10 Facts About Coffee

Ah, coffee, a faithful ally of our daily lives. It helps us throughout our waking hours, often in the morning, sometimes as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, and occasionally as a digestive after dinner. Want to learn more about coffee? Check out these 10 fascinating facts!

 1. Global appreciation

Believe it or not, the world’s biggest coffee drinkers are neither the Italians nor the French, but the Scandinavians, with our American neighbours to the south in second place. Coffee lovers are numerous and spread all over the globe, with different coffee drinking cultures and particular drinks, including Irish coffee and Café Liégeois (coffee with ice cream).

2. To grind or not to grind

That is the question. Coffee starts to lose its flavour once ground, so to preserve the beans’ essence for as long as possible, grind them just before use and avoid grinding more than you need.

3. Sustainable choices

What difference does fair trade make? Easy: It contributes to the quality of life of small-scale producers in 27 countries throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America, as well as promoting a healthy environment and supporting community development programs. Bonus: These days, fair trade coffee costs about the same as the regular stuff.

4. Black gold

Measured in 60 kg bags, coffee is the most traded product on stock exchanges after oil. It’s snapped up by the biggest markets in the world, so it’s no surprise that your mini loaves of coffee banana bread also disappear as soon as they’re out of the oven. First come, first served!

5. Daily allowance

Adults should consume a maximum of 400 mg of caffeine per day. That translates to about three cups of filter coffee or four cups of the instant stuff. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should have no more than 300 mg.

6. Espresso

It isn’t a kind of coffee, but rather a way of roasting and preparing beans. Water is forced through packed, finely ground beans to produce the dark, strong-tasting beverage. A shot of espresso (about 30 ml) contains about 40 mg of caffeine. A perfect companion for almond cantuccini (mini biscotti), espresso is also delicious in pies, or even (dessert) risotto!

7. Affogato

Looking for a quick dessert idea? Place a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a cup or small dish and add a shot of espresso coffee—regular or decaf depending on the time of day. Delizioso!

8. Fridge or freezer

If properly stored in an opaque, airtight container, whole beans keep fresh for three weeks at room temperature. Ground coffee stored in the same way is best used within 10 days of opening the bag. Need to buy more time? This is where things get a little murky: Some experts claim that the humidity and odours in a fridge will affect the taste, while others swear by the freezer. Our advice? Avoid the issue entirely and buy your coffee in small quantities.

9. The dish on decaf

There are 3 to 5 mg of caffeine per cup of decaffeinated coffee, or about the same as a single-serving hot chocolate mix. Discover our own decaf blend in the RICARDO x Café Touché line of coffee, made with Peruvian beans for a blend that’s aromatic, balanced and comforting.

Café Touché décaféiné

10. Moderation tastes much better

We like our little corretto iced coffee on a Saturday night, but let it be known that it’s best to consume coffee—alcoholic or not—in moderation! Because even if the mixture is decaffeinated, its compounds called methylxanthines increase gastric acidity, causing stomach pain, especially on an empty stomach or before bedtime. 

Hélène Laurendeau

A nutrition and health enthusiast who loves to share: this description fits Hélène Laurendeau to a tee. She has been active for more than 25 years in the media and communications field. Nutritionist, host, columnist, author and speaker, Hélène holds a Bachelor degree in Nutrition and a Master degree in Epidemiology. She has spread her knowledge alongside Ricardo every week since 2005, as part of his daily show broadcast on ICI Radio-Canada Télé, as well as in Ricardo magazine, where she pens the Bien se nourrir (Eating Well) column.