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190 Coffee Trivia Questions, Answers, and Fun Facts

How much do you know about Coffee? This category is for trivia questions and answers related to Coffee (Hobbies). Each one is filled with fun facts and interesting information.
1 The history of coffee began in the 14th century when it was first cultivated by the Arabs. What does the Arabic word "qahwa", the word of which "coffee" is the anglicanised form, mean?
Answer: Wine of the bean

"Coffee" comes from the Dutch "koffie", which hails from the Turkish "kahve", which derives from the Arabic "qahwa", a shortened form of the phrase "qahwat al-bun", which means "Wine of the bean".
    Your options: [ Wine of the desert ] [ Wine of the oasis ] [ Wine of the date-tree ] [ Wine of the bean ]
  From Quiz: Coffee Story
2 Grown primarily in a two-mile strip of land on an island, this uncommon ground is commonly worshipped as "kona." From which "big island" does this coffee waft?
Answer: Hawaii

Despite Hawaii's ability to produce coffee year around, there is a limited acreage and a smaller harvest. Kona coffee has the highest amount of caffeine of any bean and is often mixed with other beans due to the limited quantity produced.
    Your options: [ Cuba ] [ Madagascar ] [ Puerto Rico ] [ Hawaii ]
  From Quiz: Uncommon Grounds
3 What coffee is "good to the last drop"?
Answer: Maxwell House

The Maxwell House logo shows a tipped coffee cup with the last drop pouring out. The logo was created in 1917. There is an apocryphal story that Theodore Roosevelt complimented this coffee on a visit to Tennessee when he said the coffee was "good to the last drop."
  From Quiz: A Cup of Trivia for Coffee Lovers
4 Between 1990 and 2010, what country was the leading producer of coffee for international consumption, by a substantial margin?
Answer: Brazil

Brazil produced over 2 million tonnes of coffee in 2009, approximately one-third of the world's total. Second in the production stakes was Vietnam, with just under 1 million tonnes, followed by Colombia and Indonesia. The Asian contribution to production increased dramatically over these two decades - in 1995, Vietnam was in sixth place, behind Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia, Mexico and Guatemala.

The highest per capita consumption of coffee in 2008 was in Finland, where they consumed 12.0 kg per head.
  From Quiz: The Coffee Song
5 Who was the inventor of instant coffee in 1901?
Answer: David Strang

In 1890, Mr. David Strang from Invercargill, New Zealand invented instant coffee through a method he called "dry hot-air processing". His coffee was sold with the brand name of Strang's Coffee. 1901 Satori Kato created his version of instant coffee. He was a Japanese American chemist from Chicago. Melitta Bentz, from Dresden, Germany,invented the first coffee filter, which was patented on June 20, 1908. Dr. Ernest Illy is credited with creating the first automatic espresso machine back in 1933. Achilles Gaggia, from Italy, invented a high pressure espresso machine in 1946.
  From Quiz: Coffee, Anyone?
6 According to legend, where was coffee first grown and harvested?
Answer: Ethiopia

The coffee plant is a native of Ethiopia. The legend surrounding it says that an Ethiopian sheep/goat herder, named Kaldi, noticed that his animals became hyperactive after eating the 'red cherries' that grew in a particular area. He tried a few himself, and it had the same effect. The story goes on to say that a passing monk scolded him for eating 'the devil's fruit', but they soon found out that the berries helped them to stay awake for prayers.
  From Quiz: There's an Awful Lot of Coffee in Brazil
7 What language did the word 'coffee' evolve from?
Answer: Arabic

'Qahhwa' was the name the Arabs chose for this splendid drink meaning 'wine of the bean'. What could be more appropriate?
  From Quiz: Coffee - The Nectar Of The Bean
8 How tall can coffee trees grow?
Answer: 32 ft.

Colors of the coffee tree leaves range from purple to yellow, but most common is green.
  From Quiz: Cup of Java
9 Coffee was imported to Europe in the 15th century, from North Africa via Venice, but originated in the Arab world. What nickname was it given there?
Answer: The wine of Araby

Under Muslim law, wine is forbidden as it causes intoxication, so coffee was seen as an acceptable substitute, despite being a stimulant rather than a depressant. Although the Arab world monopolised the coffee trade in the 15th century and sultans issued a ban on exports of coffee cherries and beans, merchants and smugglers still managed to trade it around Southwest Asia, and it later reached Europe. For example, the Dutch introduced coffee to the Netherlands in 1616, growing it in greenhouses and exporting it to their colonies in Indonesia (hence the nickname of 'java') and India.

The coffee house culture originated in the Arab world, where they were known as 'qahveh kahneh'. They were popular haunts for traders and scholars, and were important places for exchanging information.
  From Quiz: Coffee Craziness!
10 What is a latte?
Answer: Espresso, steamed milk, and foam
  From Quiz: Coffee Shops
11 In the 17th century, France met and was charmed by coffee. Who was responsible for the introduction of the beverage in France?
Answer: Jean de Thevenot

Jean de Thevenot was born in 1633. Apart from being a frequent traveler to areas of today's Eastern Europe and Near East, he was a linguist and a botanist. He had friends in high places, such as monsieur De La Croix, King Louis' interpreter, with whom he shared his "discovery" of coffee.
  From Quiz: Coffee Story
12 In North America we all know when the waitress shows up at the table with an orange spout and handle on the coffee pot, she's about to pour us decaf, coffee with reduced caffeine. But what exactly is caffeine?
Answer: Caffeine is the plant's natural defense against bugs

The tree has its own defense against bugs by naturally having caffeine in the beans. There are several types of bugs that really seem to prefer coffee trees. In the past few years, researchers have found a species of coffee tree that is naturally caffeine free. There is hope that that species can be crossed with others to produce coffee beans that don't have caffeine.
Here's a little trivia about the orange color representing decaf. No one really knows for sure but some say that decaf and the color orange association goes clear back to 1920s when Sanka made decaf coffee for the first time and wanted to make it very identifiable to the public. Another theory says that when people get out of bed and go to the kitchen to make their first cup of coffee, they see bright orange and even in their disheveled, zombie state, they recognize that bright orange color means they aren't getting real coffee. Another famous company, Folgers, associated the color green with their decaf coffees. Now you'll find several coffee companies associate the color green with decaf but orange still prevails in the restaurants and when serving the liquid nectar of the gods.
  From Quiz: Perk Me Up!
13 Which coffee is the "best part of waking up"?
Answer: Folgers

The ads say "The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup." Folgers coffee is now owned by Procter and Gamble, but the company was founded in San Francisco by J. A. Folger in the nineteenth century.
    Your options: [ Juan Valdez ] [ Folgers ] [ Chase & Sanborn ] [ Starbucks ]
  From Quiz: A Cup of Trivia for Coffee Lovers
14 What are some of the advantages of instant coffee?
Answer: All are correct

Instant coffee is a lot faster to prepare than the conventional ways of brewing coffee. Because instant coffee is dehydrated, it weighs less and has less volume than coffee beans and ground coffee when preparing the same amount. Coffee beans and ground coffee both lose some flavor because their essential oils evaporate after some time, whereas instant coffee maintains its flavor.
(source: wikipedia)
  From Quiz: Coffee, Anyone?
15 Which people are the first to be recorded as producing a beverage using coffee beans?
Answer: Arabs

Coffee spread to the Arab world via Yemeni traders. It was very quickly planted in large numbers and the first coffee plantations appeared around 1000AD. The peoples of the Arab world are recorded as boiling the beans to produce a drink which was called qahwa. This may be a truncated form of qahhwat al-bun, which has been translated as 'wine of the bean'. The word qahwa has also been translated as 'that which prevents sleep'. It is believed that from this word came the Turkish kahve, which gave the Italians the word caffè, which gave rise to coffee.
    Your options: [ Greeks ] [ Turks ] [ Arabs ] [ Romans ]
  From Quiz: There's an Awful Lot of Coffee in Brazil
16 What is a dopio con panna?
Answer: Two espresso shots with whipped cream
  From Quiz: Coffee Shops
17 Some of the world's most expensive coffee comes from Jamaica. But where does the most expensive coffee come from?
Answer: Indonesia

Known in Indonesia as Kopi Luwak, it is also called civet coffee. The expense of this coffee comes down to the process involved in getting it. The Asian Palm Civet eats coffee cherries which travels through its intestinal tract half-digested and comes out the other end, the result of which is used in the making of this highly priced coffee. In other words... civet poop. The suppliers of civet coffee have come under fire lately for the inhumane treatment of the animals responsible for creating this deluxe coffee.
  From Quiz: Secrets of a Barista
18 The story of the spread and the establishment of coffee in England is unique on its own. The beverage became extremely popular and coffeehouses swept the country. Yet, one English King attempted to ban them. What was his name?
Answer: Charles II

The reason for King Charles' action was the fact that coffeehouses had became a place where men were gathering and discussing religion and politics and spreading new ideas that didn't come in accordance with the King's wishes. Of course, the attempt failed and coffeehouses continued to exist.
  From Quiz: Coffee Story
19 Which instant coffee promised that it had true coffee flavor which is missing in other brands?
Answer: Chase & Sanborn

In 1957 (the 93rd anniversary of the Chase & Sanborn company, they introduced their new instant coffee. The jingle on the radio sang:
New Chase & Sanborn has what's been missing.
Missing in your instant coffee
New Chase & Sanborn has
True Coffee Flavor!
    Your options: [ Hills Bros ] [ Chase & Sanborn ] [ Taster's Choice ] [ MJB ]
  From Quiz: A Cup of Trivia for Coffee Lovers
20 Coffee was originally noted for, and is still popular because of, its energizing effect when consumed. What is the chemical that produces this effect?
Answer: caffeine

While these are all stimulants, the one found in coffee is caffeine, a white crystalline xanthine alkaloid which was first discovered by the German chemist Friedrich Ferdinand Runge in 1819. Caffeine is found in the leaves, fruits and beans of a number of plants, where it acts as a natural pesticide that paralyzes and kills insects feeding on the plants. Coffee beans, tea leaves, guarana, yerba mate, chocolate and soft drinks made from kola beans (such as colas) are common dietary sources of caffeine.
  From Quiz: The Coffee Song
21 One of the steps in the processing of coffee is the roasting of the coffee beans. Why is roasting the beans so important?
Answer: It brings out the flavor and aroma of the coffee.

When first picked, the coffee bean has no pleasant taste to it at all. It has to be roasted in order to bring out its aroma and its flavor. Roasting is essential for both instant and regular coffee. The beans are put into large cylinders that rotate while hot combustion gases are used. The bean temperature has to reach and exceed 165 degrees Celsius for the roasting to begin, sounding somewhat like popping corn popping. It takes between eight and fifteen minutes to complete the roasting process.
(source: wikipedia)
  From Quiz: Coffee, Anyone?
22 What country is accredited for first giving us coffee?
Answer: Ethiopia

There's a neat story that goes along with this discovery by Ethiopian shepherds. It is said that these shepherds saw that their goats had eaten from a coffee tree growing wild in the mountains and that the goats would 'dance' after eating these berries. Over the course of time coffee made it to Arabia and picked up it's name already mentioned in question number one and its use spread through the Muslim World.
  From Quiz: Coffee - The Nectar Of The Bean
23 King Frederick II of Prussia, aka Frederick the Great, was a coffee lover. He liked to take his coffee with champagne - but what condiment did he also add to it?
Answer: Mustard

You'd expect mustard to go in a hot dog or a sandwich, but not coffee, surely? Yet Frederick the Great put the powdered version in his coffee and used champagne to dilute it instead of water. Despite this, he actually tried to crack down on coffee imports as he was worried about coffee ruining the Prussian economy and taking money away from Prussian businesses, and allegedly tried to encourage the populace to drink the more traditionally Prussian beer instead. He also insisted that coffee roasters obtained a licence from the government, but rejected the majority of applications, except for those from people who had a good relationship with his court. He complained about coffee becoming popular among the lower classes and hired soldiers to act as human sniffer dogs, sniffing out contraband coffee and arresting people without roasting permits.

Coffee with alcohol is not unusual in other countries; for instance, Ireland has the famous 'Irish coffee', a mixture of coffee and whiskey. Switzerland, meanwhile, has 'Luzerner Kafi', a mixture of sugary coffee and red wine, and the Belgian coffee house Wittamer's served a coffee drink called 'brûlot', which contained cognac set on fire.
  From Quiz: Coffee Craziness!
24 What is an americano?
Answer: Espresso shots with hot water
  From Quiz: Coffee Shops
25 While thinking about the chemical composition of coffee, Starbuck wanted to know more about the effects of its most well-known chemical component, caffeine. According to organic chemistry, how much caffeine is in a cup (8 oz.) of plain black coffee?
Answer: 80 - 175 mg

Caffeine is a mildly addictive, stimulant chemical that occurs naturally in coffee. The amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee varies with the type of bean and the roasting and brewing method. As with most food, moderate consumption of caffeine carries virtually no health risk, although certain people, such as pregnant women, are cautioned to limit their consumption.

As every student who has pulled an all-night study session knows, caffeine can temporarily prevent sleep and enhance performance. It has been used for these purposes by shift workers and athletes, as well as by students over the years.
  From Quiz: The Wonderful, Wacky World of Coffee
26 Which coffee bean dating back to 1,000 B.C. has its origin in Yemen?
Answer: Arabica

Arabica and Robusta coffee beans are the two that are commercially grown. Of the two beans, Arabica has the better flavor. Climate and taste are two factors in distinguishing between the two beans. Price is also a consideration. Simply put, Arabica beans cost more. They tend to have a sweeter, softer, fruitier taste. Robusta beans have a harsher, nuttier taste. Robusta beans may have twice as much caffeine as Arabica beans but, in the case of coffee drinking, taste trumps cost.
    Your options: [ Arabica ] [ Liberica ] [ Robusta ] [ Artesian ]
  From Quiz: Secrets of a Barista
27 In 1683, coffee penetrated the borders of Austria. The first coffee seeds came into the possession of the Austro-Hungarian army after the defeat of the Ottomans in which battle?
Answer: Battle of Vienna

The coffee seeds the Turks left behind after their defeat in the battle were discovered by an officer whose origins were Ukrainian and his name was Jerzy Franciszek Kulczycki. Soon, he opened the first coffeehouse in Vienna and is remembered as the one who popularized the practice of adding sugar and milk in a cup of coffee.
    Your options: [ Battle of Lepanto ] [ Battle of Aldenhoven ] [ Battle of Karansebes ] [ Battle of Vienna ]
  From Quiz: Coffee Story
28 Which coffee promotion touted being "mountain grown for better flavor"?
Answer: Folgers

A 1967 TV commercial featured a character named Mrs. Olsen teaching a neighbor to brew Folgers and explaining that the coffee was mountain grown for better flavor. The logo on the can had printed the word mountain with the tops of the letters rising to a peak like a mountain.
    Your options: [ Sanka ] [ Folgers ] [ Peets ] [ Yuban ]
  From Quiz: A Cup of Trivia for Coffee Lovers
29 After the coffee beans are roasted, for instant coffee, what is the next step in the production of coffee?
Answer: Grinding

Once roasting the coffee beans is complete, the next step is grinding. In the process of grinding the beans are reduced to anywhere between 0.5 and 1.1 mm, so they may be put into solution with water for the drying stage. Specially designed rollers are actually used in order to cut the beans rather than crush them. When the beans have been roasted and ground up then they are put into a solution with water into 5 to 10 percolation columns. The temperatures are between 155 and 180 degrees Celsius, which then concentrates the coffee. The next step is the drying process either by freeze drying or spray drying. Freeze drying produces a higher quality tasting instant coffee than spray drying.
(source: Wikipedia)
    Your options: [ Spray drying ] [ Extraction ] [ Grinding ] [ Freeze drying ]
  From Quiz: Coffee, Anyone?
30 Around 1600, the drink arrived in the western world via Italian traders. Very shortly afterwards it arrived in America. Who is credited with introducing the beverage to the American continent?
Answer: John Smith

Captain John Smith is reported as introducing coffee to the New World as early as 1607. This is the same John Smith that helped found the colony of Virginia. Some Canadian historians dispute this fact and claim that coffee first arrived on the continent in Canada which had been colonized before America.
  From Quiz: There's an Awful Lot of Coffee in Brazil
31 What European people were responsible for introducing coffee to the European market?
Answer: Dutch

The Dutch did more than just that they smuggled seeds out and had them planted on the island of Java. That enterprise went so well for the Dutch that till this day coffee is often referred to as Java or "having a hot cup of Java".
  From Quiz: Coffee - The Nectar Of The Bean
32 How tall is the world's largest coffee pot?
Answer: 24 ft.

The pot is in Davidson, Saskatchewan. It is made of sheet metal & can hold 150,000, 8oz. cups of coffee.
  From Quiz: Cup of Java
33 This critter pictured here is an Asian palm civet. In Indonesia, a very unusual type of coffee is created from partially digested coffee cherries that have - to put it politely - gone in one end of a civet and come out the other. What is the name of this crazy coffee?
Answer: Kopi luwak

When a civet eats a coffee cherry, the cherry is digested in the civet's intestines. Kopi luwak producers collect the excreted cherries, or raise civets in captivity with the purpose of making them eat and poo coffee cherries. Because of the way it is made, kopi luwak is one of the world's priciest coffees and even sold at up to $1100 per kilogram in 2010. Fraudsters have passed coffee using caged civets off as wild kopi luwak, as the authenticity of the genuine article is difficult to prove. Tony Wild, a coffee executive who imported kopi luwak to the West, started a campaign called Cut the Crap in protest against the cruel conditions in which captive civets are kept.

The other answers are Indonesian coffee drinks. Kopi durian is coffee that uses the notoriously smelly durian fruit as a substitute for sugar, kopi jahe is coffee with ginger, and kopi tubruk is made with fine, unfiltered coffee grounds.
  From Quiz: Coffee Craziness!
34 What is the difference between a cappucino and a wet cappucino?
Answer: The wet cappucino has more milk, so it is heavier.
  From Quiz: Coffee Shops
35 Nowadays it seems that there are as many flavors as there are ways to prepare coffee. What ingredient is added to Irish coffee to make it Irish?
Answer: whiskey

Adding tequila makes it a Mexican coffee. Generally Irish coffee consists of Irish whiskey, coffee, cream, and white or brown sugar depending on the recipe. Of course one doesn't drink Irish coffee from any old cup. It must be consumed in a stemmed, heated mug with a handle for easy lifting. Now that's a proper Irish coffee!
  From Quiz: Secrets of a Barista
36 Which coffee brand name was derived by blending the name of a multiproduct company with the French word for coffee?
Answer: Nescafe

The name Nescafe was created by combining Nestle and cafe. The powdered instant coffee was introduced in Switzerland on April 1, 1938. In 2010 Nescafe published a website ( touting its move toward sustainability "from bean to cup." These initiatives included initiatives ranging from grower practices to repackaging of the product.
    Your options: [ Hersheys ] [ Nescafe ] [ Cafe Hag ] [ Medalia D'Oro ]
  From Quiz: A Cup of Trivia for Coffee Lovers
37 The first step in producing coffee involves collecting the coffee berries from the plants. Which harvesting technique is used to produce the highest-quality coffees?
Answer: selectively picked by hand

In most places, coffee is hand picked, although some places with large flat coffee fields, such as Brazil, do use machines to collect the berries more efficiently. Strip picking means harvesting all the berries at once, and produces a mixture of green and red berries which must be separated to produce optimal results, as red berries produce the best tasting coffee. Usually, strip picked mixtures are used to produce less expensive coffees. Selective picking requires much more time, and is usually used for arabica beans which are intended for more expensive coffees. Only the red berries are chosen from each branch, and the pickers return at 1-2 week intervals to re-harvest the plants. Selective picking can only be done by hand, as it requires judgment as to which berries are to be picked off each branch.
    Your options: [ strip harvested by machine ] [ selectively picked by machine ] [ selectively picked by hand ] [ strip harvested by hand ]
  From Quiz: The Coffee Song
38 What did King Charles II of England have to do with coffee that was unusual?
Answer: Banned Coffee Houses

In 1675, the King of England, Charles II believed that people were plotting against him, using Coffee Houses as a means to do so. In order to put an end to it, he banned Coffee Houses.
(source: Gomestic)
  From Quiz: Coffee, Anyone?
39 How much coffee, water and sugar is needed to make "orta sekerli" (medium sugar) Turkish coffee for two people?
Answer: 2 teaspoonfuls of coffee, 2 cups of water, 4 cubes of sugar

You can have your coffee "sade" (with no sugar), "az sekerli" (1 cube per person), "orta sekerli" (2 cubes per person) or "sekerli" 2 1/2 or 3 cubes per person).
  From Quiz: Turkish Coffee
40 What color is a ripe coffee bean?
Answer: red

The coffee bean is actually a portion of a larger whole known as a cherry when it still is attached onto the tree. The berry starts out a rich green color and as it ripens it turns a brilliant red hence the name cherry being given to its description.
  From Quiz: Coffee - The Nectar Of The Bean
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