Talk:Coffee/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2


Archives for approximately 10 June 2005 - 10 January 2007:


MSDS for caffeine is irrelevant to this page; if anything, it fits with caffeine better, and most of the relevant info is already there.—chris.lawson (talk) 04:40, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Not 100%

Still not 100% happy with this, but its getting there. Still to come: coffee in cold drinks, coffee-essence, liquid soluble coffee. I also want the wordy paragraphs shifted around a bit and some of the major types extending in details (sensibly)Mat-C 02:54, 19 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Might be nice to include info somewhere on health effects of coffee/caffeine including in relation to alzheimers (I think?) and diabetes (generally positive).Mat-C 02:54, 19 Apr 2004 (UTC) Also... caffeine levels of fresh/instant/espresso coffee. Mat-C 03:18, 19 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Caffeine levels are related to type/roast of bean and amount of raw grounds used in preparation, not to the method of preparation directly. --VampWillow 08:12, 2004 May 20 (UTC)

I've added in the bits on the drink from coffee; it might still need a bit of slicing and dicing to make it read more smoothly though. Markalexander100 20:05, 23 Apr 2004 (UTC) Nice work, this page is really getting there, and has a picture too now :) Mat-C 22:05, 25 Apr 2004 (UTC) There is a complete absence of historical information on the origin and development of coffee.


I've reverted User:Markalexander100's merging back to my previous edit. IMO, drip brew and filter coffee aren't the same. Please take a look at a description of filter coffee I just added. Ambarish | Talk 05:01, 20 May 2004 (UTC)

So is the Indian filter coffee the same as western filter coffee, except that milk and sugar are always added? If so, it would be a subcategory of drip brew. If not, we'll need some kind of disambiguation. Markalexander100 05:32, 20 May 2004 (UTC)
I would say that drip and filter should be integrated. What we are discussing at this point is the method of producing the coffee drink, not in its presentation. Some people like it white (milk/coffee/artificial creamer) or black, some with sugar, flavoured syrups (sugared or sugar-free) and we don't want to see each and every little different presentation getting its own entry. Filter *is* drip; they both use solely gravity to contact the heated water with the coffee grounds and the articles on filter coffee and coffee filter also need to take account of this. Now then, metal filter -v- paper filter qualitative issues anyone? --VampWillow 08:12, 2004 May 20 (UTC)
In coffee_(drink)#Forms, some of the entries are about finished products, like Mocha and Frappuccino. Others are about processes or appliances - drip brew (the article says so), French press etc. As such, I think that needs cleaning up. With that in mind, Indian filter coffee is a specific kind of coffee with specific ingredients (milk and sugar) brewed using the coffee filter. Drip brew indicates it's a method of brewing coffee (this would be called the coffee decoction in India, since "coffee" would mean filter coffee). Lastly, I have no idea what is meant by Western filter coffee - have never heard the term, although I live in the US. Is it common usage? So, if coffee_(drink)#Forms is to comprise kinds of brews that people drink, then drip brew doesn't belong there. If it's to consist of brewing mechanisms, filter coffee would become a sub-category of drip brew, and wouldn't feature in coffee_(drink)#Forms. I'd vote for the former, on the grounds that it's more interesting for people to know about Cappuccino and Latte than about brewing mechanisms. Let's have sections about both! Ambarish | Talk 08:31, 20 May 2004 (UTC)
I typed the above before User:VampWillow's response, and didn't want to edit it after I got an edit conflict. If we're indeed discussing the method of production, then we should be removing Frappuccino, Latte, etc. Right? Ambarish | Talk 08:31, 20 May 2004 (UTC)
This is getting nicely complicated! Forms of brewing and forms of serving should both be covered somewhere, but I'd agree with separating them into two sections. (Incidental: "filter coffee" in the UK means this; I can't vouch for US usage). By "decoction", do you mean that the coffee and water are boiled up together, and then the grounds are filtered out? In which case it would be a brewing method which is different from the drip/western filter method. Markalexander100 08:57, 20 May 2004 (UTC)
Sheesh .. I'm doing this and haven't made my first pot of the day yet! (am about to start on pots, btw, and just created a cross-section image). Frappucino is a trademarked name and, imho, shouldn't have a place here. Ideally I believe there should be four main sections. (i) Preparation of coffee grounds: roasting, grinding, pounding (Turkish coffee is missing), etc., (ii) Preparation of coffee drink: gravity, pressure, steeping, (iii) presentation of drink: the optional extras of sweetening, milk/coffee, foam, lattés, all the rest, and (iv) social aspects. That would give the required information in a 'pedia sort of way I think? --VampWillow 09:28, 2004 May 20 (UTC)
I agree about Frappucino - it is basically a trademark name for an chilled latte. The Grinding section still needs a lot of work, I just haven't had time. I like your organization scheme as well. Wishus 18:58, 20 May 2004 (UTC)
I agree with both of you. Markalexander100 01:28, 21 May 2004 (UTC)
Me too! I quite like User:VampWillow's proposal above; BTW, Markalexander100, boiling water is percolated through coffee powder in a coffee filter ( - couldn't find a better pic), so I guess the brewing process is similar to preparing coffee in any percolator. The difference is probably only in terminology, the resulting brew is called the decoction; once you had milk and sugar, it's called coffee. Ambarish | Talk 08:41, 21 May 2004 (UTC)
I've had a go at reorganising along User:VampWillow's lines, although I'm sure some tinkering will still be needed. I've moved the Indian filter coffee to Indian filter coffee, and I'll put a dab page in Filter coffee. Markalexander100 04:03, 22 May 2004 (UTC)
nicely done ... have tinkered a bit on the brewing and grinding sections, splitting them into categories. Will try to find time to create more cross-section diagrams! --VampWillow 09:03, 2004 May 22 (UTC)
Thanks to both of you! I shall now stick to adding stuff to Indian filter coffee. Ambarish | Talk 12:40, 22 May 2004 (UTC)
Yikes, I was a happy camper pounding away on my keyboard, adding stuff to Indian filter coffee - especially some nice pics I clicked earlier this week. So I guess this is resolved now? Do I need to worry when adding more stuff on Indian (Madras) filter coffee? Cheeni | Talk Fri Oct 22 19:59:56 2004 (UTC)
Yep, it was resolved by moving Filter coffee to Indian filter coffee and creating a disambig page at Filter coffee. You can go ahead and add stuff. BTW, nice pic! Ambarish | Talk 16:45, 23 Oct 2004 (UTC)

About drip brew being different from filter... I can vouch that in France, the two are used interchangeably for the stuff made in electric coffeemakers dripping hot water onto grounds held in a filter. --Svartalf 12:28, 17 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I may add that Indian filter coffee is different from drip brew... due to differences in preparation going far beyond the fact that the Indian way dispenses with a layer of paper... and is it just me or does that pot remind me of a percolator (moka pot, Italian coffeemaker). This is definitely a local variant that needs to be by itself, not just "another kind of" filter coffee, while 95% of world population thinks that drip brew and filter are synonymous. --Svartalf 23:23, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Turkish coffee

This article really needs something about Greek/Arabic/Turkish coffeeHarry R 16:08, 16 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Harry R: I agree, write it for us :)

Nice work on all this folks. This is getting pretty comprehensive now.

Indian Filter: still needs work as it looks just like white coffee in its current form. I really like all the different cultural styles and preparation styles on this page (and even more would be great) - could this one either be rolled into White Coffee or differentiated in some way?

How about a "coffee drinking styles around the world" section? (Although per-culture rather than per-locale may be more appropriate). Maybe that's superfluous and already included. Anyway just a thought :)

I like the breaking up of preparation and presentation and its current form, nice work. Mat-C 16:19, 26 Jun 2004 (UTC)

What's the deal with the description of Turkish coffee? Someone keeps removing the Greek coffee references, then someone else restores it, then the cycle repeats. Should the Greek coffee references be there or not? --Coyoty 03:42, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

It's an ethnic thing. Greeks have strong feelings about Turks, and themselves always call it Greek coffee. It seems to be most generally known as Turkish coffee though, and so that's what we should call it here. (Also, although it's distribution and names in various languages is discussed in the Preparation section, someone wants it repeated in under Presentation. It plainly doesn't have to be in both places.) TCC (talk) (contribs) 05:41, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Latte vs. Latté

To the anon that removed the accent from latté: In my experience the variant with accent has seen more general use than the variant without the accent; I would believe that the version with the accent is most closely intended by the original. I would appreciate an explanation for your logic behind your removal thereof. -- Grunt (talk) 00:27, 2004 Jun 27 (UTC)

Glad to explain. First, English doesn't have accents, although English speakers often copy them from foreign languages in loanwords. Second, the loanword "latte" is from Italian, and the Italian word doesn't have an accent. (Caffe does.) So, I don't think it belongs there.

I don't really care all that much one way or the other, but the ubiquitous Starbucks spells it without the accent. Not that that proves anything, but for an awful lot of Americans, Starbucks is synonymous with specialty coffees like latte. olderwiser 00:37, 27 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Websters spells it without an accent; it gives the derivation as the Italian caffelatte (one word, no accents), which is a contraction of caffè e latte (grave accent). If it's right, I think no accent wins. Markalexander100 03:01, 27 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Fat retention b/c of coffee

A friend of mine said someone on Oprah said that something in coffee causes fat retention...anybody know anything about this? jengod 23:39, Nov 19, 2004 (UTC)

I really don't know. The ancient Arabs believed coffee caused loss of sleep and loss of manhood. Heck, they even banned coffee for a while on that count (circa 1539 CE). :-) BTW, Oprah? Oprah? *groan* Cheeni 21:38, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)
It's probably taken out of context. The American coffee-drinking habits, with lots of sugar and milk in their coffee cups, is probably the real culprit. The elevated heart rate from the caffeine contributes an insignificant amount of calorie-burning throughout the day, but not enough to help you lose or gain weight. The problem may be the mood-swing that it can induce in certain people, which may lead to more eating to compensate for the caffeine low. Either way, I have never heard anything about this and a quick google search brought back nothing useful. Julius.kusuma 14:33, 29 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Coffee apparently raises cortisol levels, which encourages fat retention, especially abdominal fat retention (as does stress, because cortisol levels rise in response to stress). I didn't do an extensive search, but here's an article with basic information about cortisol:


Hi, this article is looking good. I recently ran across (in the zine Too Much Coffee Man, as a matter of fact) a mention of an Arabic word, "marqaha," which means something like "coffee euphoria," -- it's a specific term for the buzz you get from drinking coffee.

After googling about a bit, it does seem that the word exists:

"Coffee-drinkers even coined their own term for the euphoria it produced — marqaha."

I found the existence of this word interesting, but I wasn't sure it belonged in the article (perhaps just in Wiktionary...). In any case, now I've mentioned it. :)


I was thinking of editing the "Presentation" section to reflect the fact that "White Coffee" is commonly called a "Flat White" in Australia, and "Black Coffee" is commonly called a "Long Black", but thought that there is probably further variations on this in other countries. Perhaps we could have a table with the regional terms for each style of presentation? Mmmmm, coffee! Malcolmj 00:23, 1 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Medical uses of coffee/caffeine

Someone earlier mentioned uses of coffee for Alzheimer's and diabetes. If this subject is treated in the article, its use in migraine headache should also be mentioned. Some migraineurs can abort a migraine by drinking a strong cup of coffee as they feel it coming on. Also, caffeine is combined with several headache (and probably non-headache) drugs for a different reason - it intensifies the potency of the companion drug.--Harrykaplan 16:06, 30 Mar 2005 (UTC)

"probably non-headache) drugs" Yes indeed, it's in Midol, for instance. But perhaps there should just be mention of a few uses of the pure drug, with the rest moved to caffeine. A mention of the traditional coffee enema here would be appropriate, though.

Coffee Bean Redirect

I'm not so sure that "coffee bean" should redirect here, as it is the informal (and most common) name for The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Ask most people from Southern California, and they'll tell you that the term and the store are synonymous. --Hersch 21:40, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

If people are looking for the store and search "Coffee bean", I'm sure that they won't be surprised to arrive at coffee. If people are searching for the coffee bean, and search "Coffee bean", I'm sure that they'd be pretty surprised to arrive at some californian store. Madd4Max 12:34, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I agree with Hersch. (I too live in So Cal.) If someone were looking for the store, searched for "coffee bean", and got Coffee, what would they do if they didn't remember the full name of the store? Whereas if an unsuspecting user arrived at The Coffe Bean & Tea Leaf after searching for "coffee bean", getting to Coffee is just a click away from the first sentence of that page. —BenFrantzDale 14:36, Jun 8, 2005 (UTC)
If I didn't remember the name I would search for "coffee bean company". It doesn't make sense that the company becomes more important than an encyclopedic term, and "coffee beans" is one. The popular southeast asian drink "Bandung" should not be made more important than the actual city of Bandung, in which nobody knows what Bandung the drink is. However, "Bandung" the drink is briefly mentioned at the bottom of the page Bandung. Southern Californians will have to deal with it ;-). I'm in agreement with WormRunner. Julius.kusuma 17:01, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)
As someone who does NOT live in southern california, I find the idea of a world-class encyclopedia linking first to some local chain rather than the world usage of coffee bean idiotic. If we want to mention a commercial site at all it should be a small disambig note. -- WormRunner | Talk 15:14, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I agree with WormRunner, "coffee bean" should definetely redirect here. KFP 15:20, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Agreed. — Asbestos | Talk 16:00, 8 Jun 2005 (UTC)
How about a compromise. As Coffee bean already points to Coffee, what about Coffee Bean redirecting to The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Naturally there would be a link at the top of the page to Coffee in case someone got lost. --Hersch 04:29, 10 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Claude Saks

Check out Claude's book "Strong Brew: One Man's Prelude to Change". A most excellent introduction to the commodity trading aspect of coffee, a rough and nasty business, but a great way to see the world. Following is a review from Saks calls this book a prequel to his Inescapable Journey: A Spiritual Adventure (1995), an account of his spiritual quest, which led him to Taoism and Buddhism. In some ways, Saks' story parallels that of Mark Ritchie, who wrote God in the Pits: Confessions of a Commodities Trader (1989), though there are important differences. Ritchie founded a firm that grew to become the world's largest options trading company, his relationship with his father profoundly affected his life, and his own Christian beliefs conflicted with the demands and trappings of his livelihood. But unlike Ritchie, who used his father's altruism as a model, Saks sought his father's respect by following him in business. The Sakses traded coffee on the commodities markets, but they also fought constantly. They split, and Claude formed his own company, which became the largest importer of coffee in the U.S. Saks provides a highly personal account of what it was like in this fast-paced, competitive business as he traveled across Africa and East Asia. David Rouse

Straw poll

There's currently a straw poll about an image at Talk:Coffee percolator. I cross-posted to here as that article gets very little traffic.

Thanks, — Asbestos | Talk 20:59, 5 Jun 2005 (UTC)

History of Coffee

I was thinking of editing the history of coffee. I can offer a timeline of coffee that would be of interest to everyone. I'm the author of a new book called "The Truth About Caffeine" which is published by SCR Books, LLC. An example is below.

525 - Early in the sixth century, the Abyssinian nation (what is now known as the modern-day country of Ethiopia) unknowingly brought wild coffee plants to the Arabian Peninsula when its troops invaded the country of Yemen.

600 - While dates vary from 600-850, most sources credit the discovery of coffee to an Abyssinian goatherd called Kaldi who notices his goats acting strangely after eating the berries from a nearby bush. Seeing the increased feistiness of the goats, Kaldi tastes the berry himself, and appreciating the jolt of energy - without any way of foreseeing the phenomenal global trend he was starting – begins more than a millennium of coffee-ingesting.

650 - After learning about coffee from Kaldi, local monks experiment with the beans. The monks tried mixing them with water, as well as drying the coffee berries and transporting them to far-off monasteries, because they understand the power of the beans to keep them awake during prayers.

Are you the one who added the timeline to the history section, which was recently reverted? This seemed like a worthwhile addition to me, but it's perhaps too lengthy to be part of this article. I suggest adding it as a seperate article Timeline of coffee and adding a "See also" link to the History section. TCC (talk) (contribs) 22:14, 7 September 2005 (UTC)
Additional note... I think "The Women's Petition Against Coffee", 1674 should be given a mention. As early evidence of coffee's ills. I saw it in a newspaper article today. [1] Mdrejhon 15:13, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

Coffee bean varieties

I expanded this section a bit, including more information on the coffee growing regions for the different varieties, and tried to seperate the list of beans themselves from the discussions of coffee blends and other subjects. If other blends merit special attention, perhaps that can be a new list, but I think mixing blends and beans confuses the subject somewhat. Hopefully more varieties can be added as people think of them. TCC (talk) (contribs) 03:19, 9 September 2005 (UTC)

Astounding that there is no mention of Colombian coffee at all !!!!!! (world's second largest coffee producer). Was this a conscious omission? 04:44, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

Well, here is your chance to do exactly that, enter all the details you feel ought to go into the article about Colombian coffee. That's what we Wikipedians do, we fill in what is missing. Dieter Simon 23:25, 27 October 2005 (UTC)


Latte: "It is stronger than cappuccino because it comprises 50% espresso, 50% milk (compared to cappuccino's one-third espresso, one-third steamed milk and one-third frothed milk)."

this is wrong im'a change it. --Ballchef 11:52, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

Benefits / Risks sections

Some of the things stated as facts in the Benefits/Risks sections seem like a study may have reached that conclusion, but are not necessarily widely accepted facts. I don't know enough about these studies to edit those sections confidently, but could someone who knows a bit more consider whether each item in those sections is just a claim based on a study, or a widely accepted fact? - James Foster 08:39, 1 October 2005 (UTC)

I agree. In particular, the bit about curing asthma seems dubious at best. My understanding of caffeine use in the older migraine medications was for its cerebral vasoconstrictor effects - not anything to do with analgesic potentiation bignoter

Removed the initial paragraph mentioning caffeinism and its reputed relation to psychiatric disorders. Caffeinism is a neologism. Additionally the claim its causes psychiatric disorders is not supported by credible scientific studies. Vassyana 03:30, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

I additionally removed the paragraph detailing caffeine and replaced it with an introductory reference to caffeine. Vassyana 03:30, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Some of these studies were paid for by coffee producers. Coffee 12:40, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

The above was written by There's no such user as Coffee at this time. Tycon.jpgCoyoty 02:11, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Economic Aspects of Coffee

I have read frequently that coffee is the world’s second most traded commodity, (After oil). I have thought about this for quite a while, and the numbers just don’t jive. Here is my math (please correct as you see fit, all numbers approximate):

Annual coffee production (2002) 115,800,000 60 kilo bags ( =6.95 billion kilos @ 2.2 lbs/kilo = 15.3 billion lbs That included robusta, but let’s be generous and say $0.50/lb = $7.65 billion

Daily oil production ~ 72 million bbl (Click Here ( I am a bit conservative) 1 bbl/day production ~ 55 tons (US)/yr =72,000,000*55*2000 ~7.9 trillion lbs =72,000,000*365 ~26 billion bbl/yr @ $35/bbl (we in Texas thank you for this, by the way) ~$920 billion

So on one hand, we have 7.9 trillion lbs of oil vs 11 billion lbs of coffee


$920 billion of oil vs $5.5 billion of coffee

My point is that there is too much distance between these numbers for coffee to be #2 (I think that copper production is worth about $18 billion, for example: Click Here (

I think that this is a meme that is left over from the 1930s or something (I think it is mentioned in Uker’s) that just keeps getting repeated.

But I am willing to be corrected…

I don't actually know, but that doesn't stop me from reacting :) . Mostly, what this comparison can be taken to say is not so much how big the coffee market is, but how humongous the oil market is. Almost 20 times bigger by your calculation. But which figures do you use? About 0.2 usd per kg of coffee. Is that the price the farmers get or the intermediary companies and at what shackle along the (re)selling chain? And do you use the same basis for the oil-calculation? (I cant make heads or tails of the units you're using, so I can't do any proper calculations for myself.) DirkvdM 08:12, 7 October 2005 (UTC)

When I did those calculations oil was at $35/bbl and coffee at about $0.50/Lb (or $1.10/kg - all usd). Since both have about doubled. And you are correct that I don't factor in the value add that coffee gets by going through the Starbucks chain I would guess about 34g of ground, roasted coffee in a $4.00 latte) but then I don't calculate the value add in the oil industry either.

Mainly, I am questioning the fact that "everyone knows" that coffee is the second most traded commodity. It simply doesn't seem possible. Look at my copper calculations. You can link though on my reference sites for the origen of my data.


The sensible values to use for both coffee and oil are the spot values on the commodity exchanges, ISTM. The World Bank Pink Sheets have the average current prices for many commodities, coffee included, but trading volume is a bit harder to come by. (If they're there, I don't see it.) Still, the fact that the copper market appears to be bigger than that for coffee is telling. TCC (talk) (contribs) 21:33, 11 October 2005 (UTC)
  • [Copying my comment from WP:FAC to here] re: second most-traded commodity -- I find data to suggest it is not true. See for example UNCTAD Handbook of Statistics (caution: large PDF), specifically section 4.2A, beginning on page 156 (print page number)/182 (PDF page number). The interpretation depends a bit on what one considers a commodity, but it's hard to make coffee number two under any definition. --Tabor 21:09, 29 October 2005 (UTC)
  • More info: found one source that ascribed the quotation to the Interational Coffee Organization. Looking at the bottom of this page, it appears that in fact what they say is much more qualified:
[Coffee] is one of the most valuable primary products in world trade, in many years second in value only to oil as a source of foreign exchange to developing countries.
It looks to me like this may have been misunderstood/misquoted and perpetuated. --Tabor 21:26, 29 October 2005 (UTC)


Replaced biased ending referencing "caffeinism" with "Its potential benefits and hazards have been, and continue to be, widely studied and discussed." Vassyana 16 October 2005

Removed reference to "caffeinism". Again. "Caffeinism" is a neologism with little, if any credibility. It is notable that Caffeinism was very controversial and now leads to caffeine. Vassyana 03:18, 17 December 2005 (UTC)

Recent reverts

First, before anyone goes demanding a certain protocol, it would be minimially courteous to create an account. It's very difficult to carry on a discussion with an IP address.

Really? Does it strain your mental abilities? Do you not like having a name you can make fun of? How is it "difficult"? Signing with an IP address introduces no discursive difficulties. You know, I checked out this page and, in all the advantages of registering that it lists, "not being looked down upon by regular users" isn't on the list. Maybe you should add it. 22:51, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
It would hardly be an issue if you'd done more to recommend yourself instead of coming in and repeatedly vandalizing the article. Believe it or not, many of us here regard other editors as people and not simply input devices attached to the computers they use. TCC (talk) (contribs) 23:01, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
Be nice, See WP:CIVIL. There are at least two problems with talking to an IP address, but it's true that neither is that big a deal. 1) A lot of people have dynamic IP addresses, which change every time they log on. 2) It's harder to remember a number than a name, so it's harder to determine if edits or comments are from the same person. Phrased differently, all IP addresses tend to blur into one big, hazy identity. That said, if you have some reason you don't want an account, nobody should try to stop you. If you have an account and just enjoy baiting people anonymously once in a while, that's a different matter.—Bunchofgrapes (talk) 23:07, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
TCC insults me for not registering, calls me a vandal for taking the article further, and then claims I regard others as input devices, and when I protest this, you tell me to be civil? This is outrageous! I'm definitely going to add "not treated as a second-class citizen" to the "benefits of registering" article. 18:03, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
See, now you're looking for insults where there are none. Not registering doesn't make you a second-class citizen, but if you're going to insist on the courtesies that benefit you, as you insisted on this discussion, then I think some reciprocal courtesy on your part is called for. I simply prefer to talk to a person and not to a machine; and an IP address identifies a machine, not a person. If you take impute any further meaning to what I said, you're taking it beyond my intention. TCC (talk) (contribs) 20:28, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
TCC said "it would be minimially courteous to create an account," which isn't much of an insult, but I suppose you could make the case that the implication that you are discourteous is a minor insult. You asked TCC "Does it strain your mental abilities? Do you not like having a name you can make fun of?", implying that TCC was both stupid and apt to name-calling. That isn't civil at all. The accusation of vandalization came after your comment which prompted my asking you to remain civil; it probably should not have been made. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 19:17, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
Possibly not. But as you point out below, edits that make bad writing deliberately worse indeed border on vandalism, if not quite as obviously as blanking an article or replacing it with nonsense text. Repeatedly insisting on it with multiple re-reverts I thought crossed the line. But I could be wrong. TCC (talk) (contribs) 19:40, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
What problem might anyone have with creating an account? I agree that there should be a low threshold for newbies, but creating an account when you get serious with editing Wikipedia is a matter of courtesy for the reasons you mention. DirkvdM 07:05, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
Wrong. Anonymous users have the right to edit and discuss on Wikipedia just like everyone else. You know, the funny thing is, I've seen a lot of left-wing Wikipedia users gripe about people not registering because it's "so simple", but when you point out that applying for a job is "so simple", they manage to come up with excuses for others! 18:03, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
People might not want to create an account because they perceive it (falsely, I know) as a loss of privacy. Or because they don't want to allow cookies on their machine. It's not a big deal. See Wikipedia:Welcome anonymous editing. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 16:22, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

Second, the edit gets reverted because it is in a breezy, conversational style, not encyclopedic as it should be. See Wikipedia:Guide to writing better articles especially the headings "What style to use" and "Use clear, precise and accurate terms". It adds more verbiage to an already lengthy article without adding more information. (Some of it is even wrong; drip coffee is not brewed "one drop at a time" for example.)

To put it in the bluntest terms possible, it's a low-quality contribution that doesn't improve the article at all. Since more than one person has reverted it, there's an excellent probability that this is a consensus position. Please leave it. TCC (talk) (contribs) 21:29, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

I agree, and I'll add, if this is an exercise to point out that there is some other less-than-stellar ("fruity", I believe the anon said) writing in the article, then it is misguided. See WP:POINT. We know the article isn't perfect and hope to see it improved. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 21:55, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
Okay, so I guess you both agree that the article should be more professional in tone. Therefore, I have made some changes that remove the "breeziness" of the version you prefer. I hope you like it. 22:51, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
If you'd done something more like this in the first place, your contributions would have been welcome from the beginning. Instead you chose to be obnoxious. Of course the article needs lots of work. Both Bunchofgrapes and I objected to FAC status on that ground. It was not a point that needed to be made, and certainly not by the method you used. TCC (talk) (contribs) 23:01, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
All I did was give it "more of the same". It was already breezy. I made it more breezy and suddenly I'm a vandal? Who put in such bizarre lines as "perhaps with sugar"? If you're going to copy and paste a cutesy coffee guide into Wikipedia, at least try to cover it up a little. ("you" in the generic sense, no you personally, in case you were about to invent another grievance against me) 18:03, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
Edits which make bad writing worse are bad. Edits which make bad writing better are good. Edits which make bad writing deliberately worse are in bad faith and border on vandalism. But this is obvious. What is your point here, really? —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 19:17, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
Looks fine to me, except maybe for the change from frothed to whipped milk, a factual change of which I am not sure. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 23:07, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
They're basically the same. "Frothed" is more of a term you'd use in advertising to make it seem "rich and dreamy" ... I think it borders on POV, plus it leaves ambiguous how it became frothed. 18:03, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
I'd have said the opposite. "Whipped" sounds richer than "frothed"; it reminds one of whipped cream. You could call it whipped, since one method of whipping milk (or cream) is to inject gas into it, but hot water vapor is really suboptimal for this purpose -- it works best when the milk is cold -- and it normally isn't done long enough to properly whip the milk anyway. Something like one of those plunger-type milk "frothers" does the trick, but from what I've seen it generally gives you something thicker than what you get at the coffeehouse. If someone has a different experience of this, it'd be worth discussing. TCC (talk) (contribs) 19:36, 2 November 2005 (UTC)
"Frothed" and "whipped" are utterly distinct for the purposes of this discussion. Frothing is done by injecting a pressurized stream of steam into the milk. Whipping is done by hand or machine, usually with a whisk. Vassyana 23:26, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

The cafe

Any objections if I cut this section? I don't really see how it belongs here, and coffeehouse adequately covers the subject. Is anything more than a link in the "See also" section called for? TCC (talk) (contribs) 01:59, 3 November 2005 (UTC)

Agree. And I don't think it needs a see also link. A link to coffeehouse can fit somewhere in the history section, if there isn't one already there. —Bunchofgrapes (talk) 05:02, 3 November 2005 (UTC)
I wouldn't like to see it cut altogether; the social aspect of coffee is important. We should either have a broader discussion of the social aspect, or follow Wikipedia: summary style and have a summary of the coffeehouse article and a "main article: Coffeehouse" link to it. Mark1 07:51, 3 November 2005 (UTC)
I notice we have a seperate section called "Social aspects of coffee" which I think serves this purpose better. It's also better placed in the article and more focused; "The Cafe" goes into uses of the word that have nothing to do with coffee as such. TCC (talk) (contribs) 06:13, 16 November 2005 (UTC)

It's tangential, but I don't like how the article describes the English speaker's cafe. In English, a cafe is more like the French variety except that alcoholic beverages are seldom or never sold. It is not a place to eat a meal, that's a cafeteria. Maybe there was a misunderstanding because of the way English speakers spell cafe (w/o an accent on the letter E), but now that this is clarified it should be changed; either for this article or a new one.

I have eaten many meals in a café. Gentgeen 21:36, 21 January 2006 (UTC)
I've been wanting to cut this section for a while since as it stands it's mostly tangential, having little to do with the service of coffee as such. See my remarks above. Unless there's a strong objection, I'll do so before long. TCC (talk) (contribs) 22:30, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

Instant Coffee

An example sentence from the Instant Coffee section.

Opinions on instant coffee range from "intolerable imposter" through "reasonable alternative" to "better than the real thing", and in some areas of the world it is seen as a sophisticated beverage popular in the United States due to the fact that it was the norm in American homes until the 1980s.

There are many problems with the above sentence.

  1. It is too long and needs to be split into multiple parts. I would have done this myself, except for the next problem.
  2. The second half of the sentence makes it sound that because instant coffee was "the norm" in American homes until the 1980s it is the prevailing opinion in some parts of the World that:
    1. Instant coffee is sophisticated, and
    2. It is popular in the United States!
  3. At no point are any claims backed up with facts.

Suggested corrections.

  1. Split the sentence into multiple parts.
  2. Replace "the norm" with authoritative figures on the decline of instant coffee use in the United States.
  3. Establish that the higher consumption of instant coffee in coffee-exporting regions is due to people in those areas copying households in the United States, rather than the difference in price between instant coffee and brewed arabica coffee.

Most of this section is in need of similar rewrites. For example the first sentence reads "Instant and soluble coffee has been dried into soluble powder or granules...". So the instant coffee has been dried, rather than is the product of drying brewed coffee!

Preparation - Grinding

This article says "There are two methods of producing coffee grounds ready for brewing." Yet it shows 3 points which are bulleted. Grinding Chopping Pounding

Coffee does not adversely impact higher mental functions?

As a 4th year med student, I'd have to say that the idea, found in the following quote, that coffee does not adversely impact higher mental functions, is at the worst wrong and at the least quite misleading. If the idea is to say that it is a relatively benign stimulant compared to other illicit drugs, then perhaps it is just better to say something to that effect. "Because of the stimulant properties of coffee and because coffee does not adversely impact higher mental functions, coffee is strongly associated with white collar jobs and office workers."

I've otherwise enjoyed reading this article, although I am frustrated by coffee being referred to as a "bean" in popular reference. Although it is good to see it referred to as a seed in the article, I'm wondering if it would be good to point out that it is the pit of a fruit. Ok, if you have read this far, I thank you for your time. (talk · contribs)

If you agree with this, please CITE sources that disprove its premise. I'm not sure why you disagree with the "bean" thing. The whole world calls it a bean; you may want to insert a comment that biologically it is not a bean. JFW | T@lk 15:41, 5 December 2005 (UTC)

Social aspects of coffee

I apologize. I am new to Wikipedia, and this is the first time I've engaged in childish "revert war" behavior. I have no excuse, except that I've not yet developed the social experience within this community to school myself yet. I will, in the future, got o discussion first.

That said, I *do* think the paragraph in question has some merit, and shouldn't be simply deleted. I would like some discussion on this matter before it goes away again. So far the only reason stated (in the rev comment) has to do with it being meaningless to anyone who doesn't watch American TV (as I understand it). I don't watch any of the shows mentioned, but recognise the thought there as a sort of "cultural literacy" issue, and therefore appropriate to Wikipedia. Scix 02:43, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Actually, the main reason I gave was that the paragraph was mostly about TV shows. To put it more precisely, it made a claim about a social trend which it then tried to support by citing a bunch of TV shows that took up most of the paragraph. This is an extremely unreliable and not terribly rigorous way of documenting social trends. When shows like Dynasty, Dallas, and Falcon Crest were popular, consider the completely inaccurate view of mainstream American society most non-Americans took from them. "It's true because I saw it in a sitcom" just doesn't work, I'm afraid.
At least, that's why I wanted it deleted. I have no idea why User:Malencontreux got rid of it in the first place, but I support his action.
Since we are left with no credible support for the claim that's made and no other sources are cited, this is not a paragraph that ought to be retained. If the claim is actually true (and it probably is) then there ought to be good documentation for it somewhere. So really, you're right but for the wrong reasons IMO. I'd sooner see it fixed than deleted myself, but I don't have any sources either. TCC (talk) (contribs) 03:08, 16 December 2005 (UTC)

Decaf Coffee question.

Is there a point when decaf coffee can become caffinated again?

I suppose you could add No-Doz to it. But if you mean, will the caffeine magically reappear after it's been removed? No. TCC (talk) (contribs) 01:54, 29 December 2005 (UTC)
You sure about this? Do you have any kind of evidence of such? I only mean to clarify. You see, I work for a company that tells us to change out the decaf coffee every 20 minutes or it cafinates again. I am not sure how this works, as it sounded bogus to me. Obviously the coffee becomes bitter (well, even more bitter, seeing as how our company coffee really sucks..)
I don't have evidence for this, but I don't need any. I have a basic education in chemistry and physics and I therefore don't believe in the spontaneous generation of matter, absent the rare miraculous event. The coffee that you brew had the caffeine removed a long time ago, before it was even roasted. Removed, note, not reacted into some other substance: the beans are steamed and then rinsed in a solvent that carries the caffeine away. See decaffeination. There is simply no way for the caffeine to return after brewing it. It's a silly idea. Perhaps someone at your work is trying to have a little fun with you.
It's always a good idea to change coffee out after 20 minutes or a half hour, but that's true whether it's decaffeinated or not. Good coffee gets noticeably stale after that time. TCC (talk) (contribs) 03:27, 31 December 2005 (UTC)

Spoon Position

Clearly the spoon is misplaced. The handles of the cup and spoon need to point in the same direction, with the spoon on the other side of the cup! Kd4ttc 00:10, 9 January 2006 (UTC)


A study has shown that cafestol, a substance which is present in boiled coffee drinks, dramatically increases cholesterol levels, especially in women. Filtered coffee only contains trace amounts of cafestol. – define "boiled coffee drinks"; does it include instant coffee? MartinHagberg 20:34, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

There's an entire section in the article on preparing coffee by boiling. It would include Turkish and "cowboy" coffee. TCC (talk) (contribs) 22:31, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
There is no need to define "boiled coffee drinks". The literal reading of the phrase is quite sufficient and clear. I fail to see how such a phrasing is in the least unclear. Addtionally, your question about instant coffee would only apply when using boiled water which is still near or at the boiling point. Instant coffee only requires hot water, not boiling. Vassyana 23:41, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
I suspect -- although I do not know for sure since I haven't looked at the source for the study mentioned -- that the distinguishing factor here is that that coffee grounds are in contact with the boiling water for a relatively extended period. Compare to drip coffee where water at lower than boiling temperature is simply passed through once. TCC (talk) (contribs) 01:23, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
From what I can gather by researching the issue, the time exposure is a factor not well studied. It seems to be a mostly academic question, since "single pass" methods using boiled water (such as traditional percolators) still contain the elevated levels of cafestol. Drip coffee's lower risks and higher benefits also derive from the use of paper filters, according to medical and scientific papers on the matter. (Presumably the paper filtration removes some harmful contents.) Vassyana 04:00, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Is the same true then for coffee made in a French press? If so, then this has nothing at all to do with "boiled" coffee as such because you brew in a press with water of the proper temperature, which should not be boiling, and it is indeed the paper filter. (There would also then be higher cafestol levels in drip coffee made with one of those permanent gold-plated filters, I would think.) TCC (talk) (contribs) 04:12, 13 January 2006 (UTC)
Great questions and observations. I am taking the time to carefully read the sources before making any final statements. There seems to be a lot of discussion of paper filtration and temperature, but I am having difficulty locating sources discussing the differance between paper filter and metal filter drip coffee. French press coffee cafestol levels seem to be directly tied to temperature. I have found one source that states that are more harmful constituents in french press and electric percolators than drip coffee (unspecified filtration), but the source is non-academic and I am therefore wary of it. I will keep digging and get back on the topic. Vassyana 22:34, 14 January 2006 (UTC)


The descriptions of New Zealand "long black" and "flat white" are not entirely accurate: these terms both refer solely to certain espresso-based preparations. The closest US equivalent to "long black" is the so-called "Americano", but that is not exactly the same. A NZ barista could tell you the difference, presumably.

worlds strongest coffee

anyone know who has the strongest coffee in the world?

coffee in England?

This article here [2] and another one here [3] says it was a Turkish Jew named Mr Jacobs that introduced Turkish coffee to England and other sources says it was [4] [5] Ragusian man-servant known as Pasqua Rosee. Mr Rosee had been brought to England from Ottoman Smyrna by his former employer, Mr Daniel Edwards, a “Turkish merchant” (one who dealt in coffee and other such luxury items). I could find no source to back up the Greek statement. Surely a featured article should be better written? 17:20, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

Update: Okay this article [6] states that the Turkish Jew Mr Jacobs opened up the first coffee shop with Mr Daniel Edwards' servant Pasqua Rosee opening up one a few years later. Meanwhile this article states that manservant Pasqua Rosee was Greek(?) and that the Turkish Jew Mr. Jacobs opened England's first coffeehouse in Oxford in 1650. But it seems from many sources that the first Turkish coffee house in England was established by a Mr Jacobs. 17:42, 21 February 2006 (UTC)

"Pasqua Rosée" (to accent it as one source puts it, probably correctly) is patently not a Greek name, and your sources in fact say he was Ragusan, which makes him Sicilian. Also, the name of the Oxford coffeehouse owner seems to be unclear. The source says "Jacob", while the source says "Jacobs"; it's only the article that calls him "Mr. Jacobs". It's difficult to say therefore whether a first name or surname is intended here; either is plausible. I'll edit appropriately.
I can't verify this "Ioannis Servopoulos" at all, and the date that had been given seems much too early. Thank you for fixing this. TCC (talk) (contribs) 00:04, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

An excellently re-written edit of my changes. It reads much better, thank you. 09:36, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

IMO, the important part was correcting the unverifiable information in the first place. TCC (talk) (contribs) 09:59, 22 February 2006 (UTC)

coffee negative effects

I read in new scientist it think it was about a new study of the supposed negative effects of coffee. In this the apparently found that a lot of negative effects could be down to the relationship with smoking, eg almost everyone who smokes drinks a ot of coffee but virtually noone who doesn't drink coffee smokes. I think also they found that the filtering of coffee removed some negative substance/s but they didn't know what. Just thought twas quite interesting, don't know if anyone has seen the study and could give any details as to te surety of these statements.

Smoking can be a confounding variable in any study, and I would assume that most good researchers would take that into account, and separate smokers from non-smokers in their results. The filtering of coffee through various methods (such as drip brew, I believe) removes the majority of cafestol, a diterpene that can raise cholesterol levels. It is interesting, however, that cafestol also has anticarcinogenic activity [7]. It's not the filtering, so much as the particular brew method, that can trap cafestol. --Muugokszhiion 22:35, 3 March 2006 (UTC)


"Electronic coffee makers boil the water and brew the infusion with little human assistance and sometimes according to a timer. Some even grind the beans automatically before brewing. Connoisseurs shun such conveniences as compromising the flavor of the coffee; they prefer freshly ground beans and traditional brewing techniques." So we're saying the coffee maker freshly grinds the coffee for each cup, but connoisseurs (ALL connoisseurs mind you) shun these machines because they want freshly ground coffee. The machines brew the infusion according to a set time, but ALL connoisseurs shun these machines in favour of traditional brewing techniques, such as espresso machines and brewing the infusion for a set amount of time? These connoiseurs must be different to the connoiseurs I've met, whose entire job is brewing and tasting coffee. 14:45, 27 March 2006 (UTC)

I'm removing the recipes

Per WP:NOT#Wikipedia_is_not_an_indiscriminate_collection_of_information point 8, I'm removing the list of alcoholic drinks entirely. They're almost all redlinks, they're nothing but recipes, which is unencylopedic. Someone could write a wikibooks article on alcoholic drinks with coffee, including recipes, or a wikipedia article on them (without recipes) and we could have a link to that here, if this is desired. --Xyzzyplugh 23:42, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Also, note that having these lists of drinks is one of the reasons why this article failed to become a featured article. --Xyzzyplugh 23:47, 31 March 2006 (UTC)

Edit Without Mercy

This article was unreasonably long. It is now shorter, because i have tried to summarize and move lists off to their own articles. It still, however, needs work: the entire medical section near the end should be made into its own article, and simply summarized here. Go to it. Nandesuka 19:46, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

The most important part of this article was taken out

Hi, I just saw that the portion of the article listing drinks was taken out. I can't believe this. The definitions of drinks are by far the most important infomation in the article. So many people have edited the article since I last saw it that I can't figure out who deleted all the most impotant info. And I can't revert to get it back. Whoever it was, it was probably a vandal trying to delete all the useful information. He left the useless part intact to look like the article was unvandalized. Seriously, we need to re-add that info soon Tobyk777 06:16, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Scratch all of that. It was one guy who deleted more than half the article. I'm gona have a talk with him. Tobyk777 06:20, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
I approve of all the changes made by the vandal Nandesuka. - brenneman{L} 07:33, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
This change] moved it to a separate page and left a link to that page. The only concern I have is that the overview paragraph that remains seems to underdescribe that new page. Wouldn't hurt to have a sentence or two more than just "grinding, brewing, mixing with other stuff". DMacks 17:58, 3 April 2006 (UTC)
I'm fine with expanding the description. The goal, though, should be a description, not a laundry list. Laundry lists are almost always bad. I considered putting in a mention of espresso vs. infusion coffee, but my fear is that the next guy comes in and decides that in addition to espresso and infusion coffee, we also need to mention White Chocolate Caramel Macchiato, and then we're off to the races. But if you think you can expand it sensibly without laundry-listing, be my guest! Nandesuka 18:58, 3 April 2006 (UTC)

Thank heavens all that junk about various exotic coffee based drinks is out of this article. It was becoming quite unwieldy. Garglebutt / (talk) 22:10, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Your joking right, the drinks were the most important part. Tobyk777 05:18, 6 April 2006 (UTC)
Ah no, it was a long list of largely irrelevant material. There is only one real coffee drink which is an espresso. Most of the drinks listed were based on that so didn't belong in an article about coffee itself. Garglebutt / (talk) 07:14, 6 April 2006 (UTC)

Phase 2 restructuring

I just whacked the article with a stick again, this time with an eye towards reorganizing it so it made sense. I moved the "economics of coffee" and "health" sections up substantially, since we are talking about one of the most widely traded commodities in the world; I put them ahead of the "preparation" section because it is more important that we tell people what coffee is, and why it is important, than that we tell them how to make it. I rewrote and tightened up a lot of unnecessary verbosity (we could still do a lot more here). A number of minor sections had section headers when they didn't really warrant it -- they interrupt the flow of the article. I massively tightened and trimmed the whole section on "quick coffee". I added a citeneeded to a statement that needed it. (I also eliminated or moved to other articles a number of interesting but nonessential tidbits (such as where the mother plant for Arabica is).

Still lots of work to be done. This article is still 30k long. Any suggestions for good candidates for removal or things that could be moved to their own article? Nandesuka 22:47, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Use of the word Cafe around the World

I am removing the paragraph concerning the use of the word cafe. Its information can be found at Coffeehouse (to which readers are already directed) and doesn't really contribute further towards defining "coffee". Turly-burly 02:01, 13 April 2006 (UTC)

"yet unknown chemical agent"?

"Recent research has uncovered additional stimulating effects of coffee which are not related to its caffeine content. Coffee contains an as yet unknown chemical agent which stimulates the production of cortisone and adrenaline, two stimulating hormones."

A citation is in order.

New study

Consumption of coffee is associated with reduced risk of death attributed to inflammatory and cardiovascular diseases in the Iowa Women's Health Study [8]--Rotten 13:52, 11 May 2006 (UTC)

"or with ice"

This barbarism is featured on the very first sentence for crying out loud. Why not add coffee-flavored ice creams and candy? Conversely, why not give the hot beverage the deserved right of way? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Elpincha (talkcontribs)

That was added by a repeat vandal, User_talk:, some time ago - I found it while hunting through his list of changes to articles. I reverted it as suspicious - although he did make one or two valid edits in amongst his widespread acts of minor vandalism. Evidently Interestingstuffadder thinks it's legitimate enough to put back in; I don't have strong feelings either way. Paddles TC 15:39, 7 June 2006 (UTC)
I feel that "or with ice" does not belong to the first sentence. There might be drinks that include both coffee and ice as ingredients, but I have never seen or heard of coffee by itself being served with ice.--Teemuk 09:52, 13 July 2006 (UTC)
Iced coffee is seriously popular in Japan. Interestingstuffadder 15:02, 2 August 2006 (UTC)


A coffee varietal is simply the genetic subspecies of coffee. This includes Caturra, Bourbon, SL-28, and any other species of coffee. Kona, Jamaican Blue Mountain and Kenya AA do not count in any way as varietals. Kona is a place in Hawaii, not a coffee. Jamaican Blue Mountain means it comes from Jamaica, nothing more. And Kenya AA is used to describe the size of the beans. Not to mention in the Coffee varietals section it lists "Colombian" as a varietal. Considering Colombia is one of the world's largest suppliers of green coffee (#4), I would assume there is more than one subspecies of coffee there.

Also, where it says "Coffee beans from two different places, or coffee varietals, usually have distinctive characteristics", places do not equal varietals. James 18:58, 24 May 2006 (UTC)

Seriously--as a coffee tasting term, "acidity" has nothing to do with pH.

What is the most consumed beverage?

The Coffee article says that coffee is the most consumed beverage in the world. The Tea article says that after water, tea is the most consumed beverage. Which is it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Coffee isn't consumed more then water. The tea page says tea is number 2 after water. The coffee page claims to be #1 which is not true, since water is most consumed. Now, I've read that tea is the number 2 beverage in the world in printed sources, however, I can't remeber where so I cannot cite them. If no source can be found to support the questiable statement in the coffee page, someone should edit it.
Not sure, but also not even if they are in conflict. I think the relevant sentences from each are:
  • "Today, tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world after water, with every one in two persons a tea-drinker."
  • "Coffee is the second most commonly traded commodity in the world (measured by monetary volume), trailing only petroleum, and the most consumed beverage."
It's not clear to me what statistics are being used by either of these unreferenced statements. The second clause of the tea sentence is about number of drinkers--is the first clause about number of drinkers as well, or about amount consumed? The first clauses of the coffee sentence are about the amount of coffee--are we to assume the last clause is also about amount consumed? DMacks 03:23, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
I've heard that most people in the world (who drink tea or coffee) are mainly tea drinkers, thus it may not be the amount of tea consumed (per kg) in the world but rather what percent of the people in the world drink mainly tea (per capita). I'm also not sure if tea is traded as a commodity, as such, coffee as the 2nd most traded commodity is very much possible. As such stating that both are the "most consumed beverage in the world" is not entirely inaccurate, when mentioned in a specific context. Sjschen 18:03, 30 May 2006 (UTC)
To quote Chase Me Ladies [9], the comment is clearly balderdash [10]. There are four billion Asians, most of whom drink several cups of tea a day. If they each drank just one brew a day they'd still dwarf coffee consumption. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
Actually, China's per capita tea consumption is quite low vs other countries and even its agregate total isn't tops. [11]. As we've already stated, we have no idea what issue either the tea or the coffee statements are surveying and I don't see any data to back up either page's assertions. DMacks 20:25, 8 June 2006 (UTC)
Many Europeans use a teabag once and dispose of it. Many, if not most, Chinese reuse their tea leaves. So per capita consumption may not be an accurate reflection of popularity. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .
You start by noting "not necessarily", so it sounds like you are in agreement thatYup...we really don't know what the stats are really talking about and that therefore trying to compare them is a pointless excercise. DMacks 16:07, 9 June 2006 (UTC)
Apologies for my sloppy first sentence. So I've deleted it. The argument is clearer without it.
What can you say...everybody just wants their favorite drink to be the most popular. Sjschen 00:54, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Clarification of Coffee vs. Caffeine

Where possible, the Risks and Benefits sections should abstract what is attributed to caffeine into the caffiene article. Or if the root driver of the risk or benefit (coffee or caffeine) is unclear, it should state this.

Coffee improves test performance??

A few years ago, I remember reading about a study/studies which showed that coffee improved scores on mental skill tests. But I seem to remember subsequently reading that somebody reviewed the study/ies and found that when coffee withdrawl was controlled for, the effect went away. That is, among subjects who didn't get coffee were coffee drinkers experiencing withdrawl and subsequently lower test performance! But I can't remember where I read this, if I'm remembering correctly, or how to search for it. Anybody have a clue?

I remember exactly the same thing, but not where I read it...Gzuckier 19:37, 21 June 2006 (UTC)


Diabetes prevention is even better in decaffeinated coffee[12]. JFW | T@lk 09:04, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

More History

I think it would be interesting to mention that coffee was "baptized" by Pope Clement VIII in 1600, and that the drink's popularity in the U.S. owes some debt to revolutionaries moving from tea to coffee after the Boston Tea Party. Both are interesting parts of coffee's story. I am new around here, so I didn't want to change anything but did want to highlight these two things. Below is a link to a timeline from a book by Mark Schapiro that mentions these two bits.

[13] --Jasonguit 19:40, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Don't worry about being new! We encourage newcomers to edit articles! Go right ahead, that's the whole idea of a wiki. :) —BorgHunter (talk) 03:14, 28 June 2006 (UTC)

Coffee is a strong drug

with a strong dependance effect. how can you write an article on coffe without saying once that coffee is a drug. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 22:30, 2 July 2006


—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 19:57, 6 February 2007 (UTC).

Coffee is a beverage; caffeine is a drug. The article includes a link to the caffeine article where the issue is explained in detail.--Teemuk 06:45, 17 July 2006 (UTC)

"Most Consumed Beverage"

There has been some disagreement over whether the claim that coffee is the most consumed beverage in the world. I did some digging in to this a little while ago. Most of the claims I found about what beverage was or was not the most consumed in the world were random, unsourced statements from the web. I finally found a cite from the Journal of the American Medical Association claiming that coffee had the honor. If someone else can find a different reliable source that claims that tea (or water) is the most consumed beverage, please put it here so we can note the disagreement. Thanks. Nandesuka 11:58, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

The tea article maintains that the most consumed beverage is water. This article cites an abstract from a scientific paper that claims that coffee is the most drunk beverage in the world. I simply cannot believe that more coffee would be consumed than water, when many of the most populated regions of the world are struggling to get access even to water! Even in those countries that are coffee producers, coffee may not be frequently consumed; rather, it is exported for cash (most of these people are very poor, they wouldn't consume it if they can sell it). Which is somewhat beside the point, since the question really is: how does the world's coffee production compare to its drinking water consumption? I believe the authors were motivated by the need to justify their research, and argue for the important for their paper to get it into JAMA. I suspect they are making a claim that does not hold. In fact, the abstract being an abstract, it does not cite any sources for the claim, and it is not the subject of the paper (the paper is about diabetes and therefore should never have been cited in this context in the first place). Please come up with a better source for this claim, or amend the claim to something more tenable. Many thanks, Samsara (talkcontribs) 12:01, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
The fact that the tea article disagrees with this one isn't really relevant, since that article doesn't cite any sources for that claim. If we can find a reliable source that disagrees with the JAMA article, that's one thing, but it is completely inappropriate to remove the claim based on our own personal beliefs. As for how coffee might be more consumed than water, as the article on water notes, much of the water in the world is not potable water. When the water in an area is not potable as-is, people drink substitute drinks — such as beer, wine, coffee, or tea — that have been processed which make the water safer. Do I know that that's what's happening here? No, it's just my theory, and is thus inappropriate for inclusion in the article. What is appropriate is citing claims made by reliable sources. Nandesuka 12:05, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
But what is the JAMA definition of beverage? Does it mean prepared beverage? If that's the case, water was probably not included as an option, as most don't think of water when they they think of beverages. It would be helpful to find out if water was even on their radar. pschemp | talk 12:16, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
The point here is that your source is NOT RELIABLE because it is an abstract for a paper about a completely different topic. Have you read the article? What actual authority does it cite. I am quite certain that the article does not present original data for answering the question whether coffee us the most drunk beverage or not since the article IS ABOUT DIABETES. - Samsara (talkcontribs) 12:15, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
I have access to the full text of JAMA at work. I'll look up the article on Monday and see what source it cites. See how simple it is? Nandesuka 12:42, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
If you're trying to look triumphant, I'm afraid I have to turn that down. Impression not good. Regards, Samsara (talkcontribs) 12:45, 22 July 2006 (UTC)
When we cite sources instead of relying on our own "certainties" and "common sense", the winners are the readers of the encyclopedia. Nandesuka 12:53, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Part of properly citing a source is interpreting that source correctly. If a source claims that coffee is the most consumed beverage, then the statement must mean "of all flavored beverages" or something similar. There is simply no way to avoid logic and common sense when interpreting almost all sources -- textual contexts almost always necessarily omit a great number of facts which are assumed to be common knowledge of the reader (e.g., that coffee consists of more than half water.)

To argue that a source must be trusted without actually having read the source is far worse than relying on common sense or logic to put a source's statement in context. BenB4 13:28, 22 July 2006 (UTC)

Right. Until we know what it actually says, it's pretty pointless to speculate about it or try to draw any conclusion from those speculations. I assume when Nandesuka said he'd read it, he'd tell us what it says so we can actually discuss this issue based on the article itself not our assumtions and presumtions about it? DMacks 16:49, 24 July 2006 (UTC)

How can coffee consumption account for 1/3 of total tap water consumption? I find it hard to believe that such a large amount of water is used for the making of coffee. I take myself as an example. I drink a lot of coffee about 1 litre on a day, which is more than the average person. I also take a shower once a day which accounts for the consumption of about 12 litres of water. Then there is the water used for cooking which probably accounts for 1 litre a day. So on average I consume 14 liters of water with 1 litre for coffee. So I use about 1/14 parts of water for coffee. I don't think most other people are much different (at least in developed countries). So how on earth do you people think that 1/3 of all tap water is used for coffee. I thing it is improbable. Please enlighten me.

Well, you see, we are slavishly following the sources. Common sense is apparently not en vogue any more.
Best wishes,
Samsara (talkcontribs) 12:45, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

I took the liberty of removing the 1/3 water usage for coffee on this page. Just to see it added again in about 5 minutes of time. I am not going to edit this article ad nauseam just for the sake of an edit war. Perhaps the origanal author can present some credible number to back the 1/3 used of water used for coffee claim? Come one let's have an open discussion. I am not saying it is impossible that 1/3 of water is used for coffee i just want that this claim is verifiable. This an enclypedia right? So back up your claims!

Well, you're doing the right thing discussing it. This is the reference for the statement:
It is unclear whether the claim is from the cited paper, in which case it is unreliable as the paper deals with cancer, not with water usage, or whether the "International Water Association" (how notable are they? they don't have a Wikipedia article...) threw in their own numbers obtained through whatever means. - Samsara (talkcontribs) 14:39, 2 August 2006 (UTC)
We are talking about a beverage here, so "consumption" is presumably in the gastronomic sense only, not the more general "used for anything at all" sense. Showering and doing the laundry do not seem relevant. DMacks 15:00, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

If you state water consumption, this includes all water consumption not just the amount of fluids that are actually drunk! So showering is important if you are stating a percentage of water comsumption, since the WORD consumption does not actually relate to imbibing fluids (although drinking is obviously a way of consuming water it is just not the only way to consume water!). So we could reforumalate the claim to be that 1/3 of all liquids drunk are actually coffee which indeed could be true, but is NOT backed nor claimed by the cited article!

Consuming involves using up[14], but changing it to "drinking" is fine with me if it solves your problem. As for the the 1/3 value itself, the referenced article states exactly that: "Coffee consumption, which on average makes up about a third of tap water consumption," DMacks 19:53, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

If you change it to drinking that would be fine with me, but you also need a credible source for the statement that 1/3 of drinks consumed is coffee. Your article does not stipulate in any way how they calculated the 1/3 percentage. This is important because it is not simple to calculate the amount of coffee consumed vs all drinks consumed. You could try to find numbers about the total beverage consumption in one country and the total coffee consumption in that country and calculate the percentage of drinks drunk that are actually coffee. But you will need reliable sources for that calculation. It stupid to just copy the 1/3 number from the article you cited, because it just an article saying that 1/3 of drinks consumed are coffee, but we need hard, statistically sound numbers to back such a claim. That means hard work and has te be done. If one is not inclined to do such work the 1/3 claim must go.

The study that article is describing is (apparently) International Journal of Cancer 2006 118(8) 2040–2047, which pooled drinking-habit data from other studies in several different countries. It states states "coffee constituted on average about one third of the total tap water ingestion." DMacks 20:13, 2 August 2006 (UTC)

Ok that indeed looks sound. Make a link to the international Journal of Cancer and use their words: "1/3 of tapwater *ingestion* constitutes coffee". See they use the word ingestion that actually is a word which excludes other forms of water usage. Drinking = ingestion. It would be even better if you could find the study which the Journal of Cancer actually relied on. It might seem a bit overdone but it would make the claim even more credible. I feel we are converging on this point

Good article nomination

My suggestions:

  • in the lead + section Coffee bean types, there are many bracket structures, please fix it
  • in section Etymology and history, there is a quote, but « mark is not the best to show a quote
  • in section Health and pharmacology of coffee + Social aspects of coffee, there are citation needed templates, without fixing these, it can't pass

Anyway, it's an exceptional, well-referenced, illustrated article, I found it interesting. NCurse work 07:18, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

What does "bracket structures" mean? DMacks 18:26, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Excuse me, I wasn't understandable: "(flavor criteria include terms such as "citrus-like" or "earthy"), aroma (sometimes "berry-like" or "flowery")"... NCurse work 08:39, 17 September 2006 (UTC)

My suggestions: You have an uncited statement under "Social Aspects". That's the only thing that's barring me from granting this article "GA" status.--*Kat* 04:24, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

That one is fixed now. DMacks 04:47, 12 September 2006 (UTC)
Kewl. Having spoken with NCurse on our talk pages, I'm going to bow to her request that y'all fix the couple of things that she (he?) pointed out. NCurse has more experience with this than I do. My apologies for renigging.--*Kat* 18:04, 12 September 2006 (UTC)

Since these problems have not been addressed and it has been more than seven days since the nom was placed on hold, I'm failing it. Daniel Case 02:41, 24 September 2006 (UTC)


This article derives the word Coffee from Kahve meaning wine or other intoxicating liquors in Ottoman Turkish, but the article Caffè states that "Caffè is the Italian word for coffee, (itself from Kaffa, the region in Ethiopia where coffee originated". If Kahve was, indeed, a general term for intoxicating liquors then there seems to be a contradiction here.

Also I don't understand the quotation from Léonard Rauwolf that "Its consumers take it in the morning, quite frankly, in a porcelain cup that is passed around and from which each one drinks a cupful. It is composed of water and the fruit from a bush called bunnu." Surely after the first consumer drank a cupful from the cup it would have been emptied? Could it be that the words translated as "porcelain cup" should be rendered "porcelain jug" or else that the consumers each drank a mouthful rather than a cupful? Struman 19:39, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Decaffinated Coffee

One fairly consistent finding has been the reduction of diabetes mellitus type 2 in coffee consumers, an association that cannot be explained by the caffeine content alone and indeed may be stronger in decaffeinated coffee.[24]

More sources are needed to back up this point, if the study is consistent - ive never heard of this mentioned before. Also, logically that finding doesnt make any sense. More sources please, and credible ones - not some minor statistical research. Timmah01 12:50, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

Missing information in book reference: "Reise in die Morgenlander"

Although the article mentions year 1538, the citation doesn't mention the book's publication date. Chapter, quote and an ID are also missing. It would be also very good to have a link to a (free) electronic copy of the book in english... there must be some; the copyright must have been void since a long time ago ;) --_N_e_g_r_u_l_i_o 03:59, 17 October 2006 (UTC)


The role of caffeine in coffee's popularity seems pretty central to me, but the word "caffeine" only gets mentioned about 3 times in the article. It definitely should get more mention.

Someone mentioned decaffeinated coffee -- I think that should get some attention somewhere in the article, too. It shows that coffee has become so central to life -- or so popular for its taste -- that some people will resort to drinking it without the factor that brought about its popularity in the first place. --Rschmertz 06:51, 1 November 2006 (UTC)

Although 'coffee' has become partly synonymous with 'caffeine', this is only part of the story. Isn't there more caffeine per cup (usually) in tea than in coffee? The other alkaloids in coffee deserve at least the same importance. What coffee does that caffeine on its own doesn't is, inter alia, to affect part of the human hormonal system; the 'day/night' regulator mechanism.

Also, there seems to be no mention so far of the crucial effect of temperature on the brew. In order to maximise the proportion of 'nice' exctracts the temperature should, according to Dr Johnson's preferences, not exceed 95 degrees C. An alternative extraction process, the expresso method, uses higher temperature but a very short extraction time. At higher temperature and with longer extraction times the proportions of bitter, 'jangly' as I experience them, constituents increases. It's easy to test this. Either make two brews using boiling and slightly cooled water, OR use just the first portion through the expresso machine and on a different occasion the later portions.

Given that this coffee stuff provides a variety of drugs, one might as well get the best out of it. As I experience coffee there are clearly a number of contituents. I don't actually know what they are chemically, but I do have a fair clue as to which I prefer. It would be useful to have information on the known consitutents and on how to maximise the desired effects while minimising any disadvantages. This seems to me to be a matter of either using water that is not boiling (albeit that boiling water is appropriate for tea) or to discard the later portions of production from an expresso machine. Davy p 01:47, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

You might want to start by taking a look at caffeine. A number of the other metabolically active substituents of coffee are compounds that are directly related to that lovely alkaloid, and are at least given mention in the article. – ClockworkSoul 03:00, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
Oh, and for the record, coffee has quite a bit more caffeine than tea. – ClockworkSoul 03:02, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

"Second most traded commodity after oil" is unverified and not supported by available data

Hey everyone,

I am in the process of purging this pernicious statistic from the Wikipedia articles about coffee, because, well, it's just not true. Yes, you will see it mentioned nearly everywhere, but if you take the time to trace it to a primary secondary source (which is, in itself, nearly impossible), you will find the only time that this may have been true was in 1986. Someone cited that data in a book, and it was such an exciting number to coffee folks that they ran with it and never looked back (or checked to see if it was still true 10, 15 or 20 years later). Now it is more or less accepted as common knowledge—except that since then, coffee has fallen behind other agricultural products in value, which you can verify by using the UN Food And Agriculture database for export values (compare coffee, for example, to wheat, maize, soybean, sugar, and palm oil over the last 10 years). This is an old myth that needs to be put to rest. Feel free to move where I put the information (I simply replaced the old "second to oil" sentence), but please don't change the data unless you can verify it with a primary secondary source (Proctor and Gamble and ICO press releases aren't primary secondary sources!) Margareta

Could you post a link to the "UN Food And Agriculture database for export values" that compares the level of trade in the various commodities, in particular if coffee is not second, where is it in the list, or, if not that, what is first, second, third? Searching for the terms you provide I cannot find this information. It's not value, also, the statistic is "the most traded commodity," not "the most valuable commodity." Coffee was never the msot or second most or even in the top ten of valuable commodities that I've ever seen. So, please provide sources to the most traded commodities or the placement of coffee in the most traded commodities list. KP Botany 21:53, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

The FAO data is from a series of queries to their Trade database run last year. The databases can be found here: At that time, the most current data they had was from 2003, when coffee was the sixth largest agricultural commodity (measured by value of exports), after wheat, soybeans, maize, sugar and palm oil. The database does not list commodities such as oil, precious metals, etc. I don't have a list of the "most traded commodities or the placement of coffee in the most traded commodities list." What I can tell you is that, if coffee is only the sixth-largest agricultural commodity, then it is certainly not the second largest commodity overall! Also, the position of coffee changes every year: in 1986, it was, in fact, the number one agricultural commodity, and in 3 years in the 1990's it was second, after wheat. To say "coffee is" when talking talking about highly volatile commodity markets risks having the statement be nearly immediately out-of-date. Whenever I see the "second-most" whatever (the "whatever" changes from source to source: some say "traded," some say "valuable," some just say "important," whatever that means-- and this is true even of peer-reviewed articles), in the rare cases when I have been able to trace it back to a primary secondary source, the primary secondary source is always from the late 1980's. For example, Talbot (Grounds for Agreement, published in 2004) cited data from 1988. So it is possible that, in 1986 when coffee was the top agricultural commodity in terms of total export value, it was also the second commodity overall. I haven't been able to verify this, as I haven't been able to go back to the couple of cited primary secondary sources to check that they really say what the people who cite them say they do. On the other hand, if you are talking about total volume of contracts sold (as opposed to value), the situation could be different. This, of course, has as much to do with the level of speculation in the different commodity markets than with the real value of the product, or even the trade in the product. It seems dubious that, as we are coming off a highly speculative bull market in precious metals and other non-agrocultural commodities, coffee would even come in second by this definition A New York Times article earlier this year said that coffee had the second-highest trading volume, in terms of contracts (by which a single quantity of coffee can be bought and sold many times) on the New York agricultural exchange, after sugar. Of course coffee is also traded on other exchanges, and may trump sugar--and all the other agricultural commodites--in those places. If you know of a good source for the total value of contracts sold worldwide for all commodities, I would love to see it. In fact, I would love, love, love for someone to take the time to do a real analysis, using current data, of where coffee fits in global trade by the several definitions available. Unfortunately, I don't have time to do this myself. In the meantime, my point remains: the oft-cited "second-most" figure simply cannot be verified, except, possibly, pertaining to some time many years ago, but in many cases there is strong evidence, if not proof, that it is no longer true. Margareta 20:17, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

"Traded" is not synonymous with valuable. You titled your comment, "Coffee is not the second most traded commodity after oil!" Please focus on this one item, your discussion of the "most traded [commodities]:" where, in "the 'UN Food And Agriculture database for export values' that compares the level of trade in the various commodities," did you find the information that "Coffee is not the second most traded commodity after oil!?" I've seen this reported in a book I am reading and a number of other places. Your headline led me to believe that you had disproved this, and I would simply like to have the source for your [dis]proof about "most traded commodities," the topic at hand, not about agricultural import and export values, whose figures I can find myself. I'm just trying to understand the source of your comment about the quote on "second most traded commodity," that's all. Thanks, KP Botany 22:55, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Of course it's reported in a book you're reading. That is my point: it was printed once, 15 years ago, may once have been true, and has been repeated hundre since without ever being verified again. It's now accepted as "common knowledge," despite the dynamic and changeable nature of global markets. Try verifying your book's primary secondary source. I'm willing to bet--if there even is one--it's at least ten years old. If you Google coffee-commodity-second-oil or a similar combination of words, you'll find thousands of places where they say that - and "valuable" is frequently confused with "traded," with no testable definition of either word provided. However, I have never seen any data to support either assertion. Getting something printed in a book doesn't mean it's true, and once it's in print, it will be quoted and quoted again - and repeating something often enough doesn't mean it is true, either. However, perhaps if you can first provide your book's definition of "most traded," the name of the book you are reading, and the source your book cites (as well as, ideally, the source that source cites, and so on down to the primary primary or secondary source), it would be easier to address your particular question. I have, however, tried to change the title of this thread to "Second most traded commodity after oil is unverified and not supported by current data" to make my intent clearer, but it appears I can't change the title. Margareta 23:45, 7 November 2006 (UTC)

Can you just post what data you have about the most traded commodities? And, please, check the tone at the door, I'm just trying to figure out what it is you have that lists the most traded commodities, that makes you so certain that coffee isn't the "second most traded commodity after oil." So, please, focus on information you have about what the most traded commodities are. And what the source of this information is. You used the term traded, not "valuable" and traded is what the article is stating. So, are you now saying you are talking about the most valuable and not the most traded? I'm trying to understand what it is you are challenging, and what your information for challenging this is.
What is, for example the "first most traded commodity?" Is it oil? What is the "second most traded commodity" if coffee isn't it.
There is more than one way to show that something is wrong, but google searches and comments about something being "printed once, 15 years ago" and "been repeated ad nauseum" have nothing whatsoever to do with whether or not something is true. I've read the statement, you seem to be saying certainly that it's not true, I tried looking up information about what the most traded commodities were, I couldn't find it, now I want to know from you, how you know coffee isn't the "second most traded commodity." Is it because you know what the first and second most traded commodities? Fine, what are they, and what is the source for that information?
How do you know this is wrong? That something is printed in a book doesn't make it wrong any more than something is posted on the web or in a book makes it right. You know it's wrong, how do you know? What's your source of information on the most traded commodities? What IS the "second most traded commodity," if it's not coffee? What commodities are more traded than coffee?
I'm trying to understand your sources, what told you that something else is a much more traded commodity than coffee? That's all.
The book I'm reading right now is Coffee: A Dark History by Antony Wild (Hardcover - Jun 27, 2005, although mine says First American Edition). But, please, don't make it about this book, just share with me what data you have about commodities trading that shows what is more traded than coffee, and thereby shows that the statement that "coffee is the second most traded commodity after oil" is wrong.
Oh, to change the title of this section edit the entire Discussion page, rather than just this section.
Thanks~ KP Botany 01:57, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
To clarify one thing: I think the reason Margareta brings up "value" is that that affects how one measures trade. After all, if we're measuring what is the most traded commodity, we're not measuring physical volume, or weight, I assume; we're talking about monetary value. Assuming I'm right about that, then if coffee and oil were to see an equal amount of trade in dollar terms in one year, and then the value of coffee were to go down by half the next year, then even if the physical trade and consumption of these commodites remained constant, coffee would be measured as having only half the trade volume of oil, because trade volume would be measured in dollars. Do we agree on the measurement of trade in terms of dollars (or your currency of choice)? --Rschmertz 04:27, 8 November 2006 (UTC)
I don't know, that's part of what I'm trying to understand, why I want to look at the information about what are the most traded commodities, so I understand what is at stake. Commodities trading is about locking in the price, for agricultural products, isn't it, say on how much coffee you want next month and how much you are willing to pay for it? While the market for coffee has grown immensely over the past two decades, things like the glut of cheap Vietnamese Robustas have caused the price to go down. So, over twenty years the volume of coffee is much greater, but the price may have dropped due to the market being overstocked with cheap coffees. So, are buyers more worried about the price of coffee, meaning the its share in the commodities trading market is more? Or is amount of commodities trading solely a reflection of price, in which case it seems as if it never could have been the second most traded commodity as there are lots of other agricultural goods that have a significantly larger share of the market, like needed items, say rice?
If it's only the value, then the article should just say value, but it doesn't say that. I don't know that if the measurement of trade is in dollars, although that would certainly make it easier to understand. The Wikipedia article lists units and dollars.
The Euronext lists units like this,
  • Robusta futures, Unit of trading: Five tonnes
  • Options on Robusta Coffee Futures, Unit of trading: One Robusta Coffee Futures contract, $1 per tonne
Another site describes trade in the commodity coffee in this way (I'll post the URL tomorrow, but searching this should find it): Trade – World coffee exports in 2003/4 are forecasted by the USDA to fall to a 3-year low of 85.87 million bags, down 5% from 90.86 million in 2002/3. The main reason for the decline in exports was simply the lower overall production of coffee in 2003/4. Brazil’s exports in 2003/4 fell sharply by 17% to 24.5 million bags as a result of the poor harvest. The US imports virtually all of its coffee consumption.
In this case trade is in bags, in another its in tonnes, and you think it is in dolllars.
The units for oil are different, the unit for Arabicas is much smaller than the Robusta unit, also. I think the sentence needs to have sufficient background information that a layman can understand at the very least, what is going on, even before it is decided whether it is true or not. KP Botany 04:51, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

I have read Wild; he does not have a source for his figure. But you are right, it is not about that book, as this is a phrase that is tossed around a lot in many places - whether they say "most traded," "most valuable," or "most important." Wild is no better and no worse than any other author (although better referencing would have made his book much more useful). Your confusion demonstrates exactly the problem, and this is what I am trying to get you to understand. You appear to be fixated on this one point, the definition of "most traded" and proving that coffee is not the "second most traded"--universally, all the time. First understand that in books, scientific literature, press releases, reports and on the internet, "most traded" is used interchangeably with "most valuable" and "most important." You can verify this for yourself. This alone should indicate that something is not right. "Most traded" as a phrase has absolutely no meaning in and of itself, and yet people keep tossing around this "fact" as though it was in some way verifiable. You say that "most traded" does not have to do with export values. Quoting: "In this case trade is in bags, in another its in tonnes, and you think it is in dolllars." In fact, it's both--people pay dollars (or Euros) for bags of coffee. Regardless of which exchange it's sold on, or what unit it's sold in, it is sold for currency. If you want to compare trade in different products using bags of coffee as your measure, then the discussion becomes meaningless, because we can't compare different products in any other terms besides value. You can't compare trade in bags of coffee, for example, to barrels of crude oil or ounces of gold. Trade is measured in value. We have to be clear on that or there is really no discussion to be had.

I can also tell you that I have spent a great deal of time tracing back the many permutations of the "second most" statements to the primary secondary sources, and--when there are primary sources--it is always total export value that is listed in the primary secondary source, not contracts or some other measure (for example, nearly all U.S. mentions of this statistic can be traced back to is a CIA fact book from the late 1980's, which talks about export values). If the statistic has changed from "most valuable" to "most traded" over the years, that just underscores how careless authors have become in checking their sources and expressing information accurately. I do admit that I fell prey to this confusion as well in the way I titled this thread, and I have changed that, and I have a note below about how the Wiki might be changed to be more accurate.

I have already provided you with my source - the UN Food and Agriculture Organization - for data on the actual value of agricultural products sold. Since coffee is below second in those rankings, then it follows that it is below second in the rankings of all commodities (agricultural and non-agricultural), regardless of what non-agricultural commodites may have a higher total value than the top agricultural commodity (wheat). I don't have to know what the first and second commodities are--and I don't--to prove that coffee isn't second. From the FAO I know that, at minimum, coffee is below wheat, soybeans, maize, palm oil, and sugar. I.e., not second. It also changes places nearly every year.

If you think there is some other definition of "most traded," please tell me what it is and we can go from there. It is also possible to define it in terms of contracts traded, but this has more to do with speculation than it has bearing on the real importance of coffee trade, and this is not how most authors have been defining it.

I'm not using Google searches to prove that something's not true. I used them to demonstrate how far this myth has spread, and how easy it is for a writer to find something to cite--even something that seems pretty official. I have plenty of examples of peer-reviewed journal articles that say the same thing about coffee - and still confuse the terminology. Wild almost certainly used one of these articles for the reference in his book (though we will never know). And I have traced the citations in these articles to the primary secondary sources, and the sources are all fifteen or more years old. I have asked researchers where they got their numbers, and they always give me sources that are either outdated themselves, or that cite sources that are. So what I can say with confidence is this: the people who are giving this number are not verifying their facts, and the market has changed dramatically since this statistic was first published. It is too easy to accept something as common knowledge and repeat it, without taking the time to check.

Meanwhile, what is to be done about the Wiki page? I didn't write the phrase "second most commonly traded commodity in the world," someone else did (which is why I titled thhe thread the way I did), but I changed some of the wording around it to show that it was not longer true. But KP Botany is right, the wording is very confusing as "second most commonly traded" is not defined. I am inclined to say it would be better to just delete the two sentences starting with "In some years in the 1980's. . ." leaving in the part about coffee being the seventh most valuable agricultural export in 2003. I wanted to leave in the part about the "second most" not being true, because this is such a persistent myth, but prehaps the top paragraph is not the best place for this (though that was where the original sentence was). I will also check Portillo (ref #4) tomorrow to see exactly what measurement he is referring to. I am pretty sure it is actually export value. If that is the case, it will be really easy to just change the sentence from "second most commonly traded commodity in the world (measured by monetary volume)" to "second most valuable export commodity."

By the way, KP Botany, just so you know in 1986, according to the FAO data, coffee actually WAS the #1 agricultural export crop in terms of value--above rice, wheat, soy and all the other big ones. In 1987, 1994-95, and 1997-2000 it was second--just below wheat (but still not second to oil!). My hypothesis is actualy that 1986 is where the original quotation came from. I can't verify this, because I don't know what non-agricultural commodities may have been above coffee. User:Margareta 03:52, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

This post obfuscates rather clarifies what you meant, and, essentially you're saying you can't and won't prove or establish what it is you mean, but you will resort to ad hominem attacks of anyone who asks for sources.
Or, in other words, "Coffee IS the second most traded commodity after oil." I got it. KP Botany 19:12, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

Um... wow. Calm down, please. I have not attacked you. All I have done is try to understand the question you are asking, why you do not consider the UN Statistical Database an acceptable source, and what alternate definition of trade you are using that does not involve value of goods traded. You are, of course, free to believe anything you like, but Wikipedia's policy is that all content must be verifiable. Specifically, the policy is: "The obligation to provide a reliable source lies with the editors wishing to include the material, not on those seeking to remove it." In other words, you can't mke a categorical statement ("Coffee IS the second most traded commodity after oil") and then challenge others to prove you wrong. You have to provide support for your statement. The statement "Coffee IS the second most traded commodity after oil" is not verified and has no supporting data, and thus does not belong on Wikipedia.

But this is just getting silly. Perhaps we could get an opinion, or some input, from a knowledgable third party?Margareta 19:35, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

That's okay, I think that asking you again to provide a source is pointless. If you had one, you simply would have posted it, instead of providing a URL to a website that doesn't say anything about the topic you introduced. Telling me to "calm down" in lieu of addressing the issue is an ad hominem attack, you've changed the focus from your claim that "coffee [isn't] the second most traded commodity after oil" to your presumed cyberspace reading of my emotional state--my emotional state is not an issue.
You can't and won't provide a quote or source. Or, in other words, "Coffee IS the second most traded commodity after oil." I got it. Until you provide a quote or source, that's enough. KP Botany 20:17, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

The link is a database, so would not have "a single sentence" or list of top commodities. However, I just went back to the Trade Statistics page ([15]), and fortunately the FAO is now publishing selected statistics in tables (they weren't when I originally looked this up). Until someone else provides an alternate one, I am taking as the definition of "most traded" the total value of exports worldwide. Therefore:

From Table C.16 (

     Wheat $15.5 billion dollars

From Table C.19 (

     Sugar $10.0 billion dollars
     Coffee $6.5 billion dollars

Thus, regardless of what other commodities not listed in these tables may be above or between coffee, wheat, or sugar, coffee--being third in this list--cannot be second overall.

If you think there is another definition of trade that should be used, please provide it. My justification for this definition is that the sentence I deleted, which said "Coffee is the second most commonly traded commodity in the world (measured by monetary volume), trailing only crude oil (and its products) as a source of foreign exchange to developing countries" cited a source ( that actually says "It is one of the most valuable primary products in world trade, in many years second in value only to oil as a source of foreign exchange to developing countries"[emphasis added]. You can see that, besides the fact that the source actually talked about "most valuable," not "most traded," it also qualified the statement by saying "in many years," whereas the editor who cited it made the statement unqualified, and the "second to" clause only refers to developing countries, whereas the editor made the statement all-inclusive.Margareta 20:54, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

It seems we are not the first to discuss this. See the (significantly shorter!) discussion on the Featured Article Candidates archive: Margareta 22:57, 9 November 2006 (UTC)

While working on another project, I landed on an additional reference. This one lists top 10 commodities in terms of total volume contracts, the other possible definition of trade. Coffee did not even make the top 10 list: Rebecca Holz. Trading Volume: International Futures Trading Volume Increases 41%. Futures Industry Magazine, October 2006. (The table is on the last page) --Margareta 19:52, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

"Social Aspects of Coffee"

I wonder if this is the most appropriate title for a section talking about things like coffee houses. "Social Aspects of Coffee" to me implies a section that will be talking about things like labor, effects of price swings, fair trade, etc. I think it would be best to retitle this section something like "Coffee and Society" and add a new section called "Social and Environmental Concerns," where the instances mentioning things like "fair trade," "shade grown" coffee, organic, etc can be collected together into a coherent piece. Or perhaps, inctead of having a separate section to talk about the history and importance of coffee in society, that information can be collected together under "Etymology and History." Margareta 04:08, 10 November 2006 (UTC)


I want to know, what are the list of coffee flavours available? --AAA! (AAAA) 02:42, 26 November 2006 (UTC)

That's a pretty open-ended and not-well-defined list you want. What exactly is a "flavour"? Do you mean the effect of different types of beans and different roasting styles? Or various added non-coffee solids to the grounds? Or various added flavorings to the grounds? DMacks 05:43, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Date Error?

The article states that a theological court banned coffee in 1532, but the ban was reversed in 1524. Did these dates get transposed, or was there some other typo involved?


Starbucks has joined fair trade? The link cited seems be campaigning to get Starbucks to go fair trade! 21:30, 4 January 2007 (UTC)

Starbucks does sell some certified Fair Trade coffee. I don't know about P&G though, and you are right, the link doesn't support the statement made--actually, it doesn't mention either roaster. I have removed the unsupported part of the sentence.--Margareta 07:18, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

How to abbreviate "milliliter"?

In the opening paragraph, one user changed the abbreviation "ml" to "mL", citing Wikipedia standards. I ask Wikipedians to in the future please identify the specific standard claimed, or link to it. Having a bachelor's degree in engineering, I am very familiar with the standard units of measurement. I spent several minutes trying to find the standards relating to *units of measurement* in the *Manual of Style*. Then I undid the use of "mL". Then I *did* find it via main section 11, "Scientific Style". Eventually, the answer was in the main article, International System of Units: "mL" is a widely *recommended alternative* to "ml". So I am about to restore "mL". Hurmata 04:30, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

Sorry for sending you on such a long trail:( DMacks 05:42, 10 January 2007 (UTC)