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The word spread quickly and soon this berry was being cultivated in the Arabian Peninsula. Today' largest producer of coffee, Brazil started growing coffee in the 1700's whereas it was introduced in Europe in 1600's. In 1901 instant coffee was invented, decaffeinated in 1903 and freeze dried in 1938. Today coffee is the largest commodity second only to petroleum.
It might sound surprising but statistics say an average person consumes over 10 pounds of coffee in a year and about half of the US population partakes the beverage - worldwide yearly consumption adds up to over 400 billion cups! Most of the consumption is during breakfast and 35% prefer to have black coffee. Tea used to the favorite beverage but coffee seems to have displaced it - especially after the Boston Tea Party and considered very patriotic to drink coffee instead of tea!
Columbia and Brazil accounts for the production of ¾'s of the world coffee and it is mostly hand picked there. It is a seed of the berry and the unroasted coffee can last up to 2 years. Coffee is best when consumed directly after roasting as the flavor decreases once you roast it. Refrigeration does not help in keeping them fresh as most people believe and it might even taste strange as the roasted coffee will readily absorb the flavors from other foods.
The coffee beans have different varieties and flavors and the growing conditions affect the flavor of the coffee. To yield about 130 pounds of green coffee beans you need to cultivate 100 Arabica bushes. Coffee is of great use for us - It contains anti oxidants as well as minerals all which help in the prevention of some disease or the other. The risk of diabetes and Parkinson's disease is thought to have decreased by drinking coffee. . It has bacteria fighting elements that can help fight tooth decay. Some if its anti oxidants stimulate enzymes that may protect against colon cancer. All of us know that caffeine in coffee can help us keep alert and help in concentrating better. It also relieves symptoms of asthma by dilating bronchial tubes and gets rid of tension headaches.
Photo by TheCulinaryGeek