Where does coffee come from?Coffee grows on shrubs, bushes, or trees planted at high altitudes in rich, fertile soils with lots of rainfall. More than two thirds of the worldís coffee is grown in Latin America in countries with productive volcanic soils, like Brazil, Mexico, and Guatemala. According to legend, coffee was first discovered around 800 A.D. by an Ethiopian goat herder. Noticing that his herd had a distinct boost in enerÝgy after munching on the red berries of a particular shrub, the goat herder tried them himself and discovered the energizing properties of coffee. Today, more than 500 billion cups of coffee are poured around the world every year. After oil, coffee is the second most valuable trading commodity in the world.
The coffee plantThough it can grow up to 30 ft tall in the wild, the coffee plant is considered to be a bush or shrub. The coffee plant is an evergreen, with a light gray bark and five-inch leaves that are dark green and glossy. Coffee flowers are small, white and fragrant, helping to attract pollinating insects. When the flowers fall off the plant, berries begin to develop in their place, ripening from a dark green to a bright crimson. It takes 3-4 years for a coffee plant to begin producing ìcherriesî but coffee plants can survive over 100 years. Two small green coffee beans, surrounded by skin and pulp, are found inside of each cherry. A single coffee plant yields roughly one pound of coffee beans annually. The two most common types of coffee plants are Coffea arabica (Arabica coffee) and Coffea canephora. (Robusta Coffee).