The World’s Favorite Cup
Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world. Many people think it has a great taste and a wonderful smell. Coffee also containscaffeine, which is a stimulant—that is, a substance that increases the body’s activity.
Coffee grows as a bush with sweet-smelling flowers and fleshy fruit called “coffee cherries.”Within the fruit are two seeds, or “beans.” The beans are dried, roasted, and ground. The ground coffee is then brewed in water to make a drink. Coffee plants need warm weather and plenty of rain, so they grow only in tropical regions. There are at least 60 types of coffee plants. But only two kinds, called Arabica and Robusta, are in great demand.
Arabica coffee has more flavor and fragrance. It is grown in Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Indonesia. Coffee from Colombia is especially well known. Robusta coffee is grown mainly in Africa. The Robusta plant does not pick up disease easily. It is also useful in making instant coffee. Instant coffee is coffee powder that dissolves completely in water.
Coffee probably first came from Ethiopia, in northeastern Africa. From there it was taken to the Middle East. At first it was used as a food, as a medicine, and in wines. People did not begin to drink coffee as we know it for hundreds of years. Coffee was taken to Europe and then the Americas starting in about the 1500s.
Today coffee is one of the world’s most popular drinks. Rest periods taken during working hours are often called “coffee breaks.” Many, many people begin each day by drinking a cup of coffee.