We are all drupe-lovers. A drupe is a type of fruit that simply put has a fleshy outside and a hard stony inside that houses the seed. That is why it is also called stonefruit.
We love them in the form of peaches, nectarines, apricots and raspberries (technically drupelets)
However, our most favorite drupe happens to be the one shown below:
Coffea arabica or simply, the love of our sleepy lives, coffee
The coffee fruit might look pretty but it is also like your typical high-maintenance girl/boyfriend. Here are some reasons why:
0. They require elevation (600-1800 meters), mild climate and 150 cm of rainfall annually.
1. Nothing about them is constant; they change color as they ripen: green, yellow, light red, and finally deep cherry red.
2. Even the fruits on the same branch will not ripen at the same time. That means, if you pick a fruit too early, you end up with bitter coffee and if you leave it too late, you will be drinking coffee that is acrid. (Thought bitter and acrid meant the same thing. Looked it up, they are synonymous, however, acrid is also acidic thus sour and pungent)
3. Because of #1, they have to be handpicked at maximum ripeness.
4. You have to bear #1 and #2 just to get at what is inside - the beans!
5. They come in delicate packages i.e. the beans are wrapped in a delicate parchment called silver skin. (sounds so pretty)
6. Your troubles are not over even after you get at the beans. Here is what it takes to go from coffee beans to a cup of coffee.
The different stages of coffee bean roasting
Popular types of coffee drinks
The coffee flower resembles jasmine both in appearance and scent
While this species produces 70% of the coffee consumed worldwide, there are other species that are in use too.
Varieties and species in use
Coffea robusta (syn Coffea canephora) is used to produce almost all of the remaining 30%. Its high caffeine content may taste less delicious, however, it makes up for it with higher disease- and parasite-resistance, ability to survive in warmer climate and being cheaper to cultivate.
#BPotD #Botany #Coffee