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Canadians love their coffee. A recent study even found that coffee is consumed by adults more than any other beverage in Canada, including tap water.
The intoxicating smell of a freshly-brewed cup of joe has come to be one of the world’s greatest love affairs – it’s hard to imagine life without a constant caffeine buzz. The aromatic flavours of coffee have been prized for centuries. It was known to be so delectable that Italian clergymen pleaded for a ban on coffee, labelling it as satanic in the 16th century. This was only one of many historical attempts to ban coffee at all cost.
So how much do you actually know about coffee? If you’re a self-proclaimed caffeine addict, pour yourself a fresh cup of joe while we break down five more fun facts about the worlds most beloved beverage.
Legend has it that the coffee plant was first discovered in 850 AD by an Ethiopian goat herder named Kaldi. After noticing that his goats became energetic while nibbling on the bright red fruit of a bush, Kaldi shared his discovery with the local monastery. They found that the magical fruit could be made to drink, and even allowed them to stay awake through lengthy hours of prayer. The rest, as they say, is history.
If you’ve ever been to Bali, you may have heard locals rave over kopi luwak, otherwise known as cat poop coffee. Kopi luwak is made from coffee beans that are eaten and digested by civets, small mammals native to Asia and Africa. The beans are then plucked from civets’ feces, ready to brew after being cleaned and processed. Canadians can expect to pay around $120 for 100 grams of kopi luwak - but be aware of counterfeits! About 70% of kopi luwak coffee available in stores and online are not 100% authentic.
According to his biographer, Beethoven was very obsessive about his coffee. The German pianist prepared his morning brew with precisely 60 beans, which he counted by hand. Still, given Beethoven’s bean obsession, Voltaire was the true caffeine king. The famous French writer reportedly consumed between 40-50 cups of coffee per day and would pay eccentric amounts to import coffee beans.
A coffee bean is not actually a bean, but rather the pit inside of the coffee plant. The coffee plant itself is comprised of bright red fruits that resemble cherries, which contain the actual coffee bean inside. There are usually two beans inside each cherry that endure a process of drying and roasting after they are picked. The dried skin of coffee cherries is known as "cascara," which can be used for herbal teas and lattes. Cascara is often said to have a sweet, delightful taste with notes of cherry, hibiscus, mango, and even tobacco.
Although there are hundreds of coffee species to choose from, Arabica coffee is the most popular type of coffee in North America because of its sweet taste with flavour notes of chocolate and caramel. Arabica is known as “mountain coffee” because Arabica coffee plants are grown at high elevations, often in the mountains. Growing coffee beans at higher elevations restrict oxygen around the plant, resulting in richer-tasting beans with concentrated flavours.
Our Castillo Varietal and Caturra Varietal coffee beans are derived from single-origin, 100% Arabica beans with flavour notes of caramel, vanilla, and dulce de leche. Our coffee’s unique taste and aroma result from lush soil, high altitude, and traditional processing methods. At an altitude of 1,600 metres above sea level, Colombia’s volcanic mountains are home to the world’s greatest biodiversity. The region’s birds, bees, and butterflies work together to pollinate the coffee plants, providing each harvest with unique attributes.
If you would like to step up your coffee game to compete with Beethoven and Voltaire themselves, browse our collection of hand-picked, single-origin Colombian beans to enjoy the perfect cup of “mountain coffee” at home.