Coffee is the second most consumed beverage in Brazil; the first is water. The importance of the coffee bean is so evident in the country, that Brazilians first meal of the day is called “morning coffee”. In Portugal, the morning meal is known as “small lunch”, and in the UK, it is is called breakfast, which means to “break the fast”.
There are two coffee varieties cultivated in Brazil, the Arabica coffee and the Robusta coffee, also known as Conillon coffee. The first is smoother, and does not accept too much humidity, needs to be planted in terrains between 600 – 2000 meters of altitude. The second, as its own name already states, is a more robust coffee, more resistant, which grows well in altitudes between sea level and 600 meters.
While the Arabica coffee is used a lot in high quality blends, the Robusta coffee is used in the instant coffee industry. Another difference is the quantity of caffeine present in the beans. The first variety has 1.4% of caffeine, and the second has 2.5%. However, caffeine is soluble in hot water. Therefore, if you want to stay awake, you should avoid the cold extraction methods, such as the Dutch coffee.
Coffee was initially consumed in the form of an infusion. But the legend has it that ripe beans fell in a bonfire, while the shepherds boiled the water to prepare the beverage. When they noticed the pleasant taste, they decided to make their coffee with roasted beans.
The fruit was discovered in Ethiopia and was soon disseminated by the religious cults of the Arab world, since the Islamic religion does not allow any consumption of alcoholic drinks. This fact contributed to the creation of many Kaveh Kanes, places specialized in serving coffee in the City of Mecca. Those were the first coffee shops.
The Instituto Agronômico de Campinas [Campinas Agronomic Institute] (IAC) has researches about the essential oil extracted from green coffee beans. These studies demonstrate that the product has skin moisturizing and cosmetic protection properties against UVB radiation. The Icatu Vermelho IAC 4045 and Mundo Novo IAC 376-4 cultivars are the most promising for such purpose.