The Coffee Quiz: How Much Do You Know about the Coffee You Sell?

It doesn’t matter if you are walking down a rural Main Street or tony Fifth Avenue, there seems to be a coffee shop on every corner these days and sometimes one or two in the middle of the block.

Throw in home brewing machines, drive-through java huts, and all the restaurants with a percolator, and U.S. coffee consumption is at record highs.  How high? About 64 percent of Americans have a daily cup and the average per drinker is 2.7 cups.

Of course, this isn’t your grandmother’s coffee that everybody is enjoying. Today, coffee drinks take up entire menus with descriptions by bean type, roasting methods, heritage, etc.  Suffice it to say, we have come a long way from the simple Nescafé of the 1950s to the soy-nonfat-latte of today.

As a foodservice operator, coffee can be a nice profit center at a restaurant. For those offering espresso options, the mark-up is even better. With all the new language and talk surrounding coffee brewing, here are a few fun facts for you to share with customers and be the life of your next coffee break with friends.

How much do you know about America’s third most-consumed beverage (after water and soda)? Test your knowledge by taking the Sugar Foods Coffee Quiz – all responses are True or False:

  1. Ethiopian shepherds first discovered coffee in the 9th Century.
  2. Coffee contains fat and should not be part of a weight-reducing diet program.
  3. There are 1,000 coffee species grown around the world.
  4. Robusta coffee is more popular than Arabica.
  5. Coffee is the most traded commodity in the world.
  6. Brazil is the No. 1 coffee growing country in the world.
  7. The most expensive coffee in the world comes from Elephant dung.
  8. Coffee improves athletic performance.
  9. Seattle residents drink the most coffee in the United States.
  10. Coffee is a vegetable.


  1. According to legend, Ethiopian shepherds first realized the profound caffeinating effects of coffee when they noticed their goats started “dancing” after eating coffee berries.
  1. Coffee helps burn fat. Studies have shown that drinking caffeine can increase your metabolism 3 to 11 percent. It is one of the few chemicals that can actually help with fat burning.
  1. There are only 100 coffee species grown in dozens of countries. That is still a lot.
  1. Arabica outpaces Robusta, but they are the two most popular beans. Robusta has more caffeine (2.7% to 1.5%) and a burnt flavor, while Arabica has more sugar which is why it is more popular. However, Robusta has a higher crop yield, which makes its price lower.
  1. Coffee is the second most traded commodity after oil. In addition to being a beverage source, coffee beans provide caffeine for cola drinks, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics.
  1. Brazil, Vietnam and Colombia are the top three coffee producing countries, followed by Indonesia, Ethiopia and India.
  1. The most expensive coffee in the world is called Black Ivory and it is made from Elephant dung. Only $50 a cup … talk about an upsell!
  1. Athletes actually get a boost from coffee. It improves physical performance because it increases adrenaline levels.
  1. Seattle residents (and then Portland) drink the most coffee, and the U.S. city with the highest per capita coffee consumption is New York. Big Apple residents consume seven times more coffee than other cities.
  1. Coffee is considered a fruit. Coffee comes from the pit of a red berry grown on a tree.

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