Coffee originates from modern day Ethiopia and North and South Sudan. There are various, legendary accounts of how it was first discovered – from a goat herder who noticed a change in the behaviour of his charge after eating the plant’s wild berries, to a Yemeni mystic who was compelled by the frenzied activity of birds sustaining themselves on the plant. Whichever account we choose to believe, one thing is 100% verified and true: an early version of the drink we now know and love was exported to the Middle East during the 15th century. Since then, the process of roasting and grinding coffee beans to create the perfect cup has become something of an international obsession, with the Italians introducing the first machine to produce a cup of coffee by pushing boiling water through ground beans, at the Milan Fair in 1906.
With coffee love spreading far and wide, there is even a Barista World Championship, where national winners from 50 different countries compete to be crowned the world’s best fancy coffee maker, which in 2016 was an accolade awarded to Berg Wu from Taiwan. Though, perhaps surprisingly, the accolade of most-caffeinated country in the world today goes to Finland, where adults drink an average of 4-5 cups per day.
In contemporary culture, coffee has been the chosen drink of many a screen idol. “Maybe there’s not an idea in every bean, but for me there are many good ideas hiding in coffee…” So said David Lynch, creator of Twin Peaks. And not only are there great ideas hiding in coffee, but a host of great benefits, too. The rich, aromatic smell alone is said to be able to awaken the senses. On top of which, the beans are loaded with antioxidants and essential nutrients, like vitamin B, Magnesium and Potassium. Quote that the next time someone ridicules your grande triple-shot soy macchiato.
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