Etymology 

The word ‘coffee’ comes from the Arabic word for ‘wine of the bean’. The ‘Cappuccino’ was named after Capuchin Friars because the drink resembled the clothing of the Capuchin monks. Finally, ‘espresso’ literally means ‘pushed out coffee’ in Italian, referring to the method used to make coffee.  

5. Brazil is the Coffee Powerhouse 

Brazil currently produces 40% of the coffee in the world and has been the largest producer of coffee for the last 150 years. The Coffea plant was originally brought to Brazil in the early 18th Century by French settlers, with this commodity snowballing into a major economic staple of the country. ‘Coffee Barons’ in Brazil not only had a huge impact on the country’s economy, but also had significant sway in the political landscape, strongly influencing the direction of the country’s future presidential elections. As a result, coffee production was an essential source of capital, playing a major role in the country’s current society, culture and economy. 

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