Think you know your coffee?
Think you know your coffee?

Crazy about coffee: 6 fascinating facts

Whether you import expensive civet coffee from Indonesia or you're satisfied with a cup of instant, coffee plays an important role in the lives of many people all over the world.

But how much do you really know about the world's most popular beverage? These six coffee facts will help you gain a whole new appreciation for the immortal bean.

1. It's not a bean

Contrary to popular wisdom, coffee is actually a fruit. The 'beans' are actually the seeds of red or purple cherries that grow on the coffee plant, and only picked up the name 'bean' due to their appearance. Most cherries contain two seeds that grow with their flat sides together, but in rare cases they may grow as solo peaberries reputed to contain more flavour.

2. You shouldn't drink it early in the morning

Millions of people worldwide rely on coffee as an early morning pick-me-up, but this can lead to unhealthy dependence and prevent your body from producing the stress hormone cortisol that helps you wake up on your own. Instead, it's recommended to wait until around 10am when the body's cortisol levels have dropped and are less prone to interference.

3. It's good for your heart

Drinking one to two cups of coffee per day can significantly reduce a person's risk of dying from cardiovascular-related conditions, according to a study of more than 76,000 Japanese men. Other studies have demonstrated that consuming two to five cups a day can help to combat diseases such as Alzheimer's, diabetes and melanoma.

4. It can supercharge your metabolism

Athletes have been shown to perform faster and for longer after drinking coffee, which can boost metabolism by up to 11% and is especially beneficial for endurance sports. Caffeine adds fatty acids to the bloodstream which the muscles absorb and burn for much-needed fuel, conserving carbohydrate reserves for later use.

5. It can boost your memory

Beyond its health benefits, one of the most remarkable discoveries about coffee's effects in recent years is how it improves memory. A study by Johns Hopkins University found that consuming 200mg of caffeine – equivalent to two mugs of instant – enhances short-term memories from before the caffeine was consumed, resulting in greater clarity even after 24 hours.

6. Coffee was discovered by goats

Not so much fact as fancy, the origin of coffee's discovery is sometimes credited to a goat herder named Kaldi who lived in 9th century Ethiopia. According to legend, after observing his flock dancing energetically after consuming the berries of the coffee plant, Kaldi shared the fruit with a local monk who believed them to be the work of the devil and cast the berries onto the fire. Naturally, this released a delicious aroma as the seeds roasted, and they realised they had a hit on their hands.

Get your caffeine hit in Gungahlin

Whether you're meeting a friend, recharging your batteries  or just sitting and watching the world go by, you'll find the best coffee in Gungahlin at The Marketplace's cafes.

Choose from the widest range of coffee beans from all over the world roasted in-house at Coffee Guru and premium Arabica coffee blends at Caffe Cherry Beans, or sign up for Australia's most generous cafe loyalty program at The Coffee Club to save as much as $400 a year.