What is Coffee Berry

Did you know where from that aromatic morning cuppa reaches your table in the mornings? Coffee is relished and cherished throughout the world as one of the favorite morning drinks. It is equally enjoyed by men and women, young and old, rich and poor and is one of the most popular morning beverages known to mankind after tea. Its stimulating and alleviating properties coupled with aroma and flavor take it to the top of the charts in popularity.

Coffee is derived by drying, roasting, grinding and processing coffee berry pods and is grown extensively in plantations across the world. The berry grows on the branches of the coffee shrubs alongside the lush green leaves. The hard pit inside the fruit is the coffee bean and hence the fruit is also called a stone fruit (a fruit with a pulp outside surrounding a stone) just like a cherry, plum or a peach.

The red cherries (could be purple, yellow, pink or orange, depending on the variety of the coffee plant ) are the coffee fruit or the coffee berry .The young fruit are small and green and turn a deep red or purple as they ripen .They are sweet to taste and crunchy in texture.

History of coffee berry.

The origin of coffee berry dates to the 10th century in Ethiopia. Earliest mention of the fruit infused drink is seen in the Persian manuscripts. By the 15th century coffee berry made its way to Arabia, Persia, Egypt Syria and Turkey.

By the beginning of the 17th and 18th century coffee made its way to Europe and with subsequent colonialization coffee berry made its way into India, Indonesia and other colonies of Dutch.

Coffee berry plants are grown across the globe in the coffee belt which are regions alongside the Equator in Americas, Asia, Africa with Brazil, Colombia, Indonesia and Ethiopia being the major exporter of this beverage. United Stated of America was among the last few countries to start consuming coffee as it reached the USA only by 16th Century via Europe.

Coffee berry harvesting:

Most popular commercially grown verities of this super food are the Arabica and the Robusta variety. Coffee berry is harvested only during few months each year .The Arabica variety can be harvested from November to January while the Robusta should be harvested from December to April .The cherries are immediately transported to the coffee plants or juicing plants for further process ,storage and export .

Uses and applications of coffee berry.

Coffee berry is a super fruit rich in antioxidants and polyphenols, it is primarily and universally cultivated and consumed for its seed (pit)  to produce coffee .The coffee produced is used as a beverage, and also as a flavouring agent in drinks, baking industry, ice-cream and chocolate industry. Also, coffee is the one of most popular hot beverages consumed across the globe. This stimulating drink is either consumed as a black decoction or with milk in the form or hot or cold beverage.

The pulp of the fruit is juiced and used in combination with other fruit juices as a drink. Coffee berry is also used in cosmetic industry to produce essential oils and other beauty products like face packs and wax.

Coffee berry is highly perishable and should be consumed or processed within 2-3 days after harvesting.
The by-products of coffee berry after processing in the plant are used as fertilizer and for poultry feed. They are very rich in fibre. The lush green waxy leaves of coffee berry plant can be boiled into a mild decoction and consumed as a broth.

How do you store coffee berry?

Fresh Coffee berry has a shelf life of 2-3 days and should be consumed or processed within that time, however it can be refrigerated at optimum temperature and also juiced and frozen for later consumption. The roasted coffee pods can be stored longer and would need to be stored in opaque airtight jars to retain freshness for longer period.

Unique thing to do when you get a chance.

A visit to a coffee storage and processing plant is a unique experience and one can   soak in the exotic aroma and taste a variety of freshly ground coffee which is so different from that of a coffee shop or a barista!

Lesser known facts, benefits and uses.

Recent theories have proved that green coffee extract helps in weight loss by burning excess body fat. Some of the other known benefits are ….

  • Source of rich antioxidants.
  • Helps manage weight and blood sugar levels.
  • Helps manage heart rate and build immune system.
  • Helps in improving concentration and focus.
  • Eliminates signs of aging.
  • Nutritional supplement.
  • Anti-depressant and mood elevator.

Side effects and downside of over consumption of coffee berry.

As coffee is very high in caffeine it can be addictive and can cause insomnia, restlessness, upset stomach and nausea with increased heart rate. Anxiety and agitation are other side effects of over consumption. By and large this is a safe drink when consumed within limits 

Allergies from coffee berry /coffee consumption.

Watch out for these signs if after consumption of coffee berry /coffee in any form .If any of the below symptoms occur within 2-3 hours of consumption immediately stop intake and contact your doctor immediately .

  • Hives or urticaria 
  • Itchy skin
  • Skin blotching and redness

Symptoms would affect several areas of the body and get worse with time. Hence immediate remedy is required which could be taking anti allergic medicine or using relieving powder over the affected area. In worse case inpatients hospitalization may be required.

Coffee berry fact sheet.

  • Over 2.3 billion cups of coffee are consumed everyday across the world
  • Coffee berry was first discovered by goats
  • Over 90% of the world’s coffee is produced by the developing countries of the world
  • Primarily consumed in the industrial economies like Americas and Europe
  • Brazil is the largest producer of coffee in the world with 40% stake.

To sum up, this energy drink that wakes you up and helps you face the world each day  is a beverage  to cherish ,enjoy and relish within limits .There is a strong message and thought behind that cup of coffee that has been grown ,harvested and processed by a poor man from a developing country who  feeds his family from the income he gets by saying Good Morning to you!

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