It has been six years since the first International Coffee Day was celebrated. Picture: Pexels / Kaboompics .com
It has been six years since the first International Coffee Day was celebrated. Picture: Pexels / Kaboompics .com

International Coffee Day: 10 most interesting facts to know about coffee

By Lutho Pasiya Time of article published Oct 1, 2021

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It has been six years since the first International Coffee Day was celebrated.

The first official date was October 1, 2015, which was coined by the International Coffee Organisation and was launched in Milan, Italy.

The day is used to promote and fête coffee as a beverage, and how dope it is. Coffee culture is on the rise in South Africa, with cafes serving up more than just delicious beverages, they’re bringing international flair to the table as well.

From refreshing cold brew with frothy milk to an espresso and orange juice blend that makes for the most ideal breakfast drink.

These days consuming coffee is about more than just the caffeine fix, it encompasses unique flavour combinations, innovative brewing techniques, and Instagram-worthy aesthetics.

To celebrate this day, food delivery service Bolt Food shares below some fun coffee facts to brighten your day.

Coffee beans are actually seeds, with coffee berries looking a lot like cherries! We only call them ‘beans’ because they look like legumes, not because they’re the same family as the vegetables.

As if the coffee wasn’t awesome enough as a hot drink, early fans of the seeds used to ferment the pulp to make a wine-like drink.

Speaking of wine, the word ‘coffee’ comes from the Arabic word for ‘wine’ – qahwah – which later morphed into the Turkish ‘kahveh’, and then the Dutch ‘koffie’. While many South Africans still call it that, it’s easy to see how the word evolved – and how we’re actually drinking wine when we’re drinking coffee!

In ancient Arab culture, women had legal grounds for divorce if their husbands failed to offer a perfect cup of coffee in the morning. It’s hardly surprising, then, that the drink was banned in Mecca in 1511, as it was believed to ‘stimulate radical thinking and idleness’.

Did you know a Pope officially baptised coffee? Pope Clement VII loved the drink so much – even though 15th-century clergymen tried to ban it for being satanic – that he gave it the ultimate holy blessing in 1600.

The drink has yet another association with religion: the cappuccino was named after an order of Catholic monks, whose simple brown (coffee coloured) robe with a distinctive hood was called a ‘cappuccio’.

Coffee is the world’s second most traded commodity, only surpassed by crude oil. Both substances really do get us to work on time!

You may think that coffee wakes you up – but it helps you live longer too! Taking four cups a day has been linked with longer life, and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and Parkinson’s.

Coffee’s great if you’re watching calories – a cup of black coffee has just one calorie… so watch out for all the fun you add to your favourite drink, as the full cream milk, flavours, and sugars all add to the calorie count.

If you want your coffee to stay hot for longer, though, add cream. Doing so keeps it warm for 20% longer.

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