Producto / Coffee

Coffee trees have a lifespan of about 40 years, and can only be harvested once a year. They produce fleshy nuts that are called ¨coffee cherries¨ because of their reddish color. Every cherry contains in it two coffee beans, and can be harvested by hand or by scraping off the entire branch.

Coffee types are distinguished by the type of bean and the method of roasting. There are two main types of coffee bean: Arabic and robust. The Arabic bean, originally from Ethiopia, is a more selective and delicate bean. It grows in the mountains in tropical regions, and is enormously appreciated for its aroma and fine flavor. Among the countries that produce Arabic coffee are: Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Kenya, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, and Tanzania.

The robust bean grows in humid tropical regions, but does not need to be grown at a high altitude. The variety is more resistant to insects and disease, and has a higher yield. Its flavor is stronger and it has more caffeine than the Arabic bean. Among the main countries that grow Arabic coffee beans are: the Ivory Coast, Angola, and Zaire.

When it comes to the method of roasting, we can refer to either natural or high-roast. In natural roasting, the coffee is roasted directly, at a temperature between 200 and 220º C, while in constant motion. With high-roasting, sugar is added at the end, which is why it usually has a darker color, more body, and a stonger flavor. Sometimes, this process masks the poor quality of worse coffee, and it always results in an unhealthier coffee.

Coffee Throughout the World

Coffee is the world´s second most popular beverage and gains the most earnings in economic markets worlwide after oil.
Everyday some two billion cups of coffee are drunk around the world.
There are currently 265 groups that produce Fair Trade coffee. 80% of these groups are located within countries in Latin America, and the other 20% are spread out among Africa, Asia, and Oceania.

Picture on top: SETEM / Imagen en Acción

This English translation has been possible thanks to the project: Free translation of websites for NGOs and non-profit-making organizations. A project managed by Mondo Services. Translator: Leigh Siderhurst

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