Coffee: we all love it. Most of us depend on it to get going in the morning, to power our work through the day, and even to relax with after dinner. Whether your idea of a great cuppa is brewed, pressed, or pour over, here are three amazing facts about coffee you probably didn’t know.
1. The fruit is banned in England. It’s not just the coffee beans in your monthly coffee subscription box that are so great. The coffee “cherry,” know as cascara, is just as delicious. Years ago, traders brought them to England but couldn’t give an English name for them. When asked what the berries were, they responded: “coffee.”
Customs officials knew these things weren’t coffee they were familiar with. They thought someone was trying to pull a fast one on them, and they banned the fruit.
2. The two coffee breeds are very different. Most people prefer arabica beans, but robusta is far easier to grow. Robusta grows faster and at lower altitudes, produce more caffeine, and are less susceptible to the ravages of nature than arabica.
The higher caffeine content makes robusta beans more bitter, which is why they’re not as sought after as arabica. They’re an acquired taste for a sophisticated palate.
3. There’s a reason that all Starbucks tastes the same. The finest coffees are roasted to the first breaking point: when the bean “pops.” At that point, the flavor profile is about to plateau: roast it just a very little bit longer to perfect it.
If you get it wrong your entire batch is ruined. Much safer to roast to the second crack. The flavor profile of the bean will suffer, but you can guarantee the flavor of every bean: slightly burnt.
Coffee has been part of the American landscape since the country’s founding. However you like your cuppa: bottoms up!