Coffee - A Popular Hot Drink
Coffee is one of the most popular hot drinks in the world. Almost a third of the world’s population drinks coffee. People often meet at cafes or coffee shops for a coffee break during the middle of the morning or stop work in the afternoon to drink coffee.
About 7 million tons of coffee are produced every year. Brazil is, by far, the world’s largest coffee producer. About a third of the world’s production comes from this South American country. Other coffee producing countries include Vietnam, Indonesia and Columbia.
The United States is the biggest coffee consumer in the world. About 1.2 billion kilograms of coffee are consumed there every year. Drinking coffee is extremely popular in European countries, like Italy, France and Germany, as well as in Brazil.
The coffee plant
Coffee grows as a green-leaved tree or bush with blossoming white flowers. The coffee shrub originally comes from Ethiopia but, in the course of time spread to Southeast Asia and South America.
There are two basic types of coffee. Arabica accounts for about 70% of the world’s coffee production. It is grown in the higher regions of central and South America and is popular for its flavor and fragrance. Robusta has spread throughout central and eastern Africa. Although it makes up only thirty per cent of the total coffee production it has become more important because it can resist diseases better. It also has smaller beans and can grow at lower altitudes than Arabica.
World Coffee Production r=robusta a=arabica m=both
Coffee plants grow in the warm and moist climate of the tropics and subtropics. Most coffee trees grow best between 1000 and 2500 meters above sea level.
Coffee trees produce fruits called berries. At first they are yellow, and then become red as they mature. An average coffee tree can produce enough berries to make about a pound (half a kilo) of roasted coffee.
Coffee seeds are grown in nursery beds. After a year they are planted in specially prepared fields. It takes a coffee tree about six years to produce a full harvest of coffee berries. The largest ones can get up to six meters tall, but they are normally trimmed to a height of 1.5 to 4 meters.
Harvesting and processing coffee
Most coffee berries are picked by hand, which makes sure that only the good berries are used. After separating berries from leaves and other waste materials, the beans are then taken out, cleaned and dried. Only the best beans make it to the market. Then they are put into bags and shipped to countries where they are roasted.
At their destination the beans are combined to make different blends of coffee. Roasting for about 15 minutes brings out the true flavor of the coffee. The roasted coffee beans are packaged; some of them are crushed to ground coffee.
Effects of coffee
Coffee contains caffeine, a substance that stimulates parts of the body, especially heart and muscles. People often drink coffee to help them stay awake or keep them alert. Although coffee has some negative effects it is not thought to be a harmful drink. Children and people who have heart problems should not drink coffee it in great quantities. In decaffeinated coffee the caffeine is extracted in a chemical process.
How coffee is brewed.
Coffee must be ground before it is brewed. Grounding usually takes place inside a coffee machine, but you can also buy ground coffee in shops. The simplest brewing process is pouring boiling water over a filter of ground coffee and letting it flow into a pot. Coffee is often made by using simple machines that force hot water through a pad of pressed coffee. Espresso machines press hot water through ground coffee.
Instant coffee is made by pouring hot water over powdery coffee. It dissolves at once and you do not need a special machine.
Brewing Espresso - Image by Mark Prince, CoffeeGeek.com
History of coffee
Coffee originated in the east African highlands in the 6th century. It was then brought to Arabia where people used it as food and medicine. During the 11th century the first coffee drinks came up. In the 16th and 17th centuries coffee became widely popular in Europe when the Turks brought it to Central Europe. In the 17th and 18th century coffee conquered North and South Amercia
Coffee houses soon became popular all over the world. In the 1900s chains of coffee shops developed in Europe and America. Today, Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse chain in the world, with over 20,000 stores in 60 countries.
Types of Coffee drinks
- Espresso is probably the most popular coffee drink in the world. It is made by forcing hot water through a pad filled with dark ground coffee. Although there is not much coffee in the cup an espresso is very strong. It is usually drunk black, with no milk added.
- Americano is an espresso with hot water added to make it weaker.
- Café Latte is an espresso with a lot of hot milk and foam added on the top
- Cappuccino is a cup of espresso, together with warm milk and a lot of milk foam at the top. In some coffee shops it is decorated with flaked chocolate or cocoa.
- Cafe Mocha is a cappuccino with chocolate or cocoa added
- Frappe is a cold espresso that you can get at some coffee shops during the hot summer months
- Turkish coffee is usually thicker than normal coffee. It is made by combining ground coffee and water to a muddy mixture
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- account for = to produce a certain amount of
- add = put into
- although = while
- altitude = height
- average = normal
- basic = main, important
- berry = small fruit or seed of a plant
- billion = a thousand million
- blend = when you mix many different types
- blossom = when a tree produces flowers
- boiling = very very hot
- brew = when the taste of coffee or tea gets into hot water
- by far = much more or better than anything else
- century = a hundred years
- chain = shops owned by the same company
- coffee break = a short time when you stop working and have a cup of coffee
- combine = put together
- conquer = here: to become popular in
- consumer = here: country whose people drink a lot of coffee
- contain = to have in it
- course of time = as time goes on
- crush = to press something into many small pieces
- decaffeinated = without caffeine
- decorate = to make something look prettier
- destination = place where something is going to
- develop = grow
- dissolve = melt, break up
- especially = above all
- extract = take out
- extremely = very
- filter = material that you pour something into and only the liquid gets through
- flaked = small thin pieces of
- flavor = taste , aroma
- flow = run. move smoothly through
- foam = when liquid turns into a mass of bubbles
- force = make something happen
- fragrance = nice smell
- full harvest = here: when trees can produce the highest amount of coffee
- ground coffee = to use a machine to break into powder or very small pieces
- harmful = dangerous
- height = how high something is
- highlands = high, flat areas
- include = are also
- instant coffee = coffee in powdery form
- market = place where you buy and sell something
- mature = be become fully grown or ripe
- moist = wet
- muddy = not clear
- nursery bed = place where new plants and trees are grown
- originally = at first
- originate = come from
- package = put into boxes or bags
- pad = here: filling
- pick = harvest
- popular = liked by many people
- population = people
- pot = container
- pour = to make a liquid flow out of something
- powdery = to break into very very small pieces
- process = to make a product ready to be sold
- quantity = amount
- resist = to defend itself against
- roast = to heat quickly so that you give something a certain taste
- sea level = the average height of the sea, used as a standard for measuring mountain peaks and other objects
- seed = small hard object of a plant from which a new plant can grow
- separate = divide , split
- shrub = bush, plant
- spread = expand from one place to another
- stimulate = to make something become active
- substance = stuff, material
- take place = happen
- trim = cut
- waste = not needed
- widely = very