A Coffee “Bean” is Not Actually a Bean

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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  • 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.

  • Jennifer Anderson

    I understand that many people outside the Navy think it’s just a theory, but “Cup of Joe” was coined by sailors. It was Admiral Josephus Daniels, who was Secretary of the Navy. In June, 1914, he banned all U.S. Navy ships from serving alcoholic beverages.
    Since Josephus Daniels was the one responsible for banning alcohol and “forced” everyone to make the switch to coffee, the sailors nicknamed the drink after him, thus it became “a cup of joe,” Joe being short for Josephus. You can speculate all you want about the theory, but that’s the one most widely told and accepted.

  • ‘The only American regions to produce coffee are Hawaii and Puerto Rico.’ That is definitely not true 🙂

  • Well, when I spot an obvious point of contention, and on research find it to be likely inaccurate, my ability to believe anything about what I have read is lessened to near zero.

    There are certain words that seem very similar in almost every part of the world due to the way the word came into existence and was spread.

    The word for the drink we call tea is very similar in various parts of the world that normally do not use the same language.

    ” Kopi Luwak (a small cat-sized Indonesian animal” seemed pretty wrong to me since I have heard words similar to coffee used in various regions.

    I found a lot of supporting evidence that “kopi” is the local word for coffee. “luwak” is the name described as that used to define what we call a certain type of CIVET CAT. Not really a cat but the words civet and cat seem to be found more frequently than civet alone so I believe that to be the most common usage.