The two most common sources of coffee beans are coffeea Arabica, also known as Arabica and coffea canephora, more commonly known as Robusta. About three-quarters of coffee cultivated worldwide is Arabica, as Robusta tends to be bitter and have less flavour. Robusta trees are however more resilient to diseases and can be cultivated in lower altitudes and warmer climates, where Arabica does not thrive. Coffee’s energising effect was likely first discovered in the northeast region of what is now Ethiopia by a goat keeper as his animals munched on the coffee berries.
The record of the first coffee being cultivated took place in Arabia and the first evidence of coffee as a beverage appears in the middle of the 15th century in the Yemen. Coffee consumption and cultivation from there spread to India and then to Italy, which opened its doors to Europe and the rest of the world. Coffee plants are cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily near the equator in Latin America, Southeast Asia, and Africa. Arabica takes about seven years to mature fully and thrives with 1.0 – 1.5 meters of rain. It can tolerate low temperatures, but not frost, and it does best when temperature hovers around 20 °C. It is usually cultivated at altitudes between 1,300 – 1,500 m but there are farms as low as sea level and as high as 2,800 m.