The coffee bean is a seed produced by the coffea plants belonging to the botanical family ‘Rubiaceae’. Its scientific name is ‘Coffea arabica’ and is considered a spice or a herb that is used mainly for brewing different types of coffee and for certain cosmetic purposes.
Coffee bean and its first usage are believed to have originated in Ethiopia in the 9th century after a goat herder called ‘Kaldi’ discovered its stimulating properties by watching his goats chew coffee beans and getting energized from it. Nevertheless, there is no sufficient evidence to prove the exact origin of the same. Coffee was popularized only by the fifteenth century when it started being exported and spread from Ethiopia to other regions and even later to Europe.
Today, coffee is one of the widely liked beverages enjoyed by millions of people every day throughout the world. It contains a stimulant called caffeine which can reduce physical and mental tiredness and boost energy levels, which makes it so much demanded.
A coffee bean botanically is a pip-a hard seed in a fruit- inside the purple or red coloured fruit commonly known as the coffee cherry. A coffee bean, technically is not a bean, even though, it is referred to as such due to its resemblance to actual beans. The coffee fruits normally contain two pips or stones with their flat sides closely attached together. And the coffee beans are processed by roasting these pips or stones through certain processes after peeling, cleaning and sun-drying them.
Coffee beans are found in many varieties. However, the main ones are four of them, namely: Arabica, Robusta, Excelsa and Liberica, and among them Arabica and Robusta are the main two varieties largely produced across the world.
Coffee beans contain caffeine, carbohydrates, fixed oil, tannin and proteins. Coffee is also purported to boost energy levels, support heart and brain health, reduce depression and protect the liver from diseases.
Coffee plants can be grown on different types of soils, however, well-drained fertile sandy loam soils along with sufficient rainfall are the ideal ones for the plants’ proper growth and fruit production. The plants, botanically considered small trees grow 9-12 feet in height and start bearing the fruits after 3-4 years from planting. Usually, the planting is done prior to the rainy season or during the monsoon season as the plants’ growth highly depends on moisture, and the normal harvest season is from November to March.
The largest producer of coffee beans in the world is Brazil, followed by Vietnam, Indonesia, Columbia and Ethiopia. And Finland is the biggest consumer of it in the world. The top exporter also is Brazil, followed by Colombia, Indonesia, Ethiopia and Honduras, while the main importers are the USA, France, Germany, Italy and Canada.
In India, the largest producer is Karnataka, followed by Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
Some of the main trading hubs of coffee bean in India:
Karnataka (Kodagu, Chikmangalur, Shimoga, Mysore)
Kerala (Adimali, Wayanad, Kattappana, Thodupuzha)
Tamil Nadu (Coimbatore, Salem, Nilgiris)
Names of coffee bean in different Indian languages:
Hindi Kafi ka beej
Tamil Kapi peans
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