21 Bits of Trivia for 2021

Happy National Trivia Day! If you’re like us, your three favorite things are coffee, tea, and trivia—best when taken together. 2020 was a rough year for everyone, so we’d like to keep it light and start 2021 off with some lesser-known coffee and tea trivia.

1. COFFEE CAM

The first webcam was invented at the University of Cambridge to let people know if the coffee pot was full or not.

Proof that coffee was the very first influencer.

2. 3,000-YEAR STEEP

It took three millennia for tea to be accepted as an everyday drink instead of just as medicine.

And we thought waiting for it to steep took forever.

3. GUSTAV III’S COFFEE EXPERIMENT

In 18th-century Sweden, King Gustav III used coffee as an experimental means of punishing a pair of identical twins on death row. He forced one to drink three pots of coffee a day, while the other drank tea, to see which would die first. Ironically, the twins outlived the King.

Nowadays, three pots of coffee is just another day at the office.

4. THE PERFECT CUP OF TEA

There is, in fact, a perfect cup of tea – at least according to the British government. You need a pot made of porcelain, and there must be at least two grams of tea to every 100ml of water. The temperature can’t go beyond 85 degrees when served but should be above 60 degrees for optimum flavor and sensation.

If anyone would know how to make a perfect cup of tea, we figure it’s these guys.

5. CREME PUFF

The Guiness World Record for “Oldest Cat Ever” was awarded to Creme Puff, a 38-year-old cat from Austin, Texas, who drank coffee every morning.

The real-life Garfield of coffee.

6. OBSESSED WITH TEA

Between 1101 and 1125, Chinese Emperor Hui Tsung supposedly lost his empire to a Mongol invasion because he was too obsessed with tea to notice.

Sometimes, you just get too lost in the sauce (tea).

7. BEER FOR BREAKFAST?

Beer was the breakfast drink of choice before coffee went mainstream.

Ok, not sure if we’re mad at coffee for this one. At least there are coffee stouts.

8. TEA BEFORE BOOZE

Queen Catherine of Braganza made tea en vogue in England, leading to a drop in alcohol consumption in 1662.

If only Twisted Tea existed then.

9. THEY MIGHT BE COFFEE

Kiva Han, the world’s first coffee shop, opened in Constantinople in 1475.

Istanbul was Constantinople. Now it’s Istanbul, not Constantinople. Good luck getting that out of your head.

10. AT LEAST YOU TRIED, JOHN

In the 19th century, sketchy tea traders would cut tea shipments with dust and hedge clippings. Enter Quaker John Horniman, who created a mechanized system to fill and seal tea packets, making them tamper-proof.

If the packets weren’t lined with lead, this would’ve been a slam dunk.

11. COFFEE TAKES SECOND PLACE?

The smell of roasted coffee is the second most recognizable scent in America. The first is burning wood.

We’re confident coffee will beat out burning wood for that top spot soon. Burning wood doesn’t even taste good.

12. TEA, MEET ICE

Iced tea was purportedly invented during the the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair by English hot tea salesman Richard Blechynden.

One of the best things to come out of a heat wave. And St. Louis, for that matter. (We’re kidding St. Louisans! You know we love you!)

13. COFFEE STAMPS

In 2001, the Brazilian Postal Service released a coffee-scented stamp for international mail in an attempt to gain back sales from Colombia.

The scent was intended to last for up to five days, just long enough to spend a good day or two sniffing a stamp. We get a lot of feedback from postal workers who would be upset if they knew it was just stamps making their trucks smell so good.

14. NATURE HAS A WAY

Mythological ancient Chinese Emperor Shennong is said to have discovered tea when camellia sinensis leaves fell into his boiling water in 2737 BCE.

If only nature would make tea for me. The luck of some emperors. I’ve been carrying around this boiling water for years and nothing has fallen in.

15. SORRY, BLACK COFFEE DRINKER

If you add cream to your coffee, it will retain its heat 20% longer.

That’s bad news for FRC’s black coffee lovers. Guess we’ll just have to drink 20% faster.

16. THE FIRST TEA BAG

The first iteration of the tea bag was made of gauze, invented after Thomas Sullivan’s silk tea pouch samples were accidentally boiled whole in the early 1900s.

Tea bags are now made of filter paper or food-grade plastic, not gauze. The thought of drinking boiled bandages probably lost its zest after a few decades.

17. HUMANS LOVE COFFEE

In 1995, coffee became the *unofficial drink of Earth, with over 400 billion cups consumed annually.

*It was just very popular. The paperwork to make it official is very time-consuming, we understand.

18. BIGGEST. TEA BAG. EVER.

The Guinness World Record largest tea bag could brew over 100,000 cups, weighing in at approximately 551 lbs. In 2014, Ahmed Mohamed Saleh Baeshen & Co. earned their place in the history books with one massive tea bag!

According to Good Housekeeping UK, the average British person will consume around 17,000 cups of tea in their lifetime. It’s gonna take almost six lifetimes to drink down Baeshen’s tea bag.

19. WELCOME BACK, COFFEE

In 1893, the coffee plant returned home to Africa with a new Brazilian varietal from its grand voyage around the world, at last cultivated in Tanzania and Kenya.

The welcome back party was a blast! You should’ve been there.

20. BALZAC HAD NO CHILL

It is believed that 19th-century writer Honoré de Balzac was the first person to ever die of caffeine poisoning.

He drank an estimated 50 cups of coffee a day on an empty stomach. Good lord, Balzac. If there is such a thing as too much Fresh Roasted Coffee, this is definitely it.

21. THE TURKS LOVE TEA

The British are the biggest consumers of tea, right? Wrong! The Turks drink almost seven pounds of tea per person per year! The Irish come in a distant second at a measly five pounds. The Brits are waaaaay down at #3.

For our Turkish friends out there, we’d just like to say, Olumlu Çay İçin! Kahvemiz de güzel!

There you have it! May these 21 pieces of trivia help you start 2021 off on the right foot.


3 comments
  • Very interesting facts. Very good coffee.

    Roger Pilotti on
  • Keep these coming please. Especially the coffee trivia. 🙂

    Jerry McGuire on
  • So is Lychee tea made with the camellia plants leaves also. What about Jasmin tea? and Mata tea? Also Kenya Coffee, do you offer it?
    Thank you for the trivia, it was fun. Also memory benefits, tea or coffee???

    maria bowman on

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