January 24, 2020 3 min read
Are you a coffee nerd? Or a nerd that loves trivia (we happen to be both, and sure many of you are too.) Think you know a lot of coffee trivia? Well, we're sure you know about the ancient goats that are reputed to be the beings responsible for the creation of the magical elixir we call coffee. And many of you probably know that Brazil produces more coffee than any other country in the world. But how many of these lesser known coffee trivia facts did you know?
Coffee went fast in the labs of the computer technology research fellows of Cambridge University in the 1990s. Which was not a great thing, as one of the researchers once explained to the BBC. According to Dr Quentin Stafford-Fraser "One of the things that's very, very important in computer science research is a regular and dependable flow of caffeine,".
But because the team worked in different labs and on different floors many would, Dr Stafford- Fraser remembered, get to the lab's only coffee pot only to find it sadly depleted. So, another of the fellows, Dr Paul Jardetzky, set about creating a solution. And he did, the world's first webcam.
That's right. Technology that has now become so central to all kinds of aspects of life globally was created to monitor a coffee pot to ensure that a bunch of scientists could ensure there was always a good supply of coffee on hand. Within a year more than 2 million people would log on to the fledgling Internet to watch the coffee pot too. Just another example of how important coffee is.
Well, the roasting company itself has always been called Starbucks, but the company's first Seattle cafe was called Il Giornale, after an Italian language daily newspaper published in Milan.
Founding partner Howard Schultz was convinced that coffee shops were the way the company was going to grow. His business partners actually disagreed, preferring to stick to roasting. Still Schultz ploughed ahead and opened up Il Giornale's doors in 1985. In 1987 he bought his doubting partners out and the rest is coffee history...
In 1923, a debate was raging in many US Jewish communities; was coffee a bean or a fruit? (it's actually the seed of a fruit) The problem was that if it was a bean, it was not kosher, so would need to be given up for Passover.
Enter a smart guy in the Maxwell House marketing department, Joseph Jacobs. He pled his case - complete with evidence - for coffee's fruity status to a prominent rabbi, Orthodox Rabbi Hersch Kohn, who in turn agreed to classify it as a fruit, making it kosher and perfectly allowable all year long. But Jacobs didn’t stop there. In 1932, What if Maxwell House printed its own version of the Haggadah - Passover seders follow a text called the Haggadah that tells of the Jews' exodus from Ancient Egypt- and gave it away with coffee? Over eight decades later, there are over 50 million copies of theMaxwell House Haggadah in print.
Think energy bars are a new thing? Not even. In the 15th century the Oromo tribe of Ethiopia found a great way to power up their warriors for battle by creating one. To do so they ground coffee cherries, seed included, and mixed it with animal fat to create a paste they shaped into bars and balls. The combination of protein from the pure animal fat and the cherries, coupled with the caffeine must have been a potent one for sure!
Texan Jake Perry was a true cat dad. He loved cats and two of his fur kids made it to the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest known living cats. The first was a part Sphynx, part Devon Rex named Granpa Rexs Allen who lived to be 34; the second, from 2005, is for a mixed tabby named Creme Puff who lived to age 38. And,according to Perry, who took in more than 100 cats, more than a third of them lived to be 30.
So what was the secret, apart from Perry's devotion? One of them was a daily dose of coffee with cream. Both Granpa and Creme Puff were coffee devotees and so were many of their siblings. Perry also gave them all an eyedropper full of red wine every two days. We just wish Instagram had been around then, as that would have made for some great memes.
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