International Coffee Day: 17 Amazing Facts You Never Knew About Coffee

We all love a cup of Joe. It's big in Italy, bigger in America and ever growing over here, where we drink 70 million cups a day.

But we may not be able to consider ourselves true fans of Java, as it turns out 77 per cent of the coffee we drink in the UK is instant, compared to just seven per cent in the USA.

The world's most important drink
The world's most important drink

And as coffee purists don't even consider instant coffee the same drink, it makes us think we should be putting more effort into appreciating 'proper' coffee. So with that in mind we've discovered 17 pretty awesome facts about our (second) favourite beverage.

1. A lethal dose of coffee is about 100 cups

2. Not providing enough coffee was legal grounds for a woman to divorce her husband in Turkey in the 1500s.

3. Coffee began as the original energy bar - African tribes mixed the coffee berries with animal fat and ate them for a fast caffeine buzz.

4. Most of the coffee we drink in the world is Arabica. It's easier to drink with a smoother taste. Only about 30 per cent is Robusta, which has a harsher taste but higher in caffeine. So swings and roundabouts.

5. Bach loved coffee so much he wrote an opera about a woman who was addicted to the stuff. His work, the Kaffeekantate was first performed in Leipzig, Germany, sometime between 1732 and 1735.

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[Mathemetician ends scone-cream-jam debate]

6. Coffee will not sober you up. Caffeine is not a magic antidote to alcohol. Sorry.

7.The Trojan Room Coffee Pot spawned the first webcam. People working at the University of Cambridge became so fed up with heading to the coffee pot to find it empty that they hooked up a camera that sent black and white images of the state of the coffee pot to their computers to avoid unnecessary trips. Genius!

8. President Roosevelt reportedly drank a gallon of coffee a day. That's about 50 cups. He did have a nation to run after all...

8. According to personality tests, black coffee drinkers are quiet and moody, while cappuccino lovers are perfectionists.

9. Coffee is a huge source of easily-absorbed antioxidants. In fact, it's the biggest source of these for most Americans. We're not sure how instant coffee compares though.

10. Coffee is good for your liver, especially if you drink alcohol. Drinking two or more cups a day appears to cut the risk of death by liver cirrhosis by 66 per cent.

Being a Barista is a highly skilled job in Italy (Giphy)
Being a Barista is a highly skilled job in Italy (Giphy)

11. We may be used to young, hip Baristas serving us coffee, or at least bored students eking out an existence beyond their student loan. But in Italy it's a very respected profession and the average age for a Barista is 48.

12. Beats suicide. Drinking two to four cups of coffee a day has been found to reduce suicide risk by as much as 50 per cent.

13. It’s been suggested coffee enemas may help relieve constipation, insomnia and cognitive problems as well as removing parasites, candida and other pathogens (without disrupting intestinal flora).

14. Globally we drink 1.6 billion cups of coffee every single day.

Coffee: Making life work for 700 (ish) years (Giphy)
Coffee: Making life work for 700 (ish) years (Giphy)

12. Drinking coffee before heading to the gym out can give you more stamina and raises your metabolism, so you can get more out of your workout.

14. And because of this increased metabolism, drinking coffee helps your body burn fat. But don't go overboard (see fact one).

17. A medium (16-ounce) coffee at Starbucks contains as much caffeine as nine and a half cans of Coca-Cola.

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