- Seattle/Tacoma residents consume more coffee per capita than any other city in the country.
- About 15 billion pounds of coffee are shipped around the world each year.
- Coffee plants use caffeine as a natural pesticide to paralyze and kill destructive insects. Fortunately, it does not affect humans in the same way!
- The coffee plant was discovered in Ethiopian forests at least 1,000 years ago.
- The word "coffee" comes from the Turkish word qahwa, for a wine-like drink. "Java" is an Indonesian island where Dutch coffee plantations were located.
- In 17th-century London, coffeehouses were called "penny universities" because for the price of a cup of coffee, you could listen for hours to enlightening talk.
- Caffeine can relieve headaches by constricting the brain's blood vessels.
- Coffee cultivation is hard work! Pickers are typically paid by the basket-full and an adult picker can harvest over 200 pounds of coffee berries a day.
- Shade-grown coffee is much better for the environment than sun-grown coffee. More than a half-pound of chemical fertilizers and pesticides are needed for every pound of sun-grown coffee produced.
- Since the 1960s, when new varieties of sun-tolerant coffee were developed, scientists have noted an alarming decline in migratory birds. Well managed shade-grown coffee farms provide the forest canopy environment upon which many species of migratory birds rely for survival.
Woman picking cherries (Sumatra)
Photo by Mark Stell, courtesy of Portland Roasting