The coffee tree is a small tree 5 to 7 meters high cultivated for its fruits, the “cherries”, which contain two seeds surrounded by pulp. it is the latter which, after roasting (partial calcination), will be used to produce coffee. The two most widespread species are Coffea arabica, the common coffee tree, native to Ethiopia and now widely cultivated in Central America, South America and Kenya, and Coffea canephora, the Congo coffee tree, whose varietyrobusta is very present in Africa and Asia. Growing in the intertropical zone, the coffee tree requires high humidity (1 to 2 meters of annual precipitation) and average temperatures of 20 to 25 ° C. However, while Coffea canephora is sensitive to variations in heat and can only be grown at not too high altitudes, Coffea arabica can cope with lower temperatures and higher climates.


Coffee mainly contains caffeine, diterpene alcohols and phenolic compounds known for their antioxidant effects. Coffee contains more than a dozen bioactive compounds, most of which are formed during the process of roasting (roasting) the bean. Coffee is made up of many different molecules:

  • The water :

It is present in significant quantities in green coffee (not roasted) where it fluctuates around 10%. after roasting, this rate decreases to less than 1%, but it can rise again by capturing the humidity of the ambient air without exceeding the 5% required by law.

  • Fatty substances:

With triglyceride and diterpene in the lead, fatty substances occupy a heavy place in coffee beans (12 to 20%). Triglycerides are a building block of animal fat and vegetable oil. Diterpenes are substances of organic origin composed of 20 carbon atoms. They are the source of the fine acidity that improves the quality of coffee. This acidity is higher in Arabica beans than in Robusta beans. In addition, Arabicas grown in the heights have a higher acidity than those in the plains, which explains the richness of the cultures of the highlands.

Finally, roasting modifies this acidity: at the beginning, it increases and then decreases rapidly when the temperature exceeds 200 ° C.

  • The proteins :

They enter for 10% in the composition of coffee, but their quantity decreases during roasting.

  • The minerals :

Coffee contains many minerals: potassium (1%), then calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and many other minerals present in trace amounts.

  • Alkaloids:

Alkaloids are organic molecules based on nitrogen. Several alkaloids are found in coffee, including caffeine (C8H10N4O2), the most famous component of coffee, which acts as a psychotropic stimulant. Caffeine is odorless and varies little during roasting. Nicotinic acid (C6H5NO2) is also found as vitamin B, trigonelline (C7H7NO), theophylline (C7H8N4O2) and theobromine (C7H8N4O2).

  • Aromatic substances:

They represent less than 1% of the composition of the roasted bean and only appear during roasting, when the beans are under high pressure.

  • Carbohydrates (carbohydrates):

They are present at 30%. polysaccharides (simple sugar polymer), sugars (arabinose (C5H10O5), fructose (C6H12O6), glucose (C6H12O6) and sucrose (C12H22O11) are distinguished in coffee, the latter being transformed during roasting.

coffee grounds (the residue from brewing coffee) are mostly insoluble polysaccharides.

The number of aromatic molecules is estimated at 800 whereas they are only 250 before roasting.


In moderate consumption, coffee has many beneficial properties for health: improvement of memory, concentration and morale. The caffeine it contains has above all been associated with many physical benefits, including the possible reduction in the risk of Alzheimer’s and certain cancers. On the other hand, like many products consumed in excess, coffee can trigger an increased heart rate, temporary hypertension or nervousness. However, it would be a shame to miss out on the benefits of it when it comes from organic farming. Indeed, organic coffee preserves and relieves the body.

  • Coffee preserves our body

Energizing and stimulating, coffee also contains antioxidants which are said to prolong the life of some of our vital organs. Portuguese research suggests that drinking two to three cups of coffee a day would be beneficial for people with kidney problems. It would also participate in the proper functioning of the liver and stimulate blood circulation. Drinking three cups of organic coffee a day would therefore allow us to live longer and in good health.

  • A natural pain reliever, effective against headaches

An English study from Goldsmiths College in London suggests that 250 mg of caffeine (equivalent to a double espresso) could reduce pain. Indeed, caffeine is found in some anti-inflammatory drugs. Moreover, the study reveals that in the event of headaches drinking a coffee is a good remedy (to supplement with paracetamol in the event of strong pain). “The caffeine in coffee has pain relieving properties when you have a headache and want to take paracetamol, the idea is to take it with a coffee.

  • Coffee preserves brain deficiencies

According to the Coffee & Health Institute, coffee protects our brains from inflammation in the brain and slows down the deterioration of brain cells associated with memory. Therefore, drinking coffee regularly and without excess would reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease by 20%. Coffee is therefore a good ally for our brain health.

  • To relieve muscle pain

This is good news for athletes! According to a study from the University of Illinois, coffee can help relieve sports pain during exercise. Indeed, as we saw earlier, caffeine acts on the neuromodulatory system of adenosine (pain). What reduces has the effect of muscle fatigue during exertion. Drinking a cup of coffee an hour before a sporting activity would therefore make it less painful.

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