The Coffee Story
Coffee is a brewed drink prepared from roasted coffee beans. The beans originate from the seeds of cherries grown on coffee trees.
Coffee is only grown in tropical areas in the world, and these regions make up what is known as the Bean Belt. It runs through the area around the equator which is the band around the Earth between the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer. This region includes Central and South America, as well as Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.
Wait for this.... An estimated 3.5 billion cups of coffee are consumed worldwide every day. As you may have gathered, it is one of the most popular drinks in the world.
The Broomfield Coffee Club is asked about coffee beans on a daily basis. We have put together a summary of the different types of beans to give you some more insight.
Arabica vs. Robusta
There are two different varieties of coffee, Arabica and Robusta. Arabica coffee comes from the original Ethiopian coffee trees, and it results in mild and aromatic coffees. This variety accounts for about 70% of the world’s coffee production. This variety grows best at high altitudes with mild temperatures, and it will die with any kind of frost. The Robusta variety is a smaller and rounder bean than the Arabica variety. It makes up 30% of the world’s coffee production, and it is a heartier plant that can withstand higher temperatures and lower altitudes. The coffee produced from this variety is a bit more bitter-tasting with more caffeine than arabica beans. Robusta coffee trees can be found in Brazil or Southeast Asia. At Broomfield Coffee Company we supply a variety of Robusta blends as there’s been a big demand from Athletes, Boxers, Gym fanatics for an extra kick prior to their workout. The feedback has been outstanding.
Coffee cherries are clustered along the limbs of the plant. The cherries are harvested from approximately October - January each year. Since the coffee cherries do not ripen together, several pickings of the the same plant may be required until all of the cherries have been harvested at the peak of ripeness. This is the first step in the chain of factors that separates fair coffee from truly exceptional coffee - only picking the red cherries. Mixing in under-ripe/ greenish cherries with red cherries will result in bitter coffee no matter how well it is roasted.
It takes approx. a year for a cherry to mature after first flowering, and about 5 years of growth to reach full fruit production. While coffee plants can live up to 100 years, they are generally the most productive between the ages of 7 and 20. Proper care can maintain and even increase their output over the years, depending on the variety. The average coffee tree produces 10 pounds of coffee cherry per year, or 2 pounds of green beans.
So, now you know a little bit more about where your morning cup of coffee comes from and how it was produced. Hopefully this leads to even more appreciation and interest for coffee. It does take time to get coffee into your cup, but hopefully you’ll agree, it’s worth the wait.