You may or may not like coffee. Some people prefer tea, however, coffee is the second-largest trader in the world. Crude oil ranks first. Coffee plants can be grown only in countries where there is no snow in winter. Therefore, most coffee is grown in countries near the equator.
Coffee is not always a beverage. Coffee was first discovered in Africa, where they harvested coffee beans, added animal fat to coffee beans, mixed them, and rolled them into food. Historians say these may have been the world’s first energy foods.
The original meaning of coffee was “wine”. The original name of the coffee was “qahwah”, which means wine in Yemen. In Turkey, it is called “kahveh”. The Dutch called it “koffie” and later “Coffee” in English.
In 1503, the Arabs introduced coffee to Sri Lanka. In the past, Sri Lanka exported nearly 50,000 tons of coffee a year. But in 1870 the coffee plantation was destroyed by a severe disease called coffee rust. Recently, coffee has been replaced by rubber and tea. Therefore, about 600 tons of coffee is imported annually. Coffee plantations became popular again due to the Arabica and hybrid varieties that could be resistant to rust.
The first large-scale production of coffee began in 1771 in the United Kingdom. At the beginning of the twentieth century, in 1910, the United States obtained a patent for the first large-scale instant coffee production. Brazil is currently the leader in coffee production. Brazil produces 40% of the world’s coffee. Second and third place go to Colombia and Vietnam.
Coffee trees are pruned to preserve the tree’s strength and ease of harvest, but it can grow up to 30 feet (9 m) tall. Each tree is covered with waxy leaves with a green surface that grows in pairs opposite to each other. Coffee beans form along the branches. Since coffee bears fruit in a continuous cycle, it is not uncommon to see flowers, green fruits and ripe fruits on the same tree at the same time. After the first flowering, the fruit takes about a year to mature and about 5 years to reach full fruiting. The life span of a coffee tree is about 100 years, but it bears good fruit between the ages of 7 and 20. Varieties can maintain or enhance their products for many years with proper maintenance. The average coffee tree produces 10 pounds of coffee or 2 pounds of green fruit a year. All commercially grown coffees come from an area known as the Coffee Belt in the world. Coffee grows well in quality soils, temperate climates, frequent rains and shady environments.
Coffee belongs to the genus Rubiaceae. There are about 60 varieties. Arabica and robusta are economically important. Liberica coffee is not commercially grown in Sri Lanka.
Arabica (Coffea arabica)
The Arabica coffee variety is of Ethiopian origin. Suitable for cultivation in cool climates with altitudes above 800 m. The coffee plant is small and easy to manage. About 5 kg of raw coffee can produce about 1 kg of processed coffee. Arabica is a self-pollinating plant. Therefore it can be propagated by seeds. Arabica coffee has a high price in the market due to its high-quality taste and aroma.
Robusta (Coffea canephora)
This coffee originates in Africa. Can be grown in wet and intermediate zones up to an altitude of 800 m. 1 kg of processed coffee can be produced in quantities ranging from 4.5 to 5 kg of raw coffee.
The trees are large. Not cultivated commercially. This coffee has a bitter taste. However, there is a demand in Malaysia and the Middle East.
07 Benefits of Drinking Coffee
- Obtaining a slim body: Coffee has the ability to control hunger. Scientists have also found that coffee helps in the absorption of sugar in the intestines and in the rapid burning of body fat.
- Control of skin cancer: The antioxidants in coffee are said to control skin cancer.
- Reducing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease: Coffee can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by 20%. Caffeine and other chemicals in coffee help prevent inflammation of the brain.
- A healthy heart:
Coffee is very good for the heart. It is said that drinking coffee on a daily basis helps to get rid of many heart-related diseases.
- Liver care:
The antioxidants in coffee help prevent inflammation of the digestive system. Drinking coffee daily can help prevent conditions such as cirrhosis and non-alcoholic fatty liver.
- Stimulation of muscles:
Coffee can stimulate the muscles and help keep them strong. However, it is important to remember that the caffeine in coffee makes the body tired. Therefore, it is not advisable to drink more than three cups of coffee a day.
- Reducing the risk of diabetes:
The polyphenol and chlorogenic acids obtained from coffee control the blood glucose levels in diabetics.