10 Coffee Facts No One Has Ever Told You About
Photo cred - Habermann & Sons
In the wise words of Lorelai Gilmore, everyone's favorite caffeine addict, "Oh, I can't stop drinking the coffee. I stop drinking coffee, I stop doing the standing and walking and the words putting-into-sentence doing."
It's very true that without this lovely drink, most of us would be unable to function. But Montreal, we bet there are many things that you don't know about the coffee you drink every day and, as usual, we're here to tell you all about'em.
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How much are you paying for your caffeine?
Montreal, we have discovered why Tim Hortons is cheaper than the rest of the main coffee shops - there is less caffeine in their coffee! Ok, that may not actually be why it's cheaper, but we thought it was interesting to see how much caffeine we were actually getting for our money.
(Prices are approximate as they often vary.)
- Tim Hortons: Medium (14 oz.) 140 mg of coffee $1.50
- Starbucks: Grande (16 oz) 330 mg of coffee $1.95
- Second Cup: Medium (20 oz) 391 mg of coffee $1.85
- McDonald's: Medium (14 oz) 207 mg of coffee $1.50
Clearly, our beloved Tim Hortons has been letting us down.
If You Love Alcohol, Coffee's Your Best Friend
Recent studies have shown that drinking coffee can decrease your risk of liver disease. Not just any liver disease, mind you, but the alcohol-related kind. Coffee is also a hangover drink of choice for many, so this works out perfectly. According to a study from Italy (of course, the Italians are the ones who figured this out), drinking three or more cups of coffee a day could reduce your risk of liver cancer by 50 percent while simultaneously allowing you to keep on drinking (but don't tell your doctor we said that).
Always drink in moderation, kids, and if not -- make sure you get yourself some coffee!
Yup, Fight Club.
A cup of Starbucks can be found in every single scene of the movie. This is extremely cool when you realize that the theme of Fight Club is basically consumerism and how it's taking over our lives.
We've now given you a legit reason to re-watch Fight Club. You're welcome.
Who is Tim Horton?
No, honestly, Tim Horton was a real flesh-and-blood person and, get this, he was a hockey player! He played 24 seasons in the NHL for the Leafs, Rangers, Penguins and Sabres (not all at the same time, obviously...). He co-founded everyone's favorite coffee shop with Jim Charade, but it was Ron Joyce who made it the Canadian staple that it is today.
Surprisingly, for almost two decades, Tims was owned by Wendy's and it was registered in the State of Delaware. Thankfully, in 2009, Tim Hortons Inc. shifted its ownership back to Canada, where it belongs.
Decaf Coffee is Lying to You
A lot of people drink decaf coffee in order to enjoy the taste, without the caffeine. We're sorry to inform you that the word decaffeinated is a giant lie - there is most definitely caffeine in decaf. Of course, there's a lot less of it - you'd have to drink about triple the amount of decaf to ingest the same amount of caffeine in regular coffee - but it's there.
If you're really dedicated to living without caffeine, look for the words 'caffeine-free' on products rather than decaf.
It seems a bit ridiculous to have to warn people that coffee is hot, but thanks to our delightful neighbors to the south and their love of lawsuits, this warning is printed on pretty much everything that is remotely warm.
To be fair, the infamous 'hot coffee' lawsuit of 1992 between a woman named Stella Liebeck and McDonald's does make a good point for the need to have a warning like this (as well as the need to regulate beverage temperatures). Liebeck suffered painful third-degree burns due to spilling her coffee in her lap and took McDonald's to court. In the end, she was awarded approximately $600,000 and the importance of warning labels was emphasized and enforced throughout the consumer industry.
Health Benefits of Coffee
Oh yeah, everyone says you shouldn't drink too much coffee because 'it isn't good for you'. First of all, nothing in this world is good for you these days besides maybe kale and chia seeds. Second of all, they're all dead wrong - coffee has many scientifically-proven health benefits. Among other things, coffee boosts metabolism, helps protect you from a whole array of diseases and yes, lengthens your life span. Also, it tastes absolutely delicious so it really doesn't seem like there's a legit reason why we shouldn't be drinking it.
Health Risks of Coffee
Ok, so we can't always win - coffee does have some health risks, though people everywhere are pretty much torn over whether the risks outweigh the benefits (and delicious goodness). Studies have shown that caffeine can increase the risk of heart disease, anemia, gastrointestinal problems and more.
In reality though, it's very rare for something to be all-around good or all-around bad for you. There are risks and benefits to everything; the best thing to do is to pay attention to yourself. Does coffee make you aggravated and jittery, maybe even nauseous? You probably shouldn't make it a part of your daily routine. Does it make you happy, focused and feeling good? Drink on, coffee lover, drink on.
Cup of Joe
Ever wonder where this expression came from? It's kind of weird, right? Well, it turns out there are two possible origin stories.
- Secretary of the Navy Josephus Daniels banned alcohol from U.S. Navy Ships in 1914, so the sailors had to resort to the next strongest drink which was coffee. It became known as a 'cup of Joe' for Josephus since he was the reason they had to drink it.
- Just like in the phrase "average Joe", the word "Joe" could mean the every day man, therefore a cup of Joe is a drink that's for the common man.
We like the first theory more.
What Type of Roast Are You Drinking?
Roasting coffee is quite literally the process that transforms coffee beans into everyone's favorite cup of joe. It's interesting that most of our favorite coffee spots use a blend of Arabica beans, but they each have their own very distinct flavor. Why is that?
The taste of your favorite coffee depends on the agricultural conditions where the beans are grown, the machines that they use in store to brew the coffee, the temperature, the season, and so much more. It also goes without saying that a big factor is the frequency in which a fresh pot of coffee is brewed - we're looking at you, Starbucks! Take a note from Tim Hortons' book and make a fresh pot every 20 minutes!