Tracing the History of the Coffee Bean Trade

Posted on 31/05/2022

Tracing the History of the Coffee Bean Trade

Records of the International Coffee Organization (ICO), detailing that there are 4 types of coffee traded globally, namely Arabica coffee, Robusta coffee, Liberica coffee and Excelsa coffee. The four types of coffee come from 3 species of coffee plants. Arabica is produced by the Coffea arabica plant. Robusta is produced by the Coffea canephora plant. Meanwhile, liberica and excelsa are produced by the Coffea liberica plant, specifically Coffea liberica var. Liberica for liberica coffee and Coffea liberica var. Devevrei for excelsa coffee.

Early era (17th century)

In the early days coffee was only known in Islamic society in the Arabian peninsula. In the early 17th century coffee began to be traded outside of Arabia via the port of Mocha in Yemen. Arab traders monopolized this commodity for a long period of time.

In the 18th century, Europeans began to produce coffee outside of Arabia. Until 1720 the Netherlands shifted Yemen as the world's coffee exporter. Dutch products are obtained from coffee plantations in Java and the surrounding islands, which are now part of Indonesia. Indonesia has been the world's largest coffee producer for almost a century. In 1830 Indonesia's position as the largest coffee producer was shifted by Brazil. Until now Brazil is listed as the world's largest coffee producer.

Modern era (early 20th century)

Today coffee is grown in more than 50 countries around the world. Brazilian, Vietnamese, Colombian, Indonesian

and Ethiopia are the largest coffee producing countries. Brazil is the most dominant coffee producer. The number of successful coffee coffee production is about a third of the total world coffee production. In 2015 Brazil produced about 2.5 million tonnes of coffee beans. Coffee production in Brazil is dominated by Arabica around 80%, the rest is robusta. Arabica coffee is rated better and valued higher than other types of coffee.

Meanwhile, in 2015 Indonesia was in the fourth position of coffee-producing countries. According to the Association of Indonesian Coffee Exporters (GAEKI), around 83% of Indonesia's coffee production is of the robusta type and 17% arabica. Indonesia also produces liberica and excelsa coffee, but the amount is not significant when compared to arabica and robusta.