Coffee is a popular beverage made from roasted coffee beans which are the seeds of berries from certain Coffea species. It is one of the most popular beverages in the world, and it can be provided in various forms such as espresso, cappuccino, café latte. Coffee plants are produced in a particular area, between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, called the bean belt or coffee belt. Coffee plants are currently cultivated in more than 70 countries from the equatorial regions of the Americas, Southeast Asia, India, and Africa. The two most commonly grown coffee plants are Coffea Arabica and Coffea Robusta.
Dried and roasted beans are ground and then brewed with hot water to make the beverage known as coffee. Coffee is dark, bitter, slightly acidic and has a stimulating effect because of its caffeine content. According to National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Legacy Release (United States Department of Agriculture, 2018), one cup of brewed coffee (8 oz) contains about 70-140 mg of caffeine, or about 95 mg on average. Moderate coffee consumption is not bad on our bodies. Rather it can be beneficial to adults.
Furthermore, long-term consumption lowers the risk of some diseases. However, taking too much caffeine can block normal growth and weaken the immune system. According to a book Coffee: A dark history (Wild, 2004), the earliest drinking coffee appears in Sufi shrines in Yemen in the middle of the 15th century. It was in Arabia that coffee seeds were first roasted and brewed in a similar way to now. However, the coffee seeds were exported first from East Africa to Yemen. Yemeni traders took coffee back to their homeland and began to cultivate the seed. Coffee had reached Persia, Turkey, and North Africa in the 16th century.
From there, it spread to Europe and the rest of the world. Coffee is one of the most valuable products exported by developing countries. Unroasted coffee is one of the most traded agricultural produce in the world. There are some controversial problems regarding producing coffee. Conditions about trading coffee between developed countries and developing countries and some environmental issues such as used coffee grounds, usage of water for growing plants are talked about as negative side in the process of cultivating coffee. As a result, the markets for fair trade and organic coffee are expanding. As noted above, environmental issue concerning coffee is its use of water.
Coffee plant needs about 140 liters of water to grow the coffee beans needed to produce one cup of coffee, and coffee is often grown in countries where there is a water shortage, such as Ethiopia. Another issue is the grounds. Used coffee grounds can be used for composting or as a mulch. Some commercial coffee shops are proceeding briskly to use wisely used coffee grounds. For example, there is Starbucks which is doing “Grounds for your Garden” project, people can get coffee grounds if they want to.
It can help solving the environmental problems and make better environment for all of us.