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1. History of Coffee

According to a popular legend, coffee was first discovered by accident by an Arabian goatherd, Kaldi, who found his goats dancing joyously after eating berries from a bush at the Arabian Peninsula. This place, today, is known as Ethiopia. In fact, recent botanic evidence suggests that coffee originated on the plateau of Central Ethiopia. Curiosity drove him to try eating the berries, then he too found that these berries got an effect of renewing energy. Monasteries who heard about this story and tried the berries to be able to awake during the extended hours of prayer. They reconstituted these berries in water, ate the fruit, and drank the liquid to enable them to awaken more extended time for prayer. They, subsequently, dried the berries to transport to other monks around the world. This gave a birth to coffee.

Coffee berries were distributed from Ethiopia to the Arabian Peninsula and were cultivated in what today is around Yemen since 6th century. In Turkey, where coffee berries also traveled to, was the first place to roast the coffee beans over open fires. These roasted beans were crushed, and then put into boiled water. This was a crude version of the coffee as we enjoy today.

Coffee first was brought to the European continent by Venetian trade merchants. Cafeterias spread out quickly across the Europe despite the harsh criticism from the Catholic church. In the 1700's, coffee crossed the Atlantic to America by means of a French infantry captain who nurtured one small plant on its long journey. This one plant was transplanted to the Caribbean Islands for plantation purpose. This step was a milestone that the coffee plant penetrated into the rest of the tropical regions of South and Central America.

Nowadays, given the fact that more than 20 million people are engaged in the coffee industry, there is no doubt that coffee industry has been global. Besides, people have coffee as a passion and part of lifestyle rather than merely a stimulus as opposed to its original use.


2. Major Global Coffee Producing Countries and the main growing regions within that country

Table1: Top 5 Major Producing Countries (e000 tons)

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation

Illustration1: Global Coffee Producing Countries



Source: http://www.coffeeuniverse.com/world_coffee.html


3. Plantation of Tea and Cultivation of crops

As far as Arabica coffee, which dominates the market more than 75%, is concerned, there seems to be two optimal growing climates:
First one is the subtropical region, at high latitudes of between 16 and 24. Rainy and dry seasons must be well separated with altitude of between 1,800 and 3,600 feet. These conditions easily distinguish growing season and maturation season, in the coldest part of autumn. Lists of countries fall into this climate is Mexico, Jamaica, the S. Paulo and Minas Gerais regions in Brazil. Zimbabwe , in particular, is a examples of area with these climate conditions.

Secondly, the equatorial regions at latitudes lower than 10 degree and altitudes of from 3,600 to 6,300 feet. Frequent rainfall causes almost continuous flowering, which results in double harvesting seasons. The period of highest rainfall determines the main harvesting period, while the period of least rainfall determines the second harvest season. Examples of countries which have this climate are Kenya, Colombia, and Ethiopia.

In terms of temperature, Arabica coffee, however, is grown in relatively cool climates in the relatively hot region between the Tropic of Cancer and Capricorn. The optimum temperature is between 15 and 24C throughout the year. Too hot is as bad as too cold. Besides, empirical evidence shows that the larger the gap between day and night time temperature, the better flavour of fruits will be.

Then, it is said that ideal rain-fall is between 1,500-2,500 mm over a nine-month period with a three-month dry season. A period of moisture stress helps to materialise a homogenous flowering.

With regard to harvesting, three to four years after the coffee is planted, sweetly smelling flowers grow in clusters in the axils of the leaves. Coffee, in every year, is harvested during the dry season when the coffee cherries are bright red, glossy, and firm. Ripe cherries are either picked by hand, stripped from the tree, or all the beans are collected by a harvesting machine. Above three processes are called selective picking, stripping, and mechanical harvesting, respectively.

In order to materialise the bumper crop with good quality, it is necessary to selectively pick only the ripe beans from the tree by hand and leave behind unripe, green beans to be harvested at a later time. In general sense, one-fifth of its harvest, in terms of weight, is turned out to be coffee to export to the rest of the world.


4. Method & Procedure for roasting of green coffee bean & why different roasts are available for commercial & domestic purposes

There are two most common roasting methods: drum roasting and hot air roasting
Firstly, drum roasting uses a perforated flat bottom pan. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees, then spread green coffee beans closely together, one bean deep. Set a timer for 10 minutes. About 5 minutes later, you will hear the first pop. In another 2 to 3 minutes you will hear a second popping and smell a coffee scent of roasting smoke. Open the door and check the color of the beans at one minute intervals. Light roasts are complete at about 2 minutes after the second popping begins, then 3 to 4 minutes for darker roasts.

Pull the roasted beans out of the oven and pour the beans into a colander. Take the colander and beans outdoors and stir with a spoon while blowing on the beans to remove any loose chaff. During the initial processing the chaff is removed.

Today, automatic home roasters remove the chaff. Oven roasting or popcorn poppers loosen the chaff from the beans during roasting. If not, you can remove the chaff by stirring them with a spoon.

Then, you can actually enjoy a freshly roasted cup of coffee from now on. However, it is suggested that letting the beans rest for 12 to 24 hours after roasting will produce it's peak flavor.

Next, the hot-air roaster, also well known as a fluid-bed roaster, roasts the coffee beans as they tumble on a current of hot air. Most of green coffee bean is roasted at about 400 degrees. The roasting process makes the green coffee beans swell and increase in its size by more than half, while this method reduces their weight.

A lightly roasted coffee bean may range in color from cinnamon to a light chocolate. Lighter color roasts are not usually used for espresso because they produce a sharper, more acidic taste. In contrast, the darker roasts have a fuller flavor approaching a bittersweet tang. The amount of oil drawn to the surface of the coffee bean increases relative to the length of roasting time.

Generally speaking, green coffee beans have a great advantage over roasted coffee beans. Their shelf life is two years while roasted beans begin deterioration within a few days after the roasting.

Why different roasts are available for commercial & domestic consumption

One of the primary reasons for both commercial and domestic consumption is that each producing beans with distinctive characteristics should be dealt with a proper manner to maximise its flavour. As a result, there are many kinds of coffee in the world. In other words, tastes of coffee are determined by a means of roasting and blending. In fact, It is during the roasting process that the sugars and other carbohydrates within the bean become caramelized, creating a substance which is known as the coffee oil.

Then, green coffee beans cost half a price of specialty roasted coffee beans. Also, as mentioned earlier, green coffee beans can keep its quality for much longer than roasted beans. These factors might be one responsible for increase consumption of domestic roasting. As a matter of fact, for many years people have been home roasting coffee beans using a variety of methods. Today, there are small electric home roasting machines which can roast beans from light to dark within about 5 to 10 minutes. No more standing in line for a good cup of coffee, try home roasting for the perfect cup.

Most importantly, home roasting with a little patience will produce the best and only cup of coffee you have ever tasted, but take into consideration some of the variables, which affect your end results.

For commercial side, numerous number of cafeterias around world means they do have to differentiate themselves from others. Besides, Coffee is not substitutionary foods like petrol, but rather favourite foods for many people. Starbucks, for instance, seems to have so many repeaters and its fan. These customers are not only price sensitive, but also looking for better tastes.


5. Description of the market for worldfs largest consumer of imported coffee beans

Table 2: World Major Importers of Coffee Beans (e000 tons)



Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nation
http://www.fao.org/waicent/faoinfo/economic/ESC/esce/cmr/cmrnotes/CMRcofe.htm

As table 2 shown above, EU, 15 member countries, is the largest consumers in the world, in terms of total volume. Total import volume of EU (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands and UK) with population of approximately 300 million is almost double of USA. This implies that per capita consumption of people in EU is much higher than that of Americans. In other words, Europeans really love coffee than Americans.

Table 3: Coffee Consumption Statistics in per capita (Kg) in a year
Between 1985 and 1988



Source: Coffee Research Organisation

As table 3 shown above, in late e80s per capita coffee consumption in USA was much smaller compared to Europeans. Due to the lack of hard data in 2002, it is not clear if American had more coffee than they used to be. If table 2 is taken into account, American people seem to have bought less coffee than Europeans did. However, given the current exchange rate, USA is still the largest consumer market in the world, and both many successful Seattle based cafes and biggest coffee importer as a single country support the status of largest coffee market at the moment.

Nevertheless, EU, as a single economic zone with 12 of 15 member states started circulating real currency, has enormous potential, in terms of its population, peoplefs preference for coffee and possible appreciation of Euro.


6. Essay about the various methods of brewing coffee & the cultural drinking or lifestyle designed to promote commercial consumption

A lot of people say that brewing coffee is as much of an art as it is a science. The history of brewing devices is very rich and diversified, and methods of brewing are depending on culture. So many kinds of machines and brewing devices were invented since the advent of coffee consumption. They have been used to maximise the extraction of the beneficial flavors of coffee, while minimising the extraction of bitter and undesirable components. In this essay, implications of cultural differences for the various methods of brewing coffee and for promotion of commercial consumption will be explored in depth.

As far as Espresso is concerned, its birth was in 1822, with the innovation of the first crude espresso machine in France. However, the Italians perfected this fascinating machine and were the first to manufacture it. This history reflected current position of both countries as representative country of cafe. French also made famous brewer, namely French press. This machine offers unparalleled flavour thanks to its perfect extraction time and delivery of the volatile oils which are often trapped in filters with reasonable price. Two negative aspects, however, are that the French press needs preparation time and cleaning time as well. Nevertheless, this machine brings dynamic and complex flavour into cup. This anecdotal evidence seems to supports the French culture that they prefer slow foods to fast foods in pursuit of authentic tastes.

In Ethiopia, where place of discovery, it is customary to offer coffee to a guest, and then to roast the beans on the spot before brewing and serving. It sounds very nice and best hospitality to guests. However, from commercial viewpoint, it might discourage the volume of consumption in domestically. This is because they appear to maintain traditional way very much.

In contrast, Americans, in general, tend to standardise the things, notably Starbucks, in pursuit of rationalisation and efficiency. Workers at these chain stores, they might not need to have expertise as much as some cafes in France and Italy. Another example is McDonaldfs coffee that is associated with meal.

This coffee seems to be as a function to wake people up rather than coffee itself. However, these standardised cafes have enormous potential for commercial consumption since coffee is set to mass consumption in the business method.

As mentioned above, brewing methods are deeply rooted to its cultural value. Thereby, It is important to note that there is no superiority or inferiority amongst these methods of brewing. Most important thing, perhaps, is to understand and enjoy different types of brewing and tastes. However, one thing certain is that there is correlation between cultural drinking and commercial promotion.

Bibliography

http://www.coffeeuniverse.com/university_hist.html
http://www.coffeeresearch.org/coffee/history.htm
http://www.coffeeresearch.org/coffee/coffeeplant.htm
http://www.fao.org/waicent/faoinfo/economic/ESC/esce/cmr/cmrnotes/CMRcofe.htm
The National Coffee Association of USA
http://www.ncausa.org/public/pages/index.cfm?pageid=38
http://www.coffeeresearch.org/market/consumption.htm
http://www.thecoffeebeanconnection.com/
http://www.monarchmountaincoffee.com/Roasting/roasting.htm
http://coffeetea.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.smellthecoffee.com%2Fthebean%2Fbrewing.shtml
http://members.aol.com/kawfyspill/coffee.htm
http://coffeetea.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?site=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.coffeeresearch.org%2Fcoffee%2Fbrewing.htm

 

 

 



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