10 Coffee Beans Facts That May Surprise You
If you’re a lover of all things coffee like me, you may know a thing or two about which coffee beans taste best, and you may even about roasting and grinding beans, but here are ten coffee beans facts, some of which you may have never heard before!
- Colossal Coffee Beans – The largest coffee bean is the Nicaragua Maragogipe, a variety of the Arabica species.
- Good Things Come to Those Who Wait – With just the right amount of shade, sun, rain, and the right climate, coffee plants will begin producing berries containing the “beans.”
- Coffee Bean Not a Native of Costa Rica – The Spanish traveller, Navarro, introduced Cuban beans to Costa Rica in 1779.
- Not Really “Beans” – Believe it or not, coffee beans are not really beans at all. They are not in the legume family, but rather they are the pits found inside of the coffee berries.
- Making the Grade – Coffee beans are graded in various ways. Columbian beans are graded from highest to lowest as: “Supremo” “Excelso”, “Extra” and “Pasilla”. Kenyan beans are graded with letter grades AA, AB, PB, C, E, TT, and T and the grades simply refer to the size, shape, and density of the bean. For the beans, size does matter because larger beans contain more of the oil that makes coffee so tasty. Costa Rican coffee beans are graded as Strictly Hard Bean, Good Hard Bean, Hard Bean, Medium Hard Bean, High Grown Atlantic, Medium Grown Atlantic, and Low Grown Atlantic, from highest to lowest, respectively, and these grades refer to the heights at which the beans were grown – Strictly Hard Bean, accounting for nearly 40 percent of the Costa Rica coffee crop is the top grade grown above 3,900 feet.
- Hand-Picked – Even to this day, most coffee is still picked by hand, and a worker can pick from 100 to 200 pounds of coffee berries a day!
- An Acre of Coffee – How much single origin coffees would you guess to get out of an acre of plants? One acre typically yields about 10,000 pounds of coffee fruits or cherries – which comes to around 2,000 pounds of beans.
- Imported Coffee – As much as Americans adore coffee, none is grown in the Continental U.S.; the only American places that produce it are Hawaii and Puerto Rico.
- The Most Expensive Coffee – The most expensive coffee in the world is Kopi Luwak, selling for between $100 and $600 USD per pound (2009).
- Also the Most Unusual Coffee – The most expensive coffee is also quite possibly the most unusual in the world – since the berries go through the digestive tract of the Kopi Luwak (a small cat-sized Indonesian animal), are then harvested from the animal’s waste, and then the beans removed, cleaned (hopefully!), roasted, and sold.