Coffee

Coffee:

Coffee is a widely consumed beverage prepared from the roasted seeds  commonly called "beans" of the coffee plant. Coffee was first consumed as early as the 9th century, when it appeared in the highlands of Ethiopia. From Ethiopia, it spread to Egypt and Yemen, and by the 15th century had reached Persia, Turkey, and northern Africa. From the Muslim world, coffee spread to Italy, then to the rest of Europe and the Americas. Today, coffee is one of the most popular beverages worldwide.

 The two most commonly grown species of the coffee plant are Coffea canephora and C. arabica, which are cultivated in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Arabica coffee is by far the most popular variety because of it's smooth taste and aromatic qualities. Basically coffee berries are picked, processed (flesh removed from around the coffee beans), and then they're dried (more of that process below). The seeds are then roasted at temperatures around 200°C (392°F), during which the sugars in the bean caramelize, the bean changes color, and the true flavor of that delicious drink we call coffee develops. The beans are generally roasted to a light, medium, or a dark brown color, depending on the desired flavor. The roasted beans are ground and brewed in order to create that beverage we call coffee! That's the basic run down, now for the rest of the coffee story...

Coffee has played an important role in many societies throughout history. In Africa and Yemen, it was used in religious ceremonies. In the 17th century, it was banned in Ottoman Turkey. In Europe, it was once associated with rebellious political activities. Today, trade in coffee has a large economic value. Coffee is one of the world's more important primary commodities; in 2003, coffee was the world's sixth-largest legal agricultural export in value. From 1998 to 2000, 6.7 million tons of coffee were produced annually, and it is predicted that by 2010 production will rise to 7 million tons annually. Among coffee drinkers the average coffee consumption in the United States is 3.1 cups of coffee per day.

The health effects of coffee are disputed, and many studies have examined the relationship between coffee consumption and certain medical conditions. Studies have suggested that the consumption of coffee lowers the risk of certain diseases but may have negative effects as well, especially when excessive. The health effects of coffee are disputed, and many studies have examined the relationship between coffee consumption and certain medical conditions. Studies have suggested that the consumption of coffee lowers the risk of certain diseases but may have negative effects as well, especially when excessive.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines coffee as any of variou tropical African shrubs or trees of the genus Coffea, especially C. arabica, widely cultivated in the tropics for their seeds that are dried, roasted, and ground to prepare a stimulating aromatic drink. The beanlike seeds of this plant, enclosed within a pulpy fruit. The beverage prepared from the seeds of this plant. 
A moderate brown to dark brown or dark grayish brown. An informal social gathering at which coffee and other refreshments are served. According to Webster'sDictionary coffee is, 'The beans and cherries of the coffee tree, whether parchment, green or roasted, and includes ground, decaffeinated, liquid and soluble coffee.' It goes on to say, 'Coffee is a tree of genus Coffea, its seeds, and a stimulating beverage prepared from those seeds. Coffee is widely cultivated in tropical countries in plantations for export to temperate countries. Coffee ranks as one of the world's major commodity crops and is a major export of some countries.

It is estimated that coffee originated in an Ethiopian province called Kaffa. But, there is controversy about where it originated. Coffee first became trendy in Arabia during the 13th century. Coffee trees were grown in India sometime after 1600, and some around 1650 coffee was imported in to England and coffee houses opened in London and Oxford.

Coffee was popular by the 18th century in Europe and European colonists introduced the crop to other tropical countries to help them supply a healthy domestic demand. The demand for coffee was so strong in the 19th century that when authentic coffee beans were limited, people developed substitutes from vegetables like, chicory root, acorns and figs.

The history of coffee can be traced to at least as early as the 9th century, when it appeared in the highlands of Ethiopia. According to legend, shepherds were the first to observe the influence of the caffeine in coffee beans when, after their goats consumed some wild coffee berries in the pasture, the goats appeared to "dance" and have an increased level of energy. From Ethiopia, coffee spread to Egypt and Yemen, and by the fifteenth century had reached Persia, Turkey, and northern Africa.

In 1583, Leonhard Rauwolf, a German physician, after returning from a ten-year trip to the Near East, gave this description of coffee:

“ A beverage as black as ink, useful against numerous illnesses, particularly those of the stomach. Its consumers take it in the morning, quite frankly, in a porcelain cup that is passed around and from which each one drinks a cupful. It is composed of water & the fruit from a bush called bunnu. ”

Coffee received a major boost in popularity during therise of Islam, a religion  which outlawed alcohol but adopted coffee as an acceptable drink. It was even called qahwa which is the old Arab word for wine; from which the name "coffee" is thought to derive. Initially coffee was mainly drank by Arab Sufi monks, but by the fifteenth century it was being consumed by everybody throughout the Islamic world in ubiquitous coffee houses that were called kaveh kanes.

The Arabian monopoly on coffee was broken by a Muslim pilgrim from India named Baba Budan. Sometime around the year 1650, the legend has it that Baba smuggled seven coffee seeds strapped to his body out of Mecca. These special coffee seeds were then planted near the city of Chickmaglur in southern India... these Arabian coffee trees are parents of most coffee trees in the world today. This region of India today still produces quality coffee beans from the original ancient Arabian coffee seeds.

From the Muslim world, coffee spread to Italy. The thriving trade between Venice and the Muslims of North Africa, Egypt, and the Middle East brought many African goods, including coffee, to this port. Merchants introduced coffee to the wealthy in Venice, charging them heavily for it, and introducing it to Europe. Coffee became more widely accepted after it was deemed an acceptable Christian beverage by Pope Clement VIII in 1600, despite appeals to ban the "Muslim drink".

 

Many scientific studies have examined the relationship between coffee consumption and a wide array of medical conditions. Most studies are contradictory as to whether coffee has any specific health benefits, and results are similarly conflicting with respect to negative effects of coffee consumption. Studies have suggested that the consumption of coffee is beneficial to health in some ways. Coffee appears to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, heart disease, diabetes mellitus type 2, cirrhosis of the liver, and gout. Some health effects are due to the caffeine content of coffee, as the benefits are only observed in those who drink caffeinated coffee, while others appear to be due to other components. Coffee contains antioxidants, which prevent free radicals from causing cell damage.

Coffee has negative health effects associated with it, most of them due to its caffeine content. Research suggests that drinking caffeinated coffee can cause a temporary increase in the stiffening of arterial walls. Excess coffee consumption may lead to a magnesium deficiency or hypomagnesaemia.