The Coffee Plant And Its Fruits
We drink it every day it is part of our daily rituals, whether at the bar or at home. But have we ever wondered where coffee comes from?
Coffea is a genus of flowering plants in the Rubiaceae family. It can be as small as a small shrub or as tall as a medium-sized tree, depending on the species and type of cultivation. Coffea has opposite leaves, meaning there are two leaves at each node along the branch.
The fruit is a 2-seeded drupe fruit, commonly called cherry. The seeds are the coffee beans. However, if you squeeze to open the coffee fruit, you will find that the pulp is tiny, and the two seeds fill most of the drupe.
There are many different species of coffee, over 120, according to the World Coffee Research . Coffea Arabica is one of the two species of coffee plants that are under extensive cultivation globally. The other one is C Coffea Canephora, commonly called Robusta. Arabica produces higher quality than Robusta.
The Category underlying the species is called variety. Varieties refer to different variations within the species, e.g., Species Coffea Arabica Variety Bourbon.
These varieties originated in the forests of Ethiopia, where Coffea Arabica originated, through an extraction process. Arabica is a very high-quality coffee, but unfortunately, it is prone to many diseases.
Where Do Coffee Beans Originate From
It is believed that coffee was discovered by a goat herder around 1500 years ago in Ethiopia, Africa. He discovered that his goats became livelier after eating a brightly coloured cherry from a bush. He tried some himself and discovered that these cherries had the same effect on him.
Being a religious man, he then took these cherries to a local monk who tried some and realised that they made him feel more alert during midnight prayers. He made a drink from these cherries so that he could share them with the other monks in his monastery and the cup of coffee came into being.
Coffee started its journey around the globe from this time onwards, but it was only in the 16th century that it made its way to Europe. Coffee houses sprang up all over Europe in the 1650s and they became popular places to meet up and talk about politics, the latest news, gossip, and of course, drink coffee.
Coffee has been popular ever since, never waning or becoming obsolete. Today we are as obsessed with drinking coffee as the Monks of Ethiopia or the British in Restoration times were.
How Long Does It Take For A Coffee Plant To Grow
Depending on the conditions, a cultivated coffee plant will start to produce fruit in three to four years.
It is an unusual plant in that the coffee cherries which contain the seed or bean can be at various stages of ripeness at the same time on the same plant. This gives a good long harvesting season.
It is estimated that the life of a coffee plant is up to 100 years, although on a commercial plantation the best producing years are between 7 and 20.
It is possible to grow small coffee plants at home for decorative purposes. They are an attractive plant and very hardy, so even the laziest home gardeners will be able to grow them with some success.
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Is Folgers Coffee Grown In The Usa
Folgers collects some of the coffee beans grown in Central America. Countries in this region, including Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Costa Rica, and El Salvador produce high-quality coffee beans.
Folgers have been directly sourcing beans from farmers of these countries for years. These Central American countries have perfect weather, high altitudes, volcanic soil, and accurate rainfall to grow excellent Arabica beans.
So, this is a prime place for Folgers to collect high-quality coffee beans.
Cherry Coffee Beans The Fruit Of Life
Okay, fruit of life might be a little extreme, but do coffee beans come from cherries? Yes. And coffee beans in turn give us coffee, the nectar of life.
These little cherry fruits consist of an outer skin or husk covering an inner layer of pulp. In the center of this pulp are two coffee beans, each covered in a second thin layer, or parchment, and a final thin membrane. You can get a good visual in the video below.
The cherries grow in bunches along the branches of the coffee plant. They start out green and then turn a bright, cherry red once theyre ready to harvest.
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Get To Know Your Coffee Beans Another Stop On The Journey To Discover Where Does Coffee Come From Is To Learn About The Beans Responsible For Creating The Brews You Know And Love It May Surprise You To Learn That Coffee Beans Actually Come From The Fruit Of The Coffee Plant The Cherries Are Edible But Taste Absolutely Nothing Like Coffee In Fact They Possess A Mild And Slightly Sweet Flavouring A Far Cry From The Rich And Flavoursome Coffee Beans Inside There Are Over 120 Varieties Of Coffee Plants And Each Variety Has Its Own Distinct Flavour Most Of The Coffee We Drink Comes From Either Arabica Or Robusta Coffee Beans Or A Blend Of The Tworead Our Coffee Origins Faqs
When considering where does coffee come from, the origins can actually be traced back to Arabica coffee beans. One of the most popular types, Arabica coffee beans, is believed to be one of the first coffee species ever grown with roots dating back to 1,000BC. Known for their vibrant and complex flavours, these beans are loved by coffee connoisseurs because of their smooth and less acidic taste.
Commonly grown in Africa, Vietnam and Indonesia, Robusta coffee beans have a higher caffeine content and as such, offer a much deeper and stronger taste than the Arabica variety. Its a popular choice for espressos due to the rich flavour and layer of crema it gives.
The Surprising Source Of Tim Hortons’ Coffee
Tim Hortons is about as Canadian as Mounties and maple syrup. The coffee chain is so popular that it even changed the Canadian Oxford Dictionary in 2004, with the inclusion of the word “double-double.” The term, which was among 5,000 new words added to the dictionary that year, refers to a classic Tim Hortons order that means a coffee with two creams and two sugars, per CBC.
So it may come as a shock for some to learn that some of the bulk of Canada’s most famous coffee comes from right here in the United States. The processing plant that supplies much of Tim Hortons’ popular beans is actually located in Rochester, New York. The plant has shipped about 20 to 30 million pounds of coffee to Tim Hortons’ locations around North America every year since it was purchased by the company in 2001, according to the Democrat and Chronicle, sending beans to all locations in the U.S. and many in Canada. The remaining Canadian locations are serviced by a sister plant located in Hamilton, Ontario, per Tim Hortons.
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Do Coffee Beans Come From Poop
Well some coffee actually does believe it or not. The best known of these is kopi luwak, often called “cat poop coffee.” An Indonesian cat, known as the civet cat eats and digest the berries and seeds from the coffee tree. They then digest those and clearly then do a poo. The actual faeces of this cat is collected, finished and sold as coffee beans.
Some people love this and many people will simply say no thanks. If you want to see this process in action, then feel free to have a look for yourself in the video below.
So as you can see coffee comes from countries based in and around the earth’s equator. For many countries this is one of their key farming outputs. It is a commodity that is always in great demand. So the next time you sit down to your favourite brew, spare a though for all those trees and the hard working farmers who produce the splendid beans.
What Part Of The Plant Do Coffee Beans Come From
Now you know what part of the world your coffee may come from and what type of plant it grows on. Yet you may be asking yourself what part of coffee plants become that coffee bean you drink.
A coffee bean starts out life as a seed inside a fruit. That fruit is called a coffee cherry because its small, rather round, and often red when ripe. Once the fruit has ripened, the coffee cherry is picked and processed.
Well be talking more about that in a bit, but first, let me tell you more about how coffee plants are grown and how that affects the tastes in your cup.
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The Basic Differences Between Robusta Arabica And Barako
All three coffee types vary in taste and other elements as well.
Robusta contains a much higher amount of caffeine, while Arabica has the lowest amount of caffeine among them.
Robusta coffee has a bitter and rubbery taste which many may find off-putting.
On the other hand, Arabica coffee has a smooth, sweet, and buttery taste.
Barako coffee has a strong flavor but is very layered and full-bodied in taste.
Arabica coffee contains 60 percent more lipids and almost twice the amount of sugar compared to Robusta. Also, Barako coffee has more amount of sugar than Robusta.
In terms of cost, Robusta coffee is almost half the price of Arabica as it is much easier to grow.
Heres a table that sums all this up:
A Brief Origin Of Coffee
The question of where did coffee originate from is one people have asked over the years it is considered one of legends and folklore.
Coffee was discovered in the Kaffa region of Ethiopia by a goatherd named Kaldi in the 6th Century. He noticed his goats were hyper after grazing on a bright red cherry on a tree this incident happened two days in a row with the goats having the same effect.
He decided to try the cherry himself and noticed he felt a rush of adrenaline and had more energy than usual after a few minutes. He was excited about what he discovered he decided to collect a few cherries and take them to the monk at a monastery nearby.
After hearing Kaldis story, the monk decided to brew tea with the cherry and have a drink. He discovered that the tea kept him alert all through the midnight prayer. The monk shared Kaldis discovery with people, which was the beginning of coffee gaining the popularity we know today.
Over the years, coffee beans can be found in South East Asia, South and Central America. In todays world, the highest coffee-growing countries are Brazil, Colombia, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Ethiopia.
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Middle Ages And Early Modern Era
During the , several powerful empires dominated the regional trade in the Horn, including the , the , the , and the .
The , established in 896, was one of the oldest local states. It was centered in the former province in central Ethiopia. The polity was succeeded by the around 1285. Ifat was governed from its capital at in Somaliland and was the easternmost district of the former Shewa Sultanate.
The was a medieval multi-ethnic state centered in the Horn region. At its height, it controlled large parts of Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Eritrea. Many of the historic cities in the region, such as , , , , and , flourished during the kingdom’s golden age. This period that left behind numerous , , and . Under the leadership of rulers such as , , , , General and , Adalite armies continued the struggle against the , a campaign historically known as the or Futuh al Habash.
The ruled many parts of modern Ethiopia and Eritrea from approximately 1137 to 1270. The name of the dynasty comes from the -speaking of northern Ethiopia. From 1270 onwards for many centuries, the ruled the .
In the early 15th century, Ethiopia sought to make diplomatic contact with European kingdoms for the first time since Aksumite times. A letter from King to the Emperor of Abyssinia survives. In 1428, the Emperor sent two emissaries to , who sent return emissaries who failed to complete the return trip.
Why Is It Called Arabica Coffee
According to this article on ThoughtCo.com, its called arabica coffee because in the 7th century the beans went from Ethiopia to lower Arabia.
In Ethiopia, the beans were being crushed and mixed with fat to be eaten as a stimulant by the Oromo tribe.
But once they arrived in Arabia coffee was born. It was written about as a brewed beverage for the first time by Arab scholars who said it helped them prolong their work hours. From there coffee spread around the world.
If coffee beans were brewed into a delicious beverage for the first time in Arabia, its easy to see why its called arabica coffee, and why its also known as Arabian coffee.
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Who Were The First To Drink Coffee
While the Ethiopians are credited with the discovery of coffee, the Sufi monasteries of Yemen were the first places where coffee was studied and documented. By the end of the 16th century, coffee was well known throughout the Middle East, moving to Turkey, South India, North Africa, and Persia. It then spread to the Balkans, Italy, and the rest of Europe by the 17th century.
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Ethiopia’s Coffee Origin Myth
The most popular legend of coffee in Ethiopia usually goes something like this:
One day in a highland area near an Abyssinian monastery, a goat herder from Kaffa named Kaldi was herding his goats. The goats began to jump aroundalmost dancingand bleat loudly, which was strange behavior for his herd. Kaldi found that a small shrub was the source of the excitement. Deciding to try the bright red berries for himself, Kaldi also felt the coffee cherries’ energizing effects.
Amazed at this discovery, the goat herder filled his pockets and rushed home to tell his wife. Calling the find “heaven sent,” she advised Kaldi to share the berries with the monks.
Kaldi did not receive the warmest of welcomes at the monastery. One monk referred to his coffee beans as “the Devil’s work” and tossed them into the fire. According to the legend, the aroma that wafted up from the roasting beans caught the monks’ attention. After removing the beans from the fire and crushing them to extinguish the embers, they attempted to preserve them in an ewer filled with hot water.
This newly brewed coffee had an aroma that attracted even more monks. After trying it, they experienced the uplifting effects for themselves. They vowed to drink it daily as an aid to their religious devotions and to keep them awake during prayers.
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What Is The Roasting Process Like
Those green coffee beans also called unroasted coffee beans are then transported to coffee roasters, either through a middleman or wholesaler or as a result of a direct sale. Direct sales that dont include middlemen and are at or above a price set by non-profits like Fair Trade USA are referred to as fair trade coffee.
Once roasters get their hands on green coffee beans, the real fun begins! Roasters use large machines called coffee roasters to roast their green coffee beans. The roasting process involves churning green coffee beans in a large, heated cylinder for an amount of time specified by the desired roast profile and controlled by the roasters skill.
For around 8-14 minutes, the beans go from a green to a yellow, a yellow to light brown, and then a golden brown to a dark brown for darker roasts. The beans are then pulled from the churning cylinder and cooled rapidly to stop the roasting from continuing. The roasting process results in coffee beans as we know them: brown, full of aroma, and delicious!
How Does Coffee Grow
A shrub that grows up to three feet tall and then dies when it reaches maturity, coffee is not a plant at all. There is a common misconception that coffee has a root system comparable to that of a tree nevertheless, the two plants have an entirely distinct connection. The roots of plants exist, however the roots of shrubs do not. Arabica trees, which are evergreen plants, produce coffee. The trees are often found in or near the tropics or subtropics, where they receive full sunshine for at least six months out of the year, and in some cases, all year.
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