Right now there are 103 species of coffee grown in the world, which is mainly for the purpose of having a worldwide germplasm bank. There are only two species of coffee that have economic value: Coffea arabacia & Coffea robusta. Right now there are 18 species grown at the Agronomy Institute or IAC. These species provide the genetic diversity needed to create the cultivars that will grow in Brazil’s widely varying growing conditions. Among these species, you will find totally different sizes of plants as well as varying fruit colors and textures. Brazil is the number two grower in the world for coffee, right behind Africa. Coffee is also the second highest good in the world; petroleum is number one. (Too my dismay, it will probably stay that way).
I have to say that I am very surprised to hear that coffee is the number two good in the world. I don’t really know why it is so surprising, maybe it just threw me a bit off guard. I honestly had no idea that there are only two species that grow for the actual production of coffee. The research that the IAC is doing is definitely catapulting the industry even further in Brazil because the plants are now able to respond better and better to environmental factors. I am going to keep this post very short, but I’ll be honest in that now that I know even more about coffee I want to look into Starbucks and see how much coffee they buy an be from where. This may also sound awful, but I also can’t wait to get a Starbucks in the Atlanta airport on the way home next week!!