Coffee powder and cocoa solids


Coffee is a brewedbeverage with a dark, acidic flavor prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant, colloquially called coffee beans. The beans are found in coffee cherries, which grow on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia, South Asia and Africa. Green (unroasted) coffee is one of the most traded agricultural commodities in the world.[1] Coffee can have a stimulating effect on humans due to its caffeine content. It is one of the most-consumed beverages in the world.[2]

Roasted coffee beans. Author: Photographer Robert Knapp

Roasted coffee beans

Coffee has played a crucial role in many societies. The energizing effect of the coffee bean plant is thought to have been discovered in the northeast region of Ethiopia, and the cultivation of coffee first expanded in the Arab world.[3] The earliest credible evidence of coffee drinking appears in the middle of the 15th century, in the Sufi shrines of Yemen in southern Arabia.[3] From the Muslim world, coffee spread to India,[4] Italy, then to the rest of Europe, to Indonesia, and to the Americas.[5] In East Africa and Yemen, it was used in religious ceremonies. As a result, the Ethiopian Church banned its secular consumption, a ban in effect until the reign of Emperor Menelik II of Ethiopia.[6] It was banned in Ottoman Turkey during the 17th century for political reasons,[7] and was associated with rebellious political activities in Europe.

Coffee berries, which contain the coffee seeds or "beans", are produced by several species of small evergreen bush of the genusCoffea. The two most commonly grown are the highly regarded Coffea arabica, and the 'robusta' form of the hardier Coffea canephora. The latter is resistant to the devastating coffee leaf rust (Hemileia vastatrix). Once ripe, coffee berries are picked, processed, and dried. The seeds are then 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.

An important export commodity, coffee was the top agricultural export for twelve countries in 2004,[8] and it was the world's seventh-largest legal agricultural export by value in 2005.[9] Some controversy is associated with coffee cultivation and its impact on the environment. Many studies have examined the relationship between coffee consumption and certain health conditions; whether the overall effects of coffee are ultimately positive or negative has been widely disputed.[10] The method of brewing coffee has been found to be important to its health effects.[11]


The first reference to "coffee" in the English language, in the form chaoua, dates to 1598. In English and other European languages, coffee derives from the Ottoman Turkishkahve, via the Italian caffè. The Turkish word in turn was borrowed from the Arabic: قهوة‎, qahwah. Arablexicographers maintain that qahwah originally referred to a type of wine, and gave its etymology, in turn, to the verb قهاqaha, signifying "to have no appetite",[12][13] since this beverage was thought to dull one's hunger. Several alternative etymologies exist that hold that the Arab form may disguise a loanword from an Ethiopian or African source, suggesting Kaffa, the highland in southwestern Ethiopia as one, since the plant is indigenous to that area.[13][14] However, the term used in that region for the berry and plant is bunn, the native name in Shoa being būn.'[13]


Main articles: Coffea and coffee varieties

Several species of shrub of the genus Coffea produce the berries from which coffee is extracted. The two main species commercially cultivated are Coffea canephora (predominantly a form known as 'robusta') and C. arabica.[15]C. arabica, the most highly regarded species, is native to the southwestern highlands of Ethiopia and the Boma Plateau in southeastern Sudan and possibly Mount Marsabit in northern Kenya.[16]C. canephora is native to western and central subsaharan Africa, from Guinea to the Uganda and southern Sudan.[17] Less popular species are C. liberica, excelsa, stenophylla, mauritiana, and racemosa.

Illustration of Coffea arabica plant and seeds. Author: Franz Eugen Köhler
Illustration of Coffea arabica plant and seeds

All coffee plants are classified in the large family Rubiaceae. They are evergreen shrubs or small trees that may grow 5 m (15 ft) tall when unpruned. The leaves are dark green and glossy, usually 10–15 cm (4–6 in) long and 6 cm (2.4 in) wide. The flowers are axillary, and clusters of fragrant white flowers bloom simultaneously and are followed by oval berries of about 1.5 cm (0.6 in).[18] Green when immature, they ripen to yellow, then crimson, before turning black on drying. Each berry usually contains two seeds, but 5–10% of the berries[19] have only one; these are called peaberries.[20] Berries ripen in seven to nine months.

Coffea arabica is predominantly self-pollinating, and as a result the seedlings are generally uniform and vary little from their parents. In contrast, Coffea canephora, C. excelsa, and C. liberica are self-incompatible and require outcrossing. This means that useful forms and hybrids must be propagated vegetatively.[21] Cuttings, grafting, and budding are the usual methods of vegetative propagation.[22] On the other hand, there is great scope for experimentation in search of potential new strains.[21]


The traditional method of planting coffee is to put 20 seeds in each hole at the beginning of the rainy season; half are eliminated naturally. A more effective method of growing coffee, used in Brazil, is to raise seedlings in nurseries that are then planted outside at six to twelve months. Coffee is often intercropped with food crops, such as corn, beans, or rice during the first few years of cultivation.[18]

Map showing areas of coffee cultivation: r:Coffea canephora m:Coffea canephora and Coffea arabica a:Coffea arabica. Author: Pixeltoo, Modificated by RexxS

Map showing areas of coffee cultivation:
r:Coffea canephora
m:Coffea canephora and Coffea arabica
a:Coffea arabica

Of the two main species grown, arabica coffee (from C. arabica) is generally more highly regarded than robusta coffee (from C. canephora); robusta tends to be bitter and have less flavor but better body than arabica. For these reasons, about three-quarters of coffee cultivated worldwide is C. arabica.[15] Robusta strains also contain about 40–50% more caffeine than arabica.[23] For this reason, it is used as an inexpensive substitute for arabica in many commercial coffee blends. Good quality robusta beans are used in some espresso blends to provide a full-bodied taste, a better foam head (known as crema), and to lower the ingredient cost.[24]

However, Coffea canephora is less susceptible to disease than C. arabica and can be cultivated in lower altitudes and warmer climates where C. arabica will not thrive. The robusta strain was first collected in 1890 from the Lomani River, a tributary of the Congo River, and was conveyed from Zaire to Brussels to Java around 1900. From Java, further breeding resulted in the establishment of robusta plantations in many countries.[25] In particular, the spread of the devastating coffee leaf rust (Hemileia vastatrix), to which C. arabica is vulnerable, hastened the uptake of the resistant robusta. Coffee leaf rust is found in virtually all countries that produce coffee.[26]

Unripe Coffee Pods in Araku Valley, India. Author: Amartyabag

Unripe Coffee Pods in Araku Valley, India

Over 900 species of insect have been recorded as pests of coffee crops worldwide. Of these, over a third are beetles, and over a quarter are bugs. Some 20 species of nematodes, 9 species of mites, several snails and slugs also attack the crop. Birds and rodents sometimes eat coffee berries but their impact is minor compared to invertebrates.[27] In general, arabica is the more sensitive species to invertebrate predation overall. Each part of the coffee plant is assailed by different animals. Nematodes attack the roots, and borer beetles burrow into stems and woody material,[28] the foliage is attacked by over 100 species of larvae (caterpillars) of butterflies and moths.[29]

Mass spraying of insecticides has often proven disastrous, as the predators of the pests are more sensitive than the pests themselves.[30] Instead, integrated pest management has developed, using techniques such as targeted treatment of pest outbreaks, and managing crop environment away from conditions favouring pests. Branches infested with scale are often cut and left on the ground, which promotes scale parasites to not only attack the scale on the fallen branches but in the plant as well.[31]

World production

In 2009 Brazil was the world leader in production of green coffee, followed by Vietnam, Indonesia and Colombia.[34] Arabica coffee beans are cultivated in Latin America, eastern Africa, Arabia, or Asia. Robusta coffee beans are grown in western and central Africa, throughout southeast Asia, and to some extent in Brazil.[15]

Beans from different countries or regions can usually be distinguished by differences in flavor, aroma, body, and acidity.[35] These taste characteristics are dependent not only on the coffee's growing region, but also on genetic subspecies (varietals) and processing.[36] Varietals are generally known by the region in which they are grown, such as Colombian, Java and Kona.

2007 Top twenty green coffee producers
RankCountryTonnes[32]Bags (thousands)[33]
1 Brazil2,249,01036,070
2 Vietnam961,20016,467
3 Colombia697,37712,504
4 Indonesia676,4757,751
5 Honduras[note 1]355,0005,200
6 Ethiopia[note 1]325,8004,906
7 India288,0004,148
8 Mexico268,5654,150
9 Guatemala[note 1]252,0004,100
10 Peru225,9922,953
11 Côte d'Ivoire170,8492,150
12 Uganda168,0003,250
13 Costa Rica124,0551,791
14 Philippines97,877431
15 El Salvador95,4561,626
16 Nicaragua90,9091,700
17 Papua New Guinea[note 1]75,400968
18 Venezuela70,311897
19 Madagascar[note 2]62,000604
20 Thailand55,660653
  World[note 3]7,742,675117,319

Ecological effects

Originally, coffee farming was done in the shade of trees that provided a habitat for many animals and insects.[37] Remnant forest trees were used for this purpose, but many species have been planted as well. These include leguminous trees of the genera Acacia, Albizia, Cassia, Erythrina, Gliricidia, Inga, and Leucaena, as well as the nitrogen-fixing non-legume sheoaks of the genus Casuarina, and the silky oak Grevillea robusta.[38]

This method is commonly referred to as the traditional shaded method, or "shade-grown". Starting in the 1970s, many farmers switched their production method to sun cultivation, in which coffee is grown in rows under full sun with little or no forest canopy. This causes berries to ripen more rapidly and bushes to produce higher yields, but requires the clearing of trees and increased use of fertilizer and pesticides, which damage the environment and cause health problems.[39]

Ultimately, unshaded coffee enhanced by fertilizer use yields the highest amounts of coffee, although unfertilized shaded crops generally yield higher than unfertilized unshaded crops—namely the response to fertilizer is much greater in full sun.[40] Although traditional coffee production causes berries to ripen more slowly and produce lower yields, the quality of the coffee is allegedly superior.[41] In addition, the traditional shaded method provides living space for many wildlife species. Proponents of shade cultivation say environmental problems such as deforestation, pesticide pollution, habitat destruction, and soil and water degradation are the side effects of the practices employed in sun cultivation.[37]

The American Birding Association, Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center,[42]National Arbor Day Foundation,[43] and the Rainforest Alliance have led a campaign for "shade-grown" and organic coffees, which can be sustainably harvested.[44] Shaded coffee cultivation systems show greater biodiversity than full-sun systems, and those more distant from continuous forest compare rather poorly to undisturbed native forest in terms of habitat value for some bird species.[45][46]

Another issue concerning coffee is its use of water. According to New Scientist, using industrial farming practices, it takes about 140 liters (37 U.S. gal) of water to grow the coffee beans needed to produce one cup of coffee, and the coffee is often grown in countries where there is a water shortage, such as Ethiopia.[47] By using sustainable agriculture methods, the amount of water usage can be dramatically reduced, while retaining comparable yields. For comparison, the United States Geological Survey reports that one egg requires an input of 454 liters (120 U.S. gal) of water; one serving of milk requires an input of 246 liters (65 U.S. gal) of water; one serving of rice requires an input of 132 liters (35 U.S. gal) of water; and one glass of wine requires an input of 120 liters (32 U.S. gal) of water.[48]

Coffee grounds may be used for composting or as a mulch. They are especially appreciated by worms and acid-loving plants such as blueberries.[49] Some commercial coffee shops run initiatives to make better use of these grounds, including Starbucks' "Grounds for your Garden" project,[50] and community sponsored initiatives such as "Ground to Ground".[51]

Starbucks sustainability chief Jim Hanna has warned that Climate change may eliminate coffee production within a few decades.[52]



See also: Coffee processing

Coffee berries and their seeds undergo several processes before they become the familiar roasted coffee. Berries have been traditionally selectively picked by hand; a labor intensive method, it involves the selection of only the berries at the peak of ripeness. More commonly, crops are strip picked, where all berries are harvested simultaneously regardless of ripeness by person or machine. After picking, green coffee is processed by one of two methods—the dry process method, simpler and less labor intensive as the berries can be strip picked, and the wet process method, which incorporates fermentation into the process and yields a mild coffee.[53]

Then they are sorted by ripeness and color and the flesh of the berry is removed, usually by machine, and the seeds—usually called beans—are fermented to remove the slimy layer of mucilage still present on the bean. When the fermentation is finished, the beans are washed with large quantities of fresh water to remove the fermentation residue, which generates massive amounts of coffee wastewater. Finally, the seeds are dried. The best (but least used) method of drying coffee is using drying tables. In this method, the pulped and fermented coffee is spread thinly on raised beds, which allows the air to pass on all sides of the coffee, and then the coffee is mixed by hand. In this method the drying that takes place is more uniform, and fermentation is less likely. Most African coffee is dried in this manner and certain coffee farms around the world are starting to use this traditional method. Next, the coffee is sorted, and labeled as green coffee. Another way to let the coffee beans dry is to let them sit on a concrete patio and rake over them in the sunlight. Some companies use cylinders to pump in heated air to dry the coffee beans, though this is generally in places where the humidity is very high.[54]

Some coffee undergoes a peculiar process, such as kopi luwak. It is made from the beans of coffee berries which have been eaten by the Asian Palm Civet and other related civets, passing through its digestive tract. This process resulted in coffee beans with much less bitterness, widely noted as the most expensive coffee in the world with prices reaching $160 per pound.[55]


See also: Coffee roasting

The next step in the process is the roasting of the green coffee. Coffee is usually sold in a roasted state, and with rare exceptions all coffee is roasted before it is consumed. It can be sold roasted by the supplier, or it can be home roasted.[56] The roasting process influences the taste of the beverage by changing the coffee bean both physically and chemically. The bean decreases in weight as moisture is lost and increases in volume, causing it to become less dense. The density of the bean also influences the strength of the coffee and requirements for packaging.

The actual roasting begins when the temperature inside the bean reaches approximately 200 °C(392 °F), though different varieties of beans differ in moisture and density and therefore roast at different rates.[57] During roasting, caramelization occurs as intense heat breaks down starches in the bean, changing them to simple sugars that begin to brown, changing the color of the bean.[58] Sucrose is rapidly lost during the roasting process and may disappear entirely in darker roasts. During roasting, aromatic oils and acids weaken, changing the flavor; at 205 °C(401 °F), other oils start to develop.[57] One of these oils is caffeol, created at about 200 °C(392 °F), which is largely responsible for coffee's aroma and flavor.[59]

Grading the roasted beans

Depending on the color of the roasted beans as perceived by the human eye, they will be labeled as light, medium light, medium, medium dark, dark, or very dark. A more accurate method of discerning the degree of roast involves measuring the reflected light from roasted beans illuminated with a light source in the near infrared spectrum. This elaborate light meter uses a process known as spectroscopy to return a number that consistently indicates the roasted coffee's relative degree of roast or flavor development.

Roast characteristics

The degree of roast has an effect upon coffee flavor and body. Darker roasts are generally bolder because they have less fiber content and a more sugary flavor. Lighter roasts have a more complex and therefore perceived stronger flavor from aromatic oils and acids otherwise destroyed by longer roasting times.[60] A small amount of chaff is produced during roasting from the skin left on the bean after processing.[61] Chaff is usually removed from the beans by air movement, though a small amount is added to dark roast coffees to soak up oils on the beans.[57]


Decaffeination may also be part of the processing that coffee seeds undergo. Seeds are decaffeinated when they are still green. Many methods can remove caffeine from coffee, but all involve either soaking the green beans in hot water (often called the "Swiss water" process)[62] or steaming them, then using a solvent to dissolve caffeine-containing oils.[59] Decaffeination is often done by processing companies, and the extracted caffeine is usually sold to the pharmaceutical industry.[59]


Once roasted, coffee beans must be stored properly to preserve the fresh taste of the bean. Ideally, the container must be airtight and kept in a cool, dry and dark place. In order of importance: air, moisture, heat, and light are the environmental factors[63] responsible for deteriorating flavor in coffee beans.

Folded-over bags, a common way consumers often purchase coffee, are generally not ideal for long-term storage because they allow air to enter. A better package contains a one-way valve, which prevents air from entering.[63]

In 1931, a method of vacuum packed cans of coffee was introduced, in which the roasted coffee was packed, ninety-nine percent of the air was removed and the coffee in the can could be stored indefinitely until the can was opened. Today this method is in mass use for coffee in a large part of the world.[64]


See also: Coffee preparation

Coffee beans must be ground and brewed to create a beverage. The criteria for choosing a method include flavor and economy. Almost all methods of preparing coffee require the beans to be ground and mixed with hot water long enough to extract the flavor, but without overextraction that draws out unnecessary bitter compounds. The spent grounds are removed and the liquid is consumed. There are many variations in the fineness of grind, the ways in which the water extracts the flavor, additional flavorings (sugar, milk, spices), and spent ground separation techniques. The ideal holding temperature is 79 to 85 °C (174 to 185 °F) and the ideal serving temperature is 68 to 79 °C (154 to 174 °F).

Espresso brewing, showing desirable dark reddish-brown crema. Author: Coffeegeek

Espresso brewing, showing desirable dark reddish-brown crema

The roasted coffee beans may be ground at a roastery, in a grocery store, or in the home. Most coffee is roasted and ground at a roastery and sold in packaged form, though roasted coffee beans can be ground at home immediately before consumption. It is also possible, though uncommon, to roast raw beans at home.

Coffee beans may be ground in several ways. A burr mill uses revolving elements to shear the bean; an electric grinder smashes the beans with blunt blades moving at high speed; and a mortar and pestle crushes the beans. For most brewing methods, a burr mill is deemed superior because the grind is more even and the grind size can be adjusted.

The type of grind is often named after the brewing method for which it is generally used. Turkish grind is the finest grind, while coffee percolator or French press are the coarsest grinds. The most common grinds are between the extremes; a medium grind is used in most common home coffee-brewing machines.[65]

Coffee may be brewed by several methods: boiled, steeped, or pressurized.

Brewing coffee by boiling was the earliest method, and Turkish coffee is an example of this method.[66] It is prepared by grinding or pounding the beans to a fine powder, then adding it to water and bringing it to the boil for no more than an instant in a pot called a cezve or, in Greek, a bríki. This produces a strong coffee with a layer of foam on the surface and sediment (which is not meant for drinking) settling on the bottom of the cup.[66]

Coffee percolators and automatic coffeemakers brew coffee using gravity. In an automatic coffeemaker hot water drips onto coffee grounds held in a coffee filter made of paper, plastic, or perforated metal, allowing the water to seep through the ground coffee while extracting its oils and essences. The liquid drips through the coffee and the filter into a carafe or pot, and the spent grounds are retained in the filter.[67] In a percolator, boiling water is forced into a chamber above a filter by steam pressure created by boiling. The water then seeps through the grounds, and the process is repeated until terminated by removing from the heat, by an internal timer,[67] or by a thermostat that turns off the heater when the entire pot reaches a certain temperature. Coffee may be brewed by steeping in a device such as a French press (also known as a cafetière or coffee press). Ground coffee and hot water are combined in a cylindrical vessel and left to brew for a few minutes. A circular filter which fits tightly in the cylinder fixed to a plunger is then pushed down from the top to force the grounds to the bottom. Because the coffee grounds are in direct contact with the water, all the coffee oils remain in the beverage, making it stronger and leaving more sediment than in coffee made by an automatic coffee machine.[68] The coffee is poured from the container; the filter retains the grounds at the bottom. 95% of the caffeine is released from the coffee beans within the first minute of brewing.

The espresso method forces hot pressurized and vaporized water through ground coffee. As a result of brewing under high pressure (ideally between 9–10 atm), the espresso beverage is more concentrated (as much as 10 to 15 times the quantity of coffee to water as gravity-brewing methods can produce) and has a more complex physical and chemical constitution.[69] A well-prepared espresso has a reddish-brown foam called crema that floats on the surface.[65] Other pressurized water methods include the moka pot and vacuum coffee maker.

Coffee may also be brewed in cold water, resulting in a brew lower in acidity than most hot-brewing methods produce, by steeping the coarsely ground beans in cold water for several hours, then filtering them.[70]


See also: List of coffee beverages

Once brewed, coffee may be presented in a variety of ways. Drip-brewed, percolated, or French-pressed/cafetière coffee may be served with a dairy product such as milk or cream, or dairy substitute (colloquially known as white coffee), or not (black coffee). It may be sweetened with sugar or artificial sweetener. When served cold, it is called iced coffee.

Espresso-based coffee has a wide variety of possible presentations. In its most basic form, espresso is served alone as a shot or with hot water added, known as Caffè Americano. Reversely, long black is made by pouring espresso in water, which retains the crema compared to Caffè Americano.[71] Milk is added in various forms to espresso: steamed milk makes a caffè latte,[72] equal parts steamed milk and milk froth make a cappuccino,[71] and a dollop of hot foamed milk on top creates a caffè macchiato.[73] The use of steamed milk to form patterns such as hearts or maple leaves is referred to as latte art.

Coffee can also be incorporated with alcohol in beverages—it is combined with whiskey in Irish coffee, and forms the base of alcoholic coffee liqueurs such as Kahlúa, and Tia Maria.

Instant coffee

Main article: Instant coffee

A number of products are sold for the convenience of consumers who do not want to prepare their own coffee.

Instant coffee is dried into soluble powder or freeze-dried into granules that can be quickly dissolved in hot water.[74] Originally invented in 1907,[75] it rapidly gained in popularity in many countries in the post-war period, with Nescafé the most popular product.[76] Many consumers determined that the convenience in preparing a cup of instant coffee more than made up for a perceived inferior taste.[77] Paralleling (and complementing) the rapid rise of instant coffee was the coffee vending machine, invented in 1947 and multiplying rapidly through the 1950s.[78]

Canned coffee has been popular in Asian countries for many years, particularly in China, Japan, and South Korea. Vending machines typically sell varieties of flavored canned coffee, much like brewed or percolated coffee, available both hot and cold. Japanese convenience stores and groceries also have a wide availability of bottled coffee drinks, which are typically lightly sweetened and pre-blended with milk. Bottled coffee drinks are also consumed in the United States.[79] Liquid coffee concentrates are sometimes used in large institutional situations where coffee needs to be produced for thousands of people at the same time. It is described as having a flavor about as good as low-grade robusta coffee, and costs about 10¢ a cup to produce. The machines used can process up to 500 cups an hour, or 1,000 if the water is preheated.[80]

Sale and distribution

Main articles: Economics of coffee and List of countries by coffee consumption per capita

Coffee ingestion on average is about a third of that of tap water in North America and Europe.[2] Behind petroleum, coffee is the second most traded product in the world. Worldwide, 6.7 million metric tons of coffee were produced annually in 1998–2000, and the forecast is a rise to seven million metric tons annually by 2010.[81]

Brazilian coffee sacks. Author: Dornicke

Brazilian coffee sacks.

Brazil remains the largest coffee exporting nation, but Vietnam tripled its exports between 1995 and 1999, and became a major producer of robusta beans.[82]Indonesia is the third-largest exporter and the largest producer of washed arabica coffee.

While coffee is not technically a commodity (it is fresh produce; its value is directly affected by the length of time it is held), coffee is bought and sold by roasters, investors and price speculators as a tradable commodity. Coffee futures contracts for Grade 3 washed arabicas are traded on the New York Mercantile Exchange under ticker symbol KC, with contract deliveries occurring every year in March, May, July, September, and December.[83] Higher and lower grade arabica coffees are sold through other channels. Futures contracts for robusta coffee are traded on the London Liffe exchange and, since 2007, on the New York ICE exchange. Coffee has been described by many, including historian Mark Pendergrast, as the world's "second most legally traded commodity."[84] However, this claim has been recently refuted by Pendergrast among others after further research.[85]

Fair trade

Main article: Fair trade coffee

The concept of fair trade labeling, which guarantees coffee growers a negotiated preharvest price, began with the Max Havelaar Foundation's labeling program in the Netherlands. In 2004, 24,222 metric tons (of 7,050,000 produced worldwide) were fair trade; in 2005, 33,991 metric tons out of 6,685,000 were fair trade, an increase from 0.34% to 0.51%.[86][87] A number of fair trade impact studies have shown that fair trade coffee has a positive impact on the communities that grow it. Coffee was incorporated into the fair-trade movement in 1988, when the Max Havelaar mark was introduced in the Netherlands. The very first fair-trade coffee was an effort to import a Guatemalan coffee into Europe as "Indio Solidarity Coffee".[88]

Since the founding of organisations such as the European Fair Trade Association (1987), the production and consumption of fair trade coffee has grown as some local and national coffee chains started to offer fair trade alternatives.[89][90] For example, in April 2000, after a year-long campaign by the human rights organization Global Exchange, Starbucks decided to carry fair-trade coffee in its stores.[91] Since September 2009 all Starbucks Espresso beverages in UK and Ireland are made with Fairtrade and Shared Planet certified coffee.[92] A 2005 study done in Belgium concluded that consumers' buying behavior is not consistent with their positive attitude toward ethical products. On average 46% of European consumers claimed to be willing to pay substantially more for ethical products, including fair-trade products such as coffee.[91] The study found that the majority of respondents were unwilling to pay the actual price premium of 27% for fair trade coffee.[91]

See also

  1. ^ abcd Unofficial/semiofficial/mirror data
  2. ^ FAO estimate
  3. ^ Aggregate (may include official, semiofficial, or estimates)

  1. ^Pendergrast, Mark (April 2009). "Coffee second only to oil?". Tea & Coffee Trade Journal. Retrieved December 29, 2009.
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  3. ^ abcdefWeinberg & Bealer 2001, pp. 3–4
  4. ^ ab"Budan Beans :: The Story of Baba Budan".
  5. ^ abcMeyers, Hannah (March 7, 2005). "Suave Molecules of Mocha—Coffee, Chemistry, and Civilization". New Partisan. New Partisan. Retrieved February 3, 2007.
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  9. ^"FAOSTAT Core Trade Data (commodities/years)". FAO Statistics Division. 2007. Archived from the original on October 14, 2007. Retrieved October 24, 2007. To retrieve export values: Select the "commodities/years" tab. Under "subject", select "Export value of primary commodity." Under "country," select "World." Under "commodity," hold down the shift key while selecting all commodities under the "single commodity" category. Select the desired year and click "show data." A list of all commodities and their export values will be displayed.
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  11. ^ abCornelis, MC; El-Sohemy, A (2007). "Coffee, caffeine, and coronary heart disease". Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care10 (6): 745–51. doi:10.1097/MCO.0b013e3282f05d81. PMID 18089957.
  12. ^"قها". الباحث العربي. Retrieved 25 September 2011.(Arabic)
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  15. ^ abc"Botanical Aspects". London: International Coffee Organization. Retrieved January 4, 2010.
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  22. ^ Wilson, K. C. in Clifford & Wilson, pp. 161–62.
  23. ^Belachew, Mekete (2003). "Coffee". In Uhlig, Siegbert. Encyclopaedia Aethiopica. 1. Weissbaden: Horrowitz. p. 763.
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  25. ^ van der Vossen, H. A. M. in Clifford & Wilson, p. 55
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  36. ^Castle, Timothy James (1991). The Perfect Cup: A Coffee Lover's Guide to Buying, Brewing, and Tasting. Reading, Mass.: Aris Books. p. 158. ISBN 0201570483.
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  40. ^ Wilson, K. C. in Clifford & Wilson, p. 165.
  41. ^"Measuring Consumer Interest in Mexican Shade-grown Coffee". Montréal: Commission for Environmental Cooperation. October 1999. p. 5. Retrieved 18 January 2010.
  42. ^"Shade-Grown Coffee Plantations". Smithsonian Zoolongical Park website – Migratory Bird Center. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved January 8, 2010.
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  46. ^Rickert, Eve (December 15, 2005). Environmental effects of the coffee crisis: a case study of land use and avian communities in Agua Buena, Costa Rica. MES thesis. The Evergreen State College. Retrieved January 11, 2010.
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Cocoa solids

Cocoa solids are the low-fat component of chocolate. When sold as an end product, it may also be called cocoa powder, cocoa, and cacao. In contrast, the fatty component of chocolate is cocoa butter. Cocoa butter makes up for 50% to 57% of the weight of cocoa beans and gives chocolate its characteristic melting properties.[1]Cocoa liquor is the melted combination of cocoa butter and cocoa solids. Cocoa solids are obtained by extraction from the cocoa bean.

A bowl of cocoa powder. Author: blair

A bowl of cocoa powder


Cocoa powder is extracted from roasted, cleaned, deshelled cocoa beans and grinded into a paste, called chocolate liquor. Pressing and milling the pressed chocolate liquor separates the cocoa powder from the fat.[2] This may be accomplished by a press, or by the Broma process. The resulting cocoa powder can be further processed with a hydroxide or carbonate of sodium of potassium.[3] Natural process cocoa powder (not processed) has a tart, bitter taste and is light in color. Processed cocoa powders are deeper in color and richer in flavour. Alkalization reduces the sour, bitter properties of natural cocoa powder improving the taste. Alkalization can also alter the solubility of the cocoa powder.[4]Dutch process chocolate has been treated so as to neutralize the acidity and has a milder flavor; it is also the traditional chocolate brown in color.[5]

Physical Properties

Cocoa solids can range from a light brown to a deep reddish brown color. The varying color corresponds to the pH value of the Cocoa. Safe, acceptable pH for cocoa ranges from 5.4 to 8.1 depending on how processed the cocoa powder is. Cocoa with a pH of 5.4-5.8 are considered natural powders and have a light brown color. Lightly alkalized cocoa solids have a pH of 6.8-7.2 and are a darker brown color. Moderately alkalized cocoa solids have a pH of 7.2-7.5 and have a deep reddish brown color, and heavily alkalized powders with a pH of 7.5-8.1 have dark red and black colors.[6]


Cocoa powder contains several minerals including calcium, copper, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc. All of these minerals are found in greater quantities in cocoa powder than either cocoa butter or cocoa liquor.[7] Cocoa solids also contain 230mg of caffeine and 2057mg of theobromine per 100g, which are mostly absent from the other components of the cocoa bean.[8]


Cocoa powder is rich in flavonoids, a type of polyphenolic. The amount of flavonoids depends on the amount of processing and manufacturing the cocoa powder undergoes, but cocoa powder can contain up to 10% its weight in flavonoids.[7] Flavanols are one of six compounds futher classified as flavenoids. Flavanols, which are also found in fruits and vegetables, are linked to certain health benefits linked to coronary heart disease and stroke. The topic of how flavanols benefit cardiovascular health is still under debate. It has been suggested that the flavanols may take part in mechanisms such as nitric oxide and antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antiplatelet effects.[9] Benefiting these mechanisms may improve endothelial function, lipid levels, blood pressure and insulin resistance.[9]

Accordingly, health professionals recommend consuming chocolate in forms that are high in cocoa solids while low in cocoa butter, such as hot cocoa.[10]

See also
  1. ^Steinberg, F.M.; Bearden, M.N., Keen, C.L. (February 2003). "Cocoa and chocolate flavonoids: Implications for cardiovascular health". Journal of the American Dietetic Association103 (2): 215–223. Retrieved November 9, 2011.
  2. ^Kattenberg, H.R. (1987). U.S. Patent No.4704292. Washington, D.C: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  3. ^Kattenberg, H.R. (1987). U.S. Patent No.4704292. Washington, D.C: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  4. ^"Understanding Chocolate". Retrieved November 9, 2011.
  5. ^ "Marble Cake", Food Network
  6. ^"Understanding Chocolate". Retrieved November 9, 2011.
  7. ^ abSteinberg, F.M.; Bearden, M.M., Keen, C.L. (February 2003). Cocoa and chocolate flavonoids: Implications for cardiovascular health. 103. pp. 215–223. Retrieved November 9, 2011.
  8. ^"USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 24, (2011)".
  9. ^ abCorti, R.; Flammer, A.J., Hollenberg, N.K. (2009). "Cocoa and Cardiovascular Health". Circulation. Contemporary Reviews in Cardiovascular Medicine 119: 1433–1441. doi:10.1161/​CIRCULATIONAHA.108.827022. Retrieved November 9, 2011.
  10. ^"Hot Cocoa Tops Red Wine And Tea In Antioxidants; May Be Healthier Choice", Science Daily, November 6, 2003.

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