Coffee is a popular beverage around the world and a commodity that is traded on major futures and commodity exchanges.
One of the largest global consumers of coffee is the US, although per capita, the leading nations for consumption are Finland, Aruba and Iceland, with 11.4, 9.2 and 9.1 kg respectively drank per person each year.
It is grown in approximately 70 countries around the world, with Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia and Indonesia the largest annual producers. Total cultivation each year stands at around 7.7 million tonnes, although as demand for the commodity increases this figure is set to increase.
Coffee is mainly grown in one of two varieties, depending upon the growing conditions and climate of the producing country. These are Arabica coffee beans and Robusta coffee beans, with each having distinct qualities.
Arabica beans are considered to have a richer flavour than their Robusta counterparts and as such, there is greater production of this variety worldwide. However, one of the most sought-after coffee varieties is the kopi luwak - a Robusta coffee which has undergone chemical transformation after passing through the digestive tract of the Asian Palm Civet.
The earliest evidence for the consumption and cultivation of coffee comes from the 15th century in the Sufi shrines of Yemen, where it was used in religious ceremonies due to its enlivening qualities. The popularity of the drink then quickly spread to other parts of the world, with Europe and the Americas quickly discovering its attractiveness as a restorative.
In order for the drink to be consumed, the raw beans must go through a number of stages of processing, this involves the collection of coffee berries and the removal of the pulp surrounding the seed.
These seeds are then roasted to create the coffee bean in order to dry them out. Different beans have different processing stages and timings in order to achieve the desired taste, but this basic process is similar for nearly all coffees.