Coffee is a world famous beverage and it is widely drunk in almost every part of the world. The seeds from which this drink is made are actually seeds of the fruit borne by the coffee plant and are called ‘beans’ in trading terms. These coffee beans stand at the 3rd place in the list of legally traded products in the world and are considered to be a very important commodity in terms of trading. 1.1 Coffee history:
According to a coffee history legend, an Arabian shepherd named Kaldi found his goats dancing joyously around a dark green leafed shrub with bright red cherries in the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. Kaldi soon determined that it was the bright red cherries on the shrub that were causing the peculiar euphoria and after trying the cherries himself, he learned of their powerful effect. The stimulating effect was then exploited by monks at a local monastery to stay awake during extended hours of prayer and distributed to other monasteries around the world. Coffee was born. After year 1600, it started reaching the nearby countries like India through smuggling practices. The Turks first adopted coffee as a drink. This is how coffee was popularized as a drink in the rest of the world and people started planting coffee as a crop. Despite the appeal of such a legend, recent botanical evidence suggests a different coffee bean origin. This evidence indicates that the history of the coffee bean began on the plateaus of central Ethiopia and somehow must have been brought to Yemen where it was cultivated since the 6th century. What is however true that coffee is gained its widespread popularity in Yemen where it was grown and brewed from the fifteenth century onwards but who was the person who first introduced coffee to the Yemen after discovering it in Ethiopia? The most popular theory is that it was a Sufi grand master named Ali Ben Omar al-Shadili who came to be known as the «Saint of Mocha». Ali Ben Omar lived first in Ethiopia then shifted to the Yemini port Mocha where he founded a monastery.
1.3 Coffee varieties
There are around 25 varieties of coffee under ‘Coffea’ known to the world. But two of these varieties are very much popular and are widely used throughout the world. These are coffea arabica and coffea canephora (or coffea robusta). Commercially too, only these types are traded in the various commodity markets. Around 70% of the coffee production is constituted by coffea arabica and 25% by coffea robusta.
1.3.1 Arabica coffee
Arabica is the oldest species of bean and is the most widely cultivated, accounting for 74 percent of the beans grown in the world. Arabica beans grow at altitudes between 600 and 1,800 meters above sea level and take six to nine months to mature.
The Arabica beans command a higher price on the coffee market because growing coffees at higher altitudes is more expensive and labour-intensive. Arabica beans fall to the ground soon after they ripen, so they must be harvested as soon as they are ripe to prevent them from spoiling or absorbing flavour taints from the ground. High-grown coffees are also at risk of frost damage, so farmers tend to build plant replacement costs into their prices. Production costs are higher since most Arabicas, especially those grown at the highest altitudes, are hand-picked and processed in the more expensive wet method.
Arabica coffee is generally more highly regarded than robusta coffee; robusta tends to be bitter and have less flavor but better body than arabica. For these reasons, about three-quarters of coffee cultivated worldwide are C. arabica. Robusta strains also contain about 40–50% more caffeine than arabica. For this reason, it is used as an inexpensive substitute for arabica in many commercial coffee blends 1.3.2...
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