Portal:Coffee

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Introduction

A small cup of coffee.JPG

A cup of black coffee

Coffee is a brewed drink prepared from roasted coffee beans, the seeds found inside "berries" of the Coffea plant. Coffee plants are cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia, India and Africa. The two most commonly grown are the highly regarded arabica, and the less sophisticated but more hardy robusta. The latter is resistant to the coffee leaf rust (Hemileia vastatrix). Once ripe, coffee beans are picked, processed, and dried. Green (unroasted) coffee beans are one of the most traded agricultural commodities in the world. Once traded, the beans are roasted to varying degrees, depending on the desired flavor, before being ground and brewed to create coffee. Coffee can be prepared and presented in a variety of ways. Coffee is slightly acidic (pH 5.0–5.1) and can have a stimulating effect on humans because of its caffeine content. It is one of the most consumed drinks in the world.

The energizing effect of coffee was likely first discovered in the northeast region of Yemen. Coffee cultivation first took place in southern Arabia; the earliest credible evidence of coffee-drinking appears in the middle of the 15th century in the Sufi shrines of Yemen. In East Africa and Yemen, coffee was used in native religious ceremonies that were in competition with the Christian Church. As a result, the Ethiopian Church banned its secular consumption until the reign of Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia. The beverage was also banned in Ottoman Turkey during the 17th century for political reasons and was associated with rebellious political activities in Europe. An important export commodity, coffee was the top agricultural export for twelve countries in 2004, and it was the world's seventh-largest legal agricultural export by value in 2005. Some controversy is associated with coffee cultivation and its impact on the environment. Consequently, organic coffee is an expanding market.

Many studies have examined the health effects of coffee, and whether the overall effects of coffee consumption are positive or negative has been widely disputed. The majority of recent research suggests that moderate coffee consumption is benign or mildly beneficial in healthy adults. However, coffee can worsen the symptoms of some conditions, largely due to the caffeine and diterpenes it contains.

 

Selected article

Cuban espresso
Cuban espresso (Café Cubano) is a type of espresso which originated in Cuba after espresso machines were first imported there from Italy. Specifically, it refers to an espresso shot which is sweetened with demerara sugar as it is being brewed, but the name covers other drinks that use Cuban espresso as their base. Drinking café cubano remains a prominent social and cultural activity within Cuba, Miami, West Palm Beach, Tampa and the Keys, as well as the Cuban exile community. Café Cubano is available in almost all coffee shops in Miami, making it a staple of local cuisine and tradition.

A common variant is that the drink is sweetened while the espresso is being brewed. In this version, the sugar (most often brown sugar) is packed above the coffee grounds in the espresso machine and allowed to pass with the hot water through the espresso puck while brewing.


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Einspaenner.jpg
Credit: V. Kostitsin-Teterin

Einspaenner Coffee: A Viennese specialty. It is a strong black coffee served in a glass topped with whipped cream, it comes with powdered sugar served separately.

Coffee news

News highlights
  • June 15, 2016: "Coffee May Protect Against Cancer, W.H.O. Concludes". The New York Times.
  • June 5, 2013: "Coffee blight in Central America: Changing livelihoods and your cup of joe". The Christian Science Monitor.
  • May 13, 2013: Tea-coffee war brewing, national drink tag at stake. Hindustan Times.
  • April 27, 2013: Don't Call It 'Turkish' Coffee, Unless, Of Course, It Is. NPR.
  • April 27, 2013: $600K For A Cup Of Coffee: Apple's Cook Is A Hit At Auction. NPR.
  • April 26, 2013: Exploring Coffee's Past To Rescue Its Future. NPR.
  • April 26, 2013: Why Caffeine In Coffee Is A Miracle Drug For The Tired. NPR.
  • April 25, 2013: EU Embraces 'Suspended Coffee': Pay It Forward With A Cup Of Joe. NPR.
  • March 18, 2013: Starbucks Buys Its First Coffee Farm. The Wall Street Journal.

  • October 10, 2010: Animal rights activists demand British coffee chain withdraw advertising campaign

Did you know?

Maraba coffee drying on racks
...that Maraba Coffee, the first Rwandan coffee to gain Fairtrade status, is used to make the only coffee beer sold in the British Isles?
Other "Did you know" facts... Read more...

Selected biography

James Athearn ("J.A.") Folger (June 17, 1835 – June 26, 1889) was the founder of the Folgers Coffee Company. After the discovery of gold in California, James (14), along with his brothers Henry (16) and Edward (20) set out in the autumn of 1849 on a ship bound for the Isthmus of Panama. After a raft and hiking journey across the Isthmus, the brothers waited at Panama City for quite a while before catching the Pacific mail steamer Isthmus on April 10, 1850. They entered the Golden Gate on May 5, 1850. In 1860 he founded the San Francisco coffee firm, known as the J. A. Folger Coffee Company, known today simply as Folgers Coffee.


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  • World Coffee Research – a 501 (c)(5) nonprofit program of the international coffee industry. (Wikipedia article: World Coffee Research)
  • Coffee Research Foundation – based in Kenya, and founded in 1908
  • Central Coffee Research Institute – based in Chickmagalur District, India, and founded in 1915

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