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By Michael Yardney

The ultimate coffee quiz – will you pass?

Are you a coffee lover?

I remember taking a trip to Brazil and on one of the tours we took a drive through the coffee plantation, the tour guide said 'this is where espresso originated'.

Drinking Coffee

Little did he know that on the tour was a couple from Italy, who had a few words of argument about that statement.

Do you know the answer?

How well do you really know your coffee?

This quiz was posted on and tests some of the commonly known coffee trivia, and some that may leave you stumbling.

Here's the Coffee Challenge...

1. How did the term cappuccino originate?

  • A. From the habit of the Capuchin friar.
  • B. It is the French term for “foam on coffee.”
  • C. It is Italian for “frothy coffee drink.”
  • D. It was a term invented by a coffee company.

Answer: A. The Capuchin friar's habit resembles the peak of foam atop the popular espresso drink we now call a cappuccino.

The Capuchin Order of Friars was instrumental in returning Catholicism to Reformation Europe in the 16th century.

Their name Capuchin derived from their long, pointed cowls, or cappuccinos, which were a part of their habit.

The colour of the cappuccino beverage also resembles the colour of the Capuchin friars' habit.

2. About how many espresso beans are required to make one espresso?

  • A. 22
  • B. 42
  • C. 60
  • D. 80

Answer: B. It takes about 42 espresso coffee beans to produce a single shot of espresso.

3. About how many coffee beans does it take to produce one pound of roasted coffee?

  • A. 1,000
  • B. 2,000
  • C. 3,000
  • D. 4,000

Answer: D. About 4,000 coffee beans are required to produce one pound of roasted coffee.

4. About how many coffee beans are in one 132-pound sack of coffee?

  • A. 90,000
  • B. 300,000
  • C. 600,000
  • D. 900,000

Answer: C. There are about 600,000 coffee beans in a 132-pound sack of coffee beans.

5. How long does it take for a coffee tree to reach maturity?

  • A. 8 years
  • B. 2 years
  • C. 5 years
  • D. 3 years

Answer: C. A coffee tree typically reaches maturity in about 5 years.

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6. How many pounds of coffee beans will a typical coffee tree produce in an annual crop?

  • A. 5 pounds
  • B. 1/2-pound
  • C. 2 pounds
  • D. 1 pound

Answer: D. A coffee plant typically yields about one pound of coffee each year.

7. How long will a coffee plant typically produce coffee if it is well cared for?

  • A. More than 10 years
  • B. More than 15 years
  • C. More than 25 years
  • D. More than 35 years

Answer: C. Both Arabica and Robusta coffee plants will produce coffee beans for more than 25 years if they are well taken care of.

8. How many cups of coffee are consumed each year in the world?

  • A. 900 million
  • B. 2 billion
  • C. 200 billion
  • D. 400 billion

Answer: D. About 400 billion cups of coffee are consumed each year.

9. How many cups of coffee are consumed each day in the United States?

  • A. 400 million
  • B. 600 million
  • C. 800 million
  • D. 1 billion

Answer: A. The U.S. population consumes about 400 million cups of coffee each day, making it the world's largest coffee consumer.

10. The United States consumes about what percentage of the world's coffee?

  • A. One-tenth
  • B. One third
  • C. One seventh
  • D. One fifth

Answer: D. The United States consumes about one-fifth of the world's coffee.


11. The average United States adult drinks about how many cups of coffee each year?

  • A. 100
  • B. 250
  • C. 400
  • D. 500

Answer: C. The average United States adult drinks about 400 cups of coffee annually.

12. About what percentage of United States adults begin their day with a cup of coffee?

  • A. One fourth
  • B. One third
  • C. One half
  • D. Two fifths

Answer: C. About half of United States adults wake up with a cup of coffee.

13. How did the term “Cup of Joe” originate?

  • A. It refers to a Navy admiral who banned alcohol aboard Navy ships.
  • B. It refers to Joe Folgers, a prominent purveyor of coffee.
  • C. It is an Americanized version of the term “Cup of Java.”
  • D. It comes from jojo, the African word for “bean.”

Answer: A. The term Cup of Joe was coined after Admiral Josephus “Joe” Daniels prohibited alcohol aboard Navy ships and so the men began drinking coffee instead, which they nicknamed Cup of Joe in honour of their Admiral whose actions led to their choice of beverage.

14. Which European country consumes the most coffee?

  • A. Italy
  • B. France
  • C. Norway
  • D. Finland

Answer: D. Finland is the top coffee consumption per capita.

15. How many coffee cherries (fruit) are required to produce one pound of roasted coffee?

  • A. 1,200
  • B. 1,800
  • C. 2,000
  • D. 2,500

Answer: C. It takes about 4,000 coffee beans to make one pound of roasted Arabica Coffee, and since there are two beans in each cherry it takes 2,000 cherries (or 1,000 peaberry fruits).


16. What is the caffeine limit in an athlete's bloodstream in the Olympics, beyond which the athlete will be banned from competing?

  • A. 10 micrograms
  • B. 12 micrograms
  • C. 14 micrograms
  • D. 20 micrograms

Answer: B. It takes about 5 cups of coffee to reach the 12-microgram level.

17. What is Cowboy coffee?

  • A. Ground coffee in a sock cooked in a pot of water on a campfire.
  • B. Medium Roast popular in Texas.
  • C. Coffee is grown in Mexico in an area known for its cowboys.
  • D. Ungraded and unsorted coffee, thus possibly containing some defective beans as well as high-quality beans.

Answer: A. Cowboys, in the old days, was known to brew their coffee by putting some into a sock and then putting it in cold water and heating it over a campfire, then pouring it into their tin cup.

18. About what percentage of all coffee consumed is instant coffee?

  • A. One half
  • B. One third
  • C. One fifth
  • D. One-tenth

Answer: D. Just over one-tenth of all coffee consumed is instant coffee.

19. What percentage of coffee drinkers prefer their coffee black?

  • A. 30%
  • B. 40%
  • C. 50%
  • D. 60%

Answer: B. About 40% of all coffee drinkers like it black.

20. What percentage of United States coffee drinkers add sweeteners to their coffee?

  • A. One fifth
  • B. One fourth
  • C. One third
  • D. One half

Answer: C. About one-third of United States coffee drinkers add sweeteners to their coffee.


21. What percentage of United States coffee drinkers brew their coffee at home?

  • A. One third
  • B. One half
  • C. Two thirds
  • D. Three Fourths

Answer: D. About three-fourths of all United States coffee drinkers brew their coffee at home.

22. What percentage of coffee drinking in the United States occurs at breakfast time?

  • A. One fifth
  • B. One fourth
  • C. One third
  • D. One half

Answer: C. About one-third of all coffee drinking in the United States occurs at breakfast time.

23. How many coffee cherries - the fruit of coffee plants - are produced on a typical acre of coffee plants?

  • A. 5,000
  • B. 10,000
  • C. 20,000
  • D. 40,000

Answer: B. An acre of coffee plants typically produces about 10,000 coffee cherries. During processing, these cherries will be reduced to about one ton of hulled and milled coffee beans.

24. About how many coffee plants are there in Brazil?

  • A. 700 million
  • B. 2 billion
  • C. 4 billion
  • D. 7 billion

Answer: C. Nearly 4 billion coffee trees are growing in Brazil.

25. About how many coffee trade workers are there in Brazil?

  • A. 950,000
  • B. 2 million
  • C. 3.5 million
  • D. 5 million

Answer: D. There are about 5 million coffee trade workers in Brazil.

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26. About how much coffee is grown in Brazil each year?

  • 90 million pounds
  • 200 million pounds
  • 330 million pounds
  • 500 million pounds

Answer: C. About one-third of one billion pounds are grown in Brazil each year.

27. What percentage of coffee is grown in the Americas?

  • One fourth
  • One third
  • One half
  • Two thirds

Answer: D. About two-thirds of all coffee is grown in the Americas. Brazil alone grows about one-third of all coffee.

28. What is the total number of coffee trade workers worldwide?

  • 1.2 million
  • 5 million
  • 18 million
  • 25 million

Answer: D. There are about 25 million coffee trade workers worldwide.

29. What day in Japan is known as the official Coffee Day?

  • January 10
  • June 15
  • October 1
  • December 23

Answer: C. Japan's official Coffee Day takes place every October 1st.

30. What year did canned coffee become very popular in Japan?

  • 1945
  • 1960
  • 1973
  • 1988

Answer: A. Iced coffee has been very popular in Japan since 1945.


31. What is the term commonly used to describe the fragrant white blossoms on Kona coffee plants?

  • White Thunder
  • Ivory Petals
  • Kona Snow
  • Hawaii Blossoms

Answer: C. Known as Kona Snow, the highly aromatic blossoms of the Kona coffee plants produce a scent described as between jasmine and orange.

32. What decade did flavoured coffees (e.g., hazelnut coffee; Irish Cream coffee) become very popular in the United States?

  • 1960s
  • 1970s
  • 1980s
  • 1990s

Answer: B. The trend toward flavoured coffees began in the United States in the 1970s. Most flavoured coffees are made by roasting coffee beans and then partially cooling them, adding the flavours while the bean's pores are still open (at about 100 degrees Fahrenheit) for maximum absorption.

33. What material is typically used to make coffee sacks?

  • Cotton
  • Polyester
  • Hemp
  • Canvas

Answer: C. Most coffee sacks are made from hemp.

34. While wine is said to have about 400 distinct flavour characteristics, how many does coffee exhibit?

  • 280
  • 500
  • 640
  • 800

Answer: D. Coffee has 800 distinct flavour characteristics, and these are largely affected by the plant's genetics (e.g., botanical cultivar) as well as the soil quality and drainage, climate, altitude, harvesting, processing, and coffee roasting methods.

35. About how many milligrams of caffeine is the human body capable of absorbing?

  • 100
  • 200
  • 300
  • 400

Answer: C. Human bodies may absorb, at most, about 300 milligrams of caffeine.


36. After a human ingests caffeine, what percentage of that caffeine will dissipate from the body each hour?

  • 5%
  • 20%
  • 35%
  • 50%

Answer: B. The human body dissipates about 20% of its caffeine each hour.

37. How many milligrams of coffee are in a typical cup of coffee?

  • 50
  • 80
  • 120
  • 150

Answer: D. A typical cup of coffee contains about 150 milligrams of caffeine.

38. What is considered a lethal dose of caffeine?

  • 1 gram
  • 5 grams
  • 10 grams
  • 20 grams

Answer: C. 10 grams of caffeine is considered lethal to humans.

39. About what percentage of the espresso is fat?

  • 1%
  • 2.5%
  • 4%
  • 6.5 %

Answer: B. Espresso consists of about 2.5% fat.

40. About what per cent of drip-filter coffee is fat?

  • 6%
  • 1.2%
  • 2.1%
  • 3%

Answer: A. Drip-filter coffee consists of about .6% fat.

Coffee 2538290 1920

41. About how many pounds of coffee are imported into the United States each year?

  • 950,000 pounds
  • 2.5 million pounds
  • 5 million pounds
  • 10 million pounds

Answer: B. About 2.5 million pounds of coffee are imported into the United States annually.

42. Worldwide, how many ships are being used to transport coffee?

  • 2,300
  • 4,000
  • 6,800
  • 10,000

Answer: A. More than 2,300 ships are being used to transport coffee worldwide.

43. About how many pounds of coffee were produced worldwide in 2007?

  • 900 million pounds
  • 5 billion pounds
  • 11 billion pounds
  • 16 billion pounds

Answer: D. About 16 billion pounds of coffee were produced worldwide in 2007. Most of this coffee was hand-picked.

44. About how much money (measured in American dollars) was generated by the coffee industry in 2007 worldwide?

  • $30 billion
  • $45 billion
  • $62 billion
  • $70 billion

45. About how much money, measured in American dollars, was generated in 2007 by the premium gourmet (specialty) coffee industry?

  • $900 million
  • $2 billion
  • $3.1 billion
  • $4 billion

Answer: B. The specialty coffee industry generates about $2 billion annually, and this number appears to be growing.


46. What year was hot air first used to roast coffee?

  • 1885
  • 1910
  • 1930
  • 1045

Answer: A. Using hot air to roast coffee by heating up a roasting chamber (with natural gas as the fuel) was first done in 1885. Today it remains the preferred method of coffee roasting.

47. Where does the word espresso come from?

  • From the Greek Expreco, meaning “strong beverage.”
  • From its Latin root meaning “under pressure.”
  • From the first Italian machine was called Espresso Machine.
  • From a drink served in early Viennese coffeehouses.

Answer: B. Espresso comes from its Latin root meaning “under pressure.”

48. How many plants naturally contain caffeine in either their fruits, seeds, or leaves?

  • 1
  • 35
  • 64
  • 110

Answer: C. More than 63 plants contain caffeine in either seeds, fruits, or leaves. Caffeine was first isolated from coffee plants in 1820.

49. What are coffee shops called in Japan?

  • Haraguchi Houses
  • Kintao
  • Kissaten
  • Banzai

Answer: C. Coffee shops in Japan are known as Kissaten. Tokyo has more than 10,000 coffee cafes and also thousands of coffee vending machines.

50. What is the total estimated coffee production in 2010?

  • 900 million pounds
  • 7 million tons
  • 15 million tons
  • 25 million tons

Answer: B. Coffee production in 2010 is estimated to be 7 million tons.

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51. How many coffee trees are growing in Brazil?

  • 1 billion
  • 2 billion
  • 3 billion
  • 4 billion

Answer: D. Brazil currently grows about 4 billion coffee trees making them the world's number one producer of coffee.

52. What country drinks the most coffee per person?

  • United States
  • Italy
  • Germany
  • France

Answer: C. Germany tops the world in coffee consumption with 16 pounds consumed per person per year.

53. How many cups of coffee do United States residents drink on average each day?

  • 1.4
  • 2.7
  • 3.1
  • 3.9

Answer: C. United States residents drink an average of 3.1 cups of coffee each day.

About Michael Yardney Michael is a director of Metropole Property Strategists who help their clients grow, protect and pass on their wealth through independent, unbiased property advice and advocacy. He's once again been voted Australia's leading property investment adviser and one of Australia's 50 most influential Thought Leaders. His opinions are regularly featured in the media.
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