A Coffee “Bean” is Not Actually a Bean

Daven Hiskey 13
Today I found out a Coffee bean is not actually a bean, rather it is a seed.

Now I know you are saying to yourself right now, “Aren’t beans seeds and seeds beans?”  Surprisingly, that is not the case.  (who knew?)  In fact, though beans are always seeds, seeds are not always beans.  A bean is just one kind of a seed.  Specifically, it is a name for seeds of the family Fabaceae (also known as Leguminosae) of which the coffee plant is not a member; thus, coffee “beans” are not actually beans.

Here’s some other interesting coffee related information:

  • The coffee “bean” is actually the seed of the coffee plant, the pit inside of the coffee fruit.
  • Almost all of the world’s coffee is grown between twenty five degrees north and twenty five degrees south of the equator. The appropriate temperature for coffee to grow is between 60 degrees Fahrenheit and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • For high quality “beans”, Coffee should be grown at high elevations.  The less oxygen in the air allows the tree to mature for longer.
  • Once a coffee tree has bean planted, it takes about five years until it can be used for a crop.
  • Coffee trees that are well shaded or grown in doors with little sunlight produce higher quality coffee, because it takes longer for the fruit to ripen.
  • Coffee is the world’s second largest commodity after oil.
  • Some of the world’s most powerful business, including Lloyds of London and the New York Stock Exchange, started out as coffee houses.
  • A coffee tree has a lifespan of about 50 to 70 years.
  • On average 1.4 billion cups of coffee are drunk a day.
  • Putting coffee grounds into ailing houseplants’ soil will help revitalize the plants.
  • The average annual coffee consumption of an American adult is 26.7 gallons or about 400 cups.
  • Coffee, taken black with no additives, is naturally a zero calorie beverage.
  • George Washington invented instant coffee… No, not that George Washington, but rather an English chemist, George Constant Washington.
  • The term “cup of Joe” stems from American soldiers in World War II, “G.I. Joes” were known to consume a large amount of coffee, as Maxwell Instant Coffee was included in their rations.
  • The most expensive coffee is coffee where the berries go through the digestive tract of the Kopi Luwak (a small cat-sized Indonesian animal).  The “beans” are then harvested from the animal’s waste, cleaned, roasted, and sold.  This coffee costs $100 to $600 per pound.  Just like when you buy food, in the end, you are essentially paying for poop.
  • The only American regions to produce coffee are Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
  • One acre of coffee trees typically yields about 10,000 pounds of coffee fruits, which comes out to about 2,000 pounds of coffee “beans”.

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13 Comments »

  1. Joe Vanguard September 26, 2014 at 12:33 pm - Reply

    The term “SEED” used in your article is not correct, therefore what the article says is confusing. It is known that each berry usually contains two SEEDs but 5-10% of the berries have only one SEED and these are called perberries.

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