Coffee, first consumed as a beverage around 900 AD in Arabic countries, was introduced into Europe in the 16th century. Today it is an important beverage for billions of people and is thought to be second only to water as the most common beverage. The genus Coffea includes about 70 species, two of which are economically important. Coffea robusta accounts for about 40% of global consumption; Coffea arabica, which accounts for about 60% of world consumption, is considered to have a superior flavor 1.
Coffee beans are the seed within the coffee fruit (cherry). Mature coffee cherries are picked and the outer soft fruit pulp is removed. The green coffee bean within is then roasted to a dark brown or black color and ground into a powder which can be infused with hot water to produce a cup of coffee.
Phenolic acids are key to the health benefits attributed to regular coffee consumption, at least in part due to their antioxidant effects. Chlorogenic acids (CGAs) are the primary phenolic acid in coffee, particularly caffeolyquinic acids (CQAs) 2. There has been some interest in potential benefits of consuming the soft coffee cherry pulp, which contains fiber, caffeine and CGAs, including CQAs. Preliminary research indicates that acute intake of a specific coffee fruit extract may exert positive effects on a serum marker associated with learning and memory 3 ,4.
Caffeinated products are not intended or recommended for children and those sensitive to caffeine. Pregnant or nursing women, those with a medical condition, and those taking medication should consult a healthcare professional before use of caffeinated products.