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29th Sep 2015

5 things you didn’t know about coffee


It’s International Coffee Day – or Tuesday, as we also like to call it – and we’ve spent the morning getting caffeinated in the name of journalism.

We’ve bean going to a latte trouble to find out some great coffee facts – the great news for you, dear reader, is that they won’t Costa thing.

The first coffee shop in the UK opened in the 17th century

Brits have been drinking coffee since the 1650s, with a cafe in Oxford laying claim to having served the first cup of the stuff. We imagine it was a little different to some of the chains you see on high streets today.


Beethoven was very particular about his coffee

The German composer drank plenty of the stuff, and is thought to have hand-counted 60 beans – no more, no less – for each cup.


The world’s most famous fictional coffee shop came to life in 2014

Central Perk, so prominent in the show Friends that it became an ersatz seventh lead character, briefly opened for real to mark the show’s 20th anniversary in 2014. It came with plenty of the features of the fictional version, including long-suffering owner Gunther doing the rounds.

The lethal dose of caffeine is estimated to equate to somewhere between 50 and 100 cups of coffee

Remember that Futurama episode where Fry spends his $300 tax rebate on 100 cups of coffee. He’d most likely be dead before the last sip.

The world’s most expensive coffee comes from elephant dung

Hear us out. The Black Ivory Coffee Company in Thailand feeds coffee beans to elephants and collects the digested beans once they have passed through the animal’s system and breaks down the protein.

This reportedly makes for a smoother and less bitter coffee, which will set you back $50 (£33) a cup. Is it worth it? Only one way to find out.