Coffee is a superlative beverage. But it is also a beverage of superlatives though some of the ways it’s earned that honor are, shall we say, slightly out of the ordinary. Here’s a look at coffee facts you won’t find on trade association web sites:
• The worlds largest iced coffee was prepared on July 17, 2014 at Caffé Bene in Yangju, South Korea. A team of what we assume were exhausted baristas filled a cup measuring almost 11 feet tall and 8½ wide with 3,758 gallons of black Americano coffee and ice cubes. Not to be outdone, the world’s largest hot cup was poured in London on November 5, 2012 and contained 3,487 gallons. Talk about a city that never sleeps…
• Our only question is did these record-breakers use the world’s largest French press to get the job done? Made by Salzillo Tea and in Murcia, Spain that behemoth is 7½ feet in height and 2 feet in diameter and requires a piston to filter its brew.
• It’s likely the only pot missing from the world’s biggest collection of coffee pots, which is owned by one Robert Dahl of Rövershagen, Germany and contains 27,390 individual coffee pots.
• We’d like to get Robert together with Architects Louise Harpman and Scott Specht, who own the world’s most extensive collection of disposable plastic coffee cup lids. Somehow, for reasons that are not entirely obvious, the couple has managed to collect 550 different lids, some of which, for reasons that are even less clear, have been displayed at the Smithsonian Institute.
• 550 lids is nothing to the 300 baristas in Carvalhal, Portugal who set the world record for espresso shots last February by making 21,000 in a single hour. We’re guessing no one told them about the world’s fastest espresso machine, which cranks out an insomnia-inducing three gallons per minute.
• If it were up to us, we’d keep that machine in the back of the Car-puccino, a 1988 Volkswagon Scirocco that, like all road warriors, is powered only by coffee. In March 2010, it traveled 209 miles on coffee granules heated in a charcoal fire to produce hydrogen that was combusted for power. The car hit 60 miles per hour and went one mile for every equivalent of 56 espressos, a record we beat last week when we drove all the way to the coast after drinking just three.
• One thing we’ll never drink is coffee from pods created by Singapore’s Medano Coffee. Made from a combination of King Jantan peaberry coffee beans from North Sumatra, Indonesia and 22K gold dust, these are most expensive pods on Earth. Each one retails for $55.63 and (we’re guessing) includes an application for a second mortgage.
• Lastly, comes the world record for the most coffee ever consumed. We couldn’t find any details, but multiple sources report that someone somewhere once drank a buzz-busting 82 cups of coffee in a mere seven hours, and, we presume, never slept again. File that and all the rest under “Don’t Try This At Home.”