KNOW YOUR COFFEE BEANS
• The coffee tree is a tropical plant that’s believed to be native to Ethiopia.
• The two well-known species of coffee grown are arabica and robusta. The former is considered a better coffee, but is more difficult to cultivate. Robusta, used mainly for instant coffee, not only grows more easily but is also 50% cheaper to cultivate.
• The world’s largest coffee suppliers are Brazil, Vietnam and Colombia. The US is the largest consumer. About 70% of the world’s coffee is grown by small farmers.
• More than 1 000 physical and chemical changes occur when coffee beans are roasted. They swell and become more porous, and their sugar, tannin and acidity levels change.
• In 1999, there were 50 coffeeroasting companies in South Africa; today there are more than 200.