Coffee 101: The Origin of Coffee

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Photo of coffee beans

Coffee 101: The Origin of Coffee

For some, coffee is a treat. Others say it’s a necessity. But no matter the reason, people love coffee. Coffee is one of the world’s most consumed drinks (after water), and more than 1400 million cups are drunk around the world each day, with the majority of it enjoyed at breakfast. (More than half of America got up this morning and had a cup, and more than half of those people had a second!) In fact, coffee is most effective if consumed between 9:30am and 11:30am.


Coffee Beans


The exact “how” or “when” details of coffee’s discovery aren’t 100 percent certain; however, there are a few legends about its origin. The National Coffee Association (NCA) introduces a handful, including an Ethiopian legend, plus stories from the Arabian Peninsula, Europe, and the Americas.

When it comes to firsts, the first coffee house in the world opened in Arabia in the 16th century, and the first coffee house in Europe opened in Venice in 1645. Now here’s a good one: America’s first coffee house opened in Boston in 1676! Actually, as an expression of freedom, the Boston Tea Party convinced Americans to switch to coffee from tea.


Coffee cup


History aside, we’ve compiled a bunch of fun facts! You are what you drink, so the more you know… right?

  • Two types of coffee beans: Arabica & Robusta (Arabica accounts for 70% of coffee beans). Robusta is slightly more bitter (with twice as much caffeine!).
  • Close to 2.25 billion cups of coffee are consumed in the world every day.
  • “New Yorkers drink almost seven times more coffee than other cities in the US.”
  • Coffee comes in second place, after oil, as one of the most traded commodities in the world.
  • Did you know coffee beans aren’t actual beans? That’s right… they’re fruit pits!
  • The life span of a coffee plant runs between 60 and 70 years.
  • Brazil is home to the majority of coffee production. 40% of the world’s coffee is produced there, which is twice as much as second and third place holders (Colombia and Vietnam).
  • Only one U.S. state commercially grows coffee: Hawaii! Why? Because coffee grows best in climates along the equator, and Hawaii’s weather is optimal for harvesting the beans.


Photo of iced coffee

Here at Chill, we’re proud to source specialty coffee beans locally from Sudbury’s own Karma Coffee Roasters. Our customers tell us time and again how much they love this artisanal coffee, so we recently headed over for some behind-the-scenes action! It was really cool to see the step-by-step process, starting with buckets of beans ready for roasting, the actual roasting, and all the beans in the cooling process. Later, we walked by the finished beans after they were bagged for distribution. It looked like Karma had it down — and it’s no wonder, as they’ve been in the business for quite a while! Karma was incorporated in 1999, and has been around 17 years this year.

You could — and many do — take coffee black with nothing in it. That’s certainly not a bad choice when you have good coffee, but there are so many other ways to enjoy the beverage! We like it iced with milk, and also enjoy experimenting with different flavors of syrup. For an extra treat, we suggest indulging in a sweet caramel macchiato… yum!

Photo of iced coffee


Coffee and syrups


What are your favorite coffee facts? How do you prefer your coffee? Join the discussion and tweet @chillonpark to let us know!