Coffee is a brewed beverage prepared from seeds of beans from the Coffea plant that are roasted and ground or dried. It is usually served hot. Originally from Ethiopia, it appeared in Europe around the 16th century. One of the most popular stimulants in the world and the major source of caffeine.
Coffee stimulates and refreshes, accelerates metabolism and increases thinking efficiency.
About 6.7 million tons of coffee are produced every year.
There are 2 coffee species in the world:
Arabica (Coffea arabica) is the oldest and the most popular species of coffee coming from the mountains of Yemen and the Arabian Peninsula (hence the name). It is also found in the highlands of Ethiopia and south-east Sudan. Known as “mountain coffee” or “Arabian coffee”. Arabica is regarded to have a better taste, to be more delicate and to have better quality beans than other varieties, such as Robusta. Arabica contains considerably less caffeine than other varieties, due to which its taste is more delicate. The plant may grow up to 12 metres. Naturally, on plantations, they do not allow the plants to grow to such a height because then it would be much more difficult and dangerous to gather berries of the Coffea plant.
The plant may grow up to 12 metres. Naturally, on plantations, they do not allow the plants to grow to such a height because then it would be much more difficult and dangerous to gather berries of the Coffea plant.
How is Arabica grown
Arabica is a very demanding variety. The best place to grow it is the mountains – the perfect altitude is about 1,300 – 1,500 m above the sea level. But there are plantations both on the sea level and high in the mountains at about 2,800 m above the sea level. Arabica requires the right amount of humidity but it does not like sudden rains.
Well-known cultivation areas include naturally Equatorial Africa, over a half of South America, with the most famous plantations in Brazil, and further away in the south of India and in Ceylon, Java and Sumatra.
Coffee plantations may be found even in Hawaii. Depending on the location of a plantation, Arabica crops are harvested in a variety of ways. On the island of Java, trees grow and bear fruit practically all year long, so Arabica is gathered continuously there. On the other hand, in Brazil, crops are harvested only in winter, because the trees there are seasonal.
The share of Arabica in the global coffee production is 70%.
Arabica beans are greenish, flat and oblong, with clearly marked, slightly sinuous grooves. Robusta (Coffea canephora) – the second most popular species of coffee (after Arabica) was discovered only in the 19th century. Approximately 70% of coffee cultivated in the world is Arabica, with Robusta accounting for 30%. The latter differs very clearly from Arabica with respect to taste and strength.
How is Robusta grown
This variety is considerably easier to cultivate. Robusta takes a little longer to ripen, namely about 10-11 months, but has considerably lower requirements with respect to soil quality and location of a plantation. Robusta, having a more shallow root system, needs slightly more humidity as compared to Arabica.
The majority of plantations of this variety are found in West Africa, India, Brazil and in Vietnam. It is in Vietnam that the first large plantations of this coffee were established at the end of the 19th century by French growers, as Vietnam used to be a French colony then.
The share of Robusta in the global coffee production does not exceed 30%.