The biology of coffee


Coffee is an extremely sought-after product and is desired by many people. You’re probably reading this article with a coffee in hand, and you’re wondering what this coffee really is and what it contains. We all know how much it is appreciated in the world and how many people drink it every day, but do we know everything about coffee and its effects?

Coffee composition

  Caffeine is a complex compound, perhaps even one of the most researched components of the diet. It contains a wide variety of natural compounds, including caffeine, antioxidants, and diterpenes. These compounds contribute especially to the intense and unique aroma but also to the physiological effects of coffee which are highly researched. 

Caffeine is a mild stimulant of the central nervous system and a pharmacologically active compound. Caffeine is found in almost 60 species of plants including cola nuts, cocoa, tea leaves, and even coffee beans which are the best known. 

A normal cup of coffee provides almost 75-100 mg of caffeine. 

A regular caffeine intake of up to 400 mg per day may not worry you, in terms of adult safety. 

  Extensive studies have shown that there are a number of beneficial effects of caffeine on the diet, such as improved attention, more alertness, and even physical performance. But in some people there may be side effects, lack of sleep, and disturbance. 

Coffee contains a lot of compounds that have antioxidant properties. They contain chlorogenic acids and melanoidins, which help to deactivate oxidants. 

After drinking coffee, studies have shown that there is an increase in the level of oxidants in the blood. 

  Diterpenes, cafestol, and kahweol are naturally present in the oil contained in coffee. Research shows that high consumption of these compounds can raise serum levels of total cholesterol and LDL.

The rest of the coffee compounds are formed when the coffee beans are stored and processed. These include compounds such as ochratoxin A, where the source is mold that can grow on improperly stored(unroasted) green coffee beans, and acrylamide and furan, which are developed by heat processing food. 

  In general, moderate coffee consumption, the equivalent of 3-5 cups a day, has been associated with a diverse range of the desired physiological effects in the scientific literature and can also bring you a very active lifestyle. 

Different reactions

  People respond differently to caffeine. At least part of this variation comes from having different forms of the adenosine receptor, the molecule to which caffeine binds and blocks it. 

There are people who do not process caffeine and for whom drinks such as coffee could be a medical hazard. Even far from these extremes, however, there are variations in how we respond to that cup of coffee. And like much of biology, this variation is a function of the environment, our past coffee consumption, genetics, and frankly, just chance. 

  We are probably interested in coffee because of the soothing noise of caffeine, but that does not mean that caffeine is the most interesting biological aspect of a good cup of coffee. 

Coffee cultivation

  The most favorable places for coffee cultivation are the soils of volcanic origin which are rich in nitrogen. The optimal climatic conditions are in the tropics, where temperatures remain between 15C and 25C. Wind, frost, leaf diseases, even excessive heat will destroy shrubs.

Young plants do not have beans in the first two years, even related to this aspect, they still need great care such as hoeing, pruning, and frequent watering to ensure proper growth. 

When coffee plants bloom with delicate white flowers, their scent of orange and jasmine is as enticing as they are beautiful, flowering is short-lived, lasting only two to three days. 

Yellow, red color is formed, and then an intense purple color. When they are almost black, they are ready to be harvested. 

Harvesting coffee

  The harvesting period varies from region to region, from tree to coffee tree, because not all coffee beans ripen to maturity at the same time. The harvesting period can take several weeks. 

There are two systems involved in the harvesting process, harvesting and gathering. Harvesting ensures a perfectly uniform, high-quality harvest, as harvesters are highly trained to select only ripe grains one by one. Quality coffee harvesters must return to the same tree over time to choose more fruit in which they ripen.

  Today, coffee has become the most popular drink after water, with over 400 million cups consumed each year. Through its aroma, coffee delights us in the mornings and gives us energy.

  Towards the end, where does all this leave us on the biology of coffee? Well, as most readers already know, coffee will definitely wake you up in the morning and make your day better. 

It’s good to know more about the thing we love so much.