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Friday, April 30, 2010

coffee facts

  1. coffee is the seed if a cherry from a tree, which grows from sea level to approximately 6,000 feet, in a narrow sub-tropical belt around the world (from “a brief history of coffee, pg.1) – coffee trees grow in the equatorial band between the tropics of cancer and Capricorn, the fruit of the coffee tree is referred to as a coffee cherry (from S’bux SCI Coffee n’ Tea Manual. pg.1.2).
  2. the coffee tree is a relative of the “gardenia”, an evergreen shrub commonly found in the gardens and classified in “Rubiacee” family by Linnaeus which also give the name “coffea” to this plant.
  3. coffee trees are an evergreen and grow to heights of 20 feet. to simplify harvesting the trees are pruned from 8 to 10 feet.
  4. coffee trees blossom a flower generally once a year.
  5. the coffee plants first produce delicate clusters of white blossoms, resembling jasmine in shape and scent. these blossoms last only a few days. small green coffee cherries then begin to appear and ripen to yellow – red – and finally almost black as a fully matured, ripe coffee cherry. the process from flowering to harvesting takes approximately 9 months.
  6. while most coffee tree have the potential to grow between 9-12 meters (30-40 feet) tall, they are often kept shorter around 1,22 – 1,83 meters (4-6 feet). this way encourages higher yields and ease of harvest.
  7. coffee cherries ripen at different times, so they are predominantly picked by hand.
  8. it takes approximately 2.000 arabica cherries to produce just 1 pound roasted coffee. since each cherry contains only 2 beans inside so a 1 pound of coffee is derived from 4.000 coffee beans.
  9. the averages coffee tree only produce one to two pounds of roasted coffee/year, and takes 4 to 5 years to produce its first crop.
  10. the average coffee tree produces enough cherries each season to produce 450-680gr (around 1 to 1.5 pounds) of roasted coffee.
  11. about 2.27 kg (5 pounds) of coffee cherries are required to produce 450gr (1 pound) of green coffee.

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