A cup of coffee
Hot or cold beverage
Country of origin
Approx. 800 AD
Coffee is a brewed beverage prepared from roasted
seeds, commonly called coffee beans, of the coffee plant.
Due to its caffeine content, coffee has a stimulating ef-
fect in humans. Today, coffee is one of the most popular
Coffee was first consumed in the ninth century,
when it was discovered in the highlands of Ethiopia.
From there, it spread to Egypt and Yemen, and by the
15th century, had reached Azerbaijan, Persia, Turkey,
and northern Africa. From the Muslim world, coffee
spread to Italy, then to the rest of Europe, to Indonesia,
and to the Americas.
Coffee berries, which contain the coffee bean, are
produced by several species of small evergreen bush of
the genus Coffea. The two most commonly grown species
are Coffea canephora (also known as Coffea robusta) and
Coffea arabica; less popular species are Liberica, Excelsa,
Stenophylla, Mauritiana, Racemosa. These are cultivated
in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Once ripe,
coffee berries are picked, processed, and dried. The
seeds are then roasted, undergoing several physical and
chemical changes. They are roasted to varying degrees,
depending on the desired flavor. They are then ground
and brewed to create coffee. Coffee can be prepared and
presented in a variety of ways.
Coffee has played an important role in many societ-
ies throughout history. In Africa and Yemen, it was used
in religious ceremonies. As a result, the Ethiopian
Church banned its secular consumption until the reign
of Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia. It was banned in Ot-
toman Turkey in the 17th century for political reas-
ons, and was associated with rebellious political activ-
ities in Europe.
Coffee is an important export commodity. In 2004,
coffee was the top agricultural export for 12 countries,
and in 2005, it was the world’s seventh-largest legal agri-
cultural export by value.