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Coffee Q and A
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by: Celebrity Recipes Magazine

You might think you already know a lot about this dark brew, but there are still a lot of surprising info you need to know to better enjoy this beverage. Here are a few:

When and where was coffee discovered?
Nobody really knows. Although tradition has it that a goatherd named Kaldi saw a group of goats “dancing” when the said goats ate the berries of a particular shrub. Gathering the berries, Kaldi brought them to a nearby Moslem monastery where the monks, scholar that they were, experimented on the beans. They probably discovered that the beans made a dark brew that proved stimulating when drunk, and which enabled them to pray for extended periods.

However, there are those who believe that coffee existed long before the discovery of Kaldi. The bible for instance related that “parched corn” was given to King David. This “parched corn” some scholars believe might be coffee. Also, Laceadaemonians, an ancient race on men in Asia Minor was known to have a so-called “black broth” which they boil and brew much like coffee.

As to where it was discovered, the above story would probably lead us to believe that coffee was endemic to the Middle East. However, recent studies indicate that Africa, to be specific Ethiopia, was where coffee actually originated. From there, it was transplanted to Yemen and to the rest of the coffee-producing world.

Can coffee be grown anywhere in the world?
No. Coffee can only be grown in what is known as the “coffee-belt,” a region roughly lying near the equator between the tropic of Cancer and Capricorn. Over 53 countries located near the said region can grow coffee. Fortunately for Pinoy coffee-lovers, the Philippines lies along the “coffee-belt.”

Surprisingly, the Philippines was once the most important coffee exporter in the world during the 19th century. It seems that when “coffee rust” afflicted the coffee trees of other countries, the coffee trees of the Philippines was spared. As such, for several years, The Philippines became the world’s most important exporter. Indeed, the town of Lipa in Batangas became so rich because of the coffee trade that the late National Artist Nick Joaquin once described the rich lifestyle of the said town, as the “fabled elegance of Lipa.”

Was Coffee always drunk as hot beverage?
No. The practice of brewing coffee in boiling water originated only around 1000 A.D. Before that, the beans were probably eaten as is or made into something medicinal in form. Drinking coffee as a hot beverage was popularized by the legendary Sheik Omar who experimented with brewing coffee during his travels in the Arab world. Nowadays, coffee is also drunk cold as in frappes and iced coffees.

How long can coffee be stored?
Coffee readily deteriorates once roasted and grounds. As such, most coffee connoisseurs recommended just buying enough coffee (ground coffee) to last them a week or so. Otherwise, coffee becomes stale after 10 days. Also, be sure to store coffee in dry, airtight containers in the refrigerator. Why? The cold temperature helps retain the oils that make coffee delicious.

What are the different coffee drinks?
Coffee is served in various forms, most of which are espresso-based. These include cappuccino (espresso with steamed and foamed milk), mocha (with chocolate syrup and steamed or foamed milk), latte (with steamed milk and little foam), correto (spiked with a shot of liqueur, whisky or brandy) and macchiato (with foam and cinnamon or chocolate powder). Nowadays, coffee is also served either as frappes, iced or flavored.


Coffee Factoids:
Here are a few more surprising facts about coffee.

  • Germans are the biggest coffee consumers. They consume about 16 pounds of coffee per person!

  • About 7 million coffee beans are picked each year. Surprisingly, most are still handpicked.

  • In the Philippines, the Cavite coffee farmer produces more berries per tree than the other provinces of the country, producing 4 kilos of coffee berries per tree than the average of 1 kilo per three.

  • On the average, Filipinos drink 3 cups of coffee per day.

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September 23, 2017

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