“Coffee should be black as hell, strong as death, and sweet as love.” – Turkish Porverb
Reading newspaper in the early morning sipping a cup of filter coffee is the ideal way to start the day in any South Indian home. A cuppa is a must-have, to stimulate and face the day with enthusiasm. Some call it as “Caffeine fix” in good humor.
Coffee originated from Ethiopia and spread to Arab. From Arab came coffee beans to Chikkamagalur in India and then to the rest of the world. As Coffee is a popular beverage, it is cultivated in over 70 countries around the world. Brazil is the world leader in producing Coffee.
Coffee is an evergreen tree of the genus Coffea and belongs to the family Rubiaceae. The two popularly cultivated coffee types are Arabica and the Robusta. Coffee trees grow up to 5 meters and I have seen many trees in Sringeri regions growing up to 7 – 8 meters high.
People like to consume coffee hot, cold, with or without milk, sugar, and spices. Many other concoctions using Coffee as base has made its way into the menu card like, Mocha – with chocolate, Frappe – topped with cream, Coffee with ice-cream, Coffee flavored ice-cream, chocolates, and pastries.
Coffee plant is propagated by seeds in regions that have moderate sunshine and rain with temperatures around 20 degrees centigrade. The soil should be rich and porous. As Coffee is grown under shade, most of the coffee plantations are inter-cropped with Pepper, Cardamom, Rubber, Teak, and so on.
The leaves are glossy and dark green and are 10-15 cm long. Coffee flowers are white in color and are fragrant. The unripe fruit is oval and green and turns red when ripe.
Berries ripen in seven to nine months.
These ripe berries are picked, processed and dried. Coffee beans should be preserved in airtight containers and stored in cool, dry, and dark place.
The seeds are roasted according to the desired flavor and are ground to a powder. The mulch of coffee beans is used for composting.
The powder thus derived is used to brew coffee using different methods and gadgets. Coffee is brewed using filters, percolators, electric coffee maker, vending machines, French press, espresso and cappuccino method, cold brew coffee, and instant coffee. You can even pick a canned coffee off the shelves of a grocery store.
Many years of research has reported both health benefits and risks on Coffee consumption. Limited consumption is always advised as Coffee contains caffeine. Concept of Coffee houses / bars or Cafés for socializing was part of Italian traditions since 500 years. This concept has become a trend all over the world and people look forward to spend time with family and friends over a cuppa in Cafés.
The coffee roots and stem are polished and made into pot holders, tables and other furniture.