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Where Do Coffee Beans Come From?

Published by: Chef Matty Riedel • Updated: October 28, 2023

When you wake up to the aroma of freshly ground coffee beans and brewed coffee early in the morning, the feeling is simply ethereal.  In this article, we prepared an answer for you: where do coffee beans come from?

Many claim they cannot even start their day without that sip! That is how coffee has made its charm and effect on millions of people worldwide. 

How many of you ever give it thought as to what it is that makes coffee so special? Is it the flavour, the taste, the aroma, or just the feeling of holding a cup of hot coffee that can help you sail through many problems in life?  

Well, the answer will, of course, be subjective, but it is also true that not many would ever think of giving a thought to what is this beverage that they cannot do a day without. For all of you who love coffee and would love to know more about it, let’s dive into the details.  

History Of Coffee 

The origins of coffee beans can be traced back to ancient Ethiopia. According to folklore, the people of Ethiopia’s Jimma region were the first to notice the coffee plant’s revitalizing properties. 

There is an interesting story based on some folklore, which tells of a person who noticed his goats get extremely energized by consuming a certain plant, and that plant happened to be known as the coffee plant later on. 

However, how much of this story is true, is debatable, but one thing that cannot be denied is how coffee has had its dramatic journey in itself! 

Moving forward to the age of the 16th century, this remarkable coffee plant had reached numerous places in the globe including North Africa, Persia, the Middle East, South India and Turkey.  

Gradually with time, coffee became famous in many parts of Itlay, the Balkans, and even South East Asia. From then onwards, there has been no looking back for this beverage! 

Where Do They Grow? 

The coffee plant falls under the category of a tropical evergreen shrub. It is also known by the name genus Coffea. To be precise, this plant is mostly found in the regions between the Tropic of Capricorn and Tropic of Cancer.  

Where Do Coffee Beans Come From?

The coffee plant resembles a shrub but can grow in height. However, most of the cultivators prefer to trim and keep the plant short for easy harvesting.  

The coffee fruits take around 7 to 11 months to develop fully and are usually round and oval in shape, all depending on the type of the coffee plant.  

These cherries that grow in the coffee plants are the ones that turn into coffee beans. The growth process of coffee beans is fairly elaborate and can take around one whole year to just develop its fragrance.  

The coffee plants are also seen to bear beautiful white flowers and only after that, they slowly start maturing to bear the coffee fruit.  

The duration that a particular type of coffee takes to grow and mature is what decides the value of the beverage. It is said that the lifespan of a coffee plant is around 30 to 40 years of age. However, they can survive longer depending on the care that’s given to cultivate them.  

It is a known fact that the region where the coffee plant is cultivated and the soil that is used in the process has a great influence on the overall flavor of the coffee beans. 

Types Of Coffee 

Astonishingly, it is said that there are around 120 different varieties of coffee plants. However, the two most common types of coffee are arabica coffee and robusta coffee. There are 2 other less popular varieties. You can read about them here.

Arabica Coffee Beans 

This coffee is the most well-known coffee all over the world. It is said that it has its origin to the times in around 1000 BC. 

It takes 24 to 30 degrees celsius to grow naturally. The shape of this coffee bean is oval and is much larger in size than robusta coffee. 

This type of coffee is way more expensive than robusta coffee. The flavor and aroma of this coffee are unique and quite complex as there is a punch of sweet and fruity mix to it. 

Arabica needs ample care and has specific requirements for its growth process. It is grown in areas that are high in altitude, typically around 500 m to 2500 m above sea level. 

Where Do Coffee Beans Come From?

Arabica coffee is considered to be pricier and has comparatively low caffeine content than Robusta coffee. The highest producers of this coffee in the world are Latin America and most specifically, Brazil.  

Robusta Coffee Beans 

This is also one of the most famous coffees in the world and is consumed widely. It is cultivated in regions of Africa, Indonesia and Vietnam.  

Robusta grows at 15 to 24 degrees Celsius of temperature and cannot grow at an elevation of more than 1000 m above sea level.  

The beans of this coffee are small and round in shape and when matured enough, they are found clustered together in the main coffee plant. 

This coffee is said to have an acidity level that is much less than arabica coffee. Due to this reason, the taste of this coffee is not very sweet, rather it has high caffeine content. 

In fact, it has a strong and distinct flavor. Most people enjoy it as espresso because of its deep and crema texture. 

This type of coffee plant produces more beans clustered in one tree because of which the harvesting is good. They are strong in nature which makes them very unlikely to fall victim to pests and harsh weather conditions.  

Since it does not require a lot of pampering from the cultivator, it is often less in price compared to other coffees like arabica.  

There are a variety of coffees to choose from. Decaf coffee is another variety of coffee that has developed its own following.  

Caffeine is thought to be removed from this coffee through some method, but this is a misconception because no coffee can be entirely decaffeinated. 

Where Do Coffee Beans Come From?

Parting Thoughts 

Coffee has also become an important aspect of modern society. It’s the drink you’d share with a buddy, coworker or business partner.  

There are numerous reasons why coffee consumption has grown so popular. The caffeine in the coffee, combined with the pleasant scent and taste, helps you get out of a tired mood. 

That instant push that you get with a small coffee break at work is what makes numerous working people get going with their monotonous lives at work.  

It is known to keep people awake for long hours, which can come in handy on the odd day you must pull a long night. Having said that, ensure you consume coffee in moderation so that it doesn’t start messing with your sleep cycle

Chef and Restaurant Owner Matty Riedel
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