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Coffee

seeds drink americas plant

Coffee, evergreen shrub or tree (genus Coffea) from whose seeds the drink of the same name is made. The plant was first discovered in Ethiopia, where its fruit was used for wine and food before A.D. 1000 The hot drink made of ground and roasted coffee beans was first made in the Arabian peninsula in the 15th century. It reached Europe in the 17th century and then spread, with European settlers, to the Americas. The shrub is now grown in many hot, humid areas of Asia, the Americas, and Africa. The highest quality coffees are varieties of Arabian (Coffea arabica). Coffee of Liberian (C. liberica) and Congolese (C. robusta) origin are also commercially significant. Brazil is the world's largest coffee producer. Other major producing countries are Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Uganda, India, and Indonesia. The red, cherry-like berries of the coffee plant generally contain 2 seeds per berry. These seeds are harvested, cleaned, and roasted. It is the heat of the roasting process that creates the flavor and aroma. The roasting also causes the formation of caffeine, a stimulant that may be harmful in large doses.

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