This post is also available in: German
I had no idea how little I knew about one of my favorite beverages until a recent visit to Caroma, run by Valentin Hofer, Italy’s first Coffee Sommelier. Here’s a look into the world’s favorite beverage:
- Yes that’s right, coffee is the world’s most consumed beverage – after water.
- Coffee is the world’s 2nd largest traded commodity. Oil is first.
- The longer that coffee beans have been roasted – the healthier they are.
- It was said that coffee was discovered by a goat herder in Ethiopia in the 1500s. He saw his goats eating coffee cherries and then observed a change in their behaviour. He told this to some monks, who tried to brew the coffee cherries like they were brewing tea. They drank it and couldn’t fall asleep. The rest is almost history – although we don’t know when or who started roasting coffee.
- There are 80 different kinds of coffee plants.
- Only 4 of these are used today.
- Coffee plants can grow at 2000 meters elevation and can be planted on volcanoes, but this makes it more difficult to harvest and drives up the price.
- One coffee plant can be used for 20 years for commercial purposes. Technically it can be used for longer but with a decreased quality in the coffee.
- Wild coffee plants are rare, but can be found in Ethiopia growing up to 10 meters.
- Coffee plants grown on plantations normally only reach 2 meters.
- Coffee is grown in 80 countries.
- One coffee plant has 5 kg of fruit which results in 800 grams of roasted coffee.
- Nespresso coffee capsules have ingredients added to make the foamy – this result is not possible with only coffee beans.
- Scandinavian countries and the United States drink the most coffee.
- Germans drink on average 146 liters of coffee a year.
- Decaffeinated coffee comes from a chemical process where the caffeine is taken out of the beans. The caffeine is then often sold to Coca-Cola.
- People that have a problem with coffee usually have a problem with Robusta coffee because it’s higher in caffeine. They should try Arabica coffee and may find that it doesn’t bother their stomach.
- Valentin expects that coffee prices will only continue to increase as coffee becomes more popular, especially in China, which will create a huge demand for coffee so get your fill while you can afford it!
And finally, my personal favorite, Kopi Luwak is the most expensive coffee in the world. It comes from Indonesia and is made from the coffee beans digested from the Asian Palm Civet – in other words cat poop. It sells for €350 and up per kilo! Perhaps I should experiment with this at home with my two cats. What do you think?
Visit Valentin, Italy’s first Coffee Sommelier at Caroma in Fie’ Allo Sciliar Bolzano, Italy. It was the best cappuccino I’ve ever had. I was there on a rainy Friday morning and the place was packed with locals. Caroma will soon be opening a coffee display room and offering classes as well available in German or Italian.
Note: I received a free cappuccino, but determined on my own free will that it was one of the best that I’ve ever tasted.