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Fast Facts: Interesting Story Behind Coffee




As the legend goes, the first person to ever drink a cup of coffee was the 9th century goat herder Kaldi who noticed that his flock had more energy when consuming the red berries of a certain plant. He collected the berries and took them to a Muslim holy man who threw them into a fire. The roasting scent was so delicious that they quickly gathered up the beans, ground them, and dissolved in hot water, yielding the world's first cup of coffee.


However, the first credible evidence of coffee drinking dates back to the 15th century, where Sufi monks drank it in what is now Yemen. The public discovered it in the early coffee houses of Cairo and Mecca and adventurers soon began introducing it to countries all over the world.

Influence
In modern times, "Kaldi Coffee" or "Kaldi's Coffee" is a popular name for coffee shops and coffee roasting companies around the world.

What is Coffee All About?
Coffee is a brewed beverage with a bitter flavor prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant. The beans are found in coffee cherries, which grow on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia, South Asia and Africa. Green (unroasted) coffee is one of the most traded agricultural commodities in the world. Coffee can have a stimulating effect on humans due to its caffeine content. It is one of the most-consumed beverages in the world.


Wild coffee's energizing effect was likely first discovered in the northeast region of Ethiopia. Coffee cultivation first took place in southern Arabia; the earliest credible evidence of coffee drinking appears in the middle of the 15th century in the Sufi shrines of Yemen. From the Muslim world, coffee consumption and cultivation spread to India, to Italy, and on to the rest of Europe, Indonesia and the Americas.

Fast Facts
The 2 main types of commercially grown coffee are Arabica and Robusta. Arabica beans account for around 65% of total coffee production, Robusta make up the rest.

Arabica
If you’re a lover of gourmet coffee, you’re most likely familiar with the Arabica coffee bean, known for its aroma, acidity and low caffeine character.  

Arabica is more fragile than Robusta as it best grows in mountainous climates. This coffee plant is more vulnerable to pests and needs low pH soil, light shade, evenly distributed rain and a temperature of around 20 C (68 F) to thrive.  All of this, plus a longer growing cycle, makes Arabica more expensive to source.

Arabica is native to the southwestern highlands of Ethiopia, southeastern Sudan, Yemen and Kenya, hence the name Arabica – meaning “from Arabia”.  It is now grown in many regions of the tropics including Indonesia, Brazil, Colombia and others.

Robusta
Which coffee bean wins the title of “most robust”?  If you guessed Robusta, you’re absolutely right!

As the name suggests, Robusta beans are more robust than the other main type of coffee bean, Arabica, and can be grown at low or high altitudes.  Robusta is characterized by a strong note, strong body and very little acidity. It is mainly grown in Vietnam, Brazil and Indonesia.

Other Facts

  • When roasted, every single coffee bean releases hundreds of different aromas.
  • It is one of the most-consumed beverages in the world
  • The intriguing complexity of coffee means it can deliver a whole range of emotional benefits that go beyond taste - from stimulation to relaxation to refreshment, and beyond.
  • Water is the main ingredient in a cup of coffee. A typical 150 ml cup of coffee corresponds to 10% of our average daily water requirement from beverages.
  •  And soluble coffee is practically free of calories, with only 2kcal per cup, while brewed coffee, espresso, or coffee mixtures (coffee chicory) have just 5kcal per cup.

Where does your coffee come from?
Commercial coffee is grown in an area between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn affectionately known as the “bean belt”. In order for the coffee plant to thrive, it needs moderate sunshine and rain, porous soil and constant temperatures between 65 and 75ºF.

The top 10 coffee-producing countries are: 

 1. Brazil                   6. Ethiopia
 2. Colombia              7. India
 3. Indonesia              8. Guatemala
 4. Vietnam                9. Côte d’Ivoire
 5. Mexico                 10. Uganda



Fast Facts: Interesting Story Behind Coffee Reviewed by Sartaj Husain on Wednesday, June 27, 2012 Rating: 5

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