7 Facts About Coffee Beans
Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world, all thanks to the incredible flavours of the coffee bean. The magical coffee beans that create our favourite morning drink can produce a diverse range of delicious roasts and artisanal sips, alongside simpler blends to enjoy at home. As the coffee bean is so important to us, we take a look at seven facts about this wonderful ingredient.
Coffee Beans Are Actually Seeds
The coffee plant grows berries when it is flowering, and the pits of these berries are what we call ‘coffee beans’. While they are technically seeds, they appear similar to other legumes, and so they have come to be known as ‘beans’. Coffee beans will typically be picked by hand, removed from the berries and washed before they are left in the sun to dry before being roasted.
Two Main Types of Beans
While there are numerous varieties of coffee plants, there are two main types of coffee beans that are used to produce coffee. These are the Arabica bean and the Robusta bean. Arabica beans are typically preferred in terms of flavour and will be most commonly available, whereas Robusta beans taste a little more bitter, but hold around double the amount of caffeine, making them a great choice for people who need a bit of a boost!
Goats Discovered Coffee
Perhaps more of a legend than a fact, but as the story goes, an Arabian farmer in the 9thcentury spotted one of his goats dancing by a plant with bright red berries. Deducing that it was the berries that had caused this reaction in his animal, the farmer ate one himself and was so excited by the taste that he brought some berries back to the local monastery. However, the monks disapproved and threw the berries on the fire, causing the beans to roast and produce a delicious aroma. The smell made the monks want to try the beans, so they were gathered, ground and dissolved in boiling water to create an amazing drink that helped to make them feel a little livelier!
The Beans Contain Caffeine
As you will be aware, coffee is high in caffeine, and this comes from the coffee beans. Caffeine helps us to stay alert and boosts our concentration levels, which is why it is enjoyed at the start of the day, and typically avoided in the hours before you go to bed. However, too much caffeine can be bad for us, and if you somehow manage to drink 100 cups of coffee in a very, very short period of time, it can be lethal!
Most Coffee Comes From South America
The majority of coffee grown in the world comes from South America, with Brazil and Colombia being particularly big players in the coffee market. Brazil actually produces around a third of all coffee grown in the world, which is around double the amount grown by Vietnam, which is the second biggest producer of coffee globally! This is predominantly due to the very warm climate, which is ideal for producing crops. Large coffee plantations will be found in South America, and these produce some of the finest tasting coffee in the world.
Most Expensive Coffee Beans Come From Animal Poo
The most expensive type of coffee in the world, Kopi Luwak, gains its price tag from the unusual production process used to create it. That process is digestion, as the coffee berries are first eaten and then excreted by an Asian Palm Civet. While they enjoy the berries, they are unable to digest the coffee beans, so these are passed whole. A farmer will then collect these beans from their droppings. It is said that the resulting beans produce a smoother and less acidic tasting brew. Such coffee can retail at more than $600 for a pound!
Beethoven Enjoyed a Specific Number of Beans
The famed composer was also renowned for being a lover of coffee. Somewhat obsessive about enjoying the perfect brew, Beethoven is reported to have counted out exactly 60 beans per cup each time he wanted to have a drink. Certainly a baristas worst nightmare – we can only imagine the coffee shop queue that would emerge if we demanded this now!
If you’re a coffee enthusiast too, then make sure you’re enjoying the most exquisite tasting cups with our on the go coffee maker!