Once the screeching blare of that morning alarm starts ringing in your ears, you know the workday is only a hop, skip, and a jump away. But, before you head to the office and slog through the next eight hours, grab yourself a piping hot cup of joe to jolt that brain wide awake. It’s a global practice.
But while coffee is a universally enjoyed beverage, not every country drinks and makes it the same way. In fact, Madagascar actually introduced a new type that locals say is seriously delicious — but it contains an ingredient that would make most people gag!
No morning is complete without a steaming cup of coffee to kick the brain into gear. Drink up and get ready to crush the nine-to-five workday and return home feeling confident. But as they say, not all cups are created equal.
If you’ve ever paid attention to the baristas behind the counter at your local coffee shop, you know just how skilled they are at operating those complex espresso machines. And, as we know, it’s all about mastering the coffee grinds.
Although coffee grinds may all look the same, different ways of harvesting them lead to different flavor profiles, and any coffee connoisseur will agree. There are also a plethora of different ways to enjoy a cup around the world.
Take Vietnam, for example. A popular way to enjoy coffee there is to actually whip in egg yolks and sugar to make a frothy drink that more closely resembles a custard. Then, there’s something called “kaffeost.”
There’s no reason to ever mix cheese and coffee, right? Well, the lovely people of Sweden drink kaffeost, which literally translates to “coffee cheese.” Yea, that’s pretty unusual, but it’s still nothing compared to kopi luwak.
Kopi luwak is truly some stomach-churning stuff. This Indonesian brew is made of partially digested coffee berries dug out of the feces of the Asian palm civet. Recently, another country created its own unique brew hitting the markets.
Sea Island Coffee
Madagascar’s Itasy province isn’t normally known for any kind of high-end coffee production, but that’s all starting to change thanks to a farmer named Jacques Ramarlah, who noticed unique activity with his coffee beans.
Jacques and his team of workers would harvest the coffee beans out of rich volcanic soil, and he started to notice a sticky film on many of the coffee berries. He eventually realized what it was.
It turned out bats were actually gnawing on most of the coffee berries during the night while they were active. Bats are common in Madagascar, especially near farmland where crops are plentiful. This had an interesting effect.
Flickr / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Headquarters
Before the introduction of this bat saliva — which, for whatever reason, piqued the interest of coffee drinkers in the area — Madagascar was only known for producing low-quality robusta beans meant for instant coffee. But, not anymore.
Nirina Malala Ravaonasolo, the president of a local coffee group, said, “Most people here in Itasy did not have any interest in growing coffee. Today it’s become our livelihood.” The nibbling bats changed everything about coffee production.
So, how much does a pound of coffee grinds drizzled in bat spit cost? Well, if you’re looking to put a dent in your wallet then you’ll be pleased to know it runs about $110 per pound!
But, some people think it’s totally worth it. “Normal coffee, after two minutes, you forget the taste — but this coffee stays a very long time in your mouth. It’s very good,” said one hotelier from Belgium.
Jacques Ramarlah is now working with 90 local coffee producers in the Itasy province who send him their beans for the bat spit “processing.” It’s a bizarre trend that lots of coffee farmers want to hop aboard.
With the other farmers’ help, Jacques plans on increasing his production tenfold, not only for the local people of Itasy to enjoy but to also export into other countries, as well.
There are certain cultures that truly appreciate good coffee, such as “discerning markets like Japan.” According to Jacques, these are the areas that would embrace such a unique flavorful product. But, what about the potential for rabies?
Whenever anyone is dealing with bats, rabies is a huge concern, considering the most common way for humans to contract rabies is through bat bites. And rabies is not something anyone wants to deal with.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
When an animal contracts rabies it’s a bit different than a human, but if you’ve ever seen footage of a dog foaming at the mouth with rage in its eyes, you have an idea how terrible it is. This concerns some coffee drinkers.
Even though many people are clamoring over bat-spit coffee, there are others who refuse to buy into the craze, believing it’s a marketing gimmick to make money. But most of these critics could stand to learn a thing or two about coffee anyway.
Asmik Ace Entertainment
Coffee isn’t just for humans, as a cat named Creme Puff proved. She holds the Guinness World Record as the oldest cat ever at age 38, and according to her owners, she drank coffee every single morning.
Employees at the University of Cambridge knew how frustrating it was finding an empty pot of coffee when that craving struck. So, they hooked up a webcam and pointed it directly at the pot so they always knew when it ran out.
People all over the world enjoy coffee every morning (and any other time of day) to help give them that extra little perk of energy. The country that consumes the most coffee, however, is Finland (26.5 lbs per person per year).
People drink coffee for the caffeine, of course. The chemical is a mild diuretic, which means it makes you urinate more frequently. However, the amount of fluid you take in with coffee is more than you expel, so it won’t dehydrate you.
The only reason why coffee “beans” are called what they are is because they look like beans. In reality, they’re berries. So, that cup of brown liquid you drink every morning comes from berries.
People usually drink coffee with breakfast in the morning to give themselves the push for the upcoming day. However, the drink wasn’t always widely available, so what did people do? They opted to drink a cold glass of beer with their eggs, instead.
It’s been said coffee was discovered by a goat herder who was traversing high up in the mountains. After his herd consumed a certain type of berry (the coffee berry), they suddenly had tons of energy.
Cappuccinos are a great tasting way to get a caffeine fix, and they’re even better when you have a barista who can make the foam into an awesome design. The name “cappuccino” comes from the Capuchin friars whose cloaks were the same color.
While coffee is harvested all over the world, there’s only one country that really pumps the stuff out like crazy. Brazil is responsible for a whopping 40 percent of the world’s coffee. If you visit Brazil, you’re gonna get the good stuff.
After tons of tests and hours of trial and error, scientists were actually able to turn coffee into workable biodiesel fuel. What does this mean for vehicle owners? Well, they might be pumping their cars full of coffee one day.
People who are sensitive to caffeine should avoid coffee, but for those who aren’t, it might have some health benefits. The risk for illnesses like cancer, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s may actually decrease from a cup of joe in the morning.
The 1932 Olympics saw Brazil in a pretty tight financial position. The country didn’t have the money to fund the team’s journey to the games, so in order for the athletes to attend, they had to sell coffee and earn the money themselves.
There are two categories of coffee: Robusta and Arabica. Robusta has higher levels of caffeine with a harsher flavor, and Arabica has a lower acidity level and a more delicate taste. Which type of coffee gets you going in the morning?
Cream is a popular ingredient to add to coffee to help cut through some of the bitter flavor and thicken it up a bit. But, tests have shown cream also helps coffee stay warm for about 20 percent longer, as well.
Coffee, of course, can be enjoyed at any time of the day, even though most people drink it when they wake up to help shake off that last bit of sleep before work. But, coffee is the most beneficial between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
Feeling like the world is frowning on you? Well, there have been some studies showing coffee can help elevate your mood and help with depression. Instead of finding yourself at the bottom of a liquor bottle when you’re sad, drink coffee!
Even though most baristas at places like Starbucks and other coffee chains tend to be young millennials trying to perfect their cappuccino art, in Italy, it’s very different. The average barista there is 48 years old, and they spend their lives perfecting the skill.
Black Ivory Coffee is the most expensive in the world, and for a unique (but gross) reason. Why the $1,100-per-kilogram price tag? The coffee is made using berries that Thai elephants consume and then excrete. Yikes!
You’d think a place like the United States or Brazil would hold the record for the largest iced coffee. But, believe it or not, it’s South Korea! This massive cup held 14,228.1 liters of iced Americano coffee.
Before coffee’s brewing process was perfected, tribes in East Africa had to consume it somehow, so they came up with a genius idea: they created “energy balls” by molding coffee berries and animal fat together. It probably didn’t taste good, but it did the trick.
Want to reuse those coffee grounds? Turn them into fertilizer! Even if you are the greatest botanist in the world, you couldn’t get plants to grow properly without nutrient-rich soil. Using the grounds as fertilizer can help attract worms and hold in water.
Public Domain Pictures
The smell of coffee might be pleasurable to us, but a number of pests can’t stand it. Instead of springing for expensive pest control, try sprinkling some coffee grounds to fight against ants, roaches, mosquitoes, etc.
Wood furniture can be quite difficult to maintain over the years, and naturally, when you’re using it often, you’re bound to get some nicks and dents. Gently rubbing grounds against scratch marks on wood can help remove discoloration.
Adding coffee grounds to your soil can help carrots grow faster. The nitrogen coffee adds to soil is helpful when growing several different plants and vegetables, but is particularly good for carrots.
For certain pots and pans, it can seem downright impossible to make them truly look as good as new. The grounds, in combination with a little elbow grease, can remove grit from your favorite kitchenware.
Have you ever bought a really stinky French cheese, or perhaps put back an opened can of anchovies to save for later? Placing a bowl of grounds in the fridge is a great way to remove unwanted smells from the fridge so the rest of your household doesn’t begrudge you for your food choices.
Sinks are a heck of a lot easier to clean than an entire fridge full of food and drinks. Many people neglect to properly clean their sinks on a regular basis anyway, so for those folks, this should encourage them to do what needs to be done.
If you’re tired of your cat (or even the neighborhood cats) walking through your beloved garden or peeing on your begonias, you can keep them away by sprinkling coffee grounds and placing an orange peel in the areas from which they are now banned.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, coffee grounds are the secret weapon for anyone trying to make things grow. As we’ve mentioned before, coffee grounds attracts worm to soil and adds a touch of nitrogen. This can make composting a heck of a lot easier. Plus, it covers the odors of whatever else is in there!
Even if you’re one of those people who who don’t necessarily love coffee — or drink coffee at all — you have to admit that the smell of a good coffee shop brings about a warm, cozy feeling. Make your house smell like your favorite café by placing grounds near vents.
It can be annoying at best to have ashes flying around you near any fire, but with flammable materials around it can be downright dangerous. Trickling grounds over wood before setting a fire can stop ashes from flying around.
Try burning some grounds! It may sound crazy, but think about all of the other different styles of scented candles you’ve seen at that store. Twenty years ago or so, who would’ve thought a cucumber-scented candle would make your home smell like an absolute dream world?
Coffee grounds act wonderfully as a scrub and can help revitalize your face, exfoliate your pores, and reduce cellulite. Don’t forget to rinse thoroughly though, you might not want to leave the house looking like you’ve been rolling around in dirt.
If you’re hair is tired or dry because you’re abusing it with heat and chemicals every day — or if you have buildup from using too much product — try rubbing some coffee into your locks before your shampoo. It can give it some shine and brighten it right up!
If your hands are really smelly after cooking certain items or playing with dirty animals, grinding some coffee between your hands before rinsing can really get rid of those odors when water can’t.
Dip some regular paper into some coffee, let it dry, and enjoy your old-school parchment for cool invitations, parties, or school work. If you’ve ever spilled coffee on a white shirt, you are probably familiar with The Golden Stain. This uses that discoloration to your advantage!
Did you know that we can absorb caffeine not only through drinks and food but through our skin as well? Use coffee grounds to create caffeinated lotions and soap bars to feel extra refreshed in the morning!
If your four-legged-friend suffers from fleas or ticks, rub them with some coffee grounds. Much like ants and other garden pests, fleas and ticks don’t like the smell of coffee, so they’ll stay clear of your friend. However, this is not a treatment if they already have fleas/ticks! (Also, don’t let the dog eat grounds)!