The coffee plant is a tropical shrub that grows about 30 feet high and contains a number of small red fruits that look something like berries. Each berry contains two seeds, which are called “beans.”
The coffee berries are picked and then washed. They are then left in the sun to dry for a few weeks, and are turned over now and then to make sure they dry evenly. Once the berries are dry, the beans are squeezed out.
These beans are green, but then they are roasted, and turn brown. It takes about five pounds of berries to produce a pound of coffee beans. The roasted beans are ground into a powder, packaged, and sent to the supermarket.
Coffee has become a popular drink because coffee beans contain a mild drug called caffeine. Caffeine stimulates the body’s nervous system and has the effect of “waking up” the coffee drinker.
In spite of modern technology, no one has yet invented a machine to pick coffee berries, and they must still be picked by hand!