Coffee Drinkers

Coffee, the drink made from the roasted and ground beans of the coffee plant, is the favorite hot drink in almost every country in the world.

The United States ranks as the largest consumer of coffee. Americans drink about 400 million cups everyday. The rich aroma of coffee ads much to the pleasure of drinking it. The coffee break has become integral part of the business world. Each morning and afternoon, millions of workers pause for a few minutes of relaxation over a cup of coffee.

On the average, each person in the United States drinks the brew from about 10 pounds (4.5 kilograms) of coffee annually. Each year, the United States uses about 2,600,000,000 pounds (1,180,000,000 kilograms) or about one fifth of all the coffee grown in the world. Other leading coffee consuming countries include Brazil, France, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and west Germany. Brazil produces about 30 percent of the world’s coffee crop. Coffee is vital to the economies of many Latin American countries.

The scientific name of the common coffee plant is Coffea arabica. It originally grew wild in Ethiopia. It is now cultivated in Java, Sumatra, India, Arabia, equatorial Africa, Hawaii, Mexico, Central and South America, and the west Indies. Coffea arabica is a shrub with glossy, evergreen leaves. It is 14 to 20 feet (4.3 to 6.1 meters) high when fully grown. As a rule, coffee growers prune it under 12 feet (3.7 meters). It has white flowers that are self-pollinating. The coffee fruit is called a berry. It begins to grow while the plants is blossoming and ripens from green to yellow to red. The average plant produces enough berries each year to make about 1 1/2 pounds (0.7 kilogram) of roasted coffee.