We have changed from consumers of instant coffee crystals and second-rate percolated blends to coffee gourmets who demand our own personal designer beverages.
The Perfect Cup of Coffee
Sure you know how to order a venti, half-caf, fat-free vanilla latte, but can you brew the perfect pot of coffee at home? Or do you actually know what’s contained inside the cup you just ordered? Clark’s new nonfiction book gives the sweet, frothy side as well as touching on the darker, grittier aspects of the caffeinated beverage that four out of five adult Americans drink on a regular basis.
So whether the factoids below from the book Starbucked are revelations to you or just reminders for the hardened java junkie, feel free to impress your friends with what you know while relaxing in an over-stuffed chair during your next coffee klatch.
Fun Coffee Facts
- Coffee is the second-most-traded physical commodity in the world, ranking second only to petroleum.
- Americans buy more coffee than any other country, totaling nearly one-third of the world’s supply with consumption estimated at 110 billion cups each year.
- “Starbuck” was the name of the first mate in Herman Melville’s classic novel Moby Dick.
- To prepare the perfect cup of coffee at home, never boil or reheat coffee, and never reuse the grounds.
- The coffea arabica tree from the remote highlands of Ethiopia yields the best-tasting coffee bean.
- To accommodate even the most finicky drinkers, Starbucks has 55,000 different drink combinations to choose from (when mixing and matching beverage types, temperature, size, sweetener, creamer, and flavor preferences).
- At least one web site tracks the coffee preferences of celebrities, such as Katie Holmes (half-caf grande soy latte) and Elijah Wood (quad espresso over ice).
- Starbucks uses its 2,500 employees at its company headquarters to serve as taste-testers for its newest drink recipes.
- In 1999, during the World Trade Organization riots in Seattle, Washington, a group of protesters threw a metal USA Today box through the front window of a Starbucks, marking the first official rebellion against the powerful corporation.
- From 2000 to 2005, Starbucks tripled its U.S. store count from 2,700 to 7,500.
- Not only coffee, tea, and chocolate contain caffeine (an addictive additive without any taste benefit), but Sunkist Orange Soda, Barq’s Root Beer, and many other soft drinks have caffeine added to their products. Most decaffeinated drinks still contain traces of caffeine as well.
- There is an annual World Barista Championship where entrants from coffeehouses around the globe compare their impressive coffee-making skills before a panel of judges.