Learn About Coffee

Coffee is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world. It is prepared from the roasted seeds, commonly referred to as beans, of the coffee plant.

The earliest credible evidence of coffee-drinking or knowledge of the coffee tree appears in the middle of the 15th century in the accounts of Ahmed al-Ghaffar in Yemen. It was here in Arabia that coffee seeds were first roasted and brewed in a similar way to how it is prepared now.

The thriving trade between Venice and North Africa, Egypt, and the Middle East (back then Ottoman Empire) brought many goods, including coffee, to the Venetian port in the 1600s. From Venice, it was introduced to the rest of Europe.

Coffee had been introduced to Brazil in 1727, although its cultivation did not gather momentum until independence in 1822. Brazil went from having essentially no coffee exports in 1800 to being a significant regional producer in 1830, to being the largest producer in the world by 1852. In 1910–20, Brazil exported around 70% of the world's coffee, Colombia, Guatemala, and Venezuela exported half of the remaining 30%, and Old World production accounted for less than 5% of world exports.

Rapid growth in coffee production in South America during the second half of the 19th century was matched by growth in consumption in developed countries, though nowhere has this growth been as pronounced as in the United States, where a high rate of population growth was compounded by doubling of per capita consumption between 1860 and 1920. Though the United States was not the heaviest coffee-drinking nation at the time, due to its sheer size, it was already the largest consumer of coffee in the world by 1860, and, by 1920, around half of all coffee produced worldwide was consumed in the US.<

Caffeine is one of the 1500 constituents of coffee that gives coffee its distinctive character. It occurs naturally in coffee beans as well as in tea and cocoa. Caffeine also acts as a mild stimulant, increasing mental alertness and speeding up the thought process. It is because of this that some people prefer to drink decaffeinated coffee, particularly in the evening, when they might wish to relax and sleep rather than be alert.

Depending on the type of coffee and method of preparation, the caffeine content of a single serving can vary greatly. A typical 5 fluid ounce (ca. 150 ml) cup of coffee on average contains 80- 90 milligrams of caffeine. Coffee represents 71% of all the United States caffeine consumption, followed by soft drinks and tea.The following is a comparison between caffeine content in coffee and other drinks on average:

  • Coffee - 80 mg per serving (per 150 ml cup)
  • Instant Coffee - 60 mg per serving (per 150 ml cup)
  • Decaffeinated Coffee - 3mg (per 150 ml cup)
  • Tea - 40mg (per 150 ml cup)
  • Cola - 30mg (per 330 ml can)
  • Chocolate - 20mg (per 50g serving)

Coffee Varieties
Storing Coffee
Grinding Coffee
Brewing Coffee

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