Coffee is a genus of trees of the Rubiaceae family. It is also the stimulating drink that is obtained from its fruit and seeds, which contain caffeine, with a bitter and stimulating flavor.
Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world after oil. It is one of the main products of agricultural origin that are marketed in international markets, and one of the most consumed stimulant drinks in the world, after tea.
In the 2009/2010 marketing year, exports represented 15.4 billion dollars and some 93.4 million bags of coffee were exported. The coffee employed 26 million people among the 52 countries that were producers.
The two cultivated species are Coffea arabica (which provides 70% of the world production) and Coffea canéfora (synonym Coffea robusta). It is believed that the energetic effect of the coffee bean plant was recognized for the first time in Yemen, in Arabia and in northeastern Ethiopia, and coffee cultivation first expanded through the Arab world.
The first credible evidence of coffee consumption appears around the middle of the 15th century, to the Sufi monasteries of Yemen, in the south of the Arabian peninsula. From the Muslim world, coffee spread to Italy, then to the rest of Europe, Indonesia, and America. Coffee has played an important role in many societies throughout history.
The cultivation of coffee is highly developed in many tropical countries, especially in Brazil, which has long accumulated more than a third of the world’s coffee production. The years 1998 and 2000 produced an approximate total of 6.7 million tons of coffee per year. It is estimated that production will approach 7 million tons per year in 2010.
Origins of coffee
The shrub that gives the coffee beans is native to Africa, specifically Abyssinia. From there he was introduced to Kenya and, later, nomadic tribes made him known further north. The first plantations appeared in the Arabian Peninsula, exactly the present Yemen. All this proceeded between the years 500 and 900.
During all that time it went from being recommended as a medicine to being prohibited even though, little by little, it became a ritual drink: as a courtesy to talk about something or to make a deal, in commercial establishments to welcome customers or in the home alone.
Initially, it was taken in the form of pasta mixing the dry grain with salted butter and, later, it was taken as an infusion (the beans were roasted in a pan and, once roasted, you only had to grind them to prepare the infusion). This form of consumption is reported from Arabia to Constantinople through Yemen, Persia and the Middle East.
The first to see the potential of the new drink was the Venetian merchants in the mid-16th or early 17th century, although the Arabs kept the secret very well without giving the Europeans the option of successfully planting a seed.
However, the first European coffee shop opened in Italy in 1645. The Dutch were the first Europeans to get the first coffee plants and so began cultivation on the island of Java and, subsequently, on the neighboring islands of Sumatra, Celebes, and Ceylon. By the year 1711, exports of Indonesian coffee from Java to the Netherlands began.
And once again the Dutch, along with the French, brought the plant to America: Martinique, Guyana, Haiti, the Antilles, etc. The Castilians were the introducers in Puerto Rico, Cuba, Colombia and, finally, the Philippines. Brazil, which is now the world’s leading producer, was introduced by the Portuguese.
What is the best coffee in the world
It is said that Colómbia is the country that produces the best coffee in the world, both for the considerable production (about thirteen million sacos) and for the quality.
The Coffee Axis is a topographic region of Colombia, which extends through the departments of Caldas, Risaralda, Quindío, the northeastern region of the department of Valle del Cauca and the entire southwest region of Antioquia.
This region was a magnificent rubber producer in the early twentieth century, but later it was devoted more to coffee and became one of the most important centers of import and redistribution of European-made goods. The same group of merchants that promoted these activities was the one that years later would promote industrial development in the area.
Currently, in Colombia, they are grown