How Coffee Is Grown

baby coffee plantsCoffee, what seems to be the world’s favorite beverage, has a distinctive aroma and a variety of tastes from bold to light and earthy and even a bit spicy. Today we have easy access to coffee shops which are on just about every corner, but you’d be surprised at the special care and environmental conditions it takes to produce the much loved beans that make up the world’s favorite brew.

Coffee berries are produced by a variety of smaller species of evergreen bushes also known as Coffea plants. The seeds are located in coffee “berries”, which grow on these plants that are harvested in more than 70 countries, largely in India, Asia, Africa and Latin America. Brazil is the world’s premier coffee exporting region, however Vietnam actually tripled their exports between 1995 – 1999, and grew to be a key grower of Robusta beans. Indonesia has become the third major exporter and is the key producer of washed Arabica coffee. The most traded agricultural commodities in the world today are actually unroasted (green) coffee.

The environment, climate and rainfall have an effect on the growth of Coffea plants, and the fruit flowering and maturing timelines vary. Generally, the Arabica species takes around 7 months, and 9 months for Robusta. You can tell the berries are ripe and ready to be harvested when they turn a red/purple color.

Arabica coffee plants are probably the most common, typically grown in volcanic regions where the moist soil is regularly tilled and fertilized. The higher the coffee is grown the longer it will take, and the better it will taste. Flavorful coffee takes time and that is why some blends can cost more than others.

Once they’re ripe, the coffee berries are harvested, carefully processed, and dried. Next the seeds are roasted at various degrees, based on the flavor desired, sold as coffee beans or ground, and then brewed into the delicious cup of coffee you enjoy today.

Other Resources:
http://www.ncausa.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=71

Planning The Perfect Family Vacation

Planning the perfect family vacation isn’t always easy because you have multiple people’s likes and dislikes to consider, but with a well laid out plan is all you need to have a great time. There are a lot of different destinations to consider and most include things to see and do that everyone will enjoy.

There are some places that just don’t cater to family activities; a good example would be Norway which while it’s a beautiful place it can be expensive and most of the venues cater to adults. Indonesia isn’t exactly family friendly either despite how beautiful and scenic it is. It’s important to not only choose the right destinations but to be properly prepared. Below are some tips that will make planning the perfect family vacation a piece of cake.

Location Counts
Start by choosing a location that everyone in the family can enjoy. It can be challenging coming up with a vacation that please everyone but it is possible if you plan your trip early enough, choosing accommodations that are close to a variety of activities that will suit adults, teenager’s and the little ones in the group. You can also choose hotels that offer babysitting services for the grown ups can enjoy some time to themselves.

Wardrobe for the Kids
When planning a vacation make sure you plan out the right clothing for your children to wear from bathing suits and flip flops to comfortable athletic shoes, shorts and jackets. Another good rule of thumb is to pack extras.

Plan for Each Day
Kids get extremely antsy and you’ll need to find activities that you can all enjoy together. It’s not enough to spend the day shopping or visiting art galleries with most kids, you’ll need to have a plan that gives everyone something to look forward too. In other words everyone in the family should be able to pick something to do with the other’s willing to tag along knowing they’ll have a choice as well the next time around..

Start off Well Rested
Even though it may be difficult to make sure your already excited family will rest up before you head out on vacation, it can and will ensure that the experience is stress free. Sure it’s hard to finish up all the packing, etc., the day before you leave, but if you do you’ll be able to take it easy as you depart.

Vacations should be fun and stress free and taking the time to plan the perfect family vacation will be well worth the effort. Make sure that you plan a vacation that each member of your family can enjoy and while vacationing with children means a little more preparation it can still be an extremely enjoyable experience for everyone involved.