What is coffee?

When some of us think of coffee, we picture creamy cappuccinos and punchy little cups of espresso, but what really is coffee?

The word coffee in the English language derived from the Dutch koffie around 1582. The Dutch word koffie came from the Ottoman kahve, and in turn that came from the Arabic word qahwah. The word qahwah refers to wine, a wine used to surpress hunger.

Coffee is a beverage is a dark coloured, bitter drink which is famous for it’s caffeine. It is actually one of the most popular drinks in the world and one of the most highly traded commodities around.

Coffee is made from coffee beans. Coffee beans are seeds of the Coffea plants.

Usually it will either be Coffea Arabica or Coffea Robusta, these are the two most commonly grown coffee types. Coffea plants can be found in over 70 different countries across the world, predominately in the coffee belt.

Coffee farmers pick, process and dry the coffee beans once they have ripened and send them over to coffee roasters.

The coffee beans are then roasted to varying degrees depending on what sort of flavour you are trying to achieve.

At this stage the coffee is brewed, however, there are various potential brewing methods (They all feature ground coffee beans & water):

Espresso machine
Press / Plunge (French press, Aeropress)
Vaccuum (Siphon)
Percolator (Moka pot)
Pour over / drip (Chemex)
Immersion (Cold brew)
Turkish coffee

Depending on which brewing method is used, the resulting coffee will be very different to one another in terms of taste, aroma and body.

Coffee was likely first discovered in the Ethiopian Highlands by goat farmers. Their goats would eat the berries found on the Coffea plants and become hyper-active! The first evidence of coffee being drunk as we drink it today however was in Yemen, and it is believed to date back to the 15th centuary.

Now you have a basic understanding of what coffee is. Throughout the article you will see some words have been linked. These will take you to article explaining certain concepts in further detail.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.