Garden Helpers

Coffee Plants Didn’t Count on Humans

Have you ever wondered why Nature put caffeine in the coffee bean?

It is increasingly obvious that Nature has a reason for everything she does.

Scientists think it was to protect the coffee plant from pests. A natural pesticide, if you will. It certainly seems to work. In tests it was discovered that caffeine disrupted normal behaviour and growth in numerous insects, as well as messing with their larvae.

In one study, a caffeine concoction sprayed on mosquito larvae, rendered them incapable of swimming to the surface of ponds for air, resulting in their deaths.

While one can’t help but feel a bit sorry for the baby mosquitoes, this finding did open the possibility of using caffeine as an organic pesticide.

As for the coffee plant, it didn’t count on humans almost obscene dedication to its bean. Not only are we not repelled by the caffeine it produces, we are attracted to it with a zombie-like zeal.

Must. Have. Coffee. Now.

At last count, estimates put world consumption of coffee at 2.25 billion cups per day!

One coffee tree will produce approximately 4000 beans and each cup of coffee requires an average 100 beans to provide its robust flavour. If you drink two cups of coffee a day, you need the equivalent of 18 trees to fill your mug.

So the next time you are enjoying your coffee, raise your cup and send a thank you to your 18 trees and to the 20 million families that work hard to bring you your beans.

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