Coffee is popular all over the world. For many people, a cup of coffee is the only way to start a day. But coffee is of course drank during the rest of the day as well.
The heaviest coffee drinkers are found in Northern Europe. The Finns are the number one coffee drinkers, consuming 12.0kg per capita a year. The Norwegians are second, with 9.9kg per capita a year. Brazil has for a long time been the largest exporter of coffee, producing about a third of all coffee in the world.
The origins of coffee are unclear. The first coffee drinking seems to have been in Yemen back in the 15th century. But a lot of people believe that coffee originated in Africa and has got its name from the Kaffa region, in today’s Ethiopia. From Mocha, a port in Yemen, coffee spread to Egypt and North Africa. By the 16th century coffee had spread to the Ottoman Empire. From the Ottoman Empire, coffee was imported to Venice. The first known coffee house in Europe was open in 1645 in Venice. The British East India Company and the Dutch East India Company spread coffee all over the world. The Dutch dominated the early coffee trade, thanks to their colonies in Asia and Americas. Coffee houses become very popular all over Western Europe during the 17th century.
Coffee is made of roasted coffee beans. Coffee beans are really the seeds of the coffee plant. A number of different species of the coffee plant exists. But the main two coffee beans, Coffea Arabica and Coffea Canephora, make up more than 90% of world coffee trade. Coffea Canephora is also known as Coffea Robusta, or rather Coffea Canephora has two main varieties, Robusta and Nganda. Approximately 40% of the coffee produced in the world is Coffea Robusta. Vietnam has become the largest exporter of Coffea Robusta. Coffea Arabica is mainly cultivated at high altitudes throughout the equatorial regions of the world. About 80% of the coffee produced in Brazil is Coffea Arabica.
Each coffee fruit contains two seeds which are enclosed in a skin that much be removed. There are two methods for removing the skin, the dry method and the more complex wet method. Once the skins are removed the beans are roasted. This is where each variety gets its own specific flavor and aroma. The difference is in the temperature and duration of the roasting. For example, espresso beans are roasted the longest.
There are two basic types of coffee, brewed coffee and espresso. Brewed coffee is typically done by running hot water through coffee grounds. Most brewed coffee is made with light- or medium-roast coffee. Espresso coffee describes not only the darkest roast of coffee bean but also the technique for making this type of coffee. Making espresso generally involves running hot water rapidly through finely ground espresso beans, producing an extremely strong-tasting coffee.