Fast Facts about Coffee

Fast Facts about Coffee

Coffee is more than just the world’s favorite beverage...it’s also big business: Coffee is second only to oil as the most widely-traded commodity on world markets!

Coffee by the Numbers

  • Each individual coffee tree yields about one pound of green coffee per year.
  • It takes approximately 2000 cherries or 4000 coffee beans to yield one pound of roasted coffee.
  • A coffee picker can gather approximately 100-200 pounds of coffee cherries each day. The average net yield is 20-40 pounds of green coffee per picker per day.
  • One acre of coffee trees can produce up to 10,000 pounds of coffee cherries. This amounts to some 2000 pounds of beans after milling.
  • Arabica coffee trees produce up to 12 pounds of coffee cherries a year, depending on soil and climate.
  • The arabica coffee tree is an evergreen and in the wild grows to a height between 14 and 20 feet.
  • The white jasmine-scented coffee flower only lasts two to three days, then becomes a green cherry.
  • The coffee “bean” is actually the seed of the coffee cherry. Two beans grow face-to-face within each cherry. There are about four thousand beans in a single pound of specialty coffee.

Coffee Surprises

  • A scientific report from the University of California found that the steam rising from a cup of coffee contains the same amounts of antioxidants as 3 oranges. Antioxidants are heterocyclic compounds which prevent cancer and heart disease. Coffee is good for you!
  • Coffee must have at least 97% of its caffeine removed to qualify as decaffeinated in the United States. A 5-ounce cup of decaffeinated coffee contains less than 5 milligrams of caffeine.
  • During roasting, coffee beans become 18-23% lighter and 50-100% larger.
  • It takes approximately 42 coffee beans to make a shot of espresso.
  • 65% of coffee drinkers add cream and/or sugar.
  • 65% of all American coffee is consumed during breakfast hours.

Coffee as an Industry

  • The coffee industry employs more than 20 million worldwide.
  • Coffee is the most popular beverage worldwide with over 400 billion cups consumed each year.
  • Every single day, Americans drink over 400 million cups of coffee.
  • Over 53 countries grow coffee commercially and all of them lie along the equator between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.
  • Hawaii is the only state of the United States in which coffee is commercially grown. Hawaiian coffee is harvested between November and April.
  • Only about 20% of harvested coffee beans are considered to be a premium bean of the highest quality.
  • Over 5 million people in Brazil are employed by the coffee trade. Most of those are involved with the cultivation and harvesting of more than 3 billion coffee plants.
  • In the coffee world, “excelso” or “supremo” do not indicate the quality of the beans, but rather, the size of the beans.

Coffee Through the Years

  • Bach wrote a coffee cantata in 1732.
  • Remember the Boston Tea Party? It was during that period in 1773 when colonists switched from tea to coffee as a symbol of their freedom from England.
  • Count Rumford, an eccentric American adventurer who settled in Paris perfected the French Drip Pot around 1800.
  • American kitchens began sporting manual coffee grinders around 1850.
  • Over the last three centuries, 90% of all people living in the Western world have switched from tea to coffee.
  • The first commercial espresso machine was manufactured in Italy shortly after the turn of the 20th century.
  • Australians consume 60% more coffee than tea, a six-fold increase since 1940.
  • Iced coffee in a can has been popular in Japan since 1945.
  • October 1st is the official Coffee Day in Japan.
  • Ancora Coffee Roasters is founded and the first Ancora Coffeehouse opens in Madison, Wisconsin in June, 1994!

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