Ah, curse those dreaded mornings! The sun hits those closed eyelids, reminding you work looms around the corner and a long day’s about to begin. The glorious land of dreams has come to an end, and the real world awaits. Isn’t that feeling just the worst?
Luckily, slamming a hot (or cold) cup of coffee first thing in the morning helps you gather energy to kick yourself into high gear and win the day. Millions of people love the stuff, but even the biggest coffee fanatics can’t know everything.
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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).
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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?
14. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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!
17. 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.
18. 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!
19. 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.
20. 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.
Coffee might be one of the most popular morning beverages around, but when it comes to actual food, pizza reigns supreme! Even those of us regularly taking down slices don’t know all these cheesy secrets.
1. Margherita pizza is arguably the most popular in the world, but who invented it? According to the legend, in 1889 a master pizza chef named Raffaele Esposito presented Queen Margherita of Savoy with three different pizzas to sample, and she preferred the one with tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil.
2. Humans aren’t the only species who love to dive head-first into a delicious triangle of cheese and sauce. The “Heaven Scent Pizza” was created specifically for dogs. It contains flour, carrots, celery, and Parmesan cheese.
3. Lombardi’s Pizzeria in New York City was the very first restaurant in America to serve up pizza pies to hungry patrons. They started selling pizza way back in 1905, and they don’t have any plans on stopping soon!
4. Working class Italian immigrants were the food’s predominant consumers during the early twentieth century. However, after World War II, soldiers returned from Italy craving pizza, and the food spread to a wider customer base.
5. Domino’s Pizza founder Tom Monaghan opened his very first restaurant in 1960. He’s one of only three people who hold an advanced degree in “Pizza-ology” from a business management program he created in the ’80s called “Domino’s College of Pizza-ology”.
6. Pizza is by no means something that just recently became popular. The word “pizza” was actually mentioned in Latin text dating back to 997 C.E. discovered in southern Italy.
7. Any pizza lover who travels to Chicago always grabs a slice of the city’s famous deep-dish pies. These hearty pizzas were first introduced in 1943 by the restaurant that eventually turned into the Pizzeria Uno chain.
8. Believe it or not, you couldn’t always buy pizza by the slice — you had to buy a whole pie. It wasn’t until a woman named Patsy Lancieri served slices out of her New York pizzeria in 1933 that the trend caught on.
9. In the early ’90s, Domino’s guaranteed their customers that orders would arrive at their doorsteps in “30 minutes or less.” However, the company ended the program because people felt it ultimately encouraged unsafe driving.
10. Frozen pizza is a super common item to have at home, but when it first hit the market in 1962, it tasted absolutely awful. A woman named Rose Totino led the charge to make microwavable pizza just as tasty as restaurant pizza.
11. One topping that definitely divides pizza lovers everywhere is pineapple; some people enjoy the sweet flavor of a Hawaiian slice while others loathe the fruit-and-cheese mixture. This polarizing pie was created by a cook from Greece named Sam Panopoulos.
12. Pizza actually helped certain people get a leg up when it came to politics in the 1960s. Using fake pizza deliveries, the United States Army’s 113th Military Intelligence Unit spied on reporters and politicians.
13. Pizza all around the world has a different spin depending on the culture. For example, in France, people enjoy their pies topped with fried eggs, while in China pizza crust made of mini hot dogs is a big trend.
14. The longest running criminal trial ever was called the “Pizza Connection” trial, and it lasted from 1985 to 1987. Members of the mafia were accused of using pizzerias as fronts for trafficking narcotics.
15. Kids all over love their favorite pizza-slinging mouse, Chuck E. Cheese. The restaurant-and-arcade chain was founded by the same man who co-founded the Atari console, Nolan Bushnell. The restaurants were an attempt to make more money off video games.
16. As popular as Chuck E. Cheese is, back in the ’80s, the restaurant faced some competition from Showbiz Pizza Place. This chain had a rocking animatronic band called “Rock-a-Fire Explosion” that played hit songs for kids as they chowed down.
17. Manhattan, Kansas, resident Tom Lehmann is the talented guy who helps pizza chefs all over the world with their recipes. Known as the “dough doctor,” he’s been working with the American Institute of Baking since the late 60s.
18. Plenty of famous faces that we know today worked in pizza restaurants long before Hollywood knew who they were. Stephen Baldwin and Bill Murray both worked in pizzerias, and Jean-Claude Van Damme spent some time delivering hot pies door to door.
19. In an age where it seems like there are almost too many superheroes, there’s only been one pizza-themed superhero film. It was a 2011 movie called Pizza Man, and it starred Frankie Muniz as a guy who developed secret powers via genetically modified tomatoes.
20. Actor Macaulay Culkin (second in from right) sure loves pizza. So much so that he and a group of friends formed a Velvet Underground cover band called Pizza Underground, and their song lyrics are inspired by their love of the food.
21. In 2010, a criminal known as the “Grim Sleeper” was eventually apprehended after forensics experts pulled DNA off of a piece of pizza crust he was snacking on. His reign of terror ended because of his love for pizza.
22. Astronauts need to satisfy their food cravings when in space, and those cravings sometimes take the form of pizza. Pizza Hut actually delivered a six-inch salami pizza to outer space in 2001! It went to the International Space Station where eager astronauts dove right in.
23. NASA scientists funded a project in 2013 where a three-dimensional printer cooked a pizza in about 70 seconds. The machine literally sprayed on the smell, micronutrients, and flavor.
24. Pizza is such a popular item that it actually inspired a New York City art show. In 2013, the Marlborough Gallery put on a pizza-themed show called “Pizza Time!” that featured over 25 pieces of art inspired by the food.
25. The internal structure of pizza dough is known as “the crumb” among pizza chefs. Many say the ultimate goal when making pizza is to create a crumb with large air pockets so it’s light.
26. There are four types of mozzarella cheese used to make pizza: buffalo mozzarella, fior di latte, burrata, and a less-perishable type used by a majority of American pizzerias known simply as “pizza cheese.”
27. You have to have a fast and delicate touch to spin pizza dough on your hands like a pro. At the annual World Pizza Championships, chefs from all over are able to put their dough-spinning skills on display for a top prize.
28. An actual association exists in Italy called Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (“True Neapolitan Pizza Association”) that lays down very specific rules for what qualifies as true Neapolitan pizza. They give certifications out to the restaurants that achieve them.
29. The author who penned The Three Musketeers, Alexandre Dumas, traveled to Naples, Italy, in 1835 to discover the poorest civilians dined on nothing but watermelon during summer months and pizza during the winter.
30. People love the flavor of pizza so much that tons of popular snack items have introduced pizza flavor into their recipes. Pizza-flavored chips and goldfish are popular, but you can actually find ice cream and bubble gum, too!
31. If you’re ever interested in checking out a museum dedicated to pizza, head to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. There, you’ll find a place called Pizza Brain that’s home to the world’s largest collection of pizza-themed memorabilia.
32. How big can a pizza pie get? The world’s largest pizza ever constructed was a whopping 131 feet in diameter and weighed over 50,000 pounds! You’d have to invite a whole city of hungry people over if you planned on even making a dent in it.
33. “When you can eat pizza on a bagel, you can eat pizza anytime!” The creators of the popular frozen food Bagel Bites got their inspiration from a recipe on the back of a bag of Lender’s Bagels.
34. Americans love their pizza, plain and simple. A research firm called Technomic conducted a study in 2013 revealing Americans eat roughly 350 slices of pizza per second, and about 40 percent of the country eats pizza at least once a week.