What is coffee?

 

"THE POWERS OF A MAN'S MIND ARE DIRECTLY PROPORTIONED TO THE QUANTITY OF COFFEE HE DRINKS." - SIR JAMES MACKINTOSH

Once dubbed 'the gasoline of life', coffee is a beverage served hot or with ice, prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant, called coffee beans. Coffee is the second most commonly traded commodity in the world, second only to petroleum.

 

ORIGINS

Believed to have originated from Ethiopia, coffee trees were cultivated in monastery gardens as long ago as 1,000 years. The first reports of commercial cultivation hailed from Yemen in the fifteenth century.

COFFEE HOUSES

The earliest roots of café culture date back to Mecca, site of world's first coffee houses. From here, word spread of the magical elixir through the Arab world. Coffee houses were later introduced in European countries including Austria, England, France, Germany and Holland.

COMPOSITION

The stimulant in coffee is caffeine (the technical term is 1, 3, 7- trimethylxanthine), found in over 60 plant species, in particular cocoa- beans, tea and coffee. Caffeine occurs naturally in tea, coffee, cocoa and chocolate, and is added to soft drinks and both prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

COFFEE PRODUCTION

In terms of production volume, the worldís top five producers of coffee are Brazil, Vietnam, Indonesia, Colombia and Mexico.