Coffee 101

It is called by many names… Joe, Java, Café, Liquid Lightning!

Coffee is a brewed drink prepared from roasted coffee beans, which are processed and roasted seeds from a fruit called a coffee cherry.

Our romance with coffee is centuries old. Its origins are steeped in ancient tradition and folklore. It is said that a goat herder in Ethiopia discovered coffee about 500 B.C., when he noticed that his animals became much livelier after eating the red berries of a particular bush.

From these accidental beginnings, the first commercial plantations were established in Arabia around the turn of the 15th century. The plantation owners closely guarded the secrets of their coffee trees until resourceful Dutch merchants smuggled some of the precious beans into Java.

Arab conquerors brought coffee to Turkey in the 1500′s, Venetian traders carried it home to Italy about the mid-17th century and the first news of coffee in the new world came in the early 1600′s.

Today coffee plants are cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in the equatorial regions of the Americas, Southeast Asia, India, and Africa.

All About the Bean

The two most commonly grown beans are the highly regarded Arabica, and the less sophisticated but stronger and hardier Robusta.

Coffea Arabica (Arabica) beans represent 70% of the world’s coffee products and are grown at altitudes over 2,000 feet above sea level. Arabica beans produce a higher quality more flavourful and aromatic coffee with approximately half the caffeine content of the Robusta bean.

Coffee Robusta (Robusta) beans are grown at altitudes under 2,000 feet above sea level and are easier to grow. The coffee bushes produce higher crop yields and are more disease resistant.

Once ripe, coffee beans are picked, processed, and dried. Dried coffee beans are roasted to varying degrees, depending on the desired flavor. Roasted beans are ground and brewed to produce coffee as a beverage.

More About Coffee

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