Whether you’re a devotee or only an occasional drinker, you can’t deny the ubiquity of coffee in American culture. But how much do you really know about this aromatic beverage? Here are seven facts about coffee that might surprise you:
- Coffee Starts Out as Cherries
Coffee beans are actually the seeds of fruits called coffee “cherries” (no, not regular cherries). The fruit’s pulp has to be removed and the seed dried and processed before it can be used for coffee as we know it.
- You Don’t Need It to Wake Up
You may be used to having a morning cup of Joe to get yourself moving, but your body actually produces its own chemical (cortisol) to help when you first wake up. Coffee is more likely to do you some good toward mid-morning.
- It Doesn’t Dehydrate You
The popular wisdom that coffee dehydrates you is actually a myth. The dehydrating effect of the caffeine is counteracted by the amount of water that the coffee is brewed with, so there’s nothing wrong with having a few cups.
- It’s Good for You (Probably)
There’s evidence on both sides, but most recent research points to coffee being good for the body in multiple capacities. It could even protect you against heart disease, according to a recent study out of South Korea.
- Coffee Was a Banned Beverage
King Charles II banned coffee shops in 1675 because he thought conspirators were meeting there to overthrow him.
- It Can Give Your Workout a Boost
Caffeine can both help you work out harder and boosts your metabolism so you’ll see the results of your exercise sooner.
- The Roast Really Matters
The step in the coffee-making process that matters the most in terms of flavor is actually roasting, not brewing. If you’re buying coffee roasted in giant commercial coffee roaster machines and then stored for weeks, you’re not going to get the same flavor you would if you bought from an artisanal coffee roaster.
Are you still buying coffee roasted in industrial-type commercial coffee roaster machines, or have you switched to a better roast? Share your tips for getting better-tasting coffee in the comments.