• 3,300 — number of cups of coffee that are consumed each second worldwide
  • 6.3 million — metric tons of coffee produced in the world in the 1999-2000 crop year
  • 25 million — number of farmers who grow coffee worldwide, the majority on small-scale farms
  • 600-800 AD — the era in which an Ethiopian goat herder named Kaldi reportedly discovered coffee after observing that his goats become very excited upon eating coffee berries
  • 60 — percentage of Ethiopia’s export earnings derived from coffee sales in 1995
  • 40 — percentage of coffee-growing lands in Colombia, Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean that are “technified” sun coffee plantations, where coffee is densely planted with little shade cover from native trees and doused with chemical fertilizers and pesticides
  • 90 — percentage drop in species of migratory birds found on technified sun coffee plantations as compared to traditional shade-grown coffee plantations
  • $80 million — U.S. Agency for International Development funding for projects in the 1970s and 1980s that encouraged Latin American farmers to switch to technified coffee-growing methods
  • 80 — average milligrams of caffeine per cup of coffee, in a study of Canadian homes, offices, and coffee shops
  • 402 — number of cups of coffee consumed per capita in Canada in 1997, 77 more than in the U.S. and 152 more than in Europe
  • 20-300 — micrograms of caffeine per liter of output from a typical municipal wastewater treatment facility. (Caffeine is often one of the highest volume contaminants in the morning, thanks to all those early cups of java.)

1 — Commission for Environmental Cooperation, Measuring Consumer Interest in Mexican Shade-grown Coffee: An Assessment of the Canadian, Mexican and U.S. Markets, October 1999.
2 — International Coffee Organization, “Market Information: Production.”
3 — Mitchell, Chip, “Bittersweet: As competition brews among coffee fair traders, a movement comes of age,” Connection to the Americas, Vol. 15 No. 8, October 1998.
4 — Good, Jonathan, “Coffee” in Trade Products in Early Modern History, James Ford Bell Library, University of Minnesota, January 22, 1999.
5 — U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, “Ethiopia” in The World Factbook 1999.
6-8 — Natural Resources Defense Council and the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, Coffee, Conservation, and Commerce in the Western Hemisphere, 1996.
9 — International Coffee Organization, “About Coffee: Caffeine.”
10 — “Canadian Consumption: CSD #1. But Trends Differ From U.S. and Europe,” in Beverage Digest, August 21, 1998.
11 — U.S. Geological Survey, Contaminants in the Mississippi River, Circular 1133, 1995, and Raloff, Janet, “Drugged Waters: Does it matter that pharmaceuticals are turning up in water supplies?Science News, March 21, 1998.