What Is Coffee and What is it Made From?
Coffee is the drink made, with water, from the roasted seeds (beans) of various species of a tropical shrub from the genus Coffea.
The two most well-known species are the famous Coffea Arabica or "Arabica" and the stronger Coffea Canephora or “Robusta”.
The Robusta bean has a more bitter taste than the Arabica bean.
Coffee plants are best grown in equatorial Africa, Southeast Asia and South America where they are a major contributor to many countries’ export earnings. Unroasted coffee is one of the world’s most traded agricultural commodities.
Coffee is mildly acidic and has a stimulating effect on people because of its caffeine, which has a positive effect on the body’s mental state. Most modern research suggests that moderate coffee drinking (about 2 cups per day) may have a slightly beneficial effect on healthy adult humans.
The Arabica bean has less caffeine in it than the Robusta bean and a more appealing flavour to most people in the Western world but the Robusta is a hardier plant to grow.
Its earliest drinking appears to have been recorded in Yemen and East Africa up to 600 years ago but, because it was used in religious ceremonies, its use was sometimes banned in Ethiopia and Turkey in historical times.
Because there has been some controversy associated with its cultivation and impact on the environment, growing organic coffee has become of increasing interest more recently.