Finland is the country that drinks the most, with 12.5 kg (28 pounds) per person consumed each year.
Photo: Photo Dan Ramirez / Pixabay
Coffee is not only one of the most liked and consumed beverages in the world, it is a treasure that hides quite shocking data Do you know which country drinks the most coffee? Or what are the unexpected health benefits of drinking one cup every day? Or you know what the real color of the coffee beans is and the processes necessary to have a steaming cup every morning. No doubt coffee is one of nature’s greatest gifts and that is why we undertook the task of investigating some curiosities, which make it one of the most authentic and valuable products today.
Many of us tend to think of coffee in its final version, that is, in the fine brown powder that we use at home or in the brown beans that many people are used to grinding previously; however the life of coffee begins as a plant that in turn becomes a fruit. Lhe coffee plant produces small red berries called coffee cherries and the seeds inside are the ones that are roasted and ground, and they are what we call beans. They are characterized by having a peculiarly bitter taste.
There are many countries that are large coffee producers, however the number one is Brazil. In fact, it has positioned itself as the largest producer in the world: producing 51 million 60 kg (132 lb) bags between 2017 and 2018. To put that in perspective and understand more clearly the level of production that Brazil handles: 2 lbs. (1 kg) of beans makes about 120 double espresso.
The higher the coffee is grown, the better. A cool and humid climate means that the cherries ripen gradually and this point is key for complex flavors to develop. Specifically, it is known that depending on the height, the characteristics of the coffee will be: At 1,500 m (5,000 ft) above sea level, the height of Ethiopia’s coffee plants are associated with floral, stone fruit and spicy flavors. At 4,000 feet (1,200 m), like Brazilian coffee, the beans develop notes of nutty and chocolate. Those that grow to 900 meters (3000 feet) tend to be earthy variants with few highlights.
Coffee is one of the oldest beverages and also one of the most valued, in principle because of the production time that it takes from the plant to the cup. Coffee growers can wait two and a half years for their coffee bushes to produce cherries. They also need meticulous care, spending the first six months in shady nurseries. The final step, considered the most laborious, is the collection: lCherries are often hand-picked as the trees grow on steep slopes.
It is undeniable to say that there are thousands of spices of coffee plants in the world, however it is most likely that most belong to some of the two most popular variants which are arabica and robusta. In fact, they are the most used commercially. For obvious reasons, each one is characterized by its own qualities and personality: Arabica is sweeter with higher acidity, as well as complex aromas and flavors. Meanwhile, Robusta is a type of grain with a smaller size, therefore it has a higher caffeine content and an intense and full-bodied flavor. Packets of ground coffee beans usually contain a mixture of the two.
Raw coffee looks completely different than roasted coffee: when the beans are picked, they are green. During roasting, the starches break down into sugars that caramelize, giving the beans a brown color. It is similar to what happens when you toast bread (this chemical reaction is called the Maillard reaction). What’s more, during this process a fragrant oil called cafeol develops, which is responsible for its peculiar and intense aroma.
Beans are best one week after roasting, which is when they are said to be at the perfect time to produce the best coffee. However, sadly the bags we buy in stores and supermarkets may have been there for months. So no matter how serious you take your home brewing, you likely won’t get the freshest and most delicious cup from having old coffee. That is why coffee lovers buy raw beans to roast at home and ensure the highest quality in their coffee. The best of all: all you will need is a cast iron skillet or a popcorn maker.
Yes, you read that right. Coffee peel or cherry tea is an infusion made from the dried skin of coffee cherries. The caffeine content is low compared to a cup of ground coffee and the taste is comparable to a fruit infusion rather than herbal or leaf tea.
Ethiopia is considered the birthplace of coffee. In the Kaffa region, approximately 286 miles (460 km) southwest of the capital Addis Ababa, coffee trees grow spontaneously without human intervention and it is a true spectacle. It is not only one of the most important products in the region, the area’s mountainous forest landscape contains nearly 5,000 wild varieties of the plant.
To many coffee lovers and connoisseurs, its instant variant may seem like a simple modern convenience and is despised by many. However, it is a product with more years of existence than we imagine: It first emerged in the United Kingdom in 1771. Production methods have evolved since then, most notably with one of the first popular commercial instant coffees, such as Washington’s Coffee, which was launched in the US in the early 1900s, and the Nescafé spray, a peculiar version of dehydrated coffee that arrived in 1938. Freeze-dried coffee, found most often on shelves today, has been around since the 1960s.
More than two billion cups are drunk every day And, as it becomes more popular in traditional tea-drinking countries like China, especially among young people, the number could rise even more. A rather curious and impressive fact: a new Starbucks opens in China every 15 hours.
Surprisingly, the country that drinks the most coffee is not its birthplace, Ethiopia or Brazil, where it is grown so prominently. It’s not even the United States with its many attractive coffee shops or Italy, the home of espresso. Finland is the country that drinks the most, with 12.5 kg (28 pounds) per person consumed each year.
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