Prepared from the roasted coffee beans (obtained from berry seeds of the coffee plant), coffee is a type of brewed drink that’s loved by people all over the world. The plant is mainly grown in subtropical Africa and few southern Asian islands. Earlier the plant used to be exported primarily from Africa to various countries over the world, but today coffee is actively cultivated in more than 70 countries, situated mainly in the equatorial areas of Africa, India, Southeast Asia, and the Americas.
Varieties of coffee
Talking about their types, two of the most commonly known coffee varieties are the highly popular Arabica, and less sophisticated, yet stronger and hardy, Robusta. After they turn ripe, coffee beans undergo the process of picking, processing, and drying up by the farmers. Once they’re dried, these coffee beans undergo a roasting process at various temperatures depending on the exact flavor wanted from the coffee. Thereafter, the roasted coffee beans are ground and then brewed for enjoying coffee in the form of a hot/cold beverage.
Taste of coffee
As coffee is a little acidic in nature, it can lead to a stimulating effect in people owing to the caffeine content in it. Coffee can easily be termed as one of the most extensively consumed beverages among the popular drinks of the world. People all over the world have found their own unique ways of preparing and presenting coffee, for example, latte, cappuccino, espresso, etc. Nevertheless, it’s mostly served and consumed hot. Iced or cold coffee is also served extensively though. Clinical studies have revealed that consuming moderate amounts of coffee can lead to mildly beneficial effects in healthy adults.
The earliest pieces of evidence of coffee drinking among the common populace appeared during the mid-15th century, in Yemen’s Sufi shrines. It was in this Arabian country that the coffee seeds were roasted and brewed for the first time, quite similar to the way how we prepare it in the present times. The first known coffee seed exports happened from the Eastern African regions to Yemen, as coffee plants are believed to have been indigenously grown in the former. Once Yemeni traders took coffee back to their home country, they began cultivating the coffee seeds there. By around the 16th century, coffee had found its way into all major regions of northern Africa, Turkey, Persia, and Middle East. From there on, coffee spread throughout Europe and the rest of the world.
Coffee has always remained a major export commodity. In fact, it constitutes the topmost agricultural export for a large number of countries and is counted amongst the largest legally exported agricultural product of the world. It’s also one of the most expensive commodities. When talking about coffee exports, it’s the unroasted green coffee that is traded the maximum.
How did the word “coffee” come about?
Talking about the etymology of coffee, the first references to the term coffee in English language can be found in ‘chaona’, dating back to the year 1598. That word was in fact a misprint of the actual word ‘chaoua’, equivalent to another term ‘chaova’. Both these terms, and the word ‘coffee’ have their origins in the ‘kahve’ from Ottoman Turkish, via the Italian term ‘caffe’.
Many believe it to have been derived from the Arabic term ‘Qahwah’ too, which used to refer to a wine variety having its etymological origins in another term ‘Qaha’, which means to lack hunger (alluding to the appetite suppressant ability of the drink).