The coffee tree is an evergreen shrub or a small tree 5-8 meters tall (rarely larger). Cultivated trees are significantly lower in height than those living in the wild. The trunk of the plant is covered with gray-green bark. Branches long and flexible. The leaves are oppositely arranged on short petioles, leathery, dark green. The edge of the page is slightly wavy.
The flowers of the plant are yellowish-white, fragrant, arranged in cymes of 3-7 pieces.
The plant blooms and produces fruit throughout the year, starting from the third year of life. The fruit is a berry that ripens in 6-7 months. The berry is usually dark brown, dark blue or even black in color. In the middle of the berry there are two seeds, the color of which depends on the species of the plant and the place of growth. The seeds are further used in the preparation of a coffee drink.
Seeds are used for medicinal purposes. The seeds of a four-year-old plant are collected by hand, so all the inhabitants of the village, including children, are often invited to harvest the crop.
Robusta coffee beans are easier to collect, because they do not fall off when they ripen, they often even wither on the tree, Arabica coffee beans already have to be collected in two passes, with a difference of two weeks - taking into account the ripening time of the fruits.
Coffee fruits are processed in two ways: dry processing and wet processing.
Most coffee fruits are processed using the dry processing method, as this method is cheaper. This method appeared first and has been known since coffee beans are consumed. This method involves drying the collected fruits in the sun, later peeling them when they are dry.
The wet processing method is used only for high-quality coffee species. Initially, fresh fruits are peeled using special disc machines. Then the beans with the remaining pulp are placed in a dark place and allowed to ferment. Already fermented beans are subjected to a strong water wash, thus separating the remaining fruit pulps. We obtain coffee seeds/grains with a fine shell. The obtained seeds are then subjected to drying - this happens in the sun or in dryers at 50-60C. Then peel from the casings. In this way, it is possible to obtain higher quality coffee beans with a more pronounced aroma.
No matter how the coffee beans are processed, they need to be roasted. It is the correct roasting that determines the aroma of the coffee.
According to many properties, fresh coffee beans have a significantly higher concentration of active substances than roasted beans. Roasting, accordingly, destroys many valuable substances.
Fresh seeds of the plant contain: alkaloid caffeine (0.65-2.7%), fat (about 12%), protein (10-14%) - leptin, sugar (7.8-16%), coffee tannin acids (8.4-9%), nitrogen-containing substances (12.6-13%), tocopherols. In roasted grains, the sugar level decreases (2-3%), coffee tannin acids (4-5%), but the fat content (up to 15%), nitrogen-containing substances (up to 14%) increases.
It has been established that coffee beans before roasting contain up to 2000 different chemical compounds. Including compounds that we have known for a long time and why we drink coffee at all - caffeine. Alkaloids of the caffeine group have also been found in grains, which are similar in chemical structure to substances in the human body, so these alkaloids are also not dangerous for humans, even when used long-term, in small doses.
Caffeine has an excitatory effect on the human CNS. When using caffeine, reflex excitability is increased, the activity of the heart and respiratory organs increases, arterial pressure increases, the blood vessels of the head and kidneys expand, as well as gastric secretion increases and other effects occur. Caffeine boosts a person's mental and physical performance.
Green coffee can also be used to lose weight. The protein leptin, in high concentrations, is found directly in unroasted grains and is strongly lost during heat treatment. Leptin has the ability to suppress appetite.
The valuable substances of green coffee are lost when it is stored for a long time - under the influence of light and temperature.
The taste of green grains is astringent, like herbal tea, and even people may find it sour and unpleasant. However, this tea from green grains stimulates the metabolism and supplies the body with substances that help break down fat.
The first records of the use of fresh coffee date back to 1591. Initially, green grain infusions were prepared to treat headaches, migraines, fevers, to improve digestion and restore strength.
The tonic properties of coffee are best observed in people who suffer from asthenia, hypotonia and frequent fatigue. One or two cups of coffee will relieve fatigue and drowsiness, increase working capacity, activate memory and thinking processes.
Coffee also has a beneficial effect in case of poisoning. The tannins in coffee have a beneficial effect on the mucous membrane of the digestive tract, and also promote the removal of poisonous substances from the body.
Fresh coffee beans are used as a poultice to treat fever, whooping cough, headaches, catarrhal conditions, gout and arthritis.
Roasted coffee has gained much more popularity and use. A strong decoction of coffee with lemon juice is used to treat malaria. To improve the functioning of the digestive tract, coffee is used to treat poisoning and diarrhea. Coffee is used in various functional disorders of the nervous system and migraine. Coffee is also a good tonic for weakness.
Coffee drinks are used to relieve headaches during menstruation and to stop vomiting during pregnancy.