Coffee Trivia

• William Penn was one of the first importers of green coffee into colonial Pennsylvania in the 1600’s. He paid the equivalent of $6/Lb. He followed his mother’s recipe which called for the raw beans to be roasted in a skillet and then ground up and mixed with milk. Yes, the first American latte.

• The second largest producer nation of coffee, after Brazil is…Vietnam.

• Jamaica’s Blue Mountain region produces, on average, only 1,000 bags of green coffee per year… 90% of which is usually purchased by Japanese importers.

• The traditional Mocha-Java is a 50-50 blend of coffee from the Indonesian island of Java and coffee from the African nation of Ethiopia. Mocha is the Red Sea port city through which both coffees entered Arabia and where the blend originated. The common association between ‘Mocha’ and ‘chocolate’ comes from the fact that very good East African coffees, when brewed, can have a slight chocolate flavor.

• French roast originates with the coffee roasters in France, hundreds of years ago, who tended to roast all of their coffees right up to the point of combustion. This is due to their largely importing green coffee from North Africa which was of such poor quality that they had to roast it extremely dark to eliminate the bad flavors. This left the coffee with very little ‘good’ coffee flavor and a whole lot of ‘roast’ flavor – which they grew accustomed to.

• The ‘Americano’ espresso drink (a shot of espresso with hot water added) originates from WWII Italy. The American GIs, marching up the boot of Italy, would periodically ask the locals for a cup of coffee. The Italians, more often than not, had only espresso to satisfy this need. So, they created the ‘Americano’.

• An order of a strait espresso often comes with a lemon slice or peel. This also originates with the GIs in war-torn Italy. The lemon was not provided to the Americans for flavor or garnish. Due to the ravages of the war, much of the country’s water supply was suspect. So, the lemon was rubbed around the rim of the cup as a sanitizer.