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About Coffee

Wikipedia Article About Coffee on Wikipedia

Coffee is a beverage, served hot or with ice, prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant. These seeds are almost always called coffee beans. Coffee is the second most commonly traded commodity in the world (measured by monetary volume), trailing only petroleum, and the most consumed beverage. In total, 6.7 million tonnes of coffee were produced annually in 1998-2000, forecast to rise to 7 million tonnes annually by 2010. Coffee is one of humanity's chief sources of caffeine, a stimulant. Its potential benefits and hazards have been, and continue to be, widely studied and discussed.

Coffee is a brewed drink prepared from roasted seeds, commonly called coffee beans, of the coffee plant. They are seeds of coffee cherries that grow on trees in over 70 countries. Green (unroasted) coffee is one of the most traded agricultural commodities in the world. Due to its caffeine content, coffee can have a stimulating effect in humans. Today, coffee is one of the most popular beverages worldwide.

It is thought that the energizing effect of the coffee bean plant was first recognized in Yemen in Arabia and the north east of Ethiopia, and the cultivation of coffee first expanded in the Arab world. The earliest credible evidence of coffee drinking appears in the middle of the fifteenth century, in the Sufi monasteries of the Yemen in southern Arabia. From the Muslim world, coffee spread to Italy, then to the rest of Europe, to Indonesia, and to the Americas. Coffee has played an important role in many societies throughout history. In Africa and Yemen, it was used in religious ceremonies. As a result, the Ethiopian Church banned its secular consumption until the reign of Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia. It was banned in Ottoman Turkey during the 17th century for political reasons, and was associated with rebellious political activities in Europe.

Coffee berries, which contain the coffee seed, or "bean", are produced by several species of small evergreen bush of the genus Coffea. The two most commonly grown are the highly regarded Coffea arabica, and the 'robusta' form of the hardier Coffea canephora. The latter is resistant to the devastating coffee leaf rust (Hemileia vastatrix). Both are cultivated primarily in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Once ripe, coffee berries are picked, processed, and dried. The seeds are then roasted to varying degrees, depending on the desired flavor. They are then ground and brewed to create coffee. Coffee can be prepared and presented in a variety of ways.

Did you know this about coffee beans?

File:Coffee beans.jpg
Coffee beans

Coffee beans are what make an excellent cup of coffee. Coffee is the world's most popular beverage after water, with over 400 billion cups consumed annually. The coffee bean comes from an evergreen tree grown in a narrow subtropical belt around the world. Coffee beans are not beans at all in a botanical sense. They are the twin seeds of a red (sometimes yellow) fruit that grows to about the size of the tip of your little finger. Growers call these coffee fruit coffee cherries or beans.

Coffee has two main varieties: Arabica and Robusta. Unless they are decaffeinated, coffee beverages all contain caffeine. Full-bodied, dark-roast coffee may contain less caffeine than coffee made from milder, more lightly-roasted beans. In general, Arabica beans tend to have less caffeine but milder and more aromatic flavor than robusta beans.

There are 10 steps through which a coffee bean passes from seed to cup: Harvesting, Processing, Drying, Hulling, Polishing, Grading and sorting, Exporting, Tasting, Roasting and Grinding of coffee beans. Of these, connoisseurs of pod coffee have the option of indulging in the last two steps themselves!

Be your own Barista. There is no single best way to make coffee; each of us prefers one method to the rest. The importance of the coffee pod however, cannot be over emphasized. Of the many ways to prepare coffee, the espresso method is perhaps the highest expression of true coffee lovers. But the beauty of making pod coffee is that it allows you to be your own barista! Making pod coffee is both a ritual and a practical part of life although it is now possible to have coffee pod machines that brew individual cups of either filter or expresso pod coffee in seconds. All these methods share the basic principle which is to use hot water, to extract from the ground beans the natural essential oils, the caffeol, that give coffee its wonderful aroma and flavor. The resulting brew, or liquor, is a coffee infusion. Sadly, in this electronic age, pod coffee drinkers form a pathetic minority due to the time and effort it takes before you can actually savor a cup. But, if you are one, don’t be nonplussed if your special guest takes the first option to your question - “Coffee, tea or me?”

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