What’s Brewing! An Intitiative To Build A More Equitable & Prosperous Coffee Sector

On October 1, the world celebrated International Coffee Day. According to surveys, coffee is the second-most consumed beverage after water. The International Coffee Organisation (ICO) launched ‘Coffee’s Next Generation’ — a global initiative targeting talented and motivated young people and entrepreneurs in the coffee sector.

According to ICO, “investing in youth will generate both innovative and sustainable solutions for the coffee sector, contributing to build back a better, more equitable and prosperous coffee sector, enabling recovery from the COVID-19 crisis and building a stronger future, positively impacting coffee communities around the world… it will also mitigate the lack of engagement of youth in coffee farming and other areas of the value chain.”

Coffee plants are evergreen shrubs or trees with white fragrant flowers. The flowers are followed by oval berries which are green when immature and ripen to yellow, then crimson, before turning black on drying. Then they are sorted by ripeness and colour, and the flesh of the berry is removed by machine. The seeds are fermented to remove the slimy layer after which they are washed with large quantities of fresh water to remove the fermentation residue. Finally, the seeds are dried and roasted. The roasted seeds are grounded and ready to be used.

Nowadays, coffee grounds are being used for composting or as a mulch, which is especially appreciated by worms and acid-loving plants such as blueberries. C. arabica and C. robusta are the two most commonly grown coffee bean types. Coffee has become a major export commodity from developing nations. Green, unroasted coffee is one of the most traded agricultural commodities in the world.

Coming to the nutritional quality of coffee, 100 gram of espresso contains significant amount of magnesium, vitamin B, niacin and riboflavin and 212 mg of caffeine.

According to USDA, coffee also contains antioxidants that help in maintaining energy level of our body. Caffeine present blocks an inhibitory neurotransmitter in our brain, which serves as the main reason behind the stimulant effect that eventually leads to improved mood and energy levels on drinking coffee.

A meta analysis conducted in 2017 showed a link between coffee consumption and lower risk of Parkinson’s disease. It also suggested that people who drink coffee regularly are less likely to experience depression and Alzheimers. But coffee should be consumed in moderation and daily dose should not exceed three cups as excess caffeine in our system can develop anxiety conditions.

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