Whether you prefer an automatic drip coffee maker or the meditation of a perfect...
1. In Colonial times, drinking coffee became an expression of revolution. The Tea tariffs imposed by England triggered the Boston Tea Party and turned American tea drinkers to confirmed coffee consumers. Today, the United States is the single largest importer of coffee in the world. The U.S. per capita coffee consumption is about 27 gallons of coffee a year.
2. British coffee drinkers prefer instant coffee by a margin of 10 to 1. The UK is one of the largest markets for Folgers Instant Coffee.
3. Italy has over 200,000 coffee bars. In Italy, barista is a respected profession, and the top baristas in the country are national celebrities. The average age of a coffee barista in Italy is 48 years.
4. Japan is the third largest consumer of coffee in the world. There are over 10,000 coffee shops and several thousand more coffee vending machines in Tokyo alone.
5. Coffee is the second most traded commodity by volume in the world, second only to oil. Only about 20% of the coffee produced in the world is considered to be premium high quality. It takes nearly 4,000 Arabica beans to make one pound of coffee. Each coffee cherry (except for peaberry coffee) contains two coffee beans. That means that someone has to hand-pick 2000 coffee cherries for every pound of premium coffee that you buy.
6. The coffee trade in Brazil employs over 5 million people. Most of them are involved in coffee farming and harvesting the country’s 3 billion coffee plants. The average price paid to a Brazilian farmer for coffee beans is dependent on supply and demand. In 2008, the average price for Brazilian coffee was $1.32 a pound.
7. Brazil produces about 1/3 of the world’s coffee production. The United States imports about 1/3 of the world’s coffee production. The majority of the coffee imported in the US is from Brazil, but African coffees are growing in popularity as specialty coffee becomes more popular.
8. The coffee trade employs more than 25 million people worldwide, most of them in coffee farming and harvesting. Fluctuations in coffee prices can affect the entire economy of some nations like Uganda and Ethiopia.
9. A healthy coffee tree will only produce about 5 pounds of green beans annually. Of those, only about half will pass premium high quality standard tests.
10. A good coffee picker can pick about 45 pounds of coffee per day. The average coffee picker in Latin America receives about $2 a day in wages. That translates to about 4 cents per pound for the folks that pick the coffee.