By Lynne Evans You either love coffee or hate it. Some people prefer tea. However, coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world. Oil is the first.
Coffee plants can only grow in countries which don't have any frost in winter. That's why coffee is grown close to the equator, between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.
Only two varieties of coffee beans are cultivated, the Arabica and Robusta.
Coffee has not always been a drink. When it was first discovered in Africa, people ground the coffee cherries (berries), added animal fat, and made balls of the mixture which they ate. These may have been the world's first energy snacks.
After coffee has been decaffeinated, some coffee manufacturers sell the caffeine to pharmaceutical companies and companies that make soda. So not much is wasted.
We've had instant coffee for around 250 years, although it wasn't mass- produced as it is now. It was first introduced in the UK in 1771. The first mass-produced instant coffee was patented in the US at the beginning of the 20th century, in 1910 to be precise.
The Finns are the world's most prolific coffee drinkers, not the Americans as you might have thought!
There are plans afoot to make biodiesel with coffee grounds, so in the future, coffee might fuel your car.
It is possible that if you give your cat liquid coffee every day, it could extend its life. Why do people think this? Well, according to the Guinness Book of Records, the oldest cat, called Creme Puff, drank coffee every morning. She reportedly also liked broccoli. and her breakfast eggs and bacon. She lived to be 38. Her owner also had another cat, Grandpa Rex Allen. It was this cat that had previously held the world record for the world's oldest cat. They had the same diet. Maybe it was the coffee that helped these two cats live so long.
In the 17th century, when men frequented coffee shops, especially in London, women believed that it was responsible for turning their husbands into corpses, who were useless to them. These women got up a petition against coffee proposing that no men under should drink it. The proposed ban obviously did not come into effect.
In fact, there have been other attempts to ban the drink, and it was banned in Sweden in 1746. Not only was the beverage banned, but also the coffee-making equipment and this included coffee cups and saucers, not just the pots to make it in.
Coffee has had a chequered history, but thankfully it is readily available.
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