The World’s Demand for Coffee

Coffee is an irresistible beverage made from roasted and ground coffee beans. The aroma and taste has captivated coffee lovers around the world for centuries. Through their love of coffee, fans of the drink have produced thousands of flavors and mixtures of the drink. It can be consumed with a sweetener, cream, or milk. Some like it hot and some like it cold. There is a multitude of ways that you can enjoy a unique flavor or style of coffee that many companies like Starbucks have become successful providing an assortment of options for coffee lovers.

Coffee in times past
Legend has it that coffee was originally discovered in Ethiopia by a goat herder who noticed his goats eating the berries of what is now known today as a coffee tree. The goats were excited and energized, actively running up and down the hillside. He picked some of the berries and brought them to a nearby monastery and relates what happened to one of the priest there. They boiled the berries and after drinking the concoction the priest noticed a boost of energy that helped he and his fellow priests in their longer more arduous prayer rituals. From there the popularity of the beverage exploded throughout Ethiopia, into Egypt, then going to Yemen, traveling to Turkey and Persia, and then rapidly all over the rest of Middle East and Africa.

Coffee in modern times
Today coffee is one of the largest commodities in the world. It is consumed by millions all over the world and it plays a major role in some of the economies that rely heavily on the production of coffee as an exported commodity. In Columbia one fourth of the labor force is employed by coffee related industries, Brazil employs millions through their coffee industry. Worldwide the coffee industry employs tens of millions of people. Major commodities boards like the New York Board of Trade actively trade coffee commodities every day. The United States drinks millions of cups every day, and billions are consumed annually.

There are 2 main species of coffee that are harvested for consumer use, specifically, Coffea Arabica Linnaeus (widely known as Arabica) and Coffea Canephora (typically called Robusta). Both require a tropical climate in order to thrive and in general do not survive frost; all of modern coffee producing countries are located near the equator. The quality of taste that the Arabica genre provides is superior to the Robusta which is bitter and lacks the rich aroma of the Arabica. The Robusta is generally cheaper than the higher quality Arabica and is often used as filler in many brands to keep the prices reasonable.

The Road to Roasting Coffee
Before coffee can be brewed the coffee beans have to be roasted, Harvesters pick and clean the berries on each coffee tree leaving behind only the seed which is known to the consumer as the coffee bean. After they have been picked they are washed of any excess fermentation. When this process is complete the beans are ready to be roasted. There are a variety of ways to roast coffee beans and each style produces a different taste and gives off a different aroma. There are fast 90 second flash roasts, 10 minute quick roasts, and the traditional longer roasting periods. The roasting is done to dry out the moisture in the coffee beans leaving only the sugars, acids and other extracts which make coffee flavorful. As the moisture leaves the sugars and other ingredients from the beans begin to release their aroma, this process is called the Maillard reaction. Once the rich aroma reaches its’ pinnacle the roasting process is complete, the beans are cooled and stored for future grinding.

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