As the previous blog was all about coffee, I thought I’d continue along this line and delve into the coffee industry itself. So while you’ve got 5 minutes and are sipping your cup of coffee, here are 9 surprising facts about the coffee industry you might not know. Let’s kick it off…
Fact 1 – Drinking Coffee – Then watch your head!
In 17th century Turkey, Sultan Murad IV (who obviously wasn’t a fan of Starbucks) maintained that drinking coffee was a capital offence. The sultan was so intent on eradicating it that he and his entourage crept round the streets of Istanbul disguised as commoners. Once someone was spotted drinking the evil brew the sultan and his gang would saunter up to them, promptly draw their swords and alleviate them of their heads. Ouch!
Fact 2 – Probably the most sought after commodity in the world
….Well after crude oil anyway, but there’s no shame in that. In fact the coffee industry is worth over $100 billion worldwide and that’s more than other commodities like sugar, wheat, and corn, put together.
Fact 3 – Boggling numbers
Okay so you want to guess how many cups we consume in the world each year? 100 million, 200 million perhaps…try 500 billion! 14 billion of these are espressos (apparently).
Fact 4 – A truly global operation
Coffee is produced in over 50 countries with some of the finest coming from places like St Helena, Guatamala, and Hawaii
Fact 5 – Limited choice
Despite there being endless flavours, grades, and varieties of coffee, there are in fact only two types of originating bean. These are Arabica and Robusta. Around 70% of the world’s coffee is Arabica and is considered more flavourful. Robusta is usually cheaper, harder to roast, and is more commonly used in instant coffee production.
Fact 5 – And the fastest growing niche in the hospitality industry is…..
Yep, you’ve guessed it…coffee shops! Even in a global recession coffee shops are reported to be growing by around 7% per year. If you don’t believe me look at how many café’s have sprung up in your area recently.
Fact 6 – Unfair balance
While over 90% of coffee production occurs in developing countries the majority of its consumption takes place in industrialised nations. The top 3 producers are Brazil, Columbia, and rather surprisingly… Vietnam.
Fact 7 – And the prize for the country that drinks the most coffee per capita in the world goes to…
No not the USA, not Italy, but Finland. Consuming 9.6 kgs of the stuff (that’s per person, per year) that’s 2.4kgs more than its closest rival Norway. If you’re wandering where Australians rank, then we’re 28th on the list at a paltry 2.6kgs.
Fact 8 –Coffee wasn’t always so popular
We already know what Sultan Murad IV felt about coffee, but did you know that since its discovery in Ethiopia it’s been blamed for Satan worship, promiscuity, riots, and general lawlessness?
Fact 9 – Half the adult population drink it
Yes it’s true, over half of the adult population in the world drink coffee, averaging 3.5 cups per day.
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