The Origin and Evolution of Coffee
Your cup of coffee is brewed from roasted and ground beans that grow on coffee plants. The coffee plant is grown in approximately 70 countries around the world and there are many hybrids that are usually unique to the geographic location they are grown, however it is basically only 2 varieties that are commercially used today. Arabica beans account for 80% and Robusta accounts for 20%. The plant grows best in sub-tropic climates, and while a plant can grow to 30 feet tall if left untended, growers crop the bush to keep it to a harvestable size of generally no more than 12 feet tall. The bean is actually the pit or seed of the coffee fruit. Just like oranges or cherries, coffee fruit ripens over time and farmers pick the ones that are ready for processing. The fruit is then shipped to various plants where they are processed, have the bean extracted, roasted, often ground and then shipped to the supermarket.