* perkatory (pur kah tawr e) n. the anguished, prolonged period spent waiting for a fresh pot of coffee to be ready
I bet you didn’t know these 10 coffee facts, even if you have proclaimed yourself as an omnipotent-omniscient-omnipresent coffee God! Prepare to have your mind blown!
#1. Although it’s common to refer to coffee beans, the part of the coffee plant that is actually roasted and ground is the ‘pit’ of a red fruit called a coffee cherry.
#2. Legend says that coffee was discovered by a 9th-century Ethiopian farmer who found his goats jumping and going crazy after grazing on coffee cherries. Thank you, goats, for your discovery!
#3. The most expensive coffee in the world, known as Kopi Luwak, is collected from the droppings of the civet cat! The civet cat is a solitary nocturnal forest animal that likes to eat ripe coffee cherries during the harvest season. It can’t digest the ‘pits’, aka coffee beans, of the cherry, so it poops them out along with the rest of its droppings. This is then collected by farm workers, cleaned and washed and is said to produce a unique coffee taste. And that’s how, ladies and gentlemen, high-end coffee is made!
#4. In 1675, King Charles II banned all coffeehouses because he believed that people were meeting there to discuss politics and conspire against him. Paranoid much? He claimed that coffeehouses disturbed the peace of the realm and promoted defamatory rumour-mongering. Luckily, this caused a public outcry among the coffee addicts at the time and his ban was quickly withdrawn.
#5. By the 18th century coffee had become the fashionable drink in European cities. It became so popular that even Johann Sebastian Bach professed his love for coffee in a miniature comic opera – Kaffeekantate. His work tells the story of a man who forbids his coffee-loving daughter to consume the ‘evil drink’.
#6. Every scene of the movie Fight Club has a Starbucks coffee cup hidden in it somewhere. Ever since director David Fincher revealed this twist, fans have went on an Fincher-style ‘Easter hunt’ to spot the Starbucks cups in the movie. There is even a dedicated Tumblr page, Starbucks in Fight Club.
#7. Fight Club wasn’t the first time coffee was featured on the screen. In fact, the first webcam was created to monitor a coffee pot. It allowed researchers at Cambridge University to keep an eye on the coffee level without leaving their desks so that they never waste a journey. This just shows how inventive coffee makes us!
#8. In 1932, Brazil was one of the countries that couldn’t afford to send its athletes to the Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. Fortunately, the country did send a team of 60 athletes but with bags of coffee beans to trade, instead of money. Kudos, Brazil!
#9. These days it’s become quite normal for celebrities and athletes to insure their lovely body parts against any accidents. But Gennaro Pelliccia, chief taster at Costa Coffee, upped the ante when in 2009 had his tongue insured for £10 million.
#10. Caffè sospeso (Italian for “suspended coffee”) is the Neapolitan tradition of paying the price for two cups of coffee, but drinking only one. The ‘suspended’ (sospeso) coffee can then be ordered for free by a future customer who may be down on their luck. Hats off to you, fellow Italians!