Topic: Economics

Last updated: November 19, 2019

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 presented in a variety of ways such as espresso, French press, café latte. Coffee plants are produced within 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 produce the beverage known as coffee. Coffee is dark, bitter, slightly acidic and has a stimulating effect in humans, primarily due to 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 mildly beneficial in healthy adults.

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Furthermore, long-term consumption lowers the risk of some diseases. However, taking too much caffeine can block normal growth and weaken the immune system. Coffee is one of the most valuable commodities exported by developing countries.

Unroasted coffee is one of the most traded agricultural commodities in the world. Some controversy has been associated with coffee cultivation and the way developed countries trade with developing nations, as well as the impact on the environment with regards to the clearing of land for coffee-growing and water use. 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. It takes 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 may be used for composting or as a mulch. They are especially appreciated by worms and acid-loving plants such as blueberries. Some commercial coffee shops run initiatives to make better use of these grounds, including Starbucks’ “Grounds for your Garden” project, and community sponsored initiatives such as “Ground to Ground”.

It can help solving the environmental problems and make better environment for all of us.


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