Coffee is a drink that is usually hot, and is prepared from water and dried and roasted seeds from the coffee plant (Coffea) that are called coffee beans because of their shape. Nowadays, coffee has become a favorite drink in the city, and its existence remains a question.
What is the origin of this drink and how a coffee bean can end up to be a drinkable coffee? In this article, we are going to discuss it thoroughly so make sure to read until the very end.
Coffee was probably first noticed by humans in the Kingdom of Kaffa (c. 1390-1897), which is now in Ethiopia. Here it was called buna, bunn or bunchum, which means ‘bean.’
There are various legends about the discovery of coffee as a beverage. One is about a shepherd named Kaldi. He saw that his goats got very excited after eating certain berries. The shepherd plucked a few of them, boiled them, and obtained an infusion with a hitherto unknown odor. That drink was bitter, but it also gave a sense of satisfaction and clarity of mind.
Another story is about a Sufi scholar from Yemen who traveled to Kaffa and made a drink from the berries. Coffee is said to have replaced wine as a religious drink. There is also a story of a clergyman who was exiled to the desert from the Yemeni port city of Mokka who, because of hunger, decided to cook the berries of a coffee plant.
Coffee beans on the plantation
Growing a good quality coffee plant is a long process. The coffee plants can grow up to 18 meters high, but on the farms, they are usually pruned back to 2 meters. The berries are then easier to pick and moreover the coffee plant will produce more berries.
The coffee plant (Coffea) is a genus of woody plants. Most species (33) are found in tropical Africa and originate in Ethiopia in particular. In Madagascar are fourteen species in tropical Southeast Asia and on the island of Mauritius three types. All species are woody plants and, depending on the species, can be creeping, bush-shaped, tree-shaped or liana- shaped.
The flowers are in groups of 2 to 20 together in the leaf axils. After rainfall, the flower buds begin to develop and eight to twelve days later a massive bloom occurs. The bisexual flowers are four to ninety and often have five white, tubular fused petals.
The fruit of the coffee plant is a stone fruit. Each fruit contains a kernel containing the coffee beans. Because the seeds press against each other during ripening, the characteristic shape is created. The dried and roasted seeds of the plant serve as the basis for coffee, a refreshing, caffeinated hot drink.
A coffee plant does not grow everywhere. The plant needs a tropical climate and only occurs around the equator. They will not grow fast in Europe. In addition to a tropical environment, the plant also needs enough shade. That is why you will always find other trees on a coffee plantation such as banana and avocado trees. It takes 3 to 5 years from the germination of the coffee beans until the fully grown coffee plant produces berries. So if you start a beautiful plantation with new coffee plants, it will take approximately 5 years before you can begin harvesting. A coffee plant has a lifespan of roughly 30 years, after which you will have to replace the plant or prune it completely.
Coffee Bean Distribution in the Mid Century
The drink was noticed by both Arab traders and the famous Persian doctor Avicenna. In all likelihood, Arabs have started the cultivation of coffee plants. Despite attempts to maintain secrecy and enforce an export ban, coffee soon became popular in most Muslim countries. The port city of Mokka became the primary distributor from where the coffee was transported to Egypt and Syria.
The coffee type mocha is named after this city. Both Muslim clergy and Ethiopian Christian clergy have banned the drink because it is stimulating and addictive effect. These prohibitions are always reversed over time.
The first European coffee house is said to have been opened in 16th-century Venice, but it is not clear who took care of it.
Cultivation in Europe
At the instigation of the Amsterdam mayor Nicolaas Witsen, the Malabar commander, and Adriaan van Ommen, sent a few coffee plants to his colleague from the VOC branch in Batavia. These were planted on the Kedawoeng plantation in Batavia, but this harvest failed, after which the cuttings brought from Malabar by Henricus Zwaaydecroon in 1699 did yield a good harvest.
The first coffee samples and a coffee plant were shipped to Amsterdam in 1706. The seeds of the plant were further grown in the botanical garden of Amsterdam and sent from there to other European countries.
The Dutch grew coffee for export on plantations on Celebes and Sumatra, making the Netherlands the first commercial coffee exporting country. At the end of the 17th century, Dutch seafarers smuggled Coffea arabica from Mocha to Java, where the plant appeared to grow well.
The poor living conditions of the Javanese who worked on the colonial coffee and sugar plantations in the Dutch East Indies were described by Eduard Douwes Dekker (Multatuli) in his book Max Havelaar (1859). The Dutch also brought coffee to Sri Lanka and South America, where the coffee culture started in the18th century.
Thus production spread rapidly over most tropical areas. The Dutch were reportedly the first traders to bring coffee to Europe on a large scale. Amsterdam would thus have become the first significant international coffee trade center. According to some, this honor goes to the big competitor at that time, London.
In 1709, the Amsterdam city council gave a coffee plant as a gift to Louis XIV, which was cultivated in the Jardin des Plantes in Paris. Cuttings found their way to the French overseas territories and South and Central America and the Caribbean.
In the early 18th century the French naval officer Gabriel de Clieu, who served on Martinique, cuttings from a coffee plant to the French Caribbean islands of Martinique, Haiti, Santo Domingo, and Guadeloupe start the coffee production there. Around 1727, people were also able to hide coffee seeds from French Guiana to Brazil.
Cultivation in South America
After the Dutch brought coffee plants to Dutch Guyana (Suriname) in 1718 and set up coffee plantations there, cultivation quickly spread throughout South America. Around 1727 the Portuguese were able to obtain coffee seeds or cuttings in French colonies such as Martinique and French Guiana and set up coffee plantations in Brazil. In 1760, coffee plants or seeds were imported from Goa into present-day India. (Goa and Brazil were both Portuguese colonies at the time.) Due to the ever-increasing production, the price of coffee fell further. Brazil developed into the largest coffee producer in the world, a position that it still has.
Cultivation on other countries in the world
From the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century, coffee was started in the various African colonies of Belgium, Germany, and France. In 1857, cultivation began in the French protectorates in Vietnam.
In the last decades of the twentieth century, coffee production thrived in a few countries that previously held only a modest position on the coffee market, including Ethiopia and Vietnam, which became the second largest coffee-producing country in the world at the turn of the century.
The Coffee Bean Process
The ripening of the fruit is also a lengthy process. It takes 8 to 12 months until the berry can be picked and processed into a coffee bean. For a delicious coffee, only the ripe berries are picked. Otherwise, your coffee is not tasty. Just as an unripe or overripe banana is not tasty, unripe and overripe coffee berries and beans are less delicious to consume. This is a labor-intensive process since this is done by hand. This way you know for sure that only the ripe berries are picked and no dirt such as twigs and mud are brought along.
Washed and unwashed
The fruits are stripped of the flesh. This is possible in two ways. The first method is by peeling water and then peeling off the flesh. Coffee beans that are extracted from the coffee berry in this way are called ‘washed.’ You also have the ‘unwashed’ method; the coffee berries are then dried in the sun. When they are completely dried out, the coffee beans are pressed from the raisin-like seed. With washed coffee, the taste is milder and more consistent. Unwashed beans generally have a more diverse taste pattern. After this, the beans are sorted by size. A larger bean often means higher quality.
When the coffee beans are completely clean and pulped, they can be roasted. By roasting, the sugars in the coffee bean caramelize and get its recognizable brown color. It is essential to cool the beans immediately afterward so that the bean does not pass through and loses its quality. You can roast the coffee bean in different degrees with different roasting patterns.
The Coffee roasting process
After the introduction of coffee in Europe in the seventeenth century, people roasted coffee for their use for centuries at home. Specialized coffee roasters also quickly developed, but due to the limited shelf life of the end product and transport problems, this remained small-scale for some time. In the past decades, home burning has resumed. The old burning methods are still used for this home burning, but newer devices are also being used. A modified popcorn machine, but also specialized coffee roasters are then applied.
With the rise of industrialization in the mid-nineteenth century, new techniques for roasting coffee also became available. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, many grocery stores started with coffee fires as a side activity. Only sometime later improved packaging and transport and the large specialized national coffee roasters came into existence.
For the roasting, the bean goes through 1 or 2 so-called cracks. Heating causes the bean to expand and the membrane to peel off. This can be compared to pop popcorn. The time of roasting and the temperature can significantly determine the final taste of the bean. In the end, lightly roasted coffee beans are a bit fresher with a little acidity. Medium gives more diversity and very dark results in a more bitter taste how the bean burns depend on the type of bean and the brewing system with which you will make the coffee. For example, espresso beans are often roasted darker than coffee beans for filter coffee.
A coffee roasting company is a company that specializes in the manufacture ( roasting ) of consumable coffee from the raw coffee bean.
Coffee Blends (Modern Coffee)
To achieve different tastes, you can mix different beans from different countries and plantations together; this is called a mixture. Because coffee is a natural product, it is possible that every harvest is a bit different. If you always want to guarantee the same taste experience.
It is, therefore, essential to make a blend. Professional coffee tasters ensure that the taste of a mixture stays the same by mixing different coffees in different proportions from various harvests. That way you can enjoy your well-known and trusted cup of coffee every grain. Good coffee needs a good quality machine.
Coffee contains the stimulant and addictive caffeine. Most species in the genus Coffea occur naturally in tropical Africa and on the islands in the Indian Ocean. They originate in Ethiopia, Yemen, and Sudan.
The coffee bean is an important export product from countries around the equator, such as Brazil, Vietnam, and Colombia. Coffee plants are mainly cultivated on plantations in tropical countries, for export to countries with a temperate climate. Together with knowledge of the drink, the plant spread from tropical Africa to North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe from the 15th century. Since the 19th century, the primary producers and exporters of coffee beans have been in the tropical regions of the South and SouthCentral America, Africa, and Asia. The most commonly grown species are Coffea arabica (arabica) and C. canephora (robusta). Coffee is one of the most valuable export goods in the world.
Coffee is consumed in many cultures and is one of the most popular drinks worldwide. The drink is slightly acidic and is therefore sometimes supplemented with milk and sugar. Coffee is also used as a seasoning in cakes, pies and ice cream. Moderate consumption would have a beneficial effect on health.